Who, you say? Carnival Season was a Birmingham, Alabama band that I only vaguely remember from their time together, but I had a later connection via Carnival Season member Brad Quinn. Quinn served as the music editor at the Columbia Free Times in the late 1990′s, the same alt-weekly I’ve been a music section contributor with since 1993. I knew even then that he played bass with one of my musical heroes, Tommy Keene, but only found out later about his first band. From the “BHAM WIKI” site:
Carnival Season (originally Karnival Season) was a Birmingham-based rock band, active from 1984 to 1989. It was comprised of guitarist and vocalist Tim Boykin and bassist Brad Quinn, along with drummer Mark Reynolds and rhythm guitarist Ed Reynolds.
The group signed a development deal with MCA records and recorded demo tracks at the Terminal Studio in Jackson, Mississippi with Tim Lee producing. Their deal with MCA went nowhere, so they signed with What Goes On, a UK-based independent label which also represented fellow Birmingham band The Primitons. In their local shows, GNP usually opened for them.
Ed left about the same time, and “Carnival Season” continued as a trio. The Primitons’ Mats Roden produced their second EP, also recorded at Terminal Studio. They toured regionally, opened for groups such as the Meat Puppets, Redd Kross, Drivin’ n’ Cryin’, and the Replacements, and also made a few trips to play in New York.
Their only full-length album, Waiting for No One, was recorded with Tommy Keene at Hit and Run Studios in Rockville, Maryland and released in 1987. Brad Quinn’s brother Chuck joined the group for its subsequent tour, which fizzled on the West Coast. The band broke up in 1989, with Boykin forming The Shame Idols and Quinn joining Keene’s touring band.
The band quietly posted a video copy of a new song from recent recordings, with the following note:
When Carnival Season drummer Mark Reynolds passed away in December of 2012, the band had been sharing song demos for possible inclusion on their first album in 25 years. “In Our Time” would have been one of Mark’s songs to be included on the album. The song was recorded In Kobe, Japan, and Birmingham, Alabama, by Carnival Season’s Brad Quinn (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Tim Boykin (guitars) with guest drummer Eric Wiegmann. The sessions were engineered, mixed and mastered by Hatada Kazuhiro at Site Kobe Studios.
It’s a mellower sound than I recall from their official releases but a pleasant tune nonetheless, and worth more than a spin or two: