MP3 Above Beyond - Four Ever
An avalanche of rock guitar, brief float trips of cascading tones, with a fusion of melodic styles.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (52:22) !
Related styles: ROCK: Adult Contemporary, ROCK: American Underground
The genesis of ABOVE BEYOND goes back to 1997 when rock guitarist Russ Schulz began recording music that he had composed through the years. The result is a collection of rock inspired music that documents the various styles of that genre such as progressive rock, fusion, traditional and so forth.
Russ'' musical roots go way back to a time before the words “rock and roll" had been coined. His earliest memories are of watching swing and bebop jazz guitarists playing on the enormous black and white TV with the 8 inch screen. He listened to them as well as his folks’ records on the old hi fi and was fond of his aunt''s Les Paul and Mary Ford records. He was always wondering how they got those neat sounds to come out. In 1962 when Russ was twelve his folks bought a $20.00 box guitar for him and he began taking lessons from an ol'' guy from the big town up the road. He was kind of a traveling guitar teacher, going from town to town. He taught Russ some theory and pop and country standards. A couple of years later in the spring of 1964, Russ experienced that eureka moment, epiphany, change in paradigm, whatever you chose to call it. It was the experience that shattered musical reality - The Beatles! After he saw their first American television performance on the Ed Sullivan Show nothing was quite the same after that. He was immediately taken by their melodies, song structure, tight vocal harmonies, and Paul McCartney''s bass playing. He started to dream about being in a band. He was not alone. There were others who had dreams about playing, traveling, creating music and living a glamorous life with adoring fans, chauffeured limos, fame and fortune. One late spring day in 1965, after his freshman year in high school, Russ spied classmate Richard Cary walking down the street with a guitar case in hand. Russ found out from talking to Richard that there was a band being formed in town but they already had three guitar players. Russ then found out they didn''t have a bass player so he told Richard he could play bass. Richard told him to come to the next practice and they''d try him out. Though Russ had never even seen one up close, he went out and bought a cheap bass guitar and amp, brought it to the practice session and being the best [only] bass guitarist in town, he was in. After going through several names they decided to call themselves The Grapes of Wrath and played around northeast Nebraska during the mid 1960s. Besides Russ and Richard the other members were Jake Schultz, Rick Rider, Barry Meyer, Howard Holland, and later Bryan Downey. They started out playing a blend of popular rock mixed with rhythm and blues and soon began experimenting with newer forms of rock that added some folk rock, blues, and psychedelic music to their repertoire. They added songs by artists who were considered somewhat obscure at that time such as Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix. They were popular but also had a bit of a rebellious image and weren''t afraid of being labeled. Russ, Richard and Jake graduated high school in 1968 and headed for the Los Angeles area. The rest were to follow after graduating the following year but they decided to stay in Nebraska so nothing materialized. Disappointed but not defeated Russ moved back to Nebraska in April of 1970 and soon joined the Riverbenders with Doug Briard, a country rock band. In 1975 he played in Dennis Volk''s band playing rock and jazz standards. In 1977 he joined the very popular local band Stinger, a progressive rock band that featured powerful front equipment enabling the group to play at concert level. Along with Mike Johnson, Steve Lange, Phil Carlin, Dave Fish, and Glen Nemic, the music of this band was more intense and intricate featuring music by Foreigner, Kansas, Boston and other top bands of the 70s and were able to replicate their sounds pretty well. In 1979 Russ moved with his family to the Lake of the Ozarks, where he lives to this day. In 1980 he formed Pegasus, another prog rock band, and also played with Sylencer, playing a mix of southern rock, metal and progressive. In January 2003 Russ got a phone call from former Grapes of Wrath member Jake Schultz asking if he would be interested in doing a reunion gig in their hometown during the high school alumni reunion that spring. The surviving band members [Richard Cary died in 1979] were all for it and began to assemble a song list, communicating by e-mail and phone. They met for two rehearsals several days before the date and put on a show to an enthusiastic audience. The crowd response was such that the group decided to meet yearly at the same event. In 2006 the group was inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame at the Nebraska Rocks concert in Norfolk, Nebraska following the release of their first CD, "Retreads."Guitarist/ Keyboardist Howard Holland passed away the following year. The Grapes of Wrath played their final gig on August 16, 2008, deciding to quit performing thereafter.
Throughout the journey Russ had been writing songs, waiting for the right opportunity to bring them out. That brings us up to the present and the Above Beyond project. When he realized that home recording was possible and digital music a reality, Russ turned the back room into a recording studio and began the project. The focus is on guitar music and the objective is to get the music heard. The name "Above Beyond" was seen on a motivational poster and Russ thought it would be a good name to express his musical philosophy; that music should be uplifting and far reaching. There are currently four cds available : Third Degrees, First Offence, Four Ever, and Second Wind. Yes, Russ still enjoys bending the rules of propriety a bit. You may think it''s funny but he has an odd sense of humor.