Majnun
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Majnun

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"MAJNUN Releases New Live Album"

CARBONDALE -- Like a lot of things surrounding MAJNUN -- a go-with-the-flow local favorite -- their second album came about by lucky accident.

"It was really serendipitous," said MAJNUN vocalist and guitar player Din Dayemi. While on tour last summer, the sound engineer at Der Club in Heiligenhaus, Germany asked Dayemi if he could record the band while it performed.

"He said, 'I just need to run home and get some gear," Dayemi recalled. "He disappeared for a half hour or 45 minutes, and that's the last that was ever said."

Dayemi describes it as one of those "magical evenings where it all comes together."

"We just played our hearts out, not really thinking he was recording," he said.

After the set and a nice dinner, the German sound engineer gave MAJNUN a copy of the recording of the complete three-hour show.

"When we heard it, we were just blown away," Dayemi says. "It really was professional. So often a live recording can be really lackluster, and this one really shines."

The band had the album re-mastered in Europe and the copies arrived last month. "Live at Der Club" keeps in the tradition of MAJNUN's subtle rock with hints of blues, R & B, jazz and folk. But it also weaves in some new genres such as gospel, country and hip-hop into its mix.

The many styles are made possible by the collaborative efforts of all nine band members, each having a voice in the direction of the music. They are Satya Selah, keyboard and vocals; Regina Flocco, vocals and percussion; Bill Carter, guitar; Barbara Eidlin, vocals; Patrick Postlewait, bass and trumpet; Tariq Brown, drums; Wayne Weiseman, guitar and vocals; and John Banshee Vigil, percussion.

"Live at Der Club," MAJNUN's first live album, will be released at the Hangar 9 in Carbondale, Sunday, Jan. 16.

Dayemi says the album is more indicative of the band's actual sound, because it's live, than their last self-titled studio release.

"It's much more representative of the band in terms of the spirit of it and how it sounds," he says. "The first one is more mellow, and this one is more spirited. This one is really kind of rockin'."

Dayemi says for band members the CD has special significance as a memento of their first German tour, which will be repeated this summer with additional gigs in neighboring countries such as Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

"It was a milestone for us to go to Europe and play and be so well-received," Dayemi said of last summer's tour that earned rave reviews in "Marabo," Germany's "Rolling Stone."

"This album is kind of a snapshot of that milestone."

It's clear by the sound of "Der Club" that MAJNUN has reached other far more important milestones for its listeners.

In it's adolescence, this 11-year-old band has reached a level of maturity and performance finesse that ensures "Der Club" a long life in listeners' CD players.

While Dayemi agrees that the album marks an advance in sound, he believes the popularity of the band grows and endures for a different reason: positive energy.

"Right now in the world, there's so much stress and so much conflict. People are really deeply wondering about direction," he says. "To us, it's special to have a band that has a very positive message ... it's music that moves people." - The Southern


"MAJNUN Album Review"

MAJNUN received great press this past September when they celebrated the release of their first CD, "MAJNUN".

Prior to their CD release party held at Hangar 9, a local Club in Carbondale, Illinois (the band's home town) MAJNUN was reviewed by both Flipside Magazine, the entertainment review of the Southern Illinoisan, as well as the Nightlife, a local entertainment rag.

In the Flipside, Jerry Bradley describes the mad, crazy, lovin' music of MAJNUN. "Hidden among the tangled and weedy sonic thickets growing wild in the sprawling Southern Illinois fields of music, there grows a rare musical blossom in the form of a band called MAJNUN. The nine-member band offers a mature variety of outstanding male and female vocals and harmonies, sopphisticated and spiritual lyrics complemented by tight and stylistically diverse instrumental play that sets them apart from many other groups in the region. Throughout their self-titled debut CD, MAJNUN models many different musical styles very well - rock, blues, a little jazz, some R&B and even some acoustic - without seeming forced, false or flashy".

