Firsthand is a group of friends from Mobile Alabama that exemplify the best original rock and roll on the Gulf Coast. The conception took place in 1982 as the band mates recorded their initial tracks at Southern Sound Productions. This group consists of talented musicians and songwriters who have been writing and recording music for over 30 years. The members are accomplished professionals and have worked with many different acts including numerous studio sessions. While all members pursue individual goals they somehow find time to come together. Even though these times are not as often as one would like they are, if you will, creative, inspiring, and always satisfying. The latest album"Sea Of Dreams" was released in January 2009! It is a fitting follow up to the two previously released albums, namely “Delivered” and “Going All In”. All three albums feature a unique and original sound. The musicical arrangements are very dynamic and intense while reflecting a "Southern" style from which they originate. There are powerful rhythms with distinct lead rides as well as some soft piano pieces. The vocals are ever present and easy to understand while the harmonies are second to none and have become a hallmark of the band.
Firsthand started out in 1980 as a group called Teazer. The band consisted of Terry Goodman (guitar), Mike Mcginnis (vocals and drums), Kenny "Skinbone" Evans (drums), Stephenie Teague (vocals), Ricky Chancey (guitar, harmonica), and Greg Seelye (bass). They played all over Mobile, Alabama and the Gulf Coast. While they naturally had to play cover tunes their hearts were always in writing new music. They usually managed to work in a set of original tunes at each gig. In 1982 the guys decided to take the material to Southern Sound Productions located in Mobile to record. One could say "That's When It Started". That studio no longer exists today but it was an excellent place and had the best equipment for the job. When setting out to record the Teazer material the band found themselves asking some other friends to come and lay down a track or two. As this process unfolded they not only recorded the old Teazer tunes but became inspired to write a lot of new material as well. It appeared that they were evolving into something else! It simply couldn't be Teazer any more thus Firsthand was born to include the additional support. The members of the band have always been blessed to know so many talented people and indeed the family tree is extensive.
Over the years their many friends have included Tony Chapman, a vocalist from "Night Watch". Darrell McIntyre, a vocalist of many different bands including "Chill Factor" and the "Boogie Chillin'". There has also been some notable guitar contributions as well. For example the song "Treat You Right" features Donnie Skidmore, a seasoned veteran, on slide. Wayne Weaver who stands out on songs like "Singing The Blues" and "On The Road". Darryl Burleson is also heard on tunes like "Sea Of Dreams" and "Made A Wish". Many of the guys have opened for and played with some good acts over the years.
Keyboards for the band have been quite an interesting story. One of the crews closest friends Jimmy Lovelace was the only keyboard player any band could possibly need. He was simply amazing. Songs like "Little Darling" and "Always Seems The Same" reflect just how good he was. Tragicaly in 1985 he was electrocuted as he tried to remove a power line from the road at the scene of an accident. Since his death Firsthand has used his cousin Timmy Lovelace, the resident studio pianist at Southern Sound and a gospel artist, Mike Pagan who played on a few tunes like "Don't Break My Heart" and "Are You Lookin'" among others. They were also fortunate enough to get John Anthony, pianist of Wet Willie, to accomodate them for several tunes as well. Songs like "Don't You Forget Me", "Wise Man", and "Your Reaction" are a few that reflect Johns input.
There were many studio sessions throughout the 80's and a lot of material was captured. This work continues to this day giving the band a 29 year history. The vault is full of tunes that the public has never heard. Many songs are being reworked and remastered as they become finalized as well as new material being generated. While Firsthand is not currently active as a full time touring band they have always managed to get together, share ideas and lay down a few tracks. Let us all hope that this work continues!