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Hair In A G-String album

In short for me, the new CTP album is one of my all time favorites,”says Prog fan and collector, Robert Len Stallard.  “I could go into extreme detail here because as a guitarist-composer myself, I have a special appreciation for Colin’s craft.

High praise indeed from one of the lucky ones who has heard Colin’s new album, ‘Hair In A G-String (Unfinished but Sweet).’ “I was introduced to Colin and his music through mutual friends on Facebook,” Robert continues. “When I listened to his music for the first time I was blown away by his very unique music and guitar stylings that I had to listen to everything he had out there. The more I listened, the more I was entranced by it. So when I discovered he was creating a new album with featured musicians that I admire very much I was very excited.

CORVUS STONE’s guitarist, COLIN TENCH is cautiously philosophical about his new album. “The COLIN TENCH PROJECT is not a designer album. It is melodic, much of it instrumental music and almost classical in areas; then suddenly a bit mad for fun.” He’s got that right. It really is hard to really define this album within a safe harbour of genres. Take your pick really. One minute you’ve got a musical play with all its dramatic flair Freddie Mercury would tip his hat at, and the next there’s an almost a solo Spanish guitarist caught in the beam of a stage spotlight. There’s touches of Prog with a handful of AOR, and a dab of Metal, and back around for a sweet ballad or three. If anything, something for everyone. As Colin has stated, “I love music. I hate music by numbers. If there is one album I consider to be a template of how to do things – The BEATLES White Album would be it. Something I realized recently, is that I am not a fan of the genre we call Prog. If I list every piece of music I love, all of it falls in to that genre tho’! There is a reason. Almost none of my favourite music was aimed at a prog market. It didn’t exist! Did GENESIS, ZAPPA, STEVEN WILSON, BEETHOVEN, PINK FLOYD design prog albums? Nope! Neither will I ever want to.”

Colin has handed some amazing and talented musicians known to a lot of us for their various projects and recordings. In my very own top five current Progressive Rock singers of all time is PETER JONES (now in Camel) and he provides for me, IMO, the jewel in the crown, the track “And So, Today,” a sad but respectful homage to a number of artists we’ve lost oh too soon. Peter’s own album under the band name of Tiger Moth Tales is one I would highly recommend you listen to and purchase. Peter’s also provided vocals for the band Red Bazar recently. worth checking out his work.

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The album’s recordings also include:

– Phil Naro / vocals
– Gordon Bennett / orchestra, string section, horns, basses, triangle, thing that goes boing
– Steve Gresswell / piano, keyboards, orchestration
– Petri Lindström / bass guitar
– Jay Theodore McGurrin / drums
– Sonia Mota / artwork

With:
– Gary Derrick / bass guitar
– Marco Chiappini / keyboards
– Victor Tassone / drums
– Stef Flaming / keyboards
– Oliver Rusing / drums
– Angelo Hulshout / fretless bass
– Robert Wolff / drums
– Pasi Koivu / synthesisers, organ
– Ian Beabout / Flute
– Gary Hodges / drums
– Kelly Brown / keyboards
– Tina Sibley / violin
– Kirsten Weingartner / violin
– Ned Horner / violin
– Aleksis Zarins / violin
– Stephen Speelman / stunt bass guitar

All instruments and arrangements on Lisa’s Waltz by Gordon Bennett based on the original Lisa’s Waltz by Colin Tench.

As you can see – quite a turnout, and you’re not short for the structure and depth of sound. As music fan, Robert Len Stallard puts it: “In general, the mix production is such that it provides the listener (well, me at least) with a very satisfying immersive experience. It feels as if you are in the middle of the stage. It’s very refreshing to listen to this music that is not over-compressed and squashed for loudness sake.”

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” The instrument arrangements and sound production are amazing and very creative.  The sound quality and clarity (tonal balance, EQ, effects, etc.) were excellent in all playback and listening devices (computer, mobile devices, studio monitors, headphones, etc.). The sound stage and spatial aspects (stereo image/spread, instrument placement/panning, reverberation, etc.) are spot on and well distributed.  The dynamic range (amplitude span, quietness, loudness, wide, narrow, etc.) is exceptional without clipping or excessive compression/limiting. So in conclusion I can state that in my very humble opinion, this album is close to perfection and is an audiophile’s and prog music aficionado’s dream. The entire album is soul-touching and mesmerizing, transporting me to a happy place of sonic wizardry.”

Thanks and well said, Robert. Given the buzz on Colin’s social media pages there is a lot of positive feedback coming through and approval. A link to check out the album and also purchase is provided below.

In the meantime, here’s an interview I did with Colin recently on his new project and album.

INTERVIEW WITH COLIN TENCH ON HIS NEW ALBUM

PAUL:  What inspired you to pick up the guitar?

