30 September 2014

Keyboard Legend Keith Emerson's 70th Birthday Tribute Concert – Long Island, NY – Oct. 10 & 11, 2014

New York, NY - The South Shore Symphony Orchestra presents Keith Emerson's 70th Birthday Tribute Concert - The Classical Legacy of a Rock Star Featuring: Keith Emerson! The concerts will be held at The Madison Theatre at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York on October 10 (Fri) at 8:00PM and October 11 (Sat) at 8:00PM.

Along with performing, Keith Emerson will be conducting his own composition "Glorietta Pass", orchestrated by Kjetil Bjerkestrand. The piece has never been recorded in orchestrated form. Also featured on Piano Concerto No. 1 (1977), pianist Jeffrey Biegel, originator of the project.

Scott Jackson Wiley: Conductor and Music Director
Keith Emerson: Glorietta Pass (Conducted by Keith Emerson)
Keith Emerson: Piano Concerto No. 1 (1977) - Jeffrey Biegel: Piano Soloist
Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
Keith Emerson's Piano Solos - Titles: TBA

Keith Emerson, Conductor
Keith Emerson & Jeffrey Biegel, Piano
Scott Jackson Wiley, Conductor and Musical Director
A very special thanks to Wayne Lipton, President of South Shore Symphony and Cellist

Ticket info:
Tickets: $30, $45 and $55

For more information:
"LIKE!" and post your comment about this event on Keith Emerson Official Facebook Page

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

Concert Review:10,000 Maniacs Entertain At The Colonial In Pittsfield Massachusetts

10,000 Maniacs rolled into to Pittsfield Friday night…well not literally. I am referring to the groundbreaking alternative rock band that broke through college radio and made an imprint for that respective niche over three decades ago.

This is not a band I have followed over the years although have been quite aware of their impact since they arrived in the early 80s. I covered the reissued vinyl LP Our Time In Eden and completely enjoyed it so that was enough impetus to go see them perform at the beautiful Colonial Theater.

Mary Ramsey took over for Natalie Merchant in 1994 and has been with the band ever since. It’s never easy stepping into the shoes of an established star of a successful band and sometimes it just doesn’t work but in this case the transition was seamless and 30 years on Ramsey is still at center stage delivering her vocals and viola playing with authority.

Members include Jerome Augustyniak (drums), Dennis Drew (keyboards, vocals), Jeff Erickson (guitars, vocals), Steven Gustafson (bass guitar, witty banter), Mary Ramsey (viola, vocals) and John Lombardo (occasional guitar and trivia). On this night however Melanie Luciano was on stage playing acoustic guitar and providing harmonies as well. Also towards the end of the second half of the show, three local brass players entered the mix and things really got cooking.

Hailing from Jamestown New York, the band takes influences of Celtic Folk to produce their distinctive sound. They can be subtle and inviting within a song but they also can build a piece into a literal rocking wall of sound. Right from the start I was impressed with their precise musicianship and innate musicality. The chemistry on stage with the band is obvious and they all seem in sync with each other. That obviously has a lot to do with their success and the way each song is presented in a live setting.

One of the first things I noticed right at the beginning of the first song was the big drums of Jerome Augustyniak. He continued to impress throughout the evening and I genuinely respected how hard he worked behind his drum kit. That position in the band is the most arduous as far as I am concerned and you have to have endless stamina and be very athletic. With all due respect to everyone in the band, as they were superb, this man was a perpetual motion machine.

What I found most enjoyable was the eclectic presentation the band made. Their blend of Celtic, folk, rock and alternative left the door wide open for plenty of improvisation. What the audience witnessed was exactly that, a prominent display of across the board talent. I was most appreciative of the fine musicianship. These are true professionals who do not miss a thing making their way through a song.

I think the people in attendance really appreciated what was on offer this beautiful fall evening. There was a couple in front of us that came in and it seemed like they were in absolute awe of the facility. They were from New York City and certainly there are plenty of venues there to appreciate. They thought that The Colonial was gorgeous and very special. I could not agree more and the 10,000 Maniacs were in agreement as well, as all artists are that visit there are.

I look forward to many exciting upcoming dates at the Colonial for the rest of this year and until March next year. Check their website and mark you calendar’s!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder of Write A Music Review, New Age Music Reviews, Prog Rock Music Talk and Rate The Tracks


Prog Rock Review: Keith Emerson and Greg Lake-Live From Manticore Hall

Release Date: 14thJuly 2014
Label:   Manticore Records

This particular duo require very little in the way of an introduction, as they completed 2/3rds of one of the biggest names in symphonic prog, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or ELP. This live recording from 2010, Live From Manticore Hall, brings together Keith Emerson (keyboards) and Greg Lake (vocals, bass, electric and acoustic guitars), with a selection of ELP compositions from the albums, Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1970), Tarkus (1971), Trilogy (1972) and Works Vol 1 (1977). The duo also covers a track from the very first King Crimson album, In The Court Of The Crimson King, with Greg being a member of that band at the time.

