Ben Singer Sat, 21 Feb 2015 20:10:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Suzy Mac Sun, 04 Jan 2015 16:15:08 +0000

Recorded tracks for Suzy Mac’s upcoming album. Matty Sheets on drums, and I’m playing guitars, keyboards, and bass.

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The Boss Fri, 26 Dec 2014 14:54:40 +0000

A beautiful, live version of Magpie Thief performing their song, “The Boss”.

More from Magpie Thief at their bandcamp page.

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Emily Gardner Hall Sat, 20 Dec 2014 15:16:22 +0000 Bears

While performing the Snow Queen at Triad Stage, I recorded two show tracks for Emily Gardner Hall, who played the Snow Queen.

You can listen to Long Darkest Night and Winter of Ten Thousand Years (both with me and Scott Manring on guitars) at Emily’s Snow Queen page.

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The Snow Queen Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:02:46 +0000

I had the delightful pleasure of playing in the 2014 production of The Snow Queen at Triad Stage. I played guitar, upright bass, rototoms, and various other pieces of percussion along with my fellow and fabulous musicians, Scott Manring and Faye Petree.

‘Snow Queen’ hits the season trifecta (News & Record review)

Dressing a Story (Yes Weekly)

More at Triad Stage

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EP in C Sun, 21 Sep 2014 13:12:29 +0000 Broken Parts EP in C

5-song EP for The Broken Parts (Matty Sheets, Georgianna Harris, and me).

We went on to a three-week Northeast tour, including Brooklyn, Boston, DC, and Philadelphia.

Download the Album

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Crooked Candy Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:20:15 +0000 kinder-surprise 500

Audio mixing and editing for Crooked Candy, a short documentary by Andrew Rodgers.

“Small Surprises” (Triad City Beat)

RiverRun’s director shows ‘Crooked Candy’ in New York (Relish)

Crooked Candy has been presented at several film festivals in 2014 and 2015:

The New York Film Fest

Rhode Island International Film Festival

Napa Valley Film Festival

Warsaw Film Festival

and many more!

Twitter: @CandyFilm

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The Gold Rush Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:49:07 +0000

Did Modern Robot perform a soundtrack to Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Rush”? Dunno.

Read Brian Clarey’s Triad City Beat column about the show.

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The Scrub Tool Tue, 24 Jun 2014 15:10:13 +0000 Wherein Premiere becomes an instrument, performance by Ben Singer.

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These Years Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:05:52 +0000 A second video from Emily Stewart and the Baby Teeth — Emily’s song “These Years”. Audio by Ben Singer, video by G. Harris.

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The Grand Ole Uproar Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:52:57 +0000 Greensboro’s The Grand Ole Uproar came in for a video session. Audio by Ben Singer, video by G. Harris.

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Company Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:47:02 +0000 Video of my song “Company”. Live audio recording and mixing by Ben Singer, camera and editing by G. Harris.

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The Cumberland Ghost Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:47:18 +0000 Cumberland Ghost

Andrew Eversole’s album, the Cumberland Ghost, is a bluegrass album that tells a story of bootlegging and reincarnation. Recorded and mastered by Ben Singer.

Check out the full album on bandcamp.

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Sun Cult Sun, 22 Dec 2013 20:02:42 +0000 Video of “Always” by Sun Cult. Live audio recording and mixing by myself, camera operators myself and G. Harris.

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Root to Heart Fri, 15 Nov 2013 23:48:35 +0000 I’d been playing bass with Emily Stewart for a couple months when she called said, “we need a video!”. This is one of the two songs we cut the next day.

Audio production and bass was my job, video and editing by G. Harris.

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Laura Boswell Sun, 10 Nov 2013 17:04:23 +0000 Laura Boswell

Laura Boswell and I recorded most of the music on this album in 2012. I was really happy to work on it because she’s got such an obvious talent. She writes her songs with both technical sophistication and a very musical feel; the music is filled with intricate rhythms and interesting harmonies. Laura is a great guitarist, pianist, and banjo player (kinda ridiculous) and the album really shows all these sides of her playing.

