American Zen Buddhist Folk Rock Band of The Coyote Homepage of American Zen featuring The Coyote MP3 free song downloads of Zen Buddhist folk rock Buy your CD of Shaolin Zen spiritual development Journey to Nirvana with American Zen
America's first Buddhist rock band American Zen STORY of Coyote's Buddhist life in Mormon Utah PDF books, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, and hats LIVE DATES, concerts, clubs, poetry readings INSTRUMENTS include Ukulele, flute, slide guitar FAQ Frequently Asked Questions of The Coyote MP3 song music download samples of CD Magazine and newspaper REVIEWS of the CD American Zen is THE BAND of Buddhist Folk Rockers



The following excerpts from our monthly Press Releases of Shaolin Records have been addressed to entertainment industry professionals, newspapers, magazines, and radio stations.

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American Zen's "LEVEL 1" Album Premieres
at Utah Asian Festival

The "LEVEL 1 = Peace Of Mind" album by American Zen premiered on both May 11 and May 12 before hundreds of people attending the Annual Utah Asian Festival. The Shaolin Chi Mantis Buddhist Gongfu school choreographed a 30 minute performance to some of the songs from the soon-to-be-released record album composed by The Coyote of southern California.

The response of the audience was enthusiastic and brought the entire festival to a standstill as the Shaolin Chi Mantis Demo Team students led the audience through some Northern Shaolin Kung Fu basics and Qigong breathing exercises. Vendors and booth salespersons were all participating with the students on stage led by Master Zhen.

American Zen is a folk rock group of Californians featuring The Coyote on Flute and vocals. The other bandmembers are Steve Hixon on drums, Tom Calder on bass, and Rory G. on slide guitar.



American Zen - LEVEL 1

A spiritual journey of 8 levels begins with the quest for "Peace Of Mind." Like the birth of a baby, our Zen boys step from the "Black Of Night" into a modern world where they ask the question, "Whose Heaven Is This?"

Like all youths, their first steps aren't always into the light. Rather, they journey into the darkness of deceit and treachery, portrayed by songs like "In The Darkness" where they look into their spirit, discover a lack of harmony with the world, and realize "You've Been Sold." Rory's Pleasant slide guitar sounds like Johnny Winter and Rory Gallagher on "You've Been Sold." Rory's Gibson SG sounds like Eric Clapton's psychedelic painted Gibson on "Free The Change."

Dissatisfied with the religious and social rules that bind them, "Free The Change" launches our musical heroes into a battle with reality. Although the bandmembers have their own Catholic, Christian, and Presbyterian programming to overcome, Coyote gets a kickstart from the Mormons who ostracize and sabotage Coyote's life and business relationships.

Letting go of the past often requires letting go of those who can't keep up. Still, some things left behind will be missed, such as "Simple Lady," when they realize -- they are a long way from home. (Or a long way from nirvana.)

LEVEL 1 will not provide all the answers they seek, but it does depict the beginning of a spiritual journey that will inspire people of all ages and of all religions. "You don't have to be a Buddhist to study Buddhism!" reminds Coyote.

Join us for a journey of the body, an odyssey of the mind, and a discovery of the soul.

The Coyote:  vocals, acoustic guitar, flute
Tom Calder:  bass
Rory G: electric guitar slide guitar, ukulele
Steve Hixon:  drums, percussion


LEVEL 1 = Peace Of Mind

American Zen is an exclusive artist of Shaolin Records. Shaolin Records will be releasing the debut album of American Zen on February 21, 2005 at a live taping of the COYOTE RADIO TV SHOW.

This debut album is comprised of 11 songs plus 11 poems. The songs, lyrics, and poetry were all written by The Coyote, who fronts the band as lead singer, acoustic guitarist, flutist and kazoo player.

All songs were written in Utah, where Coyote had pursued a girl and discovered that the Rocky Mountains were full of Mormons. This didn't bother Coyote, but they bothered him. Mormons banded together to protest his Buddhist beliefs. They wrote letters to magazines where Coyote published articles demanding the publishers "boycott" his writings. They stuck knives in his door and petitioned employers to fire him.

