Zen of Thieves | Better Angels

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Pop: Pop/Rock Folk: Political Moods: Type: Political
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Better Angels

by Zen of Thieves

This song imagines what Abraham Lincoln would think about our current political situation.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Better Angels
3:17 $0.99
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Album Notes
Zen of Thieves is a studio band presenting songs of Doc Heide performed by multiple lead vocalists. In the coming months we plan to release a series of singles, each featuring a different lead vocalist. Our first single will be "Better Angels", with California folksinger Claudia Russell doing lead vocals.

The song postulates what Lincoln, looking down from the next world, might think about our current political climate. The lyrics include short quotations from several of his most stirring speeches.

Instrumentalists include Eric Lewis (lead guitar), Hans Christian (cello), Rev. Charles Hodges (Hammond B3 organ), Paul Taylor (drums and electric bass), Paul Sowinski (acoustic bass), Tim Lenihan (electric piano), Doc Heide (rhythm guitar), and Will Taylor (fiddle). Harmony vocals by Karen Mal. Backup vocalists are Susan Marshall, Lisa G., and Reva Russell.

"Better Angels" was recorded in multiple studios including Utopia Soundwurks (Sister Bay, WI) and Archer Studios (Memphis, TN). Engineers include Dave Alley, Bruce Kaplan, and Kevin Houston. Mastering by Brad Blackwood (Euphonic Masters, Memphis, TN).
DOC HEIDE (songwriter, rhythm guitar) has recorded three CD's including "Lessons I Learned From the Moon" (1990)
"Peaceful Kingdom" (2005, with Doc Heide and the Pills), and "Christmas in Door County" (2008, with Eric Lewis). Doc is co-founder of Northern Sky Theater and co-author of 20 musicals including "Belgians in Heaven" and "Packer Fans from Outer Space" (with Lee Becker and James Kaplan) and "Guys & Does" (with Lee Becker and Paul Libman).

CLAUDIA RUSSELL (vocals) has shared stages with Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Loudon Wainwright III, Steve Forbert, Tish Hinojosa, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson, Darryl Purpose, Peter Rowan, Rosalie Sorrels and Bill Staines. She is accompanied by the Folk Unlimited Orchestra which includes Bruce Kaplan on mandolin, guitar and vocals, and Mark Petrella on string bass. Boston's WUMB FM named Claudia the Best New Artist of 2000, the East Bay Express named her Best Musician in 2006, and she has twice been selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition. Claudia was a 2004 finalist in the Sisters Folk Festival Songwriters contest in Bend Oregon and the 2002 KRCL Songwriting contest in Salt Lake City.

ERIC LEWIS (lead guitar) has performed with Lewis and Burroughs, Jimbo Mathus, Earl the Pearl and People of the Blues, Amy LaVere, The Tennessee Boltsmokers, Eric and Andy, Keith Sykes, Jimmy Davis, Lance Strode, Chris Scott, and many others. Eric has also toured the country with the first national tour of "Patsy! ", starring Gail Bliss. He has also worked with Claudia Russell and the Folk Unlimited Orchestra, Doc Heide, American Folklore Theatre, E-squared artist Cheri Knight, Jason Petty and the Honky Tonk Heroes Band, and Prairie Home Companion favorites Robin and Linda Williams. In 2003, he received the Premier Player Award for Strings by the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

HANS CHRISTIAN (cello) has worked with Robbie Robertson, Gene Clarke, Sparks, John Waite, Billy Idol, members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peter Case, Daniel Lanois, T Bone Burnett, Victoria Williams, Toni Childs, Krishna Das, GuruGanesha Band, Snatam Kaur, and his own band, RASA.

KAREN MAL (harmony vocals) is an Austin-based singer-songwriter who has been a three-time New Folk Finalist at Kerrville Folk Festival and won top awards at Tucson Folk Festival, Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, and Portland Songwriters Association. Her albums include "Mercury's Wings", "Dark-Eyed Sailor", and "The Space Between."

PAUL TAYLOR (bass and drums) has worked in Big Ass Truck, the Gamble Brothers Band, the Pirates, Antenna Shoes, and Bloodthirsty Lovers. He produced Amy LaVere's debut album, "This World Is Not My Home", and played drums in her road band. His first solo album is "Open Closed" (2009).

PAUL SOWINSKI (acoustic bass) has performed with Big Mouth, the Great Lakes Rhythm Kings, Amnesians, River City 6, Green Bay Packer Band, Off Center Jazz Band, Mid-Life Crisis, Green Bay Symphony, Doc Heide and the Pills, and many other bands.

TIM LENIHAN (piano) has played in the Chicago productions of "Wicked", "Billy Elliott", "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", "Spamalot", and many other shows. He's been an orchestral pianist with Elgin Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, and New Philharmonic.

REV. CHARLES HODGES, SR. (Hammond B3 organ) has performed and recorded with Al Green, O. V. Wright, Willie Mitchell, Ike and Tina Turner, Bonnie Raitt, Toni Braxton, Albert Collins, Rod Stewart, and many others. A songwriter and minister, he helped create the Memphis soul sound in the 1960's and 70's.

WILL TAYLOR (fiddle) has performed with Turtle Island String Quartet, Austin Lyric Opera orchestra, and Strings Attached. He has released three jazz albums: "Reel Life", "Simple Gifts", and "Live from Austin", which have received airplay on NPR and All Things Considered. His group Strings Attached has collaborated with Eliza Gilkyson, Tish Hinojosa, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and many others.

SUSAN MARSHALL (backup vocals) is founder of Mother Ship and has recorded with Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Afghan Whigs, Lucinda Williams, Lenny Kravitz, and many others.

REBA RUSSELL (backup vocals) is lead singer with the Reba Russell Band. She is 3-time winner of the Premier Female Vocalist Award with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and has recorded with U2 (Rattle & Hum), Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, John Fogarty, and many others.

LISA G. (backup vocals) is a Memphis singer who performs regularly on B. B. King's stage.



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