After all the basic track were recorded, we started layering, adding acoustic bass, viola, and a bit of electric guitar. Laura also wanted drums on a couple tracks. I’d been practicing drums and slowly putting together my kit and decided to give it a shot. And 30-or-so takes later, I started to be pretty happy with it! You can hear that on “Counting Eyes” here, which is my favorite track of the album.

Laura is now at USC, working on her MA in classical guitar performance.

She has a kickstarter up right now too:

Photo by LazyCat
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The Fifth Dimension Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:43:40 +0000

“We can feed the stomach with concentrates. We can supply microfilm for reading, recreation, even movies of a sort. We can pump oxygen in and waste material out. But there’s one thing we can’t simulate, that’s a very basic need: man’s hunger for companionship. The barrier of loneliness — that’s one thing we haven’t licked yet.”

Modern Robot show 43: a soundtrack to episodes of The Twilight Zone.

Watch the video

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Gray Matter Tue, 27 Aug 2013 04:33:46 +0000

The best I can describe this music is that it lives somewhere in the space between two guitar heros of mine: Bill Frisell and Ali Farka Touré. I’m playing two guitar parts and drums on this track (drums being a recent and consuming new instrument for me) and I recorded it in my usual studio/apartment. I’m really happy with the sounds here; they are some of the best I’ve recorded yet.

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Another Song Fri, 12 Jul 2013 16:56:47 +0000 Drums

I can’t resist an inconvenient pun. This is a song of mine called “Another Song”, performed and recorded by yrs truly on guitar, keyboards, drums, and vocals.

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Roberts-Hirshorn: A Case Study Sun, 24 Jun 2012 15:50:39 +0000

17 hours in to Monkeywhale’s 48-hour film, the script was a bust and we were about to call it quits. But instead, we did a quick turn, found a new idea, and started shooting Saturday afternoon. As footage started coming in, I started transcoding and editing a bit. By Saturday night, I was the film editor, and did not sleep until our movie was done.

2012 City Awards:

  • Audience Choice Award, Group B
  • Runner Up for Best Film, Greensboro
  • Best Costumes
  • Best Lead Actor
  • Best Lead Female Actor

See on

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Amendment One, The Looper Version Mon, 07 May 2012 14:06:13 +0000 In 1875, North Carolina amended the state constitution to ban “all marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro decent”. Let’s not go back there.

An Earlier Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

More about Laurelyn Dossett’s song

Go vote, and vote “no”!

I’m Ben Singer, and I approve this message, even though it has entirely too much guitar playing. It was recorded all on a looper pedal, which you can see me mashing here and there.

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Vote Against Amendment One Tue, 10 Apr 2012 04:00:59 +0000 Recorded and co-produced the audio for Laurelyn Dossett’s Vote Against Amendment One. The video was created by Monkeywhale’s Harvey K. Robinson.

I got to work with some of Greensboro’s best musicians — thank you!

Audio version: Amendment One on Soundcloud

Buy the song: Amendment One on iTunes

Website: Visit on

Laurelyn Dossett | songwriter, guitar and vocals
Pat Lawrence | bass
Scott Manring | banjo, dobro
Sam Frazier | vocals, electric guitar
Molly McGinn | vocals
Logie Meachum | vocals
Daniel Yount | drums
Ben Singer | keyboards
Robin Doby Easter| vocals
Martha Bassett | vocals
Rhiannon Giddens Laffan | vocals

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Radio-Friendly Robot Sat, 17 Mar 2012 04:00:11 +0000 Released Radio-Friendly Robot, an album of Modern Robot tracks compiled from several different shows.

Listen and watch the album: movies on YouTube
Listen and buy the album: album on bandcamp
Find out more:

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A Trip West Fri, 17 Feb 2012 05:00:04 +0000 On a recent trip, I stayed with a couple that had grown up as next-door kids in rural Michigan.

While watching 8mm films they had just digitized, we heard stories of ponds, silos, tractors, and growing up on the family dairy farm in the early 60’s. I loved the feel of these films and left with a copy on my flash drive, not sure what I was going to do with the footage.

About the same time, I was recording a new song of mine. To be more specific, I had recorded it once, and I had yet to record it for the second and third times — but after I got a version I liked, it just seemed to match this film.

