Monday, December 12, 2016

Today We Are an Album

[Cross-posted at PowerPop -- S.S.]

And they said it would never happen.

But yes, the reissue...remastered to a fare-thee-well at great personal expense (and with five bonus tracks -- three studio and two live)...of our 1995 masterpiece (originally on Gadfly Records) is now a reality.

The song above is, as you will immediately notice, our attempt at a contemporary tune in the mold of Buddy Holly, and I think a very successful one.

In any case, the other 15 songs on the record are all on YouTube. If you want to purchase them, you can do so at CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes; the album can also be streamed on Spotify, Pandora, and pretty much all of the other usual suspects.

I should add that this reissue has been about two years in the making (and a dream come true -- the 1995 version had vastly inferior sound). And I would like to say to my bandmates -- Gerry (obviously), J.D. Goldberg and Glen "Bob" Allen -- that you should be damned proud of the work you did, both two decades ago and more recently.

I should also add that an absolutely sensational video for one of the songs -- "A Drop of Rain" -- will be viewable on-line probably by the end of the week.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Drop of Rain and Other Updates

[cross-posted in slightly different form from PowerPop]

Okay, I'm gonna get more than usually self-indulgent today, but please bear with me. I think it'll be worth it.

So -- some of you may know that my 90s band -- Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams, who were essentially the Floor Models Mark II (we liked to describe our stuff as Merseybeat Cowboy music) -- released an album in 1995 on Gadfly Records, a small but interesting indie label out of Vermont. (They had the entire Tonio K. catalogue, which delighted me).

The album's out of print, and the label seems to be defunct -- in fact, we've been trying to get in touch with Mitch Kantor, the guy who ran it, for a while now with no success. Mitch -- if you're out there....

Anyway, it's a really good record, IMHO, but it was abominably mastered -- in fact, back in the day we were all kind of heartsick about what had been done to our magnum opus. So, having a lot of time on my hands recently after finishing the Flo Mos Letter From Liverpool project, I thought to myself -- let's reissue it and do it right this time.

To which end ace drummer Glen "Bob" Allen, original Hi-Beams guitarist J.D. Goldberg and myself spent the summer re-mastering the record from the original tapes and spiffing up some bonus tracks (live and studio). And the whole thing now sounds insanely good; we'll be releasing it both online (Amazon, Spotify, iTunes etc) and in physical CD form in December.

So why am I bringing this up? Because while listening to the final master in the studio the other night, I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard this song on big speakers for the first time in a while.

I've always thought it was an absolute masterpiece, and way better than we actually were, frankly. But in the aftermath of the election it now struck me as sadly relevant in a way it hadn't when we recorded it.

It's called "A Drop of Rain." It was written by Gerry Devine (rhythm guitar and vocals) who came up with it after watching Ken Burns' Civil War documentary. I'm on bass and keyboards; Glen and J.D. are on everything else.

On the long road back from Gettysburg
The dust burned in their eyes
And by the time they got through Maryland
There were no more tears to cry
Ghosts out on the Interstate
The cursed and the blessed
The dream that died that hot July
Was never laid to rest

A drop of rain falls on the highway
A tear stain on the stone
There's a long parade of headlights
Trying to find their way back home
All the promises were broken
But the memories still remain
As the cars go flashing by
Like drops of rain

A thousand crosses burned at night
Across this holy ground
And we kept on hearing the same lies
Untill we came around
We're all in this together now
The union is preserved
All these years and waiting still
For justice to be served

A drop of rain falls on the river
Floating down to New Orleans
The melting snows of Canada
Come wash this country clean
All the way from Tupelo
We watched that mystery train
Fade off into the night
Through drops of rain

I hear the Sunday church bells
As the morning lights the sky
And all that I can do
Is throw this thing in gear and drive
Trail smoke down the blacktop
Through the endless miles of corn
These wheels were set in motion
Before I was ever born

A drop of rain falls on my windshield
The wind is in my ears
You can smell the storm that's coming
It won't be long until it's here
I wish I had the words to tell you
But there's no way to to explain
About this wind that drives me
Like a drop of rain

I get chills listening to it, and I think it's amazing simply as a poem.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the reissue as we get near to the actual release date.

Which, barring the unforeseen, will be on-line early in December. With actual physical CDs to follow before the New Year, weather permitting.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Today We Are a T-Shirt

Ordered one of these for me today.

If it looks as good in real life as it does in the simulation, perhaps we'll run a bunch off for hardcore fans.

More news -- on airplay, press coverage etc. -- coming soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

La Vie Est Belle Sometimes

Today we are an EP.

A year in the making, actually.

Gotta ship these off to our various distributors, so they won't be available for purchase for another week or so (I'll keep you posted). But the project is now done, and I couldn't be prouder.

This one's for Andy, obviously.

Monday, July 18, 2016

And They Said It Would Never Happen...

Today we are an EP.

And even more amazingly -- a video.

This has been over a year in the making, and apart from the fact that I'm insanely proud of it, I would just like to thank everybody involved in getting it together. That includes ace engineer Brent McLachlan, my drummer and musical director for the last 50 years Glen "Bob" Allen, special guest Flo Mos J.D. Goldberg and Ronnie D'Addario, and singer, co-writer (with the late great Andy Pasternack -- that's him, sampled, on the Rickenbacker at the end of the song) and long-time bandmate Gerry Devine.

If you're moved to purchase the entire thing, for the moment it can be downloaded at CD Baby HERE; Amazon, Spotify, iTunes and the rest of the usual suspects will have it shortly. Physical CDs will be available by August 1.

Now you'll have to excuse me -- I'm getting verklempt.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Okay, this is getting damned weird.

More news about the forthcoming EP later in the week, by the way.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Overdue New Year's Updates

Yes, we're still here, and thank you for asking.

In any case, Letter From Liverpool (the EP) is coming along nicely; all the music is mixed and mastered, and we've been investigating different packaging options (right now we're pretty sure it's going to be released in one of those gatefold cardboard packages rather than a jewel box). The plan -- and it always takes longer than we expect -- is to get the thing into the production pipeline no later than mid-March. As usual, we shall see.

In any case, we've had so much fun working on this project that we -- the remaining guys in the band -- have decided that we're not quite ready to retire yet. To that end, we've decided to reissue Fire Lane -- the 1995 indie album we did as Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams. In a new remastered version (the original was basically butchered by the guy who prepped it for release, and now we finally get a chance to unleash our masterpiece exactly as we intended).

We're also planning to add six bonus tracks, and to that end we've been in the studio sonically tweaking -- and in some cases overdubbing -- live tapes we did in the early '90s.

Here's a rough -- not quite completed -- version of our psychedelic pop scorcher "The Foreign Girl." I mean, wow -- dig those Revolver guitars at the end.

Stay tuned....