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Uncle Sally | Made in America

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Rock: Grunge Rock: Album Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Made in America

by Uncle Sally

Hard rock genre.., Slick harmonies, fat rhythms, well written and produced guitar oriented material dominate this 28 song discography. Similar vocal style has been compared to Alice- n- Chains on some tracks from this Tampa Florida band. Try it!
Genre: Rock: Grunge
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. U.S. Blues
4:34 $0.99
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2. Take Me Away from This Evil
4:31 $0.99
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3. World of Hurt
4:04 $0.99
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4. My Friend Pain
4:09 $0.99
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5. Nothing to Lose
4:36 $0.99
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6. Borrowed Time
5:03 $0.99
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7. Father Forgive Me
6:35 $0.99
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8. Women of the World
3:55 $0.99
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9. She Gives Me Everything
4:34 $0.99
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10. Sail On
6:57 $0.99
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11. Trouble on Easy Street
4:58 $0.99
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12. Living Dangerously
4:03 $0.99
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13. White Lies
3:59 $0.99
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14. Cripple Me
4:36 $0.99
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15. Times Are Rough
4:44 $0.99
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16. That's Not All
3:43 $0.99
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17. Last Night
3:52 $0.99
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18. One Size Fits All
4:24 $0.99
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19. Come on and Ride
4:37 $0.99
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20. Going Down
3:22 $0.99
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21. Rain
5:22 $0.99
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22. Escalator
5:00 $0.99
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23. Made in America
5:47 $0.99
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24. Evil Original Demo
4:31 $0.99
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25. The Tony Wise Years
0:11 album only
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26. Knuckles
4:03 $0.99
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27. Yuppie Puppy
4:44 $0.99
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28. Line of Fire
4:18 $0.99
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29. Cold Reaction
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Before the Digital Recording Revolution, bands had to stand on their own merit. From a time when things were not handed to you on a silver platter, Uncle Sally embodied the very essence of the saying "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." From 1987-1995 the group traversed the Florida club circuit churning out self-written, financed and produced American made compositions, setting themselves apart from their regional counterparts. This masterfully produced ensemble of audio material documents the struggle of four individuals sharing the hard knocks - making their mark in the unforgiving world of the music business. There were no handouts, no free lunch or rich Uncle, and this 28-song discography is the legacy that remains to preserve their sound for future generations.

This collection of music comprises the very best of Uncle Sally and was created on 2-inch tape machines, when bands were largely confined to utilizing only 24 tracks for their recordings. Each song has since been transferred from its original master tape and re-mastered to ensure the highest fidelity and preservation of its original sound integrity possible. You are listening to the cleanest versions of this material that exist. The songwriting credits are as stated, however, make no mistake, each band member leaves his own stamp on their individual part. It's not critically important to know where they are from or even when this music was recorded. What matters most is what transgresses through the drums and bass, big sounding rhythms and penetrating vocal lines demonstrating that this is no ordinary rock band. So for those who may have missed it the first time around, this is Uncle Sally “Made in America,” and herein lies the music’s back-story…

In the fall of 1987 Jeff Dyer sought to create an all-original band enlisting the help of former Thorndier band vocalist Billy Johnson, drummer Kenny Martinez, bassist JD and guitarist Doc Lovett (best known for his work with former Roxx Gang vocalist - Kevin Steele's The Mojo Gurus). It was on the heels of Guns-n-Roses “Appetite for Destruction” that brought about the idea of forming an original act that would lend itself heavily in blues and groove with an attitude. Dyer, an established local solo artist had recently tapped into backyard celebrity status with his newly released “One Night Stand" music video- receiving daily airplay on Tampa Bay’s 24-hour music television channel V-32. With no inclination to carry the lead vocal duties, Jeff's intention for this new project was to be the lead guitarist.

Billy Johnson was responsible for bringing the Uncle Sally band name to the table. The name was a knock-off of Aerosmith's “Uncle Salty”, however it also appears to have had some roots in 1950's German television and a play titled "Meet Uncle Sally” written by Jay Tobias in 1930. The name had no other known meaning or significance other than it sounded cool and fit the creative vision of Dyer's cigar smoking wolf mascot band logo idea. Airbrush artist Hal Loo originally drew the patented logo commissioned by Dyer in the early part of 1988.

The new merger of players casually agreed that “what comes to the band, stays with the band” regardless of who might stay or go in the band. As Dyer began to introduce new song material, Johnson was summoned to write lyrics for the music. After several weeks with little progress, Billy and the band decided to part ways. He was soon replaced by lead vocalist Tony Wise, who possessed a vocal range that could shatter glass from 20 feet away. Dyer had previously worked with Tony in a heavy metal cover band (Hustler) a few years earlier. With Johnson's departure, the remaining Thorndier members also began to bow out one by one until only Dyer and Wise were left standing. The band name however would remain in place moving forward. A nod of recognition goes out to Johnson and Tobias wherever they are.

The hunt was on for suitable replacements. Several players came and went as Jeff and Tony navigated an endless sea of band dude wannabes until guitarist Dave Dennis, bass player Dan Whitman and drummer Marty Kilbel were added. The Dyer/Wise duo wrote 10 songs produced between 1988-1989. Four were professionally recorded and engineered by Allman Brothers Band engineer Bud Snyder at Telstar Studios in Sarasota Florida; becoming the debut Uncle Sally EP titled "Loud as Balls." Based on the strength of these recordings, Uncle Sally was chosen by the National Yamaha Sound Check competition to be considered for a major record contract. These four early recordings can be heard at the end of disc 2 and are included not only as a historical record but also as a tribute to Tony Wise who passed away from health complications in 2012. Not long after the recordings were completed, Tony chose to leave the band. After the Yamaha opportunity failed to deliver, Wise became restless with what he felt was a lack of progress. He was simultaneously being courted by local rival band Tyger Tyger to be their new front man. Tony gave in to temptation and took the other band offer - permanently ending his tenure with Uncle Sally. Incoming drummer Jeff Stahl would also soon replace Marty Kilbel. To complete the new lineup, Jeff Dyer ultimately stepped forward to replace Tony as lead vocalist and lead guitarist. Dyer and Stahl had big shoes to fill, as Wise and Kilbel were well-respected powerhouses.

Without missing a beat, the boys pushed forward with guitarist Dave Dennis bringing in a handful of song ideas that would soon become the start of Uncle Sally's second EP titled "Tending the Flock." Songs like “One-Size-Fits-All” and “That's Not All" helped shape the sound and new direction of Uncle Sally. The EP was recorded and engineered by Tom Morris at Morrisound Recording Studio in Tampa Florida and released on cassette tape in the summer of 1990. Notable accolades were given for the band's sophomore release, garnering new attention from local radio and club owners. This was the beginning of a new day as the band forged ahead playing live wherever there was an audience. Clubs like The Rockit Club and ML Chasers, among many others, were all the rage in 1990. The new and improved Uncle Sally would capitalize on every opportunity pushing their agenda forward.

During this era, Tampa Bay had established itself as a very original band-friendly region to play in. Rock radio stations 98ROCK and 95YNF were eager to promote local unsigned artists. Uncle Sally soon became media darlings as the band found themselves in with the “In Crowd.” Local radio DJ legend Austin Keys would soon take Uncle Sally under his wing, giving them ample radio airplay and free promotion propelling the band forward to be included in many high-profile concert events with well-established national bands - including Dokken, Soundgarden, Saigon Kick and many others. The local scene did not discriminate against bands based on whether or not they were signed to a major label. This mindset was unheard of in the industry and it single-handedly launched the Tampa Bay music scene to new heights taking with it bands like Heartless, The Bleeding Hearts, Powersurge, Stranger, St. Warren, Tyger Tyger, UROK and Secret Service.

Riding on the newfound momentum, Uncle Sally returned to the studio in 1991 to work on their third independent EP loosely referred to as “The Black Album”. Obviously the title reference was familiar to those who followed Metallica, but this was merely a working title due to its black cassette cover. The so-called “Black” EP produced ground-breaking songs “Take Me Away from This Evil" and "Sail On". Both becoming signature songs played often on 98ROCK and 95YNF. Additional tracks, “Borrowed Time” and “Times Are Rough” were recorded at Powersound Studio in Clearwater Florida with Frank LaRosa and Bill Lorentsen engineering. The remainder recorded at Morrisound. A multitude of recording sessions were held over this time period bringing to life previously un-released “Living Dangerously” and biker cult anthem “Come On and Ride”, the latter engineered by Doug Johnston at American Music Works in Pinellas Park Florida. (In 2016 Dave Dennis and Jeff Stahl remixed “Times Are Rough” for this re-release at Dave’s private 24-track analog recording facility).


