The Ship – A Contemporary Folk Music Journey – `71 [Gary Usher]

the one & only todd bradshaw today – thanks !

i got nothin` on these guy`s & this isnt really psych , but was produced by gary usher & is of a conceptual nature & came out in `71…. (-_-)
great epic storyline about a journeys at sea , & all that that entails.
more folk/rock than anything & not too far removed from CSNY , really catchy tracks tho , that definately grows on you. pretty scarce as well. let me know what ya think !it comes in at just under an hour , so this one is @ 224 kbps.
oh , & as all the songs ran together , you get two tracks : side I & side II ..:)

[ there is a bit of noise at 6:40 for a bit , had some pops that i removed & left it all a bit under par , so i appologize in advance for this , but the rest sounds great ! ]

bit of a review : thanks to dr. do-good !

“I’ll readily admit to vacillating on this one … I’ve played it quite frequently over the five years it’s been in my collection and during that timeframe I’ve continuously flip flopped as to whether it’s an undiscovered (and still affordable) classic, or simply a dull and plodding slice of early-1970s folk-rock. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle ground …
Singers/guitarists Steve Cowan and Steve Melshenker got their start while attending the University of Illinois, Urbana. Playing dances and local clubs, the pair managed to generate some local buzz, somehow attracting the attention of producer Gary Usher, who helped the pair sign with Elektra Records. Produced by Usher and credited to The Ship, 1971’s “A Contemporary Folk Music Journey” was a concept piece, though the plotline was largely lost on me (the gatefold inner sleeve has the lyrics for anyone interested in the story line). While nothing here was overtly commercial or toe tapping catchy, all eleven performances were engaging in a low-keyed fashion. Exemplified by material like ‘The Ship’, ‘The Calm’ and ” the songs were highlighted by interesting lyrics, strong melodies and some pretty CSN-styled vocal harmonies. A little bit self-concious and the occasional country touches were forgettable (‘The Man’), but it was never less than pleasant, and if you played it in the right mood it was a true keeper.”

NEW ship web site : the ship music

*steve melshenker [ 6 string guitar(2nd lead), vocals ]
*steve cowan [ 12 string guitar, vocals ]
*steve reinwand [ llead guitar . dobro , mouth harp , vocals
*mark hamby [piano , flute , vocals
*todd bradshaw [ 4 & 8 string bass ]
*with tim scott on cello

  • “ALL TRAX FROM WAX” – transferred by da` shaman – 2007
  • includes high rez front/back/inner lyrix scans ~ 86 mb – 224 kbps
  • track I :
  • the ship
  • the order
  • the innocence
  • the man
  • the calm
  • the storm

  • track II :
  • the lost
  • the island
  • the reason
  • the return
  • the ship

download [ NEW LINK ! ] — here —

— here —


~ by akashaman on January 8, 2007.

148 Responses to “The Ship – A Contemporary Folk Music Journey – `71 [Gary Usher]”

  1. Gracias por este excelente disco. Mucho tiempo lo estuve buscando en la red. Un amigo lo tuvo en vinil pero ahora está muy maltratado. Gracias.
    Saludos desde México.

  2. This is a lovely album.

  3. I suspect we played The Ship live 40-50 times over about three years before finally retiring it and moving on to playing regular original songs. It was played in two continuous halves with an intermission, just as it is on the album and other than a few stray harmonies and some vocal double-tracking to thicken the blend, the album is very faithful to a live performance. We resisted mightily adding stuff to the album that we couldn’t do live. This didn’t thrill the folks at Elektra, as they leaned toward adding more “production”, but we didn’t want people walking out of a live concert and thinking that the live version didn’t make the grade compared to the album. We did add Tim Scott’s cello in a couple small spots. Tim played with Harry Chapin and Harry was recording during the daytime in the same studio we were using at night. Being able to borrow Tim for a couple nice fills was just too good to pass up. I think Elektra found us hard to deal with – partially because we were so young and clueless about big-time recording and because our resistance to over-producing (in our minds) the piece made it less sale-able on the street. Obviously, their main interest was selling records and getting the most commercially viable product out there. Our main interest leaned more toward getting a faithful recording of what we had actually created and there was considerable friction between the two viewpoints much of the time. When they sent us a copy of the final mix, we hated it and sent Steve Reinwand and Roger Francisco (our manager who owned a small recording studio) back out to L.A. to re-mix it and get rid of a lot of echo and other effects. We’re pretty sure that doing so effectively slit our throats with Elektra as most of the pre-planned promotion for the finished album never happened. We had even made a music video (in 1972!). We had to join the Screen Actors Guild to do it and they had shots of us sailing around on the boat on the album cover set to music. I saw it once, but it was never used for anything that I know of and I think they then stuck us in the “tax-write-off” category. When the option for a second album came up, they weren’t interested. It’s hard to say which viewpoint was correct, but I don’t think any of us ever really regretted sticking to our guns and trying to keep it as “real” as possible (of course, if I could now be living in a mansion with a swimming pool, I might have changed my mind…). I think The Ship was a decent first album for a young band. It’s obviously by no means perfect or a landmark piece of music, but it’s pleasant to listen to and offered something fairly unusual in it’s time. These days, we could have cut it in a garage on a laptop and produced it ourselves, but back then, getting one of the half-dozen or so major labels to take the risk of plugging a lot of cash into a concept-album/folk-opera type of thing was a pretty decent accomplishment for a bunch of young guys from Illinois.As far as I know, Steve Cowan is still in California and works with computers, Steve (now Albert) Melshenker is also in California and does advertising for a living, Mark Hamby is in Seattle and has some sort of investment firm and Steve Reinwand (Billy Panda) is in Nashville, adding guitar and mandolin tracks to albums for folks like Kenny Rogers, Montgomery-Gentry, The Oak Ridge Boys and a bunch of others. I’m in Wisconsin and build fancy sails for sailing canoes (Is that obscure enough? – I was a sailor and now I are one…). I wrote a book on them a few years back called “Canoe Rig” and get most of my business from people who have my book. I still have three amps and a bunch of guitars in my office and play an hour or two nearly every day (use it or lose it) but haven’t played with anybody or in front of an audience in 30 years. I did recently buy a small digital recording deck and have been playing around, recording little snippets, trying to figure out how it works. It has a “canned” drummer built in who is quite steady, though not particularly imaginative and I’m working around the fact that I’ve never been a particularly good vocalist or lead guitarist (it sucks when you have to play all the parts yourself, one at a time). But, it’s kind of fun once you get it all together (and at least the bass lines are solid). There are a few samples here. Some are just one guitar or bass, a couple are early attempts to actually multi-track a song. There are mistakes, instrument buzz and other junk in them at times, but I’m slowly figuring out how the recorder works. I figure that if I can crank out 11-12 cuts per year I can send home-made albums out to my relatives for Christmas and save a bunch of money and hassle…..At this point, that’s about all I have in mind as far as musical asparitions go.

  4. Way to go Aka! Gee, after all these years we’re finally immortalized in song. Who woulda’ thunk it. I always figured that the only way we would ever get this type of notoriety at this late date would be if one of us won some high political office or became a mass murderer or something. Sounds like the reunion may be quite fun and The Ship in it’s various incarnations should be pretty well represented (I hope we can still play. I can see it now – The Daily Illini: “SHIP HITS HERRING AND SINKS!”) Somehow that scene in the “Blues Brothers” keeps playing through my head where Jake and Elwood are running around pulling their former cohorts out of everyday life and saying “We’re getting the band back together”. Plus, the Illinois State Police may still be looking for us from the night that Rhino and I got lost and accidentally pulled onto the Chicago Skyway tollway. We had just played a wedding and were wearing suits, driving a van full of expensive equipment and arrived at the first toll booth with a grand total of about 19 cents in our pockets. We still owe the state about a quarter and they’ll probably add interest.

  5. Hi all,

    We got word today that Wounded Bird Records has sceduled the release of the new hard copy CD of “The Ship” on July 7th and our contact at Warner says it sounds great. We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing it. It’s currently listed about five spots down on the “coming soon” page at:

    I get the feeling that it will also be available through many of the usual suspects for disk sales, as Wounded Bird sells CDs to a lot of different dealers.

    Interestingly, we’re still working under the old Elektra royalty contract from 1972. I hope somebody can find a copy of it……

  6. Supercat, Your brother wasn’t a pretty good drummer – he was an excellent drummer and a joy to play with! He was also crazy enough to fit right in with the rest of the band. Bobby only played with us for a year or so and I think he missed playing in the rock and roll bar scene, but we have some fond memories of road trips and gigs with him. We didn’t record a lot while he was in the band (mostly because we probably didn’t have any money) but he’ll be on a couple of the tunes on one of the CDs we’re putting together.

  7. Actually, it came out in 1972. I had just turned 20 years old that May and we spent the following month at Elektra in Los Angeles recording. As I remember, it was released the following fall. There weren’t any folk clubs as such in Champaign, Illinois and the idea of Melshenker and Cowan playing dances is pretty funny. In reality, we were all playing at a coffehouse called “The Red Herring” which sponsored folk festivals. Reinwand and Hamby generally played together as a duet, Melshenker and Cowan usually performed solo and I was mostly playing twelve-string, but was the only person they knew who had previously played bass and I would borrow my roommates Hofner when somebody needed a bass player. Most of the songs at the folk festivals were original and there were some pretty good people in the core group of maybe 25-30 individuals who played in most of them and did weekend sets down in the basement the rest of the year. Notables among the regulars included songwriters Thom Bishop and Fred Koller, singer/songwriter Linn Brown and a young guy named Dan Fogelberg. For a fairly small city in the middle of the Illinois cornfields, it was some pretty high-powered talent. Melshenker and Cowan got together and wrote The Ship and then asked Reinwand, Hamby and me to help arrange and perform it – originally as a one-shot deal consisting of three or four performances at the Red Herring. It did well, so we eventually decided to oficially form a group and take it on the road to other college campuses and a few Chicago nightclubs. After the album came out, we played it another year or two and then retired the piece and switched to playing individual songs, mostly original and about 50% with acoustics and 50% electric guitars. This was a real relief as the album was very tedious to play and we were getting pretty bored playing it over and over. Looking back, it was somewhat naive, but we were pretty young back then and it was our first experience in a big-time studio. The band lasted another three or four years with a few personel changes and then broke up in the mid 1970’s. Former members are spread across the country and I believe the only person from the band still playing for a living is Steve Reinwand, who later changed his name to Billy Panda. He’s now a well known Nashville Studio musician with a string of album credits as long as your arm and he spends some of his time touring with Kim Carnes.Anyway, thanks for the kind words and it’s nice to know that something originally done just for fun and intended for a few performances in a coffeehouse is still giving at least a few people pleasure 35 years later.Todd Bradshaw – former bass player for The Ship

  8. Here is is the current situation on downloads. We, the band (the “shipmates”, “shipsters”, “cabin boys” or whatever the hell we are) have asked Aka to take down the link. The reason is not really one of copyright issues and such legal stuff, but rather the fact that we are trying to get the album re-released. We don’t own the rights to it. Over the years Elektra became part of Warner and the rights to “The Ship” are now owned by Rhino Records, which is another part of Warner and a company that specializes in re-releasing old albums. So it seems to us that it’s basically in a pretty good place for this to happen. We have been in contact with some of our old friends at Elektra and they are hunting for the masters to see what kind of shape they’re in and looking at the possibilities.In the mean time, we’re trying to do what we can to plug the leaks and limit the number of available downloads floating around out here on the internet, as well as some of the commercial sources that make and sell illegal copies of old albums, including both of ours. We can’t expect Rhino Records to feel good about the prospect of laying out the money for a good digital re-mastering and production of the CD and box liners if there are obvious sources offering the album for free.Akashaman and this website have been instrumental, not only in terms of promoting an old obscure album and keeping it alive, but also in getting the members of the band that played it back together and working together to get our music out there again. It’s an opportunity that none of us ever dreamed would happen and we are both highly motivated and having a ball doing it (the music business is a lot more fun when you’re not forced to rely on it to provide your dinner and pay your rent).As I mentioned above, we would like to get both albums, “The Ship” and “Tornado” re-released (we own Tornado) and we also have enough other good studio recordings to put out a couple more CD’s of tunes that you would only have heard at live concerts back in the ’70’s and which never made it onto a record. We have purchased the domain name “” and are currently working on designing a simple website there where we can keep people informed of what’s going on and what is available. This, and the production of new CD’s, will obviously take some time, so there is likely to be a bit of a gap in availability of “The Ship” but we’re working hard to get it filled and if things go according to plan, it should be worth the wait. In the mean time, if you’re desperate to hear “The Ship” the current best bet may be eBay. My brother bought an unopened original copy of the album there last week for $19.