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COLIN: I suddenly had time on my hands. I had just emigrated to Australia. Prog was in its death throws in 1977, so I had a go. I quickly joined a band who weren’t all that good but we were dedicated and we improved. That band inspired me to not give up. We were attempting to play Santana, Beatles, Alex Harvey. All of it could be labeled prog.

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Colin in Sydney in 1978 at ‘The Battle Of The Bands.’ “The drummer in this pic appears on drums on two tracks on “Corvus Stone Unscrewed [2015]”

PAUL:   Do you recall hearing your first Prog Rock album and what it was?

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COLIN: Prog didn’t exist as a term. Underground music was what we called it. It started with The Beatles of course. They brought it in to the mainstream, so we all heard it on radio and I learned to expect a lot from music from then on. I never really was attracted to straight pop, rock or blues etc. They all sounded boring to me.

PAUL:    ‘Hair in a G-String’ (Unfinished But Sweet) could almost be considered a double entendre in some circles. Is the origins around the title an inside joke? What’s the meaning around the album title?

colint1COLIN: Bach’s “Air on the G String”! What I started with on this album, was very slightly orchestral, and unfinished (suite?). All of that stuck and became the title. Maybe the Beatles’ habit of not being obvious, stuck with me. So I like a good laugh and if the titles or the music raise a smile, all the better!

PAUL:    Why a solo album now? Why not another Corvus Stone album?

colint1COLIN: This time I wanted to make an album that is totally melodic, with surprising turns. Corvus Stone is almost the opposite. So this is quite different. It made sense for me to write most of the music this time and even lyrics. I have a love of simple music that has a lot going on. orchestrated in a way. This album is like that.

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PAUL:    How was the idea of doing a solo album received by your bandmates?

colint1COLIN: I think they all like that I did this. In fact, Corvus Stone’s Petri Lindström is the main bass player on this.

PAUL:   If this is a solo album why bring on some of your fellow Corvus Stone band members to play on this?

colint1COLIN: I don’t even describe this as a solo album. It is a band but the band members vary throughout. I don’t even like solo albums. Ha! I love real bands that all have an input to the song they are playing on. That is the case here. All of the main players are on this but Petri is on most of it.

PAUL:    You stated in your notes, “The album structure could be labelled Prog before there was Prog.” That would take you back to the mid to late 60’s in what got to be called Proto-Prog around various psychedelic and Space Rock type bands experimenting with sound and mood to compliment the times.  Can you cite any musical influences you may have drawn from while you were writing these songs?

colint1COLIN:  Most of what was done from 1966 to about 1974 has influenced me. Outside of that time, prog was kept well clear of mainstream radio. The combination of incredible playing, comedy, uniqueness, song writing and arrangements was everywhere. Music that doesn’t make people switch it off but still has content that is unexpected, tho’ never losing the melodies. That’s what I wanted to do. It isn’t prog, it’s just fairly simple music with no rules.

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That was ‘Odin’ gigging in London when I was 28 in 1984. That’s Gary Derrick who is also playing bass on two tracks on this album.

PAUL:     Certainly you can pick up the vibe within some of these tracks that early Prog is very important to you. Did it ever occur to you the irony of bands in the 21st century trying to get out of the shadow of their bigger brother (70’s Prog Rock) and at the same time paying attention to it through the concept of this album?

colint1COLIN: I wonder if a lot of bands are starting to think the way I do. Prog is doomed if it can be defined. Prog was just a term that contained anything not quite definable. It can wander from rock to pop to jazz. It can be long, short, have singing or not. Ian Anderson came up with “Thick as a Brick” to poke fun at the concept album idea. He says “I’ll give you the mother of all concept albums” because reviews said Aqualung was a concept, which it wasn’t. Thick as Brick is now considered the best concept album ever, by many prog fanatics and it was just a joke. I think that says a lot about the difference between fans a bands.  This album is not a concept at all. It flows musically (Part 1,2,3, And so Today, The Sad Brazilian & Part 4b) Then I stuck loads of other songs in between them.

PAUL:   You’ve kind of mixed up the song order with both vocals and instrumental, not to mention a number of musical styles such as recognising Progressive Rock moments and well Classic rock if not a touch of Metal as well as Classical guitar here and there and to top it all off you’ve thrown in the odd Musical Play moments.  So I guess you had all these ideas for a number of projects it would appear that you’ve fashioned into one album. Was this intentional to begin with all did it just work out that way?

colint1COLIN:  I only had a few bits before I started this. I like all different kinds of music, so there are influences of all of that in here. As I said, the “Hair in a G-String” parts, are very simple. It may not sound that way because of the arrangements that keep changing but you do start to think you recognise something as it goes along. It actually isn’t from some old album, it is from the early part of THIS album. “And so, Today” is pretty much 2 chords most of the time, except for a very short part that Peter’s Clarinet appears in. They come back for most of Part 4b. Nobody seems to have spotted that though.  The voice is an instrument. It was never the most important thing in music to me. When it is used like an instrument, all other instruments can be removed but the song remains the same (I think someone said that once). Our band isn’t a backing band. The guitar also is not the main thing. Nothing is.

