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MOORE/MYERS / HISTORY

Ken Moore, David Wayne Myers
instrumental progressive rock duo


Ken Moore - Rock musician, avant-gardist, synthesist

Ken Moore is something at an enigma for an American musician, not being bothered with trends or fashion, he has forged his own musical channel over the past 15 years, with a collection of over 20 inventive and varied cassettes. Maybe you havenít heard of Ken before, itís quite likely. Unless you were tempted to investigate his music by the mentions given in Eurock a few years back, the only other promotion heís gained is via C.L.E.M., the cassette TO COME INTO BEING that Chris Furse (of Face Out -Ed.) passed around to a few friends circa 1981, or the track included on our own A CAGE WENT IN SEARCH OF A BIRD compilation. Anyone thatís heard these two examples of his work may be surprised by Kenís other releases, as they are hardly typical of his music.

interview extract...

How did you and David Wayne Myers get together?

ĎAbout three years ago, my long time friend Mark Chance called me and said he was getting together with a drummer and guitarist and they needed a keyboardist. Knowing how I felt about playing with guitarists, they were surprised when I showed up that night with my mini-Moog. I sat on the floor and we jammed on some originals that Mark Mulvey (drummer) and Wayne Myers (guitar) had worked up. After that, I showed up with another keyboard every week and the original Kameleon was formed with the four of us. We stayed an instrumental band for a year and decided that in order to be the main act, as opposed to opening up for other bands, we needed vocals to appeal to the Baltimore audiences. Thatís when we added Jimmy Lehman to the group. (We also changed the name of the band to Runner because of the Chameleons in England, there was a local band here called Chameleons too). In addition to a P.A. system, he had a small Casio keyboard and played some harmonica. (Jimmy sang on my CHESS KINGDOM song My Unanswered Prayer). After about another year of compromising with a vocalist who didnít like instrumentals (we played half and half by then), Wayne and I got frustrated with the band not learning enough music fast enough for us. Also, I convinced Wayne that I could get just as good a recording at my place as we were getting from local studios with sound men who just didnít know how to record us (keyboards being more dominant than guitar at some times). So he came over and we recorded a song of Wayneís called What Next, where I played the organ and Moog with the guitar, and then added drums later. He liked the result, and soon afterwards quit the band and we began working on REACHING BEYOND THE SPHERE.í

How do you work together? Who composes etc.?

ĎMost of the music, I have to say, belongs to Wayne, because he comes over to the studio with ideas or pieces of songs that he plays on his guitar. I love his style and method of execution. There isnít anything he comes up with that I donít like or canít work with. Since the song, Midnight, I always record the drums with guitar on the initial take. Thatís how we work the songs out: Wayne plays chords, melodies, leads, and I contribute the rhythm and changes - together we arrange and complete the music. Being a keyboardist, I can offer musical ideas for him to play or key changes when weíre stuck on a progression. He likes what I do on the drums, and always approves of all the keyboard tracks I add between practice sessions. Until recently, I have had to learn how to play the synth like a bass guitar. I got pretty good at it by Second Wind, Flames Within The Morning and Undivided Attention. Now we are working with the bassist, John Schneider, who helped us on Quarter Star and Midnight last year. We enjoy the switch from synthesized bass to an electric string bass guitar. No matter how I play the Moog, Iíll never get the twang and popping action from plucking and thumbing real strings.í

REACHING BEYOND THE SPHERE is indeed a brilliant album, scarcely have I heard rock powered with such emotion and energy without the need for being avant-garde or weird. Myers is indeed an exceptionally talented guitarist too, I thought such impeccable guitaring had been lost back in the 70's, but not so. Totally instrumental, this is what bands like Camel in their early days could only hint at, being tied down by record contracts undoubtedly does restrict creativity. The closest comparisons that come to mind here are Shylockís LP GIALOGUES and occasionally Sensations Fixís PORTABLE MADNESS, full throttle with guitars and synths doing overtime, Ken has certainly become an adept drummer too. In fact this music is so good, that actual words to describe it fail me.
From Audion #5, page 8. Article by Alan Freeman.

Still a classic, if you ask me, all these years on the cassette still sells at a slow trickle, but as most people buy CDs these days a remastered version on CDR was inevitable. But, what happened to Ken? Even David didn't know as they long lost touch, and it was his suggestion that prompted me to do a reissue so that it's not lost in obscurity. In fact, lots of other Ken Moore releases should have been available. He was an innovator. He should be well-known, and those few in the know relish his eclectic music. In answer to my question on this web-site "Ken - where are you?" - several years on: October 2010 actually, I got an email from Ken, pleased that his music was still out there preserved. And, to our surprise, he was still active in music and also had a CD out of his experimental music: Convictions From My Extraction. Since then Ken also established a Bandcamp page for his music and has been busy, as well as having an archive LP box set issued by Vinyl On Demand. Look on Discogs for more about his solo output.

Discography...

REACHING BEYOND THE SPHERE - MC Auricle AMC 026 (1986), CDR Auricle AMCDR 124 (2014)
NINE DAY'S WONDER (1988) - CDR Auricle AMCDR 133 (2014)

original Moore/Myers tracks on other releases...
ESCAPE FROM THE CAGE 1: SPACE-ROCK & THE 4TH DIMENSION - MC Auricle AMC 040 (1989), CDR Auricle AMSCDR 007 (2002) tracks: Ken Moore Group - Still Looking, Window

Ken Moore reviews and articles in Audion - #4/7, #5/8-11, #53/26

 

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