Having founded, performed and recorded for over a decade with Charlotte, NC power-pop outfit, The Ravelers, multi-instrumentalist Mike Brown has chosen to take a completely new direction with his latest project. No longer feeling the constraints of maintaining a band with live performance obligations, Brown has taken full advantage of this freedom by pushing his music beyond the expected. As The Man From RavCon, Brown now focuses on creating adventurous and atmospheric instrumental music featuring Mellotron enriched arrangements accentuated by piano and organ, interweaving synths, throbbing bass, dynamic percussion, and tastefully melodic guitar work.
The first four Man From RavCon releases, Zombie Pimp Cowboys From Outer Space! (2010), Everything Is Golden (2010), Rides Again (2011) and Night of The Beast (2011), explored the sounds of spaghetti western, surf/instro rock, blaxploitation and B-Horror Cinema. These releases earned the praise of a wide variety of listeners and provided a solid foundation for future stylistic development.
In early 2012, The Man From RavCon attracted the attention of Austin, TX based Deep Eddy Records, and was asked to contribute three new tracks for il Triello: Three Western Tales. This compilation celebrated the classic sounds of the Spaghetti Western cinematic genre and garnered Brown kudos for his continued growth as a writer, arranger and producer.
With the arrival of The Traveler (2012), The Man From RavCon took a large step forward by effectively consolidating his various influences into what Creative Loafing reviewer Patrick Moran praised as his “most organic and integrated release to date.” The editors of Vintage Guitar Magazine were also impressed with The Traveler, and featured writer Kathleen Johnson’s glowing review in the top slot of the “Hit List” in their December 2012 issue. The Traveler, perhaps best considered as the soundtrack to an exotic retro vacation of the mind, remains a favorite of many fans.
Described by listeners as kaleidoscopic, stratospheric, transcendent and euphoric, Skyscraper (2013) further integrated and transformed The Man From RavCon’s varied influences into something truly unique. Skyscraper received outstanding press from a number of sources, including UK publication PROG Magazine, who’s reviews editor, Grant Moon, declared it to be a “straight-up classy affair bringing to mind some heavyweight artists, including Mike Oldfield, Vangelis, and Hank Marvin.” Skyscraper was the first Man From RavCon album to feature the striking artwork of Tyler Strouth, who’s uniquely surrealistic vision provided the perfect accompaniment to the music, and has been a feature of every Man From RavCon release since.
The Man From RavCon’s seventh album, The Puzzle Master (March 2015), delved deeper into the progressive rock territory explored on previous releases, featuring weaving synths & guitars, soaring mellotron, and alternate rhythms that provided listeners with an even more expansive listening experience. As reviewer, Ian Jane, of Rock.Shock.Pop.com remarked, “it’s the type of thing you want to lie down and listen to alone in the dark, just to really take it all in properly.” The album received high marks from critics at Progression Magazine, Sea of Tranquility, mwe3.com, and Progressive Music Planet, among others. The Puzzle Master was the first Man From RavCon release to feature outside musicians, with shining contributions from friends Larry Smith (lead guitar on Starlight) and Joe Diaco (keys on Bang). The track, Winter, was selected for inclusion on the Melodic Revolution Label’s 2015 holiday charity release, Spirit of December Vol. 5.
The Man From RavCon’s eighth album, Strange Universe, is now available. For up-to-date info, visit manfromravcon.com, where you can also stream and purchase all previous releases, and watch videos from the RavCon Records YouTube Channel, where, with the aid of talented photographer (and wife), Peggy Brown, The Man From RavCon has provided a wealth of content featuring some of the coolest “found footage” ever!