I believe the phrase is "Bop til you DROP". Have at it.
This & That Then (1984-1988)
In our fledgling years, B(h) recorded both in the studio and live whenever we were able. From our first release, "Nation From Nation" (on local indie label, Grand River Records), thru seven more releases, we assembled a sizable repertoire that we honed show after show. Over this time span we grew from a couple of shows per month to a couple of nights off per month, the rest filled with a rigorous schedule of coast-to-coast one nighters. The hard work is evident on these recordings, which show off our mix of freewheeling fun and deeper musical explorations.
Bread & Circuses (1989)
Our first international release, Bread & Circuses introduced the band's signature sound to a cross-country audience. Recorded in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, B&C exceeded our expectations in terms of radio charting and audience response. It immediately gained us respect and recognition on a much more expansive scale, in a large part due to the solid writing. A number of these tracks became mainstays in the shows that we perform to this day. Originally released on the regional label, Kingsnake, it was later picked up and re-released by Relativity, again giving us a boost in sales and clout.
The 8 x 10 Bootleg (1991)
One of our regular East Coast venues was the 8 x 10 in Baltimore. The owner, Giles, was a great guy; we once ate dinner at his house and collectively watched the final episode of "Dallas" together. Such were the times. One evening in 1990, as the band was setting up, we were approached by a young guy wielding a portable DAT recorder and a stereo microphone (rather fancy technology at the times). He asked if he could record us. We agreed, on the condition that we could have a copy and do with it as we pleased. The bargain was struck, the gig was fierce, and the tapes sounded good. Damn good, in fact. So much so that they became our newest release that Spring, buoying the fan base while we continued chipping away at our next studio album. A couple of tracks here have never appeared anywhere else. Keep in mind that this was a 2-track recording, without the benefit of any overdubs or tweaks. It still represents a fine, if informal, snapshot of a solid B(h) performance in a great club, in a great town, in front of a great audience - one of many.
Gitchee Gumee To Me (1992)
Our long overdue studio follow-up to Bread & Circuses, Gitchee Gumee To Me had a convoluted, complicated birth. While B(h) continued to pack clubs and halls across the continent, the dreaded "industry" failed to embrace our off-center approach. Grunge had gobbled up any momentum that world music had built up in the late 80's and, while we enjoyed the monetary and touring schedule of a seasoned national act, we simply could not find a label capable of buying into our unique style. As a result, we self-funded three sets of recordings over three years: one in New York with Jason Miles and one in Boston with Stu Kimbal, and a final set in Boston, this time with John Agnello. The final 14 tracks were at best eclectic, if not scattered. Finally, in 1992 we were approached by Max Weinberg (long time Bruce Springsteen E-Street drummer and, later, of Conan O'Brien fame), who signed us to his BMG boutique label, Hard Ticket. With EP's all the rage, the label talked us into a truncated release, essentially leaving 7 completed tracks on the shelf.
The Monster Butt Beat Dance Test (1994)
By late '93, the band had already decided to end the endless tour, and we were determined to go out on a high note. Teaming up with Kevin Marth at NYC's East Hill Studios, the band recorded three studio tracks in style - two of which made it onto this double CD set. The remaining live tracks were recorded over a two night stint at the Ocean Mist, our long time favorite RI spot in Matunuck Beach. Owner, Kevin Finnegan, one of the most accommodating, supportive people in the biz, helped us to organized what would become the recordings that best captured what B(h) was all about: The Show. And what a show it was!