PAUL:  What do you consider as the essential elements of this album?

colint1COLIN:   Tunes and melodies. Also a great deal of fun. Some of the lyrics are supposed to make you smile but they don’t get in the way of the tunes. You can listen to the album in different ways. Ignore the lyrics and it is still great (IMHO). Next time, listen to the lyrics and get a different feel. It can be played at low volume when your mum is round for dinner, or as loud as hell and it still works. Maybe that is my version of good music and is now seen as 60s/70s Prog.

PAUL:    First impression for me is that with both this album and what you do with Corvus Stone; collaborating with others is more of an important side to creating and playing music for you personally rather than just being in a band?

colint1COLIN:   Exactly. Like a recipe. That only happens with real band. I know that Yes would throw loads of their own bits at one song. It would be stitched together and then arranged to become a special and unique piece of music. Whole albums were that way back then. Every time someone went solo, no matter how much I liked them, the magic just wasn’t there. Soy sauce maybe amazing but not all that much good drunk neat. Ha ha! If someone on a song on this album, did something I loved and didn’t expect, that could change the course of the song. Stay flexible and it is a lot of fun.

PAUL:   Sonia Mota is known to a lot of us who spend a lot of time inside social media for her positive and very hands on efforts within the Prog Rock fan community. How did she become involved in this project?

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colint1COLIN:   Sonia has been the artist for Corvus Stone and Oceans 5 from the start. More than that, she named Corvus Stone and critiques everything we all do. If she says it sounds wrong, I know it does! We all have friends that say all the mixes are wonderful but that doesn’t help. You need someone who is honest and has an uncanny appreciation of music. Sonia has that. She says things like “It’s boring”, “You’ve ruined it”, “That’s horrible!” “OMG” and as much as I want to hit her with a big stick, in the end, we arrive at the album we wanted. Also, she paints while listening to the early mixes as we go along. The artwork is incredible and totally unique. Even the booklets with the CDs are her work.

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PAUL:    ‘And So Today’ and you have Peter Jones singing lead vocals on this song. This for me personally is the highlight of the album in relation to the vocal track. Not only does it have a superb melody, but also some great lyrics that Prog and Classic Rock fans will easily identify with. Did you have him in mind while you were writing or was Peter bought in later into the process?

colint1COLIN:   There you go! A great melody. Simple in a good way. I knew Pete would be singing it. I only wrote what I did because I knew he would feel the same way I do about the characters it refers to. Also that he sings like an actor. He makes you feel it. All the lyrics I wrote, were for Peter. It made it easy to write funny or serious. He can also make funny lyrics sound serious and that can be tricky.

You can listen to  ‘And So Today’ here:  http://www.corvusstone.com/and-so-today.html

PAUL:    Looking back, and I guess it wasn’t that long ago, but for you personally – what was the highlight of creating a solo album? Did you have any challenges in the process of getting this made?

colint1COLIN:   The mixing finished the day I released it! Mixing never really finishes. You just stop, wait a few days and listen at low volume. Nothing sounds off, it’s done. So this isn’t looking far back at all. Mostly all the challenges were good ones. Everyone is busy, so it’s an honour that they put so much thought and care in to what they did. So many people involved but for good reasons. it would be easier to have a small band and do an album. Then it would not be THIS album. I go about this being simple melodic music but I did throw in quite a few WTF moments and they can be a bit difficult for someone to play to or figure out what the hell to do. Challenging but loads of fun for us all (I hope). In the end, the mixing is the nightmare, then the technical difficulties of producing everything correctly for the CD makers. We have to do everything these days!

PAUL:   Are you playing to release a music video in conjunction with any of these tracks?

colint1COLIN:   So far only, “Part 4b” and “The Brazilian” have short videos that I made during the recording. There will be more but I never promise anything that may not happen. Something will tho!

PAUL:    With the release of ‘Hair on a G-String’ have you made any plans to play the album live in concert?

colint1COLIN:   That is impossible. We are all over the world. There is always a hope that “And so, Today” will get attention in the mainstream. Or “A Beautiful feeling”. That could trigger all kinds of possibilities.

Thanks to Colin for providing input into this article on his new album. Also to Robert for his thoughts on the album. For me, I really got into it last Sunday when sitting back and relaxing in the warm evening with the album playing in the background. It really is a mood setter and one I’d recommend for yourself and as a gift for a friend or relative.