  9. By far, the biggest current problem that The Ship has is that we’re spread from Florida to Seattle and that’s not likely to change for more than a few days at any time in the future. We sat down for the first rehearsal in over 30 years, Billy (formerly Steve Reinwand) started playing that little dah-dah-dah-da-deedy-deedy intro thing and twenty seconds later when the rest of the band came in on that first big D chord IT WAS The Ship.In three days of rehearsals, we worked up something like 18 old songs and one new one that Mel wrote and had a blast doing it (now we have wives to go out and get food while we rehearse). The performance started a bit rough with ten minutes to set up and no check of the sound system, but it came together pretty quickly as the sound guys gradually got the monitors adjusted so that we could actually hear each other – not terribly well, but at least well enough to keep it together.I’ve been in some form of the sailing, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, and even hot-air ballooning businesses most of my life, but sitting down to rehearse and play with these guys again was probably the best mini “vacation” I’ve ever had.While we try to get the rights and details figured out for re-releasing The Ship and Tornado albums on CD’s, we’re also working with a batch of around 25 old recordings that should eventually make for a couple of excellent additional CD’s. They’re studio recordings and the quality is dynamite. They range from some of the very early, very folky stuff up through the later, more complex, electric guitar-oriented songs that Jim wrote. The variety is amazing and even the most die-hard Ship fans have probably never heard some of these tunes.I’ve been fooling around, trying to figure out what I’d put an which CD and what order I’d put them in and it made me wonder if part of the problem we had with record companies after the original album was that we didn’t really have a signature sound? Instead, we had four or five different ones and perhaps that made it hard for them to place us and hang their checkbooks on such a gamble? Who knows? At least these days we don’t need to deal with them and it’s a lot easier to distribute music. It will, of course, take some time to get all of this together, but we are highly motivated just from getting a chance to hear all this stuff again and work with each other, even if it can no longer be on a daily basis. It will be fun to help people replace those old, worn-out vinyl albums with something you can play on modern equipment and I think You will really enjoy the hidden treasures that we’ve found.Todd Bradshaw

  10. Kerry,Great to hear from you… and I’m sure that all your crushes were requited.

  11. Anonymous….The former members of Appaloosa thank you for your hammer work. We were all there for that first Asleep at the Wheel concert. Later, we opened for them many times.

  12. Rico, Rico, Rico… boy, haven’t thought about that tune in many years. Inspired by the Hebron Giants, smallest high school ever to win the Illinois State Basketball Championship (1952).Here’s the first verse…Down at Delmonico’s,they still kick it around real good,about the boys who played so hard back in ’52…And the prettiest girls in town,we won their hearts, they cheered us on. Now they sit in their booth and smile, sippin’ their beers, and tapping their nails to a song…

  13. This is one of the greatest albums ever…I had this on record and looked for it for years…do you perhaps have the second one the ship made…i know relatively little about it but i would be great to hear…thanks again

  14. Hi from Cy
    Big thanx, and so prompt too, Z Share thru. I’m listenting as I type, hey, flutes, acoustic guitar, haunting vocal and is that a little mandolin, hey ho let’s go and in comes piano.
    The earlier downloader has been okay for others but it was like knocking at a locked door to an empty house.
    What I’m doing with Aka’s blog is after download, transfer straight, often 2-1 on cd. I take a paper print 50% off blog of art work etc and pop it into a little celo bag and all bags go into a box as part of Cy’s Aka collection.
    Thanks for sharing. I used to carry a collection of 3000+ albums but had to slim down when relocating up here, so mini cd collection growing like vinyl of old.
    Gary Usher brought out the best from those he engineered for, and the same goes here! Gary let the artists breathe, hah! while Spector suffocated.
    This Ship is getting better as it goes on its voyage!

  15. You guys might remember me. I had a little to do with the Ship album. In fact, I wandered the steets of New York and knocked on doors trying to get record companies to listen to our reel to reel tape, until we finally got Elektra to make the deal. Ship Trivia: Anybody rember the other company that was seriously in the running? *Answer at end of this posting. Other trivia: I remember bumping into Dan Fogelberg in Los Angeles. We joked about the record deal, because I think we were closer to signing a deal first before he did. “First isn’t necessarily better,” Dan said. Irving Azoff was in the middle of pulling off one of the best record deals of all time … essentially giving Dan his OWN label (Full Moon) under the Epic/Colombia umbrella. I moved to Chico, California in 1975 to follow my own music career, and lost touch with these guys. In fact, I never even heard the second Ship album, though it might be interesting to hear in retrospect. Listed as the “assistant producer” on the album, my “pay” was five copies. I have still two unopened shrinkwrapped copies of the record, and one I’ve played a few times. Perhaps I will go on EBay and sell one shrinkwrapped copy to the highest bidder … Who knows: I might actually profit from all that work 40 years later. Anybody in this blog willing to cough up $ 500 or enough to cover a plane ticket to their reunion? (Smile) Actually, I did profit from it … spiritually and practically … I certainly learned a lot of “street smarts” from the experience … Considering that I am still involved in the music business as a producer, those were invaluable lessons. OK … the answer to the trivia question: Believe it or not, Motown records had a serious interest in The Ship. Motown had a spin-off label, and the company was in the market to develop some acts that would profit from the folk music movement of the late 60s and early 70s. We never took the offer seriously, and kind of used it as a lever to motivate Elektra to finally put their offer in writing. It worked, and the rest is history. Peter Berkow Chico, CA Feb 2008

  16. I also had access to a copy of this album at a radio station in 1977. I copied it to 4-track reel to reel rather than stealing it and now I wish I had stolen it. It was not part of the format and never received airplay and I’m sure it was just tossed one day by the Almighty Program Director. I used it in a slide show (the first kind of “multimedia” about Sea Semester in Woods Hole, MA which was seen on NJ Public Television.

  17. Is Rich Warren’s party open to mid-70’s graduate, former WPGU-FM disk jockeys who used to play The Ship’s singles as often as possible?Tom ThomasThe Woodlands, TX

  18. Hi friends of The Ship …Today I picked-up and album by a band I had never heard of and thought it looked interesting, so I bought it.The album is “Tornado” by The Ship. It was released in 1976 on Saturday Night Records out of Urbana, IL.The band members are:James Barton – 6 & 12 string guitars, lead & harmony vocals; Rick Frank – bass, harmony vocals; Mark Hamby – piano, clavinet, flute, mandolin, string synthesizer, lead & harmony vocals; Jeff James – drums, percussion; Steve Reinwand – lead guitar, pedal steel, banjo, string synthesizer, string arrangements, percussion, harmony vocals.I looked them on-line while listening to the first side and here I am.It is pretty interesting music and obviously means a lot to the people on this blog. After only 2-3 songs I can understand the comments regarding a similarity to CSN&Y … good, catchy tunes with really good vocals.I will continue to listen but I since I saw a couple of inquiries into their 2nd LP (is this it?) I thought I add this post.

  19. Hi Aka Cy here,
    What’s this “The Ship”, wow what a thread and I go to download and it’s not working/available. I see you reupped yesterday, but it’s down here when trying from my pc in Scotland at 4.30pm 19th May. Is there anymore you can do, please?
    I think I need to hear this.

  20. Bless ‘The Ship’ for it launched ten thousand lives. I remember sitting quietly in the recording studio at the corner of Race and Washington being part of history in the making. The songs still play endlessly in my mind. I would dearly love digital copies of the ‘A contemporary folk music journey’ and ‘Tornado’. Hope we can obtain them somehow. Long live ruby gulch! I banged a hammer building the place in ’73? Soon after that a smashed in Greyhound arrived with ‘Asleep at the wheel’ painted on the side. Loved to play pinball at Apple-Duck across the street while the tunes flowed through the neighborhood. Keep the thread alive and thanks Steve Melshenker for your subtle ways at big-wig parties. It was a honor to find you hiding with a guitar in some distant room.

  21. ‘Shaman – I am come lately to the site, and the album is no longer at your download address. Would you be willing to reload it for fellow late-comers? Thanks!

  22. Thanks Phil. In some ways, I think we enjoyed it more, too. Just the opportunity to get everybody together and play again was very special and something that most of us would never have dreamed was even logostically possible. We’re scheming to try it again some time in the future – only this time with more rehearsal time, more control over the set-up and sound system (this was the first time in history that we ever went on stage without an extensive set-up and sound check session ahead of time and I’d just as soon never do it again that way). We would also like to see a bigger stage so that we all actually fit up there and a reasonable amount of pre-concert advertising. If so, we will need a better and bigger room to play in. Since you happen to be in that business, keep us in mind.

  23. I can’t believe I found this website! An old girlfriend of mine (Hey Allison, if you read this, email me at turned me on to The Ship’s second album when I was at U of I in the late 70s. I just found the cassette tape about a year ago and no it’s on my iPod. The songs “Gwen” and “Your Backyard” haunt me to this day. I’ve always thought a band like the Jayhawks should cover this album, song for song. Thanks for sharing all this great info!

  24. Thanks for the journey into the past. I’ve been looking for this LP for a while. I remember first seeing The Ship at IMPE during U of I New Student Week in ’72’ and numerous times at Red Herring and elsewhere on campus.Some of their best performances were after hours at the Red Herring with Dan Fogelberg and other local talents. Nice to know some people still appreciate good music.

  25. 2/23/09The official Ship website – http://www.theshipmusic.comis officially open and seems to work! We’re still working on a couple of the minor sections and will eventually add lyrics to all the tunes (as soon as we figure out the best format and one of us learns how to type with more than two fingers).Mary Beth Wilson has done a wonderful job of turning our ideas into an actual, working website and for a bunch of old guys, we don’t look too bad. Check it out.The “Left In The Wake” CD is in production and finished disks are scheduled to ship before the first of March. We will mail a batch of them to CD Baby as soon as we get them and it will take a couple days to get the CD logged into their system, but it won’t be long until they hit the streets.

  26. I found my own answer to rar files.Am listening to The Ship now and loving it – loved it back in the 70’s.


  28. We have a ways to go before the website gets up and running, but it will happen, and this blog will be one of the first places where we’ll announce it. Thanks!Jim Barton

  29. Peter Berkow, you old…. Thanks for filling in some history. Motown, eh? Well, you can’t hurry love. By the way, my wife says United is running a special: $229 to Chicago from the west coast. Join us… Rich Warren’s having a party. Also, do you ever dine at the Breakfast Nook in Chico? The daughter of very good friends of ours manages the place. All the best… MH

  30. Make that “logistically” with an “i”. Some of the letters wore off on my keyboard a while back and I’m dead meat without my spell-checker.

  31. This is Anonymous April 15th Love “The Ship”- great album! Husband and I were both in college in the mid- late 70’s in Pittsburgh. We bought our first copy of “The Ship” at a used record shop. It had some major scratches so when we saw another copy sometime later, we made it ours. After wearing the albums out from frequent play over the years, I’d love to find a digitized copy so we can again enjoy the album without having to manually reposition the needle!I am so glad I found this blog! Bringing back memories of many years past!

