27 February 2014

Visionary Pianist & Composer Sean Wayland Releases His 23rd Album, 'Barrenjoey'


New York, NY - Australian-born pianist, composer and keyboardist Sean Wayland has released the 23rd studio album of his prolific career, a magnificent and stylized take on jazz and funk with roots in Australian rock. In fact, this album, 'Barrenjoey', takes its name from Wayland’s homeland in Australia (not, as those familiar with the New York jazz scene might think, from famous local drummer Joey Baron). This album tells a different story, and one that’s highly personal to Wayland.

“I was inspired by surfing in Australia, New South Wales Coast, and Australian rock circa 1980,” says Wayland. “The title track is about a tombolo, or tied island, attached to palm Beach, the most northerly point of the Sydney region.” It’s not difficult to hear these inspirations shine through, particularly on the title track. With drumbeats that crash like waves, the landscape and the lighthouse the lyrics speak of come to life through the song. The passionate musicality and life of this album will transport listeners to the Australia of Wayland’s youth.

As a composer, Wayland is deeply rooted in the jazz piano tradition, and this is highly evident in all his work. He is a graduate of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music, where he won the Jack Chrostowski Piano Award. He established himself as a creative star of the Sydney jazz scene before relocating to the States and making himself a fixture of New York City’s jazz scene. After moving to the city 14 years ago, Wayland has been recording at a staggering pace. Now, with Barrenjoey, he explores broadened stylistic territory in jazz and funk while simultaneously harkening back to his roots.

“Better Down South” is a memory, an autobiographical piece about surfing in the Ulladulla and Jervis Bay regions of Australia when Wayland was young. Stories like these, told through his carefully constructed musical harmonies and rhythms, are close to the artist’s heart. “It’s a stylized, personalized take on various musical traditions including Australian rock, jazz and funk,” Wayland says. “There is a musical message that is hard to put into words.” Listeners to this album will certainly find the message easy to hear: a personal journey drawing from the music and recollections of Wayland’s past.

'Barrenjoey' features a number of other talented musicians and performers, including Keith Carlock on drums, James Muller and Nate Wood on guitar, and Jeff Harley on bass. Virna Sanzone lends her beautiful vocals to complement Wayland’s singing throughout the album.

'Barrenjoey' is available for download now on Sean Wayland’s Bandcamp page: seanwayland.bandcamp.com

For more information on Sean Wayland, please visit SeanWayland.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (USA), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Phippen, Enrique Rueda, Rahbi Crawford-Sacred Spaces

Release Date: January 1, 2014
Label: Promotion Music Records

Recorded live in a studio session, Peter Phippen, Enrique Rueda and Rahbi Crawford have captured the essence of peace and tranquility with their unique blend of New Age instrumental music. Grammy Award nominee and three time Native American Music Award nominee, Peter Phippen is best known for his prowess with many styles of flutes. Enrique Rueda crafts his own instruments and his work is devoted to the communication of man and musical object. He works internationally specializing in traditional cultural music. Roberta (Rahbi) Crawford is an international instructor and musician. Her work is entirely devoted to deeper spiritual experience. The combination of these three highly talented musicians has given way to an exceptionally beautiful album. Sacred Spaces is pure inspiration. It is a sound experience that once I began to listen to; I didn’t want it to end. 


Opening up the album, the first track to greet you is “Poet’s Reverie.” Lilting flute sequences and multi-instrumentation lull you into a state of relaxation.  Like a fog rolling in from the coast, the song surrounds you in a blanket of tranquility, urging you to leave the concerns of the world behind you. Phippen’s bursts of passionate flute playing resonate against the backdrop of string instruments and the echoing sound of eternity.

“Autumn Memories” flutters to life. A crisp orange leaf falls to the ground and the season of change is upon us. Walk in the open and feel the span of time surround you. Memories of days long past come to mind. Running through the piles of leaves, your breath hard and fast in your chest as you speed up before a pile of wet leaves is thrown down your back—it is life. A tender kiss on a hay ride. The shy glance of a new puppy as it awakens in your arms. The exuberant force of a child’s joy as they see the leaves in their fiery glory for the first time. Images float by, slower than they were in reality. A slide show echoing span of mind and memory, the flute and multi-instrumentation capturing the poignant moments with those of loss and victory—these are the memories of a lifetime drifting like leaves in our minds eye. 

