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However winding the road is, The Alternate Routes find a way.  Tim Warren and Eric Donnelly, both Fairfield Alums, are touring again, following a daring departure from Vanguard Records, and the rescinding of bass player Chip Johnson. Released on October 12th, the band’s third studio album, Lately, chronicles the modest yet tenacious determination of The Alternate Routes.

“I think that’s the blessing and curse of being a songwriter,” says vocalist and electric guitarist, Donnelly, “You are constantly talking about what is going on both internally and externally.”

Graduates Donnelly ’01 and Warren ’03, has been a pair working together musically since their auspicious crossing on campus. The two cite influences ranging from Tom Petty, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan to both past and present Fairfield professors Father Regan, Brian Torff, George Naha, and Laura Nash.  Perseverance is at the crux of The Alternate Routes. While Fairfield undergrads, Donnelly sought out channels for his passion where as Warren simply searched for a place to play.

“I used to play in the stairway of Regis late at night on the top floor where the acoustics are great, and on stage in the basement of Jogues, before they locked the door. That’s where I would go to write on campus,” Warren, lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist, reminisces. “At Fairfield I was overwhelmed by the competitive social atmosphere… I took solace on the harder days in the search for more meaning that goes hand in hand with the songwriting process.”

Warren’s search for solace is exposed for listeners’ judgment on the new album.

“I’m not sure I have ever reached into a song the way I reached into that one,” Warren says of the track “Raincoat.” “To me the song is about falling to your knees and asking for help from God in a troubled time, and the humility and love that comes to you as a result of that.”

“The last year was the hardest year of my life,” Warren confesses. Yet where many would have wallowed in their sorrows, Warren headed to Nashville with Donnelly to independently create and release the inspiring panacea that is Lately. “I hope that in some way the music I write in the years to come takes on a greater ability to heal or calm people.”

And so starts, and continues, the healing process.

“For better or worse, I still believe in what we are doing,” asserts Donnelly, and the two aren’t stopping at music. They have recently aligned themselves with The Mocha Club – an organization providing aid in Africa.

When they met at Fairfield, Donnelly and Warren were unaware that they had stumbled upon the survival kit of camaraderie that would make any issue surmountable. November 6th and 7th, the pair is bringing their winning perseverance back to where it started, playing at StageOne in Fairfield. On the 7th, they will be joined by one of their mentors, Brian Torff, on bass. Tickets are $20 for students.

Lately is available for both digital download and purchase at The Alternate Route’s website, www.thealternateroutes.com.

Donnelly sums up the therapeutic beauty of the record, “It’s about getting a little older and taking some of the hits that life has in store for you and not only dealing with them, but finding the joy in them.”

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