  32. Here Akashaman thought he would just review an obscure old album and instead, it’s mushroomed into a reunion. We will most likely be there for the festivities at The Herring, We live in Madison, so it’s not very far. All we have to do is find somebody to watch our big goofy and incredibly spoiled black lab for a couple days.Hey Mark, I don’t remember ever doing a demo of Hard Years. If we did, I don’t have a copy of it. I sat down in my office a few months ago and did a quickie scratch-track of it, mostly because I was worried I’d forget the lyrics. I later decided to see if I could make digital copies of my old Auditorium concert 8-tracks. You can buy a pretty decent 8-track machine these days for about $20 on eBay – what a truly wretched format. So far, I’ve managed to get about a dozen songs digitized that are decent quality but the tapes are so old that some tunes aren’t going to be presentable.This mp3 has the Auditorium cut of Hard Years, followed by the new one, 33 years later almost to the day. I changed the key so that it’s easier for an old guy to sing and added a little intro progression for a little more spice since I’m limited to just guitars and bass. It has one track of acoustic six-string finger-picking, one of acoustic twelve strumming chords, a bass track and then the lead on one of my Rickenbacker twelves and finally two one-take vocal tracks. It’s not polished or perfect, but did the job. I never was much good at playing and singing at the same time and I’m still not, so I kind of enjoy this overdubbing method of recording. The best part about this mp3 file is that on both the 1974 and 2007 versions I’m playing the same bass – WITH THE SAME STRINGS ON IT! They still sound fine to me, so why change them?'74%20&'07.mp3My brother says he thinks Skip may have passed a while back. There was also a memorial benefit in 2001 for Bobby Carlin. guess none of us are getting any younger.

  33. If both Todd and Mark both are going to be at the Red Herring reunion, I’m going to have to figure out a way to attend…it would be great to see you both onstage again after all these years.Tom ThomasThe Woodlands,

  34. THANK YOU!A personal thank you to all the members of The Ship for the great show you put on this past weekend at the Red Herring reunion in Urbana. You all sounded great – including Jeff James on the cellphone! The closers – “What’s Beginning to Grow in Your Backyard” and “Gwin” were, from my vantage point in the back of the room, dead-on to the originals and sounded wonderful.I enjoyed talking to you all again and thanks for autographing my 30+ year old vinyl copies of your lp’s!Please don’t wait another 30 years to play together again!Tom ThomasWPGU 1974-76

  35. There are a lot of other little contributing factors that make the Gwin demo a bit different from the Tornado recording. To start with, there were some personnel changes. I played on the demos and I believe Bobby Carlin may have been on the drums, but we had left the group by the time Tornado was recorded. Rick and Jeff had taken over the bass and drum duties and brought their own styles into the mix. The demos were recorded at Golden Voice Studios in Pekin Illinois and as I remember, Tornado was done in Nashville. At Golden voice, their piano had the felt hammers varnished to harden them, giving them a brighter sound than your average piano. The theory is that you can always roll off some brightness in the mix, but if you want more brightness it’s difficult to add it if it’s not there in the first place. Drum miking also varies a lot from studio to studio as does vocal miking. Chances are that if you recorded the exact same song at two different studios, the two versions won’t sound the same in all respects and in some ways may be very different. I’ve always enjoyed the Tornado album, but the vocals bothered me a bit. They sound a little thin and distant for my taste. I probably spent more time listening to these guys sing than anybody on earth and I never felt like Tornado captured the vocal richness, tone-wise, that I know was there. It was always a thrill to hear a mixture of voices that could go from simple and honest, to rich and poweful and then come together and sound like the Beach Boys. I’ve grown used to Tornado over the years, but the first time I listened to it, my initial reaction – in my own subtle way…. was “What the hell did they do to the vocals?” Here are a couple live cuts from the U of I Auditorium concert on November 20th 1974. The tape was a bootleg made by a guy who smuggled a cassette deck into the hall, hidden in his coat. He sat in the front row of the balcony and hid the microphones in his gloves, sitting on the railing. I dubbed them from 30+ year-old 8-track tapes onto my digital deck. Despite being just “middle of the room sound”, rather than a dedicated feed from the sound system and despite being “glove-filtered” the quality is pretty decent. Some tape hiss and flutter, but not too shabby. This is Mark, Rhino (Billy Panda), Jim, Bobby on drums and me and it’s fun to know that some of you were there as well. This is one of Jim’s songs called “Ears of a Spirit”. It’s one of my favorite old Ship tunes.…and this one is just fun. It’s one of Steve Melshenker’s songs called “Suicide Rag” that we always enjoyed playing. is the poster for the concert.

  36. Here are a couple of Ship related downloads for you all to enjoyFirst, I scanned an old poster for The Ship in concert in Lincoln Hall Theater on campus on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and May 4, 1974 – sponsored by VIP and IUSA.Here is the link: Second, is the scanned image of my ticket stub from The Ship’s November 20, 1974 concert at The Auditorium. I’m sorry I only have half of it, but ushers in those days didn’t have electronic hand scanners and they actually tore tickets in half…Here is the link: found these over the weekend when I decided to dig around in the attic in a very old box with my college stuff in it. I thought you all might appreciate seeing the results.Tom

  37. Just stumbled across this post as I was searching for either of The Ship’s albums on Google today.So Big Thanks! I’m on my 4th time listening through this great memory today. The Ship was very popular in their second incarnation (more country rock, I’d say) when I was at the University of Illinois in the late 70’s.I managed to locate The Ship’s first album (the one in this post) in a cut-out bin at the time. Both of their albums got a lot of play by me during college but sometime in the last three decades they went walking. I’ve missed them.So this is an unexpected pleasure to get one “back”! (Here’s hoping I can find the other somewhere as well. Dying to hear “Gwen” and “Your Backyard” again!)Thanks!Keith Scherer

  38. Thanks indeed for making this music available. The ship album is great.

  39. TORNADO WARNING!Yes, that’s right folks. This means that a Tornado has been spotted and conditions are favorable for it to arrive in your area. Though only about five inches in diameter, this one is a powerful little bugger and lasts the better part of an hour. Seek shelter in a sturdy interior room, away from windows or other breakable glass and preferably, one with a really good stereo! Be aware that this Tornado doesn’t sound anything at all like a freight train – in fact, it’s rather pleasant to listen to.In other words…. the official, re-mastered digitized release of The Ship’s 1976 album “Tornado” is out and is now available at CD Baby. We are thrilled with the improved sound quality, compared to the original LP. Digital downloads will also soon be available from CD Baby as well as the other major download vendors (Amazon, iTunes, etc.). Sample clips from the songs, pricing and other information are available at:, if you find yourself out in “Your Backyard”, in the “Minnesota Dawn”, with “Gwin”, trying to “Hold On To Love” and recover from a night of “Midnight Madness”, when you told her that it was “Over My Love” and that this would have to be your “Lost Weekend Farewell” because you had to hit the road for “Three Days” with your dog “Balboa” and travel “Mile after Mile” – then ask your doctor if “Tornado” may be right for you?Other News – We are putting the finishing touches on “Left In The Wake”, the third CD release in our set, and like the previously released “One More Night Like This” CD, “Wake” is all music that has never been released until right now. This one is a bit different, because it spans the entire history of the band and its music, with a wide variety of sounds and musical styles. I previewed all sixteen songs in order the other evening and it blew me away. It’s going to be a very, very good CD and is certain to be a fan favorite. Look for it to be released and available at CD Baby within 2-3 weeks. Also, The Warner Music Group has just re-issued the official, licensed version of “The Ship – A Contemporary Folk Music Journey” in download form, available through the popular download vendors. The boxed CD of The Ship is expected to be out and available within 2-3 months on Warner’s “Wounded Bird Records” label. The digitized sound quality is excellent. Our official website “” is currently being checked for any operational glitches and is expected to launch within the next couple of weeks. I plan to break a bottle of champagne (or maybe Champaign would be more appropriate) over my computer at the christening, which should be interesting. We won’t be selling anything on the site itself, but it will be a wealth of information about the group, its history and its music.

  40. Yep, that’s it. Jim just finished digitally converting Tornado and the sound quality on the CD is going to be substantially better than it was on the old vinyl version. I’m working on the Box and disk label and trying to figure out how much of the small print from the old album cover will fit on a CD box that’s only about 5″ square. Billy Panda (formerly Steve Reinwand) is working out details on re-establishing our publishing company and it shouldn’t be too long before the CD is available. We also have a tentative agreement for a re-release of “The Ship” on a CD by one of the labels in the Warner Music Group. With four different CDs in the works, along with building the website, re-starting the publishing company and a couple potential future live concerts in the planning stages, things are fairly crazy at the moment. However, technical issues are getting resolved at a decent pace and it shouldn’t be too long before some of this new stuff starts to become available.

  41. Ed,Thanks for posting that stuff. That Ax-in-Hand spot was running through my head the other day, and I couldn’t remember one line. I wrote that spot on a lark and we used some spare studio time on somebody else’s session to produce it gratis for Skip Paul, proprietor of Ax-in-Hand, and a true friend to Cham-bana musicians of that era. He had been very kind in floating us on some sound equipment. Helluva guy.

  42. Mark … I HAVE purchased the ticket and got the good price. And, I do know of the Breakfast Nook … Party? We need Rich for a party? I think there’s always a party of some sort when there are that many musicians in the same building. Does anybody remember the parties we had after the Freak Fuzz basketball games? Like something out of the Simpsons … or maybe a Robert Crumb cartoon. I remember a SQUARE DANCE where Fogelberg and I and some other guys (Panda? Swinnerton?) were playing some corne-pone country/bluegrass music on stage and somebody was literally calling out dance steps … grab your partner, and dosey-doh … The policemen brought a keg of beer, and Fogelberg brought a bag of marijuana. I still remember the cops in the Red Herring parking lot toking up a joint … and somebody (was it Todd Bradsaw?) dancing around with a lampshade on his head.All this a week or two before police were shooting kids dead a few hundred miles away at Kent State University. Guess we had a better idea.

  43. Mind if another band member weighs in? Steve Cowan just tipped me to this little discussion, which I’ve enjoyed reading. Thanks specially to those who mentioned “Gwin” and “Your Back Yard” from The Ship’s TORNADO album. “Gwin” was mine, a paean to very young, idealized romance, inspired by a girl friend who moved away when we were in fifth grade (seriously). “Your Back Yard” was Jim Barton’s, and one of the most interesting tunes we ever worked up. I e-mail Jim from time to time, and I’ll let him know a few folks remember. And to all my “Ship”mates who might stumble into this discussion, come see us in Seattle!Mark Hamby / The Ship, 1971-77

  44. Hi Alan! No, I haven’t flown in ages, though I do miss the view. I occasionally wander out and chase down a local balloon from time to time if I see one go over. They often seem surprised to find someone waiting at the spot where they intend to land who already has his own gloves. SHIP UPDATE:Hi kids, here is the current Ship-Scoop. Initial talks seem to be going well with Warner/Rhino Records regarding a re-release of The Ship album on a CD. The exact format (them releasing it with our help, us releasing it with their help, possible internet song downloads, etc.) is yet to be determined and there is a mad scramble going on to find the best possible copy of the original master mix tapes for digital conversion. Albert Melshenker (the artist formerly known as Steve) has been doing the negotiations with the help of Jack Holzman (formerly known as the head man at Elektra Records) and the impression he got was that the gentleman who was assigned to the project at Rhino Records seemed pretty excited that we were back working together and trying to get it done, which is a good sign.Jim is currently working on re-equalizing the masters for the Tornado album in his studio and forwarding them to Billy (another artist formerly known as Steve, this time Steve Reinwand) in Nashville for inspection. There were some sound/tone compromises made on original vinyl album due to the available technology at the time and Jim and Billy think the new version will have much better sound quality than the vinyl album had. Surprisingly, one of the the biggest keys to this project was finding an antique, out-of-date decoder gizmo which was needed to be able to play and work on the masters. Luckily, Jim found one on eBay for $10. Since we own the rights to the Tornado album, we can re-release it whenever we get everything ready to go.I’m working on the selections for the other two possible CDs of old unreleased studio cuts. One is made up of of some of the earliest individual songs we recorded and the second contains mostly recordings from later dates. I guess I’m showing my age, but when you lay out an album, you spend a considerable amount of time selecting the songs and what order they will be played in. You want both the A-side and the B-side to have a strong, interesting beginning and a strong finishing tune. I probably spent two weeks, mocking-up albums and listening to them before a little voice in my head said “Dude…this is a new millenium. CDs don’t have two sides….they’re all one continuous A-side” Oops. Anyway, once the song selections and playing orders are agreed upon, they will also need to be digitally converted and adjusted for the new format before being issued as CDs. As part of this whole process, we’re also working on re-establishing a simple publishing company (many of these old tunes were never officially published) and developing some sort of simple business partenership to handle the legal mumbo-jumbo. These are both pretty low-key tasks, but having to do them long distance by e-mail with so many members who have other jobs and obligations makes everything take ten times as long as it probably should.Our eventual website ( is under construction and it will take a while to get everything assembled and ready to go, but it’s coming along and the concept proofs look pretty good. I’m still waiting on some photos, details and text (it’s easier to get a photo of Bigfoot than one of Jeff and we’re collectively trying to sort out a lot of foggy information for the band’s history section). Hopefully we’ll get it up and running this fall – including streaming samples for the album cuts and a mailing list for those who want to be informed about any upcoming concert dates, song or album releases or other good stuff. If nothing else, I’m learning a lot about working with Photoshop. The guys are writing new songs like crazy and I even wrote my first new one in decades. If we can all get together in the studio before we get too old to play, the fifth Ship album should be a good one and after so many years it would be really cool. Stay tuned – we’re still alive and kicking and we aren’t done yet!This is my new one if you want to hear it. Being so far away from the various members of my “all-star-back-up-band”, I had to play all the parts myself, taking into consideration the rather limited number of instruments that I can actually play and I recorded it in the corner of my office, track by track. I recorded the vocals one Saturday afternoon while my wife was outside mowing the lawn and had to time the recording between passes of the lawnmower going by the window. Welcome to the big-time, huh? But it is fun to do something new. Here is the link to the new track (Dude, I liked the song a lot, but I could swear I heard a lawnmower in the second verse….)

