Honey West

Honey West

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Honey West on New York Press Day

Honey West makes the rounds with National Media on New York Press Day.

Bio

A British rock giant and an acclaimed and respected member of New York's acting community walk into a recording studio ... and produce one of 2017's strongest and most compelling albums.

This odd couple consists of multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, a founding member of both King Crimson and Foreigner, and guitarist and lead vocalist Ted Zurkowski, co-founder of New York's celebrated Shakespeare ensemble, Frog & Peach, and a long-time member of the world-famous Actors Studio. Together, this unlikely new songwriting team conjured the album Bad Old World under the banner of their quartet, HONEY WEST.

Bad Old World is filled with memorable melodies and clever and sophisticated lyrics served on a bed of guitar-driven rock 'n' roll played by top-shelf musicians, including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include Paul McCartney & Wings and many others, and McDonald's son, Maxwell McDonald, on bass. The album also boasts a guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants) on bass ("Brand New Car," "California," "A Girl Called Life"). While it's a modern sound stamped by Ian McDonald's world-class musicianship and production, it also bears an instant familiarity, thanks to a sonic blueprint recalling such Brit-rock titans as The Move and Mott the Hoople.

Representative of the band's distinct sound is Bad Old World's self-deprecating first single, "Dementia," a four-on-the-floor rave-up that melds a driving beat and rampaging guitars with McDonald's signature baritone sax and Zurkowski's unique brand of lyrical mischief.

With a cheeky nod to McDonald's British roots, there also is a helping of sly humor that permeates HONEY WEST: Witness the new video containing the hard-charging "Generationless Man," which pays homage to both the visual style of the Beatles' influential film A Hard Day's Night, and the wackiness of fellow countryman Benny Hill.

As is usually the case in artistic collaborations, the pairing of McDonald and Zurkowski was the result of fate - and, in this case, proximity as well.

"We literally lived across the street from one another in Manhattan," McDonald explains. "I would notice Ted and his wife as they would come and go, walking their dog and whatnot. We ended up speaking and I discovered Ted was in a band."

"We simply plugged in, and immediately clicked," adds Zurkowski, picking up the story. "We had a 'two-guitar thing' right from the get-go. That very rarely happens. We started right in writing songs."

Asked why it took decades to find himself in a guitar-propelled band, McDonald reckons: "I guess I had never met the right writing partner before. It took a while to meet somebody who wrote great lyrics. There aren't that many great lyric writers who can sing and play guitar as well. When Ted and I got together, I was really pleased to be able to do that."

HONEY WEST - named in honor and celebration of the proto-feminist 1960s cult TV spy series starring the ever-alluring Anne Francis - was already up and running when the two came together. For McDonald, discovering the scope and breadth of Zurkowski's talents was the catalyst for wanting to create a musical partnership.

"Ted's lyrics are very smart," says McDonald. "I like smart lyrics, I like smart music. The songs revolve around a more-or-less complete lyric. That's slightly unusual for me, or for the way things are usually done. This has ended up being a really good partnership."

As for Ted's transition from Shakespearean actor to rock 'n' roll front man, he couldn't be happier.

"Now," he notes, "I don't lose five pounds every show playing Hamlet."

Press Releases

May 19, 2017
HONEY WEST, FEATURING FOREIGNER & KING CRIMSON CO-FOUNDER IAN McDONALD AND "ODD COUPLE" SONGWRITING PARTNER, SHAKESPEARE THESPIAN TED ZURKOWSKI, RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM, "BAD OLD WORLD," OUT TODAY!

NYC Guitar Rockers to Host New York Album Launch Event May 24

Kanye West, T. Rex, Ozzy Osbourne, April Wine, Angela Bofill, Herbie Mann, Jerry Jeff Walker, Many Others, Add to McDonald's Legacy as 'Secret Sauce' Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer

"It merits some attention when Ian McDonald gets excited about something." BILLBOARD.COM (Exclusive Video Premiere)

"Infectious." ABC NEWS RADIO

"A strong rock 'n' roll album." M MUSIC & MUSICIANS

"A 12-song gem of wry lyrics, live sounding rollicking, and right-in-the-pocket production." VINTAGE ROCK

"A great moment in music history." Arroe Collins/iHEART RADIO

"Solid grooves, tight musicianship, and great songs that tell great stories. That rare kind of new music that got me into rock 'n' roll in the first place." Jacky Bam Bam/WMMR Philadelphia

"Pure musical bliss. All of the tracks have something new to offer." Brett Maybee/WGWE Buffalo

