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Rowayton Music
Three Bands
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Chapter 1 - Blue Light
Chapter 2 - Dave's Room
Chapter 3 - Airfix
Chapter 4 - Blue Monday
Chapter 5 - The Boston Years
Chapter 6 - The December Projects
Chapter 7 - Pinkney Park
Chapter 8 - Grass Roots
Chapter 9 - The Albums
October Palace
Leftovers and Other Exotic Foods
New Shoes
Chapter 10

Untitled Document


“Open up all of the doors and just unwind”



Group: Tradewinds
Recording Period: August 27, 1978
Location: Rowayton Community Center, Rowayton, CT

I graduated college in May 1978. For various reasons, I decided to stay in Boston, at least for the summer. Josh and Harry were discussing another project, more ambitious than the “December sessions”. There was talk of making a real album and having a record pressed. This was a productive time for most of us. Harry was playing with a variety of people which expanded his musical horizons. Josh had also just graduated and was planning on going to business school in Atlanta in September, so he wanted to get as much music in as possible. Also, he had learned guitar and was writing more of his own material. Also that summer, Harry met Audrey Noyes. He wrote on his website:

Scott Wyland, a dedicated Deadhead and housemate to Mark and Alan in South Norwalk was friends with Mike Noyes and Mike was cousin to Audrey Noyes a recent college graduate and pre-school teacher in New Canaan. Audrey came over to the house where Scott, Alan and Mark lived to hang out and visit and discovered that everybody played music as did she. She had a big bluesy voice and was a good guitarist (for a girl). Most of the female guitarists that the boys were used to playing with had wispy little finger-picking styles but Audrey had a bit more meat in her mambo.

We had a big lineup for Bridges. All the original members of Airfix, the Blue Monday crew and new players. There was much debate over the name of the group and we finally agreed to Tradewinds, the first and last time we ever played under that rubric, and which to this day means nothing to me.

The participants on Bridges were:

  • Dave Procter principal engineer
  • Ed Flinn conga
  • Bill Galey slide guitar, bass, electric guitar
  • Harry Hussey bass, vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Greg Smith vocals 12 string guitar
  • Tom May acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals
  • Mark Lebow drums, percussion
  • Josh Kramer vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Holly Saxe flute, vocals
  • Audrey Noyes vocals 12 string guitar
  • Kevin Tisdall second engineer
We had all the regulars available to us that summer, so besides the usual Pickney concert, there would be the opportunity to do a more sophisticated project. We all began to assemble material. The group didn’t want to waste time on recording other people’s material, so all material had to be original. (By the way, the album credits include “Conceived By: Josh Kramer”.)

In preparation for this project I worked with Holly Saxe and Dave Hopkins on August 7th and 8th 1978 up in Brookline where I was living on a “demo” tape that organized potential songs for the album. Included was “Lonesome Child” by Holly. Other songs were mine; Bridges, Allison’s Last Summer, Bandit Sally, Invitation to a Dance, Winter’s Prelude, Misty Eyes, Sweet Suspicion, Just Before, Nothing Left to Go Home To. Only the first three made it onto to Bridges. We discussed the final lineup when I came down for the August 9th Pinkney concert.

Harry, as usual had been working on a lot of material. The most accessible (easiest for the rest of us to play), was You Are Free. Another Hussey masterwork, Decline and Fall, was considered too long for us to put on an LP; it would take up the time of three songs altogether. In the end, Harry only contributed You Are Free. This had more to do with the complexity of his writing at the time. Most of his songs of that time were best described as “epic”, long and complex.

Josh had two songs, Woman of My Dreams and Journey’s End, both composed within the previous twelve months. We all assumed that someone as talented as Audrey must be composing. She told us she didn’t have much, but came up with Rainy Day Friends.

Each song had a patron, someone who advocated for the song and usually had the final say on how the song was produced. An example of this was Today, written by Dave Procter years earlier during the Airfix period. I had taught this song to Josh in Boston and he sang the lead. (He also loved Dave’s Sail Away Weary Sailor, which we often played during our Boston years.) He became this song’s patron for Bridges. We used this system through all the albums and projects.

