A Little History
Hello and welcome!
Thank you for taking time to visit. Music is the universal language for all to share and communicate. Music has always been a big part of Toney's life. One of his earliest music memories is at age five when he was singing on the radio and performing at various club meetings and events in his hometown, Logan, WV. He played in bands for decades and had the pleasure of performing on the same stage with a few famous recording stars. Toney is a BMI songwriter and publisher and considers songwriting as his most important music function. He is married with four children, six grandchildren and lives in the suburbs of Atlanta. Georgia.
Indie, Alternative, Pop, Easy Listening, R & B
Too Long to Mention
Senator International Compositions and Publishing
Songwriter, Vocalist and Musician
The "Love Is A Mystery" album is a collection of songs that reflects many of the situations that we experience at some point in our lives. Most of the songs in the album are about love. Love brings great joy and sometimes great hurt. The lyrics in this album express both. Many will be able to relate and identify with the lyrics.
The genre of the music is mixed. It is mostly rock with a few hints of R & B, jazz and country flavorings. The songs were written, performed, arranged, recorded and mixed by Toney. Therefore, put yourself in the same position to better understand the challenge and the fun that goes into such an adventure.
Toney mentioned that he misses the contributions of other musicians and would like to include a bunch of 'em on future recordings.
Blues has always been a favorite genre for Toney. He was inspired early on by Ray Charles, Bill Withers and many other blues artists. There is something about the minor chords that add such an interesting flavor to the mix. Timing is also a great ingredient. "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck is a long-time favorite. Also, humor adds a little fun. The songs on this album were written, arranged, performed, recorded and mixed by Toney with no others involved (except for the great memories of the styles, sounds and "licks" from the blues icons). With this rich blues history and memories of the many years of performing with talented band members . . . Toney was never truly alone.
Staring at a keyboard with expectations of deriving an album from it, without assistance from anyone, would have been a lonely and a daunting experience without the Lord. One song title exclaims, "My Lord Is Here With Me" . . . we hope it applies to you as well. When Toney was a Pastor, there were times when the Music Minister was absent and Toney played piano for the congregation to sing our traditional hymns. He heard several times that his accompaniment had a "soulful syncopation" not usually associated with a church worship service. Yes, all those years playing in the bands honed a style that was his own and sometimes out of place in the normal church-service environment. However, a few folks enjoyed it and we hope that you like it as well. The "Carry My Burden" album is a collection of original Southern Gospel songs. These songs are intended to focus on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease". The song "Praise God", is taken almost verbatim from Psalm 67 (NIV) . . . so the lyrics are divine. The song, "It Might Be Time For You", is comprised exclusively of two notes throughout the song and we like to refer to it as the "Two Note" Gospel.
Three brothers, Willie, Toney and Mickey Senator wrote the music, played the instruments, sang the songs, mixed it and boy . . . are they tired. Cousin Danny Street helped also and we sure do appreciate his song writing, guitar and harmonica playing. Most of the songs are very different from one another and they had a terrific time putting the album together. "Hey Hey" was the last song created. Toney wrote it on the fly when they needed a song real fast to complete the recording session. Willie and Mickey helped with harmonies and Willie ad-libbed the ending. Credit Paul Black guitar loops. "Let 'Em Live" was Mickey's melodic concept with Toney drawing most of the lyrics from his past reflections. Mickey and Toney wrote and recorded it one afternoon. Toney is doing the lead with Mickey in the harmonies. "Sugar Mountain Mama" is the oldest song in the album written primarily by Toney with collaboration from Willie and Mickey. Willie does the lead. "Walk With Me" is Mickey's creation and lead. He does the piano work with accompaniment by Toney on the instrumentation. "The Man In Me" was mostly Willie's creation with Mickey's and Toney's collaboration. Willie sings lead with Danny on Guitar. "Angeline" is Toney's creation and lead with harmony help from Mickey and Willie. "Why Cry" is Willie's creation and lead. He intended it to be a slow country song but when Toney came up with a different beat . . . it was changed. Willie would still like to do a country version. Mickey does the crying part. After all, he is the youngest brother. "School of Hard Knocks" was Mickey's concept and lead with Willie and Toney doing harmony. "Gotta Get Your Love" is Toney's creation and lead with harmonies from the brothers and Mickey and Danny on harmonicas and also Danny on guitar. "You Gotta Love Someone Like Me" was Danny's creation initially entitled "Dancing Moon" with some collaboration from the brothers. Willie does the lead with the brothers doing the harmony. Ironically Danny wasn't present for the recording of his own song and they missed his musical talents. Credit General Music keyboards for sounds and styles. We hope you have a good time listening to the album. We would greatly appreciate hearing from you and your cooperation in telling others about this first album from the brothers.