“The Dreaming Tree” features Rhabi Crawford. Crystal bowls and pyramids provide an ethereal depth to this piece. The echoing sound of the crystals reaches out, blending with the flute to ensnare the listener with a deep spiritual experience. Haunting and vast, this track is haunting.

“Lascaux” features Enrique Rueda and his traditional style instruments. Handmade with the knowledge of a master craftsman, Rueda’s style compliments Phippen’s flute making it a solid performance with a traditionally classic feel. This is one of my favorite pieces from the album. 

Peter Phippen, Enrique Rueda and Rahbi Crawford have created an album that gets back to the basics. It brings you to a basic elemental level, showing you what true musical artisans can create in the span of a few hours in a studio setting. Thirteen tracks were created and ten were hulled into the bounty of song in Sacred Spaces. Some instruments used in creating this album were: Shakuhachi, Patrick Olwell bamboo flute, Enrique Rueda quena and Native American flute, Michael Graham Allen Mojave flute replica, 1848 William Hall and Son boxwood flute, antique Egyptian kawala flute, Columbian Andean bandola, Renaissance harp, sail harp, kantele, tambor con paticas, crystal bowls and crystal pyramid. If you enjoy a musical journey as well-crafted as the finest tapestry, then you must listen to this magnificent album. It will truly take you away.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Poet’s Revere, Autumn Memories, The Dreaming Tree, Lascaux

Dana Wright

February 27, 2014

Tracks:

1.Poet’s Reverie
2.Ashes of Love
3.Violet Etchings
4.Ribbons of Darkness
5.Autumn Memories
6.The Dreaming Tree
7.Lascaux
8.Vast Fields of Forever
9.So Many Stars
10.Whispered Visions


 

25 February 2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Michael Barry-Rec-Continuum

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Label: Independent

Michael Barry-Rec began his musical career at a young age. Fascinated by the guitar, he has pursued his dream pushing the boundaries every step of the way. Four days in the Montrose Recording studio with one of the last five functioning Flickinger analog consoles and an all-star supporting cast of guest musicians brings us the newest Michael Barry-Rec album, Continuum. Elements of acoustic and steel lap guitar cover blues, Americana and everything in between. Contributing musicians include George Winston (piano), J D Foster (bass), Johnny Hott (drums) and Adrian Olsen (hammond organ).

Opening up with “Rendezvous” I was immediately transfixed by the strumming old fashioned growl of the guitar and the roll your eyes back in your head composition. Slow and deliberate, like a rendezvous with a lover, this piece is all about exploration. It is dynamic and full of vision. You know that saying about anything worth doing is worth doing well? Barry got the memo. This piece was the perfect lead in and had me hooked for a good solid week of listening in a trance. “Sanctum” features the piano prowess of George Winston. If you close your eyes and just see the music in your mind, you can imagine walking into an inner sanctum where all you hear is the essence of sound. No worries. No schedules to keep, no traffic deadlock, no anything. Just music. A sanctuary of audio euphoria, it took me away from my hectic day when I needed it most. The execution of this piece was flawless creating a focused musical experience.

 “Shake Rag Shuffle” is a fun piece that shakes its rhythm out with a funky bluesy beat. Rattling percussion, bass and some gritty guitar playing spin this track into hot house life. Rock and roll takes a bite out of this tune, smoky flavors giving it a tangy essence that is full of life and texture. This piece falls in the Americana rock range of the spectrum and I enjoyed it immensely.

“Buried in the Sky” is the last piece on the album and a fitting way to cap off the experience. The plucky guitar sequence purrs against a backdrop of multi-instrumentation that is both inspiring and soothing. The finely constructed composition is like a finely carved instrument, eloquent and artful.

