The Vinyl Skyway is an American rock group led by singer/songwriters Michael Hayes and Andy Santospago, established in 2003 in the Bostonian town of Watertown, MA. The band was largely active (and bi-coastal) until 2012, when Hayes moved his family from Boston to Chicago. Despite the 900 mile distance, he and Santospago continued collaborating digitally on co-writes from Santospago’s 2014 “Year of the Horse” album and 2017's "AM Gold". Seven years after their last, the Vinyl Skyway is pleased to share their long anticipated 2018 release entitled “Long Cool Journey”. What started as "divorce album" demos has become a beautiful body of music that mourns the battles of cancer, suicide, divorce, betrayal, yet leaves hope for a better tomorrow and true love.
The band's first album was released in 2005 - a self-titled debut that wound up in the hands of Nic Harcourt which he played on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic". A bit of press with NPR's All Songs Considered, and some positive feedback from Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) were also helpful. Boston Phoenix rock critic Jonathan Perry describes the album as "gorgeous songs about faith and betrayal, street-corner blues and early-morning benders that would sit nicely alongside Wilco's "Being There," rating it as one of the best local Boston releases of the year.
Late in 2005, Hayes and Santospago would head to the west coast for a series of shows with drummer Booth Hardy and bassist Rob Pevitts (formerly of Lemonpeeler). A combination of chemistry and compelling new material kept the four together bi-coastally. In early 2006, producer Bil Bowen took his band to Kissy Pig studio in Allston, MA, where they were introduced to proprietor Karl Mogensen and his enormous Neve console. Over the next nine months, they added keyboardist Dave Lieb and completed the recording of their sophomore album. When it was finished, the Boston Globe published a cover story previewing From Telegraph Hill with comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, the Thrills and the Pernice Brothers. Separately, the Globe's review referred to it as a "headphone record of exquisitely crafted pop." It would be referred to as a breakthrough, and some called it 2007's best independent rock release.
In 2011, Hayes and Santospago launched a successful kickstarter campaign which ignited their third album entitled "Return of the Dead Surfer." The album was promoted only on Facebook and sold exclusively on bandcamp. Jonathan Perry's farewell to the band on the even of Hayes departure to Chicago went like this: "Every once in a great while, a band, a voice, a melody, a song -- or, in the case of the Vinyl Skyway, a whole *bushel* of songs -- catches you unawares. Renders you breathless. And seizes you with a sound that seems instantly to capture the essence of your day, your night, or your life. I've writing about music for nearly 20 years now, and listening to it for twice as long. And that's the effect that the Vinyl Skyway had on me. Upon hearing them for the first time, I wrote that real artists create beauty from catastrophe. And writing stunning songs that soar and glide and transcend whatever tough circumstances that inspired them is something this band has always done supremely well."