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World Travels Inspired New Firewater Album

Of the Oakland Press

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A divorce, George W. Bush’s second presidential election and a general dissatisfaction with his surroundings led Firewater’s Tod A to leave the United States and begin trekking around the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia — thinking he might never make anoth- er album again.

Instead he made one of the best of his 13-year tenure with Firewater.

The songs on “The Golden Hour,” released earlier this month, were not only inspired by A’s travels, but contain percussion and rhythmic elements he recorded in India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, using a laptop and a microphone.

“I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do music anymore,” says A (ne Ashley), 42, who supported himself by teaching English along the way. “I was kind of taking a break.

“But I was hearing all this music over there, and eventually songs kept coming into my head, and eventually I had two records’ worth. So I decided, for better or for worse, I might as well put ‘em out.”

A, who now resides with his girlfriend in Indonesia, has extended the international flavor of “The Golden Hour” to the latest incarnation of Firewater, which includes musicians from Israel, France and England, as well as New York. And his goal is approach the next Firewater album in much the same way.

“My whole idea behind leaving (the U.S.) was just to put myself in situations where unexpected things would happen,” A explains. “I didn’t know what was going to happen the next day. I enjoyed that. And when I met these musicians (on the album), there was a sort of musical communication which was pretty interesting, and that I’d like to continue.”

Firewater and Dutch Pink perform Thursday (May 29) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of show. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.majesticdetroit.com

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