On Facebook I follow the band The Authority, who were our (Last Tribe's) contemporaries back in the 90's. Our two band's were the prominent bands out of Rockland County, NY that were packing Wetland's Preserve down in NYC on a regular basis. The new hippie scene started there by Phish, Blues Traveler and the Spin Doctors was just taking off and those bands were starting to play bigger venues while we were coming up and filling their shoes. Admittedly, the Authority was more tapped into that scene than we were as they were a funk band and we were more of a rock band. Some relatively unknown bands playing the venue at the same time as us were Dave Matthews, 311, The Wallflowers and Warren Haynes to name a few.
So I got the post mentioning a new book about Wetlands being done by deceased owner Larry Bloch's wife, Laura, on Kickstarter. I went to the site here and there was my band's name being featured on an old Wetland's Calendar front and center. It looks like Laura has met her goal of $17500 and the book will be published in June of this year. Great stuff, I look forward to the book and the many memories it will stir up for so many people. Over 2500 bands played that venue during it's 13 year run in lower Manhattan.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
At the request of our old friend Allison Hagendorf (who is now a host on VH1) and many other friends, I finally put Unspun's first record "One" up for sale on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify. I am quite proud of this bunch of songs as it opened a lot of doors in the NYC music world and garnered us many new fans. We met a lot of industry kingpins and ended up being wooed by and signing a deal with Avery Lipman at Universal Republic records. Great days! You can access the record here.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Things have been quiet musically on the homestead and especially here on this page but they should be picking up soon. I have a few songs that I'm itching to record but the situation hasn't presented itself to make this a reality. It's time to take action and make this happen. Winter is my favorite time to record as I have a lot of time on my hands and my creative juices start flowing. For me it's an instinct, like birds flying south or salmon heading up river.... winter is time to record. There's something about being in a warm studio, creating something new, while it's snowy and freezing outside. It's the way my life has gone for the last 25 years. This video was done in the winter during the recording of Unspun's "One" record way back in 1999. The song is "As The Evening Flows" and as you can see we were recording to 2 inch tape. I had a little trouble nailing that guitar arpeggio but I finally got it. We had to try different things like changing the lighting to get me comfortable enough to get it right. I'm glad we did because I love that song... It's one of the first that John and I worked on for that record and the last song of the running order. It was recorded by Doug Oberkircher at his Little Bear Studios which was right next to BearTracks Studios. Great Days!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
My old manager is in the real estate business now. He called me up a few weeks ago and asked if I'd be interested in using one of my old tunes, "Bombs Away" for an internet add for a new app he's working on called Dot Loop. I agreed and his editor tried to cut the old 2 track mix around his video but that was difficult to do. The music also sounded a little dated so I decided to re-record a custom version to fit the existing video and this is what I ended up with... I will post the commercial when it's finished. Peace.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Some new songs have been dripping out of me, slowly. It's not often that I have the time to sit quietly with a guitar or a keyboard and let my imagination run away. Usually when I do grab an instrument, something will come out and I will capture it roughly on my iPad...... but this time I decided to actually lay down a few tracks. Writing songs at this stage of my life is a funny thing. While I feel that I can write a decent song from time to time, I question WHY I should even bother? What's the purpose? What am I going to do with this song? Who's going to hear it? None of that should matter but it does. The other part of me, which I can't control, continues to flood my conscience with little ditties that I want to investigate... I almost feel guilty if I ignore them. I'm trying to collaborate with some musician friends of mine who I used to live and breath every musical idea with but as always, we are all older and life is busy. Everyone is settled firmly in their nest, including me. We'll see what happens. Until then, I'll always have the demos.... Here's a recent one: BTW, I upgraded my computer in a major way so I can now operate at a reasonable pace when recording. My old G4 served me well but while making "Tape and Glue" I literally was stuck in the stone age with that machine!
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Hi. It's been a while since I posted anything about Tape and Glue as I've been writing some new songs and moving on, but I wanted to share a "leftover" track from the sessions... I had "Listen" around for a while and recorded demos of the song in various styles, trying to find the song. Once Dave came in to lay down this groove (which was in my mind, modeled after Peter Gabriel's Digging in the Dirt) the song came together. I had the horn line in my head forever and kind of scatted it to Erik Lawrence and Steven Bernstein who laid it down easily and with some great feel, with Erik doing a few solos between the lines. I sent Rob Strait the roughs of the tune and he sent me back about 8 guitar tracks with many different textures.... we ended up using just about all of them. That's Rob doing the swells, the bells and harmonics, the pulsing guitar in the second verse (which he did by manually playing the note and using the volume knob on the guitar as a volume pedal into an echo... no easy feat!!) When I heard the pulse guitar for the first time it made my day. I originally wanted a lot of voices for the background vocals at the end but I was never able to coordinate things to make it happen so I just layered them. I did a posting on this blog with video of those sessions here... it's hard to believe that was 2 years ago.. So, Happy Christmas to anyone reading this and if you need a last minute gift you can download/gift "Tape and Glue" for free here... If you are interested in having an unmastered copy of "Listen" shoot me an email and I'll send it out. Peace RD
Friday, July 13, 2012
Dave and I brushed off the dust last night and did a new song rehearsal, and it felt fantastic! We went over about 7 new tunes, just hashing out arrangements and how things should feel etc. All of the new songs reside in a similar neighborhood and should get along nicely with one another. We're going to add a bass player along the way but for now I just want to get these songs further along, out of their infancy and into the toddler stage. I'm going to start cranking up my bigger amps and electric guitars, staying away from any acoustic instruments. It's been too long since I made some real noise.... I went to the CBGB's festival last week and felt the power of rock and roll first hand @ Jesse Malin's Bowery Electric while watching the Waldos and The Bullys. I felt like a teenager again while bouncing off of sweaty strangers and feeling the warmth of the music coming off the stage. Great stuff. I even had a nice little chat with Mr. Malin himself who was playing with his old band DGenerartion the next night. I missed that whole scene when it was going down as I was hanging out with the hippies and jam bands across town at Wetlands at the time.... A lot of fun at these shows!