John Drumbo French re-unites fellow Magic Band alumni Bill Harkelroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton), Greg Davidson (aka Ella Guru), and John Thomas for this solo recording of all new compositions entitled ‘City of Refuge’. The self-produced album was recorded in London and at various locations in the U.S.0
’I think ‘City of Refuge’ is important because it re-visits a style of music that was founded by Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) and developed by various Magic Bands over the years. The music on this album came to me as total inspiration from being involved in The Magic Band reunion project. Listening to the music of Don Van Vliet and singing with the band, I realized that I was re-visiting my musical roots and wondered about how I had strayed so far away,’; French says.
As the drummer and music director for revered iconoclasts Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, French made central contributions to a handful of LPs – notably 1969’s mind-altering, revered masterpiece ‘Trout Mask Replica’, on which he first acquired the antic stage-name ‘Drumbo’ – that vastly expanded the parameters of contemporary music. French’s influential contributions can also be found on projects with Frank Zappa, Mallard, Crazy Backwards Alphabet, Henry Kaiser and Richard Thompson, among others. ‘City of Refuge’ is a craggy, bluesy, melody-laced mixture of interlocking rhythms and straight-ahead emotion that no one with a love of experimental rock will want to miss.