Ken Eisner Producer, arranger, acoustic and electric guitars on all tracks. Duet vocals on With Plenty of Money and You, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Mood Indigo.
Born in New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ken Eisner has now been in Canada for more than half his life. He studied music with John Handy at San Francisco State University, also concentrating on filmmaking and graphic design. He took private guitar lessons with Steve Erquiaga, Bill Champlin, and Joe Villa, plus a few one-offs with Bill Coon and George Benson. In the 1970s, he was assistant to Todd Barkan, owner of Keystone Korner, SF’s most important jazz club, and frequent home to greats like Dexter Gordon, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Betty Carter and many others. Ken was a music journalist for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and art director for The Berkeley Barb before arriving in Canada, eventually becoming the chief film critic for The Georgia Straight. He wrote film reviews and news for Variety, based in Los Angeles, for 16 years, while playing guitar and occasionally recording with acts like The Manvils, Jennifer Hershman, and Edmonton Block Heater. Ken founded the band Twisted Siskel, composed mostly of Vancouver film critics, and their deeply bent versions of familiar covers from all eras eventually gave way to many of the sounds heard in The Flypaper Orchestra.
The overall goal of Flypaper Records is to bring together artists from all genres in order to build a broader musical community, spanning styles, ages, and geography. The songs chosen for this and upcoming projects are covers ranging from the well known to the deeply esoteric. Future projects will include Film Noir, the Beat Era, and the Jazz Age of the early 20th century. We also look forward to developing concepts generated by our many musical friends, including those we don't yet know!
The Flypaper Orchestra is a loose affiliation of musicians, visual artists, and performers devoted to bending genres and giving new life to great songs, both classic and obscure. Its first project, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Old Songs for a New Depression, combines the diverse talents of Canadians Jim Byrnes, Luke Doucet, Ron Sexsmith, Colleen Rennison, Dalannah Gail Bowen with California blues-guitar legend Robben Ford and U.K.-based singer Nina Miranda to name just a few of the more than 40 people who worked on it. These tunes of the 1930s, re-imagined for modern audiences by co-producers Ken Eisner and Joe Cruz, are built on the work of top side-men, such as bassist René Worst, drummer Geoff Hicks, and percussionist Raphael Geronimo.
The selections featured on Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Old Songs for a New Depression have been chosen to present a range of colours and emotions as experienced by a cross-section of North Americans in the 1930s. Songs like "Pennies From Heaven" and the title tune comment directly, or at least ironically, on the evaporation of material security for most people. Some compositions, such as Woody Guthrie's "I Ain’t Got No Home in This World Anymore", convey the plight of the poorest blacks and rural whites, while others, like "Flamingo" and "Temptation", reflect a growing, if often confused, perception by city-dwellers of the "exotic" outside world, with whiffs of Asia, Africa, and Latin America mixed together in a potpourri of foreign influences—all of which still simmer in the popular music of today.
Co-Producer, guitars, keyboard programming, basic engineering and mixing on all tracks
A guitarist, song-writer, orchestral composer, and producer for almost 20 years, Joe started out as a touring guitarist with the likes of Grammy Award-winning Sarah McLachlan, performing on programs such as The Tonight Show, Ellen, and The CBS Early Show. As an award-winning composer he has scored music for feature films, TV series, and documentaries. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Joe is now based in LA and recently had two songs placed on the critically acclaimed Carly Rae Jepsen album Emotion, which went Gold in Japan. He recently did a guest residency at a songwriting workshop in Sweden