Posts Tagged ‘Junior’

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Kimberly Freeman- Guitar, Banjo, Lead Vocals
Jason “Junior” Rufus Sewell- Drums, Bass, Synths, Organ, Mandolin Backing Vocals, “Ember” sermon

If you have recently read in a previous blog post, the album “Witches” by One-Eyed Doll was released on the 24th of March. One-Eyed Doll also currently supporting the album with a cross-country tour through May 2015.

I had the opportunity to catch them at the Heart of Texas Rockfest 2015 during the SXSW Music Festival as they swept through the state. I was fortunate enough to land my hands on the album days before the official release. So to bring home a physical copy of the album was quite the treat. And I’ve been deeply involved with it for the last week and more.

Most recently I took the album with me at an excursion to the grocery store. Plugged into my ears, I listened intently as I browsed up and down the aisles. Being there long enough for me to go through the album in its entirety, twice. Needless to say, it is the only thing I’ve listened to since then.

The complexity of the album grows with each track through the conceptual idea of telling the story of the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria that actually took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692.

I even love the fact that the tracks are listed on the back of the CD cover in Roman numerals. Eleven tracks in total. 43 minutes in length. Exactly 43 minutes.

I did read in another article/interview that Kimberly Freeman mentioned that the lyrics are based on historic research from what was saved in Salem, as well as her own point of view from each person that was involved in the hysteria.

The first track “Ember” begins with this somber feeling which transports you back into 17th Century Colonial-American period. A preacher’s voice can be heard victimizing its congregation that the Devil is in fact real.

As it builds and continues right into the second track “Prayer” which takes on a tone of its own. A chilling account of the different main characters of the story being told, with their so-called prayers as they suffer from the situation that has befallen them. The screaming and snarling heard vocally gets your blood pumping and it blows your mind to what it had to be like for the children of Salem to have “suffered” what they went through.

(Personally though, I would like to know if they did or did not sample a part of Walt Disney’s “Snow White” for a line or two behind the music. I could be way off.)

“Black In The Rye” brings One-Eyed Doll back to their usual metal sound. The interesting bit would be the theory of the rye being diseased by something called “Ergot” which has the same properties as the drug LSD. They lived off their land, and the theory could be that the crops were suffering this disease and it could give an explanation as to why the children of Salem were going through their fits of insanity and bewitching. An interesting theory indeed. This track is currently being played live on stage during their current tour.

“More Weight” taken from the actual words of one of the many who were executed for witchcraft. Giles Corey however was pressed to death, having stones laid upon his body until his body was crushed by the weight, rather than hanged like the others. Instead of confessing as his accusers were wanting, he insisted more weight of stones be pressed against him until he finally perished.

So far this is my favorite track on the album. As well as bits from “Prayer.” I find the lyrics to “Prayer” incorporating the different point of views to be totally haunted. Again with “Stillness” the lyrical content has successfully either caused tears to come forth or send shivers up my spine and literally cause me to fall to the floor… of which I am certain that if the 17th Century Puritan ministers would have seen it, would have thought that “I” was bewitched.

Other tracks give off this kind of Blues feeling with the prominent instrument being a banjo. Tracks such as “Remember” and “Stillness” show off the refulgent and undeniable talent of the duo. ONEEYEDDOLL_color1_resized

Kimberly Freeman’s vocals are spot on and both nostalgic and memorable. Captivating, strong, and very lethal in a sense to be able to tell the story of the entire album track by track. Knowing that “Junior” is basically the band’s “Jack of All Trades” when it comes to musical abilities. He includes his majestic music playing many instruments on the album.

The idea of having a concept album works! With each track like its own chapter of the story, you’re transported away with pleasing music and astonishing story telling by Kimberly Freeman. You spend all of those 43 minutes immersed in your own mind wondering what it would have been like to have been alive during all of the events that took place.

I personally believe that this album will be raising awareness to the story told. A story that is sadly and unfortunately no longer told in schools today, but was in fact discussed during my school days as a youth. Once a person listens to this album, it will cause Internet searches to rise in numbers so that they could earn more information of what honestly happened.