There is an explanation of the origins and reason behind this particular release, given by Greg on the album, but I will briefly give the information here. The album, Live From Manticore Hall, came about when Keith and Greg were writing together in 2010 and did some versions of older ELP songs to relax and unwind, with both deciding that what was happening could translate very well to an intimate style concert. What you will find on this album are instantly recognizable tunes, but with some experimentation and new slants.

Live From Manticore Hall, is a 10 track live album with a running time of around 77 minutes. The longest track on offer is a version of “Tarkus” stretching out over the 17 minute point, (17:08), with the “Introduction” being the shortest track at just over a minute (1:05).

The opening track on Live From Manticore Hall is the aptly titled, “From The Beginning” (6:09) which has a majestic keyboard introduction from Keith with that instantly recognizable voice of Greg appearing around the 1:30 minute mark. This song flows along so well with the superb guitar of Greg and the piano of Keith adding a slightly different sound to the original. What comes across quickly from this track is how intimate and relaxed the whole atmosphere of this gig is.

“Introduction” (1:05) does exactly what it suggests and leads into the track “I Talk To The Wind” (5:33) from the debut album by King Crimson, and as Greg explains, he had not sung live since 1969. Stunning piano by Keith sets the scene for this beautiful rendition of what is one of my favorite tracks from In The Court Of The Crimson King album. Yet again the powerful timbre of Greg’s voice “nails” the vocals, even after 41 years. This is a re-visitation of an old song, but set in a slightly different style which adds to the class of the original.

“Bitches  Crystal” (6:18), “The Barbarian” (6:22) and “Take A Pebble” (5:20) then follow, with the first having an intro from Keith explaining how he and Greg met up when sharing the billing at the Fillmore West in 1969, as members of The Nice and King Crimson respectively. “Bitches Crystal” highlights the two great showmen on offer on this album, with stunning keyboards and superb vocals/guitar, before moving on to “The Barbarian” which has classic keyboards from the off, and can still send shivers up your spine. “Take A Pebble” gets an explanation as to how it came about from Greg, before they settle into the song with more pristine piano by Keith and lyrics being delivered in crystal clear vocals by Greg.

“Tarkus” (17:08) is a slimmed down version of the title track from the album released in 1971, which ran on for over 20 minutes. As with all the tracks on the album, these revamped versions add to the originals by allowing superb keyboards and guitar interplay to breathe new life into the old classics. 

Next up is the beautiful “C’est La Vie” (6:01) from the Works album and there is a nice little bit of info that Johnny Halliday covered the song and had a French No 1. The acoustic guitar, the voice and the atmosphere make this a simply amazing track.

The penultimate track, “Pirates” (13:30) is also from the Works album and was the “epic” track from that release. The spoken word intro, blending in to the keyboards, drums and bass, produce a superb grandiose chunk of music, which ebbs and flows, recalling vividly the atmosphere of sailing ships and battles.

The finale to the album, Live From Manticore Hall, is the majestic “Lucky Man” (10:35), again with a little intro by Greg. The start allows Keith to show his skills on the moog (apparently the original instrument used in the recording) before the song gets properly started. The moog solo goes on for about 1:40 minutes before the piano takes over, building towards the actual song which appears around 5:30 minutes, with Greg’s guitar and vocal taking center stage. As the song progresses, the moog reappears, as it does on the original and Keith takes the track out to rapturous applause.

Live From Manticore Hall is a superb album, showcasing two giants of the “classic prog” era, but with the twist that the songs are not note for note covers, but, dare I say it, two more mature musicians putting a more mature slant on the music. The atmosphere simply exudes the feeling of laid back relaxation, which Keith and Greg seem to have immersed themselves in, and the whole album simply flows.

The advice for this album is to settle comfortably into a seat and listen to Live From Manticore Hall several times, and be astounded at how “fresh” these old tracks sound. “One To Buy” and “The Experience Will Last Forever” stickers adorn the front cover and this should be a perfect addition to any prog collection.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: From The Beginning, I Talk To The Wind, Lucky Man

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

September 30, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

28 September 2014

Kinks Legend and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dave Davies To Release New Album 'Rippin Up Time'!

London, UK - The man who forever changed the sound of rock 'n' roll when he invented distortion, Kinks legend Dave Davies, has recorded a brand new solo album of all original material called 'Rippin’ Up Time' on New York based Red River Entertainment. Produced by Dave Davies & David Nolte, the new CD features 10 original new songs written in the classic Kinks style that fans of all ages will want to hear. Listen to 'Rippin Up Time' here.

Dave Davies founded the Kinks in the early 1960's and forever changed music after he sliced up the speaker cone of a little green amp and created a revolutionary, distorted guitar tone and frenetic solo on the song “You Really Got Me”. Musicologist Joe Harrington described the Kinks influence: “ 'You Really Got Me', 'All Day And All Of The Night' ... were predecessors of the whole three-chord genre ... The Kinks did a lot to help turn rock n roll into rock.” In 1998, writer Bill Crowley wrote, “As lead guitarist and founder of The Kinks, Dave Davies is one of the most unpredictable and original forces in rock, without whom guitar-rock styles including heavy metal and punk would have been inconceivable. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Dave's massive guitar sounds have inspired bands from Van Halen to Green Day.”

Dave explains that 'Rippin Up Time' is about “a man's reflections of the past, his fears, anxieties and optimism about the present and hopeful expectations about the future. I had a lot of ideas in my head thinking about the past and how we started and the Kinks and my own life and the present and what's happening with my life now and concerns and worries, anxieties about the future. I suddenly had an image of all the times overlapping as if they're all in one place in my mind. I thought I'd just write it from the point of view of a dream. It's a mixture of emotions that I was going through as I was writing the songs, some would be happy or reflective or sad.”

Hard hitting tracks “Johnny Adams”, “Nosey Neighbours” and title track “Rippin Up Time” show Dave's classic riffs, distinctive singing and playing style while songs like “Semblance of Sanity” and “Mindwash” take the listener to otherworldly, inner landscapes. Dave's son musician/producer Russ Davies' appearance is a surprise treat with his smokey vocals on “In the Old Days” and “Through my Window”. Says Dave, “It was wonderful working with my son Russ Davies and old friend David Nolte on this project and am really excited about the album.” Dave's accent and cockney brogue gives a delightful English flavour to many tracks. He shows his sensitive side in the pensive, futuristic ballad “Between the Towers” while “King of Karaoke” takes a humorous look at many people's favorite pastime. David Nolte's musical contributions and thoughtful co-production throughout 'Rippin Up Time' reveals an inspiring creative collaboration. Former E1 and PolyGram executive Bob Frank's Red River label which is distributed via Sony RED in the US is proud to be releasing 'Rippin Up Time' due out on October 28, 2014.

In a recent interview with Andy Greene of Rolling Stone, Dave imparted, “I like to work quick. You want to attack an idea when it's living and breathing. I didn't want to reach the stage where I heard the songs so many times I began to second guess myself, which has happened in the past." (read the entire Rolling Stone interview here)

Since the early days, Dave Davies has worked on a slew of critically acclaimed records, ranging from solo hit single “Death of a Clown”, to experimental Kinks records like 'Village Green Preservation Society' and 'Arthur' as well as the classic 'Lola' in the 70's. In the 80's Dave released experimentally prescient solo work like the eponymous album titled 'Dave Davies' or 'AFL1-3603' named after himself and/or the barcode symbol face cover art. His mainstream success continued in the 80's on hit Kinks albums 'Low Budget' and 'State of Confusion'. In the 90's he released more solo work such as 'Bug' and the compilation 'Unfinished Business'. His songs have been featured in films by John Carpenter and on TV shows like 'The Sopranos', which used his tune “Living On A Thin Line”. His tell-all autobiographical book 'Kink' was well received in the late 90's as well. In recent years, Dave has collaborated creatively with his sons. In 2010 he worked with son Russell Davies in the Aschere Project to create the hauntingly, beautiful rock electronica album 'Two Worlds'. The film 'Mystical Journey', directed by son Martin Davies, narrates Dave's longtime interest in the paranormal, Eastern philosophies and spirituality (the film inspired Julien Temple s BBC documentary 'Kinkdom Kome'). In 2013 Dave released 'I Will Be Me' on Cleopatra Records. No matter how diverse the ambition, Dave Davies puts his heart and soul in all of his projects.

Ever the visionary legend always ahead of his time, from slashing up a speaker cone all those years ago to his new release 'Rippin In Time', Dave Davies, rocks the past, present and, no doubt, the future!