If you enjoy a blend of acoustic and steel lap guitar then you need to give this album a try. Michael Barry-Rec surrounds himself with stellar talent, creating an ambient listening experience that speaks to the love he has for music. This album is infectious with pure musical joy and one you won’t want to miss.

5/5 Stars
 
Key Tracks: Sanctum, Buried in the Sky, Shake Rag Shuffle, Rendezvous


Dana Wright 

February 25, 2014

Tracks:

1. Rendezvous

2. Cause and Effects

3. Clockwise

4. Sanctum

5. Fields That Never Die

6. Shake Rag Shuffle

7. Labyrinth

8. Lotus

9. Mystified

10. In Visible

11. Beckon

12. Two Way Dream

13. Buried in the Sky
 

Celebrated Music Duo GLASS HOUSE Releases “Blackbird” Music Video


A musical tribute to Nelson Mandela

Oakland, CA — Glass House is the acclaimed music duo featuring David Worm, best known for his work with Bobby McFerrin and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Mark Vickness. Glass House has collaborated with violinist Mads Tolling and upright bassist Dan Feiszli to release the “Blackbird” music video.

Watch the video here: http://youtu.be/g1kYZXfvAzE

Blackbird was originally written in response to the struggle for civil rights in the U.S. When Nelson Mandela died, “it seemed so right to pay tribute to him and honor the tremendous impact he made,” says Mark.

The arrangement of “Blackbird” grew out of Mark’s unique approach to stringing and tuning his 8-string acoustic guitar. David then added a vocal line and lush vocal harmonies using his VoiceLive 2 Touch. Once the guitar and vocals were established, they collaborated with Mads and Dan to come up with violin and bass parts that filled out and anchored the texture of the song.

Filmed on location by director Paul Nordin of EMB Studios, in Emeryville, California the video was edited by Sharon Knight. The music was mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles.

About Glass House:
Glass House released its third album “Long Way Down” in October 2013. Songs range from the sparsely haunting solo acoustic guitar and voice rendition of Robbie Robertson's “Broken Arrow,” to the funk string quartet intro of “Turn Away,” to the driving, world music-infused choral tapestry of “Build A Bridge.” Lyrics run the gamut from tender personal pathos (“For Now,” “Thank You”) to timely political and social narratives (“Turn Away,” “Where I Belong”). Album producer/bassist Jon Evans is well known for his years recording and touring with Tori Amos and Third Eye Blind. Two-time Grammy winners The Turtle Island String Quartet contribute remarkable talents on two songs. Also appearing are drummers Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter), L.A. studio ace MB Gordy (Frank Zappa, Green Day, Bill Withers), tabla virtuoso Ty Burhoe, violinist Mads Tolling (Stanley Clarke) and vocalists Ashling Cole (Prince) and Julianna Graffagna (Kitka).

Hundreds of thousands of fans have viewed the widely-acclaimed videos by Glass House. When the live-version video of “Broken Arrow” was first released, it was the seventh most-viewed YouTube video according to billboard.com.

For more information: www.glasshousemusic.org

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Progressive Rock Video: Hibernal - The Restless Man (Instrumental)

24 February 2014

Progressive Rock Review: Frank Baker-Noctilucent

Frank Baker is a name I certainly wasn’t familiar with when Noctilucent, his first album under his own name, landed on my desk for review .He has produced music under various names as side projects such as Meadowy Temple, Landcold and Ociraa. Frank is a solo artist and record producer from Southern Germany and he describes his involvement in music more as a “sound architect” building audio-visual landscapes rather than “singer-orientated” songs. He places his material loosely into the prog rock area, but with heavy influences from cinematic areas and ambient sound. It certainly sounds like an interesting background to the production of the album, Noctilucent, and I was keen to hear what was on offer.

Frank is a multi-instrumentalist, covering vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, piano, percussion and drum programming on the album.

Noctilucent is a 10 track album with a total playing time of around 41 minutes, with the closing track, “The Avalanche Pt 1,” being the shortest at 1:10 minutes and track 4, “The Court of the Hunter,” the longest at 6:44 minutes.

