Roland Jones/For The Madera Tribune
The band Freeway from left, Debi Montanari-Valorosi, Danny Greer, Tom Buratovich and Dan Eickmann in this 1983 file photo release of their album recorded 36 years ago. “Freeway: The 1983 Tapes,” is available in CD and digital download at most major music outlets.
Turning back the clock to the early 1980s, a former Madera garage band has reunited and released a self-titled album, “Freeway — The 1983 Tapes.” The collection of original songs and one cover tune comes from the bands past and new material recently recorded.
In its heyday, Freeway spent the 1980s performing throughout California from Sacramento to Los Angles. Tape from a recording session in 1983 is finally making its way from a carefully preserved hide-away to music outlets everywhere.
First formed in 1979, in the years since the Central California group has seen the musicians continue to perform around the state in various capacities.
In addition to strong vocals the band members, Madera natives Debi Montanari-Valorosi on bass guitar and Danny Greer on guitar and organ, partnered with Fresno rockers Tom Buratovich on drums and percussion and Dan Eickmann on guitar and keyboard. They each brought their own unique sounds to the group, said Montanari-Valorosi.
“Playing with Freeway always felt like coming home,” said Greer. “We were comfortable with each other and played well together.”
‘Freeway — The 1983 Tapes’ was released April 23, 2019, and debuted 36 years to the day we started recording it,” Montanari-Valorosi said.
“The 1983 Tapes” incorporates Freeway’s iconic original style and sound with a blend of 80’s vintage rock and new-wave music, she said.
The album is available in digital download and CD format, and can be found at Tower District Records in Fresno, Amoeba Music in Southern California and online at iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and nearly all digital music outlets, Greer said. In order to reach a wide audience it is also available for download on Target and Walmart websites.
The finished album consists of nine original songs and one cover number by the LA band “Naughty Sweeties.” On the new material, they brought in local drummer Edward Fritz, as Buratovich was unavailable.
“Early in the band’s career, Freeways music caught the attention of Banner Records, which signed the band to a recording deal in 1980,” said Montanari-Valorosi.
The group found themselves in Hollywood at Studio 9 recording their single, “Tell Me What You Mean,” released in 1981. Then returning to the studio at Circus Audio in LA to record an additional six songs for an album that was never released, she said.
The band continued to perform until the end of 1983, and knowing the band’s days were numbered they returned to the studio and recorded eight of the songs on the album, which has remained unreleased. Last year the group decided it was time to release their album. After mixing the original eight 1983 tracks, they returned to the studio in February to record two additional songs, rounding the count to 10.
With “The 1983 Tapes” release, fans will now be able to experience Freeway’s unreleased originals as they were meant to be heard, Greer said.
A performance at the Fresno club Fulton 55 is being planned, with the date to be announced.