  45. How do I play The Ship? I downloaded it and nothing recognizes the extension .rar

  46. Yo, TODD…Thanks for filling in some gaps in my memory bank… remember, you’re a little younger than I am.ALSO, thanks for uploading “Ears of a Spirit,” one of Bartie’s very best. I was trying to remember those lyrics just the other day.ALSO, do you have the studio demo we did of YOUR tune, “These Are the Hard Years of Your Life,” a big favorite of mine, but it doesn’t come off on that Ruby Gulch upload? Are you going to the Herring reunion? A chance to play/sing “Hard Years” with you would be enticing for me.

  47. Mark Hamby sent me the link to this blog last night, and my head is still spinning! I’m not sure what to add to the discussion because there’s so much to talk about. I entered the scene upon the departure of Mssrs Cowan and Melshenker, and The Ship became a 4 man folk group (Hamby, Reinwand, Bradshaw and me). Some of the best gigs we ever played were up in Rockford, IL at Charlotte’s Web. What a wonderful club, complete with a lovely farmhouse out in the country where the musicians were invited to stay. My first gig with The Ship was there at Charlotte’s Web. My second gig…? The Great Hall at Krannert. Talk about baptism by fire!I have much more to tell, but have to be off. OK guys, what are we going to do about this reunion?Jim Barton

  48. I found this review on the web (courtesey of badcatrecords) It should help to flesh out the details a little more!

    “I’ll readily admit to vacillating on this one … I’ve played it quite frequently over the five years it’s been in my collection and during that timeframe I’ve continuously flip flopped as to whether it’s an undiscovered (and still affordable) classic, or simply a dull and plodding slice of early-1970s folk-rock. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle ground …
    Singers/guitarists Steve Cowan and Steve Melshenker got their start while attending the University of Illinois, Urbana. Playing dances and local clubs, the pair managed to generate some local buzz, somehow attracting the attention of producer Gary Usher, who helped the pair sign with Elektra Records. Produced by Usher and credited to The Ship, 1971’s “A Contemporary Folk Music Journey” was a concept piece, though the plotline was largely lost on me (the gatefold inner sleeve has the lyrics for anyone interested in the story line). While nothing here was overtly commercial or toe tapping catchy, all eleven performances were engaging in a low-keyed fashion. Exemplified by material like ‘The Ship’, ‘The Calm’ and ” the songs were highlighted by interesting lyrics, strong melodies and some pretty CSN-styled vocal harmonies. A little bit self-concious and the occasional country touches were forgettable (‘The Man’), but it was never less than pleasant, and if you played it in the right mood it was a true keeper.”

    The band members were:
    – Todd Bradshaw — bass
    – Steve Cowan — guitar, vocals
    – Mark Hamby — keyboards, flute, backing vocals
    – Steve Melshenker — guitar, vocals
    – Steve Reinwand – lead guitar, dobro, harmonica, vocals

    Keep up the marvellous work akashaman!

  49. Hey boys! Anybody got any money? We can wake up Mel, Jim, Billy and Jeff and start booking airfares and rehearsal space for the reunion tour and all-star extravaganza…. Or stop by – I’m getting tired of having to play all the parts myself and I could certainly use somebody around here who can actually sing.. for posting the tunes Ed. I’m glad to say that there was only one of them that for the life of me, I can’t remember ever playing. It’s funny, but after leaving The Ship I never had any desire to get in another band. It just seemed like after playing, traveling and spending most of my time hanging around with these guys a different band would have been a letdown. To this day, there isn’t another group of musicians that I’d like more to sit down and play with. I was up at my parents’ place digging through all the old newspaper clippings and other stuff that my mother has stashed away. I found a couple of the old concert posters and it’s no wonder we never made much money. Tickets were only a couple bucks back then!It’s hard to believe that we lost Dan. I still see that skinny guy in the knee-high moccasins eating pizza and drinking Boone’s Farm. I exchanged e-mails with Linn Brown a while back and some of the former Red Herring folks might remember her. She has a couple nice CD’s available at that you might enjoy.I have very limited space in my web-closet but here is another of The Ship’s live crowd favorites. Somehow, when people told us that our music needed to be more commercial, I think we took them too literally…. keep looking at my little lap-top-sized, Korg twelve-track recorder and wondering what we could have done If we had had one back then and the ability to cut our own CD’s, demos and other stuff without booking a studio? Amazing technology compared to Roger’s old four-track tape machines. I can sit down in that little corner of my office and within a couple hours, I have something that’s surprisingly close to real music! Here’s one for the old vs. new comparison. Thirty-five years later it sounds like this.'07.MP3Anyway, I think we’re all pleased that there are still people around who enjoy the music we made. Pull up a chair…buy us a drink and we’ll tell you the real story of The Ship – Strawberry pie at Bob’s Big Boy, iced tea in the middle of the desert, the time we hit the cow with the van, street surfing and elmundo-perverto theatre……

  50. I had this when it first came out. Pretentious as all get out. I downloaded it, just to hear it again. Still pretentious as all get out. Not worth hearing again. IMHO. Thanks for all the work and the range of stuff.

  51. This is supposed to be about The Ship, but since Dan Fogelberg’s name has come up few times, I thought I’d post this to let you know that his widow Jean this week made available for download a previously unreleased track which Dan recorded for her for Valentine’s Day, 2005.It’s called “Sometimes a Song” and is available for dowload on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and According to Dan’s website ( 100% of the proceeds are going towards charity and the fight against prostate cancer.I downloaded it today and it’s a gem of a song, very reminiscent of his classic material, and for a buck it’s worth it.There is also supposed to be an album of unreleased material out later this year – 11 songs total including the one that was released this week.Sometimes a Song is the number one downloaded MP3 song today (2/15/08) on Amazon and the number one Adult/Folk song on iTunes.Tom ThomasThe Woodlands, TXWPGU-FM 1974-76

  52. Hi Kerry,It was you and Rhino (Billy), Melshenker and his girlfriend at the time, Bonnie (skiny, blonde, good looking – though a touch on the sleezy side – wore a beret). When I arrived at Mel’s apartment, you guys were all rolling around on the floor. I didn’t have a drop, but have never had any desire to drink Tequila after seeing what it did to all of you. Not a pretty picture. These days, we’re probably all too old to try something like that without two weeks of recovery time available.I’ll send you an e-mail and we can catch up.Todd

  53. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m a huge Gary Usher fan and I’ve been looking for this for ages. If they put out a CD of it I’d buy it in a second.Thanks again!

  54. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to hear that others still remember and enjoy Tornado. I went to the U of I in the late 70’s. A “friend” borrowed my album and, you guessed it, never gave it back. That was 25 years ago. Please make the CD available pronto! I tried to get a copy on E-bay and got outbid. It went for over $52!

  55. This thread is quite amazing to find … I first got the album THE SHIP when I worked in a radio station in 1972, listened to it eventually and put it on a cassette for the car, etc… I gave several copies to other boaters, including the FANTOME, a Windjammer schooner that sank in Hurricane Mitch in 1998, likely with a worn copy of THE SHIP aboard. A former room mate and audio engineer made a CD from a reel to reel tape he made in the mid-1970’s, cleaned it up and all – and I have since distributed hundreds of copies to fellow cruisers in the waters of the east coast and Bahamas. It is wonderful to know that others heard it and loved it too. My hat is off to the artists who brought this wonderful comparison of life and a sailing journey to be.Peter TenHaagenaboard “Transition”Cruising the East Coast of the

  56. I found this blog trying to track down Rocky Maffitt, who gets mentioned early on, but, being an ex-Urbanite (Urbana-ite? Champoo-banana-ite?), one-time frequenter of The Red Herring (as well as, back then, an absolute dead-on double for Andy Brandt, the Assistant Manager), and one-time teacher of Todd’s, I had to ask (completely off the subject)- Todd, are you still ballooning? Also, my barbecue sauce recipe you entered into the contest and won with is still getting rave reviews whenever I use it.I’m sorry I missed the Red Herring reunion. Did anyone think to get in touch with Gerry Grossman? He’s still in Chicago, performing as the Human Jukebox, but was renowned for a concert he performed at the Red Herring that lasted something like 8 hours – continuous. He also performed the rock opera Tommy – solo – at the Red Herring shortly after the album came out.

  57. First to Jim: Very sorry for your loss. Your kind words about the tunes are heartwarming for another “aging Illini.” Glad they found their way back to you. Next to Tom: The version of Gwin posted the other day was a demo we did nearly long before the album made it out. It was a longer version (with an instrumental) than we recorded for TORNADO. A little trivia: I believe Gwin was 1974’s fourth-most-requested song on either WPGU or… that other station… which was probably because, with no album out, calling the station was the only way somebody could hear the little ditty. A clever bit of rigging. MH

  58. Wow, great to stumble upon this page. I used to take guitar and bass lessons from Skip and Steve and Rick at Ax-in-Hand back in the day. I’m looking forward to listening to Tornado again.I am sad to hear about Skip, does anybody have any details?

  59. Just wanted to say it was great to see all of you again in our fair city of Urbana. I must admit I enjoyed the Ship more at 58 than i did at 22.Thanks again. Phil Strang

  60. I have heard “The Ship” exactly twice (in 1973 and 1975), and I looked for it online since modems connected at 9600 bps. Not easy to search when all you can remember is the name “The Ship” and that it told a story. The first time I heard “The Ship” album was on Rensselaer Polytech’s college radio station late at night. I was dropping a friend off at school and deciding whether I would leave home for college also. (Very few of my friends did.) Second time was on my college station during a rough freshman year. I won’t say “The Ship” influenced my decision to stick it out at school, but I related to the concept of a journey with goals, struggles, and lessons learned. After 30 wonderful, difficult, dispiriting, inspiring years in NYC, the journey continues. I tried to use the download link to get the album, but it is expired. Is there another? Thank you for “The Ship.”

  61. I just came on this site, looking for The Ship’s first (and still awesome) album in CD format, and apparently I’m one of many …. this all triggers some great memories, the days of Charlotte’s Web in Rockford, Red Herring weekends at U of I, and being the fan I was, there was one Ship concert I helped organize with Steve’s help at Lincoln Hall as a VIP fundraiser — what a hassle to get a piano in there! I think the same music introduced today would be as great as it was then. Best wishes to those of The Ship still around!! I’ll keep an ear open for the new release !!

