French TV

French TV began in Louisville, KY as an offshoot of an early '80's art-rock band Festung Amerika. Bassist Mike Sary and keyboardist/drummer Steve Roberts (currently with R.I.O. band Ut Gret) recruited guitarist Artie Bratton and drummer Fenner Castner, and the first album was released in 1984. Steve left the band to concentrate on his mail order CD business ZNR Records and his growing family, so Mike shepherded the band through many different members, tours, phases, and recordings through the present day.

The band's current trajectory roughly began four albums ago with their 2016 release "Ambassadors Of Good Health And Clean Living", when Mike was joined by guitarist Katsumi Yoneda. Pat Strawser signed up with their following CD, "Operation: MOCKINGBIRD" and brought more of a "clarity" to Mike's slightly-less-than-coherent arrangements, as well as bringing in his own pieces (encouraged by the band!).



A GHASTLY STATE OF AFFAIRS



RUNE 519

French TV's newest CD, "A Ghastly State Of Affairs" is their 15th in their long history. It is also their first album not to be self-released. Headed up by charter member bassist/composer Mike Sary, he is joined again by guitarist Kasumi Yoneda (also from the Japanese band TEE), keyboardist Patrick Strawser (best known for his work in the 90's band Volare), and now by the original drummer from FTV's first three abums, Fenner Castner. The new album displays their ingenious knack for tricky arrangements, blazing solos, surprising left-turns, and their ability to tell a well-crafted yarn musically without words. Blending elements of progressive rock, fusion, cartoon music, and Rock-in-Opposition, the music of his group can be simultaneously hilarious and highly challenging, making it one of the most original American prog rock outfits and also one of the longest lived, having created 14 albums, toured Europe and the US a few times, and played many festivals.

French TV began in Louisville, KY as an offshoot of an early '80's art-rock band Festung Amerika. Bassist Mike Sary and keyboardist/drummer Steve Roberts (currently with R.I.O. band Ut Gret) recruited guitarist Artie Bratton and drummer Fenner Castner, and the first album was released in 1984. Steve left the band to concentrate on his mail order CD business ZNR Records and his growing family, so Mike shepherded the band through many different members, tours, phases, and recordings through the present day.

The band's current trajectory roughly began four albums ago with their 2016 release "Ambassadors Of Good Health And Clean Living", when Mike was joined by guitarist Katsumi Yoneda. Pat Strawser signed up with their following CD, "Operation: MOCKINGBIRD" and brought more of a "clarity" to Mike's slightly-less-than-coherent arrangements, as well as bringing in his own pieces (encouraged by the band!).

"A Ghastly State Of Affairs" opens with Patrick's 18-minute opus "Every Morning, I Wake Up And Take My Hat Off To All The Beauty In The World" and could be considered FTV's finest moment, with a haunting main theme, various sub-themes, powerful solos (especially the ones featuring the flute of Katsumi's TEE bandmate Kenji Imai), movements that build and build only to have the floor disappear from under you, and an ending that will find you reaching for a cigarette (even if you don't smoke). Track two, "Baby, You Fill Me With Inertia", spotlights former member/occasional contributor Warren Dale's intricate 4-part horn charts. 2 songs, "Drunkard's Train To Westchester" and "My Boys Awake At Night "Cuz They Nocturnal" include some blazing violin from another FTV alumni, Ludo Fabre of the French band Mentat Routage.

Recommmended if you like: Happy The Man, National Health, Bruford, Brand X, Planeta Imaginario

A Ghastly State Of Affairs press release

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A GHASTLY STATE OF AFFAIRS

PRESS RELEASES
A Ghastly State Of Affairs press release

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