Rainmaker's debut album, Walk on Water, has slipped through the fingers of American music lovers...until now!
Released originally in 1996, was a brainchild of bassist/songwriter, Johnee D'Shea when he met up with guitarist/songwriter, Mark Ross and vocalist, Christopher Tai in the fall of 1995 after Johnee left his previous band...College Music Journal (CMJ) radio darlings, 1000 Pleasures.
A couple hour jam session in a northeast Minneapolis rehersal space provided fruitful with the albums opening song "Faded Faith" being written that first night together.
With the multiple changing of the drummer position over the next few months, they established themselves with drummer, Matt James, an Austin, Tx transplant, who was a chance meeting in December 1995 at a local club when vocalist, Christopher Tai, meet Matt's wife and ended up talking about music with her explaining how the band needed a new drummer. "My husband drums," she said. The rest is history.
Recorded in the spring of 1996 at world famous, Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, MN, has been the outlet for mega selling artists of that era. Nirvava, Soul Aslyum, Live, PJ Harvey and Sabastian Bach (Skid Row) just to name a few.
After locking themselves in this 40 acre wooded lot studio for 7 days with no outside influence provided the band with the comfort and energy to create what you now hear...Rainmaker - Walk on Water!
The band name was concieved while Johnee worked nights at Federal Cartridge (yes, the shotgun shell manufacture). The album cover was designed by Johnee after seeing a calendar in Mark's bathroom with hieroglyphs for water and other religious literature, later adding the stick figure Indian when he couldn't find an art student to commission a painting he had in his head that he wanted to use for the album cover idea that he had.
The band had Worldwide release thru distribution companies, Perris Records, R.A.M. Music, Millenium Distribution and Impulse Import Records.
Interesting notes on the album:
The "cracking clay" back cover was the opposing scene of the river run dry that the "indian" was crossing while walking on water.
In the barcode, Johnee placed the numbers 6 and 8 surrounding the bars in honor of the year he was born.
The song "Prelude to a Dream" was a bass solo written by Johnee as a tribute to his children, Shawn and Amanda. There is a touch of a childs "jack-in-the-box" influence in the middle part of the song.
1000 Pleasures 2nd album was to be titled, "LUST". Johnee added it to the title of the 8th track, "Love, Lust, Hate, Trust".
That same 100 Pleasures album was to have a song called "Follow" written by Johnee that never saw the light of day so he used the title on the 3rd track here.
Guitarist Mark Ross penned "Engrave" for his decesed Grandmother.
Johnee played a 6 string Spector bass on this album which he features on the inside photo. It was the 10th 6 string Stuart Spector ever made for his Stuart Spector Design bass collection. It was to be shipped to the Franfurt Music Fair in Germany to be used as a model until Johnee bought it before shippment overseas. It's value was $4100.00 at the time. Chad Hanks of Minneapolis metal band, American Headcharge, now owns it and used it on the Ozz-Fest tour in 2000-1.
Both Johnee and singer, Christopher Tai, were adopted.
Drummer, Matt James and Johnee went on to record dozens of demos after Rainmaker's split in 1997 and formed and preformed with a couple of other bands between 1997 and 2004.
13 seconds after the final song "Rainmaker" ends a hidden track starts up that Mark and Johnee played basses on a la SPINAL TAP's "Big Bottom". We were superstitious about having 13 tracks so we wrote one more...in the lobby of the studio.
Mark was to sleep in Kurt Cobain's room at the band house @ Pachyderm Studio but declined and ended up sleeping on the couch in the living room because it freaked him out to know a dead rockstar slept in that bedroom.
Johnee is of German, Irish, Scottish and Souix indian decent, and was raised as a catholic, later becoming an alterboy "to lose his stagefright" hence the strong Indian/religion ties even though this wasn't suppose to be a "religious" based album. Spritual and positive, quite possible.
Mark and Johnee formed Sugarslide in 2001 and had a sucession of singles online in the dawning of the digital media world by releasing their album "Persuit of Happiness" only online. Were on the top of the charts with national act L.F.O. in the summer of 2001. The band did a second "EP" in 2003 then disbanded because of lack of a following.
Johnee is the only member to have a website dedicated to his passion for music. Google it!