Hair In A G-String (Unfinshed But Sweet) can be purchased either as a digital download or on CD at this link:

https://colintenchproject.bandcamp.com/album/hair-in-a-g-string-unfinished-but-sweet

Follow COLIN TENCH at: https://www.facebook.com/BunChakeze?fref=ts

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/CorvusStone

CORVUS STONE: https://www.facebook.com/CorvusStone/?fref=ts

PARTY TIME!!!!!!  YOU’RE INVITED TO THE RELEASE PARTY ON SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER 2016!

Hair in a G-String CD release party with DJ Tony Romero

The CDs are in and even on their way to the really early birds already. It takes quite a bit of work to get to this for any band. Our band is rather a big one!
Colin will talk as little as possible about it with Tony this Saturday and maybe others will join us too.
The album will get played of course!

If there are any free albums knocking around, that will happen only in the chat room

– See more at: http://www.corvusstone.com/blogstone/hair-in-a-g-string-cd-release-party-with-tony-romero#sthash.7LOTFA4b.dpuf

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http://www.corvusstone.com/blogstone/hair-in-a-g-string-cd-release-party-with-tony-romero

ALBUM DETAILS:

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1. Hair in a G-String part 1 (The opening) [6.25]
Peter Jones: Vocals, Saxophone
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano
Steve Gresswell: Piano, Keyboards, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Stef Flaming: Percussion

2. Can’t see it any other way [4.36]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synths
Phil Naro: Vocals
Gary Derrick: Bass guitar
Marco Chiappini: Piano
Victor Tassone: Drums

3. Hair in a G-String part 2 (The Hairy Part) [6.04]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers, Drum programming
Phil Naro: Vocals
Steve Gresswell: Keyboards
Stef Flaming: keyboards
Oliver Rüsing: Drums, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Stephen Speelman: Stunt bass

4. The Mad Yeti [2.54]
Colin Tench: guitars

5. The Sad Brazilian [7.19]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra, Shaving cream
Petri Lemmy Lindström: Bass guitar

6. And so, Today [4.12]
Pete Jones: Vocals, Clarinet
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano, Percussion
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Jay Theodore McGurrin: Drums

7. Hair in a G-String part 3 (I’m Going Down) [10.09]
Peter Jones: Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers, Piano
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Oliver Rusing: Drums
Steve Gresswell: Keyboards
Angelo Hulshout: Fretless Bass
Sonej Retep: Sciryl lanoitidda

8. Lisa waltzes back in with no G-String [3.53]
Colin Tench: Guitars
Gordon Bennett: String Section, Horns, Basses
Petri Lindström: Bass Guitar
Robert Wolff: Drums
Pasi Koivu: Synthesisers, Organ
Sean Filkins: Tamborine

9. Lisa’s Entrance Unplugged [3.09]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Synthesisers
Ian Beabout: Flute

10. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Screwed [7:32]
Colin Tench: Guitars, vocals, Percussion, Piano
Gary Derrick: Bass guitar
Marco Chiappini: Keyboards, Piano
Victor Tassone: Drums, Percussion

11. La Palo Desperado [5.54]
Colin Tench: Guitars, Annoying noises

12. A Beautiful Feeling [5.58]
Phil Naro: Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars, Piano, Percussion
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Gary Hodges: (Buckingham Nicks): Drums
Kelly Brown: (Ozark Mountain Daredevils): Keyboards
Vic Tassone: Percussion
Violins: (String Section) http://www.springfieldmosymphony.org/
Tina Sibley (Springfield Symphony)
Kirsten Weingartner (Springfield Symphony)
Ned Horner (Springfield Symphony)
Aleksis Zarins (Springfield Symphony)

13. Dnieper Summer Day [1.38]
Colin Tench: acoustic guitars
David Knokey: Rhythm Guitar
Stef Flamming: Bass guitar

14. Part 4b [7.56]
Peter Jones: Lead Vocals
Phil Naro: Lead Vocals
Colin Tench: Guitars
Gordon Bennett: Orchestra, Percussion, Triangle, Thing that goes boing
Petri Lindström: Bass guitar
Angelo Hulshout: Fretless bass
Jay Theodore McGurrin: Drums (We fired Neil Peart)

15. Part 4b Redux [0.23]
Peter Jones: Piano
Peter Jones: Main vocal
Peter Jones: Backing vocals
Peter Jones: Foley guy
Peter Jones: Production
Colin Tench: Bugger all
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BONUS TRACK: Liza’s Waltz with full orchestral arrangements [4.23]
All instruments, arrangements & Production by Gordon Bennett
Based on the original Lisa’s Waltz by Colin Tench

All Artwork by Sonia Mota