The album is a definite must have. I would score it an actual 103 out of 100, due to the chills and scares it gave me while listening to it sincerely the first time. The tears, the shivers, and the wondering.

Plus, there is no other feeling like getting chills up and down your spine when you listen to music, getting goosebumps, and having the strongest desire to weep while you’re in the bread aisle of the local grocery store.

So whether you are interested in the history of the Salem Witch Trials or just a fan of good music, then don’t hesitate and buy the album. It can be purchased by Standby Records.

http://standbyrecords.merchnow.com/

You simply cannot pass this album by.

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“If I go to a concert or sporting event I usually go in a VIP entrance. And leave the same way.”~ Fran Drescher

The after show meet and greets ran a bit too long with fans. The hour was getting late and “Junior” had to steal away Kimberly Freeman from the fans so that she could prepare for the VIP Party. Change clothes, get comfortable, etc.

The VIP Access on this tour has been limited to only ten people in each city during the tour.

I thought that for sure it would be sold out before I even had an opportunity to save up the money for it. But I would be proven wrong and then very wrong about it.

Weeks before the tour even began, One-Eyed Doll was holding this contest giveaway on their Facebook page. Take a photograph of yourself with your show ticket and win a chance to get a FREE t-shirt.

Well, there was a problem with that. Amusing and curious as it was. Heart of Texas Rockfest … is FREE!! There are no tickets.

So when I inquired, Junior said to show your VIP pass instead of your ticket. So I jumped on board, bought one, and waited. The thing damn near came too late as the contest would be over when the tour started. I took a photograph of me with the VIP pass. And that was about it.

Good one, Junior! You got me there!! Come back over here, I wanna show you this stick I found.

I digress, and I kid.

Kimberly Freeman sat on the back of the stage behind where all the action happened. She then turned around and leaned over the edge, telling me that she was going to crowd surf over to me. And she did.

She’s become very comfortable with me. And I am glad of that.

Also, she has maintained her quirky sense of humor. It is great.

I mentioned again that I was impressed that she remembered my name. I also mentioned that I had been a fan of One-Eyed Doll for only the past nine months, and this was my second show and second VIP in six months. I then rhetorically asked her “Where’s my One-Eyed Doll baby? It should be born by now.”

Kimberly mentioned that it was born in the shape of Mexican food and it had since umm… passed. I then leaned down and kissed her on the general waist and stomach area, as if a father was kissing his unborn child in the womb. And then I was reminded of the lyrics to their song “Brief Candle”

War story, thing of the past
Innocence was not made to last
All that remains of him 
Is a child inside of me 

Did I bring this up though jokingly? No……. what an idiot. I had an opening and didn’t take it.

Freeman took it all in stride even without the humorous reference to the “Brief Candle” song. I figured I’d be clobbered for giving her general lower belly area a smooch. Yet again, proven wrong was I.

However we kept getting chased all over the place. The VIP was not going to leave the parking lot in which Heart of Texas Rockfest was held all week. But we kept going from one side of the parking lot to the other, just trying to get away from usual traffic noises and the pestering sounds of other patrons walking around. witches-1500px-300dpi-cmyk8-e1421741261725

I cannot say exactly what happened next. That’s is just something you are going to have to experience for yourself as One-Eyed Doll tours the rest of the country through May. If you get the VIP pass, you’ll find out for sure on just how it was that I came to be a part of their new and upcoming record. And if you get the VIP pass, you just might be on the new record too.

It reminded me of the time I went to Houston to record some parts for the GATHERED IN DARKNESS album, by Dr. Froth. So that makes two records in just under a year.

Then things were interrupted yet again and it pretty much broke the mood of the gathering. Personally, it irritated the hell out of me. We could have gone on and on for much longer until that last interruption. But what can you do?!??

So then One-Eyed Doll offered to take photographs with the attendees of the VIP in front of an artist mural that was painted on a wall for Heart of Texas Rockfest last year. It was a nice fit.

Then Kimberly asked if I was going to be okay getting home, and I attempted my best to reassure her that I would be more than fine.

I took a photograph with Junior. But when I got home, I realized that Kimberly and another fan totally photobombed the moment. The look on Kimberly’s face and the expression in her eyes however, is totally scary and creepy.

