TENEMENT ANGELS REDUX 03/01/11

I am excited, grateful, and more than a little shocked that I am able to announce the re-release of my first solo record, TENEMENT ANGELS. First dumped out of the back of a truck into a swamp, I mean released, by a record company that shall remain nameless, back in 1992, it has been unavailable almost since it was first uh, released. But, tomorrow, March 1st, that is not longer the case. It is back on sale. Besides CDBaby and Amazon, it is also for sale at what cool record stores remain wherever you can find them.

AND, the cd contains a bonus song, as in never before released but, and comes from the same sessions as the album. There’s also an LP pressed on 180 gram vinyl, which comes with a signed/numbered poster and a free digital download, including the bonus track MERRY XMAS, BABY, which did not fit on the remastered LP. Ah, the sweet memory of limited audio space; before the days of unlimited digital whosis and whatsis.

I owe a helluva lot to my pal, Gary Borress, whose shock, horror and displeasure at the unavailability of this record led him to do something about it, god damn it! He was adamant about sparing no expense in making the final package something we, as Rock’n’Roll fanatics, could bust our buttons over. We are both very proud of the results.  The record would simply not exist without Gary. Let’s hear it for cool rockin’, everlovin’ Daddy G.!!!!!!!!!

The most excellent Tim Fisher did the artwork. Tim had a non-stop flood of great ideas and the exceptional ability to execute them. A relentlessly inspired, super hard worker, and an easier guy to work with I do not know. If there were to be a tie however, it could be Hirsh Gardner, a great musician, writer, producer and engineer; he did the remastering, and found more sonic firepower in those grooves than I knew existed. He also mixed MERRY XMAS, BABY. A super guy and a fantastic talent. We are very lucky to have had him involved.

And, of course, last, but in no way, shape or form, least are The Skeletons, one of the greatest Rock’n’Roll bands of all time, and perhaps, since Wikileaks anyway,  America’s last great secret. Lou Whitney plays bass and sings. He also co-produced this record, and engineered it, too. He’s my guru and The Mohammad all mountains must eventually come to. Lou stands as a breed apart. D. Clinton Thompson plays guitar and sings. He does both a million times better than I ever will. But, that puts me in the company of 99.9% of everyone else engaged in the same endeavor. Getting to hear Donnie play through a Marshall that was pretty well lit up was a thrill, and a memory that continues to tickle almost 20 years later. Just about the best guitarist in the world. There I said it! Bobby Lloyd Hicks is a drummer of the very highest order, as well as a singer and arranger. Plays like Hal Blaine and sings like Carl Wilson. His ability is quite astounding. AND, he’s a charter member (since 1961) of The Beach Boys Fan Club!! Joe Terry, a relative newcomer to me at the time, proved to be a continuing source of inspiration and good vibes. He played keyboards, sang his ass off, and, a total joy to play with and hang with. Lastly, but not leastly, is the youngest Skeleton, Kelly Brown. He too played keyboards and I gotta tell ya, I’m not generally that much of a keyboard guy (guitars are more my thing – perhaps you’ve heard) but with guys as great as Joe and Kelly I managed to find parts for two keyboards on almost every single song.  They are both so good, and seem to only play the notes you wanna hear. How did they do that, anyway??!!

I’ve said this before: I’ve been very fortunate in my career to make music with friends. In the case of both the Dictators and the Del-Lords, there was a family feeling, a brotherhood, and it was a source of not just comfort and companionship, but inspiration, as well. It just makes me wanna do better than my best. The period in which this album was made was a scary time. After eight years together the Del-Lords had called it a day. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was gonna do except that I knew I would keep writing, playing and singing. But, I was still pretty lost. So, I took an offer from a label to make a record and called Lou Whitney, which set the ball rolling, and within a few months I was down in Springfield, MO with Manny Caiati, and we were making this here record. Not a lot of pre-conception, other than that getting-Donnie-to-play-through-a-Marshall thing, picked a couple of covers, dove into my notebook, and well, here it is. Check it out, as it is a quite rockin’ little affair, and the chances of you diggin’ it, I think, are pretty damn good.

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