MP3 John Culbertson - Drifting Strangers
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11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Classic Rock, ROCK: Progressive Rock
. Shimmering Eclipse
Neil improvised the bass line on top of the crescendo. I've always loved a melodic bass line that drives a progression. The tonal center is D major, but you can here a lot of other tones emerge from the different layers.
I've been playing this little guitar piece for many years, and it served as the primary motivation for me to begin recording this CD -- slow and hypnotic.
2. Invisible Lament
When I was first writing this piece, I couldn't imagine rhythmically what Terrie could do with it. The pattern she plays with the kick-drum and high-hat really does pull the different instruments together.
This was the first part of the CD that we recorded, and it proved to be the most difficult. We couldn't identify a specific direction for the piece to go. We tried different approaches and decided that each of us should bring a different genre to it (Jazz, funk, rock, etc.); hence, "Fusion Illusion."
3. Behind the Curtain
I've always admired the composer Ligeti, and this piece was inspired by his work. I bounced guitar slide upon guitar slide to get the descending dissonance.
I used a subtle volume pedal to create the pulse-like hypnotic rhythm of this bass-line. I bring the guitar slides in again to create an abstract background melody.
4. Perpetual Mirage
One thing that I've admired from many early classical composers is their simplicity of the initial melody, and how they build upon that with various layers and parts. This is an attempt to capture that with guitar, bass, piano, and strings.
I've always found compositions interesting that create a tonal center around one note. When I wrote this I couldn't envision what the bass-line would be. Again, Neil captures it perfectly, and Terrie's drum-line in the bridge really builds the bluesy crescendo.
5. Continuity Restrained
This piece was written to serve as a bridge for the CD - capturing both the synthetic and organic. As with track 3, the melody sounds like a synth, but it's actually layered guitars with a tremolo, volume pedal and chorus effect. The synth fills out the rest.
6. My Mistress' Maid
I originally recorded this on a Fender Rhodes, but it didn't quite capture the feel that I wanted. Piano works a lot better, giving it a more somber feel.
Devoted to Blue
Major chords can have a very solemn and emotional feel to them - sometimes more powerful than minor and diminished chords. I paired these chords with mostly 5ths and octaves for the melody - this gives it a very angular, almost cube-like feel to the piece.
7. Dawn at Midnight (12:08 a.m.)
We recorded this at 12:00 at night. The entire solo was improvised over the chromatic descent. Again, sometimes melodies can come from the strangest places, and I wanted to write something melodic over a chromatic chord progression. This was what came out in those early hours of the morning. Terrie's drum fills really push the piano's dynamics.
8. Almost Make a Living
This piece was mostly improvised with the bulk of the solo in one take. Terrie's double-kick adds a lot to the intensity of the piece, as does Neil's bass during the crescendos.
9. Attitudinal Etude
I use a lot of these runs when warming up and decided to throw it together for an instrumental. Terrie and Neil pieced together some excellent fills for this little etude.
Kill Creek Road
Before recording this CD, Neil, Terrie, and I played together in a different band. Neil was always bugging me to play slide.
Coup de Gras
I love crescendos that take you to different unexpected places, but also capture an abstract feel for where the song should go. As with part 2 of Track 6, the major chords bring out an interesting emotion when paired with minor scales.
10. Soliloquy (coda)
This was the first song recorded for the CD. From each melodic part of this composition, I decided to write an entire album with this piece as the center-point.
Return of the chromatic! Midnight represents a lot of different things to people -- The beginning and the end...
John Culbertson - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
John is the founding member of the Drifting Strangers, and has had his foot in just about every musical genre throughout his musical career. He has played with many outstanding bands in Texas, Missouri, and Kansas, as well as performed solo on piano and classical guitar. He has opened for several great bands, including Little Feat, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels, Billy Squire, Bad Company, and Styx. John uses Fender Stratocaster guitars, along with Fender and Johnson amplifiers. For Keyboards, he uses the Alesis QS 8.1 series and Roland amplifiers.
Terrie Benson - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Terrie is a solid in the pocket style drummer with impeccable timing and feel. Terrie's talent of holding down a tight groove has brought her national and international touring experience, which includes performances on Beale Street in Memphis with Joanna Connor and the JC Anderson Band. In addition, Terrie has opened for many headlining acts, including Styx, Delbert McClinton, and The Doobie Brothers. Terrie uses Pearl Drums, DW hardware, Zildjan Cymbals, and the Yamaha DTXpress drum triggering module.
Neil DeMent - Bass
Neil is a main stay in the Kansas City music scene. His unique diversity and musical instinct to meld easily into many musical styles has kept him working throughout the Midwest. He has worked with some of Kansas City's finest local acts and has 4 CDs under his belt. He has opened for many musical greats such as Poco, Little Feat, Bad Company, Molly Hatchet, Styx, Kansas, Humble Pie, Head East, Billy Squire, The Little River Band, Lover Boy, Survivor, Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniel's, and Pat Travers. Aside from playing with the Drifting Strangers, Neil also plays with Kansas City's top variety band, the Funk Syndicate. Neil uses a variety of instruments and amplification, but prefers Heartfield and Dean basses, along with Hartke amplifiers.
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