kingofh

Funderburk and Gaitsch are bringing back the west coast music…

A group doing American music…songs that you can sing and play on an acoustic guitar.” Says Bruce Gaitsch, producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist and writer on the intent and inspiration of a remarkable band named “King of Hearts”.

We shared the same desire, the same commitment to honest music that reflects our personal histories. Lead singer Tommy Funderburk’s contention is bourne out on the duo’s brilliant debut album. “It worked right away, we instantly realized we were after the same kind of sound… The music was anchored in something very heartfelt… very real.” says Bruce who produced the album. That same sincerity, and immediacy, ignites each track of “King of Hearts”. The disc lays claim to an enduring tradition of genuine songwriting, even as it stakes a claim for real music in the nineties.

The collective experience that has gone into the creative make-up of “King of Hearts” is wide ranging, and impressive. “We first got together to see if we could spark something.” recounts Tommy. “It was right around the time that Roy Orbison died. The first song we wrote was King of Hearts, a song about what he meant to both of us. We knew from that moment we had something.” That something has continued to take shape through numerous writing and recording sessions.

The result is a disc that might be described as an experiment in musical integrity. The experiment is a spectacular success.

In 2011 the German label Avenue of Allies released the 1989 album and with this release liner notes of the booklet:

The story of King of Hearts by Bruce Gaitsch:

“In 1989 I was working closely with Alan Kovac, Richard Marx’s manager at the time. He told me he was releasing a new Poco album and by the next summer the band would need an opening act for their tour. If I wanted to put a band together we could have a deal (he would manage us) and an opening spot on their tour. He knew Kelly Keagy from Night Ranger was available since they had just broken up. So we had our drummer vocalist. George Hawkins Jr. (Kenny Loggins, John Fogerty) joined after Timothy B. Schmit, who played bass and sang on the early King Of Hearts demos, left to rejoin the Eagles. So we had our bass player vocalist. At the time Richard Marx and myself produced the song “(Everybody’s Gotta) Face The Music” with Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon on lead vocals for a movie called “Sing”. We were looking for a backing vocalist with a voice that was higher than Richard’s, so Tommy Funderburk (Airplay, Boston, The Front) got the job and he delivered an impressive performance. I asked Tommy if he was interested in joining a band and so we had our lead singer and my main writing partner. Tommy and I had also been writing for his solo deal which didn’t happen even after an amazing showcase at the Roxy in June.

Tim Pierce on guitar, Randy Jackson on bass, Mike Baird on drums, CJ Vanston on keys and myself. The band was set…we recorded the basic tracks at Capitol Records studio B with David Cole (Bob Seger, Richard Marx, Jamie Kyle) engineering, producing and mixing. We finished the recordings at my home studio Frantic. David mixed at Lion Share in Hollywood and the record was finished. Wally Traugott mastered the record at Tower Mastering…he mastered several vinyl pressings of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” as well as Boston’s first two albums and most of Bob Seger’s records. Then things started to get exceedingly difficult as personal problems between the band and management caused Alan Kovac to quit, so we lost our manager and Chrysalis who had paid for our recording and signed us based on Alan’s involvement backed out of the deal and the record was never released. A year of hard work and deep emotional commitment was thrown away in a minute. I was furious. Kelly and George went on working with other acts touring and Night Ranger eventually got back together.

They both live nearby here in Nashville now and we have started a new band. The Emotional Rex. We are writing our new project now and will record it soon.Tommy Funderburk and I went on to re-record a lot of the record and some new songs and put it out as a duo in Japan, Europe and South Africa. We even played 2 shows with a makeshift band in Stockholm, Sweden. So now we get to re-release the original record and you all get to hear how great the project was. I hope you enjoy the music and can feel how intent we were on making a super high quality project. I still get chills from “King Of Hearts” as well as “Lovin’ Arms”…

”King Of Hearts “1989” album is a prime example of great song writing and amazing musiciansship, in addtion to the great talents in the band “1989” includes songs co-written by Amy Sky and Chris Farren and it also features Jeffrey “CJ” Vanston (Richard Marx, Steve Lukather, Peter Cetera), Bill Champlin (Chicago) and the two (former) Eagles members Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit.

After being shelved for almost a decade “1989” was first released in 1999 in Japan only. The Japanese edition is long out of print and has become a sought after item. With the current release through Avenue Of Allies all AOR and Westcoast fans will have the great chance to add the King Of Hearts debut album to their collections. The first pressing comes as a limited Special Edition in a jewel case with an individually numbered additional slipcase and an extensive booklet including lyrics, new liner notes by Bruce Gaitsch and previously unpublished pictures from the recording sessions.

(Words: Bruce Gaitsch & Gregor Klee)

Discography

1989

Avenue Of Allies 2011

Tracks: Working Man, In So Many Words, Don’t Call My Name, Smack Dab (In The Middle Of Love), Remember When, Hold On To Love, Under The Gun, Lovin’ Arms, Was It Good For You, Everyday & King Of Hearts.

Musicians on the 1989 album: Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, George Hawkins, Bruce Gaitsch, CJ Vanston, Bill Champlin, Timothy B. Schmit & Randy Meisner.

