21 December 2018

New Age World Instrumental: Mikuskovics Baum-Timeless

Release Date: December 21, .2018
Label: Independent

Mikuskovics Baum has a new release titled Timeless. It is significant that the date of release is the beginning of the Winter Solstice.

I think it is imperative that I took a snippet of information from the artist website so you can understand a bit more about them and their music.

Bernhard Mikuskovics & Georg Baum present sensitive and intimate but yet passionate and wild early European and Indo-European songs, dances and tunes as well as timeless improvisations in a contemporary outfit using vocals, overtone singing, jodeling, harp, guitar, Jew’s harp, bowed psaltery, ocarina, ethnic flutes & instruments.

That is a fair introduction to these two talented gentlemen. There are seven tracks and none under 6 minutes in length. The first track comes in at a substantial 11:36. The harp is a slice of heaven, the sounds that it makes are mesmerizing and quite appealing. When the other instruments are mixed in, or should I say the plethora of sounds, it creates amazing results. I think it is fair to say that the title of this artistry is appropriate. The music you will enjoy hearing is simply put, Timeless.

Timeless is the perfect blend of ancient traditions and new technologies for sound. Taking worldly instruments and using the recording studio’s wizardry is a marriage that works very well. I have had the pleasure of hearing these types of recordings many times now. The combination of new age and world fits like a glove or your favorite pair of jeans, the ones with the worn-out knees so you see nothing but white thread. Now that is pure comfort.  That is the key element here, feeling comfortable with the music. The sounds of so many wondrous instruments make it an easy transition. It is a magic door to open into musical nirvana. You then begin to envision your own personal heaven with the music.

Admittedly there are some instruments listed in the tracks that I have never heard of. That does not phase me, I just endeavor to learn more about what is being presented. The Sruti Box, for instance, uses bellows to create the drone you will hear and the KouXian is a general Chinese term for any variety of jaw harp. So, you not only hear the traditional Jew’s Harp you get different variations and configurations of that type of instrument. I find all this fascinating. There is so much more inside the music than meets the ears (and inner eye). There are cultures, traditions, and endless information that you can be exposed to, all you need is a little curiosity. When one listens to this recording and does some research, not only does it enlighten you, you become well informed with a new-found appreciation of what went into this music and how it was created.

Timeless is beauty, serenity, earthy tones, colors, the sounds and sights of many different peoples of the world coming together, it is like tapping into a global spiritual vein of gold. This is one of the more unique and interesting albums I have heard all year and a wonderful way to close out 2018 and head into the Holidays and bring in the new year. 

I look forward to 2019 with the anticipation of many more journeys offered by so many talented individuals like Mikuskovics and Baum. This is one recording you cannot miss out on if you enjoy instrumental world music with a variety of instruments. 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 20, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 1. Timeless Zenith (B. Mikuskovics / G. Baum)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Parmupill, Mojave Flute, Native American Flute, Sruti Box, Georg
Baum: Harp

2. Intuition Element (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Celtic Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Mexican Log Drum,
Overtone Harp, Overtone Singing, KouXian, Sruti Box, Native American Flute

3. Mirror Ideal (G. Baum)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Dvojacka, Quenacho, Fujara, Jew´s Harp

4. Emotion Trance (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sruti Box, Native American Flute, Khomus,
Horn Pipe, Ocarina

5. Life Land (B. Mikuskovics)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Overtone Singing, Sruti Box, Fujara, Quenacho,
Dvojacka, Georg Baum: Harp

6. Endless Ozean (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Native American Flute.

7. Same Source See (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Khomus, Quenacho, Mojave Flute, Sruti Box,
Parmupil

20 December 2018

Guitarist Markus Reuter Releases First Christmas Album


Download the album for free!

Poly-disciplinary musician and touch guitarist Markus Reuter has just released his first Christmas album - a free, limited-availability-period recording of five traditional Christmas songs (each of which has been given Markus’ distinctive loop/solo/soundscape treatment). As with much of Markus’ music, the pieces are accessible and enjoyable while concealing hidden depths. Beneath and behind Markus’ soulful touch guitar renditions of the original melodies, billowing detailed soundscapes are built on re-examinations and explorations of the pitch series of each tune. Listeners can enjoy the simple snowfall, or choose to tunnel deeper into the ice kingdom. A parallel universe... strangely hypnotizing.

The album is available for free download from https://iapetus-store.com/album/winter-solstice-free-download between 17th and 31st December 2018 (and is available long-term as a free 5.1. surround sound version from https://surroundmusic.one/album/winter-solstice/).

For more information:
http://www.markusreuter.com
http://www.iapetus-media.com
http://www.touchguitars.com

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

19 December 2018

Instrumental Piano/New Age Review: Kurt Reiman-North Maple Road

Release Date: September 23, 2018
Label: Independent

Kurt Reiman is a self-made artist. He never had the patience to practice and read music so he listened to his favorite piano composers such as Frédéric Chopin, Billy Joel, Lyle Mays, George Winston, and Dave Brubeck. That is how he learned his craft. That kind of story really makes me think and wonder how someone can pick up how to play a song just by listening. It is a God-given gift that I simply cannot fathom but I sincerely appreciate it.

