Multi-instrumentalist Jim Dead (aka James Misbrener) began playing music as a wee lad influenced by relatives who encouraged him to strap on a piano accordian, which he had done by the tender age of five. (He mastered by twelve). In later years he flogged his brothers dusty old guitar and taught himself how to play it, moving on to piano in his mid-20s, then harmonium, melodica and bass.
Taking eight years to complete, "The Lament of the Rabbit King" began in inner-city Sydney, Australia in 2001, with writing and recording continuing in London between 2002 - 2005, the album finally completed in October 2009.
It combines electronic orchestration with live instrumentation, many of the instruments played by Jim himself. He also sang lead vocals on all of the songs.
The album was also played - and sung - on by some of the most talented musicians in Australia and London, including Myles Heskett and Chris Ross (both ex-Wolfmother, now Palace Of Fire and The Slew), vocalists Tess Bryant and Laurel Puckeridge, violinist Jason Tampake (Firekites, Charge Group), drummer Sean Brady (Groove Ganesh, Shemozzle) and horn player Stu West.
Mighty Highness Records releases this album for the first time on LP, since its original debut in 2009 on a handful of cd's.
Here's a little personal background to understand why we decided to release this amazing record.
I (Misha Laurent aka Barkin'Soul) met James about 5 years ago, a couple of weeks after my arrival in the Blue Mountains and we connected immediately.
After sharing some time together, James passed on his cd for me to listen to and it was a revelation.
Despite the enormity of the recording process, James only ever printed a few 100 copies of the cd and never really pushed it..
The second I put that cd in my car stereo, my family was mesmerized with the vibe the music was perspirating. That thing was on repeat for 12 months in the car. The kids really got attached to track 3, whilst my favorite is track 5. The violin screams in the background and the beautiful vocals take you to an amazing sensation of love and desperation for goodness.
I can hear so many influences in this masterpiece, from the Beatles, to Bjork, Supertramp to Portishead and a lot of Nino Ferrer, all mashed up in a powerful emotional collection.
I remember one day James expressing to me he would love to get the album onto vinyl.. Time flew by as it does & then a year and half ago James came to me and said that his hand wouldn't do what he wanted on his guitar, that he was going to do some tests.
Shortly after, James was diagnosed with motor neuron disease, and his health deteriorated very quickly. Many people approached me about putting on a party for James to raise funds for him and his family's difficult journey. Whilst that was a financial necessity I was looking for something more, something to express powerfully who James was and what he meant to me.
Suddenly I remembered about the vinyl comment he'd made and I immediately felt that was the perfect thing, making his musical legacy available on hardcopy. Using a crowd funded website we managed to raise enough to master and finally press to vinyl "Jim Dead and the Army of Shadows".
Originally released in 2009 on a handful of cd's this record tells a story from top to bottom and I feel it is imperative you listen to it from beginning to end. This is music James wrote and recorded when his little girl was born.
All Sales are going to Ava his 7 year old daughter and Peta his loving wife who has done an amazing job on the artwork. [txt from ]