Between 1991-1992 record label contacts were solicited, but still garnered no appreciable outcome for the band. Trying to keep the attention of the A&R guys in New York and LA was like being a pebble of sand in the Florida desert, woefully out of reach from those who had the power to take the band to its next level. A manager was needed and the band turned to Fred Golpa, owner of the A-circuit Rockit Club. Fred would sign Uncle Sally to a one-year management deal and would assist in landing high profile gigs and help facilitate new record label connections. Sadly, the outcome was not what Uncle Sally had hoped for as they were mostly put on the back burner by Golpa who was concentrating the majority of his efforts on the band Heartless that he also managed. This circumstance never altered the band's commitment to push forward and they began to work on a full-length album that would soon set them apart from their peers. Recording began at Morrisound in the summer of 1992 with a release date set for early 1993. “World of Hurt” was officially released in February of that year to rave reviews. Local media praised “World of Hurt” for its bold production and songwriting quality. It was the shot in the arm the band needed. You can hear the groups’ evolution as the lyrical content and rich vocal textures begin to take on more serious subject matter with a broader dynamic in sound production. It was obvious to anyone paying attention that Uncle Sally was no flash in the pan. The release of “World of Hurt” did set the band apart from the other bands, but success on a big level still remained out of reach.

With increasing record label interest, the boys quickly developed fresh material to offer as a follow-up to “World of Hurt”. In the summer of 1993 they returned to Morrisound yet again and recorded three additional new songs - “Rain”, ”Escalator” and “Made In America”. Remixed in 2017 by Jeff Dyer, these songs were originally nothing more than hastily thrown together demo’s and never officially released to the public until now. The demo’s were self-financed and produced solely as follow-up material for the handful of labels expressing interest in the band. One such label was Los Angeles-based Rotten Records, an indie label run by Ron Peterson. Adding Uncle Sally to the Rotten Records roster would make for strange bedfellows, as the majority of artists signed to Rotten were punk bands such as D.R.I. and Acid Bath. In 1994 with little to lose for either party, the band entered an arrangement with Rotten to facilitate the distribution of Uncle Sally's previously recorded material. It was a fresh start finally out from underneath the Golpa management deal. Rotten Records paid for the filming of Uncle Sally's "My Friend Pain" music video to promote the group nationally. But soon again the band found themselves in stagnation with the arrangement and ultimately the Rotten partnership withered on the vine before it ever went to harvest; the deal disintegrated almost as fast as it was initiated.

It is important though to put the times in historical context. By the mid 1990’s the music scene had changed fast and furiously. Seattle grunge bands and urban hip-hop acts had pushed the aging rock groups to the sidelines. Uncle Sally could never be accused of being a pretty boy hair band like most of its rock counterparts, yet they found themselves trapped at a time where it was not in vogue to be associated with anything 1980's, or even early 1990's. The music landscape had shifted. Rock clubs were closing by the hundreds across the country and radio stations began to alter their formats to other styles of music. The hair band era had collapsed like a house of cards, and despite their undeniable talents, Uncle Sally would fall victim to “guilt by association” on the bloody sword in the bar-band battlefield.

As the wave crashed, the founder of the band was finding it increasingly difficult to continue forward, signaling the end was near for Uncle Sally. In the fall of 1995, Jeff Dyer left the band he had helped create. Time and circumstance had taken their toll and Jeff was ready for new beginnings. It was time for the band’s voice to find solace in a more conventional lifestyle. The tide had turned and it was apparent to Dyer that it was the end of the line. The Uncle Sally curtain had closed. Jeff would however go on to amass nearly 100 studio recordings post Uncle Sally and continues to write and record as a YouTube solo artist to present day. His diverse, extensive body of recorded material can be found at www.jeffdyer.com.


Still hungry, the remaining band members dusted themselves off and re-grouped as a three-piece unit with Dave Dennis taking on the lead vocal duties. The band was renamed Orbit Orange and a self-titled CD would follow in 1997. The trio enjoyed the success of their debut album with radio friendly favorites “Get Out” and “Pills”, (available on iTunes and CD Baby and YouTube) along with appearing on some high-profile stages over the remainder of the 1990’s. As the dust settled over the years the core four remained in contact with one another. In 2009 Dyer reunited Uncle Sally for a benefit concert to raise money for then ailing Tony Wise. Concurrently, Jeff was enlisted to assist his former band mates in recording two new songs “Cripple Me" and Beatle-inspired “Come Together” (also available on YouTube). As of this writing, health issues have prevented Dyer from performing live leaving the possibility of future band reunions unlikely, however all band members remain musically viable.



