MP3 Ethan James - Learning Chinese The Hard Way
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13 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Traditions, WORLD: Middle East
"Ethan James is a master of the hurdy gurdy."
"Mr. James honors the otherworldly dignity of a few familiar songs. The impassive melodies and drone of the medieval hurdy gurdy are at the center of Ethan James'arrangements."
The New York Times
"Punk Rock Producer Ethan James endulges another passion -- the hurdy gurdy."
In a world where many people want to sound alike, Ethan James was a true original. In the late 1960's he was the keyboard player with "Blue Cheer", the first heavy metal band, dubiously called "the loudest band ever recorded" during the Summer of Love. The group hit its peak in popularity in 1974 with the famous cover of "Summertime Blues". His friends of the time included The Grateful Dead, Ray Charles, Janis Joplin and many others.
After teaching himself to play many instruments from bass to guitar, horns and drums he moved to Los Angeles in the late 1970's where he changed his name from Ralph Kellogg to Ethan James, and opened up Radio Tokyo studios, which began the career of many now legendary punk, new wave and alternative bands. He produced albums for the Bangles, Jane's Addiction, Henry Rollins, The Minutemen, Black Flag, Mazzy Star, Alice In Chains, and many others.
Known by artists and critics to value the integrity of the music over commercial success, he had tremendous influence over many famous artists of the 1980's.
Ethan took his experiences and passed them on, teaching others to avoid the pitfalls of the music industry, helping groom many successful alternative bands of the time.
Always open minded and growing, in the 1990's Ethan changed his musical path to ancient and medieval music where he taught himself to play medieval instruments becoming a renowned master of the Hurdy Gurdy, a medieval stringed instrument with a droning, vibrating and magical sound, reminiscent of bagpipes. He also learned to play Nyckleharpa, a medieval Scandavian stringed instrument with another unique otherwordly sound.
He overlayed his own psychedelic and mystical lyrics on top of a blending of ancient and medieval music, creating a one-of-a-kind sound which impressed millions on a series of CD's, radio play and tours throughout the United States, Europe and on T.V. and film soundtracks.
In his own words, Ethan jokingly described his music as "odd, dark, surreal," and "not suitable for children".
"Learning Chinese The Hard Way" represents the culmination of Ethan James's best work recorded just before his death.
He captures the imagination of listeners in a way only a musical survior of the 1960's could do. "The Story of Truth" blends the wry humor of the mystical poet Rumi with Ethan's unique storytelling ability while other tracks, such as "Plague Doctor", "Danse Macabre" and "Kingman" take the listener for a ride through the dark labrynth of Ethan's imagination.
We are fortunate that this final legacy of a rock and roll renaissance man has been captured on CD for all to enjoy.
in partnership with CDbaby (ID 280758)
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