CD Liner notes
The roots of this album go back to 1990 when Bill had released a five-song EP entitled Ravens in the Night. This cassette had a great sound with songs that have endured the test of time. It deserved to be updated to a full-length CD. The original idea was simply to mix these songs (using the original master tapes) with some from his live show in order to create a more edgy "live" album. It's intended title was, once again, Ravens in the Night. But as time went on (and insanity took hold), the concept evolved, and with these songs seven more were added: three taken from the live show and four newly written. The result is an eclectic album, with a decidedly rockier, more restless tone. The new title Trying to Get Out Alive expresses this theme.
Part of the insanity was the decision to digitally re-mix and re-master the five Ravens in the Night songs from their original tapes. The goal was to clean them up without losing their original personality. This all took way too long! But it's amazing how much an already fine sounding cassette can be improved. New vocals, however, were added to all these songs. (Purists were outraged!) Unfortunately, due to deterioration of the tapes "A Chance at Sea" had to be newly recorded (so, there is still reason to obtain the original cassette). This new version has a more relaxed feel.
The remaining songs filtered in and found their place on the disk. "Grape Jelly" was a shoo-in; being a favorite opening number for the majority of live shows. A couple of cover tunes (also from the live show) were added for variety: "Matchbox" and "Shelter from the Storm". After it was all recorded, one "live" cover tune had to be cut because of absurd licensing requirements. But this worked out for the best, as it made room for more original material which is forever piling up. In stepped "La le Lay", and indeed it was the perfect closer.
Lastly, to complete the disk, three new songs were added. "How It's Done" is an original electric blues destined to be a classic. "Escape" is a forceful modern rock song written by someone who hates modern rock (this is "how it's done"). And "Alright Tonight", the newest of all, was one of those magical songs that wrote itself in only a few hours? this is a good thing.
Bill thanks all those who purchased this disk. He hopes that it will become one of your favorites and continue to satisfy, inspire, and motivate. This is a very rich album involving years of work. Listen carefully; with an artistic ear. "To those who connect with the spirit of this album; I believe we share something very deep in common. May it help you find your way out
. . .Alive".
Trying to Get Out Alive
"There's buzzing on the line
I can't get my number through
You know something has gone wrong
Is it me or is it you?
Everything was going fine
But then it went into a dive
There's a man overboard
I'm just trying to get out alive"
- from the title song "Trying to Get Out Alive"