Coyote found friends among the 'disenfranchised Mormons.' "That's what they called themselves," explains Coyote. "Actually, many of them were excommunicated. According to the Mormons, they have the authority to decide who gets into Heaven and who doesn't. That's what the song, "Whose Heaven Is This?" is about."

"I wrote the songs in the order they're on the album," continues Coyote. "The album's not really a story in itself. It's many stories put together. Don't get me wrong, I had a good time Utah, but a lot of Mormons tried to make me as uncomfortable as possible."

American Zen is being labeled FOLK ROCK. Some songs, like "Free The Change," are hard rock. Other songs like "In The Darkness," resemble the classical music Coyote was trained on . Through all the songs on this album, Coyote leads the band on acoustic guitar. This led us to the label of folk rock.

The title song, "Peace Of Mind #2" is the second version of the song, "Peace Of Mind." Coyote claimed that after performing the song many times in the Utah nightclubs, he desired to remove himself from the original storyline of the song which was very bleak and haunting. "This led me to rewrite the song, "Peace Of Mind," with a happier, more inspirational flavor. I took a train to San Diego to visit my friends and when I got back to Utah -- well, I decided to tell that story instead."

NOTE: The first song of the first album by America's First Buddhist Folk Rock Band was "Peace Of Mind" and is now titled, "Peace Of Mind #1" and is currently scheduled as the FIRST SONG on the upcoming SECOND ALBUM by American Zen.

LEVEL 1 is the first of 8 levels of Buddhist enlightenment. This is just the beginning, but what a great beginning it is. With this record as a starting point, American Zen is ready to achieve great accomplishments and inspire people worldwide.



America's First Buddhist Rock Band

What does Buddhism have to do with rock'n'roll?


Then again, some people think that Buddhism is about nothing.

Then again, does nothing exist?

Well, American Zen exists. And their music exists. And judging by the fan mail, their existence is both noticed and appreciated.

That's really what American Zen is about: inspiring people. Although, these California Zenboys are on a quest for enlightenment, their paths are both entertaining and creative.

Led by The Coyote, on his kick-butt flute, American Zen is about life more than any afterlife. "Of course we're concerned about Kharma," Coyote explained. "But Buddhism teaches us that you're supposed to just make your best decisions every moment of the day and presume everything will turn out all right."

Tom Calder, bassist of the band, leads the most carefree lifestyle. "Why work whey you can go to the beach," professes the horndog of our spiritual group. Tom's bass style is a blend of Motown and Jack Bruce of Cream. "Sometimes I play as little as possible and sometimes I play as much as possible. It depends on the song." Tom explains. "I don't have a style. I just play what I think is best for each song."

Steve Hixon holds the band down with a variety of percussion and weird drums. "I've never had a drum lesson. I just started playing to records," claims Steve. "Since I play to so many different drummers, I don't know who to thank."

The last member of this 4-piece Buddhist rock band is Rory G. He doesn't talk much but his guitar can really scream. Check out his slide guitar playing on "You've Been Sold," and his guitar solo on "Black Of Night."

All from San Diego, California, these Zenboys are going to have a unique and positive effect on the world. Their tribulations with dominant religions have become stories on their own website,, that have resulted in many fans thanking them for helping them resolve their own conflicts. American Zen fans claim that their attitude towards religion while still pursuing spirituality is similar to Coyote's tribulations.



Click here to download AmZen FACT SHEET
Click here to download Coyote BIO
Click here to download Tom Calder BIO
Click here to download Rory G BIO
Click here to download SONGLIST
Click on photos below
        (to download HIGH RESOLUTION publicity photos)

The PRESS KITS for LEVEL 1 were discontinued with the release of
American Zen's second album, LEVEL 2 = CHRIST KILLER.

<< Current Shaolin Records Press Kits >>

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