The CD... Since 1995, Jeff Aug has released 3 solo instrumental acoustic guitar albums and toured Europe and the U.S. opening for such acts as Rush, Queensryche, Albert Lee, and Freaky Fukin Weirdoz. In 1999, Jeff hooked up with percussionist Niko Lai and toured the U.S. and Germany to support his 3rd solo guitar release Before then After. Shortly after the first U.S. tour, the duo named themselves Floating Stone and subsequently toured Germany and the U.S. under that name. The double CD album Segue includes 2 live concerts recorded during the German stretches of the tours in 1999 and 2000. As the first release from Floating Stone, Segue features material from all 3 solo guitar albums, as well as new material not available on any studio recordings. Both CD 1 & CD 2 were recorded spontaneously. Because of the live flair and exciting atmosphere of CD 1 and the subdued full-flavor of CD 2, Floating Stone felt that there would be no better segue to their studio album than first the release of this exquisite live double-set. The Band: JEFF AUG Between August 1992 and January 1997, Washington, D.C. born guitarist Jeff Aug released 3 albums and various singles with the D.C. based alternative rock band Sorry About Your Daughter and the acoustic duo Brandon. Both acts worked with names such as Don Zientara (Inner Ear Studios), producer John Avila (Oingo Boingo), and Deville Schober (Brainstorm Music Marketing). Tours throughout the U.S. and Europe included shows with artists like Ice-T and Bodycount, Terrence Trent DÂ´Arby, Lenny Kravitz, The Queers, Goldfinger, JimmieÂ´s Chicken Shack, Freaky Fukin Weirdoz, Dog Eat Dog, House of Pain, Godhead, Jawbox, and the Scorpions. Since 1995, Jeff Aug has released 3 solo instrumental acoustic guitar albums and toured Europe and the U.S. opening for such acts as Rush, Queensryche, Albert Lee, and Freaky Fukin Weirdoz. In 1999, Jeff hooked up with percussionist Niko Lai and toured the U.S. and Germany to support his 3rd solo guitar release Before then After. Shortly after the first U.S. tour, the duo named themselves Floating Stone and subsequently toured Germany and the U.S. under that name. The double CD album Segue includes 2 live concerts recorded during the German stretches of the tours in 1999 and 2000. As the first release from Floating Stone, Segue features material from all 3 solo guitar albums, as well as new material not available on any studio recordings. Both CD 1 & CD 2 were recorded spontaneously. Because of the live flair and exciting atmosphere of CD 1 and the subdued full-flavor of CD 2, Floating Stone felt that there would be no better segue to their studio album than first the release of this exquisite live double-set. Shortly after the release of 'Segue,' Floating Stone was approached by the British vocalist Anne Clark who wanted to put together an acoustic group. Drawn to the music of Floating Stone, Anne invited Jeff and Niko to join her group. The result was an outstanding success. Jeff enlisted pianist Murat Parlak and cellist Jann Michael Engel to form an acoustic super group. In November 2002, the Anne Clark acoustic band performed sold-out performances in Berlin (Germany), Darmstadt (Germany), Bischofswerda (Germany), and St. Niklaas (Belgium). The tour which included 14 cities in 6 different European countries reached over 7000 spectators. NIKO LAI Niko began his musical adventure at 12 years old as a rock and blues drummer. At 16, Niko played drums in the style of big band jazz in the U.S. and learned from such great professors as Steve Houghton and Charly Antolini. Later, in Germany, Niko learned from Benny Mokross, Ed Thigpen, Wolfgang Haffner, and Ramesh Shotheam. In 1994 and 1996, Niko studied African percussion and rhythm in Africa under the supervision of internationally known master drummer Mustafa Tete Addy in Ghana and performed as a member of the Royal Obonu Drummers in Accra. 1997 to 1998 included concerts with electronic artists in the styles of acid, techno, drum and bass, trance, house, and trip hop. Niko shared the stage with such artists as Ben Air (Dortmund, Germany) and DJ Icon (Berlin, Germany). 1999 included lessons in the rhythms of Northern Indian classical drumming under the supervision of the Sarod master Pandit Amit Battacharia which featured a concert together with Battacharia in Munich, Germany. The Story: In 1998, a year after the break-up of his world-renowned Washington, D.C. rock band Sorry About Your Daughter (Marlboro Music/Edel), Jeff took the big plunge and flew to Germany to support the release of his 2nd self-produced acoustic guitar album In the Breezeway. With the help of former Johnny Cash tourmanager Toon Sengers, Jeff toured throughout Germany and Holland as headliner and as support for Albert Lee. In the Spring of the same year, with the help of the Allgäu-based promotion company Brainstorm, Jeff performed throughout Germany and Austria as support for the Freaky Fukin WeirdozÂ´s HULA! Tour. Shortly after the tour, Brainstorm introduced Jeff to the newly founded Allgäu record company Corrosive Media which at the time was headed by Andreas Hagen (ex-Anscha singer). During the summer of 1998, Jeff recorded his 3rd solo album Before then After at the Corrosive Media Studios based in Krugzell. Before then After was a major development in JeffÂ´s unique trance-approach to the acoustic guitar. The album, which also features tracks produced by Raik Hildebrandt and Toon Sengers, was recorded and engineered by the acid-trance producer Ben Air (Brainwasher, Dosenöffner). Before then After received acclaimed reviews in Germany, England, and in the U.S. 6 months after the release of Before then After, Ben Air (Dortmund, Germany) arrived at Corrosive Media Studios where Jeff was now Promotion Director of Corrosive Media Records. This time, Ben arrived with percussionist Niko Lai (Dortmund, Germany). Ben and Niko spent the next 4 weeks recording and producing for their new acid-trance project Dosenöffner. Dosenöffner achieved great success with a live performance on the legendary satellite radio station EVOSONIC, as well as a special appearance at the Infinity party in Nachtshicht in Kempten. During DosenöffnerÂ´s rise to success, Niko found a clay pot sitting lonely in a dark corner of the Corrosive Media facility. This clay pot was nothing other than a Nigerian percussion instrument called Udu. As if this Udu were an extension of his own expression, Niko began tapping out polyrhythmic beats which echoed through the chambers of the studio. Jeff happened to be nearby. 2 days later found Jeff and Niko practicing regimentally as a guitar and percussion duo. Shortly after the infamous Dosenöffner performance at Infinity, Niko and Ben returned to Dortmund. Before parting ways, Dosenöffner secured a spot at the 1999 Pura Vida Summer Festival and Jeff invited Niko to perform with him at the same event. As promised, the 1999 Pura Vida Festival proved to be an experience to remember. Dosenöffner performed at the Boom Boom Zelt on Friday evening. Their performance set a positive driving vibe that would permeate the rest of the festival weekend. On Saturday, Jeff met up with Niko in the afternoon and the 2 musicians worked out the finer points of their performance later that day. Shortly before their performance at 7p.m., Jeff and Niko informed festival organizer Stefan Wörhle that they have settled Floating Stone as the name of their project. Stefan then announced Jeff and Niko as Floating Stone. Although only 'Jeff Aug' appeared on the flyer, Pura VidaÂ´s festival-goers remember the duoÂ´s name to this day. After 2 encores and endless rounds of applause, Jeff and Niko had officially presented themselves to the Allgäu community. 2 weeks after Pura Vida, Jeff and Niko flew to the U.S. for a 3-month, 73-concert tour. The U.S. tour as co-headliner with singer/songwriter Bill Inglis, mainly supported the Before then After release and the new Inglis album Buffalo, stretched from the East Cost to the West Coast and included performances in Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Diego, Nashville, and New York City. In November 1999, Niko and Jeff headed back to Germany for their first headliner show at Jugendhaus St. Andreas (Korchenbroich) with co-headliner Substyle (Motor Music / Universal). In a totally spontaneous move, Axel Terwerth and Hajue Eich of Überschall Radio Mönchengladbach recorded the Floating Stone performance. Just before a radio interview on Überschall Radio the next day, Hajue presented Jeff with a copy of the concert from the night before. From December 1999 to July 2000, Niko and Jeff performed sporadically at such Allgäu venues as Stilbruch, La Cucaracha, Sonthofer Kulturwerkstatt, Exit, and events such as the grand re-opening of the Janner Design studio in Immenstadt, art exhibits of the Kempten painter Frank Schwarz. Allgäu was definitely nothing like the U.S. Although crowds were always enthusiastic and fanatical about Floating Stone, many booking agents were afraid to take a chance on the strange, but beautiful music created by the