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Three Bands
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Chapter 1 - Blue Light
Chapter 2 - Dave's Room
Chapter 3 - Airfix
Chapter 4 - Blue Monday
Chapter 5 - The Boston Years
Chapter 6 - The December Projects
Chapter 7 - Pinkney Park
Chapter 8 - Grass Roots
Chapter 9 - The Albums
October Palace
Leftovers and Other Exotic Foods
New Shoes
Chapter 10

Untitled Document


“Sometimes I know what I’m looking for, couldn’t be a brighter light”

The Grass Roots


Grass Roots
After we did our first formal album, Bridges, and the United Church Auditorium concert in August, 1978, Bill Galey headed to college in Illinois (Lake Forest) and Harry went up to Marlboro College in Vermont. Holly Saxe went back up to Boston University. Josh was headed to business school in Atlanta (but he switched within days to Boston University. Most of the Bridges lineup was still around, but we weren’t as sure of ourselves without Harry’s musical confidence or Josh’s strong lead vocals.

Around this time we began considering ourselves Noyes and the Boys (within a year, Noyes & the Boyes). The name meant little because we hadn’t We met and played as a large group a few times at Mark Lebow’s parents’ house in Stamford, but we all found it hard to work as such a large group. (Although we did do a good version of The Band’s The Weight.)The first incarnation of this group included: Soon we heard about a venue that was of interest, at least to the more acoustic among us. The venue was called “The Grass Roots” in Westport, CT. The place served wine, coffee and light fare and had a small stage that featured acoustic acts, usually solos or duos. On Tuesday nights they offered “open mic” nights, ½ hour sets based on who came and signed up. At this time, Audrey, Tom and I were playing a lot together. Now that we all knew Tom could sing, we never gave him any rest. The three of us worked well together and were able to build good three-part harmonies. Audrey was a very proficient guitarist, especially on the 12 string. (She and I went to New York that fall to buy a used Yamaha six string, leaving me as the primary 12 string player.) Tom was a good lead player and I had the somewhat unique harmonica sound.

The open mic venue allowed us to try out new material and different combinations of players. Even Harry and Josh came down to join us on stage for these half hour sets. Bill Galey made his sole appearance just after New Year’s, 1979. We made a habit of recording these from October 1978 to January 1979.

The existing recorded sets include:


  • Tom May acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Greg Smith 12 string guitar, vocals, harmonica
  • Scott Wyland acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Audrey Noyes 12 string guitar, vocals


  • Tom May acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Greg Smith 12 string guitar, vocals, harmonica
  • Scott Wyland acoustic guitar, vocals


  • Audrey Noyes 12 string guitar, vocals
  • Dave Procter bass, vocals
  • Josh Kramer acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Ed Flinn conga


  • Audrey Noyes 12 string guitar, vocals
  • Greg Smith Harmonica


  • Harry Hussey acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Mark Lebow acoustic guitar, vocals, vibes
  • Bill Galey bass
(This performance by the original line-up for Blue Monday was the last time they played together in public.)


  • Audrey Noyes 12 string guitar, vocals
  • Greg Smith harmonica, vocals, 12 string guitar
  • Tom May guitar, vocals
During the recording of the Headlands album, Tom May, Melissa Janicke and I did at least one open mike at the Grass Roots. Melissa also recalls being brought up on stage to sing with another musician on Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. I remember sitting at a table while another musician was on stage watching in amazement as Tom played along on the spoons.

In February of 1983, Audrey and I played at the Grass Roots again and we had considered the prospect of playing out on a regular basis as a duo. The recorded set included some previous songs and new songs:

The Grass Roots closed sometime in the late 1980s. Today there are more professional venues around the state for acoustic music and still plenty of “open mic” venues.