  62. Hello to all the former members of The Ship who have posted here lately. I’m the guy who made the tape at WPGU 31 years ago which Ed Sackley recently had digitized and then posted online.I can tell you that the Ruby Gulch concert came straight off a 7 1/2″ reel of 1/2 track tape I found in the WPGU music library in 1976, and which I presumed was the leftover tape of the live broadcaast from Ruby Gulch. That broadcast originally aired sometime during the summer of 1974. I copied it on the station’s then-new Studer-Revox reel to rell decks and the tape sat in its plastic bag in the box for about 30 years – because I never did get around to buying a 1/2 track reel to reel deck. I’m glad to hear that the tape was in pretty good condition after all that time.Those remaining Ship cuts, including the IGA commercial, the Axe-In-Hand commercial, and “Gwin”, were copied from carts that were in the WPGU control room in May, 1976 when I left C-U after graduation. I also grabbed the WPGU version of “Lake Shore Drive” (which, ironically, was never aired on the station because it didn’t fit format) and the All Star Frogs “Eat Your Radio” which dated back to my freshman year at Illinois.The Ship was my favorite local group back then. I was a student at Illinois from the Fall of 1972 until the Spring of 1976, and I worked at WPGU as a DJ from the Summer of 1974 until I graduated in 1976. I can remember seeing them perform at Lincoln Hall Theater, The Auditorium, Krannert and of course, Ruby Gulch. After I graduated and moved to Chicago, I used to try and catch their shows every time they’d come up and play the Lincoln Avenue bars – Orphan’s, Ratso’s and the Single File Pub. I left Chicago in the Fall of 1977 for graduate school at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, just after the “Tornado” album had come out. I always wondered what happened to everyone in the group and I’m glad to see the dialog on here.I do have one question – the version of Gwin that’s on “Tornado” is a slightly different mix from the one that WPGU used to have on cart. I liked the WPGU version better – and that also goes for the WPGU versions of some of the other Ship singles. I presume there were several recording sessions – but does anybody know whatever happened to the tapes of those earlier mixes that were provided to WPGU? The station had “Gwin”, “Gambling Lane”, “Over My Love” and “Your Backyard” on cart at one time or another. We’d receive the tapes from the group, Ed Sackley or Emily Recht would put them on cart and on the playlist, they’d stay there for a month or two and then be gone. I’d love to get a complete set of all the early versions – The Ship’s “Lost WPGU Tapes” or something like that…Tom ThomasThe Woodlands, TX

  63. This is a lovely album. Another gem rescued from obscurity!


  64. Just a quick note of thanks to one and all for helping me re-acquire some GREAT music and memories from my time in Champaign-Urbana. It’s been a while since I heard “Tornado”, but I think it holds up surprisingly well…and some tracks are just great–30 Days sounds an awful lot like the Alan Parsons Project to me! And if there’s a better sing along song than Gwen/Gwin, I’m not sure what it is. Great stuff, great memories and a thrill to have it all again in digital format. Many thanks again to one and all for assisting in getting some great music back in my life.BooRadley aka Brad Meyer/

  65. i actually downloaded the 2 track vinyl rip a year or two ago. i recently revisted the blog and learned that this was reissued and bought the mp3 album from amazon.
    its beautiful.

  66. What is the story behind “Balboa” on Tornado?I am a professional conservation biologist, and the song – especially the lyric “Tooth of a serpent so dull when compared to America’s daughters and sons” – has stuck with me all these decades. I even say it to my kids.North Texas

  67. I haven’t thought about Chambana and/or “The Ship” for years, but my fiancé asked about The Ship this morning which set me on a quest! I’d <>LOVE<> to see a re-release of anything from “The Ship” and will buy MP3 files or CDs on sight.The < http://WWW.THESHIPMUSIC.COM/><> web site appears to be experiencing technical difficulties this morning, but I’ll be checking both here and there regularly for news!-PatP

  68. Ed:A warm thanks from an aging Illini in AZ for posting the Ship tracks, especially ‘Gwin’. I met my wife at UofI in the mid 70’s and we were introduced to The Ship, thanks to WPGU (thanks, Tom!). ‘Gwin’ was a real favorite of ours… we had the vinyl for a long time until it became unplayable. When my wife died last year after a long, heroic fight with cancer, ‘Gwin’ was the one song I really wanted to find again in light of how special it was for us. And now, thanks to you (and the rest of the contributors to this post), that beautiful song is locked safely away forever on my iPod, on my hard drive and in my heart! Thanks again for taking the time and the effort, Ed!

  69. My husband and I also loved listening to The Ship- A Contemporary Folk Music Journey. We have two copies of the original albums, both of which we bought used. I would love a download of the album so that we could again play and enjoy the album in it’s entirety.

  70. 1/28/09The first release by The Ship in 33 years is out and available! It’s a 15-song CD called “One More Night Like This” and features the group’s original five members playing some of the other music that we were writing and playing about the time that the original Ship album came out. Marketing of CDs and digital downloads is being done through CD Baby, where you can also hear short clips from the tunes. re-release of the “Tornado” album from 1976 should also be available within 2-3 weeks. For those people who own the old vinyl version of Tornado, the sound quality of the new CD will blow you away. We will list it on CD Baby along with “One More Night” as soon as it’s available. We are still re-mastering songs for a third CD, which should be out not too long after Tornado. It will be called “Left In The Wake” and is a very interesting mixture of 15 songs which span the entire history of the group and everyone who played with The Ship. It’s gonna’ be a good one.We’re still working with the Warner group on the re-release of the original Ship album. Things are going well, but big corporations move slowly. In the mean time, the other three albums will contain a total of 41 songs, 30 of which have never been released before. The official Ship website is also almost done and should open up soon.

  71. Gee, now we’re really in old-home-week territory… Keith, your buddy Ric (Eric?) Walljasper delivered the News Gazette to my apartment on Colorado 34 years ago. I happened to be playing/singing “Gwin” on my old upright one afternoon when there was a knock on the door. It was Ric and he wanted to know where I had gotten the music. I answered… “the hard way; I wrote it.” So, what happened to Ric? He was a great guy.

  72. Stacey,

    Thanks for the kind words about GWIN… glad I was able to sing you to sleep all those nights.

  73. I wish I’d’ve hunted for this a little harder & a little sooner! I would have LOVED to have seen The Ship play live. Came by my copy of the 1st lp as a student DJ at Purdue. Couldn’t find it in the record store, but I somehow found it with me (cough cough) when I moved in ’73. As a musician I felt the album to be really well done & inspiring (obviously; here I am looking for references to it on the web). Did I read right re: a possibility of more performances? Maybe even (after all these years) doing the concept album live again? (Would love a live copy if one exists.) That 1st lp had a real impact on some of my better material (you wouldn’t think so from my URL, but I do acoustic music as well as punk stuff). I appreciate the chance to thank you all for that. If you’re ever anywhere near Indy, let me know & I’ll try to get you a couple of club gigs, or at least treat you to dinner & drinks. THANK YOU again for the good music.

  74. What a pleasant blast from the past. I have been searching for The Ship’s “Tornado” album for years. I’ve always felt it was one of the best albums in my collection — a unique blend of style and content: very diverse and fun to listen to. I’m STILL hoping to get a copy of it…so if anyone has it in digital form, I’d like to know. I have the album…but no way to transfer it. Let me know if it’s a possibility.BooRadley/Illinois ’74 grad. now in

  75. Thank you for posting this. My wife and I saw The Ship perform while attending the University of Illinois. They were quite popular. I have their second album on vinyl but nevr had this one. Thanks again.

  76. Does anyone know where I can get a copy or The Ship’s Tornado album?? Old songs haunt my memory and I am dying to hear them again.

  77. peter : thats an awesome story : so great you are sharing the music with the world !i would love to be able to sail & actually hear this music as well , with a corona or sometin , that would be a small slice of heaven :i`ll try & get ahold of todd for you , so you can email him : todd , if you read this , please send me an email — akashaman@grandecom.netthanks all !aka`

  78. so ………….?whats the latest , are there any pix of the reunion ?just curious what is up with all of you & the new web site ?need help with the design & all ?i can help !holla at ya boy :aka`

  79. Whoa! I am so totally blown away by this blog!Yo Mark!Keith Anderson, one of those kids that always hung around back in the day here. I was a buddy of Ric Walljasper and a upper classman pal of Adam, Todd’s younger brother. I used to pester the heck out of you when you were giving tennis lessons at Blair Park. Rico and Rhino were both guitar and bass teachers of mine at Skip’s place as well. And I also lived right down from you on the corner of Colorado and Vine back in Urbana. Walljasper & I booked you guys at a fund raiser event at Urbana High back in ’76. And I bought the old E-V Sentry IVB PA speakers from you guys. So anyway, you got the idea!You guys were my total inspiration for playing back then. You all gave the time to us punks who wanted to cop a lick, or just shoot the bull. Rico taught me how to groove and be tasty on the bass, he was an excellent teacher. So good, that I’m still at it some 35 years later, still gigging a little. Just got tired of the load in, load out. I’ve got a entertaining page on myspace at: free to visit!(just cut and paste!)I have digitized my personally autographed copy of Tornado and will try to get them uploaded to gigsize (if I can) as soon as possible. Otherwise, I’d be happy to send them in zip files to anyone who ask at my email address which is:keithwah@aol.comBut I got to warn you, it is an exact duplicate of my album. I am a hardcore Ship fan, and I darn near wore the vinyl right off. It’s not horrible, or anything, Just kinda lost the guitar intro from Midnight Madness due to a nasty skip.I am having problems getting the Ruby Gulch file to download. I joined the free thing but it kept telling me the file had been deleted. If anyone can email me the zip file of the mp3’s I’d sure appreciate it. I sure remember hearing it on PGU that night at home. I could get Todd’s tunes to download fine, nice stuff! I’d love to have the original “demo” versions of Gwin and Your Backyard too! Don’t worry as long as they are MP3’s my email service will deliver it without fail.I recall one guitar lesson (pre-bassist days)I had with Rico where I had asked Ric to teach me to play the intro to “Your Backyard”. He told me, “well, you have to understand, that’s something Jim does, and well…I’m not sure he ever did it the same way twice.” But he gave me a reasonable version, and I was on my way.Perhaps, I’ll pop down to the Herring shindig. God knows I spent enough Friday and Saturday nights down there watching some amazing talent in the early to late 70’s. I was at the Red Lion reunion back in 2006 and had a ball. I’ve been up in Milwaukee for about 20 years working as a designer/construction manager for an pro audio-video company, so my day gig is sorta still in the industry.Todd, I know we had met once when Adam dragged me by the house to meet his “rock star” brother, I think I was in 9th grade and he was in 8th. He and I did some dopey school talent show things together. Good guy that Adam. Give him my best, please. Still can’t get used to seeing Rhino without the fro! Awesome he is out doing what he is doing!Take good care my friends!Keith Anderson

  80. many journeys take us to where we started out originally. i am glad your circumnavigating has brought you to our little corner of the neto-sphere. many are called , but few are chosen — living in the pools – we soon forget about the sea…sail on brother…may your journey take you where you belong.aka`

  81. Rich reports the Friday night party is open to everyone!

  82. Thx for leading me to this album I never heard of up to now. Since I love the stuff Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher did, I really liked what I heard, especially when I place it back in time. It may not be an outstanding brilliant album or a milestone in rock history, but it offers damn pleasant hour of listening. And Todd’s remarks on how it all happened make this post even better.