North Maple Road is the first recording released by Kurt. He is a working man just as are most indie recording artists. Not making enough money to sustain life, the indies are forced to work a day job so they can do what gives them passion. That daytime gig actually sustains the second career (in most cases). The dream, of course, is to remain working in that passion driven art form, whatever that may be. Alas, most of us do not find a way to that path but what keeps it all going is the hunger, the belief that you are actually contributing to the music-loving public and to the greater good of mankind.

Solo piano is beautiful, something that anyone can listen to at their leisure or for meditation or simply focus on one thing that needs more time and clarity. The music is the tool that carves out what we want, a time and place like North Maple Road, a fond memory, a reflection of life, or thoughts that make us smile from the inside out. It is all there waiting for us like an empty canvas waiting for those first strokes from our own personal paintbrush.

I am a New Englander and appreciate the mountains, the four seasons and the beauty that surrounds us. Just look at the cover of this CD, doesn’t it look pure and crystal clear? Don’t you wish you could think that way 24/7? That would be amazing but not realistic. Thankfully we have talented musicians like Kurt Reiman to help us down that path where we can see the light of day and feel hope. Music is so powerful and the simplicity of a piano and how Kurt makes it an extension of his soul and the physical body is a beautiful thing.

North Maple Road is twelve tracks with very meaningful titles. Kurt is a family man and you see it with the track names and feel the love and warmth in the music. He is grateful for everyone in his life and gives credit to his mentors. He knows he would not be at this point in life without all the people that have helped him. We are all the same, we just have a tendency to forget about all that and get on with our busy lives. This music creates a pause and pushes you gently to get in another space, look at the artwork on the cover of the album and think about the title of each song.

So, thank you, Kurt, for pushing me in the right direction and giving me the awareness of everything that your music means and stands for. There is so much inside this music and it is a fulfilling experience to know more about the person that created this work of art and appreciate where it all came from.
 
North Maple Road is an experience, not just another album to “listen” to.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 19, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Sunrise over Narragansett Bay
02. You’re My Friend
03. Push Me Higher Daddy
04. Walk with Me
05. Together and Alone
06. North Maple Road
07. Live Your Dreams My Son
08. I Need to Say This
09. Evening Snowfall
10. By Your Side
11. Stars and Constellations
12. You’ll Always be Here with Me



17 December 2018

Guitar Legend Jason Becker's New Album "Triumphant Hearts" Receives Rave Reviews Worldwide!


Jason Becker is a musical phenomenon!

Guitar legend Jason Becker released his eagerly anticipated new album “Triumphant Hearts” on December 7, 2018. The album has been receiving amazing reviews around the globe!

“It feels so good that people are experiencing the music in a deep way. When I was writing the album, it was what my soul needed, and I hoped others would feel the same. To see that people are feeling my heart is the greatest gift any artist could ask for.” - Jason Becker

Watch the album's trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=250&v=IXSR85mwRXw

Jason Becker's story is one of brilliance, talent, determination, adversity, and, ultimately, triumph. A child prodigy on guitar, Jason rose to prominence as a teenager when he was one half of the legendary rock guitar duo Cacophony (with his great friend Marty Friedman). After wowing audiences all over the world with his amazing guitar chops and deep compositions, Jason auditioned for—and got—the gig with David Lee Roth, following in the huge footsteps of Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. He wrote and recorded the DLR album “A Little Ain’t Enough” and was poised to take over the rock guitar world when a nagging pain in his leg was diagnosed as ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a debilitating and fatal condition with a life expectancy of maybe five years. Maybe.

That was 29 years ago.

Jason did indeed lose the ability to play guitar, walk, talk, and breathe on his own. But he never lost his will to live or his desire to create music. Communicating through a series of eye movements with a system developed by his father, Jason spells out words as well as musical notes and chords. He imparts his musical vision to his team who then can input the notes into a computer, edit the parts to his exacting standards, and then generate charts for session musicians. It is through this amazing process that Jason composes his profoundly beautiful music, rich in melody and counterpoint, brimming with emotion. His inspiring music and life story have been the subject of countless news articles, magazine cover stories, and an award-winning documentary, “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet.”

Not only is Jason not dead yet, he's busier and more prolific than ever, as evidenced by his latest release, Triumphant Hearts. The album's 14 tracks showcase Jason's gift for melody and his deep knowledge of classical composition and orchestral arrangement. Many of the guitar parts are performed by a who's-who of 6-string gods including Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, and many others. And, in what will absolutely delight his fans, Jason's amazing guitar playing—recorded in the '80s and '90s—graces several tunes.

Jason Becker is unquestionably the sexiest man alive, but he's also the most positive, upbeat, and inspiring man alive. “I really feel lucky,” says Jason. “I am surrounded by loving people, and I can still make music.”

