I did some of the initial demos as far back as 2004. I was in the midst of 4 years on dialysis, and my physical and mental energy -- and song output -- were slowing down significantly. By the next year my mind was a complete wreck and my transplant in Feb 2006 totally saved me. There was one last huge health challenge later that year, but thanks to Dr. Keith Superdock and a small army of specialists, nurses and technicians at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, PA, I was physically out of the woods by mid September 2006 and by Jan 2007, I felt re-motivated enough to formulate a maasive resolution : start my label in earnest, re-release 3 old albums, record a new one, find longlost pals who might have new or old material to release and to help rebuild a viable live version of BBH.
And thats what happened, plus more.
Moses and I recorded demos of some of his songs on my little pc set up at home. That was March. In May or so we started recording at my good friend Mike Bardzik’s Second Story Sound Studio. That place is great, and it was great for me to work with a friend as I re-entered the musicmaking world after such a lengthy illness. The sessions were loose but we worked efficiently and with purpose: let’s make a BBH record that demonstrates the band is not in its one man band phase anymore. Collaborative, the energy and sound of live instruments. It does this -- one day we brought in horns jn the persons of Dave Renz on sax and Joe Anderson on trumpet. What an improvement over the midi \"horns\" I used on some of my one man band BBH albums! But not every song here demonstrates collaboration. Moses played and sang entirely by himself (\"Tell me Now\" and \"Tio Male\" plus the instrumentals \"Zen in D\" and \"Concetta\"), and a couple of those demos of mine from 2004 were used as well (\"So Simple,\" \"I Wonder What Heaven’s Like\") Our cover of Talking Heads’ \"Road to Nowhere\" combines elements of my early demo with all kinds of instruments and vocals recorded at Second Story.
In getting familiar with myspace, I met legendary indie music producer/engineer/bassist Kramer. I’ve been enjoying this guy’s projects since my college years. We corresponded and talked, and I hired him to mix and master 8 of the songs on this album. His sliding scale allowed for a price that fit nicely into my label’s budget. Boom, the magic of web-based networking ... myspace style.
Did I mention that in my dialysis years, I suffered a TIA -- or mini stroke which caused me to lose a lot of dexterity in my left hand and some in the right? Well apparently I did and that’s the best explanation doctors can give me for why I am no longer fit to play guitar live.
Resuming my friendship with longtime ardent BBH supporter and guitar deity Kermit Lyman and asking him to join the band not only brings a whole new fiery dimension to our sound, I got to reconnect with the tightknit West Philly scene, including artist Mo Moussa and design dude Weller who hooked us up with a startling cd design, which features the photography of longtime friend Heather Leach, recently back from an exhaustive Peace Corps assignment in Mali. Also Kermit’s circle in the city spawned our brand new 4 or 5 member lineup which will resume gigging regularly any day now. On the cd, you will hear some of the guitar work of mine that studio gimmickry made acceptable, Moses’ capable strumming and plucking -- and then Kermit’s explosive leads bring new depth to our sound on \"Fear of People\" and \"Fear of Heaven\". He can work in a subtler, more supportive harmonic and rhythmic mode, too (\"Livin on the Fringe\" and \"Sincere\").
Its good to be off dialysis and among friends again. With so much support and all, I’m sure it makes you wonder why I got a fear of people.
-- Alan McCabe