Music written, peformed, and recorded by Ben Singer
Film courtesy of Marcia Hart and the Henderson family

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Sound Reproduction Thu, 06 Oct 2011 04:00:48 +0000 Show 16: Sound Reproduction

“For use as part of a talking picture, the sound to accompany the photographed action must be recorded for reproduction when the picture is shown.”

Recorded January 19, 2011

Download from bandcamp

Like our first album “The Age of Machines”, “Sound Reproduction” is in three parts. It begins in 1943 with a film about sound tracks. At this point, it wasn’t one word — soundtrack — but two words, which is really what this movie is about. A strip on the side of the film itself is burned in dark and light stripes, and that track is read by a photoelectric cell and converted into sound, like magnetic tape (a topic that we get to later!).

The way this show starts is one of my favorites. At one minute in, Kyle sets up a fantastic groove and at the same time, you can start hearing high, shimmering sounds floating in — this is Nicholas Stott. This was our first show with Nicholas, and since it’s far from obvious, it’s a guitar he’s making those awesome sounds with. The first track ends with a sequence of V-i’s (a little music theory, anyone?), then we flip the beat around just before the second track, “To Review”.

By the middle of track 4, “The Reproducing System”, we’ve worked in to a heavy groove and in another one of my favorite moments of this show, the orchestra comes crashing in! (It sounds like some Beethoven, but if someone knows, please tell me). By the end of the track, Kyle’s hi-hat lines right up with the strings, but keep in mind we didn’t know what was playing on the movie’s soundtracks — this is total serendipity.

The orchestra joins us again at the beginning of track 6, “As Recorded in New, Orthophonic, High-Fidelity Sound”. The second movie actually started at track 5, “The Sound and the Story”, which is the name of this 1956 film about how LP’s and 45’s were made, all the way from the recording studio through the different steps of pressing vinyl and shipping them out. I actually learned quite a bit from this film, so you should watch the original on if you’re curious how a record is made.

This second section has some of the best bits of inserted dialog: “Today the engineers record the orchestra as a complete unit… all it takes is recording equipment of enormous cost and capacity.” How do I record these shows? On a $200 recorder that I can hold in my hand.

Track 10 takes precisely two minutes and forty seconds.

Most Modern Robot shows have a ballad or two. In this show, it comes as track 11, “Now It’s Prepared”, which is accompanied by more of Nicholas’s atmospheric sounds. The atmosphere extends into track 12, which slowly works into the extended themes of track 13, “The World’s Greatest Artists Are At Your Service”. I clocked this one, and we’re playing a 4/4 with quarters at about 60MM — wonderfully slow but Kyle is filling it all in with 32nd notes.

The orchestra comes in again to start track 13, “New Thrills and Pleasures to Millions”, and also the third film of our show. From 1958, and it’s a promotion for RCA’s first version of a cassette tape, which is a chunky thing about the size of an iPad. But this was quite an advance; before this, tape meant a reel-to-reel machine.

“So simple! So convenient! So practical! So easy to use, and with all the unquestioned advantages of tape now ready to move the tape recorder out of the closet and into the living room where it belongs — as part of the newest and most exciting home entertainment center for the entire family!”

Listen to and buy: album on bandcamp

Watch the show as performed here: Sound Reproduction on Vimeo

Or the original films here:
Sound on Film (1943)
The Sound and the Story (1956)
A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape (1958)

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Wizard of Oz Sat, 01 Oct 2011 04:00:24 +0000

From October 2011 to January 2012, performed a virtual orchestra for the national tour of the Wizard of Oz.

Show website:

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Master None Fri, 16 Sep 2011 04:00:12 +0000

Recorded two of the tracks on the Elkbellows (i.e. Mike O’Malley) EP Master None. Added guitar and trombone to tracks and mastered the album.

Get the album: Master None on bandcamp

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John Wicks Live Wed, 07 Sep 2011 04:00:17 +0000

Mixed and mastered a live show album for John Wicks and the Records.


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The Age of Machines Thu, 01 Sep 2011 04:00:11 +0000 Show 12: The Age of Machines

“This is the keyboard of modern shorthand machinery. The operator strikes a key on the keyboard as if playing a chord on a piano.”

Recorded November 9, 2010

Download from bandcamp

It’s a cliché for an instrumental band, but Modern Robot has always been about experiments. Maybe what isn’t said as much is that sometimes these experiments work, and sometimes they don’t.

