Author Topic: Featured Artists - Bazaar Bands  (Read 33791 times)

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Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« on: March 15, 2005, 01:35:03 PM »
I have such a difficult time with selecting the Featured Artist... coz the Bazaar is filled with fantastic musicians and we need to know more about em... sooooooooooooooooooooo this is to give us all an idea of what our Bazaar Bands are all about... this is gonna be in alphabetic order and will probably take forever to complete... but what the heck??? Nothing ventured nothing gained... and this is gonna be one heck of a gain I tell you  :headbang:  :rock:  :headbang:  :bottomsup:  :cheers:

This has become as unwieldy as heck... soooooooooooooooo I am going to add each band/musician to their forum and delete this thread
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Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2005, 02:01:24 PM »
Absolute Zero® - A Band History
   

   
1975:

Paul picks up Enrique hitchhiking in Massachusetts.
Enrique invites Paul to audition with his band.
Paul auditions, goes home and waits to hear results.
Band unanimously decides to accept Paul into the band.
Enrique loses Paul's phone number and is unable to tell him.

Band has no drummer and breaks up.
Enrique packs up to move to Florida and heads out on the road, stopping for a healthy snack at a local Dairy Queen. Mysteriously, Paul pulls into the parking lot of same Dairy Queen.
Stunned, Enrique and Paul exchange addresses and promise to write, vowing that no matter what happens they will form a band one day.
 
1979:

Enrique invites Paul to Gainesville, Florida to take part in a music project.
Paul and Enrique decide to form Absolute Zero.
Guitarist Michael Moehle joins Absolute Zero and rehearsals begin.
Absolute Zero plays its first concert at the University of Florida.
First recordings of Absolute Zero take place in Miami, Florida.
Paul and Enrique meet trumpeter Keith Hedger from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Keith jams with Absolute Zero.  (Gets a giant lip blister.)
 
1980:

Mike leaves Absolute Zero and moves to Chicago, Illinois.
Enrique and Paul move to Leominster, Massachusetts to regroup.

 
1981:

Absolute Zero starts extensive rehearsals and auditions.
Concert in NYC is canceled minutes before Absolute Zero's scheduled appearance due to a near riot at Inroads Theater.  This was caused by a musician of an opening act (that was scheduled to perform next) jumping on stage during the currently playing theater production to voice his displeasure to the audience about the theater production overrunning its allotted time.  Security guards and audience did not agree.  Melee ensues.

 
1982:

First live radio concert at WMFO, 91.5, at Tufts University, Medford, MA, with Keith Hedger (the previously mentioned trumpet player from St. Petersburg, Florida).

 
1983:
First recordings with  Keith Hedger.
 
1984:
Musicians flow in and out of Absolute Zero like water. 1986:
Keith Hedger officially joins Absolute Zero.
Auditions begin for vocalist.

1987:

Aislinn Quinn, composer, keyboardist and vocalist, hears of audition from mutual friend and travels to Leominster, MA from New York City for audition with Absolute Zero.  (Manages to sing without a mike over 400-watt amplifiers and blasting drums.)
After the mandatory psychological testing and walking on water, Aislinn is accepted into the band.
Rehearsals begin with new lineup.
 
1988:
Aislinn moves to Massachusetts.
Keith moves on to other musical ventures.
 
1989:
Absolute Zero composes the bulk of its present-day music for performance and recording.
 
1990:
During a tech rehearsal, Absolute Zero suffers a major financial setback due to equipment fire.  Quote of the Day by Enrique: "I was playing a solo and smoke was coming out of the speakers.  I realized I wasn't just doing a smokin' solo."
 
1991:
Absolute Zero reworks compositions and adds music to its concert repertoire.
 
1992:
Absolute Zero records it's first EP-length CD, "A Live in the Basement", through a VCR, without the benefit of an engineer.  No money and lack of recording equipment leads to Paul's resourceful discovery that his VCR is actually a broadcast quality VCR which would enable the band to record its music. Compositions are recorded live, no mixing, no overdubbing. in Paul's basement (hence, "A Live in the Basement" title).  The Absolute Zero trio travels to a studio to master the CD.  Upon listening to VHS tape, engineer at studio asks band who the engineers were for the recording and "When is the rest of the band was going to show up?"
CD is released in December.
 
1993:
Absolute Zero is being played on at least 25 confirmed radio stations in New England.
Absolute Zero's first CD review gets "Pick of the Month" in New England Performer Magazine by Doug Thoms.
A plethora of positive reviews and radio interviews ensue.
 
1994:
Absolute Zero premiers its new lineup and material in concert at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston.
Follow-up concert takes place in Providence, Rhode Island at a festival promoted by Worcester Artists Group (W.A.G.) and the inimitable Bob Jordan.
Absolute Zero's set is recorded along with some video footage during festival.
The Paris New Music Review" was first French magazine to review Absolute Zero in concert, with Barbara Engel as reviewer.
"Kadu Flyer" (Chris Bruce) and "Boston Rock" (Mike Bloom) magazines become first US publications to review Absolute Zero in concert.
Pivotal band meeting transpires in late Spring to plan new strategies and Absolute Zero decides to relocate due to personal circumstances.
Aislinn and Enrique move to Florida to set up Absolute Zero's future home.
 
1995:
Paul closes up shop in Massachusetts and completes relocation to Miami.
 
1996:
Florida's air waves open up to Absolute Zero's music on WLRN, 91.3 in Miami, Florida.
 
1997:
Absolute Zero's second CD "Crashing Icons" and a third CD are ready for post-production.
Absolute Zero starts compositions for a fourth CD.
"A Live in the Basement" CD's Lille, France premier occurs on "Sleepless" radio hosted by Jeremy Huylebroeck.
Absolute Zero's first "internet review" appears in The Netherlands on "CDelight" written by Henri Bos.
"Dreams Wide Awake" show hosted by Jason Ellerbee becomes the first Internet radio station to play music of Absolute Zero.
"Prog-résiste" magazine review of "A Live in the Basement" CD by Gilles Arend becomes first magazine review in Belgium.
Jerome Schmidt reviews "A Live in the Basement" CD in "Art Zero" webzine, and becomes the first webzine in France to review CD.
 

1998:

Absolute Zero's website appears on the internet.
First Italian webzine review is written by Alberto Nucci in webzine called "Arlequins".
"A Live in the Basement CD" premieres on its first Italian radio show called "Cogito ergo...rock" hosted by Alberto Nucci for Radio Siena2.
Scott Hamrick in "Reels of Dreams Unrolled" webzine, becomes the first USA webzine writer to review "A Live in the Basement" CD.

1999:

Paul leaves Absolute Zero to move on to other musical and extra-musical adventures.  We wish Paul the very best in his life.
May 31, Pip Pyle (Gong, National Health, Hatfield and the North, In Cahoots, Equip' Out) joins Absolute Zero.
September 15, Pip Pyle blows in from Paris with Hurricane Floyd to begin rehearsals for small West Coast tour and CD recording sessions.
Band completes tour in October and does first leg of recording in Tampa. New band members play their
first Miami gig at Churchill's in November.

2000:

March: Pip Pyle flys in to Miami to complete Crashing Icons full-length CD., culminating in concert at Springs Theatre in Tampa, FL.

Discography:



A Live in the Basement
(1992)

 Track listing
1. Paradigms (11:20)
2. An I to an Eye (7:25)

Total Time: 18:45

Line-up
- Aislinn Quinn / keyboards, vocals
- Enrique Jardines / bass (an absolute darling)
- Paul Roger / drums, percussion

Taken from Progweed:
http://progweed.net/reviews/absolutezero/absolutezero-band.html

A Live in the Basement (1992)

If anybody out there actually bought Darling at my recommendation, you might also want to check out Absolute Zero. Like Darling, this band is another example of American progressive musicians making their best efforts to persevere despite an unwelcome musical climate. Absolute Zero have actually been around in some form or another since 1975, yet it was 1992 before they released A Live in the Basement, this two-song "single." I say "single" because it is almost 20 minutes long!

Aside form Absolute Zero's history of perseverence, there are other similarities to Darling. This is some pretty unusual and complicated stuff on this disc. It's loaded with changes in time, and tempo and features a largely electronic-sounding atmosphere. Unlike Darling, however, there is quite an emphasis on vocals. They are provided by keyboardist Aislinn Quinn, whose vocal style is quite similar to that of many female R.I.O. vocalists. She sings and plays some pretty odd melodies and to make things even harder to swallow, her voice is usually drenched in some bizarre effects a la Frank Zappa.

Enrique Jardines and Paul Roger provide some great bass and drum work respectively. These guys are experienced and talented musicians who know their way around odd times and wacked-out rhythms. When I first heard this CD I was afraid I'd never be able to get into it due to its extremely avant garde nature, but as I've found many times, the hardest music to get into at first is often the most rewarding in the long run. I'm starting to genuinely like this stuff now and I hope to like it even more in the future.

If you like your music really progressive and with a dose of social commentary, along the lines of Henry Cow, 5UUs and Frank Zappa, you'll probably love this CD and you'll want to keep your eye open for their next release, which is in the works. Give Absolute Zero a chance and send them your five bucks.- Scott Hamrick [February 1998] A Reels of Dreams Unrolled Review



Crashing Icons
(1997)

 Track listing
1. Bare Cross (13:47)
2. Further On (20:43)
3. Slutter Rock - You said (11:49)
4. Suenos Sobre un Espejo (16:46)

Total Time: 63:05
Line-up
- Aislinn Quinn / keyboards, vocals, percussion
- Enrique Jardines / bass, percussion
- Pip Pyle / drums, percussion

With:
- Keith Hedger / trumpet, percussion
- Jim Stewart / percussion

Taken from Progweed:
http://progweed.net/reviews/absolutezero/absolutezero-band.html

Crashing Icons (2000)

According to Absolute Zero, 'Music is a Revolution', and the band has sought to champion the cause of forward thinking ideas and sounds through their unique brand of controlled mayhem. While sharing similar ideals with the original Rock in Opposition movement, Absolute Zero's music stands as a reactionary force to the overwhelmingly stagnant state of most music today. Drawing from a pool of influences, the band combines the complexity of 20th Century Classical music composition and improvisational freedom of Jazz without losing sight of the radical elements born from the birth of rock and roll. Imagine the dissonance of Henry Cow filtered through a postmodern aggressiveness.

Repetitive and distorted bass lines and forceful percussion (courtesy of Canterbury legend Pip Pyle, who you've never heard like this before) underscore an almost Koenji Hyakkei-esque Zeuhl element at times, while abstract vocal and keyboard melodies dance through dissonant passages, providing a lighter balance to the overpowering rhythmic force. A unique use of modern technology, sounds are processed to biting, industrial timbres that accentuate the immediacy of the music, with the occasional blast of trumpet and tinny, spiky digital keys. The extended length of the songs is the perfect breeding ground for the dark and foreboding passages that slowly simmer and explode, bent on exploring a new direction.

Absolute Zero's uncompromising vision has unfortunately never allowed the release of their music to come to complete fruition. Nearly ten years in the making, Crashing Icons is a triumph of individual thinking and free spirit yearning for a chance of free expression, and this artistic tension shines through the music. Here's hoping an enterprising label will soon take a chance and give this the wide release it deserves. - Mike Prete [July 2002]
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2005, 02:30:31 PM »
Advent:

For the musicians and composers who comprise Advent, tradition is important. Whether drawing upon the accumulated experience of one's predecessors or simply separating the timeless from the transient, traditions are, in fact, indispensable. In order to draw upon them, however, one must first respect them.

The eclectic tastes which fire the imaginations of Advent have led its members to seek inspiration in sources which range from music of the English and Italian Renaissance to church motets, from sea chanteys to film scores and such progressive bands as Gentle Giant and Procol Harum. The band attempts to combine a contemporary sound with an extensive variety of influences solidly rooted in western musical sources, whether they be folk, classical-romantic, or popular. The group's material features lyrics ranging from the reflective to the mysterious, complemented by a descriptive "cinematic" musical style which, while not always danceable, recalls the drama and fire of music which has always called the listener to listen.

In short, Advent views its musical heritage as a legacy left to us by our forebears in love, for our appreciation and education?an essential ingredient for progress. It should thus be gratefully received and built upon in that same spirit.

ALAN BENJAMIN
guitars, Stick®, bass, mandolin, violin, keyboards, glockenspiel, backing vocals
Since moving to New Jersey in 1989, Alan has formed, joined, and partnered with numerous acts in the area. A lifelong musician who first studied piano at age three, switched to violin several years later (playing in two New York City orchestras), and picked up several other instruments in between, his first serious encounter with the guitar came at age 14 when he was not allowed to bring his violin to boarding school. Taking to the instrument quite naturally, he quickly formed the school's most popular rock band?Amber?who later went on to record a professional demo under the technical supervision of engineer Les Paul Jr.

Later that year, at age 16, Alan attended a semester at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. Impatient with the first-year curriculum, he left to seek experience in the real world, which led a few years later to an 18-month stint playing clubs in the Philadelphia-based band Merlin. In the late '80s, Alan recorded several solo pieces, playing all the instruments himself?and also received advanced guitar instruction from jazz-rock maestro Glenn Alexander. Shortly afterward, he met up with keyboardist Henry Ptak and Advent was born.

HENRY PTAK
keyboards, lead vocals, electronic percussion
Henry, the band's primary composer, joined up with Alan as the result of a shared interest in the band Gentle Giant. His early musical education consisted of music lessons with local teachers?and later, of private instruction in composition and piano while pursuing a fine arts degree at William Paterson College. He performed and recorded with local rock bands Accent On Travvel and Chemistry Set, served as a cantor and choir member with his hometown church choir in Hawthorne, and is currently singing with the choir at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark?a group that is rapidly gaining prominence. Drawing upon the classical-romantic, folk, and popular influences that comprise the core of his musical tastes, his goals in Advent are, simply put, "to write and play great music."

MARK PTAK
keyboards, lead vocals, percussion
Mark received his musical and technical instruction at the Berklee College of Music. While pursuing his studies in music production and engineering, as well as traditional music theory and jazz harmony, Mark fostered his artistic side by working for Boston's Museum of Fine Arts?and also as production director for the ASCAP-Award-winning New England Philharmonic Orchestra. His interest in liturgical music led Mark to serve as a tenor in Berklee's Concert Choir, as well as in R.C. Church choirs in both Massachusetts and New Jersey. Mark shares with the other members of Advent a love of the European classical-romantic tradition (as well as classical-rock hybrids Gentle Giant, Genesis, and Procol Harum), and joined Advent upon completion of his studies at Berklee.

