Hailing from Santa Fe, New Mexico and now living in New Zealand, John Egenes travels back to his acoustic multi-instrumentalist roots with his latest offering, "Up For Air". With performances on guitar, banjo, mandolin, Dobro, and Weissenborn Hawaiian lap guitar, he leads us through a collection of stories and commentaries that come to life with his honest and heartfelt songwriting, supported by a stellar cast of New Zealand musicians. Egenes augments it all with his trademark stream of understated instrumental
licks and figures that shine through, yet stay out of the way.
With songs of war ("Over the Line", "One More Down") and personal loss ("The Shore"), and stories of hope and love ("Dark Side of the Moon", "Long Run"), Egenes even serves up a mystical story of a man’s last day on earth, as he meets up with the grim reaper on a freight train ("Lookin' For A Ride").
For those who still think folk music is something played on banjos by bearded men in overalls, this CD just might change their minds. Sophisticated songwriting doesn't have to be elitist, and quality musicianship doesn't have to be inaccessible to mere mortals.
And a bonus for those into the remix culture: Egenes is putting all the tracks for each song up on his website for remixing. You can download all the individual tracks for a song, chop them up and remix them any way you like. You can even play along, inserting your own tracks, then remix and upload your masterpiece to his website for comparison with others' remixes. It's the folk process brought into the 21st century, and John feels strongly that this process will be commonplace in the very near future.