An aptly named opening track, simply called “Opening” (1:38), starts Noctilucent and certainly fits into the more ambient area and leads directly into track 2, “Fingerprints” (5:40). “Opening” has a beautiful piano passage with some extraneous background noises which builds up with the keyboards, before a “harsh” drum takes the track out and into “Fingerprints.” This has superb acoustic guitar work, painting a soundscape, which is then superseded by guitar, bass, drums and a very breathy stylized vocal. There is even a beatlesque hint with some of the vocals. The music is excellent, very cinematic in its build-up and these two opening tracks certainly maintain the interest of the listener with some time changes and some intriguing percussion breaks.

“Scared Little Birman” (3:45), “Noctilucent Clouds” (3:56) and “A Lull In The Wind” (3:30) share the more acoustic gentle style of the initial part of track 2 and give a little nod at times  to the sound of early Pink Floyd. This is an excellent trio of similar styled tracks, letting the listener float along on their melodic nature.

The other tracks, “The Court of The Hunter” (6:42), “Paleness” (5:23), “Into the Snow” (5:25), “Colored Mountain Ranges” (4:48) and “The Avalanche Pt 1” (1:11) share the more complex and slightly heavier side of the music. “The Court Of The Hunter,” in particular, sets out a stunning soundscape which “doffs its cap” in the direction of Porcupine Tree, as does “Into the Snow.” ”Colored Mountain Ranges” has some swirling keyboards and a beautifully played guitar melody, while “The Avalanche Pt 1,” which takes the album out, is a very interesting track, even in its brevity and I was left wondering why this track was so short, but perhaps it will be continued at the start of album 2?

All in all, Noctilucent is a very intriguing debut solo release, with some amazing work on show. While the album doesn’t quite get both album stickers, it definitely gets the “One to Buy” sticker. If you wrap your ears around this album for several plays, you will realize that Frank Baker has produced an album that hits very close to a bull’s-eye and we should all be on the alert for the follow up release, when it ultimately appears.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Opening/Fingerprints: The Court of the Hunter: Noctilucent Clouds

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

February 24, 2014

Release Date: 13thDecember 2013
Label:  Independent
              

23 February 2014

Sax Icon and Jazz Legend DAVE LIEBMAN joins Machine Mass on new MoonJune Records Release 'Inti'


New York, NY - MACHINE MASS feat. DAVE LIEBMAN pairs the legendary saxophonist (Miles Davis, Elvin Jones...) with longtime collaborator drummer Tony Bianco (Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, douBt) and guitarist Michel Delville (The Wrong Object, douBt, Comicoperando). Graced by Dave Liebman’s extraordinary phrasing and improvising skills, 'Inti' combines free improvisation with tight rhythmic structures, post-Bitches Brew time signatures with ambient episodes, spreading across different musical and spiritual realities, both playfully and intensely. The band ventures into the fiery electro-jazz territories explored by Bianco and Delville’s recent Machine Mass Trio, which also showcased both musicians’ capacity to listen closely and improvise over unpredictable chord, rhythm and time changes while handling live electronics and computer loops.

Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs (in just one afternoon, no less!), this monumental session bears witness to three seasoned musicians in top form – producing music that is fresh, challenging, profound and moving. Rules are acknowledged and rules are discarded, and the resulting sonic bouillabaisse, 'Inti', signals some truly exciting new directions for progressive jazz.

“This is truly a unique musical environment that I recorded with these two wonderful musicians. Shall I use the word 'post' everything? There's some 'On The Corner' here, some punk rock, some techno stuff, etc., etc. The resulting bouillabaisse is extraordinary and novel ... challenging music and definitely cutting edge.” - Dave Liebman

“...this disc is a throwback to the mid-seventies before the term 'fusion' was used and abused. Hence, this is jazz-rock at its best. Refreshing and exciting! Another gem from Moonjune treasure chest.” - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DownTown Music Gallery

Musicians:

