One evening in the late Fall of 1989, the five members of Grand Picnic met at "the loft" on Dean Street, half a block off Flatbush Avenue in the beautiful borough of Brooklyn. Excitement was building over the unique sound the band had been developing at local dances over the previous few years, and the boys decided it was time to record. As they made their way home that night, none suspected the adventures that lay ahead.
Rehearsals began. The band quickly discovered that creating music for listening (and posterity) was much harder work than delivering the unrestrained live performances that dancers find so exciting. Hundreds of tunes were considered, hundreds rejected. A metronome was hooked up to an old guitar amp and dubbed "Mr. Mazer," in honor of Michael's rigorously rhythmic childhood accordion teacher. The band spent hours practicing with Mr. Mazer to find the right tempo for each cut.
Eventually recording sessions began--at the elegant Bones Tones studios overlooking Prospect Park. Engineer and owner Hank Bones' kitchen was invaded and occupied, and amid the tasteful Hawaiian decor, sessions continued sporadically for over a year. In 1991, the recording was finally released. While neither technically nor musically perfect, the tape successfully captured the Grand Picnic energy, and was universally deemed to be fun listening.
A decade later, Grand Picnic is still known for its exciting and innovative approach. But band members, who all originally lived within a few blocks of the loft, have moved and changed jobs, and a majority have married and produced heirs. Obstacles to new recording projects abound.
The tape, meanwhile, sold out three editions. Many have told us that it is among their favorites. Quite a few have written to us to buy a new copy because they'd worn out the first. It has proven surprisingly popular with children--even other people's children. Original Grand Picnic tunes have been learned and played by musicians from the Pacific Northwest to North Carolina, Denmark, and the coast of Brittany.
Bowing to popular demand, we are proud to reissue this classic album of high-energy contradance music in cleaned-up digital splendor. We hope you enjoy it again, or perhaps for the first time!