Say What You Will
'Say what you will, Americana is alive and well in the world of music these days and Tone Bent have come to reinforce the point. Sizzling guitar parts and harmonious vocal exchanges make Tone Bent's "Say What You Will" a roaring ride through heartland of human experience. Built on earthy guitar parts that sometimes simmer with heat, these tracks are a collection of what is, what might have been, and what could be. Composed through lyrical compositions with a circular logic and a talent for storytelling, these tracks speak to the journey inside us all. These songs tell the story of the world. Whether it's deep emotion and sweet sensibility, these songs beg to be heard with the incessant pounding of a heart. Particular highlights on the record include the bluesy, retro-fitted "Catman," the smooth, contemplative bliss of "Say What You Will," and the ironic entanglement of "Blue Feather." Furthermore, listeners in search of depth and clarity in the modern music industry couldn't ask for more than songs like "And So It Is" and "This Little Apple.' Serious talent combines with musical passion and a knack for craftspersonship in the new release by Tone Bent.' - J. Edward Sumerau, The Metro Spirit, Augusta, GA Robin Eschner and Bill Horvitz double up on guitars and vocals as they perform their original songs and give an occasional spin to a favorite cover. Both are accomplished musicians and composers, and together they deliver gorgeous harmonies and inspired guitar playing. Their first CD, "Say What You Will", has been described as: "a roaring ride through the heartland of human experience. Built on earthy guitar parts that sometimes simmer with heat, these tracks are a collection of what is, what might have been, and what could be. Composed through lyrical compositions with a circular logic and a talent for storytelling, these tracks speak to the journey inside us all. Serious talent combines with musical passion and a knack for craftspersonship in the new release by Tone Bent." (Metro Spirit, Augusta, GA) Their songs consider the many layers of what it means to be human -- the things we all share in common, where we differ, how our lives intersect and influence whatever happens next. The songs move from humorous to contemplative and cover a range of things that include a tribute to Susan Butcher, four-time winner of the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska, a nod to a daughter leaving home to go off on her own, a memory of floating down a river in the San Joaquin valley on a hot summer night, and a meditation on the discovery of a certain blue feather and the way it might change one's life. From the title track of "Say What You Will": 'Say what you will to have it all make sense say what you will from your side of the fence be you be you a swimmer or a crawler walker, talker or a feathered we're all just rollin' through the sky together say what you will.' Robin Eschner Infused with the familiar, the imagined and the unexpected, Robin's songs are visual, contemplative, meaningful, playful, gently heartbreaking and raucously funny -- her compelling melodic lines hugging the lyrics and skipping across a rippled surface to catch the light while mining some deep waters with a rare integrity. "Well, here's the deal. I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield. So, this means that, if you're a teenager working your way up the radio dials on a quest for Iron Butterfly -- 4 times out of 5 you're instead going to get Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and the like. Add to this that my dad had been in a barbershop quartet when he was in college and still sang and played some ukulele and was keen to teach me harmonies. So by the time I picked up a guitar I discovered that, lo-and-behold, these early entanglements with music were the ones stuck to my ribs. And now, having studied piano, guitar and composition through the years with truly amazing teachers such as composer/writer/recording artist Allaudin Mathieu, composer/guitarist Dusan Bogdanovik and with composer David Garner at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, I am able to navigate through new terrain with my music, even as early influences continue to live inside every song. For sixteen years now I have also focused on writing choral music and last year had the good fortune of winning the 2007 Julian White Memorial Choral Composition Competition, sponsored by the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, for my composition "Hear the Bell." In 2003 I completed work on "A Song for Vanya," a musical adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya co-written with singer/songwriter Bret Martin and director John Shillington. This musical has now been performed several times in theaters in California and audience response has been hugely favorable, thankfully, and very rewarding. With Tone Bent I bring these experiences into the mix as Bill and I happily spend hours upon hours working out harmonies and guitar licks together, aiming to get the sounds in our bones so we can then get out of the way of the songs. Naturally we're excited about what we're coming up with, and eager to share these songs with others. The opportunity to work with a musician as devoted and gifted as Bill is a genuine dream-come-true for me, a homecoming." Bill Horvitz Bill's guitar playing has been compared to John McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, Jimmy Page, Roger McGuinn, Dave Van Ronk, John Fahey, and Robert Fripp. Critics have described his music as "meditative, sizzling, earthy, funky, joyous, brooding, gorgeous, serene, and kinetically charged." Don't let this confuse you. "I grew up in a family where music was an important part of everyday life. My dad played piano and clarinet, and both my parents were avid listeners: jazz, classical, the Weavers, Harry Belafonte, musicals, and much more. They often went out to hear live music. We sang most nights around the piano and while traveling in the car. My brothers and I shared our love for music, and I was drawn to the radio at an early age, first around NYC listening to rock and roll and rhythm and blues, then later in the west to rockabilly and all the pop music of the day. I got into jazz and blues in a big way and of course the music of the 60s, which has been a major influence. All of these things have played a part in my guitar playing and composing. I began playing guitar when I was eight, though was off again, on again until some time in my late teens. I was learning chords, finger picking, and singing folk songs in those early years. Before long, I had switched over to the world of instrumental music: jazz, blues, rock, adventurous electric guitar sonic excursions, a lot of composing and improvising for most everything from solo guitar to big bands. I've led the trio The Bill Horvitz Band for 14 years and written music for theater, dance, film, and spoken word. Most recently, I wrote music for a 17-piece group, The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band, which has been performed and recorded in California and NYC, a project that was a tribute to my late brother, Philip. I've had the honor of working and recording with many remarkable musicians and composers. In more recent years, my musical path has been looping back, a long circular arc to where I began-playing guitar and singing songs. And now...Tone Bent. Getting to sing harmonies and play songs, to work out parts, hone the craft and add, hopefully, the inspiring guitar note or twelve-as I feel Robin's inspiration throughout-seeing our audiences being moved by the songs, this is what it's all about."