Roy Apps
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Roy Apps

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Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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Roy Apps, " Heron's Reach". Pending release early 2009.

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Bio

Roy Mason- Apps , partly of Scottish descent, was born in Kent, Uk 1947 and has been writing songs all his life.
He is known for his pioneering with the cult status band "Heron" throughout the seventies until this day.
Roy could also be described as one of the unsung greats of our time.
His writing has consistently evolved over time, to a point where he is now in his prime.
Whilst you could compare this to someone like Neil Young, Roy has tread a much tougher road sticking by his band members and only recently beginning a solo career.
Signed to the dawn label ( eventually became Castle then Sanctuary, currently Universal) Heron famously recorded their albums in a field, shunning the luxuries of big city studios.
And so, from a field in berkshire ( you can hear the same great western railroad on his latest solo album entitled " Heron's Reach") amongst cooing pidgeons, and with the help of Pye studio's mobile recording unit, the first heron album was born.
Described by production legend Gus Dudgeon ( Elton John, David Bowie etc.) as " English pastoral, with a sunny summer's day feel" and hailed by the independent in the Uk as being " A Cult Classic", one would think that Heron is one of those big dinosaurs- But far from it!!!
Their last album Black Dog ( 2005) has been paralleled by the emergence of a solo career for Apps debuting with his Album entitled "Heron's Reach". Again the circumstances for the recording were exceptional. This time recorded in a log cabin on the far Berkshire reaches of the Thames river!
The album was the brainchild of Greg Fraser, a producer but also a singer songwriter himself, who has also been an acclaimed Dj in the Uk and the US accidentally stumbled across the path of what he considered to be a genius songwriter. Having met in a local pub in a small village called Pangbourne, the two set to work on exposing some of Apps' unsung compositions, and began the slow process of exorcising their demons to regain hope from their music.
From this would emerge a unique songwriting collaboration that would take them on a journey they could never have expected both musically and geographically ending in the desert of southern california!
This influence is clear in the gunshot "Morricone"style track " Oh Junko" and in the country flavours of " Traveling Blues".
This album not only transcends stylistic spaces in time, but encapsulates them aswell, Greg Fraser's characteristic drum style taken from his jazz, latin, and Drum n' Bass roots being much in evidence here. Greg Fraser was also born in Kent in 1978, but grew up to a large extent in France where he also acquired an intimate knowlege of french gyspsy music and was a student under Jacques Gesina ( a "pied- noire" descended master guitarist from the direct lineage of the great La Goya and Segovia). His father was a latin dancer and Fraser would eventually come to study afro- latin music under the great Williams Cumberbache. He became a dj to make ends meet after opting to drop out of a bitter affair at Goldsmiths College london where he studied fine art ( also being a talented painter and sculptor). This would bring him to New York where he was fortunate enough to be exposed first hand to the sounds of musicians such as Sean Lennon. With Apps having been a friend of the late George Harrison, the album also carries the aroma of a certain liverpuddlian clique. Fraser's idea was to do to these songs what George Martin did with the Beatles songs. Albeit in a different way.
He was a pioneer in bringing Drum and Bass music to the USA and a skilled beats craftsman with the sensibilties of a latin percussionist. African influence features heavily in his rythmic arrangements with an emphasis on production qualities that come mainly from reggae and modern heavy bass music.
But whilst this album breaks down barriers in production, it is also a return to two things:
The less is more attitude of taking something and presenting it in it's raw state ( possibly an influence of Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin, possibly Neil Young), and a return to harmony and a poetical use of deep message laden lyrics in the composition where the authenticity and rawness of Apps' traditional british roots and the pioneering spirit of Fraser's multicultural fusion roots clearly rub shoulders in a way that works. At least in a way that has created some of the most innovative and inspirational music of modern times, and possibly in time to come. Reminiscent of the quality of songs written by the Beatles or Willie Nelson.