Spurred by the raucous energy of punk rock and the fiery passion of U2, Dave Sharp launched his musical career as a guitarist for the Alarm. Sharp formed the Alarm with Mike Peters (vocals, guitar), Eddie MacDonald (bass), and Nigel Twist (drums) in 1981. Throughout the '80s the Alarm was one of the most popular bands on college radio, producing a lengthy list of left-of-the-dial hits that included "The Stand," "68 Guns," "Absolute Reality," "Strength," and "Rain in the Summertime." "Rain in the Summertime" managed to infiltrate pop radio in 1988, but massive success eluded the Alarm. After the Alarm split up in the early '90s, Sharp moved to New York. He met the New Jersey rockabilly outfit the Barnstormers, and they collaborated with him on his first solo album, Hard Travellin', in 1991. Produced by Bob Johnson, who had worked with Bob Dylan on classic albums such as Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding, and Nashville Skyline, Sharp abandoned the Alarm's anthemic, U2-influenced sound for roots rock and folk. Hard Travellin' was lauded by critics, and Sharp even found himself being compared to Dylan. From 1991 to 1993, Sharp toured the United States, releasing his second album, Downtown America, in 1995. ~ Michael Sutton, Rovi