This album was created from original melodies by Toney Senator using only the instrument styles, beats, etc, from his keyboard . . . thus the album title . . . Experimentalism. I'm certain he would have preferred "live musicians". However, unlike musicians, the keyboard was always on-time, never complained and was always willing to do exactly what Toney wanted. Less hassle but also less fun.
Where do these melodic notes come from? And more importantly, what does one do with them? As believers, we know that all things come from God. It is like an inspirational stream that flows within us and we choose what to do with it. Toney believes that whatever inspiration one receives, if not acted upon, the inspiration returns to the stream and flows on perhaps never to be remembered again. He sought to capture the melodies, whatever way he could, and preserve them in song arrangements.
Toney never considered releasing these songs to the public because he was only experimenting. However, these melodies are shared in hopes that others may like them and other musicians might create their own renditions. It would be a pleasure to hear them.
This album could be a possible entry Into The Guinness Book of World Records or Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Yes . . . it's hard to believe . . .
but the following occurred and is true:
This album may have some historical significance in that it was the first album, composed entirely of "royalty-free" samples, ever to be registered at the U.S. Copyright Office.
At first the Copyright Office questioned whether the album could be registered because the samples were not created by Toney Senator. However, after a four month diliberation, they determined that the arrangements of the samples are original and a registration was eventually provided. Toney asked the official, that called him, if he was going to get some kind of award or plaque for being the first. He was told no . . . but be glad they were not going to bill him for all the time they spent working on it. Copyright Office officials told Toney that his album created a lot of stir and a lot of meetings due to his request for registration of compositions of non-original samplings. They had to create new documents and regulations. policies, procedures, etc.
So . . . although these recordings are basic, the album is unique and a part of historicity. This album was derived from two royalty-free, early CDs, purchased from Sonic Foundry years and years ago and were simply a little fun for Toney as he did some "playing around" with samples.
All Music on this site is protected
by the U.S. Copyright Office
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This is a special edition album. It is special due to the unusual circumstances in which the recordings were made. What do Atlanta & Saigon have in common . . . me!
Atlanta - Five original songs were recorded in 1979 at an Atlanta recording studio with the band I was in at that time. A studio technician was in one of my college classes and he reluctantly agreed to sneak us into the studio at midnight and record these songs and we only had to pay for the tape. However, there was a catch . . . we had to be in and out in 30 minutes . . . period (he was afraid he would lose his job if anyone found out about it). We set-up, recorded all five songs in seven takes and he had to do the mixdown (no editing) all within the 30 minute time frame. Because all the tracks are not separated, there is little editing that one can do afterwards. Therefore, the songs are presented just about exactly as they were recorded in 1979. It is amazing the tape was still usable after all these years. Because of the limited recording time and the inability to edit individual tracks, there are a lot of problems with the recordings. The quality of this album is not my purpose. As with all my music, I am in hopes that much better talent will create their versions . . . I would be delighted to hear them. I don't remember the name of our band. The only member name I recall is David Bernhart (sp?), the guitar player and back-up vocalist. The bass player was Sam and the drummer is the cousin of the famous Ray Stevens. The band did not survive long after the college period ended but the tape did.
Saigon - I served in Vietnam all of 1969 spending a lot of the tour in Saigon. Five original songs were recorded in my one-room apartment in Saigon with a $29 guitar and a $60 reel-to-reel tape recorder. I was alone. It is amazing the tape was still functional so I could use it. The quality of the recordings are not good at all. One can hear airplanes, helicopters, traffic horns, etc. on a few of the songs. On "Everybody Says", one can hear where the tape almost did not make it through the process. Why publish it if it is so bad? Re-recording the songs now would lose my younger voice, my guitar playing (albeit amateurish) and the historical significance . . . especially considering the warzone atmosphere. Hopefully someone will like the songs and want to perform their own versions.