Ken & Julie & The Eclectic Folk Project

Ken & Julie & The Eclectic Folk Project

 Middletown, New York, USA
DuoFolkSinger/Songwriter

Singer/songwriter Ken DeAngelis & soprano Julie Ziavras present original, acoustic, new-folk, with story telling, thought provoking lyrics, rich harmonies, gentle and pure vocals, and contemporary, international and traditional folk ballads.

Biography

“Ken and Julie: love, energy, songwriting talent, two great and diverse voices... the pure talent of DeAngelis and Ziavras combine to generate some real gems, sparkling with energy and life.” (Cindy Hill, CDReviews.com)

Singer/songwriter Ken DeAngelis and soprano Julie Ziavras present acoustic, original, contemporary folk music with story telling, thought provoking lyrics, rich harmonies, and a strong repertoire of contemporary, international and traditional folk covers. They appear either as a duo or as Ken and Julie & the Eclectic Folk Project with up to six additional players including; bass, cello, mandolin, flute, piano and hand percussion, adding depth and diversity to their sound.

Ken and Julie's recently released debut album entitled "The Dream" features 16 of Ken's original songs. The music and lyrics tell stories, often describing personal experiences, and reviewers have described them as "personal, yet universal in scope, poignant and heartfelt.” The songs focus on critical events in people's lives; events that will end in tragedy or growth, taking listeners through an emotional journey. Ken and Julie perform these songs as a beautiful and lyrical story of life.

"Together they make wonderfully detailed music that features evocative lyrics, lovely harmonies and melodies that stay with you long after you hear them." (Steve Israel, Times Herald Record)

Singer/songwriter Ken DeAngelis, studied music, accordion and songwriting at an early age, teaching himself guitar and harmonica. His original songs incorporate his unique guitar flat and fingerpicking styles. “DeAngelis demonstrates remarkable breadth and technical skill, avoiding the rote sameness that many singer-songwriters fall into…the keys and chord progressions vary widely, with themes and pace running from the silly to the sublime,” (Cindy Hill, CDReviews.com) making his music expressive, "vivid and riveting." (Richard Ross, The River Reporter) "And the folk world should keep a weather eye open for DeAngelis' future compositions; he may well become the rudder for the next generation of contemporary American folk songwriters.” (Cindy Hill, CDReviews.com) Ken has been featured on radio, television, at numerous song festivals and has won awards at song competitions. He has performed with the " Fast Folk" organization of NYC and has shared the stage with prominent artists in the folk scene such as Pete Seeger, Cliff Eberhardt, Artie and Happy Traum, Richard Schindell, John Gorka, blues artist Savoy Brown, among others.

Soprano Julie Ziavras, is known for her diversity of repertory and styles and her ability to infuse a classical technique with the popular and folk genres. She has been featured as both a folk and classical singer in concert, radio and television in the U.S. and abroad in a repertory ranging from opera and traditional folk, to Greek and international ballads. She holds both bachelor and master's degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. A New York Times reviewer described her as "an estimable vocalist with a silvery voice…cradling her guitar…she held the spotlight alone." Dr. James Cotter of the Times Herald Record said that "Soprano Julie Ziavras masters the most difficult instrument, wowing her Montgomery listeners with her warm and compelling voice, appealing presence and wide range of repertoire… pour(ing) her full energy into each number with virtuosity and verve."

Ken and Julie have appeared in concert and at folk venues throughout the Hudson Valley, NY and the New York metropolitan area including; The Puffin Cultural Forum, Bodles Opera House, Howland Center, Paramount Theater, Arden House, The Riverfest, Grand Montgomery Chamber Music Series, Lycian Theater, Mohonk Mountain House, Storm King Arts Center, The Seelig Theater (Sullivan County Community College), Warwick Valley Winery, Donnell Library, NYC, New Rochelle Public Library, Merkin Hall, American Cancer Society fund-raiser, Washington, DC, the Year of the Rabbit, MD and for the Friends of Music Mansion Series. Their music has been heard on webcasts with The Art Music Coffeehouse, RelaxRadio, Perth, Australia and on Ellopia TV in Greece. Their music was recently chosen to be part of a compilation album entitled "Protest Songs For A Better World, Vol II." They have been recipients of the New York State Council of the Arts Grants. In September, 2005, Ken & Julie completed a concert tour with Broadway Concerts Direct, for which they performed their music in theaters in six cities in Nova Scotia.

Lyrics

The Ballad of Clancy McGee

Written By: Ken DeAngelis

Clancy McGee made a fool out of me
Late one night in the pub where he goes
For he'd won a bet that I’d rather forget
Then stood whistling My Wild Irish Rose
He was whistling My Wild Irish Rose

Now Clancy was frail with a taste for the ale
And our paychecks were waged on the floor
But as six mugs went down in ten seconds I found
He whistled as he finished two more.

We were pretty good pals
with an eye for the gals
And I got one to walk me back home
But somehow I knew
that McGee liked her too
And just hoped that he’d leave her alone
No, I prayed that he’d leave her alone.