Also featuring

MIKE CARROLL
drums
Mike, who has been playing for 35 years now, studied drums and percussion with Ron Whitney in Metuchen, New Jersey. He was a founding member of local legends B.B. and the Stingers?and is an alumnus of countless other Jersey bands including Johnny Charles, Heavy Trucking, and High Noon. Although originally joining Advent in the early '90s and temporarily departing a few years later, Mike returned to the band nearly two years ago, citing Advent as "by far the most talented and eccentric group of musicians I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with. There are no delusions of grandeur here; the music is not for everybody, but even at first listen, cannot be mistaken for anything other than a purely artistic endeavor."

ROY WILSON
drums
Roy, a very talented young drummer from nothern New Jersey, is featured on Advent's rendition of "Robert's Box" (on The Best of the Whalers tribute to Procol Harum).

Discography:


Advent Mellow Records (Italy), catalog #MMP 311

In addition to all the original material that helped forge the group's reputation over the years, Advent's debut CD also features two classical arrangements, as well as "BITB"?the band's premiere tribute to Gentle Giant. While the music covers a wide range of the progressive-rock spectrum, it is all tied together by a commonality that truly defines the "Advent sound." As the group's sense of poetry and storytelling has always been a strong focal point, a full set of lyrics is included in the disc's six-page booklet.

TRACK LIST/LINER NOTES
1.   Maginot Line    5:59
2.   Alison Waits (A Ghost Story)    10:36
3.   Rear View Mirror    3:31
4.   Trompe L'Oeil    3:26
5.   Nowhere Else To Go    5:12
6.   In The Tree    4:29
7.   Marche To The Fighte/The Retreat    4:10
8.   Caminando    1:27
9.   BITB    7:09

This is what Dick Heath from Progarchives had to say about the album:

A lovely, intelligent album put together by an American band of essentially amateur musicians (and an Italian label has to release it?). Recorded over several years on a part-time basis by Alan Benjamin and co., but this does not show because everything sounds most professional. Benjamin is a self-confessed Gentle Giant fan: the harmonies heard on several tunes and the references on BITB, give that away. However, this isn't a hard copy of GG, there are other things and other influences - I'm sure there is even some Go West to be discovered, while the tight guitar solos are Holdsworthian. "Maginot Line" and "Trompe L'Oeil " are standout tracks. It is also an album which has stood the test of time, by me having me regularly playing it since finding it secondhand a few months after it release. We are promised a follow-up, but perhaps in the next 10 years.

Worth a three and half star rating, if that existed - folks should support independent artists who make good music!!!!
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2005, 03:07:03 PM »
Azureth:


Stephen - Keys



Mark - Acoustic and Electric Guitars


Kenneth - Drums, Vocals

Azureth is built around a commitment to compositional excellence, expansive epic melodies, moving musical drama, with deeply poetic, philosophical, well crafted lyrics underpinning this solid musical foundation.  In one big sweep, Azureth captures the essence of Yes, Genesis and Kansas, distilling them into their very own, more contemporary "Alternative" flavored brand of Progressive Rock self evident in songs like "The Lathe Of Heaven", while on the other hand quoting the finest aspects of Steely Dan's songwriting and story telling crafts, which can be heard in the poignant space ballad "The Grand Design".  All the same, they manage to rip it up with fiery solos propelling the band into high speed exchanges and odd time signatures. This international group of progressive musicians are deeply influenced by the mystical and epic nature of Progressive Rock, the furious rhythm sections and fiery solos of Jazz-Rock Fusion, along with  the power and raw energy of Progressive Metal.

Band history

"Our band began in 2003 when I heard a clip from a guitarist that played on a piece I had put out on a collaboration site(Collaboration Central) for others to collaborate on, his playing just blew me away and was perfect for the piece, that guitarist was none other than Mark Connors !! Solely on a whim, I contacted Mark and asked him if he would be interested in joining forces with me and probably an additional member, in creating a progressive rock band, and to my surprise he accepted.  At that point we both knew of another very talented drummer/singer on that same site that seemed to fit our style of playing, and he had already collaborated on many of my songs, so we nudged Kenneth Aspeslåen, and again another surprise, he also accepted and as if meant to be, Azureth was born.  We later learned Kenneth was quite a bass player so we decided to keep it a trio, I always loved the fact ELP was a trio !!! Currently we are finishing about 15 songs for our Debut CD and have compiled enough music for another good CD. Watch out for us from this point on, we are hoping to take the prog community by storm :-)" --Stephen Rivera

Discography:



Yesterday's Future, Tomorrow's Past
2004

 Track listing
1. Wake The Dragon (6:51)
2. Searching (4:26)
3. Man On The Moon (4:25)
The Grand Design (36:13)
4. i) Overture [5:37]
5. ii) The Grand Design [6:53]
6. iii) Shadow Of A Man [7:39]
7. iv) Fanfare [5:25]
8. v) Humanity Revisited [4:38]
9. vi) The Sleeper Has Awakened [6:01]
10. Timeless Moments In Sherwood (4:21)
11. The Lathe Of Heavem (5:22)
12. Afterglow (5:13)

Total Time: 66:55
Line-up
- Kenneth Aspeslåen / lead vocals, basses and drums
- Mark Connors / electric and acoustic guitars and background vocals
- Stephen Rivera / acoustic and electric pianos, organ, synthesizers and background vocals

With:
- Gina Ballerina / sound efx on "Sleeper"
- Casel Pabloh / cello on "Searching"
- John Bogieheld / synthesizers and backwards stuff on "Shadow Of A Man"

This is what Keith Waye of Progarchives had to say about this album:
I discovered this album by listening to the Prog Rock station Aural Moon. The moment the first few notes played I knew I was going to like it and when the CD arrived I gave myself a pat on the back......it's wonderful. If you like your prog rock in the "Classic" style with Sweeping keyboards, soaring, beautiful guitar work great bass lines and time sigs that have you tapping your feet then this album is for you. As I type this I'm listening to the first track "Wake the dragon" and it is superb. Well done Azureth. This album really hits the spot. It's not often that I'd give 5 stars to an album but I have no hesitation this time.
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2005, 03:18:38 PM »
Band of Rain:



Chris Gill - Writer/lead guitar and stuff.
Chris Gill began playing guitar at 13, but really got in to it after seeing The Groundhogs and more specifically Tony McPhee in 1970. It wasn't long before he had a school band together called "Gondolin" doing some groundhogs covers.
Inevitably they split up after leaving school, and Chris played with various different bands in the then thriving Bedford U.K. music scene. Prowl and The Eyes of Eleanor being 2 of them.
He got invited to a Bath Arts workshop in 1973 which was to introduce him to the world of improvisation. Chris, Lol Coxhill (Kevin Ayers & the whole world) and the mighty George Khan (Robert Wyatt Soft Machine) and members of the Global Village Trucking Company played non stop for about 6 hours, even through a Hawkwind gig that was going on in the next room, without playing the same thing twice. In fact when the Hawkwind gig finished, they came on stage and jammed along too.
Chris saw the potential of improvisation and the benefits it brings to song ideas and decided to develop it. Trying to re create the magic of Bath with many musicians, it never really worked. Add to that, by now the UK music scene was heading in to Punk, like so many others he decided to try his luck in the USA.
He moved to Houston Texas and found a club there called Carnabys in the bohemian Montrose area, where he met a whole bunch of like minded musicians. They soon put a band together, and found themselves playing at various universities and clubs across the southern states.
After an accident in Arizona, Chris stopped playing for a while as he had broken most of his fingers. So he decided to move to Los Angeles where he remained for about a year coaching actors to talk with an English accent and working with young bands that were trying to get off the ground. But it was no substitute for playing. He decided to move back to the UK and start again. He bought himself another guitar, and got his fingers working properly again. Add to this that he had found new inspiration talking to Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) he started to put together what we now know as Bandofrain.
Because he wanted to try to make a new kind of music, he decided to take on the debut album "Deep Space" as a solo project, as he really was not sure which direction it would go in. Except for some help with vocals from good friend Andy Fisher, he played all the other instruments himself. His wife Katrina who is also a musician played the flute on "Casanova of the Cliff Dwellers"
Deep Space has been out since September 2004, and has been very well received. There are already fans all over the world and word is spreading fast. 2005 will see another CD as well as the formation of a live band. Progressive Soundscapes Radio USA calls the music: "Incredibly complex and mesmerising..."

Discography:


Deep Space

This is what your fearless leader had to say about this album:

This album has touched the deep space in my soul... this is yet another album that is hard to place in one single genre for it has fluidly encompassed several (classic prog, psychedelia, electronica, hard rock and metal) and merged them together creating a sound that is unique and fantastic.

Chris Gill (our very own Batpulse) is the lead guitarist/founder member/writer for Band of Rain. According to him the album is about space - room to move - and that is one thing he has managed to do. He has created a sense of space for the listener - space in which one can move to get in touch with oneself. He has also created space for himself - to move without boundaries and limitations. For those who loved Hawkwind's Doremi Fasol Latido and Space Ritual this album is a must have.

Track Listing:

Cloudburst (4:24)
Gorgeous daughters of Mr Himalaya (4:56)
Search for my daughter (3:43)
Room... where time stands still (4:38)
War and Peace (5:08)
Sic itur ad astra (5:08)
Casanova of the cliff dwellers (3:41)
Criggion (5:30)
Last wave goodbye (7:11)
Deep space (7:04)
Haze (4:55)
Castle walls (5:12)
Svengali (5:14)
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2005, 03:55:18 PM »
Big Block 454:



This is what Colin said elsewhere on the Bazaar:

Well, we visited Broadcasting House in London last week and were interviewed by Stuart Maconie for the Sunday March 6th show.

It all seemed to go well and we enjoyed ourselves - even though they wouldn't let us go upstairs and try and find the remains of the Radiophonic Workshops!

We played a couple of our CD tracks and also some CDs that have influenced us, including Eno, Carl Orff and the Bonzo Dog Band.

Stuart's show is on BBC 6 Music, Sundays 17:00-20:00.
It is available in streaming format for 7 days after the show, so you still have a few days to listen to it; go to:
www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/freakzone/
and click on one of the Listen Live buttons.
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Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2005, 06:45:51 AM »
The Depraved:

The music The Depraved play has many different influences.
Most influences come from music which is called ?emo?or ?emocore?, but also ?new wave? bands from the eighties have
a slight influence to their music.

When you listen carefully, you will also hear a slight metal riff
from time to time. However, the music and the live shows
are a guarantee for an emotional, passionate and energetic experience.

The band has had their fair share of live shows. Of course in The Netherlands, but also gigs in Belgium, Germany and France. They have starred on the radio twice on a local radio station.
This was due to their debut album

?Look into my eyes and tell me you have no regrets?

This was recorded in March of 2003. This CD has
also been played on a French radio station as CD of the week,
which meant 3 songs being played every day all week.

After that, when the band ? just a few months ago ? acquired
a new drummer, the live show and their music has gone
through a dramatic progress and can?t be compared to the
music they played before. The band will be getting back to the
studio as soon as possible, recording new material and then
producing a mini CD. They will probably choose the same
studio they recorded in before, namely Sonic Sound Studio in
Viersen ( Germany).

Discography:


Look into my eyes and tell me you have no regrets
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline sapple

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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2005, 05:59:53 PM »
SIMON APPLE

Two Philadelphia area musicians, Jeff Miller and Buzz Saylor, formed Simon Apple with the intentions of writing material that combined their favorite elements of pop, progressive rock, and jazz, coupled with positive, hopeful, thought-provoking, even sometimes humorous messages... in stark contrast to the often obscene, materialistic, and dark/negative lyrics that pervade the current music scene.

In early 1998, Simon Apple independently released their first single, "It's
Over", taken from their debut CD "From The Toybox". By April, "It's Over" had climbed to #21 nationally, on the Adult Contemporary Gavin chart (kept out of the Top 20 by Mariah Carey by only 24 spins). By late summer, their second single, "A Boy Like Me", broke the A/C Gavin Top 30 again (reaching #29). A third 'seasonal' single, "Scenes Of December", also received national airplay (reaching #43).

Simon Apple has been invited to perform at the First Union Center in
Philadelphia for Elton John twice, Billy Joel three times, Bruce
Springsteen, Cher, Creed, & Depeche Mode.

In 1999, lead singer John Feldmann left the band because of his inability to
tour with his new-found family responsibilities. After 16 pain-staking
months and 800+ vocal demos later, Jeff and Buzz finally found the voice
they were searching for... in Portland, Maine of all places!

Simon Apple's long awaited album, River To The Sea, was released in October 2004. The album was mixed by Grammy-winning producer/engineer, David Leonard (credits include: Paul McCartney, Rush, Tony Bennett, Prince, Barenaked Ladies, kd lang, to name a few). The band is also humbled and honoured that a few 'big-name' guest artists appear on the album: Legendary bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, John Lennon, Pink Floyd), guitarist Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult), saxophonist John Helliwell (Supertramp), cellist Hugh McDowell (Electric Light Orchestra), multiple Grammy winning jazz bassist Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group), and trumpeter Dave Stahl (Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr.).

Simon Apple is donating a portion of every sale of River To The Sea to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Jeff's niece has CF). The band hopes this is one small way to make a positive/constructive impact with this music.

www.simonapple.com



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Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2005, 09:58:36 AM »
Djam Karet:



The California-based Djam Karet has often been called America?s greatest undiscovered band. Compared by the press with King Crimson, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, Ozric Tentacles and Porcupine Tree, they are credited with breathing new life into progressive rock, leading the way to the genre?s future growth. Impressively, such high praise comes from widely divergent sources; Djam Karet has been written up in mainstream music publications such as Billboard and Rolling Stone, in prestigious musician-oriented publications such as Electronic Musician, Keyboard and Guitar Player, and in numerous magazines, fanzines and webzines published by and for the indie/non-commercial rock communities. Relix recently noted that Djam Karet, "has always been the ultimate jamband...just a little ahead of its time." Exposé asserted that Djam Karet was "Arguably the most important band of the last decade, and certainly the most unique" and placed the band "at the forefront of their instrumental genre". Put simply by New Age Voice: "Djam Karet is no ordinary band. [They] gobble up myriad influences...including New Age, fusion, hard rock, electronic music, world, blues, even surf music...and metamorphose them into fascinating musical hybrids. They have never made the same album twice." This CD, A Night For Baku, is Djam Karet?s 7th release on Cuneiform. The title derives from Japanese folklore: the Baku are mythical inhabitants of the dream world, valiant warriors who devour nightmares as the spoils of battle. A Night For Baku is a journey through Djam Karet?s musical universe, an immersion in its aural dreams. A studio work recorded in 2002, the CD interweaves musical threads that have captivated Djam Karet over its 10 year career, including psychedelia, heavy guitar rock, progressive music, and ambient and electronic soundscapes. The CD features Djam Karet using more keyboards and electronics, and collaborating on one track with electronic musician Steve Roach, who worked previously with the band on Collaborator. A Night For Baku may indeed be Djam Karet?s most "classic" and mature CD to date: the integration of rock and ambient elements here is seamless, as in a dream.

