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MP3 Jim Haptonstahl - Inside My Mind's Eye

Haptonstahl creates a swirling tapestry of sound, evoking images of prairie land, sky & mindscapes, in an eclectic mix of folk-rock.

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Power-folk, ROCK: Folk Rock

The new CD from Jim Haptonstahl
A powerful journey through the heart to the center of the mind . . .

Recently featured on Chicago Public Radio''s "Hello Beautiful!" Arts Program with Edward Lifson...see https://www.tradebit.com for more details.

Veteran singer-songwriter Jim Haptonstahl creates a swirling tapestry of sound, evoking images of prairie land and sky-scapes mixed with voyages into deep recesses of the soul. Inside My Mind''s Eye winds through complex emotional and psychological territory-from escape and alienation to meditation and personal redemption, from anxiety and self-doubt to hope and self-renewal. The title song serves as the central piece of this artful puzzle. Haptonstahl tackles his creative demons while trying to stay connected to those he loves, and to the cosmic forces in his mind.

The twelve songs of Inside My Mind''s Eye represent a wide sonic spectrum, yet form an organic whole to match with the CD''s theme. The music includes a mesmerizing blend of acoustic and electric guitars. Haptonstahl''s voice is at once strong and clear, then pensive and earnest. He supports the songs with a broad palette of percussion, lyrical bass lines, and inspired psychedelic effects.

Seven instrumental tracks are featured, including three solo acoustic finger-style compositions, and mixtures of intricately arranged 6-and 12-string guitars, electric guitar, bass, mellotron and eerie soundscapes. Haptonstahl''s five vocal tunes are richly layered ensemble pieces, featuring stirring melodies, transcendent harmonies and glistening guitar solos.

The CD is a family artistic affair. Haptonstahl''s 16-year-old daughter Julia provides accomplished accompaniment on bass for two songs. His brother Max''s mind-bending intaglio print serves as the CD artwork. Surreal images interspersed throughout the CD package resonate with the mood of the music.

Emerging from Galesburg in the prairies of central Illinois, Jim Haptonstahl has worn a variety of musical hats. Starting as a solo artist in 1974, Haptonstahl integrated his original material into a mix of late ''60''s and early to mid ''70''s folk-rock, from Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Cat Stevens. But he was also intrigued with the complex sounds of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, with Frank Zappa, with elaborate poly-rhythms and open tunings.

In 1978 he formed a duo with Robin Akins. He and Akins soon combined forces with other Peoria-area musicians Hugh and Rudy Higgins, Mark Smith and Doug Lady to create a formidable band-Helix-and a considerable cult-following. With its wide range of rock, jazz and folk-infused sounds, Helix provided a vehicle for a number of original Haptonstahl tunes, while also broadening Haptonstahl''s musical vocabulary.

In 1983 Haptonstahl joined New Moon, a Bloomington, Illinois based new folk group. Violin-mandolin-harmonica player Joel Batty and bass-player/guitarist Bob Egan (who subsequently has recorded and performed with Wilco and Blue Rodeo) combined with Haptonstahl to create tight harmonies and driving instrumental arrangements. Over the next two years New Moon was featured on several local live radio concerts, including joint performances with Alison Krauss.

In 1986 Haptonstahl ventured into the studio to create his "Seventh Recurring Dream" song cycle. This seven-song effort, featuring six vocal tunes and one guitar duet, addressed themes ranging from apocalyptic fears to flights of fantasy, from rapturous love to a tale of haves and have-nots in a stark urban world. To render these intense, imagistic songs Haptonstahl assembled a tight ensemble of accomplished instrumentalists.

Through the last decade-and-a-half Haptonstahl has continued to perform solo, as well as with Steve Jackson on cello, bass and backing vocals, Bill Kavanagh (bass), his daughter Julia Haptonstahl (bass/flute), Joel Batty (violin/harmonica/mandolin), Chris DeMonk (bass), Hugh Higgins (vocals/percussion), & Robin Akins (bass). Focusing primarily on original material, he has played a variety of Chicago area & other Midwest venues, while continuing to compose a voluminous repertoire of songs. He and Jackson created a quirky and ironic soundtrack for the Tom Jackson & Marty Monical film short "One Track Mind", winner of the "People''s Choice" award at the recent Black Earth Film Festival.

With Inside My Mind''s Eye Haptonstahl has continued his musical evolution-utilizing a complex array of guitar tunings, song structures, and lyrical themes to create an arresting collection of songs.

Other background notes:
Haptonstahl resides in Oak Park, Illinois with his wife of 24 years Michele, and two daughters Julia and Lizzi. His home-based Happy Gunner Studio served as the locale of nearly all of the Inside My Mind''s Eye recordings.
Renowned jazz composer/arranger Bradley Williams provided studio space to record one of the songs.
Chris De Monk employed his veteran skills as recording engineer to mix, master and provide other sound production, along with Bill Kavanagh, at Oak Park''s BobDog Studios.
Andy Mead of MeadInk Graphic Design translated the surreal art of Jim''s brother Max Haptonstahl into an imaginative CD package.

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