Swirling, driving alt-rock by members of The Horse Flies and Plastic Nebraska - members have major label history; have toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant; have had music used by MTV, Fiery Furnaces, Oliver Stone, and others; have done scores for feature films & award winning TV documentaries; and more...
From the collegetown of Ithaca, NY, Boy with a Fish is: Jeff Claus (guitar and vocals), Judy Hyman (electric violin and vocals), Rick Hansen (moog, organ, accordion), Jay Olsa (bass), and Ryan Cady (drums).
Their new CD and vinyl release, "I Put My Tongue on the Window", is on Left Ear Records. Basic tracks were recorded by Grammy award-winning engineer, Will Russell, at Electric Wilburland in Newfield, NY; overdubs were done in a few studios; and the album was mixed by 3 time Grammy Award-winner Pat Dillett (David Byrne, Brian Eno, They
Might Be Giants, The National), working together with Ron Allaire and Greg Thompson. It was mastered by Greg Calbi (Sonic Youth, Band of Horses, Coldplay, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Iron and Wine, Interpol, Ra Ra Riot, Shearwater, Lucinda Williams...). Additional musicians on the new release are: Erik Della Penna (guitar and lap steel -- of Natalie Merchant's band), Brian Wilson (percussion -- drummer in Jamie Lidell's band), Jason Shegogue (guitar and lap steel), Peter Glanville (guitar -- of Hubcap), Alex Shuhan (French horn), Ryan Zawel (trombone), and Paul Merrill (flugelhorn).
Claus and Hyman are founding members of The Horse Flies, about whom Rolling Stone said, "A band that's earned a buzz. They churn out swirling, addictive songs, blending tradition with invention." Hansen and Olsa are now members of The Horse Flies, too.
The Horse Flies have recorded 8 albums, two on a major label. They've been featured on MTV, World Cafe, All Things Considered, eTown, Prairie Home Companion, and Mountain Stage, and they've been written about in Rolling Stone, Musician Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian (of London), and many other publications. They've also played many major festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including New York City's Central Park Summerstage; Brooklyn Academy's New Music America; Berlin's New Music Festival; Vienna's Big Beat Festival; the WOMAD Festival, the National Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC; Philadelphia Folk Festival; The Telluride Festival, and many more.
Claus and Hyman have toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and have composed music for four feature films (starring such actors as Martin Sheen, Kris Kristofferson, Genevieve Bujold, Rip Torn, and Michael J. Fox) and a number of nationally broadcast television documentaries. Critics have referred to Talking Heads/David Byrne, Neil Young, Counting Crows, REM, and Freedy Johnston to describe Claus' songs and singing. His music has been used by Natalie Merchant, film director Oliver Stone, in "Any Given Sunday", Rock the Vote on MTV, and the band Fiery Furnaces. Claus has also been featured in an article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, October, 2000.
Hyman has toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant, including her newest album, Leave Your Sleep, and touring the U.S. and England with Merchant July - September, 2010. Also, one of Claus' songs, "Sally Ann," is the opening track on Merchant's CD, The House Carpenter's Daughter, and Merchant and band (including Hyman) performed the song on the David Letterman Show, August 2004. This song is also included on Merchant's "Retrospective" collection. In addition, Hyman is the subject of the cover article in the Fall 2004 issue of Fiddler Magazine, and is featured in Electronic Musician, June 2010.
Hansen and Olsa are also members of Plastic Nebraska, a notable Ithaca band reviewers have called "exotic," "entrancing," "hypnotic," and "inventive." Ryan Cady has played in Hubcap, another excellent Ithaca band that critics have described as "rich" and "dynamic," with references to Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young.
"Birds Fly Backwards", the band's previous release, has been played on over 275 radio stations nationally and internationally. It was recorded before Cady joined the band. Drums and percussion on that CD were played by Ben Wittman, a longtime friend who currently plays with Paula Cole and has played with Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Erasure, Don Byron, Solas, Tribe, and many others. Additional musicians on Birds are: Erik Della Penna (guitar) and Elizabeth Steen (organ and Wurlitzer) of Natalie Merchant's band; Robby Aceto (guitar) formerly of Tom Tom Club; and Billy Coté (guitar) formerly of Madder Rose and Saint Low.
Some Press Quotes about Birds Fly Backwards
"Claus' voice sounds like the product of a masterful combination of the best parts of Neil Young and Michael Stipe. ...there is an eerie ambiance ...addictively groovable ...the quirkiness is endearing ...and the end result is signature, edgy, and big-time hip. ...Very intelligent, very original material, made possible by hot players with a unique vision and perspective. This CD is cooler than the other side of the pillow." -- Overground Magazine
"...quirky Americana with a hauntingly powerful electric shiver ...Claus sings in a reedy plea that sounds like a keening hybrid of Freedy Johnston and David Byrne, while the band offers a dustily expansive soundtrack of melodic melancholy, airily suggesting the electric pop texture of Talking Heads and the authentic crackle of 16 Horsepower. ..."Birds Fly Backwards" is compelling. -- Amplifier Magazine