Tracks include:
1. Ripping Up Time
2. Semblance of Sanity
3. King of Karaoke
4. Front Room
5. Johnny Adams
6. Nosey Neighbours
7. Mindwash
8. Between the Towers
9. In The Old Days
10. Through My Window

Dave Davies 'Rippin Up Time' is available for pre-order on Amazon

Dave Davies embarks a 13-date American solo tour beginning November 11th in Milwaukee. He will be performing several songs from the new album, along with all the Kinks classics!

Dave Davies tour dates:

11th Nov, 2014 - Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
12th Nov, 2014 - City Winery Chicago. Chicago, IL
13th Nov, 2014 - City Winery Chicago. Chicago, IL
14th Nov, 2014 - The Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI
18th Nov, 2014 - Pullo Center, York, PA.
19th Nov, 2014 - The Center for Arts in Natick, Natick, MA
20th Nov, 2014 - Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
21st Nov, 2014 - Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
22nd Nov, 2014 - Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, Bethlehem, PA
24th Nov, 2014 - City Winery, New York, NY
25th Nov, 2014 - City Winery, New York, NY
26th Nov, 2014 - The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA
28th Nov, 2014 - BergenPAC, Englewood, NJ

Kinks news!

On October 14, Legacy Recordings will celebrate 50 years of Kinkdom with the historic release of 'The Essential Kinks', the first-ever career-spanning retrospective anthology comprised of key recordings made for the Pye/Reprise, RCA, Arista and Columbia labels (track list below), and fully endorsed by the band. On November 10, Legacy will release an expanded CD/DVD deluxe edition of 'Muswell Hillbillies', The Kinks' 1971 masterpiece of working class social observation, a musical statement remarkably relevant in today's world. Newly remastered from the original analog tapes, 'Muswell Hillbillies' includes the original album in its entirety as well as nine bonus tracks (seven of them previously unavailable in North America), and a DVD of rare 1972 television appearances (never released in North America).
For more information: www.legacyrecordings.com

Dave Davies official website: http://davedavies.com/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com
For additional inquiries, contact: ddmusic.media@gmail.com

27 September 2014

Captain Beefheart 'Le Nouvel Hippodrome, Paris 1977' Rare Concert Recording Now Available!

London, UK – Much to the excitement of Captain Beefheart fans worldwide, Gonzo Multimedia just released on DBL CD a rare live recording of the Captain in concert at the Le Nouvel Hippodrome in Paris on November 19, 1977! Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called the Magic Band (1965–1982), with whom he recorded 13 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste and formed friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley's “Diddy Wah Diddy”, which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album 'Safe As Milk', released in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Zappa's Straight Records. As producer, Zappa granted Beefheart unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969's 'Trout Mask Replica', which ranked 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's strict discipline, led the entire band to quit. Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: 'Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)' (1978), 'Doc At The Radar Station' (1980) and 'Ice Cream For Crow' (1982).

Van Vliet has been described as “...one of modern music's true innovators” with “...a singular body of work virtually unrivaled in its daring and fluid creativity.” Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a 'highly significant' and 'incalculable' influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians. Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture, and a venture that proved to be his most financially secure. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010, having suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years.

This extraordinary record catches the Captain at his best; live on stage in 1977. A few days after the show he said:

“This band is so good - the best I have ever had! They play with a smile. They really breathe up there when they are playing. After all this time I have finally found the band I'm looking for. It's amazing! Playing with this group is like going for a walk: they are so happy when they play. People I meet from the audience have been coming up and telling me how pleased they are that I have finally found a band that I am content with - and they are right.

“The gig we played in Paris was monstrous. It was three days ago, but I haven't slept since - it was so good! And my voice, well, I can still feel that show in my voice. It hit me so hard I am down to three octaves .... I couldn't get over the way the audience was singing along with it, singing the words back at me in English - and I don't speak a word of French.

“This group, I tell you, I couldn't believe that there were such nice people still around on this earth. True, they are playing what I have written, but they really are playing. This band is moving so fast that very soon I won't have to tell them anything. I really must say this band is the best ...”

1. Hair Pie: Bake III
2. Suction Prints
3. Low Yo Yo Stuff
4. Bat Chain Puller
5. I Wanna Find A Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have To Go
6. Abba Zabba
7. Dali's Car
8. One Nest Rolls After Another
9. The Dust Blows Forward and the Dust Blows Back
10. Nowadays a Woman's Got To Hit a Man
11. Click Clack
12. Grow Fins
13. Golden Birdies

Disc II

14. Electricity
15. A Carrot Is As Close As a Rabbit Gets To a Diamond.
16. China Pig
17. Sun Zoom Spark
18. My Human Gets Me Blues
19. Floppy Boot Stomp
20. Moonlight on Vermont
21. Carson City
22. Old Black Snake
23. Pachuco Cadaver
24. Veteran's Day Poppy/Band Intro
25. The Blimp
26. Big Eyed Beans From Venus

To purchase Captain Beefheart 'Le Nouvel Hippodrome, Paris 1977' DBL CD: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15713/Captain_Beefheart_and_his_Magi-Le_Nouvel_Hippodrome,_Paris_1977.html

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

26 September 2014

Rockabilly Guitarist Danny B. Harvey Releases A New Album With Former Devil’s Daughter Mysti Moon!

