The Ravens is a loose-knit group of musicians that live in the Winston-Salem NC area. The three principal members are
songwriter Bruce Brasher, drummer and percussionist Mitch Hensdale, and keyboard player Frank Hartis. The current album consists of 14 songs, some of which appeared on prior releases; however, re-mixing, EQ, and even re-recording
certain parts has hopefully added some clarity to these newer versions. There is also some new material, including the
title track " Your Beauty is an Ardent Arrow", a song inspired by an obscure episode of the 1960s TV show " The Avengers",
and which is in fact a paean to the program's heroine Mrs. Peel.
As always, we try to incorporate both classical and jazz elements into these songs of relatively simple composition.
Most all of the string and horn arrangements can be credited to Frank.( Listen to Blue is the Water of Lust) Three of the songs - The Sun is High, Blue is the Water of Lust, and Dear Child- use rhythm tracks recorded many years ago by a trio of studio musicians- Phil Stinson on lead and rhythm guitars, Doug Dennis on bass, and Glen Fields on drums. Mitch and I
recently noodled with the songs, adding tambourine and other elements.
As far as influence goes, it is with fond remembrance that I recall listening to the radio growing up in Basking Ridge NJ
in the 1960s and early 1970s . . . back then the big station was WABC out of NYC. It was incredible, at one point on the AM dial you could hear the Beatles, Stones, Four Seasons, Sinatra, Tommy James and the Shondells, Gary Puckett and the Union
Gap, Glen Campbell, LittlePeggy March, Motown, Petula Clark and on and on and on. Then ther was FM- WOR and WNEW,
I still remember lying on my sick bed with a horrible case of mono after my sophomore year at Duke, hearing for the first time " You Set the Scene" off of Arthur Lee's seminal album " Forever Changes", a song that I still find mesmerizing.
So now my 14 Year-old daughter tells me I'm a dinosaur and I imagine she's right. She gets in my car and insists on playing
her favorite hip-hop station, and my only response is to get depressed. I guess all I can do is hope that there are one or two
other dinosaurs out there.