"MAJNUN's Barbara Eidlin's voice is simply spellbinding. If she doesn't hook you on "11th Hour," the disc's first track, keep listening. The disc is perfumed with more of Eidlin's lead vocal tracks as well as soothing background vocals throughout. The other lead vocalists in MAJNUN are Wayne Weiseman and Din Dayemi. Both have great voices, adding variety and overall balance that many other bands here or anywhere else would be hard pressed to equal. MAJNUN is Dayemi on lead vocals with lead and rhythm guitar duties, Eidlin on vocals, Patrick Postlewait on bass and trumpet, Satya Selah on keyboard and vocals, Weiseman on guitar and vocals, Bill carter on lead and rhythm guitar, Tariq Brown on drums, Regina Flocco with vocals and percussion and James "Banshee" Vigil on percussion".

"Apart from the strong vocal efforts of Eidlin, Dayemi and Weiseman, guitarist Bill Carter's play is impeccable. Tariq Brown keeps a good beat on the skins, while Satya Selah adds extra depth and dimension on keys. Flocco and Vigil also keep the groove going with other percussive instruments". - Flipside


"MAJNUN in der Osmanischen Herberge"

Die achtköpfige Band aus Illinois/USA stellte ihre erste CD vor.

Kall-Sötenich - Zugegeben: Wer noch nie in der "Osmanischen Herberge" in Sötenich war, wird sich an Turbanträger und lange Bärte erst gewöhnen müssen. Und auch die arabischen Begrüßungsformeln sind nicht jedem geläufig. Gerade deshalb bieten die zahlreichen Veranstaltungen in der Herberge, dem deutschen Zentrum für Sufismus, Gelegenheit für eine Annäherung.

Sie sollen unter anderem dem interreligiösen Dialog dienen, Begegnungen zwischen Muslimen und Nicht-Muslimen ermöglichen und die "fremde" Glaubens- und Lebensart transparenter werden lassen.

Vor diesem Hintergrund war es bedauerlich, dass nur wenige Gäste zum Konzert der Rockgruppe "Majnun" kamen. Roland Heep, der die Band auf ihrer Deutschland-Tournee begleitet, äußerte sich entsprechend enttäuscht. Ob es an der mangelnden Werbung oder an Vorbehalten gegenüber den Sufis in Sötenich lag, war nicht zu klären. "Wir hatten uns mehr Resonanz erhofft. Nun wird es wohl eine sehr familiäre Veranstaltung", meinte auch Scheikh Hassan Peter Dyck bei der Begrüßung der Band und des Publikums.

"Majnun" ließ sich jedoch nicht beirren und legte mit "Knocking on heaven's door" los. Die acht Musiker kamen mit ihrer mitreißenden Mischung aus Rock, Soul, Blues und Folk beim Publikum gut an. Nach einer Weile wurde vor der Bühne ausgelassen getanzt. "HeartRock" nennen sie ihr Metier: Musik von Herzen und für die Herzen der Menschen.

Die bunt zusammengewürfelte Truppe aus Illinois/USA hat sich 1993 eher zufällig gefunden und seitdem in veränderlicher Besetzung um einen "harten Kern" zahlreiche Auftritte in Clubs und auf Festivals in den USA bestritten. Sie teilen nicht nur ihre Liebe zur Musik, sondern auch das spirituelle Leben ihrer Sufi-Gemeinschaft.

Schon im letzten Jahr spielte die Band in Sötenich und war daher beim Publikum keine Unbekannte. Vor kurzem ist ihre erste CD erschienen, die sie auf ihrer diesjährigen Tournee mit Auftakt in Sötenich vorstellten. Die selbst geschriebene Musik reicht von fetzigen Rocknummern bis zu sanften Balladen, die in solides musikalisches Können verpackt sind.

Die Texte erzählen von der abenteuerlichen Reise durch das Leben, harmonisch und kraftvoll präsentiert in mehrstimmigen Vocals. Vor allem die wunderbare Stimme von Frontfrau Barbara Eidlin ließ die Herberge erzittern.

Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger May 18th 2005
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger


"CD of German performances soon to be released"

CARBONDALE -- The funny think about local “heart rock� band Majnun making a splash in Germany this summer is that in all the music group’s 11 years, members never sought commercial success.

Majnun – which will make its first stateside appearance at the Brown Bag Concerts this afternoon since its German tour – started simply as a pastime for members of the Sufi faith who came together to musically share “lessons of life, trials and tribulations and spirit-oriented lyrics,� said Majnun vocalist and guitar player Din Dayemi.

So, Majnun members are a bit surprised at the incredible reception they received abroad.

“That’s a trip,� said Majnun vocalist Barbara Eidlin, as she pointed to a review of the band by the magazine “Marabo,� Germany’s answer to “Rolling Stone.� It was sandwiched between blurbs on Sonic Youth and Bad Religion.

“Marabo� wasn’t the only publication to praise Majnun for its “solid musicianship.� Similar reviews popped up in papers around the country following the band’s 13 appearances throughout Germany.

“They’re still coming in,� Dayemi said of press clippings sent home to him.

One review glowingly referred to how people got up and danced very shortly after the band began to play.

“That never happens in Germany. Here, we get up and boogie, but people there sit politely and clap,� Eidlin said. “We managed to rouse a few.�

The success in Germany of Majnun – a nine-member ensemble that proficiently hops from genre to genre from song to song – roped it another invitation to tour in Germany next summer.

And, luckily, the magic of the Majnun’s live performance, which so captured the German fascination, was recorded during the band’s German tour. The album, “Live at ‘Der Club,’� is taken from Majnun’s performance in Heiligenhaus, Germany. This is only the second album for the band, and the first to be recorded live.

“Live at ‘Der Club,’� will be released in a month and offers new surprises you can catch an early glimpse of at the Brown Bag Concert today.

While Majnun has always shown a mastery of many genres (rock, blues, R & B, jazz, folk) “Live at ‘Der Club,’� also weaves some hip hop, reggae and even gospel into its newest mix.

And as usual, the new attempts pay off with the same vocally driven, harmony-based jams that have long impressed local music aficionados.

The reason they do, say Majnun members, is that all nine members creatively contribute to songs’ inception. “There are three singers, but everybody’s writing, which is exciting,� Eidlin said.

“The versatility is one of the really fun parts of the band,� Dayemi added. - The Southern


"Review "Medley""

The 9-member band offers a mature variety of outstanding male and female vocals and harmonies, sophisticated lyrics complimented by tight and stylistically diverse instrumental play that sets them apart from many other groups in the region.
Jerry Bradley, "FlipSide" Magazine, Carbondale, IL, USA

. . . like a mixture of the Allman Brothers and Janis Joplin. The concert rocked the house; a colorful band that knows about groove and rhythm, country and blues, (with) esoteric-psychedelic passages and solos that get under your skin and down to your toes.
Zegg Community News, Belzig, Germany, August 2004

. . . they're able to shake concert halls with their rock numbers or get the attention of the audience with their subtle ballads.
WAZ Newspaper, June 2004 - Multiple Authors


"Jumping the Pond"

Sufi rock band Majnun will play Sunday, May 1 at 11 a.m. at the Earth Day St. Louis mainstage in Forest Park. The show is a kickoff for the group's upcoming summer European tour.

"It's a coming-out party for us in many ways," says bandleader Din Dayemi, describing the St. Louis show. "The band was one of those tucked-in-the-closet things in Southern Illinois with a strong following among some groups of people. But after the success of our tour in Europe last year, we decided to market ourselves a little more in the Midwest."

The upcoming European tour, and last year's, simply came about through serendipity, according to Dayemi. German Sufis living in Carbondale hooked Majnun up with overseas promoters and agents, and before the band knew it, they had thirteen gigs scheduled.

"It's not like it was anything we did particularly that was rare," says Dayemi. "We just got lucky, with people who liked us and supported us. It came just by making friends."

The tour went well enough that the group was invited back this summer. Their first show takes place May 8, and through mid-June Majnun will perform sixteen shows in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

"You look out into the outdoor arena and you see one-thousand people jumping up and down and enjoying your music and buying your CD- you feel good about it," says Dayemi. "It's kind of an old rocker's dream come true."

