THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ken Hensley, former Uriah Heep keyboard player and songwriter, passed away peacefully on Nov. 5 following a very short illness. My Book Of Answers was finished and scheduled for release before his death.
The album started with a chance encounter at an airport before a flight bound for Moscow in 2018, when Russian businessman Vladimir Emelin (whose hobby is writing poetry) approached Ken. Vladimir didn’t have a background in the music industry, and had never made a record but had been a big rock fan all his life, with a special appreciation of Ken. Hensley said: “As someone who does not believe in coincidence, I would like to say that it all happened by ‘divine chance!’ A chance meeting at Alicante Airport, scribbled notes exchanged on board the flight to Moscow, a few emails, a private concert and then a meeting at the Soho Bar in Alicante Harbour.”
From translations of Vladimir’s Russian words into English, Ken fashioned choruses and verses until he had the basis for nine original new songs. The main stumbling block to starting this record was finding the time to create it. And then the pandemic happened. Thankfully, advances in modern technology meant that this album could be created and completed remotely. The album sees Ken also returning to play slide and lead guitars as well as his classic Hammond playing and of course lead vocals.
Hensley was one of the most important musicians of the past half-century. His work with Uriah Heep in the 1970s helped to make the band hugely influential. He also collaborated with bands such as Blackfoot, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella, as well as building a very successful solo career. As a writer he was responsible for such classics as Lady In Black, Easy Livin, July Morning and Look At Yourself. Few artists can claim to have had a musical career and pedigree as long, varied and impressive.
We’ll leave the last word to Ken: “Vladimir and I hope that you will get some real pleasure from something that really defined itself as we went along … ”