In 1986, Mike left the band and with some songs written for a second record on Homestead, Antietam enlisted Sean Mulhall from the Babylon Dance Band to come live in Hoboken for a spell and record with us. We had been approached by Albert Garzon at a show. He had a line on a project studio on the Upper East Side belonging to a producer of B.T. Express, Melba Moore, and Clarence Clemons. Although Tara's guitar sound leaned heavily on the piercing clarity of the songbird amp of the mid-80s, the Roland Jazz Chorus, Music From Elba was largely seen as a sonic improvement over the joyous but blurry cacophony of our first record.
Sean never intended to stay and join the band, so we placed an ad in the Village Voice and were fortunate to entice Steve Crowley to leave DC and come play drums with us. With the release of Elba, we went on a tour and tightened up the ship, at which point Wolf decided to leave the band for the jazz program at the New School. While Tim and Tara suspended activity pending enforced reevaluation, Steve joined the garage-rocking Raunch Hands.
TH and TK jammed with Nelson Bragg for a time, then, having made the recent acquaintance of Rick Brown (Information, V-Effect, Fish and Roses, Run On, Les Batteries, Inconvenient Music, to name only a few), spent several months forging the blueprint of Antietam as trio. Brown also, at this time, introduced TH and TK to the Music Building which is, to this day, still Antietam's rehearsal studio. With the help of Ira Kaplan, we demoed a batch of songs and Brown, while not joining the band, played the role of our first three-piece drummer.