I’m typing this on a Sunday, after the most epic home-cooked curry. There are bound to be typos as most of my energy is currently being put into digestion. I’ll do my best to type something coherent through the paneer induced fug. My brain is currently secondary to my stomach.
Talking of curry, I visited David Elephant, founder of my record label, in his office The Spice Inn, Stratford last week. Among other things we discussed the next new music, I’ll be releasing. Yes, the mythical ‘secret project’ will be unleashed upon an unsuspecting and indifferent world in just a matter of months. Tremble ye mighty, for it shall humble your ears.
But not yet. Patience, patience.
Anyway, gigs have started! Gigs!
Yes, that’s right, the first Tom Slatter Duo gig (we’re not calling it the Tom Slatter Duo, that’s an awful name) has taken place. It was a lovely gig in Darlington, UK. I have written a blog post about it in which i explain exactly how rock n roll Gareth and I are (hint: not very):
I first worked with Gareth when we both played on a track called Wounds from Mike Kershaw’s last album. When I mentioned online that I was gearing up to get gigging again, Gareth offered his services, which I thought sounded grand. I have a lot of songs, particularly on Happy People, that just can’t work as a solo song. …Read more
As I mention in the blog, the gig has also been reviewed, so there’s another write-up to read over here.
What’s more, Emma the promoter has sent me a live recording. It’s just the unedited feed from the sound desk, and being an acoustic gig that means it isn’t a perfect recreation of the sound. You can hear both guitars and the vocal, however, so here is a link to the mp3 of the opening track:
Last weekend I went to see Mothertongue, and to do away with ‘fan’ Tony, who had been going far too far with bad puns over on The Tom Slatter Immoral Support Group. Alas, I was not as successful as I hope:
Tony claims he’s a fan of my music. That might be the case, though if you can decipher this sub-Joycean melange of a review you more clever than I. He is, however, guilty of the most egregious, violent punning on the internet….Read more
Happy People is selling quite nicely, but of course, there are still copies. You can get your mitts on a copy, or stream the whole thing over here.
California Progressive AOR Rock Band “Time Horizon’ release stunning video shot in a studio setting, the video is for the single “Only One” from the highly acclaimed “Transitions” album released in late 2015
Ralph Otteson: Keyboards, vocals
Bruce Gaetke: Drums, lead vocal
Allen White: Bass
Dave Miller: guitar
Produced by Ralph Otteson and Billy Sherwood.
Music mixed by Billy Sherwood
Edited by Ralph Otteson
Cameras operated by:
Bruce Gaetke, John Fenner and Ray Sala
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Catalog Number: MRRCD 22120
Mark Truey Trueack & Sean Timms (Unitopia) have linked up to form a one-off live band called U.N.I.T. dB. They are joined by Southern Empire’s Danny Lopresto (guitars, vocals) and Brody Thomas Green (drums,vocals), and Steve Unruh (flute, violin) from Resistor/The Samurai of Prog.
We hope this message finds you well. Recently, there has been some speculation regarding the status of the friendship between Mark & myself. As you may be aware, during the making of our (unfinished) album ‘Turn Left’, Mark & I had a disagreement over some issues that were dear to both our hearts. We disbanded Unitopia and we started our own projects, Mark with United Progressive Fraternity and myself with Southern Empire. Both projects have been met with great success and we are respectively very proud of them.
About 6 months ago, Mark & I had the opportunity to talk about a few things unrelated to Unitopia and we found that our respect and care for one another was still there, despite the damages of the past. Mark was extremely supportive throughout a difficult business situation that we were both involved in and this gave us hope that a rekindling of our friendship was possible.
Where does this leave Unitopia you might ask?
As of this writing, there are no plans to re-form Unitopia, but there are some exciting projects that both Mark & I are working on together. These will be announced in due course and we hope you’ll get behind them as you’ve done for every other project that we’ve been involved in.
UPF and Southern Empire are still our primary focus and there will be some very exciting announcements concerning all three bands very soon.
Thank you for your continued support of our music. It means a great deal to us and we are constantly humbled and honoured to have such a wonderful and caring fan base.
Cheers… Sean Timms & Mark Truey Trueack
Artwork by Ed Unitsky
Indonesian guitar legend of Balinese ethnic heritage and balinese Hindu faith – Dewa Budjana – marks his initial Favored Nations release in grandiose style, offering his most ambitious album to date, “Zentuary.” Supported by an all-star cast of enormous proportions – including jazz drums (and occasional pianist) legend, Jack DeJohnette (Miles Davis; over forty years on the ECM label), the iconic progressive bass and stickman, Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel; King Crimson; Stick Men), and the extraordinary superstar sideman talents of Britain’s Gary Husband (Allan Holdsworth; John McLaughlin; Billy Cobham; Jack Bruce) – Budjana offers a profusion of cross-cultural delicacies which tease, cajole, enthrall and, ultimately, satisfy listeners. Special guests include guitarist Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats; Steven Wilson; GPS), Tim Garland (Chick Corea; Bill Bruford), Danny Markovich (Marbin), Czech Symphony Orchestra and Indonesian flutist/vocalist Saat Syah and Indonesian singers Ubiet and Risa Saraswati.
