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Americana and Power Pop artists reinterpret and record 13 songs
originally performed by the classic rock band STYX.
By rethinking the arrangements of these STYX songs, and avoiding the
triple-tenor harmony vocals, progressive rock instrumentation, double-lead
electric guitar solos, and theatrical leanings of the original recordings,
the organic core of each song can be revealed and appreciated.
APOLOGY TO TODD
Salt Lady Records offers an apology to TODD SUCHERMAN,
the drummer for STYX. We forgot to thank him in the album credits! Sorry, Todd! We certainly didn't mean to leave you out. You rock.
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Download the PRESS KIT for the album in PDF format:
Journalist Robert Pally posts comments from Styx Tribute artists at Fufkin.
Mike Bennet's review at Fufkin.
TOO MUCH TIME
ON OUR HANDS:
A STYX TRIBUTE ALBUM
Singer/songwriter Jonathan Rundman spent his elementary school days listening to albums by FM radio arena-rockers STYX. As a 25-year-old in the late-90s, Rundman moved to Chicago, STYXs hometown, and began a career as a full-time traveling musician. While playing club gigs in Chicago, Rundman met Thomas Dunning, host of the infamous Hoot Night show at Schubas Tavern. Dunning had recently released
I Wanna Be Kate: The Songs of Kate Bush, a tribute album on his own independent label featuring contributions from Midwestern bands. This Kate Bush Tribute CD provided a catalyst and inspired Rundman to pursue a STYX Tribute project.
Little did Rundman know that executive producing a compilation album with submissions from various bands across the country would take nearly two years to complete. Back in the Summer of 2001 initial invitations went out to artists that Rundman thought might be interested. After getting shot down by some big-time acts like Alison Krauss, Rundman got interest from numerous indie rock and alt-country bands who had been closeted STYX fans since the 1970s. As song submissions arrived Rundman was amazed at the way the musical arrangements had evolved beyond the original STYX album versions.
Pacific Northwestern female-fronted punk trio HEART BEATS RED turned in a ferociously garagey interpretation of THE GRAND FINALE, ALVA STAR of Minneapolis channeled Prince in their dreamy take on LADY, fellow Minnesotans ECHELON modernized the rock classic RENEGADE, power-vocalist BEKI HEMINGWAY out-emoted the original Dennis DeYoung composition DONT LET IT END, acoustic duo LOST AND FOUND made THE GRAND ILLUSION sound like Simon And Garfunkel, college-town troubadour JERRY CHAPMAN growled his way through MAN IN THE WILDERNESS and JONATHAN RUNDMAN himself teamed up his cousin BRUCE RUNDMAN and producer/drummer ANDY DEITRICH to record the STYX staple COME SAIL AWAY and the obscure gem QUEEN OF SPADES.
Throughout 2002 Rundman received submissions from some of his favorite musicians from across the American rock & roll landscape:
+ BLUE COLLAR MAN by TOM FREUND, acclaimed LA singer/songwriter who has also played bass for Ben Harper, The Silos, Graham Parker, and Victoria Williams, and has contributed to various film scores including Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Performing with Freund on the recording is JON BRION, multi-instrumentalist and producer for Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rhett Miller, and the Magnolia Soundtrack.
+ TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS by DAG JUHLIN, songwriter for long-time Chicago pop band The Slugs, and lead guitarist for numerous national acts including Poi Dog Pondering, John Wesley Harding, and Syd Straw.
+ BOAT ON THE RIVER by JEFF KREBS, Upper Michigan native who began his critically lauded career in San Francisco in the late-80s co-leading the pioneering alt-country band The Easy Hoes with future-Everclear frontman Art Alexakis.
+ LIGHTS by BILL DANKERT, drummer and songwriter for legendary Minneapolis country-rock heroes The Gear Daddies, now fronting and playing guitar in The Real Austinaires.
+ BABE by JIM ROLL, Lower Michigan-based singer/songwriter who has collaborated with The Silos and Chuck Prophet on his most recent studio releases, and has composed music for lyrics written by Hollywood screenwriters Denis Johnson (Jesus Son) and Rick Moody (The Ice Storm).
+ QUEEN OF SPADES featuringTHE ROSTENKOWSKIS, a pseudonym for Mike, Matt, and Mark, the bassist, drummer, and lead guitarist for the Chicago roots-rock band DOLLY VARDEN. This rhythm section has powered some of the finest American rock albums of the past few years, and Dolly Varden has played shows in Europe and the USA with many diverse acts including Whiskeytown, Govt Mule, Rodney Crowell, Freedy Johnston, Michael Hall, and Bennet & Burch.
Rundmans STYX Tribute Album was initially scheduled for release on his own Salt Lady Records label in the Fall of 2002, but Rundman came upon an opportunity to move to Minneapolis from Chicago, so the relocation put the album on hold for a few months. Finally in the Spring of 2003 the songs were assembled and mastered. The CD artwork was created by painter/designer KELLY NEWCOMER, who brought her peaceful technology themes to the project.
In the Summer of 2003, TOO MUCH TIME ON OUR HANDS: A STYX TRIBUTE ALBUM was finally released. Coincidentally, the band STYX was simultaneously launching a national tour (with Journey) in support of a new studio album.
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SONGS AND ARTISTS
Blue Collar Man
The Grand Illusion
LOST AND FOUND
Boat On The River
Don't Let It End
Too Much Time On My Hands
JIM ROLL AND THE FAMOUS AUTHORS
Man In The Wilderness
JERRY CHAPMAN AND HIS EVIL HERBIVORES
Come Sail Away
BILL DANKERT AND THE REAL AUSTINAIRES
Queen of Spades
BRUCE AND JONATHAN RUNDMAN with THE ROSTENKOWSKIS
The Grand Finale
HEART BEATS RED