From their humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York on an appropriately blustery day in December 1957, The LawTunes have long been the lone (and occasionally nearly harmonic) voice filling the void, vacuum, and other euphemisms for "not a whole lot" that is the unique genre of original law-related holiday music. Purportedly conceived during the broadcast of an episode of "Perry Mason" at the moment that a night-table clock radio spontaneously turned on and played an Elvis song, The LawTunes were destined to blaze a path and mix other metaphors as the first legal rockers. Indeed, they would have been the world's first "garage band," had they not lived in an apartment house that lacked internal parking facilities. Instead, they became the world's first storage room band, introducing their music to an appreciative assemblage of empty steamer trunks, rusty tricycles, and yellowed newspapers. Needless to say, the audience was dumbstruck.
As they developed and, more importantly, briefly considered learning how to play music, The LawTunes and the three chords they eventually mastered soon became headliners on the competitive Bris, birthday party, and potty training celebration circuit. They wrote and played songs that gave voice to their most profound life experiences, such as spilled finger paint, gum in hair, and dislike of peas, be they intact or pureed. But they felt they had not reached their zenith (which, by then, had been replaced by a Magnavox).
The chance came when, after their unchanged repertoire raised some eyebrows at weddings, college concerts, and corporate events, they chose to put down their instruments (relics of their briefly considering careers in medicine; earlier, they had lost their guitars, drums, and keyboards on a subway), and attend law school. They chose the University of Michigan, primarily for its warm weather.
Invited (obviously sound unheard) to participate in the Law School's annual alleged "talent show," the band came to the groundbreaking realization that perhaps they should compose songs that had a modicum of relevance to their current audience. They did, and the reaction to the band nearly exceeded that from their debut performances. Upon graduation five years thereafter, however, the rigors of practice forced the band's musical aspirations to take a back seat, which was soon an even greater challenge as that location became occupied by multiplying child safety carriers. Three-row SUVs helped a bit, but not on grocery days. And over time, reflecting the lateral movement increasingly common in the legal profession, the bandmates drifted apart, separately moonlighting for even-more-pale-by-comparison wannabes such as the Breach (of Contract) Boys, The Four First-Years, and Jan and (the Law School Admissions) Dean.
But finally, with more than 30 years of practice (unfortunately not musical practice) under their belts (or, more accurately, the elastic waistbands of their polyester suit trousers), and the ironclad career stability such tenure affords in the law business nowadays, the "Fiduciary Five" felt it was time to take a short (and, indeed, by their employers strongly encouraged) leave of absence to, like a can of off-brand fruit beverage, reconstitute themselves. After their extended hiatus (subsequently repaired surgically), the band made its long-awaited (they were late) return during intermission at a NYC CLE program on noise pollution legislation. A furious burst of arguably original songwriting during a 20-minute cab ride from the Brill Building to the deli across the street, followed by months in the studio (a relic of their briefly considering careers in art) resulted in these albums (actually, it resulted in the master tapes from which these albums were duplicated, but you get the idea). The albums represent a Sherman Act-compliant combination of classic rock musical styles with articulation of the realities of law practice, to create the band's trademark (pending) "Ethical Wall of Sound." With record companies, movie producers, and television executives all banging at their door (although it could also be the upstairs neighbors), without doubt the sky is the limit (of how far you can see). Viva The LawTunes!
