in 1994, Dan Hicks, who I met when his band The Hollow would play on the same bill as my band Sometimes I... wanted a singer to write songs with. I was thrilled, because this was my first real serious rock and roll co-songwriting opportunity.

He lived in the same subdivision, and would come over and record his ideas for songs, usually his acoustic guitar run through a Roland amplifier. Then I would write the lyrics and come up with a melody.

As it turned out, I made everything fit, so we didn't really have to change the arrangements.


We got one member (Jim Wisch) from his band, The Hollow, and I got two members (Russ Wallace & Todd Greenwood) from Sometimes I... and rehearsed the songs to do an opening gig for The Hollow. Practice didn't go too well, we only got together 5 times, and I think we only had all 5 of us in the same room for 2 or 3 of those practices.

On March 26th 1994, we played our first and only gig, at the Macktown Lounge, between Roscoe and South Beloit, Illinois. It went went pretty well. If I can ever get the video tape edited and converted to digital, I’ll post a link to it, or post it here.


Then we got together on May 22nd to record the songs. I set up my studio to record the band live to my Tascam 38. (8 tracks - half inch analog tape).

Basically, we were going to record the songs live, but only the Drums had to be mistake free, from there we would re-record any instrumentation that wasn't up to par, and add the vocals last.


But, In the middle of finishing the songs, Dan went through a divorce and moved to Madison Wisconsin, putting a serious hurt on the project, since he was the co-writer of all the songs.


The album project sat for a few years. Then, after my divorce in 2001, I was getting back into my music and looking for music to record and came up with the idea of having Jim play all (or most) of the guitar parts, so we could finally finish the album.

The only problem with this plan was, Dan and Jim are two completely different style guitar players. I called Dan, and he gave us the thumbs up to proceed.

The album would soon take on a much heavier sound than what Dan had envisioned for the album, but it came out pretty good in the end.


I finally finished the Hairbrain CD on February 9th, 2005.

Hairbrain:

Dan Hicks... amplified acoustic & electric guitars.

Craig Smith... vocals, harmonica, occasional guitars & percussion.

Jim Wisch... acoustic & the really big electric guitars.

Russ Wallace... 4 & 5 string bass guitars.

Todd Greenwood... midi electronic drum pads & real cymbals.


Special guest musicians:

Mark Loy... the 12 string taylor.

Chris Brady... the big african drum.