Kirk Bartholomew developed his healthy obsession with music as a young man growing up along the eastern seaboard of the United States, primarily in Massachusetts and Florida. The rock bug bit him hard and he focused on his bass guitar for a number of years, leading to a move to the west coast and a reputable showing on the southern California rock and metal scenes.
A series of high profile gigs with the band Witnesses culminated in playing the Rose Bowl by invitation in front of a crowd of 30,000 people. In the role of bandleader, Kirk gave his other most famous band, Amasa (pronounced "a-ma-say"), his Native American middle name. This band took a more exploratory approach to rock, and at one point included a couple of appearances in the recording studio by Marc Soucy on keyboards, and old friend from back east.
Meanwhile, Kirk had been developing his chops on his other principle instrument, the six-string guitar. This ongoing development has led to his performances with El Kapitan on various electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and slide guitar, as well as his first love, the electric bass. Kirk's playing has earned him numerous guitar and amplification product endorsements, including GHS strings, Seymour Duncan pickups, Washburn guitars, Digitech effects, and David Eden Amplification.
The name "El Kapitan" has a long and winding history, starting with the development of a nickname for Kirk, "The Captain", by his band mates in California. Kirk became primarily known under this name in the music industry, and jokes about being "Captain Kirk" to a lot of people. When time came for the new project with keyboardist/producer Marc Soucy to find a name, "El Kapitan" came to mind as a spin-off of that. In this case, the El Kapitan refers to the famous cliff site in Yosemite National Park. Naming the band after a huge, very hard to climb object seemed appropriate for the type of music El Kapitan would tackle, and Kirk has been the catalyst for each new cd the band produces, by acting as its executive producer, as well as his roles in songwriting and performance.
Marc Soucy started taking classical piano lessons at the tender age of three-and-a-half years old, and didn't stop until he discovered rock and R&B music in his teens. By age thirteen, he had been playing for almost ten years, but didn't yet know what a blues progression was. This ironically has been Marc's biggest advantage as a keyboardist and as a composer, since that early classical training provided natural dexterity and keyboard technique, as well as a strong linear-or melodic--approach to music.
Born and raised and still living in his native Massachusetts, Marc has a broad range of stage and studio experience, including several cover bands. Every few years, he takes the effort to study the piano once again, usually in a different style, or using a different approach, than he has in the past, just to get the "creative juices" flowing. Known primarily as a progressive rock and techno/synth pop keyboardist, Marc has played on over seventy recording projects. Original live bands have included Antarctica (progressive rock), The Fuse ("progressive punk"), Joey Ammo (power pop), Sushi Bar (industrial), Eros Eros (pop rock), 7 South (soul/funk), and Foko (progressive guitar rock).
Marc has owned and operated his own music production company, Marc One Music Productions, since 1992, going fulltime as a producer, composer, and keyboard/midi session man in 1997. He was endorsed as an artist by Korg USA for several years, and has been a member of ASCAP since 1994. His focus on custom programming the sounds he will play on each song makes his presence a valuable enhancement to every project he works on. This is nowhere truer than with El Kapitan.
"There's no doubt that a session I did with Kirk and Amasa out in a Santa Barbara studio a few years ago laid the groundwork for this project. It doesn't resemble it much, but the few improvised keyboard tracks I put on some of his songs made me realize that there was a real common ground between us..."
"El Kapitan is about musical exploration and communicating emotions in a very direct way, whether those emotions are positive and relaxing, or aggressive and physical. When we apply rules, we tend to be creative, even with THEM. This is how we arrived at "Retroscape" from our much more invasive previous recordings. We decided it was time to take a deep breath and relax a little"
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2. Concord Shores
5. Bowie in Traffic
7. Trail Of Tears
8. Marblehead Vice
10. Imagine That?
11. Bowie in Traffic (unplugged)