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Thursday, May 11, 2006 10:01 pm

Invitation to the party

Lori and Bill McKenzie host a CD release celebration on Friday

Here’s Bill McKenzie, explaining the premise behind his Acoustic Aspect Recording Project: “The idea was to make what was essentially a vanity CD and get it out to friends and family and have a few to sell when the DeRocchi/ McKenzie Band play out locally.” The disc, titled This Feels Like Where I Came In, features eight originals by McKenzie and six cover songs. Lori McKenzie — Bill’s better half, I’ve heard tell — sings lead on four of the tunes and adds her expressive harmonies to the rest of the songs. “The core of the recording project was Lori and I,” says McKenzie, “plus Brian Curtis of the Oohs.”
Curtis, known as one of the best keyboard/vocalists in town through his work with the Oohs, Debbie Ross, and other groups, polished his engineering chops as knob man for all of the Oohs’ recordings (he also writes, sings, and plays keyboards for the band). “The Oohs’ discs are unmistakably well done, with high production values and good quality overall sound,” says McKenzie, praising his co-producer’s studio abilities. Curtis not only recorded and helped produce the project, but also brought along his tremendous talents as a musician, adding keyboards, synth percussion, and vocal harmonies. Other local musicians rounding out the sound include Antone DeRocchi on guitars and harmonica, Hank Helton and Chas Blythe on guitars, and Kevin “Boss Toots” Cox on saxophone. All the players are veteran local performers seen regularly around town with their own projects. DeRocchi is a solo artist and plays with the McKenzies, in addition to plus other groups. Helton works with the Emerald Undergound and heads up Real Time. Blythe is a Missing Lynx and in other bands, and Cox is Bobcat of Bobcat and the Missing Lynx. In organizing the CD release party, the McKenzies invited the recorded musicians to perform live with a few extra (and special) guests tossed in. Plans are to play songs from the CD, have guests perform songs of their own, and ultimately create a thorough cross-pollination of pleasant musical mayhem. “It’s a way of acknowledging and honoring the impact they’ve had on me,” says McKenzie of the contributing musicians, “and the great sense of collaboration that is really in the musical community in this town. “It’s like a celebration,” he says.
Bill and Lori McKenzie invite you to the CD release of This Feels Like Where I Came In, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, May 12, at the Forty-Niner Bye-Bye (518 Bruns Lane, 217-787-4937).
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