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About The Schramms

Melding pop, folk-rock, and alt-country sounds with quirky wit and a keen intelligence, the Schramms were the brainchild of gifted guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Dave Schramm, who debuted the group in 1987. Schramm, who had previously played with Human Switchboard and Jon Klages, left Yo La Tengo in 1986, following the release of their debut album, Ride the Tiger, and he soon began working up material with fellow Human Switchboard alumnus Ron Metz and drums and bassist Terry Karydes, who had played in an embryonic version of Yo La Tengo. After Karydes' bass was stolen, she moved over to keyboards, and Mike Lewis, another former member of Yo La Tengo, took over on bass, with guitarist Todd Novak and sax player Pete Linzell filling out the lineup. The band dubbed themselves the Walking Wounded and lined up a short tour only to discover a group in California was already using that name; as a joke, the band billed themselves as the Schramms for the duration of the tour, only to discover the name stuck. They opted to keep the moniker. The pocket-sized independent label OKra Records invited the Schramms to record an album, and they released Walk to Delphi in 1989. However, OKra's distributor, Rough Trade, went out of business a matter of weeks after the album came out, effectively stalling its release in the States. To the band's good fortune, the Schramms developed a strong following in Germany, and the European label Normal Records signed on to release the second Schramms album, Rock, Paper, Scissors, Dynamite, in 1992. By this time, Lewis, Novak, and Linzell had bowed out of the band; Al Greller signed on as the new bassist, and Schramm opted to go on without a sax or second guitarist. In 1993, Karydes also left the band, with George Usher taking over on keyboards; this edition of the Schramms recorded two albums, 1994's Little Apocalypse and 1996's Dizzy Spell. (Little Apocalypse was released in the United States by East Side Digital, who the following year reissued Walk to Delphi and gave Rock, Paper, Scissors, Dynamite its belated American debut; Dizzy Spell was distributed by the fledgling alt-country label Checkered Past.) In 2000, the Schramms returned to the recording studio with another new lineup -- Andy Burton joined as keyboard player after the departure of Usher, and a second guitarist, Jon Graboff, who had often guested with the group, signed on full-time. 100 Questions was the Schramms's first album which was not self-produced; J.D. Foster oversaw the sessions, and Syd Straw, Richard Buckner, and Jeb Loy Nichols contributed guest vocals. ~ Mark Deming