We’ve done shows as a duo, trio, and quartet — one time even a guitar/drums duo. We’ve shown old westerns, animated movies, silent movies, horror flicks, movies with nothing but fractals, movies with nothing but flying, car commercials, appliance commercials, and documentaries. Really, our first show played to a movie was entirely an experiment itself.

So once in a while, we’d have a show came together in some remarkable way, where the experiment and the new movie pushed the music to something new too. This show, “The Age of Machines”, was one of those.

The idea was machines. I loved the thought of whirling piece of metal, pistons moving in rhythm, continuous motion. What we showed on the screen were three movies played back-to-back, a pattern that came back for several of our later shows. How these vaguely related and largly plotless films would create a show, I didn’t know, but it worked. First up, office machinery.

The show started with “Modern Business Machines for Writing, Duplicating, and Recording”, a documentary from 1947. Shorthand machines, special typewriters, and stuff with wonderful names like the Fileomatic Desk, the Varityper, and Autotypist Perforator. We accompany the film playing tight patterns and themes that move quickly. To begin track 3, “The Dictator”, Kyle plays especially typewriter-like. Sound clips from the documentary punctuate the music and have an eerie way of belonging where they land — not something that we pre-arranged.

All fun and good, but to me, the heart of the show starts at track 7, “This is Stella Pajunas”, a dancy number that breaks down into the R&B-like “Learn to Relax”. And halfway through “Relax”, a piece of music from the documentary fits the key and mood of what we are playing spectacularly, something that brings us right into our second movie — the sad movement.

Track 9, “It’s Quiet” starts with the narration from “Valley Town”, a film from 1940. It’s a documentary of a Pennsylvania steel town with a story that still hasn’t changed much: workers being replaced by technology. Track 10, “The Men and Women of This Town” is fast and light, but with a slow undertone of where this going to go. The town is booming, the steel mills are rolling, and the people are doing well. A train whistle makes a pefect entrance — a C right on a C in the keyboard melody.

Things are looking up, and track 11 is a proud and happy theme. “The machines needed skilled men, almost as many as before, and this work was easier on the back … times were good, men had a chance to look around, move to another state, move into our town because they heard about our new luck … the machines brought life to our town!”

But what do you do when machines can do the work that people used to do? When it’s cheaper and faster? Track 13, “And Then the Wheels Stopped”, blends several parts of the the film’s soundtrack in with the narration and ends with the rumble and crash of the smokestacks of the obsolete steel mills being destroyed, and a clarinet solo brings us into track 14, “If Only We Had Known”, the end of “Valley Town”.

This show ends with one more look at machines, a hypnotic animated movie from 2000 called “Moving Illustrations of Machines”. Where have the machines brought us now? Now that we can create and alter life, what is a machine, and what is life?

“We are going to have almost as much knowledge and almost as much power as God. Cloning and the reprogramming of DNA is the first serious step in becoming one with God.”

Listen to and buy: album on bandcamp

Watch the show as performed here: Age of Machines on Vimeo

And the original films here:
Modern Business Machines for Writing, Duplicating, and Recording (1947)
Valley Town (1940)
Moving Illustrations of Machines (2000)

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Half a Man Tue, 23 Aug 2011 04:00:38 +0000 Two guys that look like me play a version of Willie Nelson’s Half a Man.

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HGTR Living Room Sat, 20 Aug 2011 04:00:28 +0000

Demo mixes and mastering for Holy Ghost Tent Revival’s unreleased album, The Living Room Sessions.


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Molly Miller, 2011 Tue, 16 Aug 2011 04:00:49 +0000

An ongoing project, these are the first tracks of an album by Molly Miller (formerly of Amelia’s Mechanics). As well as recording, you can also find me playing guitar, banjo, keyboards, and all sorts of things on these tracks.

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Music For “Inside Job” Sun, 26 Jun 2011 04:00:47 +0000

Music written by There Is Now Creature Music for Harvey K. Robinson’s movie for the 48 Hour Film Project, summer of 2011.

Matty Sheets, guitar
Wayne Reich, violin/whistling
Ben Singer, keyboards
Jocelyn Mackenzie, voice/percussion
Emily Hope Price, voice/cello
Jeremy Styles, voice/guitar

Jocelyn, Emily, and Jeremy are better known as the outstanding group, Pearl and the Beard.