A Night For Baku marks the CD debut of Djam Karet as a quintet; in 2002 bassist Aaron Kenyon joined the band. Djam Karet was founded in 1984 by guitarists Gayle Ellett and Mike Henderson, bassist Henry J. Osborne, and drummer Chuck Oken, Jr., all of whom remain in the band. They chose as the band?s name an Indonesian word (pronounced ?jam care-RAY) that translates loosely as "elastic time". Early Djam Karet was a proto-"jam band" whose live, improvisational performances on the southern California/LA area college circuit featured a free-form mixture of guitar-dominated instrumental rock and textural Eastern drone music, as in 1985?s cassette release No Commercial Potential. Djam Karet?s mode of working and repertoire gradually expanded beyond improvisation to include composition, recording, and studio work. In 1987 the band self-released The Ritual Continues (cassette; later CD). Two years later, they released their first CD, Reflections From The Firepool (2000 Cuneiform reissue), which sold over 7,000 copies - astonishing for a self-released project - and received Rolling Stone?s accolade of "#2 Independent Album of the Year".

In 1991, the band self-released two separate CDs Burning the Hard City and Suspension and Displacement (both 2000 Cuneiform reissues) which "show-cased the [band?s] two extreme split personalities...The former was a bone-crushing excursion into heavy power rock with anarchistic guitar solos, and the latter was a brilliant diary of dark, eerie ambient soundscapes." (Expose). Afterwards the band dissolved as a quartet. A reduced duo version of Djam Karet self-released the CD Collaborator in 1994.

As the 20th Century drew to a close, Djam Karet reformed with its original members and signed to Cuneiform Records. It entered a period of unprecedented creative productivity that only accelerated as the 21st century dawned. It began working on new releases for Cuneiform, initiated a program to repackage and reissue its out-of-print back catalogue on Cuneiform, and began playing live on the festival circuit, performing at Day Zero for 1999?s ProgDay (San Francisco); at NEARfest 2001, progressive rock?s premier US showcase; and at 2002?s ProgDay (North Carolina). When Cuneiform released its first Djam Karet CD in 1997, The Devouring, Innerviews noted that Djam Karet is "back with a vengeance" one hell of an album. space.com applauded their expanded sound featuring more keyboards: "As if the band?s earlier music hadn?t already scorched the ceilings of heaven, this new sonic incarnation burned like a stellar nova." In 1998, Djam Karet performed on the West and East Coasts, recordings a live album for Cuneiform. Live At Orion, released in 1999, was applauded as "one of the best live recordings that I?ve heard" an easy "top ten selection from my best of ?99 list" by Exposé. The band began to do more work in the studio, resulting in the 2001 Cuneiform release of New Dark Age. Numerous critics called the CD Djam Karet?s best to date. In the words of Progression: "This may be the best Djam Karet recording yet, which is a mouthful, considering that the band?s now-voluminous output is amply studded with gems. Their brilliant synthesis of abstract mind-trip and concrete butt-kick is at an all-time high here. Sonically, ...[it] is simply masterful. This is one of the major releases of the year."

Around the same time as New Dark Age?s release, and complementary to its work with Cuneiform, Djam Karet launched a series of self-released CDRs, reissues and limited edition CDs for its fans. Within two years, the band self-released 6 CDs, including the limited edition Ascension, featuring studio outtakes from New Dark Age. Out of this creative renaissance arises A Night For Baku. As a distillation of their musical visions across 20 years, A Night For Baku is indeed a diamond in Djam Karet?s oeuvre, a true Djam Karet "classic".
   
Discography:


Happy Cancer: McMusic for the McMasses
1982

 Track listing
1. More fact than figure (4:33)
2. A way of life (4:45)
3. Tangerine rabbit jam (4:10)
4. Night scenes (5:40)
5. No margin for error (5:49)
6. J.L.D. (5:56)
7. Pinholes (4:34)
8. A small ball of Simon (11:12)

Total Time: 46:39

Line-up
- Andy Frankel / drums, keyboards, vibes
- John Glass / electric guitar
- Mike Henderson / electric guitars
- Chuck Oken Jr. / drums, keyboards, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Henry Osbourne / bass


No Commercial Potential
1985

Track listing
1. Where's L. Ron??!! (16:45)
2. Dwarf toss (11:15)
3. Blue Fred (29:25)

Total Time: 57:25

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / guitars, devices
- Mike Henderson / guitars, devices
- Chuck Oken Jr. / drums, percussion
- Henry Osborne / bass, fish


The Ritual Continues
1987

 Track listing
1. Shamen's Descent (7:17)
2. Tangerine Rabbit Jam (4:07)
3. Familiar Winds (6:29)
4. The Black River (6:42)
5. Technology And Industry (5:00)
6. The Ritual Continues (8:34)
7. Fractured (4:42)
8. Night Scenes (5:37)
9. Revisiting A Nice Place: Falling Down 1993 (16:56)

Total Time: 65:24
Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / guitar, guitar synth, percussion(1,3-7,9)
- Andy Frankel / drums, vibes (2,8), African percussion (7)
- John Glass / electric guitar (2,8)
- Mike Henderson / six and twelve guitars, drums, percussion
- Henry J. Osborne / bass, percussion


Kafka's Breakfast
1988

 Track listing
1. More fact than figure (4:33)
2. A way of life (4:45)
3. Tangerine rabbit jam (4:10)
4. Night scenes (5:40)
5. Walkabout (24:22)

Total Time: 43:30
Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / guitar (Track 5)
- Andy Frankel / grums, keyboards, vibes, African percussion (Track 5)
- Mike Henderson / electric guitars
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, keyboards, acoustic guitar, voice
- Henry Osbourne / bass guitar


Reflections From the Firepool
1989

 Track listing
1. The Sky Opens Twice (10:16)
2. Fall Of The Monkeywalk (9:16)
3. Run Cerberus Run (6:42)
4. Scenes From The Electric Circus (7:04)
5. Animal Origin (7:15)
6. All Doors Look Alike (7:15)
7. The Red Monk (7:22)
8. Reflections From The Firepool (10:02)

Total Time: 65:12

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric, classical and steel guitar, keyboards, taped effects, mic stand, percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric and acoustic six and twelve string guitars, effects, percussion
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, synthesizer programming and sequencing, electronic percussion
- Henry Osborne / electric bass, bottled bass, keyboards, chain, percussion


Suspension & Displacement
1991

 Track listing
1. Dark Clouds, No Rain (10:52)
2. 8:15 - No Save Place (4:42)
3. Angels Without Wings (4:59)
4. Consider Figure Three (7:47)
5. Erosion (12:56)
6. Severed Moon (6:27)
7. The Naked & The Dead (5:20)
8. Gordon's Basement (3:26)
9. A City With Two Tales: Part One Revisited 1990 (13:24)

Total Time: 67:53

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric 7-string and 6-string guitars, guitar synth, taped effects, keyboards, percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric twelve and six string guitars, effects, keyboards, percussion
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, electronic percussion, keyboards synthesizer programming and sequencing
- Henry Osborne / electric bass, keyboards, effects, percussion


Burning The Hard City
1991

 Track listing
1. At The Mountains Of Madness (9:17)
2. Province 19: The Visage Of War (8:13)
3. Feast Of Ashes (10:46)
4. Grooming The Psychosis (11:57)
5. Topanga Safari (5:57)
6. Ten Days To The Sand (11:07)
7. Burning The Hard City (12:07)

Total Time: 70:01
Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric 7-string and 6-string guitars, taped effects, keyboards, percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric twelve and six string guitars, effects, keyboards
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, electronic, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer programming and sequencing
- Henry Osborne / electric bass, bottled bass, keyboards, percussion


Collaborator
1994

 Track listing
1. Solar Flare (3:16)
2. Gondwanaland (4:26)
3. The Anointing Of The Sick (6:53)
4. The Day After (12:31)
5. Foreign Lesion (4:10)
6. The 17th Karmapa (2:57)
7. Moorings (6:47)
8. Cliff Spirits (3:57)
9. Submersion (5:49)
10. Food Chain (8:14)
11. Salt Road (6:01)
12. The Fearful Voice (6:38)

Total Time: 72:33

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / 7 string electric guitar, guitar synth, 24 string steel guitar, analog keyboards, sampler, talking drum, congas, slit drum, metal shakers, baby toys, weird vocal effects, rain stick, ocean drum, lawn
- Mike Henderson / 6 string electric guitar, keyboards, slit drum, weird vocal effects
- Henry Osborne / 6-string electric bass, bottled bass, analog keyboards, sampler, congas, clavas, metal shakers, tibetan glass crucibles, weird vocal effects, rain stick, electroc door alarm, radio

GUESTS:
- Marc Anderson / sampler, berimbau, percussion(5)
- Jeff Greinke / keyboards, voice, processing(3,12)
- Walter Holland / synthesizer (1,8)
- Loren Nerell / symthesizers (7,9)
- Steve Roach / matrix 12, sampler & processing, didgeridoo (4,10)
- Kit Watkins / hule, sampler, synthesizer(2,7)
- Carl Weingarten / dobro, EFX (6,11)


The Devouring
1997

 Track listing
1. Night Of The Mexican Goat Sucker (7:04)
2. Forbidden By Rule (5:55)
3. Lost, But Not Forgotten (7:45)
4. Lights Over Roswell (6:44)
5. Myth Of A White Jesus (4:19)
6. The River Of No Return (8:47)
7. Room 40 (8:36)
8. The Indian Problem (5:30)
9. The Pinzler Method (4:48)
10. Old Soldiers' Disease (11:04)

Total Time: 70:28

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric 7 & 6 string guitars, acoustic 12 string guitar, 24 string steel guitar, guitar synth, E-Bow, organ, analog, digital & sampling keyboards, mellotrons, theremin, wind talker, koto, birds & percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric 12 and 6 string guitar (Tracks 1-3,5)
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, keyboard sequencing
- Henry J. Osborne / electric bass, bottled bass, rhythm, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, programming

GUEST:
- Judy Garp / rhythm violin (Track 4)


Still no Commercial Potential (Limited Edition)
1998

 Track listing
1. No Vacancy At The Hotel Of Noise (7:04)
2. Twilight In Lonely Hands (7:21)
3. Room 24, Around Noon (8:50)
4. The Black Line (10:08)
5. Night But No Darkness (8:18)
6. Strange Wine From A Twisted Fruit (28:53)

Total Time: 70:32

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric 6 string guitar, E-Bow, organ, percussion
- Mike Henderson / electric 6 string guitars, E-Bow
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, digital keyboards, percussion
- Henry J. Osborne / electric 5 string bass, dideridoo, percussion



Live At Orion
1999

 Track listing
1. Technology and Industry (5:16)
2. Familiar Winds (12:12)
3. Forbidden by Rule (8:00)
4. Reflections from the Firepool (9:30)
5. Province 19: The Visage of War (8:13)
6. Shaman's Descent (7:33)
7. Jammin' at Mike & J's (14:13)
8. Run Cerberus Run (9:24)

Total Time: 74:22

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric guitar, keyboards, effects
- Mike Henderson / electric guitar
- Chuck Oken Jr. / drums, keyboards, effects
- Henry J. Osborne / electric bass, bottled bass


New Dark Age
2001

 Track listing
1. No Man's Land (4:43)
2. Eclipse of Faith (2:43)
3. Web Of Medea (7:04)
4. Demon Train (2:56)
5. All Clear (8:31)
6. Raising Orpheus (6:56)
7. Kali's Indifference (2:28)
8. Alone With The River Man (8:03)
9. Going Home (9:55)
10. Eulogy (2:13)

Total Time: 55:26

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric guitar, mellotron, organ, synths, field recordings, effects
- Mike Henderson / acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitars, slide guitar, acoustic & electronic percussion, synths, field recordings, effects
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, percussion, and synths
- Henry J. Osbourne / bass, percussion


Ascension
2001

 Track listing
1. Arose From The Ashes (5:30)
2. Licking The Skull (1:50)
3. The Hanging Tree (6:58)
4. Swimming In Th Big Sky (4:35)
5. Special Cases (4:46)
6. Stage Three (6:24)
7. Disintegration (16:06)

Total Time: 46:09

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric guitars, 8-string lute, organ, wooden flute, E-Bow, synths, field recordings, effects
- Mike Henderson / acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitars, lap steel slide guitar, E-Bow, dumbek, tubano, acoustic & electric percussion, synths, field recordings, effects
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, percussion, keyboards, synths, sequencer programming
- Henry Osborne / 5-string bass, didgeridoo


A Night For Baku
2003

 Track listing
1. Dream Portal (5:26)
2. Hungry Ghost (9:17)
3. Chimera Moon (7:08)
4. Heads of Ni-Oh (8:03)
4. Scary Circus (3:41)
5. The Falafel King (3:23)
6. Sexy Beast (4:25)
7. Ukab Maerd (7:56)
8. The Red Thread (10:29)

Total Time: 59:56

Line-up
- Gayle Ellett / electric guitar, Ebow & Slide guitar, organ, analog & digital synths, 8 string lute, Thermin, field recordings & effects
- Mike Henderson / electric guitars, Ebow, synths, field recordings & effects
- Aaron Kenyon / bass (Tracks 2, 4-7 & 9)
- Chuck Oken, Jr. / drums, percussion, analog & digital synth, sounds & sequencing
- Henry Osborne / bass (Tracks 1, 3, 5, & 8)

Additional Musician:
- Steve Roach / ending guitar atmospheres (Track 8)
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2005, 10:39:21 AM »
Echolyn:


he band at XM Radios in 2003:
Top Row, l to r: Brett Kull, Paul Ramsey, Christopher Buzby
Bottom Row, l to r: Raymond Weston, Thomas Hyatt

With a history dating back thirteen years, echolyn continues to develop and redefine a compositional style best described as melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and dynamic - music that is progressive in the truest sense of the word. Defying categorization, while achieving critical acclaim from all around the globe echolyn continues to bend the ears of the world's listeners.

