Acoustic Explorations, Vol. One: Longing Spirit, Longing Soul

Ken Totushek

A compilation of original and cover songs and instrumentals utilizing a variety of acoustic stringed instruments, from vintage prewar to modern day contemporary builds—mixed soulful songs and instrumentals.

Acoustic Explorations (Vol.)—Longing Spirit, Longing Soul”, by Ken Totushek

A compilation of original and cover songs and instrumentals utilizing a variety of acoustic stringed instruments, from vintage prewar to modern day contemporary builds—mixed instrumentals and songs fora soulful blend of listening music. The musical style of each track reflects the variety and acoustic qualities of instruments used.

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Kona... And Spirit of the Islands

Ken Totushek & John Soter

A compilation of instrumental music by 2 guitarists influenced by the sounds of Hawaiian slack key guitar music, utilizing diverse acoustic instruments, prewar to contemporary builds.

Kona...and spirit of the Islands, Studio sessions with Ken Totushek and John Soter

This CD is a compilation chock full of instrumental music by 2 guitarists influenced by the sounds of Hawaiian slack key guitar, prewar to contemporary builds. The songs, all instrumental, vary in a style sometimes deviating from traditional slack key, each lend themselves to the spirit of island music.

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Real Life Stuff...Hope's Alive! (Free streaming :)

Ken Totushek

This 2 CD set follows 4 previous acclaimed inspirational works. A 35+ year culmination of Ken’s study of music, songwriting, arranging, instrumentation, recording, mixing, mastering and producing, it is essentially his musical PHD thesis on life itself!

Acoustic guitar/lapsteel instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Ken Totushek—a musician with a mission...

A singer, songwriter, and acoustic instrumentalist on guitar, lapsteel, and dobro. Writing and performing most of his life, Ken's overarching theme has to do with real life stuff--love and relationships, success and failure, truth and commitment, heartbreak and loss, you name it…all under the protective umbrella of this life's true hope!

In Ken Totushek’s inspirational music one senses the uplifting, soulful, and relaxing flow of sweet sounds often whispering stories from his and others’ life experience. Ken’s music is down to earth, inviting, and tends to capture the heart of the listener as he leads one through a calming musical journey. His audience internationally and stateside has varied greatly over the years, and currently includes music festivals, concerts, churches, retreats, weddings, elderly and nursing home venues, etc. Ken’s music has always been well received, regardless of culture in which he has played. He grateful subscribes to the belief that in music, mankind has clearly been blessed with a truly universal language.

Ken has been playing guitar since the age of 12, and continually studies the impact of various guitar construction effects on tone—variations such as shape and size, woods used, age, vintage guitars, specialty guitar builders (luthiers) of our day, strings, technique, etc. For Ken, any of these variables mentioned can evoke different moods, inspiration, and creativity—“it’s incredibly fascinating to me, and seems to have become a lifetime journey exploring daily new depths of musical discovery!” Ken plays his own compositions, as well as those of others that he has arranged. It is not unusual to see Ken with at least 2-3 of his favorite guitars accompany him on stage—each with their own unique tonal nuggets just waiting to resonate. He does all of his recording, as well as that of others, at Graceworks Recording, his 24 track digital, project recording studio.

Of prime importance to Ken, is that the spiritual element woven throughout his music would resonate clearly. “I believe whatever I do musically is a gift from God, and so whenever I play, I feel I am just giving back to Him that which He has graciously given me. It blesses and inspires me immensely. If there are others around to play for, so much the better, perhaps they might receive some blessing that transcends the physical as well. That is my hope and purpose in playing for and with others...ultimately that the ‘Giver of Gifts’ may be honored and glorified by all.”