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Martha on Kickstarter Mon, 28 Feb 2011 05:00:48 +0000

With Pat Lawrence, recorded and edited Martha Bassett’s kickstarter campaign video. We raised almost $11,000 for production of the album The Goodbye Party.

Watch on kickstarter

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In the Sweet By and By Thu, 24 Feb 2011 05:00:21 +0000

Recorded, mixed, and mastered Martha Bassett’s album, In the Sweet By and By. This was a limited release of gospel songs made for contributers to Martha’s kickstarter campaign. Co-produced the album with Martha and played banjo on some tracks.

Martha’s website:

“The Haven of Rest” also features Sam Frazier on guitar.

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The Goodbye Party Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:00:31 +0000

Helped record and mix Martha’s album, The Goodbye Party. Played keyboards, guitar, banjo, and co-wrote the track “The Goodbye Party”.

Buy the album: The Goodbye Party on iTunes
Martha’s website:

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Daphne Nichols Wed, 10 Nov 2010 05:00:15 +0000

Demo tracks for Winston-Salem singer/songwriter Daphne Nichols.


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James Marshall Owen Tue, 26 Oct 2010 04:00:20 +0000

Recorded tracks for JMO and helped assemble the album Gate City Get Up.

Download the album: Gate City Get Up on bandcamp
About the album: Gate City Get Up article

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Early To Rise Fri, 10 Sep 2010 04:00:03 +0000

I had Brian Haran of Fret Sounds Guitars revamp on old Silvertone guitar, one I’d gotten for $15, some ten years ago, and I used it to record this moody texture.

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Just To Slow Down Thu, 19 Aug 2010 04:00:11 +0000

An original song of mine, recorded at a time when this is all I wanted to do. I’m singing as well as playing guitar, banjo, and keyboard parts.

Looking at the bounces, the first name for this song was “Flu”. I guess I had the flu at the time, too.

Kyle Poehling, drums
Martha Bassett, vocals

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Good Ol’ Girls Sun, 11 Apr 2010 04:00:39 +0000

Mixed the original cast album, plus a little music production.

Website: Good Ol’ Girls

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Flush the Toilet Tue, 02 Mar 2010 05:00:47 +0000

Added a piano track to the Baron von Rumblebuss track Flush the Toilet. It’s important, you know!


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India Wed, 23 Dec 2009 05:00:40 +0000

Music production for a show based on the music of A. R. Rahman, designed by Franco Dragone Entertainment Group .

Credits: overdub recording, mixing, mastering, co-writer and production of Kaanta

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Touring Shows Mon, 01 Oct 2007 04:00:20 +0000

Programming and support for various touring shows:

National tour: 2007, 2008, 2009
See on YouTube: Maybe Hard Knock Life

The Wizard of Oz
National tour: 2008, 2009

National tour: 2008

The Producers
National tour: 2009

National tour: 2009

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Tue, 25 Sep 2007 04:00:50 +0000

Programming, setup, and training for the 2007 and 2008 national tours of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

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Wonderful Town Fri, 10 Nov 2006 05:00:51 +0000

Virtual orchestra setup, rehearsals, and training for the 2006-2007 national tour of Wonderful Town.

Photos: see on flickr

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Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell III Mon, 16 Oct 2006 04:00:12 +0000

Affectionatly known as “Tap Out of Hell”.

With others at Notion, I set up and performed orchestral augmentation for the first shows of Meat Loaf’s 2006-2007 tour promoting his new album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose.

We performed in London’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Palace Theater, and Toronto’s Elgin Theater, as well as appearing on NBC’s Today show.

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The Embius Trio Sun, 26 Mar 2000 05:00:42 +0000 Jazz/funk/organ trio with Brian Baggett and Matt Miner.

Credits: Organ, Co-producer for UTLX 422322, graphic design

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Einstein Electric Wed, 01 Apr 1998 05:00:05 +0000

A long time ago in a land far, far away — a band called Einstein Electric. This is from our album, The Cosmic Imperative.

Credits: producer, writer for “Flying Pann”, keyboards, album design

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