Born out of the intensely creative and artistic art rock and fusion movements of the seventies, Happy The Man is one of the most legendary progressive rock bands of all time. Although Happy The Man only released two official albums before breaking up, their impact was strong enough to durably endear the group to a cult following that has been growing ever since. And with the passing of the years, Happy The Man’s music has demonstrated a timeless quality which suggests that it was not only ahead of its time, it was also, in many ways, beyond this world.
Now, twenty five years after parting ways, Happy The Man has returned with a new album, The Muse Awakens, and is ready once again to thrill their devoted fans worldwide. The new album picks up right where they left off, characterized by strong compositions with varying mood and intensity while creatively combining the quirky interplay of rhythms and melodies with lush atmospheric textures.
Original members Stanley Whitaker (guitar) and Rick Kennell (bass) first met in Germany and soon returned to the US, enlisting Frank Wyatt (keyboards, saxes, flute), Kit Watkins (keyboards) and Mike Beck (drums) and proceeded to create two of the most deeply admired prog-rock albums of all time. Their Arista Records releases, Happy The Man (1977) and Crafty Hands (1978) (the latter of which Ron Riddle replaced Beck on drums) are among the most respected albums of all time among art-rock and fusion musicians.
After breaking up in 1979 the members of Happy The Man pursued various other projects and it was during one of these side trips that guitarist Stanley Whitaker, beseiged by adoring Happy The Man fans at a festival in Mexico, decided to put the band back together.
Whitaker, Kennell, and Wyatt had been befriended by keyboard whiz David Rosenthal (Billy Joel, Rainbow, Robert Palmer, Steve Vai) and he became the obvious choice to fill the very large shoes of Kit Watkins, who no longer wanted to play live. When Ron Riddle was unable to commit to being involved in the reunion, an extensive drummer search led the band to Joe Bergamini (4Front, Movin’ Out) and the new lineup was complete.
After recording and releasing The Muse Awakens to the unanimous praise of its fans, the band has set out to continue writing, recording, and performing the music that has moved so many people over the years.
--By Chip Ruggieri, Chipster Entertainment