The final song list was: Side I

Side II We recorded on a summer day at the Rowayton Community Center, on the top floor of the south building. This was the same room where the first business computer, the Remington Rand 409, was born. Engineering was a critical part of the project because they literally made the studio. Fortunately Dave knew the songs and more importantly, he knew the players. Dave and Kevin provided most of the recording equipment and the sound board ran into a cassette deck, so the master was an audio cassette. (I believe Josh Kramer still has this original.) We kept about two takes for each song, with little variance between each. As I recall, there was no overdubbing. Everything was done live, in one space. (Photos show the drum set and conga set up in the same room.) Dave and Kevin did their best with what they had. The results were as good as could be expected, although the overall timbre remains a little tinny. Dave was working for J.C. Carter, an oxygen supply company at the time and he had to leave during the Sunday session because he was on call. Kevin finished for us.
  • Bridges This mediocre title song was written by me, but the principal guitar riff was taught to me by Alan Freedman, so he a got a partial songwriting credit. (Alan was slated to play on this project, but he was in the hospital for months after a motorcycle accident.) Wisely, Josh sang the lead on this with Audrey, Holly and me backing him. The result is unbalanced and slightly out of tune, but hey, we were making our first record.
  • Woman of My Dreams This was one of Josh’s first writing efforts. It was the simplest arrangement on the album, just Josh backed by me on the 12 string.
  • Journey’s End God knows there have been plenty pirate songs, but I’ve always liked this song by Josh about a pirate captain brought to indecision and disaster by love for two different women. It has a clever premise and very good lyrics. Josh sings with Audrey and Harry provides an amazing acoustic lead (“like a cat scrabbling on a slate roof” is how I put it) with Tom kicking in with a great electric lead on the chorus. In retrospect this was one of the most complicated arrangements we ever did; two electric and two acoustic guitars.
  • Today Josh had adopted this Dave Procter song after I taught it to him in Boston. Our backing guitar work is a little muddy, but Tom’s acoustic lead and Bill Galey’s melodic bass provide the perfect backing for Josh and Audrey who provide the vocals. This is the definitive version of this song.
  • Bandit Sally This is what happens when you live in a city for the first time and date women who take you to less than reputable clubs. This song channeled my inner Lou Reed and I was always proud of the spare lyrics. Mark and Ed helped provide a grittiness and Bill’s lead is what I wanted (without knowing it until I heard it). The whole band gave this song a much different cast than the original acoustic composition. And listen to the lead again.
  • Allison’s Last Summer This song was first written as something very different. The melody was much less sweet which gave the lyrics a different cast. In retrospect, it would have made a more interesting song. Also, I should have never sung the lead. Today, my weak vocals make me cringe. Finally, the arrangement is overwrought and muddy. (These are all the criticisms I have room for.) The background vocals provided by Holly and Audrey and Josh’s background descant in the chorus are the only bright spots.
  • Rainy Day Friends This honky-tonk piece by Audrey is a sweet piece of work, a superb lead vocal over her 12 string, with Audrey supplying an appropriate lead and Mark keeping time. The song also has a good, interesting construction with a tricky change at the bridge that really works well.
  • You Are Free Harry is less than fond of the lyrics, but the rest of us have always regarded this as one of our favorite original songs. To me the lyrics are… lyrical. The sound of the words are much more important than their meaning. This song has the most energy of all the tracks on this album. Everyone is out front and plays well. (But where were the girls? Why did we leave Audrey and Holly off of this?) Anyway, a good ending to the first project.
Two songs from the recording session that were not supposed to make it on the final album were squeezed into the session (literally as the other equipment was being broken down and moved out of the building) to use up the remaining cassette time. These two ad hoc performances included:
  • Decline & Fall Parts 1 and 2 Harry Hussey Featuring Harry and Josh on guitar and vocals and Holly on flute. After listening to this recording, I would have liked too included this song, but it was never seriously considered because of the time restraints previously mentioned. Too bad; it would have been perfect for this large ensemble.
  • Isis Bob Dylan Featuring Harry on acoustic guitar, Bill on bass, Greg vocals and guitars, Josh on vocals and guitar. This song ends abruptly, just before the finish when the tape runs out.
Seventeen final takes were recorded. Here’s the probable order from the master cassette:
  • Bandit Sally x 2
  • Bridges x 2
  • Journey’s End x 3
  • You Are Free x 2
  • Allison’s Last Summer x 2
  • Today x 2
  • Rainy Day Friends x 1
  • Woman of My Dreams x 1
  • Decline & Fall x 1
  • Isis x 1
The Bridges lineup was going to play as a supplement to Blue Monday’s scheduled gig at the Long Ridge Fire Department 50th Anniversary Labor Day Picnic, September 3, 1978 at 366 Old Long Ridge Road, Stamford, CT. This was rained out, but photos exist of the Tradewinds group at the stage. We went back to Rowayton to Scott Wyland’s house on Highland Avenue. We recorded two “jams” in the living room, Prokofiev Jam and Rainout Suite. These jams were group efforts. That Monday, Josh Kramer left for business school in Atlanta. Holly Saxe went back to Boston, Bill Galey when back to college at Lake Forest and Harry went back up to school in Vermont.

Josh’s brother Elliot drew a cover. Dave Hopkins, Dave Procter, Tom May, Greg Smith and Mark Lebow contributed photos for the back cover and Martina Laetsch provided the lyric sheet. We pressed 100 copies through Cook Laboratories in South Norwalk, CT. Notes show that the ten principles (everyone except Kevin Tisdall) who paid for the records each received nine copies to distribute how we saw fit. The remaining ten were used for “promotional” purposes. (I remember Josh Kramer sending out copies to radio stations. Kevin Tisdall received a copy for his trouble.) As a result of this distribution, we would occasional find copies of this and the next “pressed” album, October Palace, showing up in random record collections at other peoples’ houses. I myself was stopped once by a stranger who recognized me because he “had my album”. The biggest thrill however, was having our own LP of our own music.