Here's what the press have raved about Jason Becker's “Triumphant Hearts”:

https://maafbox.com/post/180956511075/triumphant-hearts-jason-becker?fbclid=IwAR0jCm-lYTimj5oADfzTj3a9zTRQ4BjDdro8EKbCWe8R0PHK2TA9_p3vOW4
“Jason Becker is Beethoven for the 21st Century. Listen to how he composes each song. Each delicate note has purpose. Every instrument ebbs and flows throughout each piece. Each guitar lick enriches the depths of each intricate movement. It makes sense that this isn’t a rock album. It’s a classical album. One I hope that will be around long after I’m gone.”

http://allabouttherock.co.uk/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/?fbclid=IwAR2nLYh6PD4ptfgoOlQ_DDdUzN8RL98-icfWa2DxzQL1gBmpFN9eZgpRusM
“This is an album I never thought would happen, a brand new album by guitar maestro Jason Becker. 'Triumphant Hearts' is exactly what it says on the tin. Triumphant. It's an album full of stunning music composed by a genius musician who has to score the opus note by note. This is quite simply a magnificent record that spews emotion.”

https://www.sonicperspectives.com/album-reviews/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
“If there is one thing that gets high marks for originality, it is a musical genius, a prisoner of his own body, writing a love letter to the world using only his eyes, and the love and support of his family, fans, and friends. The album really has something for everyone, with exceptionally beautiful composition, heart, soul, and even some good old burning it up on the fingerboard. he has given the world a masterpiece and a message of love and triumph.”

https://classicrock.net/review-jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
The music on 'TRIUMPHANT HEARTS' is all about the beauty of life and the dignified treatment of one another - the essence of humanity.”

https://darkstars.de/review/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
“Jason Becker is a musical phenomenon.”

https://www.photogroupie.com/single-post/2018/12/07/TRIUMPHANT-HEARTS-JASON-BECKER-ALBUM-REVIEW?platform=hootsuite
“It shows Jason Becker as the talented guitarist of his youth, but also a composer of exceptionally high standards. A picture may paint a thousand words, but music says things that words never can and 'Triumphant Hearts' manages to say it all. It's humbling, emotional, inspirational and filled with the brilliance of Jason Becker.”

https://metalwani.com/2018/12/review-jason-becker-triumphant-hearts.html
“'Triumphant Hearts' by Jason Becker is a testament to the unyielding spirit of an artist driven to create. No matter what the challenge or hardship, a true artist's life force is ignited and fueled by their work. You cannot help but be inspired by these compositions and admire the composer for the sheer joy he brings to us through them.”

http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/2018/12/album-review-jason-becker-triumphant-heart/
“'Triumphant Hearts' makes a joyous statement about Becker's enduring creativity in the face of incredible adversity and the fact he is still a major catalyst to his contemporaries. You will be rewarded by an album that taps into one of the most remarkable musical spirits of the modern rock era.”

https://rocknloadmag.com/album-review/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts-album-review/
“Years in the making, yet well worth the wait. This album is an audible journey through the brain of one of Rock's finest ambassadors conveyed by those who loved him and the few who are capable of translating such majesty into recorded music. Showcase his compositional skills through mesmerising arrangements and gorgeous atmospheric storytelling.”

http://www.concertmonkey.be/albumreviews/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts
“Jason Becker will always and everywhere continue to influence guitarists and musicians around the world. His personal story will be an inspiration for millions of people.”

http://www.progrockmusictalk.com/2018/12/jasonbeckertriumphanthearts.html
“Guitar fans get ready for one amazing onslaught of guitar magic on 'Triumphant Hearts.' 'Triumphant Hearts' is an amazing event that every music fan needs to hear. The man and his music will make an impression on you one way or another, I can promise you that.”

https://allthatshreds.com/review-jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
“The album's 14 tracks showcase Jason's gift for melody and his deep knowledge of classical composition and orchestral arrangement. Jason has assembled some of the great guitarists of our genre on 'Triumphant Hearts.'”

http://amongtheliving.fr/chronique-album/jason-becker/
“Jason Becker, in addition to delivering a sublime album, gives us a great lesson in life, confronting adversity and surpassing oneself. Bravo the artist.”

http://planetmosh.com/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
“A true masterpiece that has to be one of the best albums I've heard all year. buy it because it's one of the best albums you’ll hear all year. I’d be happy to listen to on repeat for hours on end.”

https://www.stormbringer.at/reviews/14919/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts.html
“One of the greatest works that has happened this year”

https://www.accordo.it/article/viewPub/94812
“A record that should be accepted as one of the most extraordinary declarations of love for music and life ever written. 'Triumphant Hearts' is a moving, vibrant, beautiful, excruciating work.”

http://metalnexus.net/review-jason-becker-triumphant-hearts/
“Some of the most genius material I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a masterpiece sounds like. A true work of art. An overwhelming inspiration.”

To purchase: http://smarturl.it/JasonBecker

Label Media Page: http://mlgpress.com/jason-becker-triumphant-hearts

For more information:
https://jasonbecker.com/
https://jasonbecker.com/#videos
https://www.facebook.com/jasonbeckerofficial/

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

15 December 2018

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY
December 13, 2018



With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.  We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.

Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.

For those of you unfortunate, tortured, misled souls that may not be familiar with Ghost, here is a bit of information I grabbed from Wikipedia.


Tobias Forge obscured his identity behind the character "Papa Emeritus". The character, which consists of Forge in a prosthetic mask and makeup can be best described as a 'demonic anti-pope'. The Papa Emeritus Character has gone through four incarnations - I, II, III, and Nihil. As of the 2018 album Prequelle and subsequent world tour, Forge portrays a character known as "Cardinal Copia," who is described as being unrelated to any of the Papa Emeritus characters and whose costume consists of either Cardinal vestments or a black or white tuxedo alongside a prosthetic mask with black eye makeup and the multi-colored eyes which had been present in each Papa character.

Ghost is quite theatrical and I expected much of what I saw. What I did not anticipate was a 7-piece band! Now the lead singer has 3 guitar players, and two ladies, who are referred to a Lionesses, on keyboards and of course the Nameless Ghouls. As with any bands rise to popularity a culture is created within and this is no exception. There were people there in the audience with the full Papa makeup and Santa Claus stocking caps and one dude was fully decked out as the Cardinal. It reminded me of the days when Kiss were on their meteoric rise and people would go out on Halloween as one of the band members. This is entertainment at its highest level as far as I am concerned.

The Ghost band is like a well-oiled machine. Seeing them two dates before the tour ends surely showed how well versed they were with their musical acumen and stage presence. Speaking of presence, Cardinal Copia has become masterful at playing to the crowd and getting a response. Many times, during each song he would yell “Are you with us Albany!” That would always get a rise in the decibel level of voices and whistles.

They opened with the raucous “Rats.” That was a perfect tone-setter for the night. I have included the official video which has over 15 million views and counting right now! There is one guitar player who is the lead, and second, that is a good match to exchange riffs with, they stand on either side of the Cardinal. In the back, you have the third guitar player who is there for a lot of background vocals, tambourine, posturing, and some electric guitar playing to accentuate the other two. The addition of the two ladies on keyboard adds that extra layer of music that at times pushes their music to the border of progressive metal. Do not fear metalheads, I did say “border,” and it is one that they have not crossed over, not yet anyway. Who knows what the future holds in the creative mind of Tobias, the master of disguise?



The setlist encompassed 3 hours and they certainly have enough material to fill that time. 28 songs were covered and it was a great mix with older material and great versions of songs from the amazing Prequelle album. My belief is that they will win the Grammy for the best metal album of 2018. They are spot and precise as any band I have heard live going their list of studio recordings.

The musicianship was outstanding all night and the transitions from the heavier songs like “Mummy Dust,” the real ass wobbler as the Cardinal coined, to the most recent rock-oriented tracks like “Life Eternal,” we got all the different aspects of this talented group encapsulated into one exciting package.

Ghost is at the top of their game now and is taking full advantage of their popularity. I do not mind paying $40 for a souvenir t-shirt to support a band that truly deserves it and they most certainly do! I hope their success continues and I would expect it would.

The difference last night and what I saw a year ago was a band with more punch, precision and extra oomph with the added members. If you like theatrical music and love heavy metal, Ghost is a sure bet to please that preference. I cannot think of a better band in the metal genre right now and would see them again without a second thought.

Set List

Act 1:
Klara stjärnor (Jan Johansson song)
Miserere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Ashes
Rats
Absolution
Idolatrine
Ritual
Con Clavi Con Dio
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Devil Church
Cirice
Miasma (with Papa Nihil saxophone solo)
Jigolo Har Megiddo (acoustic)
Pro Memoria
Witch Image
Life Eternal

Act 2:
Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook song)
Spirit
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Majesty
Satan Prayer
Faith
Year Zero
Spöksonat
He Is
Mummy Dust
If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover) (with band introductions)
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer

Encore:
Monstrance Clock
The Host of Seraphim (Dead Can Dance song)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

"The original internet “MuzikMan” Reviewer since 1998!”

14 December 2018

Instrumental Piano Review: Joseph Nimoh-Conversations On Piano

Release Date: October 15, 2018  
Label: Independent

Joseph Nimoh released his third proper album titled Conversations On Piano in October this year. I classified it generically as instrumental piano however it does have many elements that make it what it is. There is classical, contemporary instrumental, spiritual (gospel), new age and even some elements of jazz. So, it is a musical patchwork quilt if you will. Where I am coming from as a listener, this can mean diversity, colors, atmospheres, and tones that are variable in length as well as rhythm.

Joseph started playing piano at church when he was 11 years and from there went to the prestigious Berklee School of music to study piano performance. That alone is an indication of his abilities and the productive road ahead for this artist.

The twenty tracks contained on this recording are meant for relaxation, meditation and hopefully a spiritual renewal. I realize that twenty tracks may sound like a double album but several of the tracks are a bit over two minutes and only two are over four minutes. So not only are the different genres mixed in to make this album enjoyable and fresh, the time spent listening does not go on for too long. So, the opportunity to pause and shift your thoughts in this time and space cut out just for you, the appreciative listener, is afforded generously. Along those lines, I think people that listen to music like this seek it out, they know exactly what they are looking for.

