Wasn't That a Time?
A long, long, time ago. In the distant land known as Montana, an Irish folk group from Chicago performed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, with a follow-up gig at the Blue Max Lounge at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls. (You may remember the Heritage Inn from the Charles Bronson film 'Telefon'. ) The area must have been an entertainment desert, because the entire local population came out to see us. The arduous task of bringing happiness and joy to so many, coupled with the covered wagon trip from Chicago to Great Falls, was evidently too much for the chick singer of the group. She tendered her resignation. Yep, she up and quit! The group's 'brilliant leader' put an ad in the Great Falls Tribune: 'Wanted: Glamorous Chick Singer for World Famous Chicago Based Folk Group'. It was never revealed to us how many applicants he had or what type of auditions he held, but one day our 'brilliant leader' introduced Louise to us, and said she would be moving to Chicago. And frankly, it was the MOST BRILLIANT thing the 'brilliant leader' ever did. Steven and Lew didn't know what to think at Louise's becoming 'the glamorous chick singer' of the group. They only hoped she could cook. They persuaded her to take an apartment right above theirs in the cockroach-infested tenement they lived in, and talked her into making dinner EVERY night. Then they found out she could sing. And boy, could she sing! Neither Steve nor Lew nor Louise can remember now whose idea it was to form our own group, but the conspiracy to leave 'The World Famous Chicago Based Irish Folk Singing Group' was born. We rehearsed our own versions of songs in the afternoon; Louise would cook a scrumptous dinner which all enjoyed while watching re-runs of 'Star Trek', and then we performed with TWFCBFG at night. We took a little vacation to Steve and Lew's hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana, and took the opportunity to do a publicity photo shoot for our newly formed, subversively covert, folk group at Battell Park ( photos courtesy of the marvelous Jacque Kubley ). We parted with the 'World Famous Chicago Based Folk Group' with some difficulty, and barely managed to escape back to Montana. We performed at Officer and NCO clubs at Malmstrom AFB outside of Great Falls and Ellsworth AFB outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. We played at a variety of nightclubs ( OK... saloons ... afterall we were in Montana and South Dakota). One of the most enjoyable places we performed was The Huntley Lodge at Big Sky Montana. A beautiful ski resort half way between Bozeman and West Yellowstone, Montana. We look back at where we've been and what we've done and we think....'Wasn't That A Time?' So we bet you're just chomping at the bit to ask...... 'Where did you come up with the name EARTHWOOD?' Well a good name is crucial in the music business as is clearly evidenced by such groups as 'Dog Bladder' and 'Newly Dead'; so we labored and fretted and worried and consulted baby naming books and read cereal boxes and consulted with advertising agencies and called the President of the United States and visited gypsy oracles...and then one day... Lew was changing his guitar strings and it hit him.... He had put his strings on in the wrong order....... No, really. He looked down at the packet of strings and there it was: 'Earthwood' He had been using Ernie Ball 'Earthwood' strings on his guitar. 'Earthwood' ....we had our name. Steven plays wonderful rhythm guitar and a has a marvelous finger-picking style. He also plays a little bass and sings. Boy does he sing! Lew plays rhythm guitar, a little lead guitar, bass, and kazoo, sings, and does obtuse comedy when off his meds. Louise is still the 'glamorous chick singer'. And boy can she sing! And 'glam'! The group reunited in March of 2008 to play at a science-fiction convention in Birmingham, Alabama, ( Louise is a wonderful author and has written some very good sci-fi novels ... Google Louise Marley)...( She just loves it when people Google her.) We found that though we looked different, we sounded the same as always ( maybe even a little better). As a result of Lew's long term desire to get a decent recording of Earthwood, BUT MOSTLY because Louise announced at the science-fiction convention that we were working on a CD ( which we weren't ) we decided to record 'Wasn't That A Time?', a collection of some of Earthwood's favorite old tunes and a couple new ones. We hope they become some of your favorites as well. Thanks, EARTHWOOD And a very special thanks to Bruce Wolfe who masterfully (and patiently) recorded us and tediously edited the recording to help us sound the best we ever have!