Ken Arconti

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Ken ArcontiKen Arconti - In the 80's a blues revival began in the United States fueled by the popularity of artists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. Nightclubs were featuring more and more blues acts and new blues venues continued to appear on the scene. There were young guitarslingers aplenty as well as veteran blues performers, some re-emerging from relative obscurity. While the revival was at its peak I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to open shows for many blues legends including Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and Junior Wells. I'd always bring blank tapes with me to the shows and ask the sound crew to record my sets.

Though I never intended to release these recordings, there were some nights when we managed to get a good mix on tape along with a great, high-energy performance. 'As the Years Go Passing By' contains a sampling of these tunes recorded at several shows at the Catalyst night club in Santa Cruz, California. Eight of the ten live tracks were recorded from the stage monitor mixing board onto two-track digital audio tape (DAT). The remaining tracks were recorded from the main PA mixing board onto two-track cassette. What you hear on this disk is definitely music in the raw; no overdubs or fixing it in the mix here! I originally released 'As the Years Go Passing By' in 1993.

It's hard to imagine now, but at that time people were still making the change from turntables and cassette decks over to CD players. In fact, I don't recall anyone having a CD player in their car back then (at least not in my circle of friends)! Since I was running on a limited budget, I released the album on cassette figuring that it was the format available to the largest number of people. After I sold out my first run of cassettes I decided to leave it at that and move on to new things. But as the years went passing by--some of my friends and fans commented on how much they liked the album and suggested that I put it on CD. Having not heard it in quite some time, I gave it a listen and was delighted to re-discover that it was a pretty rocking album! I decided to go ahead with the project and put the album on CD. Happily I found the master DAT and went into the studio to do some re-mastering, only to find that I had an alternate version of the master tape! I went home and searched through boxes of tapes several times over, but to no avail. I realized the only place the master could possibly be was at the plant that replicated and packaged the album.

I did an internet search and was glad to find that they were still in business and I gave them a call. I explained my situation to the woman on the phone and she said that since the album was done in 1993 they probably would no longer have it on file. She asked me what format the master was, and when I told her it was on DAT she said that she had just happened to see a bunch of DATs sitting on a shelf downstairs and would go take a look. About twenty minutes later she gave me a call and lo and behold she had found the master tape! I now present to you the newly re-mastered version of 'As the Years Go Passing By.' Since CDs can now hold about 80 minutes of music compared to about 60 on cassette, I was able to include three previously unreleased studio recordings on this album. The three tracks (two of which also appear in their live form) were recorded at MARS Recording Studio in Aptos, California, between March and September of 1990. They were recorded on good old two-inch, 24-track analog tape. It brings me much pleasure to finally release these tunes as I ask myself, what is a mere sixteen years in the larger scheme of things anyway?! I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to the album as much as I enjoyed resurrecting it! ~Ken Arconti from the liner notes
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