Signs of Life

This collection of songs is an ode to life. Each song is a signpost along the rather circuitous route my own life has taken Steve DeTray - Signs of Life so far. Each stands as a short story about some point of significance in the kaleidoscopic and sometimes seemingly random process of fifty years of experiences. These songs had to be written. They demanded it.

This recording began shortly before my 50th birthday when my wife declared it was time to get these songs saved before something happened to them (or me). It seemed like a good idea, and I expected it to be a straightforward project at the time. My good friend Jack Endino (known in Seattle as the "Godfather of Grunge" having nurtured the likes of Nirvana and Soundgarden through their earlier days) agreed that it needed to happen, and set up his 8-track recorder in my basement (this tape deck has since been purchased by Paul Allen for the Seattle Rock Museum - this was the last full recording project on it).

I decided to record the songs as uncluttered and direct as possible, but I recognized that these songs called for more than just an accoustic guitar and one voice for their full expression. So I called a few close musical friends, who were kind enough to agree to help.

I originally planned to get most of the tracks down in five or six days over a two-week period in mid June 1997. The project ended up taking over a year to complete, what with trying to coordinate everyone and everything and figuring out how to present the material. So finally, after a rather long and sometimes difficult delivery, this collection of songs has emerged, as signs of life that now stand on their own to say whatever they will to whomever will listen. I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to my lovely wife Sheryl for her ever-patient and unwavering support, and her insistence that these songs be recorded; to Jack Endino, the best ears and gentlest guy in the business; to all the wonderful musicians and friends who lent their talents to this project, and to my dad, who taught me to love music.

These songs are dedicated to my family and friends.”

Steve DeTray

Words and music by Steve DeTray. Produced by Steve DeTray. Recorded, mixed and engineered by Jack Endino in Seattle. Artwork by Bruce Edwards.

Layout and design by Deborah Knapp and Bruce Edwards.

Steve DeTray, vocals, guitars, and harmonica.

Glen Ayers, percussion.

Bill Currie, violin and viola; string arrangements.

Jack Endino, electric bass on tracks 9, 13 and 15.

Lu Evers, alto and tenor sax, Bb and bass clarinet, flute; all horn arrangements.

Rand Miller, electric bass.

Tom Weishampel, back-up vocals.

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