Bouncing back from the '90s

Searching for a new record deal, the Gin Blossoms bring tour to the area

Searching for a new record deal, the Gin Blossoms bring tour to the area

July 07, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

After several years of going their separate ways, the original members of the Gin Blossoms are back in action and coming to fans in Hagerstown.

The popular 1990s band that produced the hits "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You" is scheduled to perform Saturday, July 9, at the North American Rod and Gun Club in Hagerstown, said Jim Greenawalt of Bossmanpromotions LLC.

The band's appearance is part of a U.S. summer tour, said guitarist Scott Johnson.

The Gin Blossoms debuted as a college band in 1987 in Tempe, Ariz. By 1992, they were signed with A&M records, and their first album, "New Miserable Experience," became a top seller. The band came out with another album, "Congratulations I'm Sorry," in 1996 before the band called it quits.


Now, Jesse Valenzuela, Bill Leen, Robin Wilson, Phillip Rhodes and Johnson - all the band members from the 1996 incarnation - have decided to get together again and are in the process of signing with a record label, Johnson said.

"It took us a while to figure out if we wanted to try" getting back together officially, Johnson told The Herald-Mail. But now it's been three years since the group has been playing together again.

"We move very slow," he said, laughing.

"Hopefully things will work out with one of these records," Johnson said. "It was kind of silly for us to call it quits before."

Hagerstown audiences will hear a mix of the Blossoms' hits and new songs band members are generating.

"Fool For The Taking" is a new song Johnson said is his favorite, partly because he gets to sing back-up vocals. "It's taken us several years to write songs," he says. "It takes a while before it starts gelling with the band. I think we are at that point now. We've got so much material. It's kind of overwhelming."

Playing before live audiences is helping the band fine-tune songs for a possible future album. There is no anticipated release date, but the group definitely has plans for another album.

Fans can expect to hear the classic Gin Blossoms sound that marked their 1990s hits, Johnson said. The group isn't trying to reinvent itself.

"We really want to do something as good as we did in the past. We don't want to be mediocre at all. That's important to us," he said. "For us it's always been, 'This is what we do. This is how we make our living.' ... We want people to respect our art."

If you go ...

WHAT: Gin Blossoms concert with Boneyard Brothers

WHEN: Doors open at 5 p.m., opening act starts at 6:30 p.m., and Gin Blossoms take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9

WHERE: North American Rod and Gun Club, 12108 Belvedere Road, east of Hagerstown.

COST: $25 in advance, $30 day of show

DIRECTIONS: Turn onto Belvedere Road from Md. 64. Belvedere Road is opposite a church and is marked by a low retaining wall.

For more information or to purchase tickets go to Tickets also can be purchased at the North American Rod and Gun Club or by calling 301-739-4440.

$1 of each ticket sold will be donated to the American Cancer Society. The Gin Blossoms will sign two guitars before the concert. One signed guitar will be donated to the American Cancer Society, the other will be raffled off to an audience member.

Attendees must be 21. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets The rain-or-shine concert is in an outdoor lawn venue.

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