The seeds of echolyn were sown in the late 1980's when Brett Kull, Raymond Weston, and Paul Ramsey played in a cover band named Narcissus. In 1988 Narcissus disbanded as the members tired of cover tunes. A year later Christopher Buzby joined Kull and Ramsey to form echolyn, a band that made a conscious decision to focus entirely on original music. Weston soon returned to the fold, and they began recording their eponymous CD echolyn in 1990. Kull, Weston, and Jesse Reyes manned the bass post until Thomas Hyatt joined permanently during the recording process of this first album. echolyn was released independently on Bridge Records, and the first pressing quickly sold out. The CD was for a while one of the most sought-after collector's items in progressive rock, fetching over $100 at the Ebay internet auction site. echolyn was a welcome breath of fresh air in that generally lean time for progressive music.

In 1992, the band released suffocating the bloom, now generally regarded as an early '90s progressive rock classic. The album honed echolyn's trademark two-and three-part harmonies with tight, contrapuntal instrumental musicianship, and featured the 25+ minute A Suite for the Everyman. Lyrically it deals with the loss of childhood innocence and idealism. In the spring of 1993 the band privately released the 4-song unplugged mini-CD ?and every blossom. However, it was suffocating the bloom that attracted the attention of executives at major label Sony/Epic Records, and the band contracted a multi-album deal in the summer of 1993, which included the release of their next full-length album on Sony/550 Music. During this period echolyn gigged extensively and performed sold-out shows throughout the Philadelphia area, most notably at South Street's "Theater of the Living Arts." They also opened three shows up and down the East Coast for progressive metal band Dream Theater. echolyn also performed a feature set at Progfest '94 in Los Angeles prior to the release of their Sony/550 Music debut.

In the spring of 1994, the band recorded their first CD for Sony in Nashville, TN. A major label deal would not corrupt echolyn's musical ambitions. as the world was, and is, an uncompromising piece of echolyn's musical output. The album was released in March of 1995 to tremendous acclaim in progressive rock circles. People spoke of echolyn as the best chance at the time for wider mainstream acceptance of progressive music, however Sony maddeningly refused to support touring, echolyn's best way to reach new ears and their musical lifeblood, which marked the beginning of the end to echolyn's short-lived major label career. The band headlined the inaugural ProgDay in North Carolina in September 1995, without label support and shortly after were dropped by Sony. Hyatt and Buzby left the band, and after over 250 live shows and 4 studio album releases, echolyn had seemingly met its end. A 'posthumous' recording entitled when the sweet turns sour, was released on SynPhonic and Cyclops, GFT in 1996. This CD consisted of working demos of unreleased new songs, an acoustic version of Meaning and the Moment, a cover of Where the Sour Turns to Sweet originally arranged and recorded for a Genesis tribute album, and live tracks from the ProgDay '95 show.

The members of echolyn, however, remained very active in music. Kull, Ramsey, and Weston formed Still, which released Always Almost in 1996, focusing on songwriting in a hard-rock format. Renamed Always Almost, this trio released God Pounds His Nails in 1997, which featured a Gentle Giant cover of "Aspirations" among other well-written progressive-influenced hard rock songs. Both of these recordings were on Georgia-based Pleasant Green Records. Kull and Ramsey also started recording and touring with the major-label folk-rock group Grey Eye Glances. Meanwhile Buzby formed a new band named finneus gauge with several other musicians, including his brother Jonn on drums, and released two albums of intricate jazz-fusion influenced progressive rock, more once more (1997) and one inch of the fall (1999), to worldwide critical acclaim. Keyboard Magazine picked more once more as "One of the Top 5 Records of 1997" in an editor's poll, while Guitar World recognized finneus gauge as "One of the 10 Best in the Current Progressive Rock Underground" in 1998.

In the spring of 2000 the members of echolyn returned with a brand new collection of 10 songs and their first studio album in over four years, titled cowboy poems free. The band line-up featured original members Buzby, Kull, Ramsey, and Weston, along with new drummer/percussionist Jordan Perlson, a student of Chris Buzby's from Abington Friends School, who currently attends Berklee College of Music in Boston. echolyn played a couple of live shows in support of cowboy poems free, most notably the stifling hot jam packed NEARfest preshow in 2000 and a Theater of the Living Arts show in support of Transatlantic. echolyn retired to the studio after the summer of 2000 to begin meticulous work on their newest album titled mei, which was just released in June of 2002. Always striving for the next challenge and musical adventure this album pulls out all the musical stops and is the most diverse echolyn recording to date. Featuring several guest musicians on timpani, marimba, vibraphone, clarinet, flute, violin and cello, and clocking in at just under 50 minutes in length, mei is as close as echolyn has ever come to writing a modern symphony.

Discography:



Echolyn
1991

1. Fountainhead:
    a. Dominque (.53)
    b. Howard Roark (1.02)
    c. The Banner (1.01)
2. The Great Men (8.30)
3. On Any Given Nite (5.01)
4. Carpe Diem (5.11)
5. Shades (11.46)
6. Clumps Of Dirt (4.20)
7. Peace In Time (6.35)
8. Meaning And The
    Moment (7.24)
9. Breath Of Fresh Air (3.42)
10. Until It Rains (5.23)
11. The Velveteen Rabbit (7.28)
 
Produced by Echolyn
Music Engineered by Brett Kull
Vocals Engineered by Mark McNutt

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Bass
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass (Track 3)
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass (Track 11)

Additional Musicians:
Brian Buzby: Alto Saxophone (Track 10)
Jesse Reyes: Bass (Track 4-5, 8-10)
Katherine Shenk: Violin (Track 1 and 11)
Kimberly Shenk: Cello (Track 1 and 11)

String parts written and arranged by Christopher Buzby



Suffocating the Bloom
1992

1. 21 (5.49)
2. Winterthru (3.45)
3. Memoirs From Between (8.01)
4. Reaping The Harvest (1.41)
5. In Every Garden (4.39)
6. A Little Nonsense (3.37)
7. The Sentimental Chain (1.40)
8. One Voice (5.20)
9. Here I Am (5.21)
10. Cactapus (2.51)

A Suite For The Everyman:
11. Only Twelve (1.17)
12. A Cautious Repose (2.27)
13. Bearing Down (3.49)
14. Cash Flow Shuffle (.39)
15. Mr. Oxy Moron (3.23)
16. Twelve's Enough (2.21)
17. I Am The Tide (1.15)
18. Cannoning In B Major (1.19)
19. Picture Perfect (.55)
20. Those That Want To
      Buy (6.45)
21. Suffocating The Bloom (4.03)
     

With the re-release of this album in 2000, those who pre-ordered the the disc got a special 2-track CD of old echolyn favorites recorded live in the studio:

1. Shades 2000 (14.35)
2. Carpe Diem 2000 (6.04)
 
Produced by Echolyn
Engineered by Mark McNutt

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Basses, MIDI Pedals
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Laura Anthony: Flutes
Richard Casimir: Violins
Elizabeth C. Detweiler: Viola
Jim Dwyer: Snare Drum
Heather Groll: Flutes
Tom Kelly: Snare Drum
Jeffrey E. Meyers: Violins
Dainis Roman: Alto Saxophone
Katherine Shenk: Violins
Kimberly Shenk: Cello



... and Every Blossom

1. Bright Sides (3.03)
2. Ballet For A Marsh (4.35)
3. Brunch In The Sun (3.49)
4. Blue And Sand (4.20)
 
Produced by Echolyn

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Piano, Autoharp, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Fretless Bass
Brett Kull: Acoustic Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Various Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals

"Sometime in March, several months after releasing Suffocating The Bloom, we were all hit with spring fever. This inspired us (over a four week period) to write and record this CD. Since Chris and I do most of our writing on piano and acoustic guitar, this is what you will find here. The only thing "electric" is Tom's fretless bass. Paul did a commendable job on further instilling the simplicity of the music by staying away from the drum set and tastefully using other percussion instruments. With the help of some friends from Germantown Academy on strings, horns, and woodwinds we feel we have captured a certain essence of spring in each of these songs." - Brett Kull, 1993



As The World
1995

1. All Ways The Same (.36)
2. As The World (4.50)
3. Uncle (6.54)
4. How Long I Have
    Waited (4.43)
5. Best Regards (4.11)
6. The Cheese Stands
    Alone (4.48)

Letters:
7. Prose (1.45)
8. A Short Essay (4.34)
9. My Dear Wormwood (3.34)
10. Entry 11/19/93 (5.33)
11. One For The Show (4.31)

12. The Wiblet (.47)
13. Audio Verite (4.27)
14. Settled Land (5.42)
15. A Habit Worth Forming (4.29)
16. Never The Same (7.54)

 
Produced by Glenn Rosenstein and Echolyn
Engineered by Rob Genadek
Additional Engineering: Glenn Rosenstein and Peter Martinez

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Bass, Midi Pedals
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals

String Section:
David Davidson: Violin
Carol Ellisor: Violin
Connie Ellisor: Section Leader, Violin
Jim Grosjean: Viola
Sam Levine: Piccolo, Flute, Recorder
Ted Madison: Violin
Bob Mason: Cello
Cate Meyer: Violin
Katherine Shenk: Violin
Pamela Sixfin: Violin
Alan Ulmstead: Viola
Catherine Ulmstead: Violin
Kris Wilkinson: Viola

Orchestral Parts Arranged and Conducted by Christopher Buzby



When the Sweet Turns Sour
1996

1. 100 Diversions (7.10)
2. Another Day (3.29)
3. Where The Sour Turns To
    Sweet (4.58)
4. Meaning And The Moment
    (Acoustic) (4.43)
5. The Currents Of Me (7.25)
6. Patchwork (3.30)
7. This Time Alone (9.09)
8. A Little Nonsense
    (Live) (7.07)
9. As The World (Live) (6.56)

 
Produced by Echolyn

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Bass
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass (Track 1)

"This CD contains demo versions of unreleased songs and two live cuts from our last show, September 3, 1995, which was performed in North Carolina. To us a "demo" was used to feel out the instrumentation and then to work out the vocals without having to actually play the song live over and over again. This sometimes created a problem later on, but it did give us a "recorded" point of view while we tried to elimate the bugs. These songs, with the exception of the live tracks, don't have the bugs worked out, and since they never will...well, this is how they sound." - Brett Kull, 1996



Cowboy Poems Free
2000

1. Texas Dust (5.16)
2. Poem #1 (1.33)
3. Human Lottery (5.32)
4. Gray Flannel Suits (4.47)
5. Poem #2 (.59)
6. High As Pride (6.45)
7. American Vacation
      Tune (5.18)
8. Swingin' The Ax (3.15)
9. 1729 Broadway (6.01)
10. Poem #3 (1.50)
11. 67 Degrees (5.21)
12. Brittany (6.34)
13. Poem #4 (1.30)
14. Too Late For
      Everything (4.33)
     With the release of this album in 2000, those who pre-ordered the the disc got a special 2-track CDR of old echolyn favorites recorded live in the studio:

1. As The World 2000 (4.38)
2. Suffocating The Bloom 2000 (4.20)
 

every story in the world has been told at least once...
some stories are worth telling again and again...

Cowboy Poems Free
a slice of the American dream

Produced by William Barnes

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Jordan Perlson: Drums, Percussion
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass



Mei
2002

1. mei (49.33)
 
Produced by William G.F. Barnes
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Brett Kull

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums, Percussion
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass

Additional Musicians:
Janosh Armer: Violin 2
Jonathan Atkins: Cello
Emily Botel-Barnard: Violin 1
Sarah Green: Flute
Eric Huber: Vibraphone, Marimba, Timpani, Tambourine
Jordan Perlson: Percussion
Jian Shen: Clarinet



A Little Nonsense Now and Then
2002

Disc One:
Chapter 1 - Echolyn
1. Fountainhead (2.57)
2. The Great Men (8.31)
3. On Any Given Night (5.02)
4. Carpe Diem (5.08)
5. Shades (11.08)
6. Clumps Of Dirt (4.24)
7. Peace In Time (6.41)
8. Meaning And The Moment (7.21)
9. Breath Of Fresh Air (3.39)
10. Until It Rains (5.18)
11. The Velveteen Rabbit (7.31)

Disc Two:
Chapter 2 - ...And Every Blossom
1. Bright Sides (3.04)
2. Ballet For A Marsh (4.30)
3. Lunch In The Sun (3.53)
4. Blue And Sand (4.25)

Chapter 3 - When The Sweet Turns Sour
5. 100 Diversions (7.30)
6. Another Day (3.31)
7. Where The Sour Turns To Sweet (5.15)
8. Meaning And The Moment (Acoustic) (4.53)
9. The Currents Of Me (7.27)
10. Patchwork (3.33)
11. This Time Alone (9.09)
12. A Little Nonsense (Live) (7.07)
13. As The World (Live) (6.56
   
Disc Three:
Chapter 4 - Edge Of Wonder
1. Edge Of Wonder (Erad-Glitch) (4.09)

Chapter 5 - Live Cowboy
2. Texas Dust (5.34)
3. Swingin' The Axe (3.21)
4. Gray Flannel Suits (5.09)

Chapter 6 - New Versions
5. As The World 2000 (4.36)
6. Suffocating The Bloom 2000 (4.18)
7. Carpe Diem 2000 (6.03)
8. Shades 2000 (14.34)




Live at the Piscataway Metlar Museum
2003

Disc One:
1. 67 Degrees (7.33)
2. Brittany (10.29)
3. Suffocating The Bloom (4.32)
4. As The World (6.59)
5. The Cheese Stands Alone (5.49)
6. Sweet Thing (16.31)
7. Never The Same (8.28)
8. Carpe Diem 2000 (7.29)

Disc Two:
1. Mei (50.23)

