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King Happy | In MY Country

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Spoken Word: With Music Urban/R&B: R&B Rap mix
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In MY Country

by King Happy

Spoken word -- savagely critical of the American and Israeli governments -- over funky hip-hop, r&b, and world-beat grooves.
Genre: Spoken Word: With Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. In My Country
5:23 $0.99
2. High School
5:35 $0.99
3. Bar Code
4:00 $0.99
4. We Are the Torturers
4:40 $0.99
5. Wellstone
5:25 $0.99
6. Message to Israel
5:58 $0.99
7. How to Attain Enlightenment
5:29 $0.99
8. Recruiters
3:47 $0.99
9. The Journalist
4:52 $0.99
10. Confession
3:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Government is just an army run by rich people to protect them while they steal from the rest of us." (from High School)

King Happy's controversial and brutally honest spoken word performances - poetic visions of the modern-day hell we all live in - will send chills up your spine. And yet the music by groovemaster Derrik Jordan (Touch The Earth, Expecting A Miracle, Super String Theory) is unbearably seductive. The synergy between the words and the music stirs the entire range of human emotions, from the mellow Marvin Gaye memories of the title tune to the horn-driven funk of the sarcastic High School, from the industrial nightmare world of Bar Code to the unbearably poignant melody that backs up The Journalist. You will dance and cry at the same time!

Jordan and King Happy have been working together on various musical projects since 1973, and they both play in the experimental improvisational trio NATURAL HISTORY, which celebrated three decades as a band with the release of Great Apes of Vermont last year. But besides attempting almost every conceivable style of music together over the years, they have also both devoted countless hours to environmental and antiwar activism. This new cd In MY Country represents the culmination of all those decades on the musical and political front lines, with both artists at the peak of their creative abilities.

Where did these gut-wrenching poems come from? Barry "King Happy" Hyman's mother was the author Shirley Jackson, whose famous short story The Lottery terrified millions with its dark depiction of human nature. His father was the highly-respected literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, who earned his reputation by his "instinct for the jugular." And their friend Ralph Ellison, the African American writer whose novel Invisible Man tried to warn the world about the unbearable pressures building up in the black community, was King Happy's godfather. So now, during a time when America is more polarized politically than at any time in history, with the fascists trying to consolidate their power, King Happy has combined the voices of his ancestors and is speaking out in a way that is brave and visionary, but also heart-rending and deeply disturbing.

The music by Derrik Jordan is absolutely breathtaking -- tasteful, intelligent, and always elegant. The instruments (especially the sax and flute tracks by NYC session player Erik Lawrence) wrap around the poetry like a velvet glove on an iron fist. Every poem gets a totally different musical treatment, whether it's the dialogue between the unrelenting Arabic strings and the fragile harmonica in Message To Israel, the sweet mellow jazz of How To Attain Enlightenment, or the agony of the cello and sax in We Are The Torturers. Derrik is one of the best composer/arranger/producers alive today, and it is his impeccable musical vision, that, more than anything, brings King Happy's poetry to life. Together they have made one of the most powerful and moving political statements to hit the American airwaves in decades.



to write a review

dan from ny

a must for all people of conscience
Every political activist should hear this cd. It is progressive and provacative!!!

phil, nate & elliott

Great music with an acurate reflection of America today.
From first to last this is not back-ground music(but if you take away the words it would be wonderful back-ground). A vision of what our country, was, is and could be. A chilling reminder of the callous special interest government we have and their indifference to suffering if there is a profit to be made. It is almost a shame that such great music can not give a happier message. I would urge you to buy this CD, give it away, lend it and then buy more. Get out the vote on Nov. 2nd so King Happy can go back to more optomistic lyrics and maybe talk to a government that does listen and does care.


Riveting on many levels - a must have
This masterpiece is undoubtedly unique - never before has such a timely political/social message been packaged with such fabulous musicianship. You'll want to keep it close at hand when you're out saving the world from the evil-doers, an occupation you'll be inspired to by this CD's forthright, intelligent musical and poetic power.


An important, empowered release by truly gifted musicians
With his newest release, King Happy once again brings on the politically charged dance music we've been hearing for years, only this time it feels even more driven. In a time when MY country seems to quickly be becoming THEIR country it is important for people like King Happy to be speaking their mind, and even more important for others to spread it. In MY Country is not only a great listen, but an important one, and it will surely leave its listeners thinking about the status of our nation; their feet jsut might be moving while they do it!

Dancing On the Teeth of Tyranny!

Truth to straighten your spine; music you can dance to!
Wimps beware! In My Country, the title song, would be our national anthem if honesty and decency ruled. Something for everyone who embraces life, learned its value the hard way, laughs to keep from crying, and dances to keep from falling down. All heart, with teeth. You will see the garden,the serpent, the puppet masters, and laugh about every blessed moment and shining failure within each of us, from childhood to the grave. Here is truth to straighten your spine, with stunning music you can dance to. Thanks!!

Tom Fels

Outspoken, forthright, and honest
"In My Country" continues the longstanding outspoken work of regional musician, sage, and social critic Barry Hyman. Ever transparent, forthright, and honest, in his latest CD Hyman offers his personal and artistic view of both the best and the worst of today's world. Critical, it also offers hope; direct, it displays, as well, a dry humor; serious and comprehensive, it examines a spectrum that extends from war to enlightenment. Hyman brings to "In My Country" more than thirty years of experience, study and practice. Interestingly, though producing a professional level performance or CD today entails some of the technology Hyman views from the perspective of a "lovers' quarrel," there is nothing on "In My Country" that couldn't be sung by primitives around a fire.


Hyman continues an ancient tradition of settinghard truth to a groove.
Along with his other projects, the mix of powerful, biting lyrical commentary stirs up agreement in the soul with the convincing funk, contemporary grooves. A cross between bohemian spoken word and jazzy hip-hop. But more than that: Hyman has access to decades of eclectic musical immersion so flavors from world-wide influences seep through the entire composition.
This effort is more brittle and more brilliant as a reflection of dark political events, a call for unity and esistance ("in my country, nobody tortures anybody"). Let no voice be silent.

Young Boss

Simply the Best
Barry Hyman and Derrik Jordan have created a masterpiece for our time and future times. If only everyone could listen to this CD and be inspired to do some GOOD! Barry is a genius, and I am so lucky to be able to play music with him. This is what King Happy has always wanted to do, and he did it. Incredible.


Exceptional, a must for music lovers and establishment haters
Here is a CD that takes a bleak political environment and puts it into a rich musical tableau. Great music, with an even more powerful message. I don't pick up a lot of new CDs... but this one I had to have. It is a CD that makes you think, and makes you want to play it over and over.