On his “If There Was A Way” album (Reprise Records), Dwight Yoakum sings "Honey you sure do it well, but I don't need it done." That song and other John Sieger compositions have been discovered and then recorded by artists such as The Bodeans, The Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison, Tex-Mex superstar Flaco Jimenez and many others during John Sieger's prolific musical career.
Those songs were also all originally recorded by John’s band, SEMI-TWANG.
SEMI-TWANG was formed to give voice to Sieger’s prodigious songwriting talent while he was still touring and recording with his well-known band at the time, The R&B Cadets.
The signature depth and quality of Sieger’s material along with his unique delivery enabled him to attract and hold the band of topnotch area musicians Mike Hoffmann, Bob Jennings, Jason Klagstad, Bob Schneider and Mike Sieger. "I knew this was a good band after our first rehearsal", said Mike Hoffmann, a member of the alt-country band E*I*E*I*O before joining SEMI-TWANG "We instantly had all these fantastic songs John had written - every one a gem."
It also attracted the attention of Lenny Waronker, Warner Records’ President, who signed Sieger and SEMI-TWANG to an unprecedented 7 album record deal on Warner Brothers records.
To produce the album, the band hired Mitchell Froom, producer of Crowded House, Los Lobos, Suzanne Vega, Richard Thompson; Chris Thomas, producer of The Beatles, INXS, Badfinger, and The Pretenders; and Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads. A companion music video for the title track of the album, “Salty Tears”, was made.
In the spring of 1988, SEMI-TWANG’S Warner Bros “Salty Tears” record was released to lavish critical praise. A North American tour was launched, but the band and Warner Bros parted ways after a three-year run.
SEMI-TWANG and the Salty Tears album are still viewed today as precursors of today’s Americana movement. At that time, the band’s premature breakup may have delayed the wider discovery of Sieger’s material but that delay came to an end in 2011 with the release of the "Wages of Sin" album.
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