Joseph Nimoh has created twenty tracks of piano bliss. It is a beautiful and enriching solitude that he presents to those who want to hear only instrumentals and no lyrics. This is the kind of format that allows complete focus and the separateness necessary to maintain that state of being. It is just what the doctor ordered, as the saying goes. That phrase is never truer than when you listen to Conversations On Piano. The title certainly suggests that the music will speak to you, I know it does for the artist. He is translating his love for the instrument and sharing his gift with everyone, which is a beautiful thing.

Conversations On Piano can be your personal journey to another realm, a chance to heal and moreover, just relax and listen and feel the warmth and purity of one man’s music gift to the world. Once again, my personal conviction of music being the universal healer to all humanity is solidified by another talented individual.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 14, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Anything For You
02. Beautiful Melody
03. Morning Dew
04. Conversations
05. Distant Land
06. Don't Be Discouraged
07. Happy Ending
08. His Plans Are Sure
09. Like Yesterday
10. Peaceful Melody
11. Silent Prayers
12. Solitude
13. Sunday Morning Pondering
14. Time For Change
15. Where We Are
16. Who's There
17. Not Alone
18. Searching For Answers
19. I am With You
20. Who Will Go
 

13 December 2018

Prog Ensemble The Gardening Club Release Eagerly Anticipated New Album "The Riddle"


London - Due to the tremendous response UK prog ensemble The Gardening Club received for the reissue of their 1983 self-titled album last year, the band has released a brand new album! The new Gardening Club album, “The Riddle” was recorded at producer/guitarist Norm Macpherson's Garry Oak Studios in Metchosin British Columbia. This location surrounded by forest and close to the Pacific Ocean, was ideal for writing and recording the new record.

Martin Springett and Norm had known each other as young players while living in Victoria many years ago, both were drawn to the music the other was making; Norm was a phenomenal blues player even at the age of 17. Martin as a new immigrant from England, was setting Tolkien's words to music. Two very different worlds! The connection that started the new project, was a mutual friend, a poet named Cyril McColgan. Martin had been setting Cyril's poems to music for many years, and so after meeting up again, Norm and Martin decided it would be fun to 'do something' together, and Cyril's words were the connection for them both, and a starting point for recording together. There was no thought of an album, just an exploration of Martin's songs, old and new, with Cyril's words. The tale grew in the telling, to quote somebody or other, and when Gonzo Multimedia re-released the original “Gardening Club” album from 1983 in October of 2017, this inspired the recording sessions with a new hope that perhaps Gonzo might well be interested in this new Gardening Club project.

The shape of the album grew and changed as players appeared, miraculously you might say, that seemed to be a perfect fit for Martin's music. Norm's son, James MacPherson brought in his phenomenal drum programming skills, as well as some very effective synth solos. Sean Drabitt, a highly respected jazz bassist, came in with fretless electric bass, to provide a unique underpinning to the songs, Sean's first love being bands like Rush and King Crimson. Wayne Kozak, with a wealth of studio experience over the decades, provided beautiful soprano sax solos. Finally, Norm Macpherson, an award winning guitarist gave the album it's 'second voice', after Martin's heartfelt vocals, his signature soaring, slide guitar. Norm also produced and engineered the album, giving it a shape and focus sound wise that again complemented Martin’s songs perfectly.

The art that Martin Springett created for the album was actually a compilation of images created over a year prior to the recording. Inspired by the very positive reaction to his Gardening Club album's re-release, Martin explored as many aspects of The Garden as he could, and The Three Riddles came out of this fertile creative period. The 24 page illustrated lyric booklet that accompanies “The Riddle”, was the next visual challenge. Martin has always felt that the link between the visual and the musical exemplified the best of the Prog rock releases of his youth, and wished to emulate that particular specific synergy with “The Riddle”.

The band is deep in the recording of the next Gardening Cub album, “Boy On A Bike”. All the songs are written, two thirds of the album recorded. This a very different experience to “The Riddle”, where the band was learning to work together. In the new one, Norm and Martin can afford to experiment just a little more, the songs are all connected together sonically, making this something of a rock concerto. The same team has assembled plus some very cool guests, which of course changes things yet again.

Martin will be putting together videos with his art and music from “The Riddle” very soon, as well as for “Boy On A Bike”.
           
In closing Martin has this to impart, “Life is full of beautiful melancholy, moody mysteries, shadows and light, grand gestures, tiny life changing moments, exploding super novas, cosmic light shows, stalled cars, love, seven year old poets, thoughts on surviving heart surgery, an homage to a brilliant female artist, the original sleep; you know the usual stuff.”



