Through The Years & Beyond Written By Dale Sewell Well, where to begin? It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years that Joe and I have been playing music together. So, let's start at the beginning. It was late summer of 1988 and I was playing in a Rush Tribute Band called Second Nature. We were thinking about getting a new guitar player and I just happened to have a music magazine and was reading the "musicians wanted" section. As I flipped through the pages, I noticed Joe's write up and immediately I said we need to call this guy. I remember making the phone call on a very bright sunny Saturday afternoon. Joe answered the phone and we just clicked. I knew he was the perfect guitar player for our project. When Joe arrived at our practice house on Oakliegh Road for an audition, it was perfect. The guy could play the guitar so well and the decision was made that Joe was in as the new guitar player for Second Nature. We played a lot of shows together but the most memorable was at Hammer Jacks Concert Hall in Baltimore, Maryland. The place was electric and packed with almost 3,000 people. For us, it was the big time. I couldn't believe that 3,000 people would come out to see a Rush Tribute Band, but they did and we put on one of the best shows ever. After this show, things started to go south a little and Joe and I wanted to write our own music so, we decided to move on. We held auditions for musicians and made attempts to reform Second Nature with other players but, this was not working out so we moved on again. We just wanted to have the right line up so we took some time off and began to look for something totally different. Joe and I began to talk about getting together with my Brother, Drew, who was the Drummer of another band. Joe had a friend that he played in a band with years ago named Mark and he thought he would be perfect to sing for our new project. So, for the next 10 years we were called Vatix. Together, we wrote two albums of what we thought was great music. However, all good things must come to end. So, Vatix was over and that left Joe and I pondering what to do once again. Joe and I got together at my house in Baltimore to write for a while, but things were going to change forever, and when I say this, it was for the best. Joe and I always had a saying "there is a reason for everything". Joe called me one day and said that he was moving from Maryland to Colorado. That day seemed to last forever for me, because my best friend, music soul mate and brother was moving away and I thought my musical career was over. But it would turn out that it was just the beginning. So here we are now, face to face, we share the music grace to grace - a few lines from our Song, Our Journey. But I will get into that in a moment. So, Joe is in Colorado and what to do? I made a phone call to Joe in March of 2007 and we talked about writing again. So in August, I flew out to Colorado to talk about writing again and to visit Joe and his family. That week was just magic. Colorado put me into a creative mood and we worked on two songs that are on the upcoming CD, Our Journey. What a feeling it was. This put both of us in a very creative working mode and we began to work on new material in February 2008. Thank God for our recording software. This was the turning point of our incredible journey. As I mentioned above, Joe and I began to write in February 2008 and the first song to be recorded was That Ain't Natural. The sound that we were getting with our new recording software was just incredible. So we moved forward and by the end of May 2008, Joe and I had 12 new songs recorded. What made this project so unique was Joe and I did all of the recording ourselves and the majority of the recording was done separately from Maryland and Colorado. The only time we were in the same room, or State to be precise was during some edits and the mixing of the record. But I am getting ahead of myself, so Joe played electric and acoustic guitars and vocals on five songs. I played drums, percussion, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals on five songs. We just had the time of our lives recording this CD. So it was time to mix the CD and create the art work. By this time, Joe and I settled on a title for the album. We thought Our Journey would be perfect. It represented our past and now future. In June 2008, I flew back out to Colorado to mix the CD and work on the art work with Joe and his sister Lori. It took two weeks to mix the CD and complete the art work. This could not have been possible with out the help from Joe's Sister, Lori Bellavia Arave, who created the entire art work for our CD, and our Photographer, Joe's Son, Joseph Bellavia, who took the majority of our photographs. We have waited 20 years to get it right and here we are. What an experience - to think that Joe and I recorded, mixed, produced and engineered our record is just incredible and an experience that we won't ever forget. So this is "Our Journey", from the past years and into the future. We'd like to thank everyone who has supported us through the years, i.e., our families, friends and past musicians and we welcome those who will join the ride into the future with us. Hope you enjoy our CD, "Our Journey". We look forward to the next one and beyond. Best to all, Dale and Joe Bellavia Sewell.
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