Happening: A Movement in 12 Acts

This is among the most ambitious projects ESP-Disk' has issued. Notably, it has an all-star roster of guest vocalists. If while looking at this list, you think, "Is that THE Walter Egan? Wait, Suzy Bogguss the country star?" and so on, the answers are, yes, that IS the same Walter Egan whose 1978 hit "Magnet and Steel" had Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac on backing vocals. Yes, that is the Suzy Boggess who had six top-ten country singles in the '90s. Which Charles Walker? Why, legendary soul star Charles "Wigg" Walker of Little Charles and the Sidewinders and, more recently, the Dynamites. And yes, that's rising-star vocalist Fay Victor, the toast of New York's avant-jazz scene, and Cooper-Moore, an eminence grise of the same scene. And Freedy Johnston, one-time Rolling Stone Songwriter of the Year. And Americana Music Association New Artist of the Year Mary Gauthier, whose songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Bettye Lavette, and many more. And prolific singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan, beloved cult figure of both the Americana and indie-rock scenes. And vocalist Carmina Escobar of Mexico City-based experimental music ensemble Liminar. And Jenny Knaggs of Lac La Belle, Odu Afrobeat Orchestra, and I, Crime, and a genre-spanning mainstay of the underground Detroit music scene. Some of those people are way too famous, too mainstream, to be on ESP, you may think. But they wanted to be part of this project of which leaders Thollem McDonas (already an ESP artist in the bands The Naked Future and Tsigoti) and Ed Pettersen AKA Mad King Edmund say, "Happening: A Movement in 12 Acts is a treatise with spoken and sung libretto by various artists about the current state of the U.S. and the impact the Occupy movement has had on our psyche. However, it is not about Occupy but rather the 99%." Now, THAT is such an ESP-Disk' thing to do.


Vocals: Vocals: Fay Victor, Walter Egan, Charles Walker, Suzy Bogguss, Freedy Johnston, Mary Gauthier, Cooper-Moore, Carmina Escobar, Matthew Ryan, Jennie Knaggs, Ed Pettersen, Thollem McDonas

Instruments: Thollem McDonas, piano; Ed Pettersen, guitar & effects; Pete Abbott, drums; Jeff Lederer, saxophone.

Libretto: Ed Pettersen, arranged by Thollem McDonas

Liner notes: Janet Reno, 78th Attorney General of the United States of America

Artwork: Elise Jarem, cover; Chip Boles, inside; Runar Drønen, design/layout


Track Listing

01. Act 1 Opening 1:47

02. Act 2 The Common Man 3:34

03. Act 3 Wall Street Executive 3:54

04. Act 4 The Politician 1:31

05. Act 5 The Middle Class 3:08

06. Interlude 1 1:21

07. Act 6 Occupy Park 3:35

08. Interlude 2 2:01

09. Act 7 Homeless Person 3:43

10. Act 8 Female Love Interest 4:47

11. Act 9 Male Protagonist 4:14

12. Interlude 3 0:57

13. Act 10 History 3:17

14. Interlude 4 1:59

15. Act 11 Protest 3:38

16. Act 12 Resolution 1:49

Musicians: Thollem McDonas / Mad King Edmund / Ed Pettersen

Digital download Choice of WAVs or MP3s
Compact Disk In jewelcase with lyrics and artwork
  • Product Code: ESP5012
  • Availability: In Stock
  • CD $12.98
  • WAV Download $8.99
  • MP3 Download $8.99

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