In the Mix
Blender is composed of four seasoned musicians from the Sandhills of North Carolina. Each grew up within a radius of ten miles and shares many musical and cultural influences. Ron Huff, Tommy Kennedy, Gary Parker and Greg Inman have been collaborating musically in various forms for over 30 years. Combined as Blender, they are a musical force to be reckoned with. This quartet of guitar, drums, bass and keyboards paints musical pictures using a broad palette of colors. They draw from vast musical experiences which range from classical to bluegrass and incorporate influences from around the globe. Each member is highly proficient, yet each is subserviant to the needs of the group and the song at hand. When other colors are needed, they are carefully chosen and provided by other skilled musicians. This is serious, thought provoking music performed by mature artists who still aren't afraid to have some fun. Unlike many bands who must compress their music into a few short hours of recording studio time, Blender has the luxury of having their own recording facilities. At Frog Holler Studio, the music can be carefully considered, carefully structured, reconsidered and restructured until it feels right. The songs on In The Mix were chosen from lots of available material, not written to fill up a CD. The variation in styles is not contrived. It is simply the result of striving to give each song what it needed to convey it\'s particular message. Blender uses it\'s collective talents to bring love, joy, laughter, melancholy, outrage, defiance and hope to any listener who can invest the time to receive them. These are all presented in a musical wrapper that stands on it's own merits. Blender Album Notes Sometimes dreams do come true! The coming together of this group of musicians to record music has been a long standing dream of Ron, Tommy and Gary. The inclusion of Greg into the band as the last main ingredient has produced an album that has exceeded all expectations for a first project. Ron has known Tommy and Gary since the early seventies, meeting each from different musical circumstances. Ron and Tommy are from the same hometown of Raeford, N.C. and Ron had heard about the kid who was really a natural on drums. One audition and the die was cast. Tommy was snatched up the day after he graduated from high school to play drums with Ron in Relax and Enjoy, a band based in Chapel Hill, N.C. Gary, from nearby Pinebluff, N.C. had met Ron through a mutual friend but the two never played in a working band. It was in the early eighties when all three found themselves in Atlanta, GA that they began their decades of musical collaboration. This collaboration, however, consisted only of jamming whenever they could get together. The chemistry between them was instant and has only ripened as the years have rolled by. By the nineties, all three were back in N.C. and the jamming continued, as did the talk of recording. When Tommy moved within a few miles of Ron in 2007 with the goal of really getting something going, Gary wasn't going to let a two hour drive keep him out of the mix. A regular Thursday night recording session was set up and the music progressed rapidly. Greg, also from Raeford, had been pursuing has own musical directions for many years and was well known as an excellent player, singer and writer. He had jammed with the guys a few times and the compatibility was evident. He agreed to join the project and his inventiveness, carefully structured sound and versatility proved a perfect balance for the group. This album covers a lot of stylistic ground, the result of many years of playing and studying different types of music. In spite of this, the common thread based on the familiarity of the players comes shining through. Yes, dreams can come true. This album of music is proof. Blender Credits Blender is: Ron Huff Keyboards, percussion, vocals, accordion Greg Inman Electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, talk box Tommy Kennedy Drums, percussion, vocals Gary Parker Bass Additional musicians: Danny Infantino Guitar on Holiday Scott Adair Baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones Chris Shaw Trombone Rob Hill Trumpet Huey Priest Banjo on Dear Mr. President Karen Lewis Fiddle on Dear Mr. President All songs written by Ron except Sunrise by Greg and Anyway by Ron, Tommy and Gary Front and back cover art by Greg Hathaway CD package art by Jody Scott Photos by Ron and Charlotte Huff Mastering by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen Mastering, Carrboro, NC Recorded at Frog Holler Studio, Ashley Heights, NC.