The Kurt Henry Band | Flaming June

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Rock: Progressive Rock Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Mood: Fun
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Flaming June

by The Kurt Henry Band

A diverse repertoire -- all original, no stinkin' covers -- while actively bending & blending genres -- a commitment to reviving popular styles -- with fresh flavors -- listen, groove, dance.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Same Jack
4:13 $0.99
2. I Like the Light
4:34 $0.99
3. My Advice
4:28 $0.99
4. Moonglow
4:05 $0.99
5. The Hammer and the Cross
6:09 $0.99
6. Whenever You're with Him
4:11 $0.99
7. Hammerhead Blues
2:56 $0.99
8. Startin' Line
3:39 $0.99
9. Tether of Life
3:09 $0.99
10. No One Man
3:16 $0.99
11. Over the Mountain
2:36 $0.99
12. River of Stars
3:35 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Kurt Henry Biography

A friend named Mikhail Horowitz once quipped, “I was born on Long Island with a plastic spoon in my mouth.” My childhood was filled with boats, cars, new miracle foods – in short, any happiness that could be squeezed into a “can” and sold to a middle-class family at an affordable price. The salt-marshes of my bayside community vanished under the demands of that burgeoning consumerism.
By the age of twelve I was more completely hooked on guitars, rock and roll and folksongs than I was in anything else, and by the age of seventeen my repertoire included songs about social justice and the war. By the age of nineteen I had performed professionally in coffee houses, including the Village Gaslight in NYC. As a singer I needed a persona for myself, and I became Kurt Henry (born K. H. Lambert). That invention was a lot more about writing (often related to what I read as a student), but that invention, luckily, could not prevail intact in the Age of Guitar and the accessibility of recorded music.
During my twenties I played clubs and was an opening act for many top performers such as Procol Harum, The Byrds, Asleep at the Wheel and Chuck Berry, mostly with a band called The Womblers. During that decade I learned a lot about guitars, usually in the company of a much-loved and remembered guitarist named Stephen Kerlinger, a. k. a., Buck Dilly. We played a completely original repertoire with four writers in the band. I, and other members, contributed songs in several genres. We knew that was a problem, but we managed to support ourselves for a decade, varying our all original repertoire, as we could, from show to show. I continued to do solo singer-songwriter showcases and coffeehouses with a flat-top guitar and played mostly solo shows through my forties, while teaching English.
Our current fellowship evolved from the reunion of me and my old friend from Wombler days, Alan Groth (bass). Alan, my wife Cheryl and I are the musical core of the band. In 2001 we were joined by the late Steve Burgh (1950-2005) – a true legend and a much-missed friend – who helped us achieve our musical goals at a higher and more dynamic level (Billy Joel, John Prine and Aretha Franklin are among his guitar credits). Our drummer and percussionist, Eric Parker, is the rhythm ace and the very best drummer we could have for the variety of styles in which I write: reggae, R&B, folk-rock, samba, bluegrass-rock, Celtic and who knows.
After Steve died, I made the decision to work as the only guitarist in my band. Steve and I had played some great duets, he had pushed me to play more solos and during the recording of my second CD helped build my confidence—as a guitarist as much or more than as a singer-songwriter. I realized that I had the chord/melody skills to fill the space of two of most musical instruments other than keyboards. When I retired from teaching English in 2013 with four CDs to my credit, I began to work a lot harder on my guitar skills, spending more time than ever with my favorite Gretsch 6120—an electric arch top guitar featured on the cover of our newest CD.
“Flaming June” is our best work as a band, thus far. It is a simpler recording in some ways than our last, and it’s true to our live shows. I’ve learned that a smaller, tighter band, is like a small sports car. With little hard arrangement, we can take the bumps and corners easily, we can fit into small spaces, and we can do it with style—in fact several styles.

Some remarks about the songs:

“Same Jack”: Ray Charles’ persona on “Hit The Road, Jack” is back. He’s a new man, and he is not taking any shit. I love Ray: who doesn’t.

“I Like the Light”—I go out of my way to avoid writing about myself, but here it is. If I ever had to live life without Cheryl, I would wind up in the Lost and Found—mostly lost. This is a bit of an homage to the Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd samba recordings—sweetest summer love songs ever.

“My Advice”—I wrote this for the Trump political season. It’s sleazy and disgusting, the persona being no more pleasant than the subject. The speaker and subject are not Trump, but they are of a type you might find swimming at the bottom in dark and delusional places. Still, what fun!

“Moon-glow”—This is the new song I wish I’d written in the old days. It’s simple, it has a bit of a Buddy Holly optimism in the B part(“It’s the song of the moon-glow shining into your window.”. It’s a song about true love, the kind that accepts the past and illuminates the future.

“The Hammer and the Cross.” This is our most requested new song. I wrote it at the Crossgates Mall, while in what may have appeared as a trance. It haunted me, and haunts me like no song I have ever played. The images running through my mind—rape, murder—could not be described literally and so I chose the symbols of the pine (virginity, youth) and the oak (wisdom, age) to represent the horror of a genocide that could have occurred in the ninth century. It is an incomplete story: we don’t know if the Christians broke promise with the pagans or vice-versa. Inasmuch as newer Christians retained old customs it is hard to tell. When conflict occurs between different religions it hardly matters. Which side broke the promise made to live together in peace?

“Whenever You’re With Him”—Here’s what I learned from reading and teaching Othello. Love is not the strongest emotion; jealousy is. I was thinking about Percy Sledge, who recently passed. The raw emotion of “When A Man Loves A Woman” is off the scale, so I went for a slightly different scale.

“Hammerhead Blues”—People from Long Island should avoid singing blues. I get that. But here it is—a blues song. I do belong to a union and I support unions—please remember this in your most kind listening.

“Startin’ Line”—I received a suicidal letter from an old friend some time back, and I received a suicide letter from a friend who went through it. Depression kills dreams, even when it does not literally kill. This is a love song of another kind.

“Tether of Life”—In my life I have written two “automatic songs.” I wrote this in a few minutes sitting in front of my home “practice” digital work station. It’s a simple song about love, family, etc. It’s not at all a sad song, truly, but it was occasioned by the death of a young person in Cheryl’s family that was devastating to all of us, and left us with so many questions and no answers. Nevertheless this cathartic piece should be seen as a simple love song with references to the love-bonds of family and how most often, loosening those bonds is an act of love—the hardest way parents know to show love for their children. The last verse is a paraphrase of a poem written by a child lost

“No One Man” and “Over the Mountain” are recreated Wombler songs, from my country-rock days. Oh, how I tried to recreate the guitar joy I used to feel from hearing the late Steve Kerlinger play it. Still, I came close enough to get a better look at his artistry and that was worth the price of commission.

“River of Stars”—I wrote this song to compliment a friend of mine who sings jazz, called Bill Bannon. He I also thought a lot about the Maria Muldaur hit, “Midnight at the Oasis,” which many guitarists will tell you has one of the best solos ever in a top forty hit. It was played by the great Amos Garrett, who lived in Woodstock for awhile and was very generous with his time to both myself and Stephen Kerlinger. Like the Muldaur hit, it is a sexy little ditty. Can you tell I hate telephones.?



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