Friend of the Sky

Cej

Friend Of The Sky, Cej's 4th CD, includes 16 songs. Tracks 1-13 include 11 songs inspired by Cej’s latest experiences as an itinerant social worker, supporting American families overseas...this time in Djibouti and Bavaria. Also included is a song Cej penned in the late 1970s as well as two brand new songs, completed the night before they were recorded. Fly Away opens the CD, featuring Doug Pettibone on pedal steel. Doug was a member of the traveling bands of both John Mayer and Lucinda Williams, 2 years each. In total, Doug contributes to 6 tracks on this CD, moving seamlessly between pedal steel and lap steel. Doug brings a balance of sweetness and abandon (healthy insanity) to all he does.

Mickey Raphael steps in on track 2, Creature’s Blues, casting his harmonica in the role of “the cry of the creature”. Mickey, of course, is the legendary harmonica player in Willy Nelson’s band. He makes a second appearance on Honey On The Mind (track 11), engaging Cej in a playful trade-off of boogie woogie riffs. It was an honor and delight to have him onboard.

On tracks 14 and 15 , dubbed “The Lost Adobe Tracks”, Cej plays two covers of Gram Parsons classics: Hickory Wind and Luxury Liner. Track 16, dubbed the “Election Extra: 2020 Vision”, is Change Is Afoot. This is a remastered version of the single Cej released earlier this year (2020).

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Adobe Road

Cej

Songs inspired by the high desert and the wounded warriors road, set to music featuring finger picked DADGAD guitar, combined with bass, drums, accordion, fiddle, organ, vibes and vocals. An adventure through the heart.

“Adobe Road” Cej is back with a new CD- his third. Yes, this globe-trotting songwriter, itinerant social worker, DADGAD devotee, road runner, snake-whisperer, dreamer and seeker, with more questions than answers, is back.

Just as Sleepwalker In Paradise (2013), was built around a core of songs inspired by his time in Hawaii; and Clovis Man (2017), was built around a core of songs inspired by his time in Clovis New Mexico; Adobe Road (New) is built around a core of songs inspired by his recent work in California’s Mohave Desert. Unlike the first two CDs, Adobe Road reflects more directly and incisively on his work providing informal counseling services to military members and families impacted by the seemingly endless state of war we find ourselves in. Or, perhaps more honestly, the impacts of the same on himself. And, yes, there are some instrumentals and a love song or three on here as well.

There are12 tracks: 6 feature Cej alone, live in the studio, including 2 solo instrumentals; 3 include a full band (bass, drums, and one or more of the following instruments—Accordion, Fiddle, B3 Hammond Organ, Vibes, Percussion and backing vocals); and ,on 3 tracks, Cej is joined by one or two other players…Vibes, Fiddle and/or percussion (Djembe). For details, see the back of this One Sheet.

Cej’s music career started at age 18, as lead guitarist and songwriter. Twelve years, 3 bands and 3 eponymous albums later (Sweet Pain, United Artists, 1970; Rock Rose, CBS Sony, 1979; Small Talk, MCA, 1981), he became disillusioned with the music business and dropped out.

Newly armed with a master’’s degree in social work, he launched a new career in the mental health world. Soon thereafter, he and home town friend Joel Rafael started playing coffee houses together, soon to become the Joel Rafael Band, which had a 10-year run (1994-2004) producing 5 CDs, including 2 collections of Woody Guthrie songs.

After the Joel Rafael Band, Cej began to work as a traveling mental health consultant. Based out of California, he traveled throughout the US, Europe, Asia and Africa…collecting experiences and writing songs along the way.

His first two CDs, Sleepwalker in Paradise (2013) and Clovis Man (2017) were embraced by Folk, AAA and Americana Radio, receiving substantial play in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Israel.

Cej performs solo, capturing the energy and spirit of his recordings in his live performances. With a unique, DADGAD based guitar style, listeners often remark: “It sounds like there’s a band up there.”

