Glass Hammer: A Band Inspired by Tolkien - A Report from Dragon*Con 2000

One of the serendipitous events I had this past weekend at Dragon*Con was meeting the guys from the band Glass Hammer. Not just another run-of-the-mill, "we wanna be rock stars" band, Glass Hammer is a labor of love for these already successful musicians. The two forming members of the band, Steve Babb and Fred Schendel, are a couple of great guys and dedicated Tolkien fans who find much of their inspiration in the Good Professor's imagination.

A quick bio: Steve Babb and Fred Schendel formed Glass Hammer in 1992 after many years in the music industry already. They decided to get together and do something just because they wanted to "do" it--not to publish it solely for commercial success, not to meet a contract for a recording company, but just because they felt in their heart they wanted to do it, and to heck with whatever anyone thought. What came out in 1993 was the concept album "Journey of the Dunadan" based on the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since then, they've released "Perelandra," "Live and Revived," "On to Evermore," and "Chronometree."

Ok, now to the meaty stuff. In the panel discussion at Dragon*Con, Steve and Fred allowed us to listen to an upcoming track from a new concept album tentatively titled "Live in Middle-earth." The title means what it says. Glass Hammer asked themselves what pub and tavern music in Middle-earth might sound like, and I think they've hit the mark... complete with barroom sounds and some rowdy patrons jeering and cheering. In the one track we heard, it sounded like the album will be a lot of fun. They're shooting for a fall 2000 release, so keep your ears pricked and your eyes keen--It's gonna be an album plenty of us will love.

Go to http://www.glasshammer.com for all the information on the band you could want (in addition to ordering all their CDs).

A final note: I will be putting up the Sunday Glass Hammer panel session soon at the Tolkien DragonCon 2000 Audio Update page.

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