Andy Performs "Long Walk Home" on Piano - May 30, 2014
Andy performs Neil Young's "Long Walk Home" at R.A. Fountain General Store with backup from Katy and Jim.
Andy performs Neil Young's "Long Walk Home" at R.A. Fountain General Store with backup from Katy and Jim.
Thanks to our good friend Carter Monroe, Ben's song "Another Love Song," from WILSON, is now available on YouTube. Check it out!
For Immediate Release
The Near Myths Release Third Album
Wilson, NC – August 5, 2013 - . . . and into the flow, the third CD by The Near Myths, was released on July 29, 2013. Barton’s Dr. Jim Clark, band member and de facto manager of the group, says, “This CD will very likely be our last. More and more people download their music now, usually individual songs; the days of physical CDs with artwork and songs arranged for a particular effect are numbered.” The band has released two previous CDs: Wilson, in 2005, and Words to Burn in 2008. All three CDs also feature the musicianship and technical expertise of Barton’s director of Audio Recording Technology Phil Valera, who recorded, mixed, and co-produced them, as well as contributing organ, synthesizer, harmonica, and percussion.
The other members of the band include Clark’s grad school roommate Ben Greene, whom he met in 1976 while attending UNC-Greensboro, and Greene’s wife, Bernadette, from Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Katy Adams, from Greensboro, North Carolina; and Terry “Teep” Phillips, from Knoxville, Tennessee. Adams’s son, Matthew, played drums. “There’s a sort of retrospective feel to some of the songs in terms of their lyrics,” says Clark. “Most of us are in our fifties now, and we’ve known each other a long time and been through a lot together, bad and good, including the recent deaths of band member Andy Oglesby, from Greensboro, and Katy’s husband, Frank. That’s not to say there aren’t some up-tempo rockers, though.”
Indeed, . . . and into the flow is the band’s most adventurous and varied musical effort yet, including saxophone on several songs, and a full horn section on Ben Greene’s “Cooler Heads Prevail.” “We also co-wrote several songs this time, and we trade lead vocals on several tracks. We wanted a more organic, communal feel,” Clark says. “Our musical tastes and influences are pretty eclectic, so it’s kind of hard to categorize the sound of The Near Myths. I guess ‘contemporary folk-rock’ comes close, or maybe ‘Americana’.”
All three of the band’s CDs, as well as two solo CDs by Clark, were recorded in the Sara Lynn Riley Kennedy Studio, on the campus of Barton College. Clark is especially pleased about this, noting that Barton’s Director of Publications, Keith Tew, has served as the art director for all the CDs, and other members of the Barton Community, including Music Director Mark Peterson, Communications professor Webster Struthers, and Psychology professor Eddie Fernandes, have played on some of the CDs. “There’s a real sense of community at a small college, and wonderful opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. I think it’s a tribute to the kind of place Barton is that it has nourished and encouraged this sort of creative – and even entrepreneurial – collaborative effort.”
Physical CDs and downloads of . . . and into the flow will be available online at Amazon.com and CD Baby; downloads will be available from iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, and other digital music providers. The Near Myths’ homepage is http://thenearmyths.com
Band Owns Up to Being Smaller Than Beatles
One of North America’s most obscure legendary bands, The Near Myths, has admitted to being “smaller than The Beatles.” The five band members, all wearing solemn expressions, made this confession at a recent press conference in Nowheresville, where they recorded their new album, …and into the flow. They then took questions from members of the press, or would have, had any bothered to turn up.
A visibly shaken Jim Clark, read from a paper, which trembled in his talented hands: “We, The Near Myths are, unequivocally, smaller than The Beatles.”
“Not physically,” lead guitarist Terry “Teep” Phillips quickly added.
“No, some of have a few pounds on any of The Fab Four,” Clark agreed.
“And we all could look Ringo in the eye,” added Katy Adams.
“Though we don’t mean that metaphorically,” Ben Greene pointed out. “At least when it comes to musical stature.”
“Or the gift of joy he’s brought to millions,” added keyboardist Bernadette Greene.
“We’ve only brought our gift to dozens,” said Ben.
“Which is considerably smaller than millions,” Teep said.
“If any reporters were here to ask how we came to conclude that we’re smaller than The Beatles,” Ben began.
“Considerably smaller,” Teep emphasized.