As we walked in the door I listened and swore
I heard whistling up in the bath
Now McGee’s broken in from the pub where he’d been, getting ready to move on me lass
Clean and shaved just to move on me lass.

So I ran to the tub as he asked for a rub
Thinking I was sweet Molly instead
In a bit of bad luck, he intended to duck
When my fist caught the side of his head
Yes, I pounded the side of his head.

Oh! I killed him, you see, but for Molly and me
Self defense fit the scene of the crime
And though I was brave I was mocked at the grave
By Clancy McGee one more time
I was mocked by McGee one more time

See! Clancy McGee made a fool out of me
As Molly and I stood and froze
For up on the hill, with the wind very still
Came a sound that the whole county knows
And it rung from my ears to my toes
The whistling ghost I suppose
Was Clancy and My Wild Irish Rose

Civil Defense Drill

Written By: Ken DeAngelis

CIVIL DEFENSE DRILL

I’m glad I went to Catholic school in 1965
The most important subject then was how to stay alive
‘Cause when we least expected it sirens gave a shrill
that shook us to attention -- was it real or just a drill?

The nuns became our leaders, they demanded calm
We had to form a single line as we await the bomb
File out the doorway, scared to say the least
To meet up with the general who sounds just like our priest.

Ooh wee! “Look at me”, sister Mary begs
“I want to see you squatting with your head between your legs”.
Oh no! “here we go”, I heard the general cry,
“You better pass the word along or we’re all gonna die”.

We march across the playground to the church next door
Led into a basement more frightening than war
Candles light the crawl space, heads are kept real low
Radioactive symbols give off an eerie glow.

And down the ranks the orders came to bow and say a prayer
My buddy’s lost, so I search, but couldn’t find him there
Stumbled on a chalice, an artifact of old
& realize in the spoils of war that I discovered gold!
REFRAIN
We try hard not to panic or show them any sweat
But, truth be known, some uniforms started getting wet.
I’ve done my part, and do believe I’ve fooled the enemy
Huddled in the cobwebs with the church on top of me.

I’m glad I went to catholic school in 1965
The most important subject was how to stay alive
I must admit, that education tends to haunt me still
But if they drop the bomb today… I sadly know the drill
REFRAIN
Ooh wee! Can’t you see that Sister Mary’s cool
But if we all get vaporized she’ll keep us after school
Oh no! “here we go”, I heard the general yell,
“You better pass the word along—maybe God will keep us strong
Let us pray that we don’t all get blown… to Holy hell”.

TAKE ME FOR WHAT I AM

Written By: Music & Lyrics by, Ken DeAngelis

Take me for what I am
Nothing more, nothing less
Part of me is part of you
Can you just accept the rest?
Some things remain the same
You are you and I am me
Should I love or should I change
All that I am asked to be
A shade of brown, a shade of black
A different trim you’ll see
Your willows blue & my strings are light
What do you ask of me (2X)
(Repeat from beginning)

Now I don’t claim that what you say
will either make me change or make me stay
For all I know is what we do
Is meant to be (repeat)

REFRAIN

Discography

Ken and Julie's recently released debut album entitled "The Dream" features 16 of Ken's original songs. Their music is played regularly on radio stations in the Hudson Valley, NY area that feature folk music, such as WJFF, WTBQ and WELV and has been heard on webcasts with The Art Music Coffeehouse, RelaxRadio, Perth, Australia and on Ellopia TV in Greece. Their CD "The Dream" is a part of the distinguished Peace Autograph Project at the International Museum of Peace and Solidarity in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Clips can be heard at: http://www.kenandjulie.com/hear%20our%20music.htm.

Julie Ziavras has released two solo albums of songs sung in Greek. "Simply Mavourdis" is a collection of 12 songs written and orchestrated exclusively for Julie Ziavras' voice by the renowned Greek composer Notis Mavroudis, featuring beautiful melodic vocals accompanied by acoustic Greek traditional and classical instruments, such as bouzouki, tzoura, with Greek traditional rhythms and modes. "Greek Live", is a series of live recorded performances with the music of renowned Greek composers such as Hadjidakis, Xarcakos, Tsitsanis and rembetika music, which is considered the blues music of Greece.

Set List

A typical set list includes original material by Ken DeAngelis including "The Dream", the title song from their recently released CD, some humous favorites such as Civil Defense Drill, Ballad of Clancy McGee, Take Me For What I Am, and the lyrically vocal songs which are more contemplative, poignant and intimate, such as Timber Wolf, Angeline, Great Neck Farewell and Falling Star. Ken and Julie introduce the songs to the audience in a storytelling manner, to help the audience take the journey into the world of the song with the singer.

Cover songs include an extensive repertoire of traditional folk, originally sung by Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Peter, Paul & Mary, Richard & Mimi Farina and Judy Collins and others. Contemporary folk covers include songs by Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer and Buddy Mondlock.

Ken and Julie have done many concerts exclusively of international folk and acoustic music ("Songs from Around the World") in Greek, Spanish, French, Hebrew and other language