Rosary (Georgia, USA)

With thanks to Liz Ireland who submitted these two tracks by ‘Rosary’

Active in Athens, Georgia between 1992 and 1994 the line up was Diane Nuter (songwriter, acoustic guitar, vocals), Liz Ireland (viola), J. Christopher Arrison (Electric Guitar), Jason Slatton (Electric Guitar).  The demo was recorded on an 8-track analogue multitrack at Andy Baker’s home studio (before he co-founded Chase Park Transduction Studios with David Barbe from Sugar).

Let’s hear from Liz herself:
Career highlights:
Biggest gig:  Opening for Don Dixon (Erstwhile R.E.M. producer and excellent blues-popmeister) before thousands at the Riverbend Festival
in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Coolest gig:  Getting blown off the stage by Alejandro Escovedo, who was touring acoustically w/ a string quartet.
Airplay:  WUOG, Athens; WRAK, Atlanta.

Most hilarious moment:  Michael Stipe brought Kurt Cobain to see us headlining at a Mexican restaurant in Athens.  Cobain, predictably, HATED us and they snuck out within five minutes – not without Stipe mouthing “Sorry!” to me on his way out the door.  🙂

Terminally hip encores:  “Listen To The Flower People” from Spinal Tap, and an acoustic version of “Psychotic Reaction” where I played
the harmonica part on viola.

Diane and I met through the infamous Athens, Georgia “Girls Club” – a group of women in the music business who all socialized together. She
was studying Music Therapy at the University of Georgia; I was a music journo, writing for Flagpole, the Athens Banner-Herald, Athens
Magazine, and the Athens Observer.  We played together for several months before realizing we needed a second guitarist.  The logical choice was Chris Arrison, a phenomenally talented journeyman guitarist who was between bands at the time.  He left the band when asked to join Trinket just before they signed to RCA, and was replaced by Jason Slatton.

“Agatha Christie” is from the Arrison Period and “He Walks” from the Slatton period.  Math rock was pretty much the genre of choice in Athens at the time, so we actually got a lot of cool gigs whenever the headliner was acoustic or semi-acoustic – simply by default, because there weren’t any other acoustic bands around at the time!  We were also kind of adopted country cousins to the ethereal goth scene then happening in Atlanta, and gigged almost constantly with Trio Nocturna and The Changelings.  We financed the 5-song demo these 2 songs are taken from by playing private parties for university professors; we were very popular with them for some reason.  Rosary ended when Diane got accepted into a Master’s Degree program at the University of Chicago.  Typical Athens band trajectory!

Here is “Agatha Christie”

and this is “He Walks”

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Hammer Brothers (Texas, USA)

Hammer Brothers were an early 90’s, Dallas, Texas based rock band. They covered a variety of musical ground including songs by Jeff Beck, Little Feat, The Beatles and 80’s post punk bands like The Smithereens. The lineup included Bob Nunn on bass and David Lowrey on guitar. Bob and David grew up together and played in a couple of bands when they were in high school. Jeff Brown, a talented pianist, joined the band along with guitarist Ed Miller and drummer Dan Joynes in its formative stage.

The band lasted about a year. They played marathon rehearsals on Saturday or Sunday working out the intricacies of their sound. Eventually the grind of reheasing took its toll and led to the break up of the band. We are lucky, however, to have saved a few songs from way back then — including this cover of Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic.” David and Ed still write together on occasion thanks to computers and other technology we couldn’t comprehend back then. But there’s still nothing like being locked in a room with a good, old full-of-hiss analogue tape.

Bob Nunn and David Lowrey today

Bob Nunn and David Lowrey in tree at far right

Bob and Ed in Arlington, Texas circa 1990


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Cat Magic (Dublin, Ireland)

Cat Magic formed in October 1986 spending 3 sessions a week in the original Apple Rehearsal Studios run by Alan Furlong just off Capel Street in Dublin.  Diverse influences, youthful exuberance and talent resulted in a mix of blues and pop and an exciting live show.

The demo featured in this post was recorded February 1st through 5th 1987 at Strand Street Studios. The building is no more. Located in the basement of one of Dublin’s oldest music shops “The Sound & Lighting Store” this 1-inch 8-track studio hosted sessions by The Hothouse Flowers, Aslan and many other Dublin acts. The Paul Cleary single “Some People Cry” was recorded in this studio.

The session was engineered by Denis Begley who was closely associated with The Subterraneans.

The line-up: Des Free (vocals), Colin Eyre (guitar), Jackie Hudson (bass), Mark Small (drums), Peter Fitzpatrick (keyboards).

Des Free, Colin Eyre, Jackie Hudson, Mark Small, Peter Fitzpatrick

“America Bound” and “Talk Down” were circulated on a demo tape to labels, promoters and potential management.

Colin Eyre, Mark Small, Jackie Hudson, Des Free, Peter Fitzpatrick

The missing track ‘Summertime’ was re-written a few weeks after the session.

The band played shows in well known Dublin venues ‘Baggot Inn’, ‘The Underground’, ‘Olympia Theatre’ through the spring and summer of 1987. They split in summer 1987 and , minus Des Free, formed ‘Kick’.


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Hello world !

Do you want to hear my new demotape ?

This blog exists to celebrate all those demo tapes we made. Some led to greater things: bigger gigs, better studios or even an actual record deal.

Most just ended up in boxes.

Enjoy the ride, it has been fun for me to go back through old cassette tapes and the initial contributions from friends have been welcome.

Visit the ‘About‘ page to find out how to contribute. The blog will only be as good as the content… so please do share your tapes !



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