Ben nodded. “Then first off I’d tell them I’m not knocking us or putting us down. I’m just saying it as a fact, and it’s true, more for England than here.”
“It’s true the world over,” said Katy.
“Yes,” said Jim, “but we did sell a few copies of our first two albums in the States. As I recall, in England we sold none.”
“Which is smaller,” said Teep.
“Look,” Jim said, “I firmly believe our new third album, …and into the flow is our best, but if it sells even one one-hundredth of what The Beatles’ least selling album sold, I’d be shocked.”
“And one one-hundredth, you must admit, as a fraction is quite small,” said Teep.
“I remember when the realization dawned on us,” Katy recalled, “just after one of the last recording sessions for …and into the flow. We were in Wilson, North Carolina at the home of Phil Valera, who produced and mixed the album.”
“And did a masterful job,” said Bernadette. “It’s our richest sounding record yet.”
“True,” said Ben. “Phil had put on The Beatles’ Love album, and we were sitting quietly, marveling at the quality of their music. I turned to Katy and said, ‘All Phil has to do, is make us sound like that.’ ”
“Which he didn’t,” Teep said.
Ben fought back a sigh, and went on. “About a minute later, it occurred to me: The Beatles sang better than we do. And played better. And wrote better songs.”
“However,” Bernadette added, “this new album includes many of our finest songs.”
“Yes,” Jim agreed, his face no longer quite so glum. “The album includes one final song from the late lamented Andy Oglesby, ‘No Danger,’ which has a catchy stinging guitar line from Teep and a hip vocal from Katy. Ben’s ‘Cooler Heads Prevail’ features an ultra cool horn arrangement.”
“Jim’s ‘Caprice’ is vying for my all time favorite Near Myths’ track,” Katy said. “And there are plenty of others that I’d recommend as really really good.”
“Though not The Beatles,” several band members responded, voices overlapping.
“For example,” said Bernadette, “Teep’s ‘I Guess My Eyes Are Playing Tricks on Me’ has a terrific Fleetwood Mac vibe.”
“We’re smaller than them, too,” said Teep. “Physically as well. That Mick Fleetwood is pretty tall.”
CDs of . . . and into the flow, The Near Myths' third album, arrived at TNM headquarters in Wilson, NC today. They're beautiful! And they'll be available in all the usual places very shortly. Stay tuned!
. . . and into the flow, The Near Myths' third album, is finally in production! Artwork submitted and approved. Tentative release date: July 26, 2013. Stay tuned . . .
The Near Myths honor the life and legacy of Lucama, NC, folk artist Vollis Simpson whose work continues to delight and inspire us.
Check out this new video of "There Never Was Time," the final song on The Near Myths' forthcoming third CD . . . and into the flow. It features Jim's musical setting of a poem by Byron Herbert Reece.
Check out "Caprice," by The Near Myths, on Jango. It's the first song on our third CD, ". . . and into the flow," which will be out in late spring 2013. Let us know what you think.
The Near Myths (minus Bernadette, sadly, who had to hold down the fort in Vancouver) will convene a little later this week for 3-4 days of intensive recording sessions to put down the last batch of tunes for our as yet untitled third album. You can't say we don't take our time with our work - it was just about this time last year that we recorded the first batch. Those are all just about polished up now. Songs on tap for this week are mostly Ben's: "Wilderness of Stars," "Flyin' Blind," and the intriguingly titled "Midway Through Neil Young's Life Journey." Also Jim's "Like Refugees" and "There Never Was Time," a final setting of a Byron Herbert Reece poem. We'll keep you posted!
Check out the new YouTube video for Phil's sparkling, punchy remix of "Old Mill Road" from Wilson. The images are from folk artist Vollis Simpson's whirligig installation near Lucama, NC.
The Near Myths spent the past week (July 17-22) in Wilson, NC, recording tracks for a new CD, tentatively titled COOLER HEADS. True to form, the band selected the hottest week of the year to work, with daily high temps passing the century mark.
Working again with co-producer, engineer, and sometime band member Phil Valera the band recorded tracks for eight new songs: Cooler Heads Prevail, Rock and Roll Brother, and Small Town Gypsies, by Ben Greene; Come Out and Dance and I Guess My Eyes Are Playing Tricks on Me, by Terry Phillips; See You There and Caprice, by Jim Clark and Ben Greene; and You Say that You're Nick Danger, by band member Andy Oglesby who passed away in 2006. You Say that You're Nick Danger will feature band member Katy Adams on her first lead vocal.
