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So Long Seven is an audible garden where you didn’t realize you needed to escape to until you are there surrounded by the flora and fauna that is, Neil Hendry –guitar, William Lamoureux – violin Ravi Naimpally - tabla, and Tim Posgate- banjo.
So Long Seven creates space for self-reflection while enlivening and invigorating you. It challenges the conventional ideas of the boundaries and parameters that music industry categories impose. It is jazzy, funky and derives from various continents while not being shepherded into any particular place or flavour. In this respect, SL7 teaches us about bridging cultures without appropriating, seeing ourselves and our limitations as our own making while rediscovering the joy of music. This music collective brings deep rest because this sound garden is a life force needed now, more than ever.
Though Ravi ‘s humble nature emanates from the stage, he is a driving force in SL7 and a world (yes, world) renowned and revered tabla player. Tim Posgate is one of Toronto’s most respected banjo players which may sound like an oxymoron but in fact Tim’s versatility allows the listener to recognize their own deep appreciation for banjo. Oh sure, Tim can rip like the best of them, Trischka and Fleck come to mind. But he is so sneaky with his craft – winning any listener over. William Lamoureux is rumoured to be the great grandson of Stéphane Grappelli but if he isn’t I would be shocked. His violin playing is masterful and he is a weaver of magnificent threads. Neil Hendry would never tell you he is Berklee trained, because he is so solidly unassertive that way, but he just cannot be compared to any one because he simply is one the greatest guitar players Toronto has laid claim to since 2007.
In June 2017 during a hot summer in Toronto, So Long Seven (Neil Hendry/guitar, William Lamoureux/violin, Ravi Naimpally/tabla, Tim posgate/banjo) went into the historic Grant Avenue studio in Hamilton, a place founded by Daniel Lanois and used by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Johnny Cash and U2, to record their sophomore album. Producer Anthony Michelli pushed the band to creative heights and the result is an album of mostly instrumental music that is sophisticated, textured, energetic and altogether refreshing. So Long Seven’s ace guitarist Neil Hendry had this to say about working with Michelli, “he had a way of convincing us to try unexpected things that we were likely to have shied away from. I had no idea I’d be laying down electric guitar tracks on this recording.”. While there are some tracks that only feature the quartet, most of the 11 tracks have layers of percussion, strings, guitars and a few tracks feature the exquisite oud artistry of Demetri Petsalakis and Salif Sanou dit Lasso on kora, talking drum and fula flute. What stands out about Kala Kalo is that the happy vibe that surrounded the sessions comes across when you listen to the recording.