Ties of blood, friendship and loss have bound together the artists of Kristy's Smile, a compilation CD that shows what can happen when grief is channeled into creativity. The album was conceived and produced by pianist/composer/producer Brendan Ryan, whose wife Kristy Irvine Ryan worked in the World Trade Center and died on September 11th. Kristy's Smile was assembled in a three-week burst of passionate energy for the reunion of The Bogmen, the popular and innovative NYC rock band whose two Arista Records releases and national tours featured Brendan's keyboard and writing talents.
The Bogmen reunited for a sold-out weekend at The Irving Plaza on December 14th and 15th to benefit Secret Smiles Inc., a charity serving families in need that was founded in 1999 by Kristy and her friend Meredith O'Neill Hassett. Thanks to the generosity of CdBaby, all proceeds from the sale of Kristy's Smile will also go to benefit Secret Smiles. For more information on the great work of Secret Smiles in helping families through economic hardship - especially families affected by September 11th -- see www.secretsmiles.org.
Girl Next Door
Performed by the Bogmen, Words by Billy Ryan and Billy Campion, Music by Billy Ryan Features the distinctive melodic guitar sound of The Bogmen in a rare reunion recording. The core of the Bogmen - brothers Billy and Brendan Ryan and Billy Campion - grew up playing music (and sports) together since childhood.
Performed by Gordon Gano, Words by Gordon Gano, Music by Brendan Ryan Gordon's lyrics are based on a silly children's taunt. Gordon, once the singing and writing force behind the 80's cult favorite the Violent Femmes, is a good friend and frequent collaborator of Brendan.
You Make Me Happy
Performed by The Bogmen, Words by Brendan Ryan, Music by Brendan Ryan and Billy Ryan
Brendan and Kristy began dating in 9th grade and were married in June 2001. Kristy's bright smile was known as "Double Tier Sunshine," and she was never seen without it. Brendan wrote this song about the smiles and laughter that come from remembering her, and about wrestling with fate and with faith that came from losing her. His brother and partner Billy Ryan collaborated on the music. Conan O'Brien band trumpeter and long-time Bogmen friend Mark Pender improvised on Brendan's trumpet line.
City of Love
Performed by Chris Campion and the Knockout Drops Words by Chris Campion, Music by The Knockout Drops
Chris is the older brother of Bogmen lead singer Billy Campion, and leader of his own well-loved pop band, the Knockout Drops. Chris lost his friend Dan Shea in the attacks. Shea's brother Joe worked with him at Cantor Fitzgerald in the WTC, and also died that day.
Under the Sun
Performed by Gordon Gano Words by Gordon Gano, Music by Brendan Ryan
Brendan had written the music to this song some time ago, but had found himself playing it again and again in the recent months. Gordon picked up where he left off.
Hurry Up Sky
Performed by Jen Chapin and Stephan Crump on acoustic bass Words and Music by Jen Chapin
Jen grew up with Brendan, Billy, Billy and Kristy in their hometown of Huntington, L.I., and sang for a while with a high school version of The Bogmen. She is accompanied by her husband Stephan Crump, who also played on "Mother" and "Under the Sun." Jen now serves on the board of Secret Smiles with Brendan and founder Meredith Hassett.
Safe in Mother's Dreams
words and music by Billy Campion
Billy wrote this in memory of his friend Brian Yaussi, an owner of a favorite bar "The Blind Tiger" who died one year ago.
God Bless America
Performed and arranged by Gordon Gano
Words and music by Brett Kohart
Brett grew up as a fan of the Bogmen, and credits them for inspiring him to go into music. He lost his brother Ryan in the towers.