 
Recorded, Mixed by Joe Stout
Mixed and Mastered by Brett Kull

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass

Additional Musicians:
Thomas Hyatt: Bass (CD 1; Tracks 4-6)
Jesse Reyes: Bass (CD 1; Track 8)



Stars and Gardens
2004

DVD ONE - Sellersville, PA; May 25, 2003
1. Texas Dust (5.22)
2. Swingin' The Axe (5.38)
3. The Cheese Stands Alone (6.25)
4. A Little Nonsense (5.55)
5. 1729 Broadway (8.20)
6. My Dear Wormwood (4.23)
7. As The World (6.32)
8. Brittany (11.20)
9. Never The Same (Video) (5.49)
10. Mei (49.26)
11. Shades 2003 (18.04)

DISC TWO: Interviews And Extras:
1. Beginnings
2. Debut
3. Shades
4. Suffocating The Bloom
5. The Sentimental Chain
6. A Little Nonsense
7. Memoirs From Between
8. Cannoning In B Major
9. ...And Every Blossom
10. Sony
11. The Making Of As The World
12. Break-Up
13. Cowboy Poems Free
14. 1729 Broadway
15. Mei
16. Stars And Gardens Trailer

 
Live Sound: Joe Stout
Live Recording: Dave Rhodes and Brett Kull
Audio Mixed, Edited and Mastered by Brett Kull
Lights: Greg Kull

Musicians:
Christoper Buzby: Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Thomas Hyatt: Bass, Congas
Brett Kull: Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals
Paul Ramsey: Drums
Ray Weston: Lead and Backing Vocals, Bass

String Section:
James Cooper: Cello
Jamie Diete: Mallet Percussion, Timpani
Sarah Green: Flute
Gloria Justen: Violin One
Elizabeth Kaderaek Violin Two
Jian Shen: Clarinet
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Offline Farpoint Kevin

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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2005, 04:27:32 PM »
FARPOINT
http://www.farpointband.com


Farpoint currently consists of:

Mike Avins (lead and rhythm guitar)
Clark Boone (lead and backing vocals, 12-string guitar)
Kevin Jarvis (keyboards, acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Dana Oxendine (lead and backing vocals, flute, keyboards)
Frank Tyson (bass guitar, vocals)
Rick Walker (drums and percussion)

SUMMARY
Farpoint's vision is to create melodic and powerful positive music that is accessible without compromising its artistic integrity. The band's music can be described as folky art rock with a progressive edge, drawing inspiration from early Yes material, as well as from other bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Marillion, Jethro Tull, Alan Parsons, Rush, The Moody Blues, and Kansas. Diversity is the key to the Farpoint sound, with influences ranging from progressive, metal, and folk-rock to Celtic, classical, new age and bluegrass. Instrumentation includes the standard rock instruments (electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums and keyboards) augmented by classical guitar, mandolin, flute and various types of percussion.

 
BIOGRAPHY
Farpoint was formed in Sumter, South Carolina, USA in early 1997 with the musical meeting of guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Jarvis and drummer/percussionist Rick Walker. Joined shortly thereafter by vocalist/flautist Dana Oxendine, the band began writing and rehearsing. The first live performance was at YESCAMP '98, a gathering of Yes fans from North and South Carolina. This lineup included bassist Don Fink and keyboardist Michelle Walker, with some help from vocalist Clark Boone, who would later join the band. Farpoint played a variety of Yes covers and originals. A very favorable review of this performance appeared in the internet Yes newsletter Notes From the Edge. Shortly after this show, Don Fink left the band, and was replaced by bassist/guitarist Frank Tyson. Clark Boone also joined Farpoint at this time. This lineup recorded several songs, two of which were used on a limited edition single, "Just Like You," which was released in early 2000 as a part of a fundraiser for the local chapter of the Special Olympics. Around this time, Michelle Walker left the band, which continued on as a 5-piece and began playing regularly in the Carolinas. In summer of 2001, Rick left the band to be replaced by the young and enthusiastic Johnathan Rodriguez. Farpoint continued playing regularly, including performing at fundraisers for the Children's Miracle Network and the Special Olympics, and the band sponsored and performed at a fundraiser for the New York Fire Department after the 9/11 tragedy. More recently Farpoint has performed with national recording acts Seven Nations and Grey Eye Glances.

In May of 2002, Farpoint released its first full-length album, First Light. Simultaneously, Farpoint acquired a new member in virtuoso lead guitarist Mike Avins. Mike's aggressive but melodic style added a new level of energy to Farpoint's sound, and they immediately began work on a second album, while playing live regularly. The second album, entitled Grace, was released in April, 2003.

Airplay on a variety of internet radio stations has helped to create a growing international following. Farpoint reached the #1 position on the Ampcast.com Rock and Progressive rock charts with live versions of "Ghost" and "Words of Pain." The band has garnered positive reviews from organizations in a variety of countries outside the US including Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Sweden, Finland, and the United Kingdom.

In July of 2003, Farpoint headlined day one of the second annual Rogue Independent Music Festival in Atlanta, GA, sharing the stage with a number of progressive rock bands from the southeast and across the country. Sometimes life has a way of coming full circle, and in September 2003, Johnathan Rodriguez decided to resign from the band. As fate would have it, long-time friend, original drummer and founding member Rick Walker was not doing anything musically at the time and looking for a band to begin playing with again. In late September, 2003, Rick rejoined Farpoint.

The summer of 2004 was a busy time for Farpoint. Between recording a new cd and playing local club gigs, Farpoint returned to the Rogue Independent Music Festival in Atlanta, as well as being asked to contribute a song to the upcoming Mellow Records Moody Blues tribute cd. "New Horizons," a beautiful and moving Justin Hayward composition, was chosen and recorded. And, the new Farpoint cd, entitled From Dreaming to Dreaming, was completed and released in November, 2004 and has so far met with the best response from fans and critics of any Farpoint cd to date.

Current plans for the future include a fourth studio album, already in the very early stages, and tentative plans for a live show to be recorded for release.



DISCOGRAPHY:

Full length albums:

FIrst Light (2002)
Grace (2003)
From Dreaming to Dreaming (2004)

singles:

"Just Like You" (2000 - charity fundraiser)

Compilation appearances:

Paths Less Travelled, 2003 (Farpoint track: "H2Origins")
Ghost Notes, 2004 (Farpoint track: "Crying in the Rain")
Higher and Higher: A Tribute to the Moody Blues, not yet released  (Farpoint track: "New Horizons:)


ALBUM REVIEWS

From Dreaming to Dreaming, 2004
Summary: Each Farpoint CD improves on its predecessor in quantum leaps – and this one is a must-hear

You heard it here first: Farpoint no longer plays country-oriented folk prog. This is pure progressive rock in every sense of the word, with all the melody, musical complexity and high-order musicianship entailed in that genre. More than that – it is also a wonderfully rewarding listen.

In our review of Grace we made it clear that it was a fine body of work – but building on the best elements in Grace Farpoint has produced a solid, cohesive body of work that proudly stands up to that most strenuous of tests – multiple replays. And there are several reasons you’ll have no trouble playing it again and again: The coordinated flow from mellow to full-on rock and back again. The shifts from keys to bass to acoustic guitar to excellent lead guitar to rich multi-part vocal choruses. The flute and cello duet played over prominent bass. The intricate lead, bass and acoustic guitar interplays. The effective keyboards that never impose themselves but always provide the atmosphere that imbues each track with the deep sincerity that is a key ingredient to Farpoint’s music.

There isn’t a dull moment on this CD – it will keep your interest from the moody, spacey keys and samples in the first bars of “Lux Universum Part I”, through the truly excellent 10-minute mini epic, all the way to the end when the CD fades out in “Lux Universum Part II” with the same moody, spacey keys and samples. Clark Boone’s vocals are still delivered in his gravely, ballsy style, but it is so much more refined on this album that they ought to find wide appeal. Dana Oxenberg’s singing is simply wonderful, and a favorite moment is the duet in “Crying In The Rain” which highlights the contrasts in their styles – the gruff and the elegant, the feminine and the masculine, the Yin and the Yang.

The instrumentation is rich and layered and it flows from soft dual-instrument sections through to huge walls of sound with bass guitar often taking an interesting lead role and Mike Avins’s guitars providing excellent focus.

The 10 minute mini-epic “Sojourn” is a study in symphonic rock. It starts with spacey tones overlaid with a simple, elegant acoustic guitar piece, then the full rock set is slowly introduced, along with the vocals. The sound builds up in the chorus, where female vocals provide a rich backdrop to the demanding male vocal line. There’s a dramatic tempo shift, into a choral female vocals section, ethereal and pretty, with a twelve-string guitar providing a light but consistent backing – as it does for most of the song, There’s a simple passage with flute and (sampled) cello over bass that provides classical-sounding credibility, and the piece ends in a wonderful wall of sound that will leave you breathless.

Besides one or two spots where Oxenberg’s vocals are a bit prominent in the mix, the quality of production and mixing are particularly good – which is important in those songs that build up to full, multi-layered pieces, where the clarity is such that you still feel you could reach into the speakers and pick out individual notes.

The strengths of From Dreaming To Dreaming lie in its songwriting, its structures and its textures, and above all, Farpoint takes their music seriously and you can feel the earnest faith they bring to each song and its subject matter. Farpoint has arrived – this is progressive rock, and this is what we love about our chosen genre of music.

-Duncan Glenday, http://www.progressiveears.com


Grace, 2003

Summary : With its upbeat, positive atmosphere and its stylistic variety, this album is a real breath of fresh air.

Grace is the second release since the 1997 inception of Farpoint, a 6-piece band from South Carolina. With three guitarists, a flautist, keys, bass, percussion and two distinctly different vocalists, their style varies greatly from track to track. It is melodic, song oriented music, with approachable, uncomplicated melodies that will remain transfixed in the mind for hours after the album ends.

The tremendous variety in their sound stems from both instrumentation and vocals:

Many songs have a mellow tone led by acoustic guitar, flute and keys. Others are more upbeat, featuring frequent blistering guitar solos which represent the principle energy source in this music.

Probably the most immediately apparent quality of Grace, however, is the contrast in the two lead vocalists.

Clarke Boone’s voice is vaguely reminiscent of a more husky voiced version of Dave Cousins of Strawbs - unconventional, a little leathery at first, but after several listens that leather takes on the familiarity and comfort of a favorite armchair. In contrast, Songbird Dana Oxendine’s clear and moody voice doesn’t have the greatest sonic range, but it is melodic and clear and a pleasure to hear. It is the highlight of the album.

Production quality has improved since their first album, and for a self produced work, it is very good - but not the album’s greatest strength. Hopefully, the next album will see similar improvement.

The first track, “Into The Night”, starts with a dramatic rumbling and a newscaster’s voice-over announcing an apocalyptic storm, followed by a wind machine and a few bars of "Amazing Grace". Then a low-register guitar riff breaks in, followed by keys, strong percussion, and great lead guitar work. Then enter Clark Boone’s harsh vocals with lots of reverb, and it ends with a blistering guitar solo. This track has the most progressive sound on the album.

Grace is defined by its stylistic variation, which is very apparent in the contrast between the first two tracks. The first half of Track 2, “Dawn” comprises simple but catchy acoustic guitar work. Then muted percussion is introduced, along with bass and Dana’s vocals, softly backed up by the 2 male vocalists and her flute, giving it an almost Celtic mood. It ends with a simple keyboard solo that fades gently.

“Grace”, the title track, starts with the sounds of rain and spoken vocals, with simple acoustic guitar and a distant clock bell, then Mike Avins launches the first of a sequence of great guitar solos. Clark’s gravelly voice is at its best here, and the trade-off between lead and acoustic guitars is the highlight of this track. It ends with powerful vocal chorus, and a full instrumental wall of sound.

“Sunset” leads off with elegant piano and acoustic guitar, then builds gently with keys, clean, melodic bass, and Dana’s vocals, sometimes with male backing. The song has a simple and consistent underlying theme, and each instrument takes a short solo. Listen for the acoustic guitar solo played in the style of a lead guitar.

The final track, “Into the Light” starts with a soft keyboard and acoustic guitar intro, then introduces a soft choir of male vocals, then a stronger choir of vocals led by Dana sounding better than ever. It is probably the best song on the album.

Farpoint’s web site (www.farpointband.com) is professionally designed and newsy, but a little thin on real information.

Grace has a strong spiritual theme, and borders on gospel music. With or without the religious overtones, however, this music stands on its own merits. It will appeal to the open minded music fan looking for something positive and refreshing, but may not appeal to those who insist on technical complexity and 20-minute epics.

Recommended.

-Duncan Glenday, http://www.progressiveears.com


First Light, 2002

Farpoint is a band from South Carolina, USA. Their sound is characterized by exquisite 12 and 6 string acoustic guitars, wonderful atmospheric keyboards and occasional flute and mandolin. I've read them described as renaissance prog. I wasn't totally sure what to make of that description until I heard them for myself. This is wonderful, sometimes folky/sometimes heavy prog with inspirational lyrics. There's quite a bit of Yes influence to the music at times but never too much. They also seem to be genuinely nice people as well. It's not often that I see progressive bands putting aside their egos to help support a worthy cause like the Special Olympics. For that fact alone, they deserve a unique place in out hearts.

To be quite honest, I wasn't blown away by this CD when I first heard it, but its one of those things that just gets better each time I listen to it and I absolutely adore it now. I think one thing that was keeping me from enjoying it at first was the vocals. Clark's voice is very deep at times and in stark contrast to Dana's angelic sounding tones. They both have very unique voices and I'm stumped to find anyone to compare them to. I've grown to really love both vocal styles, they definitely give this CD character.

The first tune, "Live For Yourself" is very upbeat with a nice positive message. The melody in the song reminds me of The Who's "Baba O'Reilly" to some degree. "Words Of Pain" is much mellower with a beautiful baroque melancholy flute line. Dana's voice is just beautiful in this one, too. "Long Slow Journey" features lots of great 12 string with occasional weird keyboard embellishments. The next two songs, "Chinook" and "Tartans" are both instrumental and showcase the musical talent of the band rather nicely. "Chinook" is a wonderful little quiet piece with a very dreamy synth layer behind the guitars. "Tartans" is heavier and more energy but still quite melodic with very nice guitar parts.

The song "Circles" starts out very mellow with acoustic guitar and light keyboards & percussion but builds up into something very tasty. The mood of the song reminds me of "And You & I" by Yes a little bit. "Fade Away" is probably the heaviest tune on the album with nice fast-paced electric guitar. My favorite on the album is the epic-length "To The River". The band really stretches out on this with a long dreamy intro, some really interesting whistling (!) and a captivating guitar solo towards the end. The final piece on the disc, "Exanimo (Shelby's Song)" features classical guitar and piano and ends the album quite peacefully.

The only thing I can really find at fault with this CD is that on a few songs while the guitars and vocals sound crystal clear, the percussion sounds a bit muffled. Although I really love this CD, I wouldn't say it's for everyone, but for those interested in beautiful, melodic progressive rock this is an exceptional disc. Farpoint are already working on a follow-up to First Light tentatively entitled Grace. They've added another guitarist, Mike Avins, to the lineup and I'm looking forward to hearing more from this promising band.

-Ffroyd, http://www.progressiveears.com

http://www.farpointband.com

Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2005, 10:37:35 AM »
A brief timeline of Timeline:


Timeline has its beginnings in an earlier project, Call To Arms, formed in June of 1993. Paul and Patrick Alvarez, along with Derek Rooney and John Mitchell, started the group and began writing the beginnings of what would evolve into the debut Timeline release in 2005. The initial work on the early material caused creative friction, which resulted in the departure of Derek. The band was now without a rehearsal space or PA.

The remaining 3 members now begin searching for a replacement keyboard player, and construct a small studio in the garage at Paul?s home. After a few months, Paul contacts Scott who has just had a project dissolve. Scott auditions, everyone is satisfied, and the band begins rewriting the previous material to match the new lineup. Work continues from ?94 to ?97 as a four piece, with a couple of Exposé Concert series shows in the Bay Area.

By late ?97, the band decides to change the lineup. They go in search of a front man, and get a vocalist/guitarist. This changes the dynamic for the better as it showed what can be done with a second guitar in the arrangements. After integrating in the new member, the band begins performing and recording. Between ?97 and 2K, the band records the majority of the tracks. Then, again, internal friction causes a split, and the vocalist departs.

Between 2000 and 2002, the band has numerous lineups and personnel changes but nothing concrete takes hold. The band has now decided that 2 guitars are needed to complete the sound. Friction is rising with John as he refuses to change his playing style to the more holistic approach to the band is seeking. Finally, creative tensions reach the boiling point, and the band decides to dissolve rather than fire members or point fingers. Creative differences are what they are, nothing more, nothing less.

Late in 2002 the band reforms under a new name, minus the original guitarist, and auditions for a new guitar player and vocalist. The band finds Chris, and then a vocalist, and again begins recording the original material plus some new songs. 1 show and months of recording, and the guitarist from the previous incarnation bows out because of commute time and personal issues.

Early 2003 finds the band finally getting the instrumentation and chemistry right by bringing Rich into the mix. But issues with the vocalist begin to create more tension, and finally the singer decides to resign rather than put in the required effort. Once again, the band is in need of a front man. We finally settle on the name Timeline.

In December of ?03, we respond to an ad for a vocalist looking for a progressive rock project. After some initial reservations, Eric decides to try out. From January to June 2004, Eric gets up to speed on the songs and Timeline has their debut show. Writing commences after June, while the guitar tracks and vocals are added to the previous recordings. Final mixes are completed in December, and tracks go to master in January 2005. 12 years from the original inception, we finally release our debut CD.

Discography:


Timeline

Mirror in the Sky: 4:46     
Redemption: 4:40    
Vertigo (instrumental):   5:12    
The Burn: 5:09    
Rampage: 3:44    
Journey's End: 6:09    
Heart of the Storm: 5:24    
Karocell (instrumental): 4:38    
Borrowed Time: 5:54    
When I Look Into Your Eyes: 4:09

This is what the Prog Music World has to say about Timeline:
 "... Timeline, like many upstart bands, does show themselves to be a band that is capable of creating some great music in the future, there are enough sections of progressive rock magic here to justify their presence as a new band to watch out for, hopefully they can address some of the issues that are common with freshman releases and follow this one up with a more cohesive and refined product."
- Proggnosis

"Try to imagine, for once, a GOOD fusion of Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. Quite hard, eh? In most cases, the result is more like 80´s Hair Metal with a keyboard filling all the empty spaces. Well, that´s NOT the sound of Timeline, a band that´s more reminiscent of the best moments of Queenryche, early Kansas and Marillion with Fish on the vocals. Timeline is also way more melodic than other groups of the genre, but that doesn´t mean the band has one foot on the MTV crowd (like Evanescence). And this is just their debut album! Who knows where they can go from here? The musical talent to become a force to be reckoned with they already have, in spades; let´s just hope they don´t bow to commercialism, cause the world is already getting tired of poseurs like Evanescence, Limp Bizkit and the like."
- Sergio Martorelli, Editor DVD Total Magazine, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

"Received your CD today and I love the tune Vertigo! ... Thanks and expect to hear Vertigo and possibly others on the station and the show!"
- Matt Sweitzer, Canvas Productions

"This past Thursday, we were honored with the world premiere of the debut disc by Timeline. The band has a fantastic future ahead for them."
- Kenneth L. Solomon, Progressive Soundscapes Radio
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Offline Melo the Prog Goddess

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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2005, 11:53:33 AM »
The Underground Railroad:


Thousands of music fans who have bought The Underground Railroad?s debut CD Through and Through and seen them live in a number of high-profile performances can attest that this band offers an experience like no other can deliver?dramatic, intense, spellbinding, and defiantly intelligent.

In the mid-90s, Fort Worth, TX had a music scene probably typical of anywhere else in the country. A bunch of mainstream rock, blues, metal, country, etc. There was also a small but active experimental and progressive scene that eventually formed such bands as Ohm, Yeti, 99 Names of God and The Underground Railroad.

Kurt Rongey and Bill Pohl had garnered a significant amount of worldwide recognition with their independent releases Book in Hand and Solid Earth, respectively.

In late '95 the improv-based group Anne Hand (with drummer Nathan Brown) had imploded leaving Kurt and Bill to form The Underground Railroad a few months later. A few years of writing and recording followed. Former Pohl-band drummer John Livingston climbed aboard in '97. Matt Hembree (Bindle, Drunken Monkey, Goodwin) was asked to contribute bass tracks shortly thereafter.

In 1999, their first album, Through and Through was picked up by The Laser's Edge and released the next year to worldwide acclaim in progressive rock circles.

Writing for a second release took place while the band played gigs at numerous local venues.

The band was invited to play on-stage at the world's preeminent progressive music festival, NEARfest 2001, and that June found them on the bill with Porcupine Tree, The California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin, and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso.

December 2002 saw The Underground Railroad headlining the first annual Cattleprog event in Dallas with Yeti, Hands, Magpu and Pohl's fusion group Mad Jack McMaddd.

The Underground Railroad's second CD, The Origin of Consciousness, is written and recorded. The release is expected in June of 2005.

Discography:




Through And Through
2000

This is what The Alternate View, the UK Progressive Rock Webzine had to say about this album:
Underground Railroad: Through And Through The Laser's Edge (LE1033) The Underground Railroad is a new band from the Deep South of the USA. The band sees the melding of keyboard player Kurt Rongey with fusion guitarist Bill Pohl. Kurt has already received critical acclaim for his debut solo album Book in Hand, and both musicians have build a formidable reputation in their home state of Texas over the years. Together with drummer John Livingston and bass player Matt Hembree, they have released TUR's debut album Through and Through. The album opens with the eclectic May-Fly - a short and catchy fusion number with more than a passing glance back to the likes of Hatfield & The North and National Health. The Holdsworthian guitars interplay brilliantly with Kurt's fast and furious keyboards to provide an excellent opener for the CD. In contrast, The Comprachicos Of The Mind is a ten minute epic which reminds me somewhat of Citizen Cain. There is a sympho-prog feel with echoes to the likes of Gabriel-era Genesis and Gentle Giant, but the whole song is built around a more fusion approach. In The Factory is another high-octane fusion composition - this time an instrumental, which sees both Kurt and Bill hammering their respective instruments. The Canterbury rock influence is very strong with a sound and feel that I am sure come straight out of the National Health school of rock. Once again, the shorter fusion track counterpoints a longer prog track. This time we have another ten minute composition, The Doorman, which if anything has even more of a Gabriel-era Genesis feel to it. The guitars are pure Hackett while the keyboard switch from Banks to Eddie Jobson to Dave Stewart and all points between. And when the keyboards and guitars get lose, the whole thing takes on a lot more of an avant-garde feel. Mars continues the feel - Foxtrot meets National Health maybe. Another short track; there are three very radio-friendly tracks of around the four/five minute mark, although I would say that apart from Mars, they are not the strongest or most representative tracks on the album. Mars is though - blending the Seventies prog feel with the avant-garde/Canterbury-fusion feel beautifully. Through and Through is the real epic on the album - weighting in at just over 20 minutes. To be honest I could write the same again, just dissecting this piece alone. In a nutshell, like Mars, is a blend of both aspects of TUR - a fusion between their Canterbury side and their sympho-prog side. This is probably the best track on the album- although it is also the most complex and took a lot to get into! And as a coda to the album, it just shows what a top-quality band TUR is. Once again The Laser's Edge has snapped up an excellent band. This is an excellent album that was a joy to review. The musicianship is top grade, and the compositions are complex enough to be enjoyable to listen to without being so obtuse that you feel you need a degree in brain surgery just to be allowed to switch on the CD. There are six tracks in here without a duff note between them. I rather suspect we will be hearing a lot more from Messrs Rongey and Pohl. Rumour has it they are already lined up for NEARFest 2001. Not that you need an excuse, but if you're in the area, I can thoroughly recommend them! Through and Through (LE-1033) is released on The Laser's Edge. For more information, you can contact TLE at PO Box 388, Vorhees, NJ, USA; tel: 08043-0388 or check out the TLE website at http://www.lasercd.com. For more information about The Underground Railroad e-mail the band at: ldm@fastlane.net or check out The Underground Railroad website at http://www.fastlane.net/~ldm/ur. reviewed by Frank Blades
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2005, 01:01:44 PM »
Nektar:

Nektar 2005 - Photography by Ed Reinfeldt

The story of Nektar is a remarkable one. A British rock band that found stardom and success in Germany and the USA, yet failed to make the significant breakthrough in their own country. With three gold albums under their belt (?Remember the Future?, ?Down to Earth? and ?Recycled?), Nektar produced some of the most original work of the seventies.

In virtuoso guitarist Roye Albrighton Nektar had a charismatic front man who had shared a stage with Jimi Hendrix, in Allan ?Taff? Freeman a unique keyboard player, in Derek ?Mo? Moore a bass playing powerhouse and in Ron Howden a fluidity rarely found in a drummer. Fifth member Mick Brockett was not a musician, but was responsible for one of the most stunning light and visual shows ever to grace the rock stage. The roots of Nektar lay in Hamburg in 1970. The band Prophecy, (featuring Freeman, Moore and Howden), were performing in the legendary Star Club. It was here that Prophecy met an extremely talented guitarist Roye Albrighton, also playing the German club circuit. Disillusioned with his own outfit, Albrighton was approached by Prophecy to join them as a guitar player. Light technician Mick Brockett (who had worked with Pink Floyd in the late sixties), had been providing visual backdrops for Prophecy in Germany and was invited to become a permanent fixture in the new band. Opting for a name change, Nektar was born.

Signing to German label Bellaphon later that year, Nektar quickly made an impact with their space rock classic ?Journey to the Centre of the Eye?. This was followed in 1972 by the conceptual album, ?A Tab in the Ocean? which featured the songs ?Desolation Valley? and ?King of Twilight?, (later covered in 1984 by Iron Maiden), all of which were to become staples of Nektar?s live show over the next few years. 1973 saw the release of the double album ?Sounds Like This?. Recorded ?live? in the recording studio, (and described by Elton John as ?an extraordinary album?), the set became the bands first release in Britain and resulted in two appearances on ?The Old Grey Whistle Test? TV show. It was with ?Remember the Future? that Nektar?s real breakthrough came. Another concept, the album became Nektar?s first American release and entered the Billboard album chart, attaining Gold status without the band having ever visiting the USA. An American tour was swiftly booked, with Nektar becoming a major concert attraction. For 1974?s ?Down to Earth? the band enlisted the services of Hawkwind poet Robert Calvert to provide humorous links between songs for their Circus-style concept, earning another Gold disc. ?Recycled?, released in 1975, was recorded in France and London and was engineered by ex-Beatles technician Geoff Emerick. The album featured a full choir and the guest appearance of American synthesiser wizz-kid Larry Fast, (from the group Synergy and later a member of Peter Gabriel?s band), and earned yet another Gold disc in Germany and the USA.

By now Nektar concentrated on America, undertaking a rigorous touring schedule, with the most impressive show yet staged, necessitating in the hiring of a Jumbo jet to transport the bands lighting and sound equipment. Touring took its toll, leading to the departure of Roye Albrighton in December 1976. He was replaced by American Dave Nelson, who recorded ?Magic is a Child? (featuring a young Brooke Shields on the sleeve), with the band in 1977.

This line-up soon disintegrated leaving a gap of two years before Nektar regrouped with Roye Albrighton and Taff Freeman at the helm. With musicians Carmine Rojas and David Prater the superb ?Man in the Moon? (released on CD for the first time by Voiceprint Records) was released in Europe only, with the band touring to great acclaim.

By now Freeman opted to remain in the USA and Albrighton formed Grand Alliance with ex-Climax Blues Band member Derek Holt. The Nektar story appeared to be over.

In 1999, following a potentially fatal liver infection, guitarist and Nektar front man Roye Albrighton was given only weeks to live. At the last minute he is given the precious gift of life when a suitable liver donor is found. The situation was touch and go for a while, but thanks to the expertise of medical staff he pulls through. Determined to live life to the full, Roye Albrighton resurrects the band that made him a household name in Germany and America. That band is Nektar and a new album; ?The Prodigal Son? is released by Bellaphon records. So opened a new chapter for Albrighton and also for the Nektar legacy. It is a chapter that led to the triumphant reformation of this legendary band with Roye Albrighton.

