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THE ROMEOS - OPEN WIDE

In 1978, Louisiana native Jerry Honigman was living in Los Angeles and recording under a "spec" deal as a singer-songwriter for Elektra Records. After presenting the label with a set of new songs and a concept for a rock band called The Romeos, Honigman found himself without the aforementioned "spec" deal. Taking matters into his own hands, he, along with musical partner, drummer Dony Wynn, returned to Louisiana to record the demo himself. He and Wynn recruited guitarists Dan "Dief" Diefenderfer and Bootsie Normand (who had returned from New York after a stint as musical director for legendary producer Joseph Papp). With assistance on bass from Danny Milliner, currently with Brooks and Dunn, six songs were recorded and taken back to L.A.

This recording led to a record contract with CBS's Columbia label. The album, Rock and Roll and Love and Death, was released in 1980, spawning the hit "Seriously Affected." A national tour followed, with Kenny Gradney of Little Feat on bass. The band broke up and reunited several times over the next few years, each time musically more exciting and personally more volatile than the last. Their last collective effort, with Frank Blair on bass and John Stahaely on guitar, was an exciting EP produced in 1986 by Bernard Edwards.

Throughout the years, Honigman has compiled a large body of work as a writer and recording artist while working with such notable musicians as members of Toto, The Meters, Little Feat, Tommy Tutone, James Newton Howard, Cher, David Williams, Bob Glaub, Micheal Smotherman, Valerie Carter, and others. He has also worked with an impressive array of producers including David Paich, Tom Knox, Geoff Workman, Ed Cherney, and Bernard Edwards. His projects have included The Shotgun Record, The Mood Swings - Under Control, and Blues From Love Street.

Since returning to Louisiana in 1989, Honigman has enjoyed a successful musical collaboration with Bud Albright on drums, H.B.Smith on bass, and Ellene Owens on keyboards. After recording 27 tracks for a project three years ago, Honigman realized he had something which, once again, fit under the name "The Romeos." That CD, When In Rome, featured original members Dief and Bootsie, and offered a stylish mix of mature songs featuring sharp musicianship and a bold, brash, instantly accessible sound.

The latest Romeos release, Open Wide, features the strongest collection of Honigman-penned songs yet, including a live Los Angeles recording by the 1984 line-up of Jerry, Dief, Bootsie, Bud, Dony, and Frank. This great sounding disc is full of roots-rocking, Americana, R&B, country, and church influenced songs with great hooks and terrific lyrics. Plenty to think about, plenty to sing along with.

Open Wide is an essential disc to own in 2003 and an indispensable addition to the Romeos’ body of work.

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