Breif Bio: U Knighted Began to form in 2003 when three experienced musicians from very different styles came together to create a unique musical group. EN Burton, SP Sully, and Derek Thomas(AKA Ghost Dog) formed the core of U Knighted for 2 reasons: 1) to perform a concept of Sully's written long before hand and 2) to challange the current ideas/limitations of popular music. Spending their first several years writing and arranging and playing out occasionally under a different name, the group began to materialize in 2009 and the album was released ("Eclipse") to test the group's prodution ability, equipment and musicianship. The album sold more than700 copies without any real marketing, but this project was a test run. The group began playing out and creating a local following then returned to the studio to begin to record their sound as they had envisioned. First original material on the "Funkasaurus Rex Sampler" - released as of May 1, 2011- and currently working on a 2nd full length album as well as recording tracks from the concept work. U Knighted plans to tour later this year.... Watch for the stories about the band with the guy who plays 2 guitars, 2 basses and sings at the same time...
Longer Bio: Although the concept of the group dates back over 30 years, the band U Knighted as it currently stands began to materialize in 2003. U Knighted is an eclectic group of individuals, with backgrounds in various genres of music ranging from classical to hip-hop to death metal. This makes for a unique hodgepodge of styles that has created a sound described as the combined forces of Opeth, Pink Floyd, Santana, Bob Dylan, and Frank Zappa. Aside from their dynamic instrumentation, another standout element of the band is their powerful and all-encompassing vocal harmony. Everyone sings: the ensemble is so comfortable singing together that they blend seamlessly and complement each other in ways that most bands don’t even begin to explore.
In the mid-1970s, S.P. Sully wrote an operetta entitled The Son of Lydia Ann Kingford. For this musical production, he had a vision so far ahead of its time that the necessary equipment hadn’t yet been invented. It required a particular arrangement and variety of musicians and technicians that he hadn’t encountered. In an effort to preserve the basic blueprint of his idea, he recorded the operetta to tape where it lay dormant for years, until the right personnel for the job came along, thus starting the group now known as U Knighted.
S.P. Sully had been involved in the music industry for over 40 years. He spent 1964-1980 working with several major music corporations; and has been the manager of Rich Roberts’ Music Center in Independence, MO; Poole Music Center in Raleigh, NC; and Stephenson Music in Raleigh, NC. He has also done production management for the CMC Management and Booking Agency. Sully started singing professionally at age six; and began playing violin at age eight. He first started playing guitar when he was 12 years old; and started writing poetry and composing with his middle brother when he was 13. At age 15, Sully started demonstrating Yamaha guitars; and by 17, he was performing professionally full-time. He became a representative for Gibson, Fender, Kustom, Martin, and Peavey, and has worked with the likes of Leo Fender and Peavey (founder of Peavey Electronics), and helped to design the pickups used by a majority of today’s acoustic guitars. He has consulted with Mazaratti, the owner of the Takamini forest, and had a Takamini guitar custom crafted for him. Sully has scored and performed the soundtrack for the feature-length film The Other Side of Madness; a movie based on Charles Manson that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Sully has played concerts with a variety of well-known and accomplished artists including: Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat, Goose Creek Symphony, Fog Hat, Uriah Heep, Young Rascals, and the Doobie Brothers. For U Knighted, he sings and plays lead and rhythm guitar; as well as the South American flute and miscellaneous percussion. And as if he weren’t impressive enough, he also plays a mean slide whistle! Sully, who is also a highly skilled martial artist, went on to run his dojo, now located in Apex, NC, where he currently resides.
When Derek Thomas started training in Sully’s dojo in August 2002, he never would’ve guessed he’d be playing in a band of this genre or caliber. Outside of his long-standing love of classic rock and some of the great singers/songwriters of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, he deals mainly with hip-hop; and is an accomplished MC. After training with Sully for several years, Derek eventually moved into the dojo, where he currently resides. One day, while making beats on his Boss DR-5 (a drum machine/sequencer/synthesizer), Sully happened to pass by and take notice. Unbeknownst to Derek, this type of synthesizer was one of the instruments that Sully had envisioned using to stage his operetta. Though it was originally designed for sequencing and layering prerecorded patterns, Sully asked Derek if he’d be willing to learn to play it as a live instrument. “I figured this was an opportunity to become more well rounded as a musician; and after all he [Sully] taught me and how much he’s done to help me get my life together, playing in the band was the least I could do to help out,” Derek says. He has now been playing with the band for seven years; and plays two DR-5s simultaneously and while singing.
