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Thumbs Up, Hands Down

thumbscover      In February 2006 James Scott McGuire received a request from long-time associate Lance Murphey to compose blues music for use in a film Lance was producing. With his usual restraint and sense of proportion, James came up with 17 of them and has not ceased his output, amassing, as of this writing, 35 tunes in the wide genre called blues. After it became clear that Lance had found a source of background music closer to his Memphis TN home, McGuire teamed up with bassist Steve Hartman to flesh out his ideas and turn them into compositions. Tritones was born.
     Working in their studio in Littleton, CO starting in April 2006, the Tritones spent the summer refining their work. Fingers slick with sweat in 90 degree plus temperatures, brains swollen by heat and humidity, with no air conditioning and still air stifling their bodies, McGuire and Hartman toiled to a click track, hammering the riffs into tunes. When it became clear that a drummer was essential, Steve recruited Frank Morgan to fill that slot. Although he had the advantage of playing in a much cooler area of the studio, working backwards by adding drums after the fact was a challenge that Frank met adroitly. As each tune was recorded, Hartman and McGuire began the process of mixing them, building intros, adding sound effects and editing extraneous material. By October 2006, Tritones had their first CD ready for mastering. 
     Paul Murphey, another partner of extended tenure (and brother of Lance Murphey), took on the task of mastering the recording at Wake Thy Neighbor Studios, Oceanside, CA. Meanwhile Steve Hartman created packaging for the album which came to be titled Thumbs Up, Hands Down. The CD was officially released in February 2007, one year from Lance Murphey's original request for blues for the film "Nobody." The song "Blues for Nobody" is dedicated to Jerry Bell, the star of the film (as featured on the Doctor Phil Show in September, 2007).

     Jim would like to thank Fiona Day for playing Sirius Blues 74 and re-igniting Jim's blues flame.  
  Jim McGuire 2007
James S. McGuire, 2007

Esteban Hombre de Corazon (aka Stephen Hartman)
     Since the release of Thumbs Up, Hands Down, and due to McGuire's prolific output of Blues material, Tritones has continued to grow. Singer Billy Hundley was added in 2007, and Tritones became a much more viable live performance entity. With Billy's vocals added to McGuire's guitar, the band has expanded their appeal beyond the instrumental tunes of their initial release.
   Tritones latest project, in pre-production and rehearsal right now, will highlight the expanded line up and present a "live in the studio" interpretation of Jim McGuire's newest compositions. For the new album, the band has enlisted the aid of Producer/Engineer Paul Church to capture the energy that the Tritones give to live audiences.

Stay tuned for updates and anecdotes as the project progresses. 

1. On a Positive Note 2:21
2. Cray-On Blue 2:34
3. Got Mojo? 5:46
4. Thumbs Up, Hands Down 3:32
5. Boogie 'Til Ya Break 6:12
6. Good Deal Gone Down 3:01
7. Blues for Nobody 5:20
8. Preacherman 2:51
9. Swanktown 2:57
10. Don't Mess With Me 3:25
11. Say What I Mean 3:39
12. 6th Street Strut 3:11
13. Ridin' Shotgun 3:34
14. Back Porch Stomp 5:05
15. When I think of You 5:18
16. Low Down Dirty Mean 6:01

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