Los Angeles, CA - Get ready to stomp along with a brand new set of recordings from veteran rockabilly guitar slinger of The Head Cat (with Lemmy & Slim Jim Phantom), 69 Cats, and The Rockats, Danny B. Harvey! The album is called Hell Cat Stomp and is an inspired collaboration between Harvey & sultry vocalist Mysti Moon, formerly of The Devil’s Daughters, to be released on Cleopatra Records October 14!

Harvey explains the origin of the project, “The songs were inspired by old timey singers from the Blues, Jazz and Country music fields. We wanted simple arrangements with great vocal and guitar performances. The original plan was that the album would be all cover versions, making sure we stayed true to the era we were honoring, but after a few songs I got inspired and had to write some original compositions.”

He goes on to share about the making of the album, “Working with Mysti has always been an amazing experience, since first meeting her when I produced the Devil’s Daughters. I’ve been floored with the depth of her vocals talents. She is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with and being as young as she is, she has a long career in front of her.”

In sum, “This is the album I’ve always wanted to do, paying homage to my heroes from the early days of Jazz, Blues and Country music. The very beginning of modern music, long before Rock’n’Roll existed! Mysti is the perfect collaborator for me to use on this project as her voice and enthusiasm inspires me to make a great record. We sweated, sang and played our hearts out and made an album we’re both very proud of!

1. (This Train Is Going) Straight To Hell
2. Black Betty
3. Shake It On Down
4. When The Levee Breaks
5. St. James Infirmary Blues
6. Hell Cat Stomp
7. I’m Wild About That Thing
8. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
9. Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair
10. That’s It, That’s All
11. House Of The Rising Sun
12. Hard Moon Boogie

Order the CD on Amazon: http://geni.us/1M1p

Order the digital version on iTunes: http://geni.us/req

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158

11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025

Progressive Rock Review: Mostly Autumn-Dressed In Voices (Deluxe Edition)

Release Date: 10thJune 2014
Label: Mostly Autumn Records

I have just received the latest studio release from the band, Mostly Autumn, called Dressed In Voices (and it is the deluxe version), for review. I can recall reviewing a live release from the band and look forward to hearing what they can do in a studio setting. Mostly Autumn is a UK band formed in 1995, and are heavily influenced by classic 70’s rock, citing Genesis, Renaissance and Pink Floyd as early influences , as well as folk music. The band has released 11 studio albums from For All We Shared (1998) up to this release, Dressed In Voices (2014).

The band at the time of recording this album consisted of 7 members, one of which has subsequently left and been replaced by a person who had previously been a member years ago. On the album are Bryan Josh (Guitar, keyboards and vocals), Olivia Sparnenn (vocals and percussion), Ian Jennings (keyboards, synths and Hammond organ), Liam Davidson (guitars and vocals), Anne Marie Helder ( guitar, flute, keyboards and vocals), Andy Smith (bass) and Alex Cromarty (drums). It is Liam who is no longer with the band, replaced by Chris Johnson, who was a member of the band in 2006/2007.

The 2 disc deluxe edition of Dressed In Voices has a total playing time of around 95 minutes with the main disc, disc 1, the longer of the two at just over 63 minutes and the bonus disc, disc 2, playing just over 31 minutes. The longest track on offer is “First Day At School” on disc 1, which has a playing time of 7:28 minutes and the shortest track is also on disc 1, but appears to be a short link, “See You,” at a miserly 0:23 minutes.

Dressed In Voices is a concept album dealing with a gruesome murder and how that action impinges on the memories, dreams, hopes and expectations. Given the dark subject of the concept, the music surprisingly comes across in a fairly upbeat manner. 

I always feel that the opening track to any album is important, but even more so when that album is a concept album. The opening track on Dressed In Voices, “Saturday Night” (5:09) sets the scene for the story that is about to unfold in the following 60+ minutes. An atmospheric start, with street noises and footsteps, merges into keyboards, guitar and drums before dropping into the 2 voices, Bryan and Olivia, backed mainly by acoustic guitar. Just on the 2 minute mark, the sound erupts with the band in full flow, and Olivia’s voice straddles the music majestically. The track then ebbs and flows from band power to the Olivia/acoustic sections and another input from the “natural” sounds before Olivia’s superb voice drives the track to its conclusion.

A piano and Bryan’s crystal clear voice starts track 2, “Not Yours To Take” (5:01) before the band add some clout to the proceedings, together with some very serene sounding strings. The track builds up in presence and then moves into a guitar passage which certainly seems very familiar. The opening 2 tracks quickly draw the listener into the album. They are stunningly sculpted tracks from a band that is working as a very tight unit.

“Running” (4:33) features the main vocals by Olivia, which highlights one of the huge plus points to this band, in that they possess two vocalists who are individually superb but also harmonize in an amazing manner.
As with all concept albums, the music requires to be heard in its entirety to fully appreciate the scale of what the band has achieved.

The longest track on the first album is “First Day At School” (7:28) and is another example of a simple backing of piano and strings, fronted by the male/female harmonizing. Sparse, stunning and beautiful, this track begins to build after the 3 minute mark and morphs into a solid driving song, complete with little “hook” passages. This is a track of contrasting halves, both combining to provide a super 7+ minutes.

This is a tremendous album which seems to have brought together the perfect fusion of their influences. Previous albums have hinted at this fusion, but, invariably seemed to fall into the prog folk or the heavier side, but this is an example of a band “getting it right.” The band weave between the melodic, symphonic, heavy and Celtic influences seamlessly.

As an additional plus, apart from the 63 minute concept album, there is also the 30+ minute bonus disc containing another 9 tracks.

Dressed In Voices, I think will be an album that is a revelation to the followers of the band, having crafted the perfect album. Yes. I did use the word “perfect,” as this seems to be what the band have been striving to do and now, they have done just that. As a starting point for people who do not know the music of Mostly Autumn, Dressed In Voices is an excellent entry into their world. The album gets better with repeated listens and both stickers, “One To Watch” and “The Experience will last Forever” adorn the cover of this album. Be prepared to create a space on the CD shelf once you have given Dressed In Voices a listen.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Not Yours To Take, Running, First Day At School 

Disc 1:
Saturday Night
Not Yours To Take
See You
First Day At School
Down By The River
Skin On Skin
The House On The Hill
The Last Day
Dressed In Voices
The Library
Box Of Tears

Disc 2:
Silhouettes Of Stolen Ghosts
Teardrops of a Flame
Dance Till The Dawn Invades
Stepping Stones
Would You
One You Mean
Skin On Skin
Lady Rainbows
Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk

September 26, 2014

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

New Age/Chill Instrumental Review: 7and5-Themes For A Grey Day

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Label: Nix Music

John Nixon A.K.A. 7and5 and his new Themes For A Grey Day CD is ten tracks of new age instrumental chill. It could be a soundtrack to a film or your life, the choice is yours.

The name came from the fact that all musical notes can be expressed within an octave on a piano as 7 white keys and 5 black keys. Clever yet simple and direct, I like that explanation.

When you think about the title of the album it makes you wonder what kind of listening experience you are about have. The “grey” area as it is referred to in common everyday life is a neutral space, the unknown; it’s neither negative nor positive. This is music we are talking about here so where is the difference and how does the term apply?

As we dive into this aural journey of sound and color “Cloudburst” invites you into a menagerie of sounds and textures. It is uplifting and refreshing as cool rain drops hitting your face on a steamy hot July afternoon. For my senses it was a pleasure and I heard and felt no “grey” areas. This is a solid opener and a terrific way to kick off the album. The next track “Nightfall” starts off slower and more introspective before reaching an apex of sound with keyboards. It is filled with anticipation and the wonder of nature’s gifts.

I can see how the artist is able to implement all the instruments and sounds at his disposal to create something that matches up well with the title of the track. With instrumentals it is difficult to do that however 7and5 has his pulse on the human condition and knows how to manipulate sounds to make everything work together beautifully. I am not one that can stay focused on chill music for too long; I get bored easily and lose interest after a fashion. This did not happen to me listening to Themes For A Grey Day. The reason is that there is the right combination of new age and chill mixed together to make one complete sound that satisfies and intrigues you.

“Frozen” is as prolific as the title. It is a “what you see is what you get” kind of term. Picture a river flowing underneath the frozen ice ever so slow then as you look closer it starts to move faster. That is the best way to describe how this track unfolds. I really enjoy how new age artists take the essence of nature and our surroundings and turn it into beautiful sounds that create images within the Third Eye Chakra.

