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MP3 Dick Kohles - Unenlightened Mind

A window on the human experience in the style of Leonard Cohen and Gordon Lightfoot that encourages tolerence over intolerance and love over war.

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk-Rock, ROCK: Americana

The cover says it all, what are those cartoons doing on painted crab shells? When I shot this photo I knew I had the cover for my CD and the perfect compliment to the title song “Unenlightened Mind “, a song of the American experience and our ability to re-live (or re-create) history again and again. You don’t need an Oracle to tell you that, but she does see the situation from a vantage point of experience and time as opposed to spin and fabrication.

I make music because I love to; I have written jingles and arrangements for others and produced a number of CD’s for indie artist. This release is here because I want people to listen to it. Radio stations will not air anything unless you’re 30 or younger or have been a hit maker in the past. I have been a lead singer with many bands continuing through my adult life. I write songs that have a story to tell, I’m not interested in lyrics that don’t go anywhere.

This music is not for you if you think that the government has the “right” to tap your phone or punish political enemy’s. It’s not for you if you feel that this country would be better off with a theocracy. It’s geared toward a mature audience, people who like lyrics that tell a story.

When I was a kid my father borrowed a Gibson ES 175 from one of his friends at work. I immediately sat down and made up my first song by sounding out single strings and building melodies around the tone; I have been writing songs ever since.

I got my first guitar (''57 Fender Telecaster and a Silvertone amp) the Christmas of 1957. I drove everyone crazy with the endless ka-chunking of rock and roll chords. Before that I was a tenor sax player in my school band, but I quickly abandoned the sax for the guitar and never looked back.

In high school, my girl friend talked me into joining the chorus. Apprehensive at first, I found that I loved singing in a group, blending harmonies and building dynamics… I was hooked. She was also the lead singer in a group (Jan and the Caravan) that played most weekends in the Buffalo area. I went to every gig and received a real education into the behind the scenes grittiness of the music biz. The scales began to fall from my eyes.

My college years were dedicated to drinking beer, playing music and getting thru school. I did manage to write some songs during this time. I also managed a rock band and helped them with their arrangements. Songwriting has always been cathartic for me; it''s always been about trying to convey emotions by writing stories. I write because I have to.

Soon after graduation I was drafted and sent to Korea. My brother had been wounded in Nam and my orders were changed from Nam to the DMZ in Korea. I immediately sent for my acoustic guitar and jammed whenever I could with my fellow draftees.

There were plenty of dissenters in the army at that time. So many college grads had been drafted in 1968 that the army had its hands full keeping us in line. I participated in an underground paper that we distributed in Korea after dark so that we wouldn’t be caught by our “superiors.” You have no rights in the military.

After the army I talked my old college buddy into playing bass guitar and we worked many venues together singing tight harmonies as The Katmandu Band. He and I went on to a number of different groups. We played many colleges and clubs along the east coast from Burlington, Vermont to Traverse City, Michigan. One night while the Katmandu Band was playing the Locker Room, a popular west side hangout in Buffalo N.Y, we let a small combo sit in during a break. I didn''t know it at the time, but the lead singer, April Frantz, would become a singer in “Tex and the Red Hots" with Bill Edwards and myself. Bill is now a staff songwriter for a publishing company. We performed original songs by Bill and me along with swing and rock tunes. April and I would marry and have three sons together. She can be heard on some of the harmonies in this collection. We also played in a country swing band (The Hearts of the West) for many years.

I believe in the power of words and music. I also believe in freedom of speech even if the current administration does not. If we stop speaking out we will surely loose the ability to do so. If you like my songs, I will be pleased. If they upset you, that’s OK too.

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