That Zing Thing
THAT ZING THING, the new CD released by the band Demo X, is the culmination of five years of online collaboration, which finally spilled over into the real world. The members of Demo X - Robert Clark, Eric Elmer, Gene Lavoie, Bill Morse, Ozone Pete, Algie Powers, Jim Walsh, and Jerry Waggoner - met in an online forum, founded in 1995 by Morse, called Demo Exchange. Morse was intrigued with the music being produced by amateur musicians in their home studios. Thanks to advanced (and affordable) recording technology, many of these so-called 'demos' have higher production values than the best recordings of the Sixties and Seventies. The members of Demo Exchange began swapping compilation cassettes, and then home-burned CDs, featuring members' latest songs. Many of the DXers are self-contained singers/songwriters/one-man-bands. Some DXers' recordings sound 100% professional, others are still learning. But the music has an edge, a personality, a freshness often lacking in the formulaic music pushed by the large record companies. Most DXers have families and mortgages, can't fit into the life of a full-time musician. They create for the love of music. In other words - for the right reason. No Spandex dreams. Eventually, the DXers wanted to meet and play music together in the 'real' world. Their first Summit was held in Philadelphia in 1997. They jammed and socialized Friday night, rehearsed like hell on Saturday, and went into a pro studio on Sunday. They recorded direct to stereo DAT - time constraints ruled out multitrack advantages such as overdubs. Of the 15 members who attended, everyone recorded one of their own songs, using each other as session players. The results surpassed everyone's expectations. More Summits followed, in members' cities across the country - Springfield MA, Tucson, Chicago, Brockton MA, Nashville, Portland, and Cleveland. Morse found a few like-minded members who wanted to see how far they could push it with a more compact group, with ten days of rehearsal and recording, taking full advantage of multi-tracking. Thus formed Demo X, a group within a group. Walsh found just the right studio, ZING, of Westfield, MA. Owner/engineer Jim Fogarty guided them through the process. Although listeners can hear traces of The Band, Joni Mitchell, Little Feat, Patsy Cline, Eagles, Howlin' Wolf, Cowboy Junkies, and John Hiatt, the CD really does sound like a cohesive band, not a sampler. As songwriters, they have spent years crafting strong material, and each brought two of their best songs. Melodies are unforgettable, lyrics clever and meaningful. Combine that with powerful vocals and top-notch playing, and the resulting CD blows away everyone who has heard it. If this band 'stands' for anything, it's the idea of doing it yourself, bypassing the record companies. Fortunately, the Internet provides opportunities to release your own music, without having to compromise your vision. This is a CD that you'll want to share with your best friends.