01 November 2008

John "Drumbo" French Reunites Captain Beefheart Alumni for Solo Album

John "Drumbo" French has reunited fellow Magic Band alumni Bill Harkelroad (aka "Zoot Horn Rollo"), Mark Boston (aka "Rockette Morton"), Greg Davidson (aka "Ella Guru"), and John Thomas for a solo recording of all new compositions entitled City of Refuge. The self-produced album was recorded in London and at various locations in the U.S., and lands stateside November 18th on Proper Records.

"I think City of Refuge is important because it re-visits a style of music that was founded by Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) and developed by various Magic Bands over the years. The music on this album came to me as total inspiration from being involved in The Magic Band reunion project. Listening to the music of Don Van Vliet and singing with the band, I realized that I was re-visiting my musical roots and wondered about how I had strayed so far away," French says.

As the drummer and music director for revered iconoclasts Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, Drumbo made central contributions to a handful of LPs – notably 1969's mind-altering, revered masterpiece Trout Mask Replica, on which French first acquired the antic stage-name "Drumbo" – that vastly expanded the parameters of contemporary music. French's influential contributions can also be found on projects with Frank Zappa, Mallard, Crazy Backwards Alphabet, Henry Kaiser and Richard Thompson, among others.

French plans a U.S. tour in conjunction with his upcoming book, Beefheart: Through The Eyes Of Magic, Vol.1, to be released early next year.

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