The Way We Are, a freshman album, marked the appearance of one of the truly extraordinary songwriting talents to arrive on the music scene, Fred Moolten. Fred Moolten's emergence as a songwriter had been preceded by years spent in other realms. At one time a stage and television actor, he later went on to earn a medical degree and devote himself to scientific research. His sense of drama never waned, however, but re-emerged with the debut of his freshman album in striking musical terms. Because of the emotional and personal nature of many of his songs, Moolten is often asked whether they are autobiographical. Most are not, he proclaims, although "Cat Lullaby" comes close. What he tries to do is call on fragments of experience from his life and the lives of those close to him, combining lyrics and music to transmute them into something coherent enough to become a song.
What made his debut album work was the masterful arrangements by Mike Lewis and Don Vappie with the vocal artistry of Bryan Harden, Michelle Amato, Don Vappie, and Rachel Perry. The Way We Are was recorded in Miami and New Orleans. Another artist to work with Fred Moolten is drummer Bernard "Bunchy" Johnson, who has a long and illustrious list of credits as a musician. Don Vappie, who performed vocals and banjo for "Expedition Rag" on Moolten's debut album and worked with Fred Moolten arranging and producing three songs on The Way We Are. Arranger, producer, and composer Mike Lewis was responsible for the arrangements and production of the ten songs on The Way We Are. ~ Larry Belanger