The Gardening Club features:

SEAN DRABITT - FRETLESS ELECTRIC BASS -  Sean Drabitt left Victoria, Canada, in early 90's to study Jazz bass in Los Angeles with mentor John Clayton. The next decade he spent first in New Orleans, where he worked with all members of the Marsalis family, then in New York, working with the best young players on the modern jazz scene, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Mark Turner, Eric Harland and Ari Honig among them. Specializing in a hard driving hard bop informed style of bass playing. Sean recently gave several performances on the West coast of Canada on fretless electric bass with his quartet, A Tribute To Jaco Pastorious! https://www.seandrabitt.com

WAYNE KOZAK - SOPRANO SAXOPHONE - Wayne is one of the most respected sax players on the West Coast of Canada. At home in any genre of music, his improvisations are intense and melodic explorations that add immeasurably to any song he is asked to play on. Wayne ran his own studio for many years in Vancouver, Wayne Kozak Audio Productions, involved in music production, advertising jingles and soundtracks.

JAMES MACPHERSON - James began playing different instruments when he was very young, including woodwinds in a variety of orchestras, then went on to play guitar, bass, drums and keyboards in many bands.  Teaching these instruments professionally, he also became involved with audio production, recording and producing albums for local bands. James brings a fresh and young energy to the music that has become an essential ingredient in The Gardening Club sound.

NORM MACPHERSON -  Victoria (BC) Canada Music Hall Of Fame Inductee 2010 / Lifetime Achievement Award. Norm’s reputation as an outstanding guitarist began with his lead playing in local Victoria bands like Blues By Five and Moxie. His recording and touring credits include The Poppy Family (Terry and Susan Jacks) Skylark (with founding member producer David Foster), Burton Cummings, Roy Forbes, Connie Kaldor, The Sample Stearns Band and many years with Canadian troubadour, Valdy. Norm is also an active bassoon player with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, Victoria Chamber Orchestra, and The Victoria Civic Orchestra.
http://normmacpherson.com

MARTIN SPRINGETT - Martin Springett is an artist, author and musician. He recorded his first album in 1969, settings of JRR Tolkien's poems. The album was never released, but this experience set Martin on a path to combine his art and music as one effective statement. The early days of the progressive rock movement were a huge influence, especially the combined effect of art and music, as in Roger Dean's covers for Yes. “The Gardening Club” LP, originally released in 1983, now considered a 'lost prog classic' by some, was the first mature linking of his art and music. After many years in the publishing industry, Martin is now committed full time to creating music and art that reflect his connection to this wondrous and terrifying place we call home. Planet Earth.

To purchase: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/search/product_details/16123/The_Gardening_Club-The_Riddle.html

For more information:
http://gardeningclubmusicandart.ca/the-riddle/
https://www.facebook.com/martin.springett.5

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

12 December 2018

David Pate & Rex Shepherd, One Half of the Oddyssey Quartet, To Release New Album "Seeing Sound" - December 21, 2018


The first duet release from one half of the Oddyssey Quartet, with David Pate (Sam Rivers Rivbea Orchestra) and guitarist and composer Rex Shepherd (No End of Now). “Seeing Sound” features the two playing an improvised set, creating palpable musical textures using subtle harmonic and melodic ideas and developing them into intuitive conversations, “seeing” the sound of two like minds speaking with one another.

“Playing duets with David Pate is like having a meaningful conversation with a good friend while standing on the precipice of a steep cliff, all the while wondering if you might fall off. As we played this music, we seemed to intuitively happen upon a common musical vision, so I thought that 'Seeing Sound' was an appropriate title.” - Rex Shepherd

Tracks
1. Observation 
2. Meaning Everything
3. Concept      
4. Saying Nothing
5. Recognition
6. Left is Right
7. Facts?            
8.  Turn A Round 
9.  Outsideways 
10. Seeing Sound
11. Finding Space 
12. Mind Full       
13. Commonality
14. Sound Seeing

David Pate - tenor & soprano saxophones


Rex Shepherd - guitar and prepared guitar


Release Date December 21st, 2018

To purchase: https://rexshepherd.bandcamp.com/album/seeing-sound

For more information: 
https://rexshep.com/other-projects
https://www.facebook.com/musicpagerexshepherd/
Contact: jazzman465@yahoo.com

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

10 December 2018

Classical-New Age Review: Samer Fanek-Guide Me

Release Date: December 11, 2018
Label: Independent

Samer Fanek is a talented keyboard player. I covered his debut WishfulThinking two years ago. I gave it a 5-star rating and I have no reason to believe things would be different with his new offering Guide Me. This is an instrumental recording filled with classical and contemporary music with a new age feel.

According to the artist, the first track “Grand Opening,” is intended to be exactly what it says it is. The curtain opener is an exciting burst of colors and energy that has you envisioning a scene in an action movie or an emotional still picture with a soundtrack to make it come alive. It is an amazing song but it does not set the tone for the album that most opening tracks do because of the eclectic nature of the overall presentation. “Chasing Time” is similar to the high level of energy and general pace.

What you will discover while listening are different moods, a story being told through the fingers and ivory keys. There is no doubt that this music can move you and it is meant to. The changing tides of sound and textures are a credit to Samer’s characteristic creativity and tastefulness. It can give the astute listener an opportunity to step outside any sort of emotional bubble one may feel trapped in. 