Dave Liebman is one of the most creative jazz saxophonists on the planet” (John Fordham, The Guardian, London) “...the most breathtaking sweep of emotions that might be heard on soprano saxophone for some time to come.” (All About Jazz)

"Michel Delville’s fantastic guitar leads build (once again) to the far corners of the universe” (Dick Metcalf, Rotcod Zzaj) “... quite stunning whether soloing or filling out the spaces between” (Duncan Heining, Jazzwise Magazine, UK)

Tony Bianco allies grace and power, propelling both sessions with unflinching stamina” (Francois Couture, All Music Guide)

TRACKS:

1. Inti (7:27)
2. Centipede (4:41)
3. Lloyd (6:24)
4. In a Silent Way (6:29)
5. A Sight (6:37)
6. Utoma (6:09)
7. The Secret Place (4:33)
8. Elisabeth (12:46)
9. Voice (4:53)

PERSONNEL:
MICHEL DELVILLE guitar, Roland GR09, electronics
TONY BIANCO drums, loops, percussion
DAVE LIEBMAN soprano & tenor saxophone, wooden flute
with SABA TEWELDE vocals (on Track 7)

PRODUCTION: Recorded at Red Rock Recording Studios, Saylorsburg, PA (USA), October 10, 2012.
Produced by Machine Mass.
Executive Producer: Leonardo Pavkovic.
Liner notes: John Kelman.

Direct CD purchase: http://bit.ly/1fcBljO
Full album available for streaming and digital purchase: http://bit.ly/1hraG6f

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

Concert Review: The Blues Show at the Colonial Theater



The Blues Show at the Colonial Theater-Pittsfield, MA
February 15, 2014

Saturday, February 15th, the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield MA had its second edition of “The Blues Show.” In the midst of the snowstorm, there were still many in attendance and the bands were on fire. This year, Pittsfield was treated to a diverse group of blues veterans - The George Boone Blues Band, Popa Chubby, and Roomful of Blues.

The George Boone Blues Band brought a very traditional, soulful style of blues to the show. It was simple, yet this simplicity had the power to transport listeners to a smoky blues bar somewhere in the Deep South. What Mr. Boone’s voice lacked in musicality, he made up for with pure soul. Listeners of modern day, highly processed Top 40 radio might cringe when hearing his voice, but it’s that pure, untouched voice that makes his singing so special. While the set was as solid as could be, their original track “Meaning of the Blues” and cover of The Temptations “My Girl” were the standout performances.

Popa Chubby then came to the stage, opening up the set with a fiery rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe.” According to him, there was some “negative energy” in the crowd, which could only be cured by some classic Hendrix. Popa’s blazing fast fretwork was quite a change from George Boone’s slower, more cautious playing. That’s not to say that Popa Chubby can’t tone it down when the moment is right – his renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Hallelujah” were surprising and beautiful additions to the set. As usual, Popa’s unique humor and energy brought the crowd to life in a way that would be difficult to follow up.

Roomful of Blues has had a roster of over 40 members in its lifetime, and Rich Lataille (alto and tenor saxophone) is the only original member remaining. Many of the band members were relatively young, which made it a little strange when they mentioned that 2014 marks their 45thanniversary. The live band consists of 8 members, and this lent itself to a very full sounding mix. The brass section gave the band an energy that the previous acts lacked, and Phil Pemberton (vocals) brought the music alive with his excellent rock n’ roll voice. Although they couldn’t quite get the crowd going like the charismatic Popa Chubby could, Roomful of Blues still ended ‘The Blues Show’ on a good note. It will be exciting to see who the Colonial Theatre brings to next year’s blues show, but I’ve got a feeling that crowd-favorite Popa Chubby will be back for his third consecutive year.

Austin Hannaleck

2/23/14

Review Provided By Write A Music Review



Rock Review: Augustines

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Label: Carloline

First they were Pela. Then they became We Are Augustines. Now, they are just Augustines. There is plenty to talk about in regards to how this all happened and how this band almost stopped entirely. I recommend you read up on this if you enjoy this band. Their story is a whole article in itself, but it will make you appreciate them all the more. That said, the important thing is that the current lineup is still making music, the latest being the self-titled release under their latest name, Augustines.

Augustines picks up where Rise Ye Sunken Ships left off. This makes sense as the same lineup was used on both albums despite the name change. It’s pretty safe to say that if you like what you heard previously, you should like their latest stuff as well. It still has that modern Springsteen feel to it, especially with Billy McCarthy’s scratchy vocals.  Augustines has a bigger sound then previous work. It is more ambitious, but it is still full of the passionate blue-collar rock sound that makes this band so good.

A track like “Cruel City” falls right in the bands wheelhouse. It is just what you expect given what was good about their previous album. On the other hand, “Walkabout” gives you an example of the bands ambition with this latest album. It’s an adventurous track that displays the bands desire to branch out and aim for stages bigger than they’ve graced to this point. Still, I found that “Kid You’re On Your Own” was more reminiscent of Pela. As I still prefer the Pela album to the two “Augustine” releases (though I am still  as much a fan of them), it was a pleasant surprise.

Augustines makes it pretty clear that Augustines have plans for larger things ahead. Compared to their previous releases it shows hints of the arena-sized sounds of bands like Coldplay. Having seen this band before, their songs do take on a whole different dimension when performed live and they can certainly accommodate an arena. While I like the growth and improvements from Rise Ye Sunken Ships, I also find that it may be trying to be a little too much too soon. I do think the result will be favorable for Augustines in expanding their reach, but I think that splitting the difference would likely have made for a bit better of an album at this juncture. Regardless, Augustines have made another rock album that should earn them the attention they deserve.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Cruel City, Walkabout, Kid You’re On Your Own

Kevin Kozel

February 21, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

20 February 2014

Former Yes Man Jon Anderson Gets Close to the Edge...and the Audience




jon-anderson-0220.jpg
Photo by Deborah Anderson

Classic-rock fans might not see the connection between intricate, musically adventurous progressive rock and all-you-can-eat shrimp and shuffleboard tournaments. But increasingly, fans of this genre -- or Southern rock, or blues, or country, and even Rick Springfield or KISS -- have gathered on the high seas, on cruise ships packed with hardcore fans enjoying concerts, Q&A sessions, workshops and...shrimp. 

This month, Jon Anderson -- the legendary former lead singer of Yes -- will embark on the "Progressive Nation at Sea" jaunt, while his former bandmates headline "Cruise to the Edge" in April. Anderson, who plays an intimate and career-spanning show at Dosey Doe this coming Monday, has done a couple of these events and grown to like them, despite his initial reservations. 

"It ends up being a good time for me and my wife," he says in a high voice that lends credence to the fact that he does not sing in falsetto. "And this time, we've got a balcony and a patio. And we won't eat too much!"


On this adventure, Anderson will do a solo show, take part in a Q&A with fans, and sit in with Mike Portnoy's prog group Transatlantic. As to the wisdom of being in a confined area at sea with some of his most rabid fans, Anderson says he always uses a little Star Wars approach to not being mobbed.

OldYes-0220.jpg
Fotex/The Daily Mail
Yes in the satined '70s: Alan White, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, and Jon Anderson

"I usually do the Obi-Wan Kenobi thing," he says. "Just go through areas with groups and say 'we can pass.'"

Anderson's current tour mixes Yes' classic rock warhorse tunes (of course), solo material, collaborations with other artists like Vangelis, and a seemingly unstoppable flow of new music. It's a lower-key affair that the stadium and amphitheater locations he used to play with Yes.

It's the direct result of a journey he began about six years ago after recovering from the vocal difficulties that began in 2004 and saw the cancellation of a 2008 Yes tour. It led to the group he co-founded jettisoning him rather than wait any longer for his recovery.

He was replaced with Benoit David, the very Anderson-sounding lead vocalist of a Yes tribute band (their current lead singer is Jon Davison).

