Owner of Ken Stanton Music picks best album of 2015

Kenny Stanton has music in his blood.

His father, Kenneth E. Stanton, founded Ken Stanton Music in 1949 to bring music to the six schools in Cobb County at the time, with a music program where Stanton would provide the instruction and the instruments at a cost of one dollar per student.

The Cobb County School Board in 1949 agreed to hire instructors that would eventually replace Kenneth E. Stanton as full-time music directors. Over the next few years, Kenneth E. Stanton started more music programs, and directors replaced him at each school one by one to allow his attention to focus full-time on the retail store, located in Marietta.

Now, Ken Stanton Music operates five stores, with its flagship location still in Marietta, but at a larger location than where it was originally founded. Father passed the reins to his son, and Kenny Stanton has been growing the business, following his dad’s example by bringing music to families and inspiring people to pick up instruments — and lessons.

Full disclosure, my husband, Russell Eldridge, has been teaching guitar at the Woodstock Ken Stanton Music store since 2001.

When Kenny Stanton’s not running his business or playing music at home, he’s indulging in music.

So, when the retail music store owner commented on Facebook with his top pick for best album of 2015, I gave it a listen.

A progressive rock music fan and a drummer, Kenny Stanton’s pick for top album of 2015 (his favorite) is Steve Wilson’s Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Steve Wilson: Hand. Cannot. Erase.

To me, the album recalls similar concept album projects, such as David Bowie’s Outside.

Wilson described the album as more reflective to all of the different material in his back catalog, featuring electronic music elements and straightforward pop songs alongside long progressive-oriented tracks. Alongside Wilson, the album features Ninet Tayeb on vocals, and the music is heavily inspired by The Dreaming, an album by Kate Bush.

But the album itself is a 65-minute rock concept album, loosely based on the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, who died in her London flat in 2003, but whose body wasn’t discovered until 2006. Wilson told Ultimate-Guitar.com that there’s more to the story:

“Now, what’s really interesting about this story is that your initial reaction when you hear a story like that is, ‘Ah, little old bag lady that no one notices, no one cares about.’ [Vincent] wasn’t [like that]. She was young, she was popular, she was attractive, she had many friends, she had family, but for whatever reason, nobody missed her for three years.”

The musician then focused on the female approach from which the album is written and the boy choir, wondering “what people will make of it.”

Wilson’s fourth release features Guthrie Govan on guitar, Marco Minnemann on drums, Nick Beggs on bass, Adam Holzman on keys and Theo Travis on saxophone and flute. The album is available with a 24-page media booklet and a 30-minute documentary.

Whether you agree with Kenny Stanton or not about Hand. Cannot. Erase being the top album of 2015, fans of progressive music and those who enjoy thinking man’s music should enjoy dissecting the rich media package.

Check it out on Steve Wilson’s website.

Let us know in the comments what your top album of 2015 is.




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