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FW's Savvy to release long- awaited album

Star-Telegram Rock Music Writer

It's been a long wait, but one of Fort Worth's most prominent rock bands is ready to take the step it hopes will lead to a big recording career.

    Savvy, the locally based group in question, finally will release its long-awaited album this month. The title of the LP is Made In Texas, and it will be the initial release on a newly formed local label that is named Made In Texas Records.

"Everybody in the band is real hyped up because we're finally getting a record out," group manager Jerry Hudson said. "We've been telling everybody that we've been trying to get an album out ever since we released a single at the end of 1980. So this album really has been in the works for over a year."

Included in the eight-tune LP is that single from '80, (When The Lights Go Out) At Midnight. However, Hudson points out that most of the other tracks were recorded this year.

"We've been working on it real heavily since the first of the year, and most of it is new stuff. And all of it is original material," he noted.

Hudson especially has high hopes for two of the album's cuts, I Can Only Break Your Heart and Hold Me Tight.

"To be perfectly honest, I think all eight songs on the album are hit material, but those are the ones I feel strongest about personally," he said. "And we get the best reaction on those two songs when the band plays them at the club (the self-named Savvy's on East Lancaster).

"They usually play the songs live for about three months before recording them, and I used to think that was a good idea. But I'm starting to change my mind because I Can Only Break Your Heart was cut about two weeks after they learned it and it came out real, real hot."

Hudson's other favorite, Hold Me Tight, is a ballad and he feels the time is right for slower tunes by rock bands.

"Ballads for rock 'n 'roll bands seem to be the thing right now. You can break through with a ballad. Look at Journey's Open Arms (currently No. 2 in the nation) and REO Speedwagon's Keep On Loving You from last year."

"To get into the Top 10 for the first time, it seem like you've got to hit with a ballad first. Then once you get your foot in the door, you can do just about anything you want. At least, that seems to be the trend right now."

Other songs on Savvy's LP are Does She Seem Like She's A Lady, I'll Come Alive Tonight, Love Lite, I've Got A Pistol and Long Way From Home.

The group, which has been around in ove form or another since 1971, solidified in 1980 with a lineup that still consists of founder-drummer Rick Miller, lead singer-guitarist Ricky Gregg, guitarists Rich Mauch and Steve Jones, bassist Richard Jones and keyboardist Dan Kostura.

Savvy gained a bit of attention in the summer of 1980 when it was denied its spot as opening act for the Texxas Jam at the Cotton Bowl by the Eagles, who didn't want to share the stage with a local act. Then history repeated itself last year when REO Speedwagon nixed Savvy as opening act at the Houston Jam.

"The unusual thing about all that is that we were playing at the Agora in Houston the night of the Jam last summer and REO Speedwagon came into the club after they had performed at the Astrodome," Hudson recalled. "They had just knocked us out of playing before a big crowd, but they asked us if they could sit in on our equipment and play there at the Agora. We said, 'sure, go ahead. We don't hold any grudges.'

"They walked into the club kind of cocky, but they were pretty friendly. They acted like they didn't know anything about knocking us off the Jam. Their manager said he didn't know anything about it, either, but I'm not so sure about that."

Nevertheless, all that is history. The most important thing for Savvy now is the new album.

"We've got a state distribution deal and the album shoulc be in every record store in Texas very shortly," Hudson related.