Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum

On electric 'cello

Fans for whom Robin Trower's work on the first PH album resembles nothing so much as an electrified 'cello will be intrigued by the contents of the following page, and by the concert opportunity mentioned at the bottom.

Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, of JohnSong Music, writes to 'Beyond the Pale':

I perform something like 300 pop / rock, jazz, blues, avant-garde, and classical pieces on an electric 'cello prototype that I call the Cellektra. My CD-R accompaniments are largely MIDI files that I've purchased (Tune 1000, etc) or captured off the internet.

The Procol Harum tunes I perform, A Whiter Shade of Pale and A Salty Dog, were MIDI files I found on the net. They were of exceptionally fine quality, as far as their attention to the original recordings, so I included them in my repertoire.

Needless to say, they both sound incredibly powerful on the Cellektra. I wish I had some more Procol Harum MIDI files to choose from. Maybe fans can help me locate others?

This is my pedalboard set-up currently:

  • Cellektra
    Mesa-Boogie V-Twin pre-amp
    MXR Phase90

    Morley Wah / Vol
    Ibanez Digital Delay
    SansAmp Classic
    Peavey KB-300 keyboard amp or ADA A10 Rocket amp (clubs)

  • Procol Harum works so well with the 'cello playing the solo melodic line. The baritone voice tessitura is hypnotic to a listener. It's almost the closest music I've found that combines rock ideas with traditional classical compositional techniques (PFM is another group whose original style allures my interest).

    That's why the Cellektra has such an attraction to the listener. They're so busy trying to figure this guy out playing a 'stick'-lookin' thang that they have to stop thinking that way because the music coming out is reaching them so deeply. People will forever stop everything when they hear a familiar melody a'coming at them.

    If you check out my webpage and click into products and services you'll see what I have available currently.

    Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson has spent the majority of his artistic career refining his talents as a performing artist. He has entertained audiences which have included Presidents and celebrities in a wide variety of concert performances. He is an inventor, author, publisher, and composer of music ranging from music for children to therapeutic recordings containing binaural brainwaves.

    As a lecturer, McFarland-Johnson has given speeches and workshops at various educators' conferences, in departments of music and institutes of higher learning. His knowledge and demonstration as a performing artist has received him [sic] wide acclaim.

    The Perfect ABC Songbook, a collection of 26 little songs designed to teach children the primary phonetic sounds of the English alphabet, took over 2 years of work for Jeffrey to compose and publish. It received a 1998 Parents' Choice Award.

    Typical applications of Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson's services have included:

    A Brief Resumé

    Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson performs regularly on the Cellektra, an electric 'cello prototype. The Cellektra was first conceived in 1980 and took 13 years to finish. Cellektra performances have taken place in outdoor arenas, concert halls, and night-clubs. In some performances an array of special effects pedals are [sic] utilized to give the listening audience a taste of many timbral colors.

    For more information go to

    Meanwhile, Jeffrey has been invited to play at a 'cello festival in the year 2000. Palers may want to mail him, enquiring about his recordings, and urging him to play some Procol Harum at the forthcoming gig!

    Dear Jeffrey,

    The New Directions 'Cello Association is very pleased to invite you to be a guest artist at our 6th annual New Directions 'Cello Festival which will be held at The University of Connecticut on 16 - 18 June, 2000.

    As the world's only festival dedicated exclusively to alternative and nonclassical 'cello, we feel fortunate to be able to continue this exciting annual symposium on the current state of the 'cello in popular musical styles. 'Cellists who have performed at our past festivals include David Darling, Mark Summer, David Baker, Eugene Friesen, Gideon Freudmann, Dawn Buckholz, Sean Grissom, Robert Een, Hank Roberts, Jami Sieber, Stephen Katz, David Eyges, Matthew Brubeck, Enrique Orengo, Sera Smolen, Matt Turner, Stephanie Winters, Rufus Cappodocia and Erik Friedlander.

    We would like you to consider performing a 50 - 60 minute set on one of our evening concerts. We would also like you to think about giving a workshop and or lead a jam session on any aspect of non-classical 'cello you choose. If you would like to perform, please send a proposal. This should include 1) a possible title for your performance, 2) a possible title(s) for a workshop and / or jam session, if you would like to lead one or both of these. If it works out for you to come, we will also need bio information for you and a photo.

    Please check your calendar and let us know soon if you would like to be a part of the 6th annual New Directions 'Cello Festival.

    Improvisationally yours,

    Chris White, Director,

    Procol Harum cover-versions

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