It’s 5:30 on a Tuesday morning, and it’s just about bedtime. In fact, it’s almost exactly two years to the day I mailed the last album, …Plays Past His Bedtime, to the duplicator – perhaps I shoulda named this one “…Plays Well Beyond Past His Bedtime or Bedtime? What Bedtime?”
Even before recording PPHB, I intended to create an album called Singer. In fact, Val shot these wonderful photographs of my sewing machine (20 bucks from the West Chicago St. Vincent De Paul) a month or two before that fateful day when I realized folks would actually pay 10 bucks for a simple 18-song demo recorded over the course of one late night. Of course, I couldn’t help but occasionally wonder over the last three and a half months what form of insanity has recently overtaken me: PPHB / Singer = 1 night @ $10 per CD / 3 1/2 months @ $15 per CD
I’ve always considered myself to be a somewhat intelligent boy, and though I’ve never cared much for mathematics I think I’ve managed to figure out some of its basic concepts. When I apply these concepts to the former equation, I come up with a couple derivatives over an algorithm (with a remainder of 14.2%). And so – encouraged by the power of mathematics – I press on.
I suppose only time will tell whether the numbers have lied to me, but until then I’m awful happy to be awful happy ’bout this new album, three years in the planning and three months in the making. Some of the songs are old, others are new. I’ve borrowed a couple tunes from hither and a few more lyrics from yon (isn’t that what good music’s about anyhow?) and I’m not too good at the blues … I don’t remember the rest of the rhyme, but it prob’ly doesn’t apply anyhow.
Here – named in honor of my favorite electric singer – is the new, old acoustic album I’ve been promising for so long. It ain’t perfect, but I certainly hope it’ll keep you pleasantly occupied for another year or two whilst I catch up on some much-needed sleep.
Yer good friend, Andru
- Andru Bemis (sewing machine, banjo, guitar, voice)
- Susan Bernard (pump organ)
- Jephri Carey (piano, voice)
- Kevin Casey (guitar, mandolin)
- Daniel Gnidovic (voice, mandolin)
- Wilson Ramsay (harmonica)
- Mike Reeb (drums)
- Troy Stansberry (bass)
Produced by Andru Bemis & Mike Reeb for Ground Vinyl Records. Recorded in analogue September–December 2003 by Bemis at the following locations:
- Andru Bemis’ house (South Haven, MI) – sewing machine, guitar & vocals
- Don & Lois Bemis’ living room (South Haven, MI) – guitar & vocals
- Nathan Bemis’ attic & dining room (South Haven, MI) – pump organ & bass
- Kevin Casey’s living room (Wheaton, IL) – guitar & mandolin
- First Congregational Church (South Haven, MI) – piano, guitar & vocals
- Daniel Gnidovic’s living room (Wheaton, IL) – mandolin & vocals
- Wilson Ramsay’s living room (Elmhurst, IL) – harmonica
- Jeff Reeb’s basement (Highland, IN) – drums & banjo
- Polly Reeb’s living room (Lansing, IL) – drums
- Residence Inn by Marriott, Rm #219 (Holland, MI) – guitar & mandolin
Mixed & mastered December 2003–January 2004 by Bemis at home. All songs, lyrics & music by Andru Bemis, except #6 (Hard, Ain’t it Hard) by Woody Guthrie, new verses by Bemis; and #12 (Do Lord) traditional, additional verses by Bemis. Layout & design by Bemis. Singer photographs by Valerie Broucek.
Thank you: Mike, Jeff, Kevin, Wilson, Troy, Daniel, Susan and all the rest of the Thieves. Special thanks to the Casey, Reeb, Ramsay, Gnidovic, and Bemis families for the use (and abuse) of their homes; Jessica Fiederowicz; Val Broucek; Sara Streit; Rachel Bemis; the Villanueva family; Jeremy Keen; Gerrit & Rebecca Haagsma; everyone at Kibbie CRC and Lombard Mennonite; and Jeffrey Dick and the First Congregational Church of South Haven. Mom and Dad, ye’re up there somewhere, but I’ll thank you again…
Thanks also (in no particular order): Suzanne and the Kufahl family; Donna, Mike & Adam; Paul, Dominic, the Larson family, et al.; FitzGeralds’ Tuesday night folks; The Verse, Garrett Soucy, Richard Burnett and the rest of the Ground Vinyl crew; Chris & Kristina (your encouragement is the reason I finally recorded this album); Amanda Mannix; Jason, Laura & Archer; Dave & Angela; Lori, Barb, the Glassers, Lisa & Rhett; Dennis, Maggie & Jack; Lou & Pete; Becka (this is yer late Christmas present); Wendy & Andy; Sarah, Eddie, Vikke, Kristin, Denise and the entire South Haven gang (y’all know who you are…); the Halinskis and everyone at the Farmers’ Market; Chris Lehman and family; Honore and the Black Cat folks; Roger, Brian, Ariel and the Door County contingent; Jason Webley; Leia; R.D. Roth; Ric Salazar; Paul & Lisa and 5 Sunset; embilena, whoever you are; Robbie, Lindsey & Annabeth; Mark, Courtney & Lady; Renee; Chris Pesel (for the guitar lessons so long ago); the Appleyard, DeVinney, & Ludwig families; Stephen Sequeira (I can’t thank you enough, for so many reasons); Patrice; George ‘n all at Baars’. No thanks to Sallie Mae…