Not just for Deadheads! Anela Lauren's second CD is a tribute to the Grateful Dead and the magic of their songwriting. On lead vocals and celtic harp, Anela takes some of the most beautiful Dead tunes to a whole new level. On the acoustic numbers (Ripple, Box of Rain, Black Muddy River, Attics of My Life) she is joined by Tom San Filippo of Half-Step on guitar and Will Lydgate on upright bass. On the electric tunes, they are joined by the incredible multi-award winner Stephen Inglis (Palolo Jones, House of Spirits, Piranha Brothers) on electric guitar.
One wonders if Robert Hunter (lyrics) and Jerry Garcia (music) knew how well these songs would sound when adapted to the harp. Lady With a Fan/Terrapin Station in particular gains an entire new dimension; several, in fact. The harp effects on Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain are a perfect foil to Steve Inglis' classic guitar interpretation. And of course, Ripple is played not "on the harp unstrung" but on a 36-string Thormahlen Swan bubinga harp, as is the rest of the album.
The recording was made at Steelgrass Recording Studio, one of the only world-class studios on the island of Kaua'i. The perfect clarity of voice and instrumentation combined with the improvisational feel of the songs combines to make an album that massages the ears and uplifts the soul. Let your heartstrings soar on the wings of "Harpin' on the Dead"!
10% of album sales go to the Rex Foundation (www.rexfoundation.org). Founded by the Grateful Dead in 1983, the Rex Foundation "aims to help secure a healthy environment, promote individuality in the arts, provide support to critical and necessary social services, assist others less fortunate than ourselves, protect the rights of indigenous people and ensure their cultural survival, build a stronger community, and educate children and adults everywhere."
Anela Lauren (celtic harp, lead vocals) is a classically trained pianist from age 4. She has played the celtic harp professionally since 2001 on the island of Kaua'i for a wide variety of events and festivals. She is well known for her unique arrangements and highly improvisational style. Anela plays a Thormahlen Swan 36-string floor harp. This is her second CD. Her first, "Mele from the Harp", is an instrumental interpretation of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian songs.
Stephen Inglis (electric guitar) is recognized as one of the most diverse artists in Hawaii today, Stephen is equally at home on the acoustic & electric guitar. The art of Ki Ho’alu; Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, has been at the heart of his music in recent years. In 2012 Stephen joined Hawaiian music legend Dennis Kamakahi, and was honored for Waimaka Helelei; 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano “Slack Key Album of the Year”. Stephen’s composition “Redwood Slack Key” was featured on the Grammy Nominated and Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winning album, “Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Volume 2″ in 2009. His music has also graced Film and Television projects like, NBC affiliate KHON’S: “Hawaii’s Saint Damian: A journey of Sacrifice”. Slackinʻ on Dylan, his last solo project, won the Hawaii Music Award for “Folk Album of the year”.
Tom San Filippo (acoustic guitar, harmony vocals) is an active session and touring musician based out of New York and is the lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead tribute band "HALF STEP". He was exposed to the Dead at a young age and considers them to be a huge musical influence. Harpin' gave Tom the opportunity to put a fresh spin on music that is so close to his heart.
Will Lydgate (bass, harmony vocals, studio manager and recording engineer) is a bass player, music producer and music teacher based on Kaua'i. Will graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston and plays reggae, jazz, soul, blues, country, funk, pop and R&B with talent and authenticity. Will also manages Kauai's Steelgrass Recording Studio, the island's only state-of-the-art recording facility.
Andrew Vastola (drums, recording engineer, mixing, mastering) was given his first drum set at age 3. Since that time, he has developed into a very versatile player. Having played drums in various original rock bands in Denver including doing multiple US tours, Andrew’s background stems primarily from classic and indie rock. Coming from Colorado’s premiere recording studio, Rocky Mountain Recorders, Andrew has done engineering work with artists such as Rhianna, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Faith Hill, Nathaniel Rateliff, Meese, Young Love and many more.