Contact: Cejsongs.me

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Clovis Man

Cej

Spawned in Clovis New Mexico and recorded in San Diego, under the watchful eye of producer Jeff Berkley, there are 16 tracks here. A stellar group of musicians helped, notably: the legendary Eric Rigler on Uilleann Pipes and Penny Whistles (Braveheart, Titanic and Outlander sound tracks), and Dennis Caplinger, multi-instrumentalist (Banjo, Dobro, Fiddle and Mandolin—credits with JJ Cale, Eric Clapton, Byron Berline and Dan Crary). Arrangements range from Bass, Drums, Piano, Organ and Guitar to traditional folk combos of Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Fiddle, Mandolin, Uilleann Pipes and Penny Whistles, as well as solo Guitar, and Resonator Guitar pieces, with and without Upright Bass. Gospel and female background singers add tenderness and fun where needed.

These are songs of Love, Loss, Longing, Laughter and Transformation

Clovis Man CD Notes Name Pronunciation : “Cej” is pronounced like “siege”.

Track 1: Loralei (4:23) An up-tempo love song. Starting with a brief drum solo, the arrangement merges Caribbean, Cajon and Celtic elements—rhythms and instrumentation (Bass, Drums, Piano, B3 Organ, Guitar, Penny Whistles and vocals). This is the only track on the CD with a faded ending, but don’t rush it…Eric Rigler gets in some fine licks in the final moments.

Track 2: Clovis Man (5:25) A low-key bluesy number (same instruments as Loralei, sans whistles) inspired by my visit to the Blackwater Clovis Culture Site in New Mexico, and by the early morning wheeling and dealing I heard during breakfasts at the hotel I stayed in for months. It’s an interview with a 13,000-year-old man-- about life, then and now.

Track 3: It’s A Start (5:18) A rousing neo-country piece, employing banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, percussion, Uilleann Pipes and harmony vocals. Rambling thoughts on the hunt for healing, wholeness, spiritual-philosophical fulfillment and love.

Track 4: I Can’t Forget Your Love (3:27) A straight forward, uplifting, up-tempo love song. Guitar, Upright Bass and vocals. Remember this one on Valentine’s Day.

Track 5: River Gorge Ramble (4:05) Solo Guitar instrumental. Named in memory of a lovely afternoon spent watching the mountain sheep doing their vertical ballet in the Rio Grande River Gorge, Taos. Includes a small homage to Doc Watson and the Delmore Brothers, having a Big/Deep River in common.

Track 6: Lost Time Blues (5:07) Guitar and vocals. With over a hundred trains passing through Clovis New Mexico daily, I had to write a train song for this collection. Here it is. Where are you going?

Track 7: Mance Don’t Dance (5:20) An Old Timey piece on Resonator Guitar, with Upright Bass and Gospel background vocals. Based on the book I Say Me As A Parable -- The life, in his own words, of tenant farmer, songster and sage: Mance Lipscomb.

Track 8: Dance For Mance: Myna’s Reel/Spanish Flang Dang (2:31). A medley, and companion piece to Mance Don’t Dance, played on Resonator Guitar and Upright Bass. I think Mance would like this one.

Track 9: Watching Papa Fly (5:56) Wrote this one walking at the beach, the day after my father died…his life story in brief. Upright bass, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro, Guitar and Vocals.

Track 10: Let It Rest (4:40) Upright Bass, Guitar and Vocals. A meditation on “taking it easy” set to an easy country blues.

Track 11: Doc’s Dream (3:38) A quiet Solo Guitar piece, also for Papa.

Track 12: Wheel In A Hole (3:50) Full band on this up-tempo blues—Bass, Drums, Piano, B3 Organ, Guitar and Vocals. Song about getting stuck and getting unstuck. Homage to the Chad Mitchell Trio, and Mom.

Track 13: Boson Blues (Even Nothing Has Changed) (7:30) Slow blues, with the same band as Wheel In A Hole, plus Gospel Background Vocals. Story of a chronic cable news addict who suffers a mental breakdown upon learning of the discovery of the “God Particle”. But then, after a desperate and failed fit of consumer therapy, he experiences a transformational spiritual awakening in the end.

