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Sons of Rayon

Sons of Rayon


~ Sons of Rayon

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Price: $13.78

Product Notes

In the summer of 1981, fiddler/guitarist Kelly Werts, banjoist Paul Elwood, and guitarist Joe Emery set out to create the Sons of Rayon, an acoustic trio more or less dedicated to deconstructing notions of bluegrass music and how the style might be transformed.  The group did covers of tunes such as "4 & 20" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" - very fast and very much in imitation of bluegrass in it's style.  And this predated "Pickin' On . . ." cover records of rock tunes by bluegrass bands by about 20 years.   The Sons in this form played throughout the summers of '81 and '82 while Paul was making forays into Texas to get his masters degree in music composition.  When he returned to Wichita in 1984 to teach preschool, Kelly and Paul revamped the Sons as Joe chose to not to continue active involvement in the group.  They asked Karen Boggs (now Crowson) who was playing guitar and mandolin with another trio to join the group as a "Son."  She consented and the trio began working on the material that you hear on this CD.    The Sons of Rayon played actively from 1984 through the fall of 1987.  En route, the group succeeded twice, through the intervention of luminaries such as producer T-Bone Burnett and banjoist Tony Trischka, in getting the attention of major record labels only to be told on both occasions that the group was "not commercial enough."  The famous Scotty Moore, guitarist of Elvis Presley's original band, sat in on the A&R meeting at one label and stated:  "They sound like the Lonesome Stardust Cowboy gone to Juilliard." After two rejections of this nature, and fueled primarily by Kelly's desire to go full-time with a band of some sort and Paul's desire to continue pursuing "classical" composition and teaching on top of playing, the band decided to go separate ways.    In the summer of 1986 the Sons recorded their first "commercial" recording, released only on cassette and titled "No Velcro".  That recording comprises the first eight tracks of this CD.  The material is always eclectic: opening with "Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa," by Elwood, the tune references a famous recording studio by same name in Nashville.  "Yo-Yo" made use of the term "apocheir", perhaps invented by writer Thomas Pynchon in his novel "V", that refers to the furthest distance that a yo-yo may travel from the hand before returning.  Included in this collection are a few "demo" recordings including "Pop! Goes the Weasel," a tune by Elwood titled "Light," and an encomium to Merrill Teller, a local meteorologist in Wichita, Kansas.    And this collection finishes off with some recordings made on November 9, 1987, in a long afternoon session at Kelly's house.  This is the last time that the Sons of Rayon played together.     Jack P. Johnson Marseille, France April 6, 2014.

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Artist: Sons of Rayon
Title: Sons of Rayon
Genre: New Age
Release Date: 4/26/2014
Label: CD Baby
Product Type: CD
Catalog #: 5638277622
UPC: 888295086479
Item #: 1179767X
This product is a special order