Then I took several photographs with Kimberly.

I said to her “Please have a seat.”

Kimberly then proceeded to gently sit down upon my lap and then grabbed a hold of me with all the tightness and love that she could give. And I held on to her so she didn’t fall on the ground and bust her ass. The last thing you need is a rock star with a busted ass on tour!!!

It was not as late in the hour of the day to return home as it had been the first time, but it was late enough.

After all of that I had been awake for 20 hours, been sitting in my wheelchair unmoved for 18 hours. I was hurting pretty bad.

I left to return home…. reluctantly.

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Kimberly Freeman of One-Eyed Doll allows me to take this photograph of her before getting started.

“Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other.”~ Eric Burdon

This is my 700th post. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO READS AND CONTINUES TO STAY CONNECTED TO THE SAGA.

It was well into the night and well into the AM hours before the VIP After Show party officially was put into gear.

We had arrived at the secret location after 2:00 AM, closer to 3:00 AM and nobody could find One-Eyed Doll or know where they were.

It had been a very long time before both Junior and Kimberly had even shown up, much less sat down to begin playing and singing. The pre-orders of the VIP show had their choice of which song they wanted to hear being played acoustically.

But when Kimberly walked through the front door, she was giving everybody hugs. Or as she put it “I gotta get me my huggins in from everyone. Collect them hugs! Mmm!”

For me though, when you’ve realized that you are at a party that should have cost you $100 and it was free and the company that was being kept was entertaining (because I was able to keep them laughing while we waited) and your musical hostess actually in real life has hair that has grown beyond her ass, beyond classic length, and you are out of the house in the middle of the night….. life is great.

Considering that the musical portion didn’t start until closer to 5:00 AM, everyone seemed to be very alert and receptive to the sounds of the acoustical instruments and anything else that was performed.

I found myself constantly and continuously in a hug with Kimberly or in the very least with my arm around her and hers around me. Time and time again with the sharing of affection. I kept thinking that I was the newbie, the stranger in the room, and still she was just as loving towards me as she was towards anyone else?? 0A2

She had my colleague Robert and I towards the front which finally allowed me to see them perform. In fact, I had been placed right next to the  chair that Junior sat in as he played and accompanied Kimberly.

Again I was at the mercy of not knowing the songs that they sang with the exception of a couple…. that’s IF they played them at all!! Kimberly told the group that if they knew the words to sing along.

That would turn out to bite me in the ass later on.

I had one gentleman behind me stuck in the corner near the front door of the house.

You know the person in the crowd that always has something to say in between songs when they are not performing or singing and its always seeming like they are sucking up to the musician or artist or maybe just kissing ass? Or in the most harmless of ways … just adulating and they don’t know when to stop? Yeah, that was behind me. The whole night.

But One-Eyed Doll continued their musical journey with stories and tales of being on tour and how certain songs came along to be. It was like my very own personal band biography that nobody else got to hear if they didn’t buy VIP passes.

And that may or may not have been the point. One-Eyed Doll did mention that the VIP parties were the only true way that they could make money and have gas in the fuel tanks and food in their stomachs. Everything else, someone took some kind of cut or percentage. Even their merchandise table… someone was taking a cut from it. Made me not wanna buy any merchandise from anyone, but that’s not the answer. 0A3

Slowly but surely the night slipped away from everyone in the house. And people were slipping out the door. There were even people there who were at the house when we arrived and had left before One-Eyed Doll even showed up. Such a loss. One person actually split after they got set up to play. It was so weird.

People were beginning to fade and fall one by one by one.

The windows began to show signs of life, signs of light, and most importantly signs of the sun coming up.

It was bizarre. I cannot honestly tell you when the last time was that I went out for the night and came home when it turned light again. But it seemed apparent that this was going to be the  case as the show went on.

Another gentleman mentioned that he had faith that one day One-Eyed Doll was going to play at Madison Square Garden. They had been all over the country this tour and it was his dream for them that they would do so and in quick and short order. 0A4

I can only imagine what One-Eyed Doll was truly thinking when he said it. When I heard it, it sounded like it was full of hope and support.

How can you argue that???

