Glass Hammer is an excellent band in my opinion. They are a modern-day progressive rock band based in Tennessee, officially began in 1992 when longtime friends Steve Babb and Fred Schendel Walter began writing and recording the Tolkienesque concept album Journey Of The Dunadan. To their surprise, the album sold several thousand units via the Internet, The QVC Shop-At-Home Network and phone orders, leaving Babb and Schendel convinced that the band was a project worth continuing!
The real origins of the group, however, can be found as far back as the early days of the 80’s. Babb and Schendel had yet to meet at that time, but were busy writing and performing with two other friends who would later become members of Glass Hammer — Walter Moore and David Carter.
Dreaming City is Glass Hammer album number 19 and will be released on April 17th, 2020. Perhaps the group’s most powerful musical statement to date, Dreaming City tells the story of a «desperate man…as doomed as they come» who must fight his way through a spectrum of horrors to rescue his lover. We find out early in the album that the protagonist has only three days to find her before she dies. A dilemma which sets the stage for all that is to come and guarantees an emotional roller-coaster ride for the listener. On the new album Steve Babb is once again joined by Fred Schendel. Aaron Raulston, Susie Bogdanowicz and the new Glass Hammer vocalists Reese Boyd and John Beagley is the other four musicians who attend on the new album.
Bassist and producer Steve Babb describes the music as a nostalgic homage to several genres including space rock, Berlin-school electronica, seventies metal and early progressive rock. «It’s all done in a way that is distinctly Glass Hammer of course», he adds. «To convey the album’s story, we gave Dreaming City the look and feel of an old paperback adventure novel, including excerpts and illustrations. It’s meant to be an immersive experience, enjoyed from beginning to end, with songs laid out as book chapters. Something we haven’t tried before but think our fans will love!».
While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core of the band. Both play a variety of instruments, but Babb mainly concentrates on bass guitar and keyboards while Schendel plays keyboards, various guitars and drums until the addition of live drummer Matt Mendians to the studio recording band in 2004. They also sing, although a number of other vocalists have also handled lead vocal duties including Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Carl Groves, Susie Bogdanowicz and Jon Davison. Worthy of mention, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson provided backup vocals on two songs from 2007’s Culture of Ascent.