Dewa Budjana, a veteran player whose 30 years career has already been marked by collaborations with a virtual “who’s who” of jazz, fusion and prog luminaries (Peter Erskine, Vinnie Colaiuta, Antonio Sanchez, Chad Wackerman, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Haslip, Dave Carpenter, Reggie Hamilton, Ben Williams, Joe Locke, Larry Goldings, Janis Siegel, Dwiki Dharmawan, Ron Thal Bamblefoot, Billy Sheehan, and many others), still manages to raise the stakes and elevate the level of his game on his fifth solo album.
Aside from his renowned skills on guitar, Zentuary documents Dewa Budjana’s position as one of the genre’s most prolific, accomplished composers and arrangers. The music on this 2-CD set is a magnanimous affair, where its highly skilled participants are given ample space to create and express. The net result is a soaring, synergistic mélange of brilliant, articulate instrumental progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion and world music. After 4 successful and critically acclaimed releases on MoonJune Records (“Dawai In Paradise”, 2013; “Joged Kahyangan” in 2013, “Surya Namaskar” in 2014″, and “Hasta Karma” in 2015) this is – under the auspices of MoonJune Music and MoonJune Asia – a Favored Nations debut of the Indonesian icon not to be missed!
ALBUM TO BE RELEASED WORLDWIDE ON 1OCTOBER 14, 2016 on Steve Vai’s FAVORED NATIONS label (distributed by RED) (2CD and Digital Distribution) except in Indonesia where album is released by deMajors Records (2CD) and Dewa Budjana / MoonJune Asia (HD Download).
Also available as 3 LP 180 grams gatefold vinyl limited edition released worldwide by Audio Anatomy (Poland).
Album available on Favored Nations in stores wordlwide and online, from October 14, 2016:
AMAZON USA: www.amazon.com/Zentuary-Dewa-Budjana/dp/B01KM1V47Y
AMAZON UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Zentuary-Dewa-Budjana/dp/B01KM1V47Y
AMAZON GERMANY: www.amazon.de/Zentuary-2CD-Budjana-Dewa/dp/B01KM1V47Y
AMAZON JAPAN: www.amazon.co.jp/Zentuary-Dewa-Budjana/dp/B01KM1V47Y
1. Dancing Tears 09:11
2. Solas PM 09:18
3. Lake Takengon 07:45
4. Suniakala 08:40
5. Dear Yulman 08:21
6. Crack In The Sky 07:36
1. Pancaroba 08:12
2. Manhattan Temple 10:00
9. Dedariku 10:45
10. Ujung Galuh 07:05
11. Uncle Jack 10:50
12. Zentuary 02:50
DEWA BUDJANA all guitars, soundscapes
TONY LEVIN electric upright NS Design bass (all tunes; except 6 on Disk One and 6 on Disk Two),
Chapman Stick (tune 6 on Disk One)
GARY HUSBAND drums (tunes 1, 2, 4 & 6 on Disk One; 1, 4 & 5 on Disk Two),
keyboards & acoustic piano (all tunes; except 5 & 6 on Disk Two)
JACK DEJOHNETTE drums (tunes 3 & 5 on Disk One; 2 & 3 on Disk Two),
acoustic piano (tune 5 on Disk 2)
DANNY MARKOVICH curved soprano sax (tune 2 on Disk One; 4 on Disk Two)
TIM GARLAND tenor sax (tune 2 on Disk Two)
GUTHRIE GOVAN guitar solo (tune 4 on Disk One)
SAAT SYAH custom made Indonesian suling flute (tune 6 on Disk One; 3 on Disk 2)
UBIET vocals (tune 3 on Disk One)
RISA SARASWATI vocals (tune 6 on Disk One)
CZECH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by Michaela Růžičková (tune 4 on Disk One; 6 on Disk Two)
(C) Museum Gitarku/MoonJune Asia (P) Favored Nations, 2016
All composition by Dewa Budjana (except ‘Crack In The Sky’ composed by Markus Reuter & Tony Levin).
Produced by Dewa Budjana for Museum Gitarku.
Associated producer Leonardo Pavkovic for MoonJune Asia.
Executive producer IGN Bagus Wijaya Santosa.
Marc Atkinson is a solo acoustic singer/songwriter… He is also ‘The Voice’ of RIVERSEA and has previously sang with NINE STONES CLOSE, GABRIEL, FRONTIER and EXPRESSIONS… As well as lending his vocals to the MANDALABAND project… He continues to gig heavily in the North of England playing his one man, ‘human juke box’ acoustic shows… Marc’s new solo album Homegrown is now available for pre-order
The first 100 orders of Homegrown will receive a bonus 20 track demo CD ‘Songs That Nearly Were’…
All the pre-orders will go towards the production costs for the CDs manufacturing and will be very much appreciated 🙂
1 A Portrait
2 Raise Your Voice
3 Just Between God & Me
4 The Hands of Time
5 My Little Girl
6 When The English Rose
7 Still in Love With You
8 Whatever Happened…
10 Am I Getting Through
12 Lay Your Head On Me
14 This Is The Future
15 Home Grown
Homegrown Line Up
Marc Atkinson: vocals, guitars, Piano
Tamsin Atkinson: backing vocals on 3 songs
Enya Atkinson: backing vocals on 3 songs
Andy ‘Rob’ Swann: drums on 8 songs
Bob Fleming: Bass on 9 songs
Brendan Eyre: keyboards on 2 songs
Jack Burge: Violin on 2 songs