"Reminiscent of Harrison and Lennon at their best. ... A truly perfect album. ... Lively and Fresh. ... Wonderful listening indeed." SHORT AND SWEET (NYC & LA)

"Unashamedly good fun [and] classy. 4 STARS" SEA OF TRANQUILITY

NEW YORK (May 19, 2017) - This bad, old world gets exponentially better today, as HONEY WEST releases Bad Old World (Readout Records), an explosive collection introducing a remarkable and unusual songwriting collaboration between unassuming British rock titan Ian McDonald, founding member of both Foreigner and King Crimson, and noted Shakespearean actor Ted Zurkowski, a pillar of New York's theater community by way of world-renowned method acting haven The Actors Studio.

Though constructed on the fundamental foundation of two guitars, bass and drums, the mirthful music on Bad Old World - which multi-instrumentalist McDonald also produced - is sophisticated and multi-textured, thanks to the indispensable instrumental and compositional talents of McDonald, and the sly, knowing word craft of lead singer-guitarist and co-composer Zurkowski.

McDonald maintains that his songwriting partner's cunning way with words was his raison d'etre for joining HONEY WEST in the first place.

"Ted's lyrics are very smart," says McDonald. "I like smart lyrics, I like smart music. This ended up being a really good partnership."

Aiding and abetting McDonald and Zurkowski in HONEY WEST is a troupe of top-shelf musicians including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include, among other notable artists, Paul McCartney & Wings, and McDonald's son Maxwell on bass. Bad Old World also boasts a special guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants), who plays bass on several tracks.

The Album Launch Event is set for Wednesday, May 24 at Bowery Electric in New York City.

Premiering exclusively on Billboard.com, the self-deprecating first single, "Dementia," is a perfect portal into the off-kilter world of HONEY WEST, so named after the groundbreaking 1960s TV series about a sexy female secret agent. "Dementia," the album's closing track, is a tightly wound, foot-stomping, Saturday-night rocker highlighted by McDonald's baritone sax - which originally left a memorable imprint on T. Rex's iconic "Get It On (Bang A Gong)." But Zurkowski's typically droll, self-deprecating lyrics elevate the song far beyond the typical party-hearty blueprint, and identify its creators as a rock 'n' force.

The high concept "Dementia" lyric video was conceived and directed by Maxwell McDonald, adding to his duties as the band's bass player. Calling the lyric video "inventive," Billboard.com said it "merits some attention when Ian McDonald gets excited about something."

While McDonald's formidable gifts as an instrumentalist, arranger and producer are front-and-center with HONEY WEST on Bad Old World, they represent a new role for the artist who for decades has been revered as a musician's musician - the one everyone else would check out ... and envy! His sterling rock legacy has been primarily forged in the background as the "secret sauce" if you will, for a wide range of recordings which further extends to the likes of Kanye West, Ozzy Osbourne, April Wine, Angela Bofill, Herbie Mann, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nash the Slash, and beyond.

When Zurkowski's intelligent and playful lyrics are blended with the musical aptitude of HONEY WEST's co-composers, sonic sparks can't help but fly. Not only is his background as a Shakespearean actor entrenched at The Actors Studio (unorthodox by music-world standards), it also indicates McDonald's propensity for driving a bulldozer through convention.

As such, Bad Old World by HONEY WEST has given rise to a new name in 2017 for peerless musicianship, a substantial, yet fun, lyrical point of view, and the kind of jump-from-the-speakers excitement which has always marked the best in rock music.

Bad Old World is available today on all major digital services, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify. Here's the iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bad-old-world/id1223188582?ls=1&app=itunes.

HONEY WEST ON THE WEB:
www.honeywestmusic.com
www.facebook.com/honeywestmusic

Honey West: Bad Old World
Track Listing:

1. The September Issue
2. Brand New Car
3. Bad Old World
4. She's Not Your Life
5. Sylvia Strange
6. Generationless Man
7. California
8. Sailing
9. A Girl Called Life
10. Old Man
11. Terry & Julie
12. Dementia

May 9, 2017
HONEY WEST PREMIERES 'DEMENTIA' VIDEO WITH BILLBOARD.COM

1st SINGLE FROM NYC GUITAR ROCKERS FEATURING 'ODD COUPLE' SONGWRITING DUO IAN McDONALD OF FOREIGNER & KING CRIMSON AND SHAKESPEARE THESPIAN TED ZURKOWSKI OF THE ACTORS STUDIO