And utterly unforeseen, adds Dayemi. Originally, Majnun was not a band, but just a group of people getting together. Some were experienced musicians, he said, but others were complete novices banging on whatever would make noise.

Eventually the lineup solidified- it now consists of Dayemi and Wayne Weiseman on vocals and guitar, Barbara Eidlin on vocals, Regina Flocco on vocals and percussion, Tariq Brown on drums, Patrick Postlewait on bass and trumpet, Satya Selah on keyboards and vocals, John "Banshee" Vigil on percussion, and Bill Carter on guitar. Soundman Patrick Lee sometimes plays bass.

They've released two CDs, a self-titled studio disc released in 2003, and last year's Live at Der Club, recorded live at a gig in Heiligenhaus, Germany. (Their website, at , is loaded with streaming audio and more information.)

Chris Wissmann, Editor-in-Chief
- NIGHTLIFE


"MAJNUN: MAJNUN"

One of my favorite examples of what being in a band is all about is the Band: Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson. A group of five guys that began playing together in their teens, grew up on the bar circuit together, went on to back Bob Dylan and then created their own music. On classic albums like Music from Big Pink and The Band, their best work was not necessarily due to great songwriting, but to the atmosphere provided by the collaborative nature of the performances. The image of these five guys set up in a house together or on the front porch playing music, in addition to the image they cultivated as laid back, reclusive mountain men, supported the music as much as did their musicianship. Listeners are pulled into a world of rocking chairs and whispering pines, due mostly to the communal spirit created by these five guys. There was no focus on any one person, but on the collective. Three voices were always better than one. It was when the Band lost sight of this principle that the quality of their albums began to decline. The Band was never greater separate than together.

Majnun, who play Thursday, September 4th at the Hangar 9 with Lyric, is also the work of a community, a group of people bound together in friendship and spirituality. From one song to the next, the members take turns singing, or singing another's song. Solos are traded and instruments are passed around. Everyone gets a turn, and each one supports the other. This is what Majnun is all about.

According to the liner notes of Majnun's new self-titled CD, the band has been together for about ten years, beginning in a small fourth-floor apartment in the East Village of New York City. It began as Din Dayemi and Barbara Eidlin trading songs in that apartment, and gradually more and more people became involved. There was nothing intentional about the band-- it grew as people showed up to play.

The band migrated to Carbondale in 1995 and continued their progression. Currently the band includes songwriters and vocalists Eidlin and Wayne Weiseman, with drummer Tariq Brown also contributing as a writer. Tariq's companion in the rhythm section is bassist Patrick Postlewait. John Vigil and Rahima Flocco contribute percussion, while Satya Selah plays keyboards. The main guitarists are Bill Carter (most definitely the best guitarist in Carbondale, also of Slappin' Henry Blue and Area Code 618) and Dayemi, who also handles some of the writing and serves as group leader.

The sound of Majnun is definitely rooted in the sounds of the seventies singer/songwriter movement. In many instances, at any given time, listeners may hear traces of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, the Eagles, and the Band. Because of the record's many spiritual themes, it would be easy to compare the music to that of George Harrison, and though that comparison is a little cliché , it is also quite valid-- musically, but also in the conviction and sincerity of the performances.

The album starts out with "Eleventh Hour," a haunting meditation on decision sung by Eidlin, who also takes lead on the very pretty acoustic-guitar ballad "Bird Song." Weiseman takes vocals on the second number, "Didn't I," along with "Goin back to Egypt," a tune that tips the hat in many ways to the Temptations' "Cloud Nine." One of Weiseman's other contributions is among the best songs on the record, the sweet "Light Year," where listeners can hear a little bit of James Taylor's influence. Another highlight is Dayemi's "Hand in Hand," a great, organ-driven song where Carter handles lead duties, tearing out of each instrumental break to complement Dayemi's easily stuck-in-your-head melody. Dayemi also offers up the closing solo acoustic number, "Die before You Die," a more overtly spiritual "Desperado."

