Although Maryland power-poppers the Greenberry Woods seemed to have the right ingredients for success -- songwriting and musical talent, a quickly secured major-label contract, and a positive reaction from power pop fans -- the band self-destructed after only two albums.
Songwriters/vocalists/guitarists Ira Katz and Matt Huseman formed the Greenberry Woods at the University of Maryland after meeting in 1988 as sophomores and forging a songwriting partnership. The lineup was completed by Huseman's twin brother Brandt on bass and drummer Miles Rosen. After Katz and Huseman graduated, they moved back to Baltimore and made an immediate splash on the local scene. Band manager John Lay, whose previous clients included Squeeze and Robyn Hitchcock, was well-connected and able to secure the Greenberry Woods a deal with Sire in February 1993 after a show in New York. Their debut album, Rapple Dapple, was released in 1994, and the single "Trampoline" garnered a fair amount of radio airplay. Supporting tour slots with such acts as Deborah Harry and the Proclaimers followed, but inexperience hurt the band, as their live rapport had not quite been developed enough prior to their signing. Support from Sire dwindled following its move from Reprise to Elektra, and tensions arose in the band due to the Husemans' side project Splitsville, undertaken with Woods guitar tech Paul Krysiak. Matters became worse during the recording of 1995's Big Money Item, as the presence of three songwriters with their own individual ambitions took its toll on group harmony. Sire released the band from its contract in 1996, leaving the Husemans free to pursue Splitsville; meanwhile, Katz formed a new band, Wonderfool, while Rosen quit music to become a mortgage banker. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi