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Author Topic:   the secret combination

From: Cloverdale, California, USA

posted 12 June 2001 01:32 PM     profile     
I just received a shipment of CDs from the Netherlands. They are from Johan Janson's excellent country-rock band "the secret combination".

The music is intelligent, original country-rock in the tradition of Eagles and Flying Burritos. The lyrics, which are all in English, are included in the liner notes. It's a 7-piece band, but there's still plenty of steel to be heard and Johan is a very good player.

I haven't had time to add it to the catalog yet. You can order this imported CD from the Steel Guitar Forum for $18. Follow the instructions on our "How To Order" page. The item number is CD-SC01S.

[This message was edited by b0b on 12 June 2001 at 01:32 PM.]

Bobby Lee

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 13 June 2001 08:16 AM     profile     
A few other notes from Johan:

Rene van Barneveld (also known as Tres Manos from the Urban Dance Squad, a worldfamous popgroup) is the guitarplayer in The Secret Combination. He also plays slide guitar.

The band's web site is - You can find sound samples from the CD there.

Myron Labelle
posted 13 June 2001 02:16 PM           
bOb I am sending you a check ,I think that johann has hit a pocket on the demo song enough for me to buy the CD.It's great to hear the international flavor of the instrument. I met Johann in St. Louis in one of the rooms after the main show. Now I am disapointed he did not play.I love his capture on the the intro of the demo song. He is serious.


[This message was edited by Myron Labelle on 13 June 2001 at 02:19 PM.]

P Gleespen

From: Lakewood, OH USA (I miss Boston!)

posted 14 June 2001 04:12 AM     profile     
Urban Dance Squad!

I'm sure that most of you don't know who they were, but they were really way ahead of they're time with the rock/hiphop fusion thing. That first record from 1990 had some really great moments on it.

Johan Jansen

From: Europe

posted 15 June 2001 10:53 AM     profile     
Tres Manos is becoming a very good pedalsteelplayer, he just showed me a Williams 400 D10 8&8, he bought from a forumite. Has plays the steel with his slideguitarfeel, so slowhand ......
great!!! JJ


STEELDAYS 2002 March 29 & 30
my web-site
my bands CODand TSC

[This message was edited by Johan Jansen on 18 June 2001 at 03:08 PM.]

Bobby Lee

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 17 June 2001 10:50 PM     profile     
Johan Jansen

From: Europe

posted 22 June 2001 10:51 AM     profile     
some reviews:

Reviews on The Secret Combination
Introducing....The Secret Combination (Dureco cat. 1166942, USA: Steelguitar Forum CD-SC01S.)

1) The Secret Combination Live at Stairway to Heaven

Strong band 'on the side' by Mark Roos, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, may 31, 2001

The all-star band The Secret Combination has just about everything to make it to the top (charism, exceptional musical talent, routine and the ability to write memorable songs). That's a slight problem though, because The Secret Combination has no intention to make it.
Even better: these seven members look upon their band as something 'on the side', a get together with good friends, an unpretentious homage to Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Little Feat and other (american) heroes from their youth. They seldom play live. The crowded cd-presentation of their debut-album 'Introducing.....', last Tuesdaynight at Stairway to Heaven in Utrecht, was therefore an exception. A great exception, because everything during their show indicated that more than 150 years of stage-expierence was present that night.
With René van Barneveld (ex-Urban Dance Squad) and Wilmer Wolf (ex-Secret Sounds) The Secret Combination has two guitarists averse from ego-boosting and merely playing to attribute to the song. Drummer Toni Peroni and bassplayer Chip Visser have proven in their 80s band Secret Sounds to be a solid and groovy rhythm section.
The most striking musicians are pedalsteelplayer Johan Jansen and keyboardplayer Robin van Vliet, both providing the modest music with equally subtle and refined accents. The great unknown is frontman Jeff Mitchell, a singer/songwriter with an impressive dark-melancholic voice.
There's no musicologist in this country that could have spotted a single mistake last Tuesdaynight. The moving ballad 'Eye to Eye, a Tom Waits-alike 'Another Lover', the dreamy 'Running out of You': these songs really stick to you and are played with a perfection that can only be envied.
If any comment on The Secret Combination, it could be that the musicians approach their music in a very modest and humble way. No wild improvisations or ego-tripping on this stage. Even in the most psychedelic and virtuous encore-song 'Detour of Love', The Secret Combiantion never loses control.
Anyway, it's a joy to see such an impressive collection of topmusicians honour the american musical heritage of the 70s.

2) The Secret Combination
Dutch All Star band by Tom van Rijswijk, Haagsche Courant, may 26, 2001

They have already been called 'The Dutch Travelin' Wilbury's'. Of course it's a little overdone, but The Secret Combination is an all-star band like the american band, to whom they are compared. If you look at the names of the members, you'll find some names of famous Dutch bands. René van Barneveld, better known as Tres Manos from the Urban Dance Squad, Johan Jansen, pedalguitarplayer from Ilse de Lange's former band Cash on Delivery, keyboardwizzard Robin van Vliet (Slagerij van Kampen), drummer Toni Peroni, gitarist Wilmer Wolf and bassplayer Chip Visser from Secret Sounds. And of course Jeff Mitchell. Jeff who ? Mitchell is The Great Unknown in this company. That's going to change, because he has proven to be a very talented and productive singer/songwriter. All fifteen songs from the debut-album 'Introducing' are written by him.

All songs are written and performed in the style of heroes like Neil Young and Gram Parsons. Whether you call it countryrock, rootsmusic, americana or nostalgia: their roots lie very clearly in the early 70s.

'Neil Young's 'Harvest', Little Feat, Gram Parsons with The Flyin' Burrito Brothers; it's the music we grew up with', according to Mitchell. 'When punkmusic arrived, it was not 'cool' to be seen with those albums any more, but today everything goes. The love for this music has never disappeared. And we're not alone. Musicians like Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson are now all widely re-appreciated.'
The echos of this musical style are evident on this great album, that has been recorded almost 'in one take' at the Starsound Studios in Utrecht. It's a timeless and universal album with mostly modest, melancholy country- and rocksongs. Only a couple of times the band breaks free.

For instance in the Tom Waits-alike 'Another Lover' (enriched with tuba and an old ramshackle harmonium); on the catchy uptempo 'How far is hello' and the powerful, psychedelic 'Detour of Love', with some amazing guitar- and pedalsteelguitarsolos. Mitchell: This music is timeless and could have been recorded 30 years ago. Everything you hear is real, performance is the key. We haven't tried to produce it any different than the way we recorded it. The reason why it sounds so good and natural is due to the musical instruments and the vintage recording equipment we have chosen to use. And of course we've all been here before!'

The Secret Combiantion has a special way of recording. Mitchell and guitarist/singer Wolf put down the song as a sober demo for their friends. About once every six weeks they all meet, enjoy a good meal and rehearse the new songs and record it the next day. Mitchell: 'within one hour a song comes alive and is solid as a rock. Everybody plays in attribution to the song and the themes and riffs the songs needs pop up while rehearsing. We then record it in the 'Nashville way', a one take track. All very natural, without too much assertiveness or ego-games.'

3) Some notes from other reviews:

Aloha, june 2001:
'I suggest they start a tour, because we can't think of a dutch band that play countryrock at such an outstanding international level like The Secret Combination. Especially the voice and songs by Jeff Mitchell' are due to this.

Quality, june 2001
'An album by a band that is not concerned with egos and attitudes, but puts the songs up front in honour of their own roots. Quality !'

BRTO-radio, june 2001
'If Neil Young quits the scene, it's good to know that his reincarnation Jeff Mitchell lives in Holland'

Country Gazette, june 2001
'Fingerlickin' album for folk and countrylovers'

Leidsch Dagblad, may 2001
Where most bands try anything to get attention, The Secret Combination prefers a low-profile approach. But their debut-album 'Introducing' deserves all the spotlights'

Utrechts Nieuwblad, may 2001
'Holland has its own 'Travelin' Wilburys'. The Secret Combination is the name of the all-star band, impressing on their debut-album with a musical homage to the heroes of their own youth.'

Dutch Country Magazine, june 2001
'The Secret Combination is a very pleasant surprise'. No ordinary work, but a well-thought concept that is made with love for the music.'

Nieuwsblad Noorden, may 2001
'A unique country-album with an outstanding Jeff Mitchell'

Plato Mania, june 2001
'Singer/Songsmith Mitchell knows how to create a nostalig atmosphere that other bands in this style don't seem to capture. For genuine, California countryrocklovers, this album is a must !'


Harry Hess

From: Blue Bell, PA., USA

posted 23 June 2001 09:11 PM     profile     
It's good to see our buddy from "over there" doing well and having a good time. Keep on a-pickin' and a-grinnin' Johan and get them Europeans hopped up and into the PSG. Enjoy what you have going there Johan and remember... these are the good old days.


Bobby Lee

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 24 June 2001 09:32 AM     profile     
I finally got it into the catalog. Here's the cover picture. Click it for the catalog entry.

Johan Jansen

From: Europe

posted 25 June 2001 02:41 PM     profile     
The website is there , now under:
enjoy, and please write the guestbook!
Johan Jansen

From: Europe

posted 09 July 2001 09:02 AM     profile     
Hi guys,
we try to get a licencedeal or the USA for this album.(promotion and distribution) Anyone of you has contacts with companies that dig this kind of music, and will move their butt for this band?
Please, let me know! Thanks, Johan


STEELDAYS 2002 March 29 & 30
my web-site
my bands CODand TSC

Dan Tyack

From: Seattle, WA USA

posted 09 July 2001 09:46 AM     profile     
This is a great band and great album. And they are all fantastic guys to hang with. Johan's playing is excellent, as is Rene's (Tres Manos). Rene is an awesome guitar player, and when he gets his chops up on steel, we all are going to be in for a treat.


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