For 30 years, the only copy I had of Hurlo Thrumbo’s 2nd recording session was a very worn cassette copy that I digitized myself 15 years or so ago. Lots of warble and hiss, not much low end. But the songs were good. The band only existed for about 2 years. We made a 4-track cassette on a porta-studio in our practice room that we “released,” (100 copies?) soon after forming, but it really doesn’t sound good enough to put out there any more. Then there’s this one I’m posting here, which we also “released” as probably 100 copies or less, and a third great-sounding but never-finished 3 song session at Cedar Creek studios in the band’s later iteration that sits on my computer… alas. So these 3 songs are the only public record of the band.
When Jeri & I split in 1991, we didn’t undertake the most meticulous division of the archives, to say the least, we both moved several times, & stuff got scattered. We have stayed in touch though, and recently she was organizing some stuff at her studio in Llano & came across a second trove of tapes, which included this little guy. My old friend John Viehweg (who really is one of the best audio engineers in Austin) still had an ADAT player, & he did me the kindness of dusting it off and digitizing these songs for me a couple months ago. Amazingly, they transferred perfectly and sound great!
Well, as great as they did when we mixed them. I made some production choices that I would go back and fix if the multi-track tape could ever be found, but that seems to be a lost cause. I still feel pretty strongly that this was some of the best songwriting I ever did, and man, in a different world, I might have kept writing, but life happened. So these songs represent a turning point in my life, where I moved from dreamy but increasingly frustrated idealist to an actul adult who needed to get a career that paid money, and I settled down to have a family, start a business and take a break from the music business for a couple years. I returned in a cover band to recoup my losses and never tried the original songwriting thing again. These songs are mostly my music & Jeri’s lyrics, with a couple contributions from Fred Mitchim who was just over at the house one evening when I had the bass part to Shape Shifter rolling around, & Dennis Bruhn who is a pragmatist about arrangements.
And Now The Reveal!
A while back, I made a Hurlo Thrumbo page for the Music portion of my website, with some history of the band and links to the cassette files from the Congress House session, for which I have the written date as March of 1990. The Quicktime embedded players had stopped working, & the tables are still barely holding it together, but I’m happy to note that today I updated it with the new audio files and figured out how to add HTML 5 widgets in Dreamweaver. The duct tape around the images & text is still working (good old web 1.0) and I’m glad to have these files up at last for public consumption. You can listen, download and read more there.