Star Edwards with King Beat made the ReverbNation Featured Artists of the Month in our September issue, and this month we thought we’d share some reflections on their album Sonic Travels. The music is very diverse- world music, harp driven, something you might hear in a resort hotel lobby in the Central America or in the background over a meal. Instrumental, danceable, and relaxing. Easy to make love to. This is the music of the world- and as I’ve said before, in our indie rock filled city, a welcome breath of fresh air. Who knew harp music could be so fun? by Tim Wenger http://www.colomusicbuzz.com/star-edwards-with-king-beat-sonic-travels/
The harp is seen as the national symbol of Ireland. It serves to represent the culture and heritage of the people of this great nation; however, as an instrument it is capable of so much more. Star Edwards and KingBeat’s latest album, “Sonic Travels”, showcases the versatility of this instrument in a beautifully crafted symphonic manner. The album title clearly expresses the concept they were trying to achieve as musically these musicians take the listener on a beautiful journey. The opening track Barcelona Nights immediately makes one think of brightly colored dresses with young women dancing and old man picking out fantastic rhythms on guitars in the style of Flamenco Nuevo. This five-piece band orchestrates it so that this beat, the heart of Flamenco music, is ever present as the harp and guitar continuously trade back and forth taking the lead. Next we are taken to Asia with the song appropriately titled, Chinese Farmers Tale. Once again, the rhythm of the piece and the staccato instrumentation immediately makes one think of that particular culture. In this piece, Kent Richardson uses the instrumentation of the group to really pull out some clear intonations to take us on this musical journey. Following this, we have perhaps one of my favorite pieces, Waiting for Summer. It is upbeat and jazzy with a fun, almost swing, feel to it. I think of Ella Fitzgerald and kids playing on the sidewalk with water spraying from the fire hydrant. It still highlights the harp, but in a very unique and fun manner. And the journey continues to St. Thomas, The Butterfly (a classic Irish tune), Cuando El Rey Nimrod, Jamaica Farewell and even in our dreams with Dream time Journeys. Through all of these pieces and more Star Edwards and KingBeat flaunt their incredible talent by capturing the listeners ear and taking them on an evocative journey. They call what they do World Harp Music, and they certainly don’t lie. While some may make this claim and only stick their toe off of the Emerald Isle, these musicians explore these other cultures deeply. This album is certainly worth the purchase. Posted on March 17, 2014 by Stephen McSweeney http://celticmp3s.com/2014/review-sonic-travels-by-star-edwards-and-kingbeat/ .
With a band full of keyboards, guitars, electric bass, and percussion to back her up, Star Edwards kicks off this CD with a groovin' version of Ottmar Liebert's "Barcelona Nights." The guitar soon takes over the lead, but throughout the CD the harp and guitar effectively trade off as lead instruments.
Interesting uses of percussions, blending of instruments, and grooves make this a fun collection of music, easy on the ears, with some great energy. Blending both acoustic and electric instruments is often not an easy thing to do. Star keeps a very harp sound, while blending it very nicely with the diverse instrumental make up of this band. Star's original piece "Waiting for Summer" is a fun, catchy piece that some listeners will want to play. Her "Dream Time Journeys" is at a completely different end of the spectrum--very electryic, full of effects, and almost a '70s vibe. Star does some interesting explorations of harp in a variety of musical settings.
This CD explores varied musical styles, energies, arrangements, and interpretations of original, traditional, and contemporary pieces. It is a fun CD and a great listen, especially to hear how well a harp not only holds it's own, but steps into the spotlight as lead iinstrument in an electric/acoustic band setting. And it's got groove--so put on your dancin' schoes!
Winter 2013 - Issue No. 161 ~ Folk Harp Journal, page 15
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." --T Roosevelt, 1910, Paris, France
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