In 2000, following Albrighton?s health scare, Bellaphon records approached Albrighton to record a new Nektar album. Enlisting the services of Taff Freeman and drummer Ray Hardwick, ?The Prodigal Son? (Bellaphon 9729520) was recorded in a matter of weeks. A worthy successor to the previous Nektar catalogue, TPS has received five star reviews in German and American magazines and heralds a new dawn for Nektar. 2002 saw the remastering of the Nektar classic album ?Remember the Future? and the release of the entire London Roundhouse Concert from 1973 with previously unreleased bonus material, and amazingly, a full reunion of Albrighton, Freeman, Moore and Howden, along with Mick Brockett?s light show for a concert at the annual NearFest event at The Patriot?s Theater, Trenton, New Jersey on June 29th with guest musician Larry Fast, and a further triumphant live show at The Town Hall in New York City in October 2002 and two US shows in late May and early June 2003. This was followed in July 2003 by the first Nektar concert in London since 1976 and two German concerts (at the Herzberg Festival and at The Centralstation in Darmstadt). These European concerts were unqualified successes.

In October 2003 Nektar negotiated full rights for their back catalogue outside of Germany and have begun a full remastering campaign on their entire catalogue. April 2004 will see the release of the classic albums ?Journey to the Centre of the Eye?, ?A Tab in the Ocean?, and ?Recycled? (all with previously unreleased bonus material). Also released that month will be a special remixed CD Boxed set of the bands entire concert at The Academy of Music in New York City recorded in August 1974 on the bands own ?Dream Nebula? imprint, part of UK label Eclectic Discs. All releases will include previously unreleased bonus material and will be remastered to the highest standard from the original tapes. Also in October, original bass player Derek ?Mo? Moore announced his intention to leave Nektar. Citing other commitments, unable to tour on a large scale and generously not wishing to impede a revitalised Nektar, Mo stepped aside for his replacement, fellow Rickenbacker user Randy Dembo. A fan of Nektar since the 70?s, Randy has proved a worthy successor to Mo Moore. His joining the ranks of Nektar was an amicable affair and is approved by all, including Mo Moore.

2004 saw an extensive European tour which takes in concerts in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands, and more importantly the release of a superb new studio album from the band, the magnificent ?Evolution?. With stand out tracks such as ?Camouflage to White?, ?Phased by the Storm?, ?Always? and ?Child of Mine?, the album was regarded as a true return to form by critics in both Europe and the USA. An American tour in September 2004 saw Taff Freeman depart the band for personal reasons with his replacement, Tom Hughes instantly earning a place in the hearts of the Nektar faithful. With these concert dates, along with the remastering of the remainder of the Nektar back catalogue on CD, this legendary band are a proud force to be reckoned with once again.

Discography:


Journey To The Centre of The Eye

Track listing
1. Prelude (1:27)
2. Astronauts nightmare (6:22)
3. Countenance (3:30)
4. The nine lifeless daughters of the sun (2:41)
5. Warp oversight (4:28)
6. The dream nebula (2:14)
7. The dream nebula part II (2:25)
8. It's all in the mind (3:22)
9. Burn out my eyes (7:48)
10. Void of vision (2:01)
11. Pupil of the eye (2:46)
12. Look inside yourself (0:53)
13. Death of the mind (2:52)

Total Time: 42:49

This review written by Ben Miller can be found on Hippyland:

http://www.hippy.com/php/review-377.html

Nektar was one of those prog rock bands that people classify as German or Krautrock, when in reality, they were a British band who took residence in Germany. The band consisted of keyboardist Allan "Taff" Freeman, guitarist Roye Allbrighton, bassist Derek "Mo" Moore, and drummer Ron Howden. Journey to the Centre of the Eye is the debut from this band, and I can't think of a better way for a band to start their career. Basically the album is one 40 minute long song divided in to 13 parts. On this album, the band takes the typical early '70s British prog rock sound and include lots of electronic effects that were typical of the Krautrock movement of the time. Favorites of mine include "Astronauts Nightmare", "The Dream Nebula", and "It's All in the Mind". "Warp Oversite" is a real interesting one as it's nothing but strange electronic effects that make me think of Ash Ra Tempel. This album also has the most amount of Mellotron on any Nektar album (most of their other albums don't feature any Mellotron) as you can hear on "It's All in the Mind" and the opening part of "Burn Out My Eyes". I am certain Journey to the Centre of the Eye was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, especially given the cover of the album looks like it could've been a scene from that movie. Great album that combines the best of Krautrock with the British prog sound, although I have found Nektar's album output rather inconsistent (their following, A Tab in the Ocean is even better, although I thought 1974's Down to Earth plain sucked, except for the opening song "Astral Man"). Regardless, Journey to the Centre of the Eye is a classic, and if you like early '70s prog rock, then get this album.

Line-up
-Roye Albrighton / guitars, vocals
-Mick Brockett / liquid lights
-Allan "Taff" Freeman / Mellotron, pianos, organ, vocals
-Ron Howden / drums, percussion
-Derek "Mo" Moore / Mellotron, bass vocals
-Keith Walters / static slides


A Tab In The Ocean

1. A tab in the ocean (15:31)
2. Desolation valley (5:45)
3. Waves (2:53)
4. Cryin' in the dark (5:27)
5. King of twilight (4:07)

Total Time: 33:43


This review can be found on Prog Archives:
http://www.progarchives.com/

 
Review by Keith (Muzikman) Hannaleck @ 9:34:51 PM EST, 2005-01-28

Folks unfamiliar with the band Nektar think they are from Germany. What actually transpired was the quartet of Englishmen met in Germany in 1969 and formed the band. Ron Howden (drums, percussion), Derek "Mo" Moore (bass, vocals), Alan "Taff" Freeman (keyboards, vocals) and Roye Albrighton (guitar, lead vocals) would become huge in Germany and nearly broke big the in the U.S.

Eclectic Discs/Dream Nebula Recordings have reissued the four critically acclaimed albums that defined the band's career. "A Tab In The Ocean", "Journey To The Center Of The Eye", "Remember The Future" and "Recycled" are lovingly remastered with detailed liner notes for former fans and the newly indoctrinated to enjoy. Their well- known masterpiece "Remember The Future" was appropriately chosen for the SACD format as well as "Journey To The Center Of The Eye".

Their sound was a progressive-psychedelic mixture of rock that was far ahead of its time. For this listener this was a new wonderful listening experience. Prior to receiving these CDs, I had not heard any Nektar music besides a video of "Remember The Future" on a DVD compilation. I can understand now what all the talk has been about the band reforming and going on tour.

Roye Albrighton was the driving force of this band. His skilled guitar playing set the table for his fellow band mates. Each recording was outstanding and stands as a testament to their importance to the history of prog-rock music. What made this so interesting was how the label broke up each album into two parts respectively, the original recordings versus the newly remastered versions. You are now able to hear succinct differences between the two formats for the first time. Both versions are excellent and it was a treat to get the best of both worlds.

Any prog-rock listener will most certainly enjoy taking in this musical paradise in more than once, I listened to each CD four times myself and I know there will be many more spins of each CD down the road. I look forward to catching Nektar 2004 on the road this year to relive all of these great songs in a live setting. I never would have decided to see them in concert if it wasn't for this remastered series.

Rating: 5/5 overall

Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / guitars, vocals
- Mick Brockett / liquid lights
- Allan Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals, Mellotron
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, vocals


Sounds Like This

Track listing
1. Good Day (6:45)
2. New Day Dawning (5:02)
3. What Ya Gonna Do? (5:24)
4. 1-2-3-4 (12:47)
5. Do You Believe in Magic? (7:17)
6. Cast Your Fate (5:44)
7. A Day in the Life of a Preacher: Preacher... (13:01)
8. Wings (3:46)
9. Odyssee: Rons on/Never, Never, Never/Da-Da... (14:31)

Total Time: 74:17

This review can be found on Prog Archives:
http://www.progarchives.com

Review by James Unger

One thing you can not criticize NEKTAR for and that is making albums that sound the same. ?Sounds Like This? was the result of a 2 day live in studio recording experiment without great gobs of editing and studio trickery?. They were pretty much just captured live and raw. The end result is still a very much psychedelic NEKTAR rock sound with a certain raw vibe throughout. The big problem with ?Sounds Like This? was that it was sandwitched between ?Tab In The Ocean? and ?Remember The Future? and has forever been sadly greyed out by many in perspective. Let me set the record straight and tell you this is one amazing album. I love the big extended jams that these guys get into and at times actually reminds me more of DEEP PURPLE than NEKTAR. Many tracks rock out and although do not carry the concept charisma of their legendary recordings, does ignite all candles for this music lover. Roye Albrighton?s guitar work is perhaps his best on any album as he demonstrates his incredible dexterity and skill with some great solos. This might be really NEKTAR?s most rock oriented album but still carries lots of progressive tendencies. This album was originally released as a double vinyl album and clocks in at about 75 mins and really does not stop from start to finish. Overall a superb album.

Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, vocals


Remember the Future

Track listing
Remember the future (part I) 16:38
a) Images of the past
b) Wheel of time
c) Remember the future
d) Confusion/
Remember the future (part II) 18:55
e) Returning light
f) Questions and answers
g) Tomorrow never comes
h) Path of light
i) Recognition
j) Let it grow

Total Time: 35:33

This review can be found on Prog Archives:
http://www.progarchives.com/

Review by erik

"Remember the Future" remains Nektar's most popular and loved album, and that's with good reason. First of all, it has probably the most accomplished and perfected Nektar-sound of all their albums. Never before or after have Roye Albrigthon's perfect vocal-harmonies and guitar-playing sounded better, more distinctive and...Nektar-like! And not at least, the whole album is made up of a wonderful, 40-minute suite without a dead or unnecessary second at all. The melodies, atmosphere, playing, arrangements, production and construction of the whole piece are just so goddamn...perfect! Everyone who says that progressive rock is unstructured mess and instrumental self-indulgence should take a listen to this album. With the exception of the instrumental-part at the end of the first side, the whole piece is strongly based in carefully structured and well-written parts where the each member of the bands works wonderfully as integrated parts in the whole sound. The concept of the album is about a boy who speaks to a bird, and the whole story has a very optimistic and positive message. This album is just as essential in a progressive rock collection as "Close to the Edge", "Selling England by the Pound", "Brain Salad Surgery" and "Thick as a Brick".

Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals


Down To Earth

Track listing
1. Astral man (3:07)
2. Nelly the elephant (5:02)
3. Early morning clown (3:21)
4. That's life (6:49)
5. Fidgety queen (4:04)
6. Oh Willy (4:00)
7. Little boy (3:03)
8. Show me the way (5:55)
9. Finale (1:36)

Total Time: 36:57

This review can be found on Prog Archives:
http://www.progarchives.com/

Review by Peter Rideout  
DOWN TO EARTH is the second of Nektar's three essential albums, and, like its title would suggest, is less psychedelic and science-fictional in sound and subject matter than both its predecessor (Remember the Future) and its successor (Recycled). Though this is classic 70s progressive rock, the emphasis is decidedly and delightfully upon the ROCK. Furthermore, rather than dealing with an enlightening alien contact, or a dark future of genetic engineering and ecological disaster (hmmm, sounds familiar), our setting this time out is a circus, complete with (an English-speaking) German ringmaster.

The evening gets off to a flying start with the entry of "Astral Man," a rocking, and catchy tune about a high-wire man. Then things slow down a little -- but gain in power -- and the whole tent reverberates as "Nelly the Elephant" thunders in (complete with brass fanfare!), an "extraordinary exhibition" of good-humoured versatility by the band. Next we take a look at a sadly beautiful "Early Morning Clown," and the keyboards and acoustic guitars shine in the dawn, as "warm rays" fall on the dew-speckled leaves. That's life, one might conclude, and indeed "That's Life" ends "side" one. Things get deeper on this great and longer track, as guitarist Albrighton, cranking out funky, infectious riffs, reflects upon life in the vocals, while stalwart bassman Mo Moore provides a masterfully solid prog underpinning with his Rickenbacker (the same bass that gave Chris Squire his trademark sound on the classic Yes albums). "Side two," -- or act two, if you will -- opens with the frantic "Fidgety Queen." Albrighton really excels on the slide on this rocker, but whereas Yes's Steve Howe oftimes uses slide when things slow down and get "prettier" (as on "To be Over"), Albrighton uses his "tubular" finger to fly! The following track, "Oh Willy" is another up-tempo number where the rhythm section of Moore and drummer Ron Howden more than earn their keep, while in a quieter middle-part, Albrighton lays down some very tasty and dreamy licks, only to have the crisp drums and bass urge him to run with them once more. We then take a hushed and melancholy look at one of the younger members of the circus troupe, a "Little Boy," before Albrighton, ably assisted by "Taff" Freeman (keys) and the rest of the band, enters again with his slide to get powerful closer "Show Me the Way" off to a rousing start. Albrighton, always good, but never particularly outstanding or distinguished as a singer, really manages to inject some passion into his vocals here! Just when you think the show has ended, however, the band fades back up for a short "Finale" repeat of the "Nelly" theme, thereby neatly bookending the proceedings. With that, the show really is over, and some thirty-seven highly-pleasurable minutes have flown by beneath the "big top," bringing you once more "Down to Earth."

I was fortunate enough to listen to this superb and uplifting disc today (for the eleventy-first time!) while driving down the highway in a large, powerful -- and borrowed -- car with a large and powerful stereo. With Albrighton speeding along on the slide, it was hard not to do some speeding and sliding on the winter roads myself! This disc is a must for Nektar fans, and as good an intro as any for the uninitated! Highly recommended!

Line-up
- Roy Albrighton / guitar, lead vocals
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals

Guests:
- P.P Arnold / backing vocals
- Phil Brown / bass tuba
- Bob Calvert / ringmaster
- Ron Carthy / 2nd trumpet
- Kenneth Cole / backing vocals
- Steve Gregory / tenor sax
- Butch Hudson / 1st trumpet
- Chris Mercer / baritone & tenor saxes
- Chris Pyne / trombone
- Stephen Wick / tuba
- Chipping Norton Mandies / choir (2-9)

Sunday Night at London Roundhouse




Tracklist disc 1: Crying In The Dark / King Of Twilight (12:10), Desolation Valley (8:58), A Day In The Life Of A Preacher including the birth of Oh Willie (19:50), Summer Breeze (3:04), Cast Your Fate
Tracklist disc 2: Remember The Future Part One (18:47), Odyssey (Ron's On) (11:15), 1-2-3-4 (12:31), Remember The Future Part Two (Let It Grow) (5:14), Woman (6:09)

This review can be found on the Dutch Progressive Rock Page: http://www.dprp.net

This review was written by Jerry van Kooten

A Little Bit Of History
Releasing a live LP with side A containing one and a half song from a recorded concert and side B containing three cuts from a jam that lasted several hours was not a very sensible thing to do in 1974. The LP was titled Sunday Night At London Roundhouse, and its release looked somewhat overdone between the steady flow of album releases the band had anyway in those days (ten sides of vinyl in three years). I never though it was a very good album; it was too short. Too short for a live album, and too short to show anything that the band could do when jamming.

