"It's Only a Dream" is a concept album that probes the subconscious dreamings of the contemporary songwriter. The album is a ten song cycle featuring works from ten individual songwriters, NY/NJ residents all, who were asked to write a tune based on an actual remembered dream experience. I added the arrangements; guest singers and featured instrumentalists performed. The sixteen page booklet inside contains cover art and a specially created comic strip by famed artist Rick Veitch, who's "Rare Bit Fiends" comic book series inspired this album. It took a year to put together. I consider it to be an fine exercise in cooperation, and I personally thank all who helped out, which is everybody who's name appears below and many others.
The idea was to create a flow from one subconscious dream impression to another—with each song's word poetry as a foremost concern. I have penned a series of commentaries on each of these lyrics which is available on request (or, at least will be very shortly!) along with information on the individual artists that appear here, their available albums, web sites, gigs, etc.
There follows an alphabetical list of contributors, writers and performers which includes the delightful talents of Richard Barone, Amy Rigby, Lianne Smith, Matt Darriau of the Klezmatics, Chris Butler and George Usher to name various. I have included the briefest of resumes with each for your edification.
"It's Only a Dream"—contributors (writers & performers): Agnelli & Rave consists of ex- "Washington Squares" (Grammy nominated in '88) chanteuse Lauren Agnelli and Canadian singer Dave Des Roches ("Teenage Head," "The Shakers"). The duo has just released a compilation CD of their five albums.
Steve Almaas founded Minnesotan punksters "Suicide Commandos" (Eastside) and new wave country pioneers "Beat Rodeo" (IRS). His third solo record was out this year.
Leif Arntzen performs the New York area in venues such as the Rainbow and Stars and Fez. Kathy Lee has raved about his emotionally charged act on her TV show! Wow.
Richard Barone was the leader of Hoboken legends "The Bongos" who recorded for RCA. He has several solo albums including "Cool Blue Halo" and "Clouds Over Eden" for MCA. He is in pre-production for his latest album among a zillion other groovy things.
Mike Christianson plays a mean tuba, and appears all over the place, currently on Broadway in the pit for hit show Jeckyl & Hyde.
Rob Curto is an accordion playin' devil, who has toured Japan and beyond. His new CD of jumpin' instrumentals is just released.
Matt Darriau is a member of world music standouts "The Klezmatics" as well as numerous side projects and has a legendary collection of odd sounding Eastern wind instruments which I had the dubious pleasure of auditioning. The Klezmatics' critically praised new album is out now.
The late Don Brody (Lord love him) recorded with Hoboken neo-folk duo "The Marys" whose song "The Day Roy Orbison Died" was a critics' and alternative radio favorite. Two great albums are his legacy.
Josh Brown was a member of BMG act "The Dwellers," and now records and plays out with his own band, and is busy session guitar slinger.
Chris Butler founded "The Waitresses" (Polydor), is an in-demand producer and drummer, and is in the Guinness Book of Records as having recorded the longest pop song of all time!
Vinny DeNunzio drums with Health and Happiness show and previously with Richard Lloyd and many others.
Kevin Draine is a performance poet whose thrill-packed live shows are sellouts. Girls go wild! He's also a fab off-Broadway actor.
Parker Dulany led NY cultists "Certain Generals", whose retrospective is out in '99. He now records with "Mr. Parker's Band" whose CD enjoyed European release this year. Al Greller has played bass for many years in "the Schramms." His proficiency on that instrument is well known, but his mastery of the recorder remained largely a myth—until now!
Richard X. Heyman has recorded for Sire and is an acclaimed singer/songwriter whose albums have been praised by likes of Rolling Stone. His fab new CD "Cornerstone" is just released.
David Immergluck has played guitar with "Counting Crows" and John Hiatt among many others, and is a well known Bay Area musician.
Donna Kelly is one of NY's finest drummer, and she's a girl! Always in demand for live gigs and recordings. Dates too. What a doll.
F.L. Lombardo is from Queens, a self-taught keyboardist and dog lover who composes urban ballads and accompanies local singer-songwriters on a strange red keyboard.
James Mastro, also a former member of "The Bongos," now leads his own group "The Health and Happiness Show" with two CDs on BarNone, as well as producing many fine acts, and running a guitar store in Hoboken.
Andy Ogilvie was a founding member of local Irish favorites "The Barleycorns" and currently performs and records with world music outfit "Raving Noah." Amy Rigby records for Koch International and has just released a sequel to her critically acclaimed, award winning first solo album "Diary of a Mod Housewife." Buy it, damn you.
Paul Scher played for many a long year with midwest stalwarts "the Milwaukeans" and presently steps out with the Violent Femmes to blow his melodious sax solos. But not here!
Lianne Smith was recently profiled in glowing terms in New York Magazine and plays out locally in intimate venues suitable to her slyly confessional musings. Mark Sidgwick has played bass and guitar here and there, most notably with Holly & the Italians and Paul Butterfield as well as many of the players herein featured. He has produced a number of NY acts.
Brad Tolinsky is senior editor at Guitar World magazine and plays mandolin and fiddle like a wild man at night.
Rick Veitch is a comic book artist (Swamp Thing, Supreme) who has long pursued his independent ways. His "Rare Bit Fiends" series of dream comics, also featuring cameo work by other celebrated artists, was inspirational to the creation of this album.
George Usher records for Parasol, his new album "Dutch April" out imminently. He has a load of previous work, has collaborated extensively with the likes of "The Schramms" and Richard Barone and is a regular performer in the NY area.
Robert Warren is a multi-talented musician/actor who has toured the UK as Buddy Holly in "Buddy." He currently fronts his own band in NY and is busy raising his first child with lovely wife Holly.
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