EN Burton came onto the scene in September of 2002. He and Derek knew each other casually; as Derek frequented the restaurant where EN was a manager. One of the things they didn’t know about each other, however, was of their mutual love for martial arts, so it was a surprise to both when EN also started training at Sully’s dojo. They became good friends, and Derek soon learned that EN had played bass, guitar, and drums in a band. At this time, Sully was looking for a bassist; so Derek encouraged EN to try out, and he officially became a member of U Knighted in October 2003. Over time, his role in the band has expanded, and now EN currently sings and plays lead guitar, bass guitar, and the occasional rhythm instrument; and frequently all at once! After years of practice, he has taught himself to play lead guitar while playing bass with his toes and singing; SIMULTANEOUSLY! He has been performing this way since 2007, and it makes for a captivating live spectacle that one must see to believe. EN also runs his own music school based in Cary, NC, called Burton School of the Arts.
The next addition to the band was Sally Day Siggens; who joined U Knighted in 2006. Having had a very musical mother who lead the church children’s choir in Sally’s youth, she began singing four-part harmonies and descants at the age of six. She began studying piano when she was seven; and guitar when she was 12. She joined a folk group as a vocalist in junior high, then began writing her own music. Sally also performed as a vocalist in high school choir, a madrigal group, and numerous solo competitions; meanwhile studying classical guitar under Daniel Hecht. She sang with the university choir and studied classical voice at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and started teaching herself the flute at age 21. After college, Sally studied classical flute with an instructor from the San Francisco Symphony, then some years later began studying jazz flute. Sally took what she learned from her jazz and applied it vocally, then discovered a passion for improvising and playing with other musicians while she was living in a musicians’ commune. She joined the Concert Singers of Cary, NC and performed with them for three years in the late ‘90s; and through this group occasionally performed with the North Carolina Symphony. Sally currently records, composes, and performs with U Knighted as a vocalist, flautist, keyboardist, and hand percussionist. Along with being a full-time member of the band, she is constantly striving to grow as a musician and is studying piano under Dr. Jerry McLendon; and voice with Jessika Brust.
Stefan Perachon found his way into the group in October of 2009. Stefan had trained in martial arts with Derek, EN and Sully for years, and they knew him to be a skilled and creative videographer, who had worked on promotional videos for the dojo in the past. So when U Knighted’s debut album Eclipse was finished, Stefan was the first choice to provide the visual media experience for the band.
Jessika Brust also joined U Knighted in October of 2009. After a summer of studying opera at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, she moved to the Raleigh area and happened to drop off her résumé at EN’s music school. Before going to Austria, she had been singing and playing violin/fiddle for several successful cover groups in the southeast, after graduating with a music minor from Elon University. Coincidentally, U Knighted had begun to search for a violinist and an additional vocalist when she had dropped off her résumé, and it was as if they needed to do no searching at all—Jessika was an instant fit to the tight musical and vocal harmony of U Knighted.
The latest member of U Knighted is Seth Ballance, a long-term acquaintance of Derek’s. They had jammed together casually on a number of occasions, so when U Knighted was in need of a drummer, Seth was invited to come play in March 2010, and gradually became a full-time member of the band. He also runs his own experimental hip-hop/electronics studio called Zone 4 Productions.
U Knighted now has their strongest lineup to date…the only way to go is up and out. They continue to push the envelope of what can be done in popular music and to reinvent the concert experience: “a group like no other”. Look for them as they enter the international music scene…
E N Burton-Vocal, Lead Guitar, Bass, Toe Bass Percission
S P Sully- Guitars, Percusion, Bells Whistles, Marimba
Justin V.- Drums, Percusion, Vocal
Derek T.- Dr 5 Symphonic Boxes, Vocal, Rainsticks
Jessika B.-Vocal, Violin
Sally S.- Flute, Piano, Vocal Percusion
Stephan P.- Video & Visual
2009- "Eclipse" (LP) Availible on all major internet retailers, samples availible at uknightedband.com
2011- "Funkasaurus Rex Sampler" (EP) showcasing our style and tracks from our upcoming full length album.
U Knighted Band: A Feast for Triangle Music Lovers
[+ Show ]
By Lindsey Dunn U Knighted is a band that has been in existence for several years, but it's only ...By Lindsey Dunn
U Knighted is a band that has been in existence for several years, but it's only recently that they have become more visible to
the Triangle music scene. They have expanded their band, released...(Please click on link for complete article)
2010 © Associated Content, All rights reserved.
(A Sample set list - 1 Hr. can do 2 or 3 Hrs.)
Hall of time
Self made man
A Dream like this
There are no upcoming dates at this time.