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For the Rest of Your Life and Beyond

Ken Totushek

A digitally re-mastered, re-release of Ken's 1994 debut CD, with 4 new songs included. The lyrical folksy, inspirational nature of Ken's songwriting and playing are timeless, acoustically rich, and resonate spiritual hope with an appeal to all ages

This CD is a digitally re-mastered, 4 new track release of Ken's 1994 debut CD "For the Rest of Your Life.” The contemporary folksy, inspirational nature of Ken's songwriting and playing has proven to be timeless, and resonate of spiritual hope and healing with an appeal to all ages. Today's mastering technology further enhances the previous acoustic rich ambiance of the original recording, such that along with the newly mixed "Grindelwald" track and 3 additional previously un-released tracks, the CD echoes a sense of familiar yet joyfully new work--timeless in it's own right, as is implied in the title.

Ken is a singer, songwriter, acoustic instrumentalist residing in Barrington, Rhode Island. This CD includes special guest appearances by some of New England’s finest musicians. The songs are original, many Scripturally based, contemporary songs of inspiration and assurance. Ken's music typically reflects a mellow, clean, pure acoustic sound, both in songs with lyrics as well as his beautiful acoustic instrumentals. His style and voice have been likened to that of James Taylor. They are songs of life, mellow and meaningful, while clearly reflecting a life of faith--it’s joys and hope as well it’s trials and difficulties.

Here are some comments of others related to the original version:

"In 'For The Rest Of Your Life' Ken displays his love for his Creator with an inspirational style of Christian music. The light sounds and soft rock will have you singing and dancing...you'll love it." (Robin F.)

"Ken's intimate, many sided collection of songs rises from a mind and heart tuned to the indelible melody of the spirit. Here music is praise, and praise is music. Listening, you will find ideas stoked, emotions revealed, and faithpersisting through the everyday. Not to mention a dance or two along the way." (Karen D.)

"Ken's music has blessed our whole family. My kids enjoyed it so much that they had to take turns listening to it each night so they wouldn't argue over it. I can tell that by listening to Ken's music that Ken puts his whole heart and soul into it" (John R.)

"Ken's eclectic mix of tunes alternatively soothes and challenges; his lyrics speak hope in the love and faithfulness of God." (Duenna K.)

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Sweet Devotion--Heart

Ken Totushek

Tranquill, healing, meditative solo fingerstyle acoustic guitar instrumental interpretations of familiar traditional sacred hymns and a few original compositions. The music on "Sweet Devotion--heart" is very warm and spiritually uplifting.

Acoustic guitar instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Ken Totushek-a musician with a mission...

In guitarist Ken Totushek's inspirational music one senses the uplifting, soulful, and relaxing flow of sweet sounds often whispering stories from his and others' life experience. Ken's music is down to earth, inviting, and tends to capture the heart of the listener as he leads one through a calming musical journey. His audience has varied greatly over the years, and includes churches, worship and praise events, children's music venues, community concerts and Fall Fairs, weddings, Elderly and Nursing home venues, as well as playing in other countries. Ken's music has always been well received, and for that he is grateful. "It has been my experience that in music, mankind has clearly been blessed with a truly universal language."

Ken has been playing guitar since the age of 12, and has studied in more recent years the impact of various guitar construction effects on tone-things such as shape and size, woods used, age, specialty guitar builders (luthiers) of our day, strings, technique, etc. For Ken, any of these variables mentioned can evoke different moods, inspiration, and creativity-"it's incredibly fascinating to me, and seems to have become a lifetime journey exploring daily new depths of musical discovery!" Ken plays his own compositions, as well as those of others that he has arranged. It is not unusual to see Ken with at least 2-3 of his favorite guitars accompany him on stage-each with their own unique qualities and tonal nuggets just waiting to resonate. He does all of his recording, as well as that of others, at Graceworks Recording, his 24 track digital, project recording studio.

Of prime importance to Ken, is that the spiritual element woven throughout his music would resonate clearly-and it does. "I believe whatever I do musically is a gift from God, and so whenever I play, I feel I am just giving back to Him that which He has graciously given me. It blesses and inspires me immensely. If there are others around to play for, so much the better, perhaps they might receive some blessing that transcends the physical as well. That is my hope and purpose in playing for and with others...ultimately that the 'Giver of Gifts' may be honored and glorified."

