The last time we put together a website was seven or eight years ago when we played a reunion show marking the 20th anniversary of the formation of our first lineup. We played with that first lineup as well as some guest members from other lineups. If you’ve followed the band over the years, you know we’ve probably had more bass players than Spinal Tap had drummers. The only difference was the absence of that omnipresent puff of green smoke.
We played a couple of shows with the first lineup, but life intervened, and we found ourselves in the off-again portion of our on-again/off-again relationship with our music career as it were. But last Spring Kevin and I wrote a batch of new songs and booked time at LakeHouse Studios in Asbury Park, NJ. Kevin had just mixed the latest Grumpy Old Punks record there and took me to the place, which is, quite frankly, Disneyland for musicians. The first floor houses the Asbury Park branch of Russo’s, a music store that must be seen to be believed. For a while I couldn’t walk into the acoustic instrument room without walking out with something; a banjo, a uke…dangerous but glorious place.
Upstairs are the music school, practice spaces, and an amazing studio with a glass case full of the most delicious vintage instruments which, if you are recording there, you have your pick of during sessions.
John, the owner of this splendid enterprise grew up in the same town Kevin did, so they got on like a house on fire. We decided then and there that we had to get the band back together and record there.
Not long after, Jeff and his wife Vikki came for a visit. We took them To LakeHouse and Jeff was onboard immediately. And as luck would have it, bass player, songwriter, singer Alan Grandy was available too. Even luckier was the fact that violinist Janice Fields-Pohl was able to find time in her busy schedule of raising four kids and teaching music to join us. Sometimes the universe has a way of just letting you know when you need to get off your ass and get to work.
This is going to sound cliché, but I’m going for it anyway; it was like no time had passed. We are family. Get up everybody and sing! The magic was still there. The camaraderie was still there. All of our crazy personalities were pretty much intact. Over the course of several days we recorded the basic tracks, Kevin and I overdubbed and we brought in some stellar friends/guest musicians to round out the sound, which, I’ve gotta tell you is exactly what I’d envisioned from the very beginning. Roots rock. Yes! Of course when we did this stuff in the ’90s, Grunge was in full swing. We only had to wait almost 30 years for our thang to find a somewhat mainstream audience.
So here it is…100%…the new Jehova Waitresses album. We’re playing a homecoming show in Cleveland at The Brothers Lounge on August 6. There’s a special significance in that for me. When I moved home to Cleveland from New York City in the late ’80s, Brothers Lounge was the first place I played in Cleveland. We hope you like the new album and if you’re in the Cleveland area that first Sunday in August, come on down; we’d love to play for you.