Micah ("Courthouse Steps") Jagger
Plaintiff's Counsel, Oral Argument, Strutting Around, Shirt Removal, Lead Vocals
Nicholas ("Prosser on") Tortolli
In-House Counsel, Bass, Alto Fax, Photocopier, Invoice Review, Vocals
Maxwell ("Max") Billings
External Defense Counsel, Drafting, Electric Guitar, Electronic Discovery, Wardrobe, Vocals
Smash ("Bones") Drummond
Prosecutor's Office, Drums/Percussion and Other Auditory Damage, Cellphone, Vocals
Malcolm ("Mal") Practisse
Solo Practitioner, Keyboards, Shredder, Excuses, Professional Liability Insurance, Vocals
Philosophy: LawTunes' albums are dedicated to the proposition that lawyers' zealous representation of clients and furtherance of the public good can be only enhanced by a healthy willingness of lawyers to poke fun at themselves appropriately on occasion. Our philosophy emphasizes that lawyers and other people really need to take the time to pursue their "after-hours" dreams, despite the increasing pressures, longer work days (and nights), and other factors that may make them think it is impossible -- and no matter how unrealistic or unlikely realizing those dreams may be. Being able to enjoy or express ourselves or just blow off steam ends up making us happier, and thus better, at whatever we do that actually pays our bills.
History: Savell’s musical take on the legal world started with performances at the University of Michigan Law School’s “Law Revue” (alleged) talent show in the early 1980s. It continued with solo and in-house band performances at summer and holiday functions at his former law firm, where his poking good-natured fun at lawyers and the legal profession was (thankfully) well-received and encouraged. Over the years he recorded many of these songs, producing vinyl records, cassette tapes, and then CDs which he gave each holiday season to family, friends, colleagues, clients, and people he met on airplanes. Preparing a commercial release was the natural next step.
Production: Guitars include a Rickenbacker 360 semi-hollow electric and a Yamaha FG-160 acoustic, the latter upgraded with a Roland GK-2A midi pickup to a GR-30 guitar synthesizer; the primary keyboard is an old Yamaha; the basic drum set is from Pulse; also employed is a set of sleigh bells of unknown origin. On the hardware side, Savell's PC is a Rain Computers ION 4 low-noise system optimized for recording, running Windows 8.1 Pro, with a Gateway LP2424/FHD2401 24" widescreen/HD display, and an AKAI EIE Pro Electromusic Interface Expander, outputting to M-Audio Studiophile BX5 D2 Bi-Amplified Studio Reference Monitors and BXS Subwoofer (except when others are asleep or watching TV, at which point he switches in the interest of all to Bose QC3 noise-cancelling headphones). Chief among peripherals are an M-Audio Midiman MIDISPORT 4x4 MIDI interface, a Ketron SD2 Sound Module/Orchestral Wizard, a TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX, a DigiTech Vocalist VR harmonizer, a Roland Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-550, and a Mackie Control Universal surface mixer and Extender . Primary microphones are a TC-Helicon MP-75, a RØDE NT2, and an AKG C 1000 S, used with an sE Electronics Reflexion Filter (plus two acoustic blankets) for room ambience reduction. On the software side, Savell relies upon the simply fantastic PG Music Band-in-a-Box 2016 accompaniment and arrangement tool and RealBand 2016, the DAW/sequencer Cakewalk Sonar Platinum (including Dimension Pro 1.5, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 LE, and Roland HyperCanvas/TTS-1), Realivox - The Ladies, Realivox - Blue, Roland Super Quartet, Native Instruments Kontakt 5.5 and Bandstand, IK Multimedia SampleTank 3.5, and several audio processing packages/plugins. He has used the Microsoft Songsmith program, which allows preliminary voiced song ideas to be captured in both audio and MIDI formats. Savell composes his lyrics in MasterWriter 3.0 songwriting tools software, and, when blocked, uses an Executive Machines EPS-1501X shredder. He edits audio in Audacity 2.1.2 and burns his masters with Nero 2016 Platinum. Savell designs his album covers, CD faces, and promotional materials using CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3, Corel Paint Shop Pro X, and other graphics/layout software. Except for live performance tracks, all songs are performed, recorded, and produced in Savell's home studio. The CDs are then mastered and manufactured by Disc Makers or National Media Services.
Contact: Lawrence Savell - LawTunes - www.lawtunes.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S.: Amazingly, we got through all this without a single footnote. Something is obviously very wrong.*
*Sorry, I just couldn't resist.