MP3 Ken Dixon - Phanta Morgana
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, POP: Beatles-pop
"Indy pop pro Ken Dixon returned for his latest CD in 2005. The thirteen track Phanta Morgana is infused with the great pop spirit of the early '70s and the entire CD spotlights top musicianship of Dixon and his musical cohort, guitarist Craig Bartock, who worked so well with Heart on their 2004 CD... As far as pop goes, there's a goldmine of catchy, memorable melodies and arrangements here including the title track and the sequel, "Phanta Morgana Revisited" as well as the pop classic "Fish Out Of Water" and the socially satirical "We're All Doomed." The guitar work and the studio sound of Phanta Morgana is a testament to the musical expertise of both Dixon and Bartock."
-20th Century Guitar Magazine-
Starting out in San Diego, I was in front of the mirror playing Elvis's Teddy Bear on the broom (a sort of dusty air-guitar) in the 50's. I picked up my first real guitar at 11 or 12 (I wanted to fully master the broom first). I learned to play Wipe Out, Sleep Walk, Hound Dog and several other two-word titled songs well enough to form a group with some of my friends similarly infected with the lust to play. Three chords and we were on our way. We started booking house parties, school dances and large outdoor functions which, I shudder to say, were usually called Love-Ins, or Be-Ins, or Freak-Ins... If you've never heard of Alan Ginsberg, The Fugs, or owned an original copy of Frank Zappa with The Mothers of Invention's "Freak Out!", then these references might be lost on you. After my first recording studio experience at about 14, I was locked-in for life. I usually played seven nights a week between two or three venues. The number in the bands ranged from one (guess who?) to seven or more. The venues varied from Southern California coffee houses, bars and dance clubs, through the L.A. Showcase Club sub-culture, to what may have actually been (now that I think about it) a bordello or three in Oklahoma and Texas. On warm summer afternoons I could often be found with Chris Drake playing acoustics for tips in front of the Botanical Gardens in San Diego's Balboa Park. Since we wanted the best spot (the footbridge over the reflecting pools), we had to arrive early and get our permit before the guy with the accordian and the spider monkey showed up. Chris showed me how to play what's in my heart better than anybody else in my life. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of a song and hear his style coming through in my playing, and that means so much to me. Thanks Chris! There's something about the music; between musicians, and between those who play and those who listen, that forges bonds lasting a lifetime. Proving my point, Craig Bartock and Lonnie Napier, two of the outstanding musicians you'll hear on the new album, Phanta Morgana, have been my friends (consistently) and band mates (off and on) for 35+(+) years. (Look them up! I already know who they are, and so should you!)
Steve Laskow in Recording Magazine once said of my music, "Oh I get it. It's art! And this isn't bad". People say they hear a lot of different influences in this music. Gee, I hope so! Or all that dough buying other people's records was a waste. You'll hear a little Pink Floyd, some Beatles, a dash of Stones, a splash of 10 c.c., something that smacks of Bluegrass, and even African tribal rhythms. My current heroes are Super Furry Animals, Fountains of Wayne and The Flaming Lips (something about the letter"F"?), and they're already starting to flavor the mix. But more importantly, you'll hear the blend of all the musicians, influences and experiences that did lead up to this album.
Which brings me to the question of whether or not this is a "Christian" album. H-m-m-m-m..., a very scary question for some people, it seems. If that means a Praise album then the answer is a resounding, "No Way!" This music (on the way to becoming the sound track for an animated film and a staged production) is so far from preaching-to-the-choir that I've actually gotten some flack from some of my Christian friends who dropped the hammer on me before making sure I was a legitimate heretic (That's OK, I forgive you). I can actually understand how some of the topics and lyrics might throw them. But deep down, if the question is really whether I am a Christian musician with a Christian message, then the answer is "Yes", even if it's not always instantly apparent. My objective is not to thump anybody over the head with a Gideon's Bible. What you'll find in Phanta Morgana, if you listen closely, is a road map that leads to a very desirable destination in the big scheme of things. If you're a Christian, share it with (notice I didn't say, "Burn a copy for...") a friend who isn't. If you're not, give it a listen (and a read--lots of clues in the 12 page insert) before you make up your mind. Feel free to E-mail me with your comments at the address on our website. The worst you can end up with is a really cool new CD (he said modestly). The best?...well, you check it out.
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