It was especially good to play with Stan Majerski on keys. We met in the Balkans and he produced and played on two albums that were developed out there: “Dreams of a Homecoming” and “This is for you”. We’ve also toured a lot together along with our larger five-price band. In my opinion, the man is a genius – if you’ve heard his melodic solos and creative harmonies, I expect you agree!
Sharing an evening of “Stories and Songs”, we wanted to weave together music, conversation and visual art that point to the reality of the “God who is there”. The One who has come towards us in the person of Jesus to draw us into connection – relationship – with Him through His death and resurrection…
With one or two events most weeks until the end of March, I’ll keep you posted!
Here are some images taken on the evening by the gifted Bournemouth photographer, Loïc Salan…
This is the first year that the Sozo music festival has been held in Serbia. With a magnificent stage by the River Danube, it was my privilege to open the Friday night.
Having lived in Serbia, I can speak a bit of the language – in this clip you will catch me welcoming the gathering crowd, telling them what the evening will hold and then in the middle of the song explaining, “This song is saying, ‘Come to me and I will give you rest’ somebody very well known said this – His Name is Jesus…”
“Newly released by Andy Mayo on the Turquoise Tracks label, ‘Dreams of a Homecoming’. A fusion of funk, jazz and R&B: melting ballads contrast with driving rhythms. A lyrical poetry soaks the recording… Andy’s blues-folk vocal lines – now raw, now mellow – cut to the soul. These are songs that echo long after the CD has stopped spinning.
“Hauntingly melodic contributions from the versatile jazz saxophonist Nick Beston of “Take5” and “NBQ” complement the rich talent of Stan Mayerski on keyboards ranging from Hammond to Grand.
“Creative interplay between vocals, bass, drums, guitars, saxes, keyboards and sequencing – arrangements skilfully sculpted by Stan Mayersky – make for an imaginative, surprising recording.
“With an unlikely eclectic of influences ranging from Morcheeba to Bob Dylan; Tracey Chapman to Ronnie Jordon, these songs were written in the shelled remains of the former Yugoslav Republics where London-born Andy made his home for these last seven years. Against this stark background of civil war, bombings and deserted dwellings, a cry for peace and a homecoming stand out vividly.
“After a honing in the streets, bars, train stations and cafés of Belgrade, Vienna, Sarajevo and London, these passionate songs of longing and peace are finally available on CD.”
[col_two_five last=”true”]Recorded in Serbia, mixed in Croatia and pressed in Germany… these are the musicians featured on “Dreams of a Homecoming”.
Guitars, mandolin and vocals:
Keyboards and programming:
Stanislav Majerski (Whining of the brakes, Salvation Day)
Zoran Zivancevic (The Reason, Coming Home)
Additional Backing Vocals:
Jelena Djokic (Today, Coming Home)
Anita Adamek, Marjan Djoicinoski, Stanislav Majerski, Dule Martinov, Marija Martuljak, Ivan Zlatanovic (May the Lord Answer you)
Jazz ballads of the same ilk as Tracy Chapman and the like are combined with poetic lyrics on Andy Mayo’s impressive debut album. Against the backdrop of the war torn former Yugoslav Republics, where Andy spent the last seven years, Dreams… carries a message of hope and peace through all 13 tracks, from the melodic ballad ‘Today’ to the more upbeat funk of ‘The Reason’.
Best Track: ‘Pink House Peace’ – moving lyrics and soulful sax.
“Dreams of a Homecoming: it is mellow, inspiring, poetic and addictive!” – Richard, London
“Excellent. Original, spiritual, uplifting: the Message in a language and deep rhythms that we understand.” – Dominic, Wayland Prison
“What an evening! Positive, stirred, challenged. Roars and cheers and a standing ovation from a packed auditorium…” – Nick, Norfolk
…a long way from the introspective musings or stylised praise and worship of many independent releases. In fact, with contributions from jazz saxman Nick Beston (Take 5 and NBQ) and Stan Mayersky’s winning ways on Hammond and grand it’s jazz which colours many of the tracks here, though Andy wouldn’t claim to be an out-and-out jazzo.
What he is is a thoughtful observer of the carnival of life and whether he’s penning his observations of a shivering child in Belgrade (“Princess In The Park”), the quiet still voice of God (“Today”) or a hint of glory to come (“Dreams of A Homecoming”), Andy’s lyrics are decidedly poetic… his dry, world-weary voice suits the laid back mood of haunting poignancy perfectly.
These songs were written in the shelled remains of the former Yugoslav Republics where London-born Andy made his home for seven years. Yet despite the occasional bleak image his message is continually suffused with transcendent hope.