  83. Wow! What a way to spend a sunny winter afternoon in frigid Southwest Michigan . . . reading these posts! I am listening to Gwin as I write this. I just finished facilitating the transfer of a performance by The Ship at Ruby Gulch (Champaign, IL) in August 1974 from half-track tape to CD (tape courtesy of my WPGU colleague Tom Thomas and studio courtesy of Buckeye Dave Meredith). The concert was recorded by engineer Stu Toft and broadcast on WPGU-FM 107.1 Urbana, IL – a commercial station operated by University of Illinois students. I was privileged to be Music Director for two years 1974-1976. The 11 tracks at Ruby Gulch include In Your Backyard, Margaret, Take Me Down Easy, These Are the Hard Years of Your Life, Gambling Lane, Soft and Low It Gathers, Act Naturally (yes, the Beatles song!), Do You Believe in Magic? (yes, the Lovin’ Spoonful song), their #1 all-time hit IGA Jingle and I Am the Way. As soon as I can figure out how to upload them to, you can enjoy it all, too! Ed Sackley – Portage, MI –

  84. i don’t know. i had this as a vinyl back before i could drive. i always enjoyed it. many people i played it for loved it, and many thought it was a throwaway. i tend to lean more toward the former camp; there is some beautiful harmony, guitar and connective work here, and as i said, i rarely regret playing it, even though it doesn’t make it into the rotation that often.thanks, by the way, for your efforts in digitizing some of the interesting wax that will otherwise never make it to digitial collections.

  85. Jim Barton you dog! I was hoping somebody would drag you into this! OK, somebody find Rico and Jeff and Rhino! The party is on!The Ship with full complement of past and present would probably require a change of venue! I can’t imagine all the “Ship-aholics” could fit into the upstairs and downstairs combined! But I’ll be either place! You know, when you guys did Eric and my Urbana High benefit (which was actually a benefit to support the 1976 Democratic Mock Convention at the Assembly Hall), I was floored when I was walking with my favorite hottie teacher Lynn Bentley out the front door of UHS as you were walking up the front steps. She saw you ran over and gave you a righteous bear hug! I didn’t realize you were pals, but dude, you got so much cooler to me right then! Ha! What a doll she was (and I’m sure still is).Man, I love your voice! Always have and always will. I’ve sang Balboa and Lost Weekend doing solo shows over the years with wonderful responses from the audiences. I always introduced those songs as originally written and vocalized by the richest voice ever to grace the stage.Again, feel free to visit my myspace page to figure out who I am if you don’t recall, understandably it’s been a couple years now. On the cover of my myspace page is a picture taken back about the time we would have met. thank you so much for starting this thread, and thank you for allowing so many of us to take it over and run with it. You are a kind person! And I sure hope you are making travel plans for Champaign in April. I have seen these people play. It is amazing the magic that happens when any configuration of these guys assemble. Heck, at this point, I’d drive all night long through the driving rain and the freezin’ snow just to roll in my lover’s arms….to see The Ship.Again, wow, so good to hear from all of you. And so good to know we’re all kicking still.Keith Anderson

  86. Here’s 11 tracks recorded live at Ruby Gulch in August 1974 and performed by The Ship. Broadcast Engineer: Stu ToftGigaSize will keep this file online for at least 45 days from January 27, 2008. Enjoy!Ed

  87. Deb, thanks for your continued interest in “Tornado”. As Todd wrote on this blog last week, we’re working on it, but there are so many steps in getting a good product (both the CD and the website) that we’re being very methodical about it. I’m assuming it will be available in January, and we’ll certainly make an announcement on this blog (thanks, Aka!) to let everyone know. I can tell you this–the new digital mix is MUCH better than what you could hear on the original vinyl album. We’re also going to make available two other CD’s of never-released material from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The first will also probably be in the January timeframe. Stay tuned!–Steve Cowan

  88. Tom Thomas, who made sevreal posts to this site, passed away suddenly on Saturday, May 10, 2008. Tom was the keeper of the Ship’s Ruby Gulch WPGU broadcast tape from 1974 that many have you have enjoyed. Tom and I were in the audience for the reunion concert last month at the Herring. I am so happy Tom was there and that both of us had an opportunity to interact with the band, their families and fans.Ed SackleyWPGU 1972-1976

  89. I just got an e-mail from my Dad with a link to your blog. He had a copy of this album on cassette tape and would play it during every road trip in the family station wagon. I’m amazed and he is overjoyed to come across this. Does anyone know where I could buy a copy of the album for him? Thank you!!!

  90. OK I just have to chime in here (Todd’s sister and dedicated Ship groupie for all of my college years). I didn’t contribute a thing to the music; just hung around adoringly at most concerts and numerous parties. I remember Skip Paul’s theme parties – usually a blast. Sorry to hear he’s apparently gone now, but it sounds like you guys are all doing well. I’ve kept my eye on Billy Panda’s career and wondered what happened to the rest of you. So Jeff lives in Florida and doesn’t have email? Hmmm … gives me a mental image of a barefoot, bearded beach bum, which wouldn’t be too out of character with the easy going guy I remember. I’m making plans to come in for the reunion, from Maryland, and can’t wait to see everybody. (Don’t even get to see Todd very often.) My folks would love to see the Ship perform again, but are now in their mid-80s and the trip would probably be too much for Dad. So I hope somebody records it.

  91. I always believed that if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.The “tooth of a serpent” line was lifted from Shakespeare’s King Lear: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”The first time I ever heard the quote was back when I was around 14. I was having a snotty argument with my mother, and, thinking I had won, turned my back on her and started to walk away. She administered the Shakespeare coup de grâce, something I never forgot, and it seemed appropriate when I wrote Balboa.Keep using it with your kids…at the least it makes us seem well read! Thanks for asking,Jim

  92. Alrighty rock fans! Here is Tornado! again, keep in mind it is a digital copy of my vinyl. That means there are clicks, hisses, pops and the intro to Midnight Madness was unuseable so the song starts mildly abruptly when the vocals came in.It’s been through alot of moves, alot of women and a whole bunch of turntables over the past 30 years.Enjoy!Keith Anderson

  93. not really. see:

  94. Hmmmmm….what a fascinating thread to go with this blog. Admittedly I have not read it all yet, but was very happy to find this album. It should make both Todd and Steve happy to know I first heard a track from this album on the RADIO around the fall of 2004 on WFMU, a Northern New Jersey free form station on Tony Coulter’s program. I remember the day quite clearly. I had just had some surgery on my neck the night before and was in bed from being on massive amounts of pain killers, so I had plenty of opportunity to listen to the radio. I could listen to WFMU on the web and often enjoyed Coulter’s program. The opening track was wedged in between something fairly recent by The Red Krayola and the song <>La La Does The Boo Ru<> by Merrill Fankhauser. I did happen to have, as I usually did when hearing a radio show I like, a tape running. I am grateful to find this album after a long search.

  95. hey PLEASE i need this download, it says it has been deleted. i have been searching for this for years! please help me!!

  96. Thanks to Ak/Tom C. for consolidating and uploading our recent variety of music files. In the “Ship Extras” folder, please be advised that tracks 01 and 12 are NOT The Ship. 01 is Eat Your Radio by the All Star Frogs and Track 12 is the WPGU version of Aliota, Haynes & Jeremiah’s Lake Shore Drive. Both certainly fit right in for all of us who were listening to ‘PGU back then. Those two tracks just happened to be on the master tape that preserved the Ruby Gulch performance of The Ship in August 1974.Ed “Just Made My Reservation at the Newly Remodeled Urbana Motel 6” SackleyWPGU Music Director 1974-1976

  97. Thanks for providing this download. I own both of The Ship’s albums on vinyl and have often wished I had digitial versions of them. The second Ship album was titled “Tornado” and featured the song “Gwin” which received a lot of local air play.Just this morning I was reading a memorial by Rich Warren (Midnight Special) about Dan Fogelberg. Apparently Fogelberg was nearly a part of this group in the early 1970’s. I remember seeing The Ship live on several occasions while I was in high school and college in Champaign IL. I was also interested in the updates from Todd Bradshaw, bass guitarist. I took kayak lessons from Todd in a Champaign swimming pool and remember being in awe of this famous local musician.

  98. Joel, thanks for the invitation to Indy. I’m so glad our music had some influence in your life; that’s the type of comment that really means a lot to us, after all of these years.We probably won’t ever do the folk opera again live, for a couple of reasons. First, it would require a huge amount of rehearsal time, to do it justice. And second, any concert we do in the future would be with all of us, including the three guys who weren’t with the group when we were performing that.However, keep an eye out every few months on We’re going to try to compile collections of old (and new) songs and make them available to people, hopefully including a re-release of the two albums.We hope to play again in Illinois in the next year, which we’ll broadcast on this blog.Again, thanks for your interest and kind words.

  99. 52 comments & counting , whoo hoo_ no i had no idea of the can of worms i was opening up when i posted this LP. but i am glad that old friends are getting the hook up , as bob seger said once , “seeing old friends , good for the soul”.i hope you guys have great fun at the reunion thing , wish i could make it out ! i would get my record signed as well ~ you guys have a drink on me tho …i will keep my eyes peeled for the tornado lp , again if anyone has a spare clean copy , holla at ya boy !

  100. oh ya , norm from “sopwith camel” cordially asked me to take down thier two lp`s i was sharing as they were releasing the 2nd one , prob the debut again.hey , in my ignorance i just assume most of the bands here are lost never to be found , save these blogs. sure good to hear from them !aka`

  101. I just found this blog today and am very happy to see all of the comments about The Ship. I wrote The Ship with Steve Melshenker between December, 1970, and May, 1971. The remarkable thing is that we started writing it after we’d known each other for only three weeks, and we met almost every day for five months to complete it.My old friend, Todd Bradshaw, very well summarizes (above) how the music scene was in Champaign-Urbana in the early 1970’s. The Red Herring coffeehouse, which turned 40 years old last September, was the meeting place for many good songwriters. Writing songs was contagious–every day there would be two or three new songs to hear.Well, Melshenker had come up with this concept of writing an allegorical tale about a ship’s maiden voyage, and he asked me to write it with him. He’d completed about one verse of the first song, and I fell in love with the idea.Don’t have a lot of time now, but let me throw out a few tidbits of information–* We were both good friends of Dan Fogelberg and asked him to join us when we were about half done with the writing. He accepted but could never find time to meet with us. As we all know, bigger and better things awaited Dan. As it turned out, Steve and I were very fortunate that we asked Todd, Mark and Steve Reinwand (now Billy Panda) to join us.* Gary Usher, who had produced most of the Beach Boys and Birds albums and who grew up across the street from the Wilsons, loved the idea of a concept album. The chronology was that we signed with William Morris, and then one of our co-managers (Peter Berkow) was instrumental in getting us the Elektra contract. Elektra found Gary Usher, not the other way around. Gary died in about 1990.* The main reason we didn’t do more than one album with Elektra was that they were purchased by Warner Brothers and quickly dumped all but six of their groups. They kept The Doors, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, Bread and two others.* The whole idea behind the story of The Ship is that it’s a framework for any “first voyage” that the listener might take. That’s why there are no named characters in The Ship. We asked people to interpret the words in any way that worked for them.Should those of you who enjoy The Ship have any questions, please post them. I’ll be glad to answer. More later.

  102. This is startling. I Googled the ship album (without quotes, even) and found this post.I bought the album on base while stationed in Japan in 1972-1974. I liked it then, and upon hearing it again for the first time in 30+ years I still do. I was prowling through my vinyl (I still have it all) and noticed the record, so I thought I’d look on the ‘Net.Now I’m looking forward to January for the release!

  103. Heads up!There ain’t no room at the Inn! There are zero hotel rooms left in C-U area for this weekend! The closest place to stay (if you don’t have friends and relatives still in town) is Danville. And the rooms are all around $100 per night.Sadly, the event is on Mom’s Day weekend and everything is booked everywhere in C-U, Rantoul, Savoy and Tuscola.Bummer! No flasks of thunder with that drive! Oh well, I have been to and left the Herring without the parking lot cocktail lounge, at least once or twice I think.

  104. What a trip! Of course i remember all of you as we sold more copies of the Ship albums at Record Service than all the other venues combined. I had no idea there was going to be a Red Herring reunion and i still live here in good old Urbana-Champaign. In case you hadn’t heard we closed Record Service in 2004 as the music business crashed down on us, but it is all fond memories. I now work for the University managing Foellinger Auditorium and Lincoln Hall Theatre. Special shout-outs to Pete Berkow and Jim Barton and LesUrban, none of whom I have seen in over twenty years as well as all the original Ship guys. I too met Dan (that shy quiet guy)back in those days when I played with Bob Bloom and Fuzzy (Michael DeLisle) in “Bloom and Brownfield”. I will look for you all in April.Phil Strang

  105. Hey, Ed, thought I’d let you know that Rich hasn’t changed a bit, bless his heart. He’s remained one of my best friends down through the years, and I see him every January when he comes to visit his friends in California. Just a warning, though, if you’re coming in from Michigan for the Red Herring reunion–Rich will NOT be at the reunion on Saturday, April 12, but plans to be there on the Friday and Sunday of that weekend. He has a live folk music show on WFMT in Chicago on many Saturdays.

