Now And Again is a finely-textured, multi-layered album with lyrics of yearning ("Stay") and regret ("...But I Guess We'll Never Know") counterbalanced musically by light and spaces. Songs laced with realization ("The Most") and recollection ("Hiding") are wrapped in delicate, cascading harmonies. Recorded in Woodstock, NY, during the early months of 1989, Now And Again finds The Grapes of Wrath displaying a wide variety of moods -- from the orchestrated subtleties of "All The Things I Wasn't" to the electric distortion of "Do You Want To Tell Me".
For the first time, this record finds drummer Chris sitting out on several acoustic-only songs. As for singer/guitarist Kevin Kane, his guitar collection continues to grow at an alarming rate. This may be the reason for the considerable range in guitar sounds -- from the quietest acoustics to some uncharacteristically loud electrics. Of the album's diversity, Kevin says "We've always been called folk/rock. Now instead of he two terms being put together or hyphenated, it's more like they're pushed apart.
The first song on the album could have been on a Nick Drake album -- it's really gloomy and all stark with cellos, and then, as it progesses, the album becomes more raging". Where the last two albums have dealt with the more personal aspects of family, small town life, and parental relationships, Now And Again deals with the more universal feelings. "It's really hard to express happy feelings in songwriting", reflects Kevin, "You can take apart a bad feeling because you can really stew about it; it has more impact, it can be dissected. When you're happy you don't sit around pondering 'Why am I happy, why do I feel so good?' you just enjoy it. A lot of people are so afraid of being intense emotionally. Their idea of being intense is to have heavy guitars; they just crank up the Marshall, but there's nothing heavy about the songs content."
Kevin Kane: vocals, guitar
Tom Hooper: vocals, bass
Chris Hooper: drums, percussion
Jane Scarpantoni: cello
'Sneaky' Pete Kleinow: pedal steel guitar
Louis Cortelezzi: oboe
Vincent Jones: Hammond organ, piano, wah pedal guitar
Chuck Leavell: piano, Hammond organ
Written by Tom Hooper, Kevin Kane, and Chris Jones
Orchestration by Irwin Fisch
Produced by Anton Fier
Recorded by 'Iron' Mike Krowiak, assisted by Dave Cook in Woodstock, NY, USA
Mixed by Steve Rinkoff, assisted by Ken Lomas
Mastered by Bob Ludwig
Drum technician: Steve Klatz