"People were very receptive to my solo shows," says Anderson, asserting that he's fine now and "sings every day" to keep his voice in shape. "And if I'm having a good time, the audience is as well."
Along with Deep Purple, Yes is probably the highest-profile act not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who absolutely should be. Both were on the initial ballot for induction this year, but didn't make the final cut. 

And while it speaks to what many fans of hard rock, metal and prog-rock see as a bias against their favored genres, Anderson is confident that the Hall will soon say yes to Yes.

"Bands like Yes and Deep Purple and Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer have sold millions of records, and we actually connected musical eras," he says. "It's something I don't dwell on much, but I think if it happens, I'll be very happy, especially for the fans."

He also says that's the most likely chance for him to reunite with his former band members -- if only for a few songs at the one-off ceremony. 

"I have communication with them for a few business matters, but generally, they are doing their thing. I'm in touch with Alan [White, drummer] now and again because we were very close. But Steve [Howe, guitar] and Chris [Squire, bass], not really. We all have our lives to live. And you just get on with things."

Coming up Friday: Anderson on the development of Yes, the term "prog rock," how the Internet has changed making music forever, and playing Houston's "Space Dome" in the '70s. He plays Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 N., 8 p.m. Monday, February 24.

Source Link: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2014/02/former_yes_man_jon_anderson_ge.php

Rock/Metal Review: Monte Pitman-The Power of Three

Release Date:January 21, 2014
Label: Metal Blade

Monte Pittman is a name that you should get yourself acquainted with, if you are not already. Known for being Madonna’s guitarist since 2001 and for his time in the metal band Prong in the 00s, Pittman’s new album is a monumental one. Backed by Kane Ritchotte (drums) and Max Whipple (bass), The Power of Three is his third solo album and latest since 2011’s Pain, Love & Destiny.

Featuring some heavy hitting rock music that could topple mountains, The Power of Three is a display of musical excellence. If you are into hard rock and/or metal music, then this is the album to have. This is the type of music that should be getting millions of views on YouTube and topping the charts.

Not only is “A Dark Horse” a fine example of the type of heaviness that The Power of Three has to offer, it is also the bar setter as far as the quality of the songs go. It is easily one of the best songs on the album and of the year so far. With a sound that soars above the clouds and a guitar to blow the windows out, “A Dark Horse” is unforgettable.  “Delusions of Grandeur” keeps the adrenaline pumping and the walls shaking with its unrelenting hard sound, backed by some killer guitar riffs and drums to go to war with. The instrumental part in the second half of the song is astonishing. The heaviness continues with “Everything’s Undone” while mixing things up with its melodic chorus. “Blood Hungry Thirst” offers some relief from the heaviness of the previous songs, though it is still packed with plenty of energy. It is hard rock at its finest with an explosive finale. 

“Before the Mourning Son” pulls you in with its captivating opening guitar. The song has a dark and almost menacing atmosphere to it. “End of the World” marks a slight change of pace. It is not as heavy as the rest and it is a song where Pittman’s vocals really shine, displaying a touching emotional vulnerability. Capping off the album is the thirteen and one-half minute epic, “All Is Fair in Love and War.” It is a culmination of all that makes this album so great and it does not feel cluttered because it is spread out over the long run time. It has everything, the smashing guitar, booming drums, and even some death metal growls. It is one hell of a way to go out!

If you are into heavy music, then The Power of Three is one album that you simply cannot pass over. I know that it is early in 2014, but it is a good bet that this one will still be one of the top albums at the end of the year. The Power of Three is full of powerful music that will keep you going back for more. Monte Pittman can file this one under “Masterpiece.”

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: A Dark Horse, Delusions of Grandeur, Before the Mourning Son, All Is Fair in Love and War

Brian McKinnon

February 20, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Joe Satriani and Steve Morse Live In Concert




Joe Satriani and Steve Morse Live In Concert  At The Orpheum In Boston, Mass.  September 27, 2013




It was a beautiful fall night in Boston on Friday night and for this concert goer it was a “bucket list” dream come true. I have been following Joe Satriani since the 80s when he first started releasing his music. Since that time his catalog his grown immensely and he is widely known as one of the greatest instrumental rock artist in the world.