“Passing Storms” keeps up the momentum and spirit of this recording going. This could relate to what nature brings us or certain life situations and challenges. The passing storm eventually leaves and the sunshine comes back if we have a positive outlook on life. 

Instrumental music holds so much within for one individual listener to interpret and that is a blessing for those who have an open heart and mind. The instruments are healers and the one that administers the sounds is like your own personal shaman. Themes For A Grey Day is a relaxing and exhilarating experience all at once. This is a journey you will want to take again and again.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Cloudburst, Nightfall, Passing Storms

03.13 Days
04. Frozen
05.Passing Storms
07.No Moon, Fallen Stars
08.The Pulse of Rain

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

September 26, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

World-Renowned Guitar Player Steve Hunter Releases Live CD & DVD 'Tone Poems Live'

“Steve is a wonderful musician with great chops and a big heart.” - Peter Gabriel

Los Angeles, CA - For the first time ever, Blues Rock Guitarist Steve Hunter, renowned for his work with Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper, is captured on film playing a career-spanning anthology in an intimate setting with some of the worlds finest players.

Also featuring Tony Levin, Phil Aaberg and Alvino Bennett!

The DVD, titled 'Tone Poems Live', was filmed on August 24th 2013 at a recording studio in LA. Alongside Steve was Tony Levin on Bass (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) Phil Aaberg on Keyboards (Elvin Bishop, Peter Gabriel) Alvino Bennett on Drums (Dave Mason, Robin Trower).

They rehearsed for two days and filmed on the third day as though it were in front of an audience. Fourteen tunes, each played twice, with no overdubs added later. The material was chosen from most of Steve’s solo albums plus a few covers, including ‘Solsbury Hill’ ‘What’s Going On’ and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s ‘Riviera Paradise’.

“The soulful notes that Steve Hunter plays have the perfect balance of fat warm tone, taste and personality” - Steve Vai

This is the first time Steve Hunter has ever been filmed doing his own material plus material of his own choice. Steve is now legally blind and although not out of the question, touring has become more of a challenge. The recording session was produced and recorded by Brian Brinkerhoff and Paul Lani.

Tony Levin: “Steve is one of those wonderful musicians who speaks from the heart”

Phil Aaberg: “There’s something about the subtlety, the texture and the tone quality that he gets with an individual note, to me that’s a great guitar player”

Alvino Bennett: “I’m hearing all three Kings; Albert, BB and Freddy”

Jason Becker: “I can't put into words how much your soul comes out of your fingers. Everyone should see and hear this DVD”!

Watch some of the DVD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68-xsbfVypI

To purchase Steve Hunter's 'Tone Poems Live' DVD:

To purchase Steve Hunter's 'Tone Poems Live' CD:

Steve Hunter’s website: www.stevehunter.com
Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

25 September 2014

Featured Track: Order Of Thieves-Tollbooth Goddess

A new band called Order of Thieves just released a track off their upcoming album titled "Tollbooth Goddess."

Order of Thieves is Rick Habib (drums, vocals), Bob Lord (basses, organ) and Jon McCormack (guitar, vocals) who are veterans of the music world.

"Tollbooth Goddess" comes right out of the gate swinging for a homerun with hard hitting bass, drums and fat melodic chords from the electric guitar.

The vocals are spot on and will sound fimilar to you if rock, pop or progressive rock are genres that you frequently visit.

This is a track full of energy and a steady rockin' beat that does not let up. A killer choice to give listeners a taste of what is to come!

24 September 2014

Original Judas Priest Vocalist Al Atkins and Guitar Virtuoso Paul May To Release Third Atkins May Project Album 'Empire Of Destruction'

“Empire of Destruction' offers an Apocalyptic Vision with a Message of Hope”

London, UK - After the Success of their first two albums 'Serpents Kiss' and 'Valley Of Shadows', the Atkins May Project returns in grand style, with yet another Colossal Album of Gargantuan Proportions!

Like its predecessors 'Empire Of Destruction' comes once again straight out of the heart of “Black Country” in the UK, the “Home of Metal”! The album continues its Classic Rock theme with enough metal moments to melt your face off, yet features an abundance of imagination and class to intrigue even the most progressive of tastes.

Says Al, “From 'World at War' to 'Whisper to the Wind' it will take you on a journey of battle fields to sombre tears...”

Again boasting a superb collection of immense Rock and Metal tracks with standout vocals throughout from Atkins (sounding like he's gargled with razor blades for breakfast!) To the tasteful guitar work of musical virtuoso May, who still shreds the axe like the old guitar masters themselves. All in all another Authoritative release from these Classic British Rock Merchants.