Nektar recorded their last date on the English 1973 tour (in support of their early 1973 album ...Sounds Like This, although the masterpiece that was following it, Remember The Future, was released two days before this concert took place) on November 25th, because the record company wanted a live album. Good idea, why not, although the band were more into their next studio album, of course.

Early the following year, while recording the following studio album Down To Earth, the bass player's birthday was a reason to go jamming for a few hours having the tape recorded running - it was March 27th, 1974. A good reason! Besides the opener Desolation Valley, many of the music that followed was pure improvisation or at least unreleased material. And sometimes very unlike their usual sound.

From Recording To Release
With recordings like that I could never imagine how a record company could take only two songs from the live concert for one side of a live album (Desolation Valley and A Day In The Life Of A Preacher including the birth of Oh Willie, the latter was even cut in half for the release) and making a very short B side with Oops - Unidentified Flying Abstract, Mundetango, and Summer Breeze from the jam session. I once wrote that the only reasonable thing the record company could do is release a double CD of the full concert and if necessary a multi CD set of the jam.

From Wrong To Right
Well, what do you know? They did almost exactly that! First, there is a double CD featuring the complete concert in wonderful stereo quality. Crying In The Dark / King Of Twilight is good, great to hear Cast Your Fate and especially Odyssey of which I knew only one other live version. Remember The Future and 1-2-3-4 are wonderful. A Day In The Life Of A Preacher is at last complete, and a special version indeed as it has the origins of what would become Oh Willie on the following studio album Down To Earth. It shows how the band could jam while in concert, it shows how tight the unit of these musicians was, and it shows the diversity in their musical ideas. With the following jam, titled Summer Breeze, the sound is going from dreamy to heavy agressive. I have always loved this contrast in the band's sound.

The album also shows that after ...Sounds Like This and Remember The Future, the band was letting in the guitar more and more, a little away from the somewhat psychedelic sounds of the first album and the title track of A Tab In The Ocean, though still being progressive. Well, with Down To Earth coming on, this is hardly a surprise. Playing A Tab In The Ocean live in 1976, it was like the band was saying they never stopped liking their earlier sound, but they were just exploring further. (It is beyond the scope of this review to go into the sound of the album after that, Recycled, but on there, the keyboards regained importance.)
Being more of a progressive rock fan than a rock and roll fan, the rock and roll medley show closer is less interesting, but what's 6 minutes on a 100 minute show, eh? But also being a fan of early blues and hard rock, songs like 1-2-3-4 and Odyssey are just marvellous! The emotion that is feeding the musicians results in such performances that is best heard live. With the band having reformed, I am very much looking forward to seeing them on stage!

Another Wrong To Right
The other side of the original Sunday Night LP received the same "and now a proper CD release" treatment, resulting in a 41 minute disc. Significantly more than the 15 minutes on the LP. I guess these are the parts from the jam that were worth a commercial release. I am still curious to what the rest of the tapes hold secret, but I am more than satisfied with what is offered here.
It is starting with a song we all know, but you can hear and feel the band is more relaxed than in front of an audience. You can hear it on other recordings as well, but not as clear as here, how subtle a guitar player Roye Albrighton is.

The other tracks are all otherwise unreleased. One Mile Red and Summer Breeze were played in concert several times, though. The first definitely bears the Nektar signature on it. But the remaining tracks all have something surprising, making this release a very special one. Being in a relaxed environment obviously lets the musicians play looser tracks, almost jazzy as in We Must Have Been Smashed or Oops, although the latter was not that laid back.

Conclusion
If a record company rights a wrong of releasing an album with short cut-outs of two great sessions in a way like this, ie. three CDs, all is forgotten. These CDs are a real treat for Nektar fans! Fans will have it already, it's not for them I write this. If you like Nektar and would like to hear how they sound live, get this Sunday Night album right away! Unidentified Flying Abstract is amazing for fans, but there are other albums to hear first if you want to get to know the band.

An Important Note
I'd like to add something that is not directly related to the two albums reviewed here, but does concern Nektar the band, their live sound, and what they were and are in progressive rock.

Many people will know by now that Nektar have reunited. Their first show in a long long time was at NEARfest 2002, and I got a recording of that show. The news of Nektar reuniting was very pleasing, because I have always liked their music. Hearing the NEARfest recording surprised me in several positive ways.
I have been disappointed in a lot of contemporary prog bands, prog music, and prog fans, for a number of years now. In times like that I am easily drawn to the collection of things I know and like: I listened to old music more and more. Having heard many Nektar live recordings, I knew what to expect to a certain degree of their reunion show. But the band really surprised me by making their songs sound very modern! Larry Fast on keyboards and two female backing vocalists added something wonderful to that familiar Nektar sound. Several songs gave me goosbumps within the minute! Of course it's not only that making the sound more up-to-date; the music itself still stands as well.
Even more important, however, is that while listening to the NEARfest recording, the idea popped up several times, that this band is making prog rock in a way it is both progressive and emotional, real rock music. When is the last time I heard a contemporary prog band jam?! When is the last time a band surprised me with live performances even if I knew the studio albums so well?! Also sick of the focus on cold technical showing-off? Hear this! This is progressive rock music!

The music they play now would make Nektar a very important band in today's progressive rock. But the realization they play progressive rock with the heart and soul of rock and blues, makes this one of my favourite bands and puts them back again in the major league of today's prog rock bands.

Line-up
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, vocals
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, vocals
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Roye Allbrighton / guitars, vocals

Recycled



Track listing
Recycled part One
1. Recycle (2:47)
2. Cybernetic consumption (2:32)
3. Recycle countdown (1:51)
4. Automaton horrorscope (3:08)
5. Recycling (1:46)
6. Flight to reality (1:18)
7. Unendless imagination? (4:36)
Recycled part 2
8. São Paulo sunrise (3:05)
9. Costa del Sol (4:04)
10. Marvellous Moses (6:37)
11. It's all over (5:11)

Total Time: 36:45

This review can be found on Prog Archives:
http://www.progarchives.com/

Review by Peter Rideout
RECYCLED, released in 1975, is the last of Nektar's five-star works, and their crowning achievement. (Prior releases REMEMBER THE FUTURE and DOWN TO EARTH are also indispensible for the band's fans.) If you were to buy only one Nektar disc, this is the one that I would urge you to select.

RECYCLED, in classic progressive rock fashion, is a concept album with two suites of thematically-linked songs that segue, one into the next, to form a seamless whole. The first suite, "Recycled Part One," deals -- almost presciently -- with a future in which "recycled energy becomes the only form of life as it was," while "new forms are molded from patterns already used in a struggle to survive." (Thanks to man's ongoing devastation of natural habitats, we now forever lose a different animal species each day. Genetic engineering, anyone?) The lyrics are rightly disquieting, and are more timely and relevant now than ever. For example, though penned several years before the emergence of AIDS, and its horrific decimation of sub-Saharan Africa, a line in "Flight to Reality" could well represent the plight of poor countries like Uganda, whose populations desperately need, but cannot afford, the West's anti-HIV medication: "A nation's urgent need fulfills another's greed." (Until recently, the life-saving drugs were kept forbiddingly expensive by huge corporations that were unwilling to allow the production of cheaper, generic versions of their patented medicines.)

The second set, "Recycled Part Two" (the original vinyl's side 2), is less futuristic in scope, but no less urgent in theme. "Sao Paulo Sunrise" and "Costa Del Sol," with ironically danceable beat, tell of the despoiling of a tropical "paradise" by ever-increasing numbers of developers and tourists. Next, the lighter-hearted "Marvellous Moses" presents the tale of a modern-day miracle man and "tourist attraction," before the album comes to a moving close with the requiem-like "It's All Over." As the title would suggest, the song warns of the seemingly inevitable result of humanity's suicidal obsession with economic "growth," at the expense of the ecology that makes life on the planet worthwhile, and even possible.

The music accompanying this foreboding clarion call for greater environmental and humanitarian responsibility is harder-edged progressive rock, that expertly incorporates jazz, psychedelic, Latin, Carribean and funk flavors along the way. Guitarist Roye Albrighton's trademark catchy riffs and soaring slide work have never sounded better, and his vocals are delivered with impressive conviction and passion. Ron Howden's accomplished drumming is precisely as it should be, and bassist Mo Moore's thunderous Rickenbacker gives a solid foundation to the proceedings, yet propels them forward with tremendous impetus. Keyboardist Taff Freeman provides evocative synth "atmospherics," and displays a seasoned virtuosity on the piano, while guest musican Larry Fast of Synergy (who would go on to a fruitful collaboration with Peter Gabriel) supplies lush "orchestral moog arrangements" to further sweeten the prog pot. Top all this off with some moving choral sections and backdrops courtesy of The English Chorale, and you have a true progressive rock masterwork!

While all too many may elect to tune out RECYCLED's grim message, the music which sweetens this acrid but vital medicine is not to be overlooked! Mercy, mercy me -- an essential classic! Start "Recycling" today!

Line-up
- Roy Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / visual environment
- Alan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals

Guest:
- Larry Fast (Synergy) / orchestral Moog arrangements & playing

The English Chorale conducted by Robert Howes, arranged by Christian Kolonovits

Magic is a Child



Track listing
1. Away from Asgard (5:30)
2. Magic is a child (4:06)
3. Eerie Lackawanna (3:29)
4. Midnite lite (4:27)
5. Love to share (keep your worries behind you (4:07)
6. Train from nowhere (4:12)
7. Listen (6:02)
8. On the run (the trucker) (4:41)
9. Spread your wings (4:40)

Total Time: 41:24

This review can be found on Prog Archives:

http://www.progarchives.com/

Review by greenback  

Well, this record is hard to analyze, because the songs are quite varied. Mainly, it consists in sophisticated hard rock, a bit progressive. The guitar sounds quite like the good American hard rock bands. There keyboards are omnipresent: piano, organ... They sound varied. The bass is very present and very good. The drums too. The guitar solo on "Listen" is outstanding: hear this echoed sound!!

Line-up
- Julien Barber / strings
- Larry Fast / synthesizer, programming, processing
- Allan Freeman / keyboards
- Ron Howden / percussion, drums, vocals, Smurd
- Derek Moore / bass, vocals
- Kermit Moore / strings
- Walt Nektroid / guitar
- Dave Nelson / guitar, vocals
- Michael Commins / strings
- Taff Freeman / synthesizer, keyboards, vocals
- Mo Moore / bass, vocals
- Anthony Posk / strings

Live In New York



 Track listing
1. It's all over now (6:33)
2. Good day (7:08)
3. A day in the life of a preacher (14:53)
4. Desolation valley (9:39)
5. That's life (8:00)
6. Show me the way (4:40)
7. King of twilight (9:54)
8. Woman (4:05)
9. Good ol' rock'n roll (5:40)

Total time: 60:47

Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Alan "Taff" Freeman" / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals

More Live In New York



 Track listing
Record one (31:47)
1. Fidgety queen (5:30)
2. That's life (8:10)
3. Show me the way (4:20)
4. Marvelous Moses (8:22)
5. It's all over now (8:25)

Record two (35:26)
6. Astral man (3:10)
7. Remember the future part 1 (14:00)
8. Remember the future part 2 (8:16)
9. King of twilight (10:00)

Total Time: 67:13
Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Mick Brockett / lights
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion
- Derek "Mo" Moore / bass, backing vocals

Man in the Moon



 Track listing
1. Too young to die (4:17)
2. Angel (3:30)
3. Telephone (3:40)
4. Far away (3:17)
5. Torraine (5:25)
6. Can't stop you now (4:18)
7. We (4:40)
8. You're alone (4:05)
9. Man in the moon (6:42)

Total Time: 39:54
Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / vocals, guitars
- Allan "Taff" Freeman / keyboards
- David Prater / drums, backing vocals
- Carmine Rojas / bass, keyboards



NEKTAR - THE PRODIGAL SON

Release Date: November 2001
Label:Bellaphon/Bacilus Records
Total Time: 53:57

1. Terminus/Oh My
2. Now
3. I Can?t Help You
4. The Drinking Man?s Wine
5. Shangri-La
6. Salt & Vinegar Rhythm & Blues
7. The Prodigal Son
8. Be Tonight
9. Day 9


Roye Albrighton - Guitars and Vocals
Allan (Taff) Freeman - Keyboards and Vocals
Ray Hardwick - Drums and Percussion

Can a span of twenty years between recordings and performances be worth the wait?

Is a second chance at life the driving force behind the project?

These questions and many more were probably asked by Roye Albrighton of himself over the past few years.

After a successful recovery from a life-threatening illness, Roye has reunited Nektar, one of the premier progressive bands from the 1970?s (1971 through 1980). Two of the original members (Roye on all guitars and lead vocals, and Allan ?Taff? Freeman on keyboards and background vocals) along with Ray Hardwick on drums; have set nine newly written tracks loose on the world in a collection entitled ?The Prodigal Son?.

The Prodigal Son opens with a ?dual? tune: ?Terminus/Oh MY?. At the onset, you are treated to a look back, as a sample from ?Remember The Future? is layered through the opening chords. The track itself is powerful and retrospective, yet with limited lyrics.

The track entitled ?Salt & Vinegar Rhythm & Blues? reaches to early 1973 and the third Nektar LP ?Sounds Like This?? as well as hints of the legendary ?Tower of Power?s ?Back to Oakland? album for inspiration as a true driving rocker. One can imagine the possibilities of a fifteen-to-twenty minute live version of this song with Roye?s soaring lead guitars, Mo?s thundering bass riffs, Taff?s imagination on a Hammond C-3 and yes, even a mighty drum solo from Ron.

The closing track ?Day 9? is a compilation of many elements of