The performances on the record are all tight and sympathetic in feel to the mood of each song. Each member of the band provides something special and different to the mix, and this sense of community provides the most enjoyable part of the listening experience. Brown and Postlewait are a rock-solid rhythm section, and Selah's keyboards tastefully lay in the background, on which the guitars and vocals weave on top. Dayemi is no slouch on lead guitar himself when it is his turn to shine. The vocals are all nice, though it does seem, at times, that the singers have reached their limitations. Overall, however, on Majnun, the band that started out swapping songs in a fourth floor apartment brings listeners right into the room with them.

by Brent Stewart - NIGHTLIFE


Discography

Majnun -- 2003
Live at "Der Club" -- 2004
Over and Over -- 2006

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Miracles do happen. And the miracle of MAJNUN is that this is a band that shouldn't have happened. Yet, MAJNUN is very much alive. and MAJNUN rocks. No cattle calls, no auditions, nobody was chosen to be in the band. MAJNUN was literally formed by a few people that happened to show up in the living room of a tiny fourth floor apartment in New York City's East Village. Founding members Din Dayemi (lead vocals, guitar and songwriter) and Barbara Eidlin (lead vocals and songwriter) started trading licks on an old Martin Guitar in the spring of '93. Once things got rolling, it seemed as if anybody who could sing, beat a drum or play an instrument was either in the band or became a fan. Enter Wayne Weiseman, one of the three guitarists, lead vocalist and songwriter of MAJNUN's heartbreaking ballads, or Regina Flocco, who joined the band in '94 and now sings back-up vocals and is a vital part of the rhythm section.

As the songs were written and the music flowed, MAJNUN migrated in August `95 to a big house in Carbondale, Illinois, near the hills of the Shawnee Forest (America's Heartland). Sharing not only their love for music, but also a deep spiritual bond and a positive outlook on life, MAJNUN is literally a community. By 1998, additional members of the band proceeded to show up right on time. Speaking of timing, along came Tariq Brown, a wild drummer and songwriter and the always tasty, singer/songwriter, Satya Selah, on keyboards. After the addition of Bill Carter, electric guitar virtuoso, MAJNUN was fully born. After Jim King, the newest addition, brought his unique passion to the bass, all the ingredients for magic were in place. MAJNUN's sound found itself rooted in the golden days of the late 60's and early 70's when music was still startlingly fresh and its resurgence in Europe is being called "handmade music."

A name originally inspired by the secret mystics of the ancient east, MAJNUN first played under the banner of "Sufis From Hell." With this colorful cast of characters, it's no wonder that MAJNUN jokingly dubbed itself "the greatest pickup band in the world." MAJNUN definitely does not fit in a box. Rock, Blues, Folk, Ballads and Soul. What is it? Anybody's guess.

After playing the club and festival scene in their homestate of Illinois, the band has been heralded by audiences and the press alike for the strength of its creative songwriting, lush vocals and solid musicianship.

This past summer MAJNUN romped through Europe on their second overseas tour. European audiences danced and delighted to MAJNUN from the concert stages of large outdoor festivals, beer gardens, underground clubs and converted WW II bunkers. Majnun will return for the third European tour during the summer of 2006.

MAJNUN`s big sound can rock the house...nobody sits still; and the quiet ballads, with three and four-part vocals, can make you cry bittersweet tears. The power of MAJNUN is in its live presence. The band will stun you with tremendous good energy as it morphs into a different sounding band with each number. MAJNUN is a blast of legitimately fresh creativity. A real band, writing and performing original music, spontaneously inspiring, playing with real instruments and with real people singing. No gimmicks, no overdubs, no loops or samples. No overproduction and no commercial hype. Just great music. . . plain and simple. MAJNUN writes it, plays it and you love it.

And as the name "MAJNUN" is taken from a character in an ancient Persian epic meaning "mad, crazy lover," there's no doubt that you will also fall madly in love with MAJNUN.