Matt Adams returned to play drums on the sessions, as he did for The Near Myths' second album, WORDS TO BURN.
Stay tuned for updates . . .
The Near Myths are topping the charts over at Indie-Music. com with songs from our new CD WORDS TO BURN. We currently have two number 1 songs: "Jubilee," on the Americana/Alt.Country chart, and "Romances" on the Folk Rock chart. Both of these songs are by Terry "Teep" Phillips, our resident secret weapon and Mad Musical Genius. We also have other top 10 songs on those charts, as well as on the Pop, Pop Rock, and Rock charts.
I could probably write a book on this subject, to tell you all the truth, but briefly, what it means to me to be one of The Near Myths might not be what the uninformed music buyer these days is prone to think. Yes, it's musical on a certain level, but these people know each other in quite a few contexts outside of musical matters, and each one of these good folks has grown in potential over the years. Most of them have day jobs now, and some of them even have grandchildren (most of them being a bit over fifty years of age at this point in time), but they all share a certain ethic emblematic of the "Stand and be counted" attitude of the 1960s, tempered with the experience of passing time. That sort of practical idealism makes these folks well worth the attention, for their music as well as for their personal views. The wisdom of age teaches us that sometimes age shows up and leaves wisdom somewhere back there down the line. The various ways in which we deal with that is the great philosophical conversation The Near Myths have shared a considerable amount of time and energy exploring together down through the years. That gets shared in our music, so that's cool, but politics, poetry, culinary arts, history, and all other sorts of subjects and issues also tie these good folks together. And here's the amazing thing to me...instead of tragedy and loss being threatening to their survival, the passing of previous Myths only enhances and strengthens the bonds that they share. That's a mighty powerful and continually attractive thing to me! As a working musician, I have to say that I unfortunately don't experience that kind of camaraderie with most of the musicians I play with. Hey, some of the musicians I've worked with, I barely know them much deeper than on a first-name basis (if I can remember that much). That doesn't speak to their talent, of course, only the importance with which I'm able to attach them to my personal life, and my friends in The Near Myths have shared a great many magical and mythical extra-musical happenings over the last two or three decades. Jim Clark, Katy Adams, Ben and Bernadette Greene, Matthew Adams (Katy's son), and I regathered in late July to record The Near Myths' second album entitled WORDS TO BURN, combining new tracks with posthumous tracks from our recently deceased (other) guitar-slinger, Andy Oglesby (who will no doubt be truly missed on future recordings). Although Andy's gone, his spirit lives on quite assuredly, thanks to these new recordings, and he will always be a part of what fuels The Near Myths' talent and inspiration. These ridiculously lovable folks truly exhibit no reservations whatsoever about forging fearlessly and confidently ahead toward the future together, whatever it may bring! So I invite you all to please, get to know these urbane, intelligent, funny, sensitive and caring musicians. Jim, Katy, Ben, Bernadette, Teeper, Matthew...and Andy and Jane, too. (And even Phil, the guy on the other side of the booth...he does much more than simply klonk a righteous cowbell!) This time around, Phil is being most ably assisted by Second Engineer Chris Nelson, which will surely make this album superior to our last one in quite a few ways. No matter what kind of American you may be, you might find something exciting and meaningful to rally around with this bunch of freewheeling old youngsters! Folk-rock music with their unique attitude really is good for the soul! All that to say only this...they're the only group I've ever worked with that can work in groups of two or three and feel to me like it's the same group of six or seven or so musicians on the albums. They're that cool. So visit their website, check out their music, and tell 'em Teeper sent you. You know, thanks to the great new tunes on WORDS TO BURN, I believe it's very likely that The Near Myths should still be around for quite awhile. They seem to be growing exponentially beyond those of us on these latest recordings, that's for sure! (And thanks to all of you for exploring the ever-intriguing mysteries and magical myths of life with us through the years, across the continent and around the world! Your posted messages and emails are most appreciated by the group!) Love and peace to you all! Keep visiting here for further updates on gigs and happenings involving yours truly (ol' Teep) and his many musical meanderings! Many thanks! Teeper (Terry L. Phillips)