To date, Uncle Sally has generated a 50+ original song roster with over 30 studio recordings (available at CD Baby, Ebay, iTunes and Spotify), one unofficially released live album (available at www.unclesally.com), countless professionally-filmed music videos (available on YouTube), accumulated numerous print articles and reviews, had a song featured in the 2016 “Hair I Go Again” music documentary soundtrack, appeared on numerous radio, television and concert stages, and currently maintain a solid footing in the foundation of Tampa Bay's Rock-n-Roll historical ledger. Though the passage of time and personal tribulation may have made the lines more defined, Uncle Sally’s music is still as resilient today as it ever was. Uncle Sally has taken its final bow, but in the shadows of forgotten dreams; timing, fate and happenstance are the cruel dictators. But take heed, for what once was, still is, for as long as the music lasts…



Uncle Sally is:

Jeff Dyer:
Lead vocals / Lead guitars

Dave Dennis:
Guitars / Slide guitar / backup vocals.

Dan Whitman:
Bass guitar / backup vocals.

Jeff Stahl:
Drums


Studio engineers:
Tom Morris
Bud Snyder
Frank LaRosa
Bill Lorentsen
Doug Johnston

Post production-audio mastering:
Michael Fuller - Fullersound
Tom Morris - Morrisound


Extra special thanks to our dedicated Road Crew for their hard work and commitment to the cause over the years. We could not have done it without you.

Andrew Gaylord -
Stage manager / lighting.

Gerald Mullen -
Road crew manager

Nathan Keefer -
Drum Tech

Randy Hall -
Guitars / Stage tech

Frances Beck Hamlett, Gina Crawford and Molly Friar-
Merchandise and promotion


Special thanks to the live sound engineers:
Rob Clark, Andy Meyer, Bobby Lindbergh, W.T. Nick Delrae and many others.

Photography by:
Stuart Ashby
Osborne Photography

CD Cover Art by:
Jeff Dyer
Dylan Wilhelmi

Patented U.S. wolf logo design:
Hal Loo

Piano and
keyboards
Kent Smith
Jeff Dyer

Harmonica solo on Last Night by:
Todd Dyer

Special appearances on Disc 2 by:
Tony Wise /vocals and Marty Kilbel /drums
on Knuckles, Yuppie Puppy, Line Of Fire
and Cold Reaction

Thanks to:
Billy Johnson
Austin Keyes
Mike Norcia
Kim Martino
And ALL the fans!


Disc 1

U.S. Blues (4:34)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Take Me Away From This Evil (4:31)
Words and Music: Dyer

World Of Hurt (4:04)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

My Friend Pain (4:09)
Words and Music: Dyer

Nothing to Lose (4:36)
Words and Music: Dyer

Borrowed Time (5:03)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Father Forgive Me (6:35)
Words and Music: Dyer

Women Of The World (3:55)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

She Gives Me Everything (4:34
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Sail On (6:57)
Words and Music: Dyer


Trouble On Easy Street
Words and Music: Dyer

Living Dangerously (4:03)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

White Lies (3:59)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Cripple Me (4:36)
Words and Music: Dennis/Dyer


Disc 2

Times are Rough (4:44
Words and Music: Dyer

That's Not All (3:44)
Words and music: Dennis/Dyer

Last Night (3:54)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis


One Size Fits All (4:25)
Words and Music: Dennis/Dyer

Come On And Ride (4:36)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Going Down (3:22)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Rain (5:23)
Words and Music: Dyer/Dennis

Escalator (4:59)
Words and Music: Dyer

Made in America (5:46)
Words and Music: Dyer

The Tony Wise Years

Knuckles (4:03)
Words and Music: Dyer/Wise

Yuppie Puppy (4:43)
Words and Music: Dyer/Wise/Dyer

Line of Fire (4:17)
Words and Music: Dyer/Wise/Dyer

Cold Reaction (3:39
Words and Music: Dyer/Wise

Music produced by Uncle Sally

Correspondence:
unclesally@jeffdyer.com

GangWolf Records
Protected by U.S. Copyrights
1988, 1990, 1991, 1993,
1994, 2009, 2017
All rights reserved 2018




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Conn

Metal to sharpen Metal
As a child of the 70s raised in the 80s Uncle Sally is one of the Best bands I never heard of until later in my life. IMHO if corporate had embraced these people early in their career they would be all over the retro -circuit today. An actually unique sound that I would rock out to nightly given the chance.
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