CD Review: Roman Klun “Kingsway”
October 1, 2008
RK: Roman Klun New Release
Roman Klun | Kingsway
by M.R. Smith
Roman Klun has been one busy guy. As a recording and mixing engineer and producer, he’s been behind the desk for numerous projects for such luminaries as Sarah McLachlan, Pete Seeger, Gino Vanelli, and Tony Levin Band, as well as locally based groups Mechanical Bull, Murali Coryell, and the band 3. Somewhere between those sessions, he’s managed to record this, his third full CD of material in twelve different studios in the U.S. and Canada, after having written those songs in New Orleans, Toronto, the U.K., Paris, Austria, the Ukraine, and New York City. The man gets around.
And it’s a stellar cast helping out here. Though he himself is an excellent drummer (and guitarist), Klun enlists some of the very best to help on the skins: Steve Gadd, Jerry Marotta, Aaron Comess. The legendary Tony Levin anchors the bass chair, and other contributors include Jesse Gress, Gerry Leonard, Harvey Jones, and 3’s Daniel Grimsland and Joey Eppard.
The results are a surprisingly cohesive group of songs that wears its influences on its sleeve with pride. The CD’s title, Kingsway, is based on inspiration gained from a visit to Grammy winning producer Daniel Lanois’ (Peter Gabriel, U2, Bob Dylan, etc.) famous New Orleans studio, and so, in many ways, are the songs and production styles. Swirling guitar and synthesizer atmospheres twist around above fluid bass and motoring drums, songs make unusual and often interesting shifts, and Klun sings his arch lyrics in his lower range, sounding much like gruff Lanois on his Acadie CD. Sonically, it’s densely packed and radio ready, though word-wise nothing quite rises to the anthemic quality the music suggests, though “Stars On the Hill” and “Angel” make a good shot at it.