Hi to all! As we enter the new year, I’d like to express my appreciation to you—my friends, fans, and supporters—for our big year in 2022. My debut album, Delta Tales, continued to do well throughout the year. The single, Free Will in China Blue (intended initially as a digital bonus track for Delta Tales) did so well that the record company released a second, enhanced version of the CD to accommodate it.
The big news in 2022 was that we released the album Signs & Wonders in October. In this brief time, it has been graced with love from fans and garnered massive critical acclaim in the media. To celebrate its impending release, we staged a fabulous launch party in my hometown of New Castle, PA. Ace and I discussed the songs in front of friends and supporters.
The new single, No. 6 Magnolia Avenue, has been doing well. Our two videos, directed by Dante Ludovici, for the songs Free Will In China Blue and No. 6 Magnolia Avenue, have been honored with multiple nominations and awards from film festivals around the world.
Digital streaming of SKR is getting stronger and stronger. SKR songs have more than one million total streams across platforms, with most (approximately 940,000) on Spotify. This has all been made possible by you!
The coming year promises to be one of progress for SKR. We will be promoting Signs & Wonders heavily. We are planning live performances of various types. We are developing a music video for the next single, One More Story to Tell. Of course, I am also busy writing new songs for a future SKR release. My SKR team is a devoted, hard-working lot who encourage me to continue making music we hope the fans will love.
Signs & Wonders encapsulates much of the reason why critics are so impressed with Sun King Rising’s career (myself included). He isn’t a one-trick pony, but essentially as much of a renaissance man as the indie rock community can hope to celebrate in an era as tumultuous as the present. FULL REVIEW
When consumed in its entirety (as was mandated by the man behind the music himself), all of the songs comprising this album form a patchwork of personal statements and commentarial poetry you would never find anywhere else in the world. FULL REVIEW.
There’s something new to discover with every listen the blanket of melodies and poetic revelations in Signs & Wondersis granted, and while I’m usually not the biggest fan of concept albums because of the camp and excess they frequently contain, this is a solid offering that doesn’t have any room for such nonsense in its material…FULL REVIEW
I don’t believe there’s going to be a single critic who hears this record and says SKR isn’t deserving of endless praise for the originality of the piece in general. He couldn’t have made Signs & Wonders any more insular and intimate yet still accessible to us, and that earns him a lot of respect in my book. FULL REVIEW.
With Spotify streams of his 2020 debut album, “Delta Tales” approaching 800K, and youtube views of his award-winning “Free Will in China Blue” video approaching 40K, Blangero looks to continue the momentum with his new album. FULL REVIEW.
He wants us to get a taste of the passion he’s sewing into this material on all fronts, starting of course with the actual presence of the music when it’s played at a moderate volume on a good pair of speakers (headphone speakers to be precise, as the liner notes recommend), and that just isn’t true of the many artists who would seek to dethrone him from his perch in the hierarchy of underground heavyweights this fall. FULL REVIEW.
Based on the Hit Single of the Same Title from His New Album, Signs & Wonders.
Produced and directed by Dante Ludovici, No. 6 Magnolia Avenue is a literal film interpretation of the song’s optimistic, uplifting lyric. It is the story of an unknown, down-and-out musician who attains acclaim and stardom after encountering the beautiful “Girl in China Blue” at a bar gig.
Ludovici’s production ably captures all the emotion, pathos, and humor inherent in the recording. Many of the artist’s New Castle, Pennsylvania friends and family form the colorful cast of characters.
Sun King Rising is the musical moniker and alter-ego of John Blangero, who lives in Port Isabel, Texas. By night, Blangero is Sun King Rising. By day, he is a world-renowned genetic research scientist and professor at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.
Meghan Greenwood, a popular Pittsburgh choreographer/dancer, plays his love interest in the film. Ludovici also featured her in his first Sun King Rising film production, “Free Will in China Blue.” She has retained her “girl in China Blue” identity in the second production.
In addition to the mostly local Newcastle cast, Ludovici also utilizes multiple Newcastle and nearby Poland, Ohio locations to significant effect.
Blangero wrote the song, and producer Ace Acker completed it with a who’s who lineup of Pittsburgh players and singers at David Granati’s Maplewood Studio in Ambridge, PA. Granati engineered Sun King Rising’s first album, Delta Tales. as well.
Fans can enjoy the video here on the special Sun King Rising will webpage
Sun King Rising will give away a free Signs & Wonders CD to the first 50 viewers who subscribe to the Sun King Rising blog “The Lowdown“
Signs & Wonders Sessions John Blangero – Piano, Keys, Lead Vocals, Orchestral Arrangements George Perilli – Drums on all tracks except 4 and 10 Roger Humphreys – Drums 4 George Elliott – Bass Guitar on all tracks Willie Ross – Guitar 1 2,3 4.5,8 Steve Schuffert – Guitar 6,7 8 9 Ace Acker – Acoustic Guitar 3 Fred Delu – Electric Piano 4 Background Vocal Arrangements by Stevee Wellons and Ace Acker
Background Singers: Stevee Wellons – All tracks but 10 Joy Brown – 1,3,4,5,7,8, Bernice Wilkerson – 1,3,4,5,7,8 Pete Hewlett – 6,9 Ace – 2,6,9 Raloh Guzzi – Horn Arrangements Ralph Guzzi, Eric Defade, Kevin McManus – Horn Section Kennv Blake – Saxophone 4
Studio Credits Engineered by David Granati Recorded at Maplewood Studio, Ambridge, PA Mixed and Mastered by Brian Foraker Produced by Ace Acker
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