An interesting point is the artist spent the last two years dealing with his own life and through the music found a path to enlightenment…a point of letting go and allowing himself to walk through the door of change and renewal. This is what Samer’s music can do for anyone. The first step is hitting play and letting the music encapsulate your surroundings and then changing your thought process. That is a monumental change for anyone feeling stress, distraught or just sad and lonely. If you have heard anyone say “I can be in a room with 300 people and feel alone,” then that gives you an idea of the level of pain one individual could be feeling.  I think the key is to own whatever it is you are feeling at the moment then be ready to let go and move on with the help of the music.

Guide Me is an extraordinary musical achievement that will give listeners the occasion to feel what the artist is feeling and what part they may be playing in the story. Sometimes, for me, it feels like I take on my own part in the story and get this flood of feelings and emotions listening to this music, and then any isolation I may be feeling just slips away. On the positive side of the coin, there is a necessary solitude that I enjoy. It recharges my inner batteries and gives my soul a shot of light and hopefulness. It may sound complicated to some folks but it certainly works for my listening experience.

As the music guided Samer it will guide you to another space and time with a mindset that can give you a healing internally that you will come to expect from this music. I had set the bar very high for Samer on his sophomore release and he came through with another instrumental masterpiece.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 10, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 

01. Grand Opening
02. Long Time Ago
03. Newborn
04. Now You See
05. Guide Me
06. Guardian
07. Before Dawn
08. Chasing Time
09. For Lila
10. Sense of Purpose
11. Back to Hometown

 



07 December 2018

O.R.k. Announce Details of New Album Ramagehead Set For Release Through Kscope on February 22, 2019


Highly accomplished band includes award-winning composer /vocalist Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari, King Crimson's Pat Mastelotto and Porcupine Tree's Colin Edwin

Album features special guest vocalist System Of A Down's Serj Tankian 

Confirmed live headline shows throughout Europe & UK for early 2019 + support to The Pineapple Thief

O.R.k., comprising some of contemporary music's most revered artists, have combined their creative forces once again for a new studio album; their first for the ground-breaking UK label Kscope; O.R.k's Ramagehead will be released on 22nd February 2019.

The band feature Italy's celebrated vocalist, producer and award-winning film score composer Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari a.k.a LEF (lead vocals), King Crimson's Pat Mastelotto (drums), Porcupine Tree's Colin Edwin (bass), Marta Sui Tubi's Carmelo Pipitone (guitars); Ramagehead also features a superstar collaboration in the form of Grammy Award-winner Serj Tankian of System of a Down, who is undoubtedly one of metal's greatest and most renowned vocalists.

Penned following their headline European tour in support of their second album, 2017's Soul of an OctopusRamagehead was forged from the band's collective vision, unique influences and a multi-layered reflection of their powerful and engaging live experience. The result contains all the ingredients of a fiery O.R.k. performance with dark and heavy riffing, mesmeric atmospheres and lyrics that reveal the band's bewilderment brought about by our modern world: a world of information overload, of uncertainty and post-truth messages. Bass player Colin Edwin explains further, “Ramagehead is a not a concept album as such, but there is certainly an identifiable theme, in that we attempt to express the everyday bewilderment bought about by the uncertain times we are living in, and the constant confusing information overload that we are all subjected to in today's post-fact environment. We also wanted to harness the power, unpredictability and spontaneity of the O.R.k. live experience into a static recording whilst aiming for a high-resolution sonic space that can be revisited repeatedly by the avid listener to discover ever deeper layers.”

Recorded during 2018 at LefMusicStudio (Italy), The Wormhole (USA) and Nightspace (UK). The mixing for Ramagehead was handled by Adrian Benavides and three-time Grammy-winning engineer Marc Urselli (U2, Foo Fighters, Nick Cave), the mastering by Michael Fossenkemper, engineering by Benavides and Bill Munyon (King Crimson), cover art by Adam Jones (TOOL) and design by Denis Rodier (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman). The recordings, and involvement of SOAD's Serj Tankian on the forthcoming single, “Black Blooms”, solidifies the band's serious intent to use their musical chemistry in exploring the hard-edged possibilities within rock.



Ramagehead tracklisting
Kneel to Nothing
Signals Erased
Beyond Sight
Black Blooms (feat. Serj Tankian)
Time Corroded
Down the Road
Some Other Rainbow Part 1
Strangled Words
Some Other Rainbow

Ramagehead will be released on 22nd February on CD / 180g Black vinyl LP / Digital and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE: https://ork.lnk.to/RamageheadPR

O.R.k. have an extensive live campaign planned in support of Ramagehead which will begin in February 2019 with a European and UK head line run as well as being special guests on the continuing “Dissolution Tour” from new label mates The Pineapple Thief.

Colin Edwin comments “Ramagehead is our most intense, ambitious and accessible work to date and I am really looking forward to exploring the new material in a live environment and sharing our unique collective energy together. For me, O.R.k. is always a completely immersive and unforgettable experience in the live arena, so with new tracks to play and an opportunity to reach places and people we've yet to get to, this tour will be our best yet.”

