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  The Windsor Times

  Windsor family band creates new CD, awaits word from Hollywood

Wednesday, December 31, 2003 – The Windsor Times
By Bert Williams


Mystic Seamen
On Dec. 20 the Mystic Seamen converged, from several points around the country, at the Windsor Community Center for a performance to introduce their new CD. Eighteen musicians collaborated to create the music. Above, Gary Millan, Shaun Bond, Jeffrey Millan and Mark Millan sang backup while Al Millan took the lead during the Saturday night gig.

Brothers Al, Gary and Mark Millan were camping at Lake Tahoe with their families in August of 2002. They had brought their guitars along, thinking they might break them out in the evening around the campfire. Instead, Mark recalled recently, they did little else than make music together.

The camp out marked the beginning of a family project that came to full fruition this month with the issuing of a new CD. The recording, entitled “Dusk, Not Doom,” is a multi-generational effort of family members and friends playing straight-ahead rock music. The band celebrated on Dec. 20 at the Windsor Community Center with a concert for other friends and family.

“The song ‘Dusk, Not Doom’ embodies what the whole CD is about,” said Mark. It became a way for us to articulate out emotions about everything that’s been going on after 9/11/”.

Millan owns the public relations firm Data Instincts, which specialized in water-related issues. Millan’s largest PR project of late had been the Geysers Pipeline, and it hasn’t left a lot of time for hobbies and diversions. “I’ve been busy having a career and life and kids,” said Millan.

But music has always been part of Millan’s life. He became a member of A.S.C.A.P. (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) in 1980 because he was writing advertising jingles for the radio.
“Getting my jingles on the air is what got me into advertising and PR,” said Millan.

The new CD is not his first recording venture. Millan produced half a dozen vinyl LPs for groups in the late 1980’s, including The Money, The Feel, and the Robots.
Mark and brothers Al and Gary have a shared history of making music together. It wasn’t hard, then, to get back into a musical groove at the Tahoe camp out.
“We played for two or three days straight,” said Millan. “The old guys were playing and the young guys were playing.”

The “young guys” included Gary’s son Jevon, Mark’s son Jeffrey and Mark’s nephew Shawn Bond, who is an English teacher and a writer.

“The first day was actually pretty terrible,” said Mark. But the music kept their interest, they kept playing, and the music got increasingly less terrible.

The final result on the CD is a mix, not just of old guys and young guys, but of old songs and new songs.
“One of the songs, I wrote when I was 18 in Europe,” said Mark who has just turned 50. “I found the lyrics, tweaked them a little bit, and now it’s on the CD.” Mark’s brother Al has been writing since he was 12.

Another of the songs on the recording began life as a poem Jeffrey, a 13-year-old Windsor Middle School eighth grader, wrote for a school assignment. The song ended up being a father and son project. Jeffrey wrote the lyrics. Mark put them to music.

Producing the CD has been a geographical as well as a logistical challenge. One of the nephews who appears on the recording lives in Florida. Another lives in Boston. And they’re all busy guys.

“We knocked this out between the rigors of daily life,” said Mark. Initial recordings were made by the group in November of 2002. As the project continued to take shape, the brothers, sons, uncles and nephews began to realize that they needed recruits to fill in some gaps. Harry Green, a music teacher from San Francisco and a friend of Shawn’s, played drums on some cuts and bass on others. Lesa Connell, a friend of Mark’s, who sings regularly at the Spring Hills Community Church, sang lead vocals and also backup vocals. Other musicians, some dating clear back to Mark’s grammar school days, made contributions. The final production included 18 musicians.
“It’s mainstream rock,” said Millan. “Influences include Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and some jazz. It’s an eclectic mix. …These songs are about real stuff- life, love, losing.”

 “It’s all your own experiences,” said Connell who had been listening in on the conversation.

The group chose for itself the name “The Mystic Seamen.” “We had about 100 names,” said Millan. “This is the one that stuck. It’s inspired by the song ‘Set Your Sail.’”

The label on the CD is Ellie Mae Music, a publishing company that the brothers have owned for 24 years, named for their mom.

“Whether of not we do more just depends on what happens with this,” said Millan.

Something might happen.

The CD is now available on,, iTunes and Poor Man’s Music in Windsor. The CD cover was created by John Maxwell. A Hollywood movie set decorator who used to be in a band with Al Millan.
Mark said that one of the CD’s songs, “Send Me an Angel,” is being considered for use on the soundtrack of a Cameron Crowe movie. If that were to happen, this CD might go somewhere. And then there could be other projects.

“Right now I’m working on the hip-hop thing,” said Mark.
The group decided to produce 1,000 CDs to start off. So far, there are still some available.

Copyright © 2003 Ellie Mae MusicCopyright © 2003 Ellie Mae Music
Cover Art: John Maxwell
Web Site Design: GraphicSmiths