Favorite Rush album:
“Of course, “Moving Pictures” aside, I have a bit of a soft spot for “Grace Under Pressure”.”
Favorite Rush song:
“Virtually impossible to list just one. It’s all dependent on my mood but the one’s I listen to the most and never get tired of hearing: “Between the Wheels”, “The Garden”, “Natural Science”, “Freewill”, “Limelight”, “Distant Early Warning”, “Presto”, “Animate” and “Far Cry”. I think I had a harder time than Ffej on this question!”
Favorite live Rush album:
“Definitely Exit… Stage Left!”
First Rush Concert:
Jones Beach Theater; Wantagh, NY – July 24th, 2010 (Time Machine Tour)
Rush Concerts Attended:
I always had a wide range of music in my house but growing up, I never listened to RUSH and didn’t even know they existed. It wasn’t until the summer of 1991, when my camp counselor allowed me to peruse her CD collection that I realized there was a band called RUSH. I remember it vividly, seeing the cover of “Roll the Bones” and asking her to play some of their music. I distinctly remember not caring for it at the time but I was 12 and listening to Madonna, En Vogue, Wilson Phillips and Sinead O’Connor… what the hell did I know!
I never thought about RUSH again until many years later, driving around town while I was home from Berklee College of Music. I remember listening to the radio station and hearing this incredible song. My first thought was that Linda Perry from 4 Non Blondes had finally come out with something new, but when the song ended and the radio DJ said “that was Tom Sawyer by RUSH”, I was intrigued. It was then I picked up my first RUSH album, Moving Pictures.
Almost ten years later, my cousin Jason invited Eric and I to see RUSH perform at the Jones Beach Theater for their Time Machine Tour. The three of us sat in the nose bleed section and I clearly remember that moment like it was yesterday… It was the most remarkable concert I had ever seen. The entire drive home I kept saying to Eric, “I cannot believe how amazing that show was. We have to see them again, where’s their next show!” I was HOOKED! I came home and couldn’t stop listening to their music. I made it a point to take their song list from the Time Machine tour and created a playlist of the songs so I could listen to the music over and over again.
Eric and I had been performing in the Harrisburg area for a while as the Julie Schreiber Band and during our tenure with JSB and my time at Berklee I had been fortunate enough to work such incredible musicians and songwriters as Halestorm, Joe Goretti, Justin Tranter, Matt Mangano, Donna McElroy, Greg Howe, Leni Stern, Richie Havens, the Nields, Livingston Taylor and many more.
As many of you know, Harrisburg is a small town and for many years we had run in to Ffej Herb a few times when he was performing in his band Herbie. We were formally introduced to him at a friend’s party and Eric and Ffej hit it off. They chatted the whole time about putting together a RUSH tribute band and the two of them were so excited to try and make something happen. I remember Ffej stating, “you know, the vocalist is going to be the hardest thing for us to find.” I piped in “Hey, I can sing Geddy. I sing some of their songs for our band now.” He looked at me like… “What the heck is this girl thinking?” I could tell he was weary of my love for all things RUSH.
Over time, Eric and Ffej pulled together this incredible group of musicians, called themselves “Solar Federation” and started practicing as often as possible. Eric would leave for practice and come home 7 or 8 hours later so animated and excited. I had never seen him so happy and energized with practicing and perfecting guitar parts before. You could tell he was proud of the group they were putting together. When he told me that Mike Bitts was on bass, I was a bit in awe and a little star struck – the Innocence Mission had so many songs that played on my soundtrack to life. I remember one day, before Eric was about to leave for practice, I asked if it would be ok if I came with him to watch. Their vocalist wasn’t able to make that practice and I offered to sing on a few tunes to help them out. A couple of weeks later, I was asked to join Solar Federation and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Your meters may overload
You can rest at the side of the road
You can miss a stride
But nobody gets a free ride
More than high performance
More than just a spark
More than just the bottom line
Or a lucky shot in the dark
In the long run” – The Professor