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6 April 2013

WANTED! (2013)

I am pleased to announce that the WANTED! EP is finally here! The wait is over! The end results have surpassed all of my expectations and I'm proud to be sharing the spoils with you... right here... right now!

King Uke & Pancho - WANTED!

WANTED! was born of a simple desire to to get to know Daniele "El Pancho" Bianchini and to see if in some way we could harness our joint passion for music to change the world for the better. What I couldn't have guessed at the time, was how much fun I would have in the process. We started out by batting backwards and forwards a few ideas and it was immediately obvious that we shared a common love of the music and general atmosphere of the old Italian Westerns.

"I was born with a bullet in my hand"

As we wondered whether we could create our own little bit of desperado folk-law our first song began to take shape. It was originally entitled "the Knife-thrower Blues", so called because the sound of the slide guitar put in my mind an image of a man sharpening his knife on a whetstone. The song itself tells the tale of a man in what could be his final hours. He does not fear death for he mistakenly thinks that he has nothing to lose. As the hour draws near he suddenly realises that he will never see his "true love" again and is distraught. Listen to him choke as he plays the harmonica solo. Even grown men lose it sometimes.

Knife

Knife is the first song you will hear on this EP and I think it sets the scene perfectly for what comes to follow. It is the least polished of all the songs on this EP, but perhaps this is its secret weapon!

I pondered for a long time what to call the genre of music that these songs fit into. Out of the blue I was given the answer by Eric Harris of Uke4U. He called it "Desert Groove" and you know what... he's spot on! Welcome to the birth of Desert Groove...

Knife Lyrics

I realised pretty early on, that there was a story to be told with this EP, and I've enjoyed discovering what it might be. The heroes are yours truly (King Uke) and my brother Daniele (El Pancho). It seems that I am a bit of a hot-head... a slave to my heart.

The second song, Outlaw, tells the tale of how I lead my brother away from the safety of our family home to travel out West in search of adventure. I am young and foolish and desperate to make my mark on the world. Unfortunately, things do not go according to plan; A game of poker ends in bloodshed with none-other than the sheriff being shot! Those who were there will know that the sheriff lost fair and square, drawing first, but history only remembers that King Uke and El Pancho were chased to the Mexican border.

Outlaw

What happened next is less clear, but somehow the brothers were separated. Delirious and near death I was taken prisoner by farmers keen to collect the reward on my head. They drugged me and held me captive.

In Outlaw I reflect on my sorry demise as I find myself shackled in foreign lands.

The Mystery of King Uke & Pancho

All is not lost! Daniele's fortunes are very different to my own. With a price on his head, he runs into a gang of Mexican bandits. They warily welcome him into their ranks and it isn't long before Daniele has claimed the position as their leader. So is born the legend of El Pancho! What sort of man could be capable of such a thing?

Bad Blood is also known as
The Ballad of El Pancho

The third song, Bad Blood, reveals a little of the fire and ice that runs through Pancho's veins. Discovering that his brother is alive, Pancho leads his gang of desperadoes on a mission to rescue King Uke.

This is where the story ends... for now...

King Uke & Pancho

Both Pancho and I are big fans of the ukulele and it is inevitable that little bit of the jumping flea made it into the final songs. Most of what you will hear however, is minimal guitar and vocals. It is a surprisingly full sound given how little has actually been put into the mixes. You will notice immediately that Pancho and I have very different styles and sound. I love this contrast and that we have been able to play on it. Better still, I love that this contrast is made all the more stark by the fact that Pancho sings in his native Italian and me in English. With Pancho singing loud and me choosing to almost whisper, I found it a real challenge to get the levels right in the mixes, but I'm pleased with the end results.

"My name is known across this land"

As much as I love that there is a story in these songs, it is also important to me that you can feel and live the story through the music. I put a lot of effort into trying to make the arrangements as "elegant" as possible. I didn't want any fluff. If it didn't add value - it was on the cutting room floor. Unlike the Mexican farmers... I took no prisoners!

Did we succeed? You can be the judge!

The Story of King Uke & Pancho

It is worth pointing out that my collaboration with Daniele has been done completely over the internet. This is something that just couldn't have happened as little as even five years ago. The internet has allowed us to meet, collaborate and become friends. What a wonderful thing! My only hope is that our paths might cross in real life sometime... so that I can buy Pancho a tequila sunrise and thank him for coming after me all those many years ago. ;-)

Do NOT give this man tequila!

Without further ado, I will let you download and listen to the music. If, while listening, you realise that you rode with El Pancho into battle, or perhaps you were the beautiful farmer's daughter who tended to the half-mad King Uke, then please drop me a line. Some day I hope that a little more of this story will be told and I will need help to tell it. I have ideas... and I'd love to hear yours...

Prosity Records is a net label dedicated to promoting
acoustic music.

The full EP can be downloaded from the Prosity Records website. I think it is also available as a torrent too! We've included some high quality MP3s, artwork and lyrics. The only thing left is for you to use your eyes and ears.

If you prefer listening to music on youtube, then you can do this too! Here are the original videos I shared for just this purpose...


Here's something you don't see very often... a video with me on it. Daniele convinced me to put together a 'real' video. I reckon I look a bit like a zombie in the choruses! :-D



Finally, I want to say a heartfelt thankyou to Daniele Bianchini. None of this would have happened without your help. I will forever think of you as my brother! Viva El Pancho!

If you would like to learn more about El Pancho, then why not pay him a visit on google+ and facebook or better still, check out his blog: El Pancho & Los Dorados Band.

Is this the end of the line?

"Shadows of the Scarab"

Update 19-Jul-2013: You can now listen to the EP on SoundCloud. Check this out:

7 comments:

  1. "Bad Blood" was in the words of Roger Hodgson,
    "bloody marvelous!".-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Who is this Roger Hodgson and how bad is his blood?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Never mind.
    He's a bit of a bloody "Dreamer",
    come to think of it.
    He would probably say that "Bad Blood" was more of a
    "Logical Song" and then
    "Take the Long Way Home".-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I guess you're "Bloody Well Right". As long as he doesn't think it's some kind of "Fool's Overture" then I'll probably be okay about it. Otherwise, I don't care if he is a "Hoochie Coochie Man", I'll be after him like a "Cannonball". Mark my words!

    All that's left for me to say is... "Goodbye Stranger"

    ReplyDelete
  5. But what if he thinks it's "The Crime of the Century"?
    Will that make him old "School" in your books?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks Mr Prosity! Cheers for sharing the EP for us. I'm still really happy with the end result and have considered a follow-up. Maybe a project for another day!

    ReplyDelete