Joe’s band consists of Marco Minnemann (drums), Bryan Beller (bass) and Mike Keneally (keyboards, guitar). All are veterans of the music business and Minnemann has been in the spotlight over the last few years coming close to getting the job replacing Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater and most recently putting out an all instrumental recording with Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin titled LMR. Keneally has been around forever it seems popping up on many different progressive rock releases and his own recordings under different headings. Bryan Beller is known for his work with Dethklok, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, James LaBrie of Dream Theater and Dweezil Zappa and The Aristocrats. So needless to say Satch has one stellar crew to back him up and the proved it on this night why he handpicked them to hit the road and play all his music.

Our seats were one row in back of the orchestra pit and I was dead center with the stage. There was one problem with this seating arrangement, I had people walking in front of me all night so I felt like I was at a Red Sox game prior to them cutting off all the beer taps. For the most part during Satch’s performance our sight of the stage was unimpeded and the surprisingly subdued crowd remained in their seats.

Before the six-string legend came on stage we had the pleasure of watching another guitar legend in action. Steve Morse and his band entertained us with their own brand of instrumental rock. Morse can choose from a wide range of music he has been involved with over the years including The Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas, many outstanding solo releases, and most recently with the incredible super group Flying Colors. His former band mate from the Dregs joined him, the phenomenal bass player Dave LaRue who most recently was a member of Flying Colors with Morse as well. I cannot seem to find out any information about his drummer, who was exceptional all through the set. The set was short but powerful and impressive. For a trio they certainly pushed out some sound and it was all spot on. Morse is the consummate professional and so are the people supporting him. He made his way through around seven songs then thanked everyone for supporting live music and left the stage, It seemed like such an abrupt ending to a show for a man that has graced the stages of the world and put out so much great music over the years but I understand when you are the opening act your time is limited.


After about a 15 minute break the star of the evening came on. Satch can play the guitar so effortlessly and flawlessly he never even draws a bead of sweat on his brow. He looks so relaxed and in control. If you ever want to see a great rock show performed live and you enjoy loud instrumental rock then this will be your ticket to paradise.

“Jumpin’ In” kicked things off with an in your face rockin’ welcome and from that point the energy increased with each song. Favorites of the night included “Satch Boogie,”  Marco’s drum solo, “Shine On American Dreamer” and the classic “Surfing with the Alien.” During Marco’s drum solo several people left their seats for one reason or another. I found myself sitting there is disbelief. They have no idea what they were missing. This man is one of the greatest percussionist on the planet and he gave us quit a clinic to witness. It was very disrespectful in my opinion.

Joe plays several different guitars but the orange Ibanez is his favorite and seems to mold right to hands and body perfectly, like it’s an actual extension of him and all of his emotions are played through his music without words. His music is so powerful and picturesque that words are not required. Some of the backdrops to his songs are very creative featuring colorful videos and wild effects. It is not a lot of flash and fireworks, that all comes from Joe’s guitar. I have to also give a nod to Mike Keneally who can hold his own with the six string and there were some nice exchanges between him and Joe during the set.

The most significant moment was when “Surfing With The Alien” was played and everyone knew that was the last song in the set so we all stood up and screamed and hollered for an encore which Satch kindly obliged us with.

If you ever get a chance to catch a show at the Orpheum in Boston, do it. Get there early enough to get a good meal at the Beantown Pub and then walk it off at Quincy Market, which is a 10 minute stroll, and make sure you stop at Newbury Comics to pick up some CDs!

Setlist:

Jumpin' In

Devil's Slide

Flying in a Blue Dream

Unstoppable Momentum

The Weight of the World

Ice 9

The Crush of Love

I'll Put a Stone on Your Cairn

A Door into Summer

Lies and Truths

Satch Boogie

Shine On American Dreamer

Three Sheets to the Wind

Cryin'

Drum Solo

Time Machine

Always with Me, Always with You

Surfing with the Alien

Encore:

Crowd Chant

Summer Song 

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Founder Write A Music Review/Prog Rock Music Talk