Andy Stochansky

While You Slept

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Andy Stochansky's first solo album -- four years before Radio Fusebox -- is aptly titled. He recorded it in the off hours (meaning "after hours") during a tour with Ani DiFranco (Stochansky was her drummer for many years). He and his co-producer literally lined up musicians and studios wherever they could for a month and recorded the album. Stochansky wrote all the songs on the disc, plays his customary numerous percussion instruments, enlisted the help of string players, guitarists, keyboard players, Turkish saz masters, and vocalists for a wondrous ride through the dark night of his burning desire to record his own songs. While there isn't a bad track in the batch, the African percussion and the Bobo-like vocal on the opener "I Am Standing" is a standout, as is the guitar and accordion ballad "Pass the Wheel." The two mixes of the traditional Ukrainian folk song "Under Your Glory" offer different readings of the word and emotive sensibility that is "passion," while the lone solo track, "Dear Sir," is the closest thing there is to certified "organic" rock & roll. And if Stochansky sounds like Bono as a singer, so what? There are lots of people who sound like Bob Dylan and they suck. Stochansky's got it all going for him here: the songs, the pressure to get the job done, the smokin' musicians who are perfectly in tune with his vision, and a co-producer who kept the juice flowing and got the sequencing right. This was as an auspicious debut album that nobody but DiFranco fans and a few Canadian radio programmers got to hear. And that's a shame. Stochansky was so busy making a living that he didn't have time to work his product. (Only available from: Population 60, P.O. Box 5, Terra Cotta, Ontario L0P 1N0, Canada.)

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