John Swallow, Former Executive VP of Production Technology for Universal Studios and Greig McRitchie, Executive VP of Feature Post Production for Universal Pictures, along with sideman Hollywood heavy-hitter Al DiNoble (head of pop promotion at Motown in the Golden Years) were at Aussie’s Sports Bar and Grill during SXSW 2014 as “Tears and Rainbow,” a progressive rock band.
The audience wasn’t aware of the men’s status in the film/music world, nor did they care. They were there to listen to the tunes and have a great time. The men of “Tears and Rainbow” didn’t particularly care to have their Universal Studios connection known, either, they were simply seeking feedback.
Nervously, they took the stage. Even though they figured SXSW was a great testing ground for this project, these men are not used to being on this side of the fence. But from the moment the classically trained McRitchie’s guitar sounded it’s clear tone, the audience took note. Tears and Rainbow eased into their set – and the audience was captured by their retro-rock experimental groove.
McRitchie and Swallow have been surrounded by music since they were very young. Swallow’s brother was with the Beach Boys in their early years, and McRitchie’s father orchestrated over 700 well-known films, including “The Last of the Mohicans.”
Careers and big responsibilities called them away from their passion – and they had put their instruments down for 30 years. When they met through work at Universal, they discovered their shared interest and started making music. But this is music with intent, music with a big message.
Swallow has worked for the last 15 years in environmental issues, setting land aside and saving it for a habitat. Swallow is on the Board of “The Cougar Fund” in Jackson, Wyoming and does a lot of work with “The Wildlife Land Trust” based in Washington, DC. Hence the bear motif on the cover, designed by Kevin Flescher, whom they met in Bristish Columbia while Swallow was photgraphing grizzly bears. Portions of the proceeds from the sale of the album will go to these causes.
So what’s next? Going back into the studio with new members, and adding a world beat twist with exotic drums and other instruments. Stay tuned – More on their official website.