The music throughout Philadelphia, and specifically the Gayborhood, is one one of the backbones of the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection). One of those voices is without doubt, Patty D’Aguanno, (better known as Ghosha) who was a virtual legend at the Gayborhood’s legendary Tavern on Camac. While the world lost Ghosha four years ago, the music she left behind remans her enduring legacy. Grapefruit Sound Lab recently recreated five songs that were written and recorded by Ghosha and her musical collaborator and girlfriend at the time, Lesley Tao Mowat, (known as Tao). The album of reimagined and updated tracks is titled “Original Face.” and was done in tandem with Ghosha’s beloved brother, Frank D’Aguanno.
Since 1970, Ghosha was a Philadelphia music staple, ranging from musical jingles for companies like Dietz and Watson & the Valley Forge Music Fair, even finding the time to partner up with her friend Karen to write the very tongue in cheek stage show titled “Processed American Cheese”. Forming the band Square Roots with Tao (after meeting Tao in the 80’s and even spending time in the famed Rajneesh commune made famous in the Netflix doc Wild Wild Country), Ghosha found her true prominence in Philadelphia. During her career in Philly, Ghosha performed everywhere from Governor Ed Rendell’s Get Out The Vote bar crawls in the Gayborhood, at the 2017 Philly Pride parade, and at her regular gigs at Tavern on Camac, SawTown Tavern, and numerous other spaces. Tavern recently held a record released party to celebrate the release of “Original Face”, hosted by Frank D’Aguanno.
“Original Face” and Ghosha’s now forever memorialized talents have garnered accolades and attention from not just local Philadelphia fans, but political luminaries and celebrities alike. Fred Schneider (lead singer and founder of the legendary B-52’s) has followed Ghosha’s project and encouraged his followers on social media to check out the project. Additionally, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said in a lengthy letter in part that “this EP changes all of that so that Ghosha’s voice can be with us forever and we can always remember this incredibly nice and incredibly beautiful person”.
After working to closely with Cotnoir on the project, Frank spoke to EPGN about how Cotnoir’s passion for the project kept the essence of Ghosha and her music firmly intact. “Rob was great at helping keep the integrity of the actual original songs,” Frank said. “And keeping Tao’s guitar solos and her guitar work still intact, and some of my sister’s original keys. But the most important thing was keeping my sister’s vocals and songwriting prominent, and that is the gold of this project.”
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