In the early 1990s the band became close friends with legendary drummer and percussionist Dave Early who had settled in Belfast and was playing with Mary Black. When not touring with Mary, Dave worked closely with Tamalin playing concerts and experimenting in the studio. An album was shaping and in July 1997 Rhythm and Rhyme was released on the Grapvine label.
In October 1996 Dave Early died in a car accident outside Dublin and never saw the release of the band's debut album. John had a parallel career for many years, being a member of Donal Lunny's Coolfin as well as co-founding the band Lunasa along with Michael McGoldrick.