It was nice emotional break for everyone I think. Everyone had been in almost a zombie-coma like state from listening to music and being so tired from being awake for so long.

Even One-Eyed Doll was showing signs of running out of gas at this point in time.

Everyone still remaining in the house had been going on for nearly 24 hours at this point and the acoustic show was far from over.

Kimberly did what she could to make things flow with entertainment throughout, knowing that everyone, including herself was so exhausted.

Nobody wanted to admit their fatigue though. In fact, people were surprised with themselves about how long they were able to last without showing physical signs of fatigue. Nobody appeared to be yawning profusely. Nobody was nodding off. Everyone was alert and still going.

Either the nostalgia took control or everyone was good at faking it.

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Kimberly Freeman jumps into the group of people while singing “Committed.”

I suddenly was reminding myself of many things.

First of all, I wouldn’t have been there if it had not been the for the kindness of a guy by the name of Cory who gave me his second VIP pass that he bought and had nobody to go with him. I wouldn’t have made it to the house had it not been for the generous help of my brand new colleague Robert and his family. I wouldn’t have known about One-Eyed Doll had it not been for NANCY SILVA PROJECT to announce that they had a show in town finally and at last after six months of being away.

So I start at the top to thank Nancy Silva personally for being an important person in my life these last few months. I thank Junior of One-Eyed Doll for pointing Robert in my direction to connect with as another fan. And the willingness of him and his family to get me to the house of the party. And of course the sacrifice Cory gave as he handed me his other VIP pass for free.

Not having these people in place at the right time and I would not have stayed out all night long. I probably would have stayed long enough to watch NANCY SILVA PROJECT and then gone home and been back within the walls before the sun went down. Instead I was back within the walls as the sun had been up. It was like leaving the house and going out into the street just before high noon. Even though it was after 7:00 AM.

Robert and his family were interviewed and I stood back and watched. It was wonderful to watch them tell their stories. They almost came to tears telling it with great pride and joy. I hope that One-Eyed Doll appreciates their words.

And even though I was the newbie, I felt like I was surrounded by people who were like family. People who were caring. New people that crossed my path that one fateful night and remain in my thoughts and memories as they all traveled back to their homes across this great nation. To know that Dirty Dog Bar was packed with people like that and a huge percentage of them were not even from the state of Texas was mind blowing. Knowing that NANCY SILVA PROJECT got one hell of a crowd which meant exposure to them as well. I think I remember seeing ONE man who had a NSP t-shirt after the fact.

Throughout the whole night and into the VIP party, I still was wearing my NSP t-shirt. Representing during One-Eyed Doll. Come to find out that both bands are fond of one another in real life on a personal level and that’s great.

Hoping and believing that Kimberly got over her shock of receiving roses the evening before.

Due to the fact that my batteries were dead in my camera while waiting in line at the venue, I changed them before I got to the house party and I finally got my own photographs with Kimberly. Then we left the house.

The host of the party was outside with Junior talking and he asked if he could help in any way as I approached the ramp to go down. I said “Stand back and watch the magic.” Then I flew down that ramp and onto the walkway and all the way to the front gate where he met up with me and helped me to the vehicle.

I finally crawled through my front door after saying farewell to Robert and his family and looked at the clock. It said 7:40 AM.

Damn.

I posted all my photographs that I had on my camera from the evening onto Facebook and then got slapped with the article of Kanye West opening his mouth at a concert in Australia and shoving his foot down his throat farther than ever before. But that’s for another post. Depending on how mad I remain about the situation.

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Kimberly Freeman Loves You

After posting photographs and ignoring Kanye West’s stupid ass, I finally went to sleep. But only got four hours of sleep. Then I suddenly had to be up and awake because I was babysitting my niece.

I hope that I get another shot at One-Eyed Doll. Kimberly finally put two and two together and realized who I was since we had some minor interactions on the Internet prior to the show. But almost too late. I found out later that Kimberly is just uber affectionate. She loves her hugs. Receiving and giving. It shows with as many as I had with her.

I think that I am going to go to her and tell her that I want to extend the hugs and call them “Kimberly Kuddles.” She’ll probably love the sound of it. But we’ll see.