  106. Keith, I played with Mark in the original version of The Ship, but I don’t recall if we ever met. First of all, I’m stunned that The Ship album brings $25 on ebay! (Mark, what did Elektra press–about 25,000 copies?) $25 is about what each of us got from making that album. Actually, I think we each received about a dozen copies and the message from Elektra, “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”So when’s the last time you saw Appaloosa? I was in that band as well, in 1975, and had an absolute blast. (Talk about playing for little money, we did one gig where we each received five tee-shirts!) I’ve stayed in close touch with Les Urban all these years, who coincidentally now lives in the town where Mark and Steve Reinwand grew up, and he’s going to be at the reunion at the Herring in April as well.Les owns an insurance agency but still plays steel in a band called The White Saddle Band. Bunch of old guys who still sound darn good and know about every country song ever written. I see him every couple of years when I visit Illinois from California.I look forward to meeting you at the reunion, if you can make it. Please look me up.This blog has turned into a reunion of and by itself. Thanks, Aka!!

  107. Good news! I heard from Ron Cannon and he has a few rooms squirreled away yet. But call fast they will fill up quickly! And they gave me the room at the new luxury joint for $69 not the $99 Ron thought. The info he sent is below:Keith,Apparently the Motel was only recently converted to a Motel 6. Here are the details again. I checked the phone number and it is in the local phone book yellow pages so keep trying. I doubt that anyone else from the Red Herring bunch hads booked any of the rooms so don’t panic…Motel 6Urbana, 217-344-1085Newly remodeled, LCD TVs, new “memory foam” beds$99.99 night2 double beds or 1 King bed3 miles north east from CMFI-74 exit 184 (Cunningham Avenue)10 rooms reserved, 6 2 beds and 4 kingConfirmation number “1001” (computer not up yet)Reservation made 2-16-08 with “Vi”Group Name: Red Herring Music FestivalorArcola Comfort Inn800-521-2121$56 – $72 continental breakfastIndoor Pool2 beds30 – 35 miles south from CMF10 rooms reserveredConfirmation number “8771 6878”Reservation made 2-16-08There is also a Bed and Breakfast that has tentatively told us about a cancellation of a suite that is not confirmed yet.$165 for 2 double beds and breakfast. Which if you have a bigger party is very affordable considering breakfast can easily cost you $40 for 4 people.

  108. Yep, Ric or Eric, d.b.a your paperboy. I had spaced out how it was he had known you. HA! I remember the story well now. I think he told it to me about 5 times on our way to and from a Joni Mitchell concert alone. No idea exactly where he is, I thought he went into graphic art design. I seem to remember him to be pretty handy with a sketch book. I’ll have to google him, it’s how I found this blog. I lost touch with alot of good friends when I spent from ’79-88 on the road playing. I still hear from old C-U bandmates, but guys I went to school with not so much. The musical bond was a bit thicker. Honor amoungst thieves. You can actually find both Ship albums on ebay usually. They actually command a pretty penny on the collector market, or at least the dealer sells them for more than you might think. That is where I recently retrieved a near mint copy of the first record. I paid almost $25 including shipping. And I think I paid Phil Strang at Record Service $2.99 for it new. I’ve seen Tornado going for between $5-20 as well.So if you threw out boxes of old copies, it might have been like tossing out a Nolan Ryan rookie card, almost.Yeah, if you’re coming in from Seattle in April, I’m gonna have to make the road trip down.Hey if I can drive 4 hours to see Slink Rand (sorry, but I’m trying to be honest) and Appaloosa (sadly,without wildman Les Urban on steel), I can sure as heck drive 4 hours to see somebody I liked!Again, thanks for the trip down alzheimer’s lane! Keith Anderson

  109. hey all !well , i finally got around to finishing my ship tribute song : its kinda cheesy , but i hope u enjoy it 🙂this one is dedicated to Tom Thomas – RIPall instruments , composition , recording :tom c. [ akashaman][ this one is dedicated to all the shipmates , past & present ]its been so long , since i saw your facei can still remember the timei can still remember the placewe went by the name of the shipwe sailed into the distant beyondswandering through the waters of lifewho wouldnt like to take off & sail away ?who wouldnt like to take off & sail away ?we used to meet up back at charlettes web ,where life was easier & people caredabout what was right & what was wrongwe didnt care , we had our songwe played all night , `til the break of dawn [ we played all night ]we played all night , `til the break of dawn [ we played all night ]where did all the precious little time go away ?we look back & remember `bout those yesterdaysall the good ol` friends , i remember whenwhy cant we keep in touch anymore , i just dont understandi was looking through my email this morning [ just a bit ago ]you just wouldnt believe [ i had to read it twice ]old ghosts from days gone past , talkin` `bout old memorieshe said someone shared our songs on a music blogmany loved the tunes they did sayi can still recall when we shared those timesnow life it gets in the wayso good to hear from my friendsits so good to hear from my friendsits so good to hear from my friendsits so good , its so good to hear from my friends.we used to meet up back at charlettes web ,wher life was easier & people caredabout what was right & what was wrongwe didnt care , we had our songwe played all night , `til the break of dawn [ we played all night ]we played all night , `til the break of dawn [ we played all night ]download : [ copy & paste each line into browser 🙂 ]`if you cant get file email me @akashaman@live.comi`ll send it to you , np.

  110. Tom, it was really great meeting you at the concert Saturday night. All of us had a wonderful time playing for the crowd; the reaction was overwhelming to us. We had two days to rehearse the 19 songs we did, and you could probably tell we were having a hard time adjusting to the sound from the monitors, but all in all we felt the show got better as it went along.We’re going to have to see how the future plays out as far as more concerts. The eight of us are spread all over the country and have daytime jobs and families, but we also have a desire to keep writing and playing together somehow.Keep an eye on for new CD’s available and announcements regarding future concerts. And be sure to always contact us if we play near you again.To the anonymous contributor on April 15, I’m very glad you enjoy the first album and have a couple of the original vinyls. I only have three of them myself! Tell us where you’re from and how long ago you came across the albums. Thanks.

  111. I love, love, love “Gwin”! I attended C-U in the early 80’s, and my cure for insomnia was to call & harass the poor late-night DJ into playing it for me – even if it had already been played that night. No one I know has ever heard of that song – I thought I imagined it. Thank you so much for bringing this music back to me! That was by far the best .99 I’ve ever spent on itunes 🙂

  112. Jim…I have forwarded your message about “Gwin” on to Mark Hamby, who wrote that beautiful song. I know he will very much appreciate your kind words. Although as songwriters and musicians we are always very pleased when we reach the masses with our songs, we are most gratified and touched when we hear from individuals. I’m glad you and your wife were able to share such a special song. Best to you. Steve Cowan.

  113. Phil, good to hear from you. Wanted you to know that Les will definitely be there at the Red Herring reunion weekend. I played in Appaloosa with him after I left The Ship. And I haven’t thought of Bloom & Brownfield (or Fuzzy) in over 25 years! Come see us that weekend.

  114. First to Tom, thanks so much for the heads-up on Dan’s song, “Sometimes A Song.” I downloaded it last night and was blown away to hear my dear friend again. What a lovely song!And to Lisa, it will be good to see you again. I remember your parents well. They let me stay in your home for a couple weeks immediately after returning from L.A. when we recorded the album in 1972.And finally to the recent anonymous poster on this blog, I’m so glad you were able to get a little inspiration from the words of The Ship. Melshenker and I were both living through our own angst-filled journeys when we wrote the opera (at ages 23 and 21), and our whole intent (and the reason for much rewriting) was to open up the journey for everyone to experience. In fact, we totally rewrote “Lost” when we decided the original was too personal and not ambiguous enough. I hope you can find a good copy of the album so you can experience the journey again and compare it with “real” life.

  115. Hey Steve!Yes, we met at Ax in Hand once, Skip introduced us. It was after you had left The Ship. I don’t recall if you still lived in town or were just visiting. You might have been in there visiting Rhino or something. The version of Appaloosa I recall best was the one that played a duo-headlining show at the U of I Auditorium in maybe ’75 or ’76 with the Tornado era Ship. Would you have been playing that show? The version of Appaloosa I most recently saw in ’06 at the Red Lion Reunion was prett much the “Urban Cowboy” version. Still a great band.But of course, since now I’m going to want to get the original The Ship album signed by as many as possible. It’ll go great with Tornado.And speaking of value check out this link:$29.99, sold American! Of course there was another copy going for $5 too. It’s the thought that counts!Mark! Google, and you shall receive! Eric will be joining the blog shortly! He is a graphic designer. I still have The Ship t-shirt he made back in ’76. It’s actually partially viewable on one of my slide shows on my myspace page. I kinda need a new one, the old one hasn’t fit for a few years now. Maybe it’s time for a The Ship webpage! Todd may have been onto something. You guys gotta get the band back together! Well, at least for a good 18 year scotch.Keith Anderson

  116. For anyone interested, another CD of never before released songs by The Ship (written by Cowan, Melshenker, Hamby, Panda, Bradshaw and Barton) has been released and is available through CD Baby. It’s called “Left In The Wake.” We’re all very proud of it and hope you like it too.Check out the samples at, or go direct to!Jim

  117. I grew up listening to this from my hippie dad’s collection (U of MN – Duluth). He had it on tape and it accompanied us on many a family trip. He recently burned it onto a CD for me so that I can enjoy it with my family. He actually forwarded me a link to this blog (he still loves the music!).

  118. Ok so I am the last one to find this one. Any chance to listen with a reup of the orginal. The new ones on cd baby sound great. the current link is dead and maybe by request so if not possible thanks anyway.

  119. wow , more folks are coming out of the woodwork.i say we all reunite & set sail for st. somewhere. [ thanks jimmy ]i love reading all the stories 1thanks all.i re-uploaded the LP with all the bonus trax that other folks have shared , you know who you are.enjoy !tom c. / dallas

  120. Hey Rico…great to hear from you. Where are you living now? And are you playing much anymore? Any plans to join us for the Red Herring reunion?About Skip, I’d like to get in touch with him if possible, just to say hello and fill him in about the Red Herring thing. If you have his email address, please send it to me at:steve@quartetsystems.comTake care, buddy.