O.R.k. Tour Dates
** show with The Pineapple Thief
15.2 Ravenna (IT) - Bronson
16.2 Lugagnano di Sona/Verona (IT) - Il Giardino
17.2 Pisa (IT) - Lumiere
21.2 Bari (IT) - Garage Sound
22.2 Roma (IT) - Largo Venue**
23.2 Milano (IT) - Santeria Social Club **
24.2 Pratteln (CH) - Z7 **
26.2 Stuttgart (DE) - LKA Longhorn **
27.2 Frankfurt (DE) - Batschkapp **
28.2 Strasburg (FR) - La Laiterie **
1.3 Zoetermeer (NL) - Borderij **
2.3 Hamburg (DE) - Grosse Freiheit 36 **
3.3 Copenhagen (DK) - Store Vega **
5.3 Stockholm (SE) - Nalen **
6.3 Oslo (NO) - Rockefeller **
8.3 Iserhagen/Hannover (DE) - Blues Garage
10.3 Cologne (DE) - Yard Club
12.3 Munich (DE) - Backstage
13.3 Budapest (HU) - Durer
14.3 Nove Mesto nad Vahom (SK) - Blue Note
15.3 Berlin (DE) - Music & Frieden
17.3 Paris (FR) - Petit Bain
19.3 London (UK) - Borderline
20.3 Newcastle (UK) - o2 Academy **
21.3 Glasgow (UK) - St. Luke’s **
22.3 Manchester (UK) - o2 The Ritz **
23.3 Birmingham (UK) - o2 The Institute 2 **
24.3 Bristol (UK) - SWX **

O.R.k. are:
Lorenzo Esposito Fornasari a.k.a LEF - lead vocals
Pat Mastelotto - drums
Colin Edwin - bass
Carmelo Pipitone - guitars

Follow O.R.k.
http://www.orkband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/O.R.k.band/
https://www.instagram.com/orkband/
https://twitter.com/ORKBAND

Hi-res images available to download: www.kscopemusic.com/media/ork


Kscope: 1st floor, 52 Lisson Street, London, UK NW1 5DF

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

Holiday Review: Dan Blanchard-The Spirit of Christmas

Release Date: December 7, 2018
Label: Peaceful Vibes  
Website
Dan Blanchard has created one of the more unique Christmas albums I have ever heard. The Spirit of Christmas is the title, which is about as generic and traditional as you can get but don’t let that simple title fool you. This is a significant music project and a tremendous accomplishment for the artists involved.

Dan has some incredibly talented people join him on this release and since there is the song “Twelve Days of Christmas,” he gives us 12 tracks to enjoy and guess what the twelfth track is? Everything seems to fall in line so far…just wait.

What Daniel sought to create was a musical holiday adventure that was steeped in traditional Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music. This, of course, provided the opportunity to combine these elements with some improvisation. The cross-section of instruments included on this recording includes Sitar, Santoor, Harmonium, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Tanpura, Tabla, Percussion, Bansuri Flute, Indian Slide Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, and Violin. Just stop and think about the kind of sounds all of those instruments can make and you will be filled with anticipation before hitting the play button.

This is exactly the type of Holiday album I love to hear actually, rather than the same songs year after year with no expectations of change or any kind of new experience. I do respect these traditional songs and from whence they came, however, I do enjoy an artist that is willing to try something entirely different with enough confidence that it is going to work. When it does work, a listener can become mesmerized and also very appreciative of the worldly experience that is being offered.

The core foundation of Indian Classical music is three components, Drone, Rāga and Tāla. The Drone is the part of the music that is continuous throughout the song, the Rāga is the melody and the Tāla is rhythm. So, what you get are two classic traditional forms of music intersecting for a fantastic combination of sounds, rhythms, textures, and color.  Think of it as big Christmas tree with a multitude of different colored lights, that is what this music is and it’s absolutely beautiful, meditative, spiritual and joyous.

Dan’s love for both traditions is what inspired this album and why it turned out so well. I usually get the “Bah! Humbug!,” feelings when I see all the holiday things coming out the same time just before Halloween, it just feels so artificial and money driven. So along comes musical projects like The Spirit of Christmas to put it all into a proper perspective and allow me to focus on the true meaning of the holiday and the pure beauty and worldliness of the music.

Music, the universal healer, it makes the world a better place and this kind of release make you think about the entire planet, not just your own community in a town or city. This is a worldwide spirit that comes in many different forms, languages, and sounds, it really is a beautiful thing and I am grateful for the reminder of that. Thank you, Dan, for transforming me from the Scrooge into old Saint Nick! This truly is The Spirit of Christmas.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 7, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
02. Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – Movement 4)
03. Jingle Bells
O4. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
05. We Three Kings
06. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
O7. Carol of the Strings (Bells)
O8. Silent Night
09. Joy to the World
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
11. Good King Wenceslas
12. Twelve Days of Christmas