Groundbreaking Lyric Video Conceived and Directed by Maxwell McDonald, Son of British Rock Titan and Honey West Bass Player

Bad Old World Debut Album Due for May 19 Release via Readout Records

NEW YORK (May 9, 2017) - Following an exclusive premiere with Billboard.com, HONEY WEST, the New York guitar-rock band featuring the new "odd couple" songwriter team of Foreigner and King Crimson co-founder Ian McDonald and Shakespearean thespian Ted Zurkowski of The Actors Studio, today released the groundbreaking lyric video for DEMENTIA, the "infectious" (ABC News Radio), self-deprecating 1st single from the group's explosive debut album, Bad Old World, due May 19 on Readout Records.

Watch the video for "Dementia"

DEMENTIA, the album's closing track, is a tightly wound, foot-stomping, Saturday-night rocker highlighted by multi-instrumentalist McDonald's baritone sax - which originally left a memorable imprint on T. Rex's iconic "Get It On (Bang A Gong)." Zurkowski's typically droll, self-deprecating lyrics elevate the song far beyond the typical party-hearty blueprint, and identify its creators as a rock 'n' force. Calling the lyric video "inventive," Billboard.com said it "merits some attention when Ian McDonald gets excited about something."

DEMENTIA is a perfect portal into the off-kilter world of HONEY WEST, so named after the groundbreaking 1960s TV series about a sexy female secret agent.

The high concept lyric video was conceived and directed by Ian's son, Maxwell McDonald, already his father's first-time bandmate as Honey West's bass player. Furthering the band's cockeyed spirit as a first-time director as well, Maxwell used tarot cards to display the song's lyrics while a seemingly endless array of items from his father's apartment emerges, Lazy Susan style, on a rotating round table. Shot in just one take, the video's live prop-styling was choreographed by Maxwell's wife, production designer Lauren Bahr, a New York set designer and art director in the fashion arena.

"Coming up with the video was my way of contributing creatively to the band," says Maxwell. "It's a small art film that interprets and builds off the subject of the song. Honey West isn't your average rock band, so even something as simple as a lyric video was an opportunity to create something novel and evocative."

ABC News Radio called DEMENTIA "infectious," citing - you guessed it - McDonald's "rocking" sax solo. The track is available now as a single on all major digital services, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify. Bad Old World, earned a 4-star review in Sea of Tranquility ("unashamedly good fun [and] classy"), and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Album pre-orders on iTunes come with "instant gratification" track of DEMENTIA included in purchase. Here's the iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bad-old-world/id1223188582?ls=1&app=itunes.

Aiding and abetting McDonald and Zurkowski in HONEY WEST is a troupe of top-shelf musicians including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include, among other notables, Paul McCartney & Wings. BAD OLD WORLD also boasts a special guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants), who plays bass on several tracks.

April 12, 2017
OUT FRIDAY: DEMENTIA, 1st SINGLE FROM NYC GUITAR ROCKERS HONEY WEST, FEATURING 'ODD COUPLE' SONGWRITING DUO IAN McDONALD OF FOREIGNER & KING CRIMSON AND SHAKESPEAREAN MEMBER OF THE ACTORS STUDIO

'Bad Old World' Debut Album Due for May 19 Release via Readout Records

"Infectious" - ABC News Radio

NEW YORK (April 12, 2017) HONEY WEST, the New York guitar-rock band featuring the new "odd couple" songwriter pairing of Foreigner and King Crimson founding member Ian McDonald, and Shakespearean thespian Ted Zurkowski of The Actors Studio, will be releasing DEMENTIA, the self-deprecating 1st single from its explosive debut album, Bad Old World (Readout Records), this Friday (April 14).

DEMENTIA, the album's closing track, is a tightly wound, foot-stomping, Saturday-night rocker highlighted by multi-instrumentalist McDonald's baritone sax - which originally left a memorable imprint on T. Rex's iconic "Get It On (Bang A Gong)." But Zurkowski's typically droll, self-deprecating lyrics elevate the song far beyond the typical party-hearty blueprint, and identify its creators as a rock 'n' force. DEMENTIA is a perfect portal into the off-kilter world of HONEY WEST, so named after the groundbreaking 1960s TV series about a sexy female secret agent.

ABC News Radio called DEMENTIA "infectious," citing - you guessed it - McDonald's "rocking" sax solo. The track will be available as a single on all major digital services, including iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify. Bad Old World, due May 19, will be simultaneously available for pre-order this Friday on iTunes and Amazon. Those who pre-order the album on iTunes will receive an "instant gratification" track of DEMENTIA included in the purchase. Here's the iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bad-old-world/id1223188582?ls=1&app=itunes.