  121. hey todd !thanks so much for your comment & info , the world is indeed getting , i had no idea you guys actually played this epic LIVE , that`s crazy.i assumed it was a one off conceptual studio piece. i bet that was fun , for the first couple shows , lol.the more i hear this , the more i love it. ther is alot goin on & usher was a great producer. i have alot of his stuff , his earlier `67-68 stuff being my fave.but wow , i cant believe u found this , haha.what have you been up to in the interim , & how are the other guys doin ? still playing some ? i love the bass on this ship project , btw ; very smooth & melodic.hope all is well & thanks so much for the music & comments !aka`

  122. Hi, Todd and Mark! So glad to hear from you both.….yeah, Mark you were on the list too. Except you always had some georgeous girlfriend around. Barton was on the list, too, and Skip, tho he was a little too “growed up” for me. But not Melshenker: he always intimidated the crap out of me. I figure I had good taste in men, or I was pretty indescriminate! I prefer to think it was the first.Anyway, the crushing gave me good practice. When I met the love of my life we made it 31 years, (29 of them married), until he passed away this April.Enough of this lovefest…the other bloggers are probably soooo bored. Would love to hear from you via email…Kerry

  123. Hi to all. As the final member to join the band (some might call me “the last straw”) I can only offer a little to the discussion. I was just the bass player, after all, and a replacement one at that. Jim sent me this site yesterday and we both marveled at the interest people have shown, although with my post we’re risking that band members outnumber fans here. Like Jim, it brought back great memories from that band, and of course, “the older I get, the better I was.” I can’t believe Steve remembers my broken finger. I played my first 6 weeks of gigs in the band with a splint on my left hand pinky. An omen?Thanks to Keith Anderson for the kind words about your learning experiences at the guitar store. It was a hangout for quite a menagerie of folks drawn to Skip’s charm and entertaining ways. To Steve’s question about Skip, although he’s apparently in poor health, he’s living in Iowa near his sister who teaches piano or voice at a small college. I talked to Jeff recently and he’s doing well, living in Florida and has continued to play throughout the years. We actually do “talk” occasionally because he’s not connected to the internet. Maybe this thread will convince him to try it. It’s really been fun for me to read everybody’s stories and memories and it all reminded me of one of Mark’s songs that we played late in the life of the band. Somewhat like Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” it was a song about reminiscing called “Down at Delmonico’s.” I think about it at times like this and I can remember the music but some of the lyrics escape me. I’m sure Mark knows. More later. Gotta go. Rick Frank (Rico)-The Ship ’75-’77

  124. Very kind of you (and so quickly). Getting it now. Thanks

  125. The other day, I uploaded my “The Ship Live at Ruby Gulch August 1974” tracks to GigaSize. Some observant fans noted that the MP3 files were tagged as Tracks 2-11. “Where is Track #1?” they asked. Well, that track was actually The All Star Frogs featuring Duke Tumatoe performing Eat Your Radio, another popular WPGU tune. Following track 11 are Tracks 12-17. Track 12 is Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah’s custom WPGU version of Lake Shore Drive. Tracks 13-17 are studio tracks from The Ship, including the Ax in Hand Jingle (“Don’t hesitate to make a date with Skip who knows the scoop!”) In the interest of full disclosure, I’m uploading the rest of the tracks to GigaSize. Follow this link and enjoy them all. assured that all of these tracks will delight that aging grey matter between your ears. And while I’m at it, thanks so much to Todd and Steve for adding such a personal element to this blog in recent days. And thanks to Steve for posting info on the Red Herring 40th anniversary reunion on April 11th. I haven’t seen Rich Warren in 30 years. That’s reason enough to make the drive from Kalamazoo!Ed SackleyWPGU Music Director

  126. and the saga continues…so doesn anyone have a copy of the second ship lp , tornado ? sure would love to post it here.let me know …aka“

  127. Anonymous, I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the early days of The Ship. The people who surrounded us were as big a reason for our success as anything. So, who are you? Tell us how you knew us originally.

  128. Since Rich will be hosting the Friday night concerts at the Red Herring that weekend, there IS NO PARTY. It was only a rumor to begin with–maybe wishful thinking–but Rich belongs on the Herring stage!

  129. Todd Bradshaw, how the heck are you? Love everything you’ve said about those years in The Ship, although Melshenker and I left before your van hit the cow. I do recall fondly the days of elmundo perverto theatre and street surfin’ in South Dakota. God, we were half crazy then and we weren’t even stoned. Remember driving through Mississippi on the way to the Big Easy and stopping in that roadside diner for lunch? Good thing you were big or we wouldn’t have gotten out of there alive, I believe.For those of you from Illinois, and especially you, Todd, there’s a Red Herring 40th reunion the weekend of April 11 in Champaign-Urbana. Check out:…if you haven’t heard about it. I’m planning on making it back from California, and I know Linn and Les Urban will be there. I also think Mark will try to make it, as will Elliott Delman. Over the last couple of years I’ve been in touch with Peter Swinnerton (now Peter Spring), Thom Bishop, Peter Berkow, Linn, Rocky Maffitt and a few others. It would be great to see half of those people at the Herring. I’m trying to find my calluses and voice again.Very sad about Fogelberg. Elliott was in close contact with him over the years, but I last visited him in about 1992. Still, I miss him very much.And by the way, talked to Utah Phillips last year, and he said Kuddy was painting his house at that moment. Still alive and kicking.Best to your parents for me; I still remember them well. And best to you, my friend. We had some good times together.Reach me at my email address– to everyone else reading this for putting up with the cyber-reunion of two old (and I mean old) friends.

  130. I grew up in Champaign. I’d forgotten about the Red Herring; dunno if I ever went there. But the Ship (second version) played my hi-skool prom, and I would have liked to have the final cut of the first album for Commencement: “Though the land is near / I know the journey’s just begun.”I’m tickled to find a digital copy of the album, because mine has a horrible gouge in “The Storm”. I guess I didn’t realize at age 12 or so that one could return defective goods for credit.

  131. Keith…I was, indeed, in Appaloosa at the time of that concert–the fall of 1975, and I remember the concert well. We were use to stages about the size of the one at Ruby Gulch, where we had to cram six guys and all of our equipment onto a stage the size of a mid-sized bathroom, so we were lost at first on such a big stage. That concert featured our new lead singer, David (who I heard passed away in the mid-1990’s), and a bunch of new songs we’d just worked up. We loved doing “Orange Blossom Special” that night because we didn’t have to worry about playing too loud. That was a great place to play.Anyway, it was really a good night for me because we got to join The Ship in a concert, two years after I’d left the group. Then we got together the next day with the guys in The Ship for some laughs and a rousing game of touch football, in which Rick Frank broke his finger, I believe. Mark probably remembers that day.I’d be glad to sign the album if you bring it down to the Herring during the reunion. My God, The Ship at $29.99!! Should be seeing those royalty checks any day now.Take care, and thanks for remembering those old days.Anyone know where Skip Paul is now? Is he still with us?

  132. Hi, Bobby Carlin was my younger brother and a pretty good drummer. I first saw The Ship at the U of I union in Nov 72, I was sitting about three rows behind the guy with the tape recorder. I still have reel to reel tapes of that concert that were cleaned up and enhanced somewhat at Michael Days studio in C-U. I guess I am going to have to get my r2r back out and listen to it again, also have some original studio stuff that Bobby did with Harry Chapin. Sure would be interested in obtaining a copy of Tornado.

  133. FYI pristine digital copies of The Ship: A Folk Music Journey can be downloaded from iTunes for a mere $9.99. We’re still waiting on Elektra/Rhyno to release the CD.

    Also be sure to check out our live radio performance this Saturday June 6, 8PM Central, on WFMT-FM Chicago. The program is called “Folk Stage” hosted by the legendary Rich Warren, and can be heard streaming at or on iTunes radio.

    All the best,

    Jim Barton
    The Ship

  134. I was one of those girls around The Red Herring back in 1971 and I remember when the original “The Ship” was “scribbles in a notebook”. I looked at the new album on CD Baby – some of those song names ring bells!! “Like A Thief”, “Slippin Away From You”, “White Wine”. Hey! I still have my notebook with my notes from the Fall Folk Festival of 1971 and I just took a look at it! What fun! I love this acoustic sound still and am really looking forward to hearing this….!!

  135. I just found this blog yesterday and had a blast from the past. Things I remember:* Driving Kuddie’s stick shift car (a yellow Maverick?) with Maryann S. and following the DesPlaines River while Kuddie and Todd paddled in a canoe race. It was a miracle the clutch lasted through the day.* When Reinwand and Hamby performed as a duo.* Cracking my head open on the gym floor during the Pigs/Freaks basketball game; going for stitches; and then going to the party afterward. Steve R. played a song called “Listen to the Music” which was stolen and aired on East Coast radio a few months later. What a bummer that was.* Sitting in Steve C.’s room upstairs at the Herring while he and Steve M. edited lyrics on The Ship opera.* Drinking tequila shots with three others (Steve R. was one, can’t remember the other two) and halfway throught the second bottle we all got deathly sick within minutes of each other. We were running out of places with drains! Todd bailed us out, and He Was Not Amused!* Trying to learn how to Eskimo Roll in a U of I pool, and losing a contact lens in the process.* Watching The Ship perform on New Year’s Eve 1973 in Chicago. Then having breakfast in a fancy high rise on the Lake Michigan later on in the night.* Being with four other people digging deep for a Quarter so we could buy another pitcher of beer at Treno’s.* Remembering Bugman, Murphy (Bill? he married Jeri/Bridget McG.); that coffee was 5 cents/cup at the Herring; that Kuddie painted Indian symbols on the coffee house wall.* That a bunch of us spent an allnighter at Skip’s house playing Hinky Pinky. And riding in Skips old Mercedes sports car. I saw Skip about 15 years ago at Axe in Hand when I visited CU. He was still in the Thunderbird complex, only in a different shop. He remembered me eventually when I told him the Hinky Pinky story.I visited CU last September and was gratified to see that the Herring had not been turned into a parking lot! Wish I had known about the reunion…hope to go to the next one.Do any of you remember me? I had crushes on most of you at one time or another…the biggest on Todd.Hey Todd, you look good with grey hair. Say hi to your Mom and Dad. They were always sweet to me. And hi to Lisa, another Leeman Lodge Lovely.I may have gotten a degree in Chem Eng at U of I, but you guys all provided me an education in Music Appreciation. And I am forever grateful for that.Reheaded

  136. re upping now ~


  137. hey all :sorry to hear that TT passed , we hope he is sailing along nicely over there..:)i have been out of pocket of late , have moved , etc. been crazy here.did managed to upload new link for you kids tho. this includes all the extras @ 150 MB !enjoy aka`

  138. i need help, when i press on the link to download it takes me to a place to UPLOAD.i must be retarded, but i NEED this download, i have searched for it for years!! please help…

  139. ha , ya good luck getting through the whole thread in one sitting !
    added another link : for yaz


  140. hey anton , bill , all;wow , ya i wouldnt have realized this lp made such an impact save for your comments , thanks for that. should have known tho ..did you guys read the bass players posts here !?sure shares some great info…i have had at least i can think of off the top of my head , 3 different bands or band members comment at this blog. most very positive … small world eh ?keep on spinnin aka`

  141. ¡alegre usted nos encontró, espera que usted disfruta de las transferencias directas! roca encendido

  142. December 3, 2009 – The Ship releases its first new song in 33 years —
    “All Come Home” by James Barton — as a free holiday download. Joined
    by Jim’s daughter Nora Barton on cello, Ship members contributed tracks
    from their respective homes in Philadelphia, Nashville, Madison,
    Mountain View, and Seattle – with Jim handling… the final mix in his
    home studio. We wish you all the joys of the holidays; may you all come

  143. Hy!
    I’m Madocsai András, & I live in Hungarian. I have been seeking The Ship:Contemporary Folk for 30 years…& I would ask You to send Me it in Mp3, or in others file

    Thank You in advance!!!!!

  144. Hy!
    I’m Madocsai András, & I live in Hungarian. I have been seeking The Ship:Contemporary Folk for 30 years…& I would ask You to send Me it in Mp3, or in others file

    Thank You in advance!!!!!

  145. Hy!
    I’m Madocsai András, & I live in Hungarian. I have been seeking The Ship:Contemporary Folk for 30 years…& I would ask You to send Me it in Mp3, or in others file

    Thank You in advance!!!!!

  146. can anybody send Me The Ship:The Contemporary Folk album in Mp3 or in others file????

    Thank You in advance

    (I have been seeking it 30 years, & I live in Hungary, in Budapest

  147. You can purchase “The Ship: A Contemporary Folk Music Journey” on CD for $10.98 at; or MP3 download at iTunes for a whopping $7.59.

    Thanks for your interest, and we hope you enjoy the music!

    Jim Barton for The Ship

  148. I first heard “The Ship” in 1973. I was in the Army band at the Army element school of music in Norfolk, Va. We all sat around and learned this album on our guitars. When my best friend, George Lewis Joseph III left the Army a couple of weeks before me, I gave him the album because he loved it so much. (I think because ofthe song “The Man” as he was from Tennessee. I spent the next 33 years trying to find it. Finally got it from Rhapsody. But it has 2 second gaps in it between song. Really kind of ruins it. Glad to see I can buy it in CD.
    As many of you know, this album has nothing at all to do with an ocean voyage. It is a voyage of life, in whatever you do in life. And part of my journey is over after finding this great album.

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