esoteric-jazz duo. September 2000 found Jeff and Niko on tour in the U.S. once again. U.S. success for Floating Stone was never hard to come by. In fact, at one venue, Floating Stone sold over 40 cds to a sold-out audience which contained only 30 people. Venues ranged from large concert halls to small clubs and resorts. In December 2000, Frank Bodewig recorded Floating StoneÂ´s concert at the Galerie Café in Mönchengladbach. The concert at the Galerie Café featured special guest vocalist Michael Front (singer from Banana Peel Buzz, ex-Cambodonum Inc.) 2001 included many performances including Sonthofer Kulturwerkstatt and KemptenÂ´s Esperanto. Floating Stone performed in front of thousands at such events as 1001 Sommernacht (Rathausplatz Kempten) with Circus and Pura Vida (with Orange, Hypnotix, Rainer Von Vielen). The year ended with peace concert commemorating the September 11th terrorist attack on the U.S. The concert featured a heartfelt performance by Jamal (Kabul, Afghanistan) and Floating Stone (U.S., Germany) at Klecks in Kempten. During the early part of 2001, Floating Stone began distributing self-made copies of their concert recorded in Korchenbroich (Nov. 1999). By the end of the year, the demand for the live recording became so back-breaking (Jeff was burning 50 copies every weekend), that Floating Stone decided to release there 2 live recorded German performances in the form of a double CD called Segue. 'Segue,' a term used in classical music to describe a link between 2 musical passages, describes Floating StoneÂ´s transition from a solo guitar project to a new band. As a live album, Segue presents Floating Stone live and uncut and provides the musical bridge to the bandÂ´s first studio album to be released in 2003. Life is a journey and all are invited to the segue. The Journey: Floating Stone is virtuosity, but itÂ´s not out of reach or overbearing to everyday people. The group fuses the music style of Americana with elements of jazz, folk, and rock, along with African drumming styles, as well as melodies and rhythms of the Far East and India and brings a new colour to the term 'World Music.' Although their music is extreme in it's rhythmic and melodic structures, Floating StoneÂ´s music is accessible. The group has performed hundreds of concerts in the United States and Europe to audiences whose members range in age from 2 to 92. To have an audience is not the same as being able to hold the audience. When Floating Stone take the stage, attention is drawn, held, and entertained with humour, energy, and musical excitement. Niko with short hair and gold tooth sitting behind his udu and chimes in a crossed-legged Yoga position looks like a praying Buddha and will at any moment jump up and bang his foot or hand on the stage (or whatever might be around him) to add colour to the percussion (alaÂ´ STOMP). Jeff is basically the Lone Ranger, calm, cool, and collect, as well as the perfect foil to Niko. Mutt & Jeff, Batman & Robin - Jeff & Niko are the dynamic duo of acoustic instrumental world music fusion that offer visual excitement to their musically boundless performances. Floating StoneÂ´s travels throughout the world influence their music subtly, but profoundly. A local musician performing at a crafts fair (or even a domestic musician) is nice, but not exotic. Floating Stone bring stories of their travels to the microphone with anecdotes, movements, and, of course, music. Jeff will tell the story of performing in Turkey, illegally, and earning 3 million Turkish Lira (which, upon exchanging to American currency, revealed the worth of 20 American dollars!). Niko and Jeff will play with each other seemingly spontaneous -- although, orchestrated and composed. Floating StoneÂ´s music is unique and really can only be best described as Floating Stone. The duo have performed for jazz audiences and received standing ovations (Kulturwerkstatt Sonthofen, Germany), for hippie audiences and received encores (Pura Vida Festival 1999, 2001, 2002), to the 'hoots' and 'hollers' of rock audiences (as support act for such groups as Rush, Queensryche, Freaky Weirdoz), to the appreciation of world music audiences (Orient Meets Africa 2002, Dampfsage 2000), and to the acknowledgement of great musicianship (among other great compliments by Warren Zevon, The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mila Mar, Jelly Planet and others; Emmylou Harris & Everly Brothers guitarist Albert Lee announced to the audience after his opening performance, 'Jeff is a great guitarist' 1998).