Says Paul, “Our first album 'Serpents Kiss' set the bench mark for the second 'Valley of Shadows', a mature classic metal affair, that in turn set a much higher new bench mark for 'Empire of Destruction', which has evolved into something I believe will stand the test of time, an to be album to proud of.”

Al Atkins: Noted for forming UK's Judas Priest and fronting them for four years and laying down the foundations which would see them eventually selling 40 million albums worldwide. He also wrote songs for them which went gold like “Dreamer Deceiver”, “Never Satisfied”, “Winter”, “Caviar and Meths” and Priest's all time classic “Victim of Changes”. Al's unique powerful vocal style sites influences by noted rock singers Roger Daltrey, Paul Rodgers and longtime friend Robert Plant. Al has done countless radio and TV interviews worldwide and recently featured in the BBC TV 'British Heritage'. He has even written a book on his musical life about growing up in Birmingham, UK alongside Robert Plant and Black Sabbath called 'Dawn of the Metal Gods'. Al has released 6 solo albums to date, and teamed up with brilliant Christian writer/guitarist Paul May to record their critically acclaimed debut album 'Serpent's Kiss'.

Paul May: Some people learn to play guitar, Paul was born to play guitar! Paul has become respected for his passionate, soulful guitar work and noted for his explosive and exciting solos. As a world class professional guitarist and songwriter, Paul has played and recorded sessions across the globe, touring and playing throughout the UK, Europe, USA and the Eastern block. Paul appears on around 50 albums to date, featured in both the secular and Christian arenas. Paul is also a record producer and has covered the entire spectrum of musical tastes in production.

Now with the release of the new Atkins May Project CD, the dichotomous duo are ready once again to bring their special brand of rock and metal to the masses. If standing in a Wind Tunnel and being hit in the stomach by a bowling ball is your kind of album ... rush out and buy it!

The first 1,000 CD's comes with a limited edition DVD!

Atkins May Project – 'Empire Of Destruction' CD sampler:

Release date: September 29, 2014

Atkins May Project – 'Empire Of Destruction' is available through Gonzo MultiMedia and can be purchased at: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15720

For more information: www.atkinsmayproject.com ;

Al Atkins: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Al-Atkins-OFFICIAL/230067500390122?fref=ts

Paul May: www.paulmaymusic.co.uk

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

Alternative Rock Review: Sarah Schulte-Getting Away

Release Date: Jul 15, 2014
Label: SarahNade

Young and pretty Sarah Schulte looks like the typical pop diva right? While that may hold a certain amount of truth, so does the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Never is that more appropriate for this performer.

Schulte’s seven track recording is a portrait of one powerful singer. She goes from dark to light then light to dark, covering the spectrum of emotions throughout this musical statement titled Getting Away.

As the opening track starts with the ticking of the clock you anticipate a powerful message delivered and it is with “Seconds,” one energetic and snappy opening track. The all-important kick off track does its job and sets the tone going forward.

“Getting Away” starts off a little more timidly but do not be fooled…it’s another knockout punch regardless of the shifting pace and tempo. If words could kill this track would be a deadly weapon. The guitar is great on this track, it rocks and when the lead takes over that one passage puts a final killer stamp on it and pushes it over the top. Again, message delivered in your face whether you like it or not.

“Crying Shame” is more pop oriented and smooth but yet another powerful set of lyrics. These are words that need to be heard for whomever it may fit at the moment. There is always someone in need with the inability to express things in words but can only communicate it with an action or reaction. In this case the words are the “action.”

“Crimson Lullaby” is probably the most provocative track lyrically and musically it supports the hard words with flourishes of high energy and succinct power. It starts off with a nice piano intro, then builds, and builds to a sweeping crescendo of vocals and a wall of sound that makes the words hit home with feeling. After you look at the CD inside cover where the lyrics are you see the track is in memory of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. 

“Nigthmare” is self-explanatory with appropriate lyrics and some fast paced music with some keyboards to give it an electronic dance feel to it. It makes you feel like you are the character portrayed in the story running for your life.

The only track the feels out of place on the entire album is “Spooky Funky Nasty.” I give Schulte credit for trying something different however it was not a good choice to close out an otherwise consistently strong effort.

I really focused in on all the lyrics and the music was the added bonus. I have to say that Schulte has a great voice and is a very talented young lady. She is from Southern California, the perfect place to grow up in an environment that encourages people to reach for the stars then become one. She is on the right course to success.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Seconds, Getting Away, Crimson Lullaby


1. Seconds       
2. Getting Away       
3. Crying Shame       
4. Torn       
5. Crimson Lullaby       
6. Nightmare       
7. Spooky Funky Nasty

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder

September 24, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music