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Shine On - The Best of the Whalers

Artist profile: Ken Stasion (USA)

 Whisky Train (Trower-Reid) 4:54 and About to Die (Brooker-Reid) 4:04

BtP could not find an e-mail address for Ken Stasion, but luckily an appeal to his putative neighbours, on the Procol Mail-list, brought a very helpful reply from Tony Pernice of West Nyack, New York, who proceeded to telephone Ken and put all our questions to him.

'I spoke to Ken on your behalf last Friday and we had a pleasant phone conversation about our mutual admiration for PH and he expressed delight and full co-operation in your request to update his bio for the Whalers' project.

'Ken is currently off-line but is expecting to hook up a computer sometime in the next few months. His employment leads him to travel often and his busy schedule does not allow much free time but he told me he had been searching for an early Matthew Fisher LP several years ago and had struck an acquaintance with Mirek Plodzik who in turn referred Ken to Charly Troksa. Charly had mentioned the Whalers' plan and Ken jumped at the opportunity to add a few songs to the project.

'Ken has been playing guitar since he was 16 and Procol Harum / Robin Trower have been a major influence for him. I found him to be very knowledgeable on Procol (loves The Paramounts, felt Dave Ball was unjustly maligned as a musician) and eager to share his love of music. Growing up in the suburbs of New York, he had the fortunate experience to catch Procol in concert at the Fillmore East and has seen them numerous times over the years including the big bash in England a few years ago where he found himself at a party conversing at length with Dave Bronze.

'For the Whalers' project, Ken recorded his tracks in a local studio with another friend who plays drums. He did indeed play all instruments except drums on both tracks. 'Interestingly, you would think Ken's guitar of choice would be that of his idol, Mr Trower. However, Ken favors a Rickenbacker and manages to utilize a tone configuration that maintains the sustain and power of a Les Paul quite effectively. He also used an E-mu synth to sample cowbell sounds and overdubbed them several times for the percussion on Whisky Train (a testament to how good BJ was). Whisky Train and About To Die are the only Procol songs Ken has recorded. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his first commercial release with his band "Northern Sky". The self-titled CD should be completed in the next few months.

'We plan to "sack the town" and hoist a few at a local pub in the next few weeks!'

Thanks, Tony!

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