Track 14: Tail Of A Star (3:35) A quiet little song about the big picture. Guitar and vocals.

Track 15: Renewell (2:25) A quiet, jazz tinged Solo Guitar piece, also for Newell (Papa).

Track 16: Rauma Bound (5:54) An instrumental piece in memory of my sea faring Finnish Grand Father. Guitar, Upright Bass, Dobro, Fiddle, Uilleann Pipes, Penny Whistles, and backing vocals.

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Sleepwalker in Paradise

Cej

A brilliant collection of songs rooted in the folk tradition and infused with strains of blues, jazz, and country; with innovative arrangements ranging widely, from solo acoustic guitar to full band, and all in the service of heartfelt lyrics.

Entering at 60, Cej hit the ground running with his debut solo recording, Sleepwalker in Paradise, featuring 13 tracks, 12 of which were written during a 10 month period, bridging 2010 and 2011, during which he was living and working in Hawaii and Germany. The 13th and final track was written in 1968, on the evening of Robert Kennedy's assassination. Deeply rooted in the Folk tradition, the songs explore a wide range of human relationships and experiences, blending folk sensibilities with more "modern" strains of blues, jazz, country, classical and popular song.

Cej is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been composing songs and instrumental pieces for 50+ years. Most recently, he was the lead guitarist with the Joel Rafael Band (1994-2004), along with bandmates Joel Rafael, Jamaica Rafael and Jeff Berkley. Prior to that he was lead guitarist and songwriter with: Small Talk, 1980-82 (MCA Records, 1981); Rock Rose, 1978-80 (Columbia Records, 1979); The Frisco Kids, 1971-78 (unsigned but lots of fun...may share demos someday); and Sweet Pain, 1969-71 (United Artists Records, 1971). During the "quiet years" (1983-93 and 2004-1010), Cej trained and worked as a Clinical Social Worker, traveling extensively, continuing to play and compose music when work and family life allowed, even sneaking in a few solo performances at house concerts in the Los Angeles area.

Born in Chicago, his family moved to Southern California before Cej's first birthday. They settled in the San Gabriel Valley, which was still an active agricultural area at the time. Taking up the classical violin at age 6, Cej abandoned this instrument a few years later, switching to guitar after falling in love with Folk Music (and Joan Baez) in 1960. The next several years were spent immersed in the thrill of learning new songs and musical styles, meeting other local musicians and beginning to write. During this time, the electric guitar made its way (via the blues) into Cej's tool box. After a year and half as a music major at the local community college, Cej dropped out, lured by hopes of a pending record deal, and joined in the formation of Sweet Pain, setting the course of his next several years as a professional musician (construction worker, laborer, ranch hand, grape picker, house painter...).

A partial list of acts Cej has shared the stage with during his musical career includes: Linda Ronstadt, Doug Kershaw, Gabor Szabo, Seals and Crofts, Dave Mason, Chuck Berry, Rodney Crowell, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Odetta, Richie Havens, Eric Anderson, Judy Collins, John Hammond Jr., Tom Paxton, Arlo Guthrie, John Prine, Joni Mitchell, Leon Russell, Steve Earle, Crosby Stills and Nash, Peter Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Berkley Hart, John Trudell, Ben Harper, Bruce Cockburn, Jackson Browne and Jimmy LaFave.

Influences include: Jascha Heifetz, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Cisco Houston, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee, Big Bill Broonzy, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, John Hammond Jr., Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Elizabeth Cotton, Merle Travis, Jefferson Airplane, Gabor Szabo, Chico Hamilton, Cal Tjader, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bob Dylan, Ian and Sylvia, Guy Carawan, Phil Oaks, Igor Stravinsky, Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, Beethoven, Debussy, Eric Satie, Mark Spoelstra,Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs, The Weavers, Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, John Trudell, Mose Allison, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Pynchon, Tony Hillerman, Carl Jung, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King.

For the record: "Cej" (say "siege") is a childhood nickname originally used by his older brother and best friend and recently adopted as the artists "handle".

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