Modern Acoustic World Music / Jazz Fusion
Following a year hiatus after the 1984 breakup of the original Tim Ware Group, Tim began focusing once again on the guitar, his "first" instrument. Dismissing critics who disparaged the mandolin as the "poodle of string instruments," Tim defended the noble mandolin but began using the guitar as his primary Tool of Composition. His new tunes called for a different collection of instruments, and Tim began to assemble a new band.
The first version of TWG v2.0 assembled in 1985 consisted of violinist David Balakrishnan, a hold-over from the previous, mandolin-based, group, George Brooks, a young saxophonist Tim had met through his friend Darol Anger, Joy Julks, an amazing electric bassist, and the versatile and eccentric Bay Area percussionist "Bongo" Bob Smith.
After only one concert, Bongo Bob's many other commitments necessitated finding another percussionist and, through Joy, Tim hooked up with Will Kennedy, an Oakland-based drummer who played mostly jazz, funk and rhythm-and-blues. In March 1986, this band went into Canyon Studios, with Neil Young engineering, and produced several recordings "Brain in the Rain," "Dreamer's Prerogative" and "Light Planes."
Shortly after these recordings were made, the TWG debuted the new line-up at an intimate folk/jazz club in Berkeley, California, the Freight & Salvage. Sharing the bill with the TWG that night was the Turtle Island String Quartet, which Dave Balakrishnan had started with Darol Anger, in their debut performance.
Later in 1986, Will Kennedy was asked to join the internationally famous jazz-fusion group, The Yellow Jackets an offer he could hardly refuse. Joy brought in another colleague, Hollander Paul van Wageningen, an amazing, first-call, drummer in the Bay Area Latin/Salsa scene in the Bay Area.
In November 1986, the TWG went back to Canyon Studios and recorded several new tunes, notably "On China Sea" and "Five O'Clock Shadows." Tim's increasing facility at composing for this ensemble is reflected in these recordings.
Through 1987, the TWG continued to play concerts and do some touring, aided in this by their being added to the California Arts Council Touring Roster. Unfortunately, Tim's efforts to get a decent recording contract for the band were unsuccessful, in an increasingly conservative recording-industry atmosphere.
In January 1988, the TWG went into Arch Street Studios in Berkeley and recorded several tracks "(Knee-Deep in) Planet Pie," "Illegal Irelands" and "Café Apocalypso" (with a very young Jenna Mamina on backing vocals - yes, this was the only vocal tune the TWG ever recorded and was, natch, a favorite at concerts). With Mike Marshall at Montreaux Studios, Tim also recorded a few, more "esoteric," pieces "Indian Summer," with Marco Zonka on tabla, and the hypnotic "The Eye Wants To Sleep (But The Head Is No Mattress)," with Turtle Island's Mark Summer on 'cello and Paul vW adding MIDI percussion.
When Dave Balakrisnan eventually left the TWG to concentrate on Turtle Island String Quartet, he was replaced by English violinist/guitarist Julian Smedley, who had played with The Clubfoot Orchestra and the Hot Club of San Francisco. In 1989, Joy Julks left the band and was replaced by Paul vW's brother, Mark, who had played with many of the Bay Area's best Latin, Salsa and Funk bands. This band did some recording as well (eventually to be put online), and played a number of concerts and festivals.
In 1989, Tim finally decided to return to school to get a degree in music ("getting under the hood," he called it), and the TWG broke up.