Aiding and abetting McDonald and Zurkowski in HONEY WEST is a troupe of top-shelf musicians including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include, among other notable artists, Paul McCartney & Wings, and McDonald's son Maxwell on bass. BAD OLD WORLD also boasts a special guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants), who plays bass on several tracks.

March 30, 2017
ROCK ROYALTY MEETS 'METHOD' MADNESS, AS HONEY WEST INTRODUCES IMPROBABLE NEW SONGWRITING DUO ON MISCHIEVOUS, GUITAR-FUELED DEBUT, BAD OLD WORLD

Foreigner and King Crimson Founding Member Ian McDonald Relishes Fresh Chemistry with Shakespeare Centric Member of The Actors Studio

'Bad Old World' Due for May 19 Release via Readout Records

First single, 'Dementia,' available April 14

NEW YORK (March 30, 2017) - This bad, old world will get exponentially better May 19 when HONEY WEST releases Bad Old World (Readout Records), an explosive new collection that introduces a remarkable songwriting collaboration between unassuming British rock titan Ian McDonald, founding member of both Foreigner and King Crimson, and noted Shakespearean actor Ted Zurkowski, a pillar of New York's theater community by way of world-renowned method acting haven The Actors Studio.

Though constructed on the fundamental foundation of two guitars, bass and drums, the mirthful music on Bad Old World - which multi-instrumentalist McDonald also produced - is sophisticated and multi-textured, thanks to the indispensable instrumental and compositional talents of McDonald, and the sly, knowing word craft of lead singer-guitarist and co-composer Zurkowski.

McDonald maintains that his songwriting partner's cunning way with words was his raison d'etre for joining HONEY WEST in the first place.

"Ted's lyrics are very smart," says McDonald. "I like smart lyrics, I like smart music. This ended up being a really good partnership."

Aiding and abetting McDonald and Zurkowski in HONEY WEST is a troupe of top-shelf musicians including drummer Steve Holley, whose credits include, among other notable artists, Paul McCartney & Wings, and McDonald's son Maxwell on bass. Bad Old World also boasts a special guest appearance by Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, They Might Be Giants), who plays bass on several tracks.

The self-deprecating first single, "Dementia," due April 14, is a perfect portal into the off-kilter world of HONEY WEST, so named after the groundbreaking 1960s TV series about a sexy female secret agent. "Dementia," the album's closing track, is a tightly wound, foot-stomping, Saturday-night rocker highlighted by McDonald's baritone sax - which originally left a memorable imprint on T. Rex's iconic "Get It On (Bang A Gong)." But Zurkowski's typically droll, self-deprecating lyrics elevate the song far beyond the typical party-hearty blueprint, and identify its creators as a rock 'n' force.

While McDonald's formidable gifts as an instrumentalist, arranger and producer are front-and-center with HONEY WEST on Bad Old World, they represent a new role for the artist who has for decades been revered in the music industry as a musician's musician - the one everyone else would check out ... and envy! His sterling rock legacy has been primarily forged in the background as the "secret sauce" if you will, for a wide range of recordings which further extends to the likes of Kanye West, Ozzy Osbourne, April Wine, Angela Bofill, Herbie Mann, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nash the Slash, and beyond.

When Zurkowski's intelligent and playful lyrics are blended with the musical aptitude of HONEY WEST's co-composers, sonic sparks can't help but fly. Not only is his background as a Shakespearean actor entrenched at The Actors Studio (unorthodox by music-world standards), it also indicates McDonald's propensity for driving a bulldozer through convention.

As such, Bad Old World by HONEY WEST has given rise to a new name in 2017 for peerless musicianship, a substantial, yet fun, lyrical point of view, and the kind of jump-from-the-speakers excitement which has always marked the best in rock music.

Honey West: Bad Old World
Track Listing:

1. The September issue
2. Brand New Car
3. Bad Old World
4. She's Not Your Life
5. Sylvia Strange
6. Generationless Man
7. California
8. Sailing
9. A Girl Called Life
10. Old Man
11. Terry & Julie
12. Dementia

Honey West | Bad Old World
Readout Records
Release Date: May 19, 2017

Honey West

Randy Alexander

President & CEO
906 Jonathan Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.596.1410

High-Res Images

All photos © 2017 Sebastian Sabal-Bruce