That Day in September
'That Day In September' Featuring: Emmet Curry - vocals, guitar Steve Sites - vocals, guitar Brian Thoms - vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, harmonica Amy Lee - keyboards James Hill - drums Recorded live by Eli Crews at New, Improved Recordings in Oakland, CA All instrumentation recorded live Sept. 5th, 2007 Vocal tracking and mixing on Sept. 26th, 2007 Mastered by Miles Boisen at Guerrilla Recording in Oakland, CA on Nov. 18th, 2007 Cover photo by Rachel Dotson All other photos by Amy Lee Artwork and Design by Limeseed Design, San Francisco The story of Skippin' Town began at the Missing Link bike shop in Berkeley, CA where founding members James Hill and Steve Sites met. After realizing they shared many similar musical interests James invited Steve to an open jam held in the basement of a friend's house in the Oakland hills affectionately known as the 'The Hootenanny'. In a scene similar to an episode of 'Hee Haw' James, whom was playing guitar and dobro at the time, and Steve enjoyed themselves while sharing many Early-Roots and Americana songs. James, in addition to playing guitar and fronting his band 'Densa', had decided to learn to play drums due to chronic hand pain. James suggested to Steve that they start a jam at the Missing Link Co-op, where James worked and could set up his drums in the after hours. The Missing Link jams continued for a while and loosely formed a band called 'The Wellies' with rotating members such as; Jay Larson on guitar and slide, and Rich Melton on bass - most of whom were met at The Blue Note, a local guitar shop in Berkeley. In early 2001, being new to the bay area and seeking musical companionship, Brian Thoms responded to a posting by James at The 5th String Music store which read 'Intermediate Dobro player looking for intermediate guitar player'. After a brief phone conversation James invited Brian to attend 'The Hootenanny'. Immediately after entering the rustic basement filled with a motley bunch of musicians playing everything from wash tub basses to hand accordions and drinking moonshine, Brian knew that he had met not only a handful of diverse musicians but made some new friends. Brian was soon invited to attend the bike shop jams where he made quick friends with Steve, Jay and Rich. Having the roles of guitar player adequately filled by Steve and Jay, Brian's visits to the bike shop jams became less as he began to focus more on his own music. The bike shop jams continued with James on drums, Steve and Jay on guitar, and Rich on bass. In the spring of 2003 Brian and Emmet Curry were introduced by a co-worker while working together at Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley. Brian and Emmet were both invited to attend Strawberry Music Festival where they spent the weekend trying to fit into a bluegrass culture each of them felt out of place in. After the music festival, Brian invited Emmet to come over and jam at his house where he met James, whom was frustrated playing drums on a cheap electronic drum kit in Brian's garage. James invited Emmet to play some music at his house with Steve. After a few rehearsals at James' house, Emmet auditioned for 'The Wellies' with James on drums, Steve on guitar, and Rich on bass. Jay had left the band a while back and the band was in need of a second guitarist. In late 2003, after only one show with this line up, Rich Melton left the band to play bass in 'The Warren Tea Garden Band'. Throughout 2004, James, Steve and Emmet continued playing music and writing original material at James' house. In the Fall of 2004 the three were playing music at Emmet's housewarming party in El Cerrito where Amy Lee heard them playing and asked to join the band as the keyboard player. Without a bass player, Amy was required to carry double duties as the bass player on the keyboards. Hearing from Rich that 'The Wellies' were without a bass player Brian visited Emmet's basement where the band had begun rehearsing. Eager to play in a band again and expand his skill set, Brian offered to play bass for 'The Wellies'. In January of 2005, after only a few rehearsals, 'The Wellies' began gigging with Brian on Bass, Amy ..boards, Emmet and Steve on guitar and James on drums. This lineup continued to gig around the Bay area, frequently playing at their favorite local pub The Pacific Coast Brewing Co. In downtown Oakland. Given the new line up, the name 'The Wellies' was dropped and the search for a new name begun. After several attempts to find a new name, James' suggestion of 'Skippin' Town' was eagerly accepted and the band pushed on. In 2007, Amy decided to focus more on her career and had little time to continue with the band. After finishing his own debut album, 'Miles Away From Yesterday', Brian thought this was an auspicious time to catalog some of the bands new original material. In September of 2007, Skippin' Town entered New And Improved Recordings in Oakland, CA (www.newandimprovedrecordings.com). On September 5th, engineered by Eli Crews, the band successfully tracked all the instrumentation for ten original pieces. Later that month, on September 26th, Emmet, Steve and Brian returned to the studio to add their vocals and the album was mixed under the attentive and talented ears of Eli Crews. With the album recorded and the departure of Amy, Skippin' Town continued rehearsing and playing around the bay area as a four piece. In late 2008, James began doing double duty as drummer for Skippin' Town and an Oakland old school country band called 'The Mighty Lynch Pins'. Ultimately feeling more comfortable in his roots and playing more traditional music, James decided to take a break from Skippin' Town which lead to eventually quiting the band. While looking for a drummer, Emmet, Steve and Brian continued rehearsing and writing new material at Brian's live/work recording studio affectionally known as 'Red Rug Records'. Their search for a new drummer was brief when Steve Fox auditioned and was quickly recruited to join the band after an initial posting on craigslist. With the rhythm section back in place, Skippin' Town's plans for 2009 include continued live shows while fine tuning new material in anticipation of returning to the studio to begin recording their second album in the summer of 2009.