Stuart Smith - Heaven & Earth
Tracklisting: Dogs Of War; Worlds Apart; If Only Love; Jade; Broken Arrow; Prisoner; Away From Harm; Through Your Eyes; Windows To The World; Politician; Years Gone By.
"Windows to the World"
Press from Frontiers Records 15-November-00: Heaven & Earth was formed in 1996 by guitarist Stuart Smith after being offered a record deal by Samsung to record a solo album. Stuart Smith was born in York, England and was originally classically trained on guitar from the age of seven years old. After hearing Deep Purple's "In Rock" in his early teens he turned his attention to Rock & Roll and later on met Deep Purple's guitarist Ritchie Blackmore with whom he became best friends. Blackmore took Stuart under his wing and under his guidance he developed his technique and style which would later on have critics comparing him to Beck, Blackmore, Clapton and Page. He went on to tour and record with Sidewinder, French Kiss, Edwin Starr, Ian Paice, Sweet and Keith Emerson.
After recording "Stuart Smith's Heaven & Earth" which featured such singers as Joe Lynn Turner, Richie Sambora and Glenn Hughes, Stuart decided he wanted more of a band situation so he signed with Frontiers, who had licensed the first album, to record the new album under the band name of Heaven & Earth entitled "Windows to the World." For this he enlisted the help of his long time friend and drummer Richie Onori. Richie had played with people like Rick Derringer, Louis Johnson, Bobby Kimball and also played with Stuart in the "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability" with Keith Emerson.
Stuart and Richie decided on Howard Leese from Heart as a producer as Howard had worked with Stuart on the first album. As they spent their time building their own studio called "The Wine Cellar" in the hills of Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, they also searched for the right singer for the album. He appeared in the form of Kelly Keeling who had been the singer of Baton Rouge, Blue Murder, MSG and had also worked with Carmine Appice on his "Guitar Zeus" project. As well as having good song writing skills to add to Stuart's, Kelly's blues and rock background was perfect for Heaven & Earth so after a couple of auditions he was recruited. Next up came Hammond Organ/Keyboard player Arlan Schierbaum who Stuart knew from the musicians circle in Los Angeles. Arlan has played the Hammond since the age of four and his blues and gospel background added just the right flavor to Heaven & Earth.
No bass player could be decided on so bass duties on "Windows To The World" were shared by Howard Leese, Jason Boylestone, Tony Franklin, Chuck Wright and Marvin Sperling who also played with Stuart and Richie in the "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability." Marvin Also mixed the new album with Stuart, Kelly, Richie and Howard.
Heaven & Earth's "Windows to the World" which will be released this year brings back exciting blues based rock & roll incorporating a variety of styles ranging from AOR classics to blues to hard rock to Celtic with a live feel performed by world class players.