The first version of Mountain Castle consists of: Mikio Sankey, main composer and guitarist; Ynez Anthony, lead vocalist and lyricist; Edwing Sankey, guitar, ukulele, zithers, butterfly harp, keyboards and composer; and Tadashi Namba, keyboards, recording and remix engineer.
The second version of Mountain consists of: Edwing Sankey, main composer, lead guitarist, ukulele, zithers, and butterfly harp; Mikio Sankey, composer and guitarist; Jahsha Moore, lead vocalist and lyricist; Tadashi Namba, keyboards, recording and remix engineer: Samson Young, drums and bass.
Friends of the Mountain Castle project include:
Lester McFarland (electric bass); Samson Young (drums); Hector Quintanilla-Galvan (congas, timbales and percussions); Jean Sudbury (violin and viola); Maury Baker (drums); Cal Bezemer (piano – When the Leaves Turn Green); Carl Royce (acoustic upright bass – Couldn’t See the Truth); Winston Ravel (piano); Billy Johnson (congas –Keep Smiling); Virenia Lind (backup vocals); Gretje Angell (backup vocals).
Mountain Castle Music is based in Los Angeles, California led by Mikio Sankey. The musicians are an eclectic blend of professional creative artists. This is a musical journey into what I call a Mountain Story. I don’t know what to call the music other than Mountain Castle Music. All the music consists of original composition. The songs are a blend of rock, rhythm & blues, a tinge of latin, sounds of Asia, country, jazz, folk and Americana.
Mountain Castle is the Japanese translation of my last name, Sankey. “San” can be translated as mountain and “key” (“ki”) can be translated as castle.
Some songs in the forthcoming album Into the Mountain might seem a little long. But, sometimes when we are a little older, it takes longer to tell a story. Perhaps we have more to share. Enjoy the Journey into the Mountain. This will be a double-disc album.
Ynez Anthony began singing early in life. She has enjoyed a successful career performing on stage, television and traveling the world as a background singer for some of the most famous singers and entertainers including: Olivia Newton-John, Marvin Gaye, Telly Savalez, Englebert Humperdinck, Demis Roussos , Juliette Prowse, Tony Orlando, Helen Reddy, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Anthony Newley, Lanie Kazan, Robert Goulet, Danny Kaye, Eddie Albert, Jose Feliciano and others.
- Jesus Christ Superstar
- Two Gentlemen of Verona
In the 1970s, Mikio played hundreds and hundreds of club gigs throughout California, New Mexico, Arizona, the southern United States and in Okinawa, Japan. In those days, if you wanted to get your music recorded and heard by a larger audience, you had to sign with a record company. At a certain point, he became disillusioned with the power held by the record companies being able to dictate the future of a band or vocalist and to stick you into one genre. He got disgusted with the music scene and quit playing.
Mikio took a 35 year sojourn and ended up going to acupuncture school and receiving a Masters Degree and Doctorate in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. He eventually wrote 7 books in the Esoteric Acupuncture Series.
Something happened in the very end of 2014/ early 2015 and Mikio purchased 2 old Gibson Les Paul guitars and started playing again. (He had not touched a guitar for the previous 20 years.) He was surprised that after a week he was able to pick up right where he left off 35 years earlier.
This musical journey started in 2017 with Ynez Anthony and me (Mikio) just getting together for fun and playing some tunes that I had written. This process eventually turned into a more serious project. I recruited my brother Edwing to play lead guitar, ukulele and zithers on several of the recordings. We started the recording process at Marc Viner studio in Los Angeles. Later Tadashi Namba joined as the recording and remix engineer where most of the work is being done at Mountain Castle Studios. Tadashi Namba also added keyboards to several of the tunes.