1989

Cool Sound Records 1999

Tracks: Working Man, In So Many Words, Don’t Call My Name, Smack Dab, Remember When, Hold On To Love, Under The Gun, Lovin’ Arms, Was It Good 4 U, Everyday & King Of Hearts.

Musicians on the 1989 album: Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, George Hawkins, Bruce Gaitsch, CJ Vanston, Bill Champlin, Timothy B. Schmit & Randy Meisner.

No Matter What

Thoughtscape Sounds 1997

Tracks: In So Many Words, Land of Dreams, The Night The Angels Cried, Lovin’ Arms, Working Man, My Desire, Don’t Call My Name, No Matter What, Closer To The Edge (Remix), Stranger In A Strangers Town, I Surrender All, Midnight Crossing, After The Love Is Gone (Acoustic Version), Lovin’ Arms (Live In Tokyo) & Broken World (Previously Unreleased).

Musicians on the No Matter What album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, Billy Ward, Alex Acuna, Victor Masondo, Jay Graydon, George Hawkins, John Patitucci, Greg Phillinganes, CJ Vanston, Bill Champlin, Sachi Patitucci, Tamara Champlin, Janey Clewer, Beth Anderson, Maxi Anderson, Alfie Silas, Orren Waters, Ricky Nelson, Timothy B. Schmit & Randy Meisner.

Midnight Crossing

Intercord Records 1996

Tracks: In So Many Words, Closer To The Edge, Hold On To Love, I Heard Heaven Is A Better Place, Joy Will Come, I Surrender All, Dancing With The Light, Only You, Remember When (Different Mix), Stranger In A Strangers Town, Midnight Crossing & Was It Good For You.

Musicians on the Midnight Crossing album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Billy Ward, Kelly Keagy, Alex Acuna, Victor Masondo, Jay Graydon, George Hawkins, John Patitucci, Greg Phillinganes, CJ Vanston, Sachi Patitucci, Bill Champlin, Tamara Champlin, Janey Clewer, Beth Anderson, Maxi Anderson, Alfie Silas, Orren Waters & Ricky Nelson.

Joy Will Come

Border Music 1996

Tracks: No Matter What, Closer To The Edge, I Still Believe In You, I Heard Heaven Is A Better Place, Joy Will Come, I Surrender All, Dancing With The Light, Only You, Remember When, Stranger In A Strangers Town & Midnight Crossing.

Musicians on the Joy Will Come album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Billy Ward, Kelly Keagy, Alex Acuna, Victor Masondo, Jay Graydon, George Hawkins, John Patitucci, Greg Phillinganes, CJ Vanston, Sachi Patitucci, Bill Champlin, Tamara Champlin, Janey Clewer, Beth Anderson, Maxi Anderson, Alfie Silas, Orren Waters & Ricky Nelson.

Joy Will Come

Pioneer Records 1996

Tracks: No Matter What, Closer To The Edge, I Still Believe In You, I Heard Heaven Is A Better Place, Joy Will Come, I Surrender All, Dancing With The Light, Only You, Remember When, Stranger In A Strangers Town & Midnight Crossing.

Musicians on the Joy Will Come album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Billy Ward, Kelly Keagy, Alex Acuna, Victor Masondo, Jay Graydon, George Hawkins, John Patitucci, Greg Phillinganes, CJ Vanston, Sachi Patitucci, Bill Champlin, Tamara Champlin, Janey Clewer, Beth Anderson, Maxi Anderson, Alfie Silas, Orren Waters & Ricky Nelson.

King Of Hearts

Beverly Records 1994

Tracks: Land of Dreams, Lovin’ Arms, Working Man, Don’t Call My Name, I Want You, The Night The Angels Cried, My Desire, Love Will Return, Close My Eyes, King Of Hearts & Forever.

Musicians on the King of Hearts album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, CJ Vanston, George Hawkins, Timothy B Schmit, Randy Meisner & Bill Champlin.

King Of Hearts

Beverly Records 1994

Tracks: Land of Dreams, Lovin’ Arms, Working Man, Don’t Call My Name, I Want You, The Night The Angels Cried, My Desire, Love Will Return, Close My Eyes, King Of Hearts & Forever.

Musicians on the King of Hearts album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, CJ Vanston, George Hawkins, Timothy B Schmit, Randy Meisner & Bill Champlin.

King Of Hearts

Westcoast Records 1994

Tracks: Land of Dreams, Lovin’ Arms, Working Man, Don’t Call My Name, I Want You, The Night The Angels Cried, My Desire, Love Will Return, Close My Eyes, King Of Hearts & Forever.

Musicians on the King of Hearts album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, CJ Vanston, George Hawkins, Timothy B Schmit, Randy Meisner & Bill Champlin.

King Of Hearts

Pioneer Records 1994

Tracks: Land of Dreams, Lovin’ Arms, Working Man, Don’t Call My Name, I Want You, The Night The Angels Cried, My Desire, Love Will Return, Close My Eyes, King Of Hearts & Forever.

Musicians on the King of Hearts album: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Funderburk, Kelly Keagy, CJ Vanston, George Hawkins, Timothy B Schmit, Randy Meisner & Bill Champlin.

Previous

Comments are closed.

  • Blue Desert Newsletter