Ken has recorded and released 4 albums to date--For the Rest of Your Life, ©1994; Pilgrim Song, ©2001; Sweet Devotion, ©2004, and Sweet Devotion--heart, ©2005. He frequently provides special music and is a praise and worship leader at Barrington Baptist Church, Barrington, RI. He engineers and produces his own CDs, and occasionally those of others. Ken has performed in various parts of the country, and occasionally abroad. For more information and news on new work, visit http://www.kentotushek.com or email Ken at info@kentotushek.com.

REVIEWS:

Wind and Wire R E V I E W KEN TOTUSHEK Sweet Devotion self-released (2005)

review by Bill Binkelman

Ken Totushek's album, Sweet Devotion, is a collection of acoustic guitar arrangements of hymns and spirituals as well as two originals by the artist. However, before you think this is "religious" music, please take the word of an agnostic music reviewer (a lapsed Catholic if you want to know the truth). These really are sublime and soul-warming instrumentals (there is no singing on this CD, although I think there is a vocal version of this album available). You'd have to have a heart of stone to not be comforted by Totushek's gentle and soothing way with these songs, as they gently unfurl with patience and unabashed open-hearted love. Sounds mushy, right? Not a chance, partner. Low-key, yes; easy to relax to, yes; soothing to the troubled heart, yes - but never ever sappy or saccharine-drenched. Heck, you'd be hard-pressed to identify these tunes (except for the always enjoyable "Amazing Grace" and "The Water is Wide"). For someone like me, who hasn't sang a hymn in who knows how long, pieces like the opening "Thou Art Worthy" and its follow-up, "My Jesus, I Love Thee" stand the test as simple unadorned solo acoustic guitar songs that speak simply yet soulfully. Totushek worked out the guitar arrangements on his own - kudos to him - and his playing alone qualifies as pure pleasure.

There's the sunny "Give Me Jesus" (an African-American spiritual) which gets a Windham Hill-ish treatment, graced by careful nuance, and "I Surrender All" presents an interesting halted rhythm to the artist's playing. "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" showcases Totushek's way with pealing hits notes away slowly at first and then picking up a gradual head of steam, intermixing picking and strumming until a nice steady but slow burn is achieved. Turning his ear across the ocean, Totushek includes an Irish folk tune, "Be Thou My Vision" which sparkles and has a carefree feel to it.

One "glitch" (barely worth mentioning) was that the track listing is mis-printed (for those that buy the CD). Track 8 (listed as "The Water Is Wide") is actually "The Word/Amazing Grace" (which according to liner notes is track 9). Hey, no one's perfect, and both tracks are excellent renditions of these traditional favorites.

Totushek closes out the album with his two originals. "Christmas In The Air" (a rather sprightly tune, when contrasted with the rest of the album), and the opus-length (nearly fourteen-minutes) "Jesus, My Redeeemer" (a "four-part" suite which musically depicts four stages in Jesus Christ's life). Some of this gets pretty darn intense, almost Michael Hedges-like in the energy and "oomph" that Totushek puts into the music.

As I have done before with other artists, it is worth mentioning that the artist is donating profits from the sale of Sweet Devotion to a charitable cause (a local shelter in Providence, Rhode Island). You're free to ascribe whatever you want to to the religious aspect of this recording. Ken Totushek makes no apologies for his devout faith and I say more power to him! But make no mistake, I don't endorse this album because of this, nor do I dismiss it. for the same reason. My job is music critic, pure and simple. This guy can flat out play guitar, folks. And since there is no way you can attach any overt spiritual significance to music without lyrics, you are safe in indulging in this excellent recording no matter what your religious afiiliations are, as far as as I can tell. However, I do think that the artist has poured a lot of love and kindness into the virtual grooves on this CD and, after all, who can't use a little of that in their lives, huh? As far as this agnostic reviewer is concerned, the album gets a big thumbs up and a pat on the back as well for donating the profits to charity.

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Sweet Devotion--voice

Ken Totushek

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Pilgrim Song

Ken Totushek

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