EYES LIKE KITES

 

Original music that makes you think and move; a simmering stew of new wave, funk, jazz, and classical. It’s like David Bowie, Miles Davis, and Claude Debussy are just finishing supper when Brian Blade, Cassandra Wilson, and Victor Wooten show up, hungry.

 

 
 

Ron Batson / Vocals, Electric Guitar
Bryan McCune / Cornet, Electronics
Rhonda Robichaux / Vocals
David Shore / Drums 
Mark Wiesner / Electric and Acoustic Bass


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Session Demo: Live at Nash Street Tavern

Recorded Sept. 21st, 2018, engineered by Rainbow Cabbage.

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events

UPCOMING

4-13-19 / North 87 South / Performance Art Theatre / Live 8-11PM / Graham, NC

5-10-19  / The Station / Live 8-11 / Carrboro, NC

8-15-19 / Weaver Street / After Hours  / Live 6-8 / Carrboro, NC

9-15-19 / Weaver Street / Jazz Brunch / Live 11-1 / Carrboro, NC

RECORDED

07-06-18 / WHUP FM 104.7 / Pass the Hat / Live 6-7PM (Listen)

 

Ron

When I was a kid, my uncle Gaines Batson was the announcer at WDSU radio/TV in New Orleans. He did his 10 p.m. radio show from a studio in his home. Many afternoons, while the adults visited, it was my soundproofed haven: glowing vacuum tubes, a glistening Sennheiser microphone hanging from the ceiling, a wall of dials and VU meters, and transcription records twice the size of an LP. Here I made up songs for imagined audiences; I’m sure this is how it all got started. During those same years my music teacher, Lee Fortier—a top swing band trumpet player, and in his later years Gatemouth Brown’s soloist—taught me a certain reverence towards music, and the joy of working hard to get it right.

 

My father and his brother were trumpet players too; their mother had been the piano teacher in their small hometown south of Laurel, Mississippi. My older brother led the way for another generation of horn players. Both my parents were chemists, so the idea of being both a scientist and a musician seemed natural. In medical school, my Saturday afternoons were a mix of studying and playing guitar with my classmate Tommy Comeaux, a founding member of BeauSoleil. Since 1998, I’ve been Director of the Duke Psychology Clinic; as a psychiatrist, I spend much of my day in a quiet office, listening carefully while searching for words that inspire. Music and songwriting have always been my sidekicks, going hand and hand with my science.

 

During the New Wave, Atlanta writer Richard Gess and I co-wrote a set of songs, and with Verne Dregalla and Bonner Sparrow we formed the Metamatics, a mainstay of the Cat’s Cradle and the burgeoning regional music scene. A twenty-first century wave of my songs were arranged, performed and recorded in 2011 by Red Threads, featuring Diane Rodelli on vocals. More recently, I’ve been a member of Diane’s and Dave Rutter’s Pagan Hellcats, where I’ve had the pleasure of playing trumpet and guitar alongside Bryan McCune and other top musicians. Previous recordings include 8 Lives @ Cat’s Cradle (Metamatics), Radio Quiet (Red Threads) and Unexpected (Pagan Hellcats). Both Richard and Dave remain important influences on my songwriting—songs that hopefully evoke the listener’s own narratives.


Bryan

Cornetist/composer Bryan McCune, originally from Nebraska, has performed in groups from Lincoln, Omaha, the Washington-Baltimore area, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle. He’s also composed and performed scores for modern dance works performed at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.’s Dance Place, and venues in Maryland, Virginia, Raleigh and Durham.  Topping Bryan's diverse list of musical influences is his father, the late renowned midwest trumpeter and bandleader Mac McCune; they are seen sharing the stage here: Bryan McCune and Friends- "Moanin'" (YouTube)

Bryan is a long-time explorer of electronically modified brass sounds; while never (well, almost never) abandoning the natural tones of the cornet, an ever-evolving effects rig is part of his sonic signature. He is at home playing hotel-lounge jazz, no-holds-barred-avant-garde, and everything in between; his compositions and recordings draw from a wide range of influences, including jazz, Latin, rock, folk, western, eastern, and beyond. Bryan’s wares can be sampled at his ReverbNation page.

Bryan is also a member of FLOY DOY, Children of the Horn, and the Pagan Hellcats, and has collaborated with many other musicians.  By day, he is a pathologist based in Research Triangle Park, with past appointments at UNC, NIH, and Johns Hopkins College of Medicine.


Rhonda

Rhonda Robichaux, New Orleans-born vocalist/guitarist/songwriter, lingered in her hometown long enough to acquire a bachelor’s degree in music therapy (minors: classical guitar and voice) from Loyola University, and to share stages with NOLA artists Charmaine Neville, George Porter Jr., and Papa Grows Funk. Since relocating to the Triangle in 2000, she’s performed with Will McFarlane, Cool John Ferguson, Harvey Dalton Arnold, Shana Tucker, Brevan Hampden, and Al Strong. Rhonda’s own band won the 2012 Triangle Blues Society Challenge and went on to the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis; she appeared at the 2013 Bull Durham Blues Festival with Claudette King. The Raleigh Music Industry Association called her voice “in your face emotional…eerily mystical.” As vocalist for Eyes Like Kites, she adds her unique style—intimate, engaging, smoky cool—to the band’s eclectic palette. To hear Rhonda's own music, go to her ReverbNation page. See Rhonda perform her song "Wild Woman Child" in this YouTube video.


David

David Shore grew up in Pittsburgh, tuning in as KQV and WAMO filled the airwaves with early rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and soul music; early inspirations also included the British Invasion and Pittsburgh’s thriving jazz scene. As a teenager, David performed throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and then toured Oklahoma and Maine playing honky-tonks and dance halls. Since moving to North Carolina to pursue a Ph.D. in Biostatistics (dissertation: “The Mathematics of Recent Memory”), David has played with Soul Desire, Sawyer-Goldberg Ensemble, LuLu and the Lounge Lizards, Bull Durham Blues Festival artists Stuff in the Pot, and Beyond Blue. He’s currently appearing on Thursdays with Southern Routes at Vimala’s Curry Blossom Café. David was also an Apple Chill Clogger, dancing to old timey string band music for many years at festivals in the U.S., Canada, Europe and South America. David delights in combining and expressing all of his musical influences.


Mark

Mark Wiesner, a native of Omaha, started playing bass at the age of 14. He was a founding member of the avant-garde Stench Band, and worked in numerous rock- and blues-inspired groups including the Omaha R&B band Fatback, New Space, and the Ogden Edsl Wahalia Blues Ensemble Mondo Bizzario Band. He began as a double bass performance major at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but ultimately majored in Mathematics and Biology. Moving further into the jazz idiom, he performed with several groups including The Paul Norlan Jazz Trio in Iowa City and The Pierre Axel Trio in Paris, France. He also played rock with the eclectic Baltimore rock group The New Crusty Nostrils and the Fabulous Naselles, as well as bluegrass with The Noteworthy String Band. In addition to Eyes Like Kites, he currently plays double bass with the Durham Medical Orchestra, contributes to several recording projects (including daughter Corinne Wiesner’s indie rock group Dupond-Dupont), and performs with the Raleigh big band Leon Jordan’s Continentals. Outside of music, Mark is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke University and a member of the National Academy of Engineers.


Songs written by Ron Batson and arranged by Eyes Like Kites