Aztec Heart Treatment
- Artist: Donald Keesing
- Format: CD
- Release Date:1/15/2008
Donald Keesing came out of Washington DC's punk scene of the late 70s & early 80s and has always been a maverick in the spirit of early punk. He sang for short-lived punk/hardcore band, White Zombies in 1982 (not to be confused with the popular NYC band with the singular version of that name who came later). White Zombies quickly broke the mold of straight punk and brought jazz alto sax player Brian King Nelson (now of Martha's Vinyard)on board and began experimenting with new sounds. In 1988 Don started Rain Crow, with fellow White Zombies alumnus, John Benskin and Norman van der Sluys. Don was the primary songwriter and one of 2 singers. The band featured the harmonies of Lynn Buchanan, drawing comparisons to X, but Benskins sturdy, elaborate, sometimes languid lead guitar stylings evoked comparisons to Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin and Santana. The music was kind of hard edged folk rock but with more of a kick and they ultimately fell between the stools of power pop and what soon became known as grunge. They broke up in 1989. Their 'Between Showers' 7' EP was released in Oct '88 and was well received. In 1990 Don began a collaboration with virtuoso guitarist and lap steel player Randy Austin which continues to this day with a project called Dollar Bin. Randy is bit of a cult figure, having been in what many cite as DC's first punk band, Overkill, in 1976 (not to be confused with the popular metal band etc...) Randy is featured prominently on Don's critically acclaimed CD 'The Aztec Heart Treatment' released in March 2000 as is multi- instrumentalist Phil Duarte of Pup Tent. Also prominently featured is journeyman bassist, Bernie Wandel, whose credits include Henry Rollins and 9353. Here's some of what people have had to say... 'The album is a delightfully demented romp through a musical landscape dotted with psychedelia, country, punk, folk, 60's garage, slippery saxophone and the-sound-of-things-falling-apart grooves. Keesing's smoky baritone provides the narrative focus while a cast of thousands- including Honeypole's Norman van der Sluys and the Black Cat's Bernie Wandel- provides the backdrop. The texture is dense yet atmospheric; think of the Kingdom of Leisure meets However. 'The Aztec Heart Treatment' definately stands up to repeat listenings- just when you think Keesing has done it all, he pulls another rabbit out of his hat. This one's a winner.' - Marcus Esposito, Snap Pop, June 2000 'Where popular music tends to paint with broad strokes, folk and punk cut right to the heart of the issue. From Yucca Mountain to School of the Americas to the power line they want to push through you backyard, the song of dissent is a needed wake up call to the people affected most. Pat Humphries and Sandy O., Tom Neilson, Donald Keesing, Ani DiFranco, Sarah Thomsen and Dar Williams are all progressive artists unafraid to play at benefit concerts, actions or marches.. Nukewatch Pathfinder -Paul Vos Benkowski Summer 2006.
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