The Patriot-News -- Weekend Section
Harrisburg, PA
Friday, December 19, 1997


Details: Music Lover's Fest II at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster Tuesday
features Suddenly, Tammy!, Cherry Twister and Charming Hostess.  Doors open
at 8:30 p.m.  The cover is $5 for this all ages/21 and over show.  For more
information call (717) 299-9684.


Suddenly, Tammy! Looking Ahead to Chameleon Show
by Barry Fox (of the Patriot-News)

It's been two years since the last Suddenly, Tammy! album and the story
behind the next one from the Lancaster trio could be an episode for "This
Old House."

Using "The ChurchBox" studio in Columbia -- owned by drummer Jay Sorrentino
and bassist Ken Heitmueller -- to record their second album for Warner Bros.
Records, the band ran into some unusual delays.

"It took a little longer then we originally intended," said vocalist/pianist
Beth Sorrentino from her mother's house in Lancaster.  "we ran into some
problems other bands don't have.  Like sound proofing the church, we had to
build shutters for all the windows, and build a booth for the [sound] board."

The studio was originally in Heitmueller's basement and dubbed "The CatBox"
because of the nine felines in residence.  It has since been moved, and 
expanded, to an old gothic-looking church on the banks of the Susquehanna
River.

Once construction and recording was completed the album was first mixed at a
studio in Hartford, Conn. but was not to everyone's liking.  A second mixing
session was done in Los Angeles with producer Jim Scott, who has worked with
Tom Petty among others.  That, apparently, was the right mix.

The Los Angeles trip "was a really good experience," Beth Sorrentino said.
"It was worth the wait."

Now the Sorrentino siblings and Heitmueller are putting the finishing touches
on the still untitled disc, set for release in late spring or early summer.

Beth Sorrentino described the new collection of songs as "very sparse as far
as orchestration and over-dubs.  It comes across as very organic and clear.
It's a good blend of simple piano and vocal songs, poppy songs and more
complicated band songs."

She also revealed that some additional keyboards and horns were added to the 
usual piano, bass, drum Suddenly, Tammmy! mix.

After a series of self-produced and indie label successes, Suddenly, Tammy!
chose to sign on with Warner Bros. four years ago because of its "tradition
of artistic freedom," Beth Sorrentino said at the time.  That tradition has
continued through their first W.B. release "We Get There When We Do" and
their current work.

The choice of studio and the mixing makeover were essentially in the band's
hands, Beth Sorrentino said.  Pressure from label honchos about where the
work was done, album content or the speed of the project was not a factor,
she said.

Following their own creative path has been standard procedure since the
Hempfield High School grads formed Suddenly, Tammy! in 1989.

Two years later the trio produced its own four-song EP "Spokesmodel" in the
then four-track "CatBox" studio, hand coloring the cassette covers and
delivering them to area stores.  A second EP "El Presidente" was produced by
the Boston-based team of Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie, whose previous clients
included Hole and Dinosaur Jr.

The band's first full-length album, "Suddenly, Tammy!," was done under the
auspices of New York indie label "spinArt," home to Lotion and The
Dambuilders.  At the same time "The CatBox" had grown to a full-fledged
studio and recording site for Velocity Girl, Tsunami and Lilys.

By mid-1993 Suddenly, Tammy! was a secret no more -- radio play on stations
throughout the Northeast led to a national tour opening for The London Suede,
a slew of media coverage including MTV News and eventually that Warner Bros.
deal.

Beth Sorrentino said she and her partners are looking forward to the 
Chameleon show because of the anticipated big holiday crowd of familiar faces
and the rare chance to play live.

"We haven't had a lot of time to do a lot of shows in a row," she said.  
"We've been so engrossed in the record process... We plan to go out in the 
spring and do some colleges, that's where our audience is a lot of the time."

If this new album continues the upward mobility of Suddenly, Tammy! colleges
will be just a part of their audience and "The ChurchBox" could be looking
at another face-lift.