Slowtrain then collectively relocated to Pittsburgh while Adoniram toyed with the idea of becoming a respectable member of society at Grove City College. After the failure of that experiment and two years of playing the western PA club circuit, the band packed their bags and headed to Austin in the summer of 2001. In Austin, Slowtrain have cast themselves headlong into the lives of artists. Real estate doesn't come easily for four largely jobless musicians only three years removed from using fake ID's to get into their own shows. Apartments become recording studios, living rooms become rehearsal spaces, and kitchens turn into mess halls (emphasis on mess).
The band began their recording career working with producer Armand Petri (10,000 Maniacs, Sixpence None The Richer, Goo Goo Dolls), recording an early EP that, though well received by fans and critics, left the band unsatisfied. So in the summer of 2001, they decided to produce their own EP. The band took what they had learned from working with a professional music producer and combined it with the freedom and creativity that comes with doing it yourself. The album was received enthusiastically by Austin radio and, along with a few well-timed shows, the band began to build their fanbase in and around Austin.
Emboldened by the success of the EP and inspired by the influence of a year spent in the thick of the Austin music scene, the band went on to record their first full length album, Escape The Sun, in late 2002 and early 2003. Recorded entirely at Adoniram and Betsy's apartment studio in Austin, Escape The Sun features twelve new songs and will come out September 30, 2003.
It is only relatively recently that the band has settled into what feels like their natural roles in the band: Adoniram on guitar (both acoustic and electric), vocals, and harmonica; Joshua on keyboards (an organ, and a Fender Rhodes bass piano), Betsy on acoustic guitar and vocals (both backing and lead), and Cliff on drums. For all their experience, and belied perhaps by the maturity of their sound, no member of Slowtrain is over 25 years old. The band draws from the rich musical tradition of artists like The Band, Badfinger, The Rolling Stones (circa Exile On Main Street) and Bob Dylan (circa Planet Waves, Desire), and critics have compared them to everyone from the Counting Crows, to the Lemonheads, to Wilco, to Cracker. Like many great bands, Slowtrain can be a little difficult to pin down.
The band has also attracted the attention of Austin-based artist development company Fifth Column, who recently signed the band to a full blown development deal. Fifth Column will be working to make sure the band is front and center in Austin's crowded music scene and offers the kind of artist development usually reserved for major label artists (and then, often just the "lucky" ones). Slowtrain will be playing regionally in support of Escape The Sun (working to establish themselves as a great band in a city famous for great bands), and have begun developing a "street-ready" version of the band. Expect to see them busking on your favorite street corner very soon.
Slowtrain is: Adoniram Lipton (guitars, lead vocals), Joshua Lipton (keyboards, vocals), Betsy Lipton (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Cliff Fitch (drums).
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3. Escape the Sun
4. About You
5. Me and Only Me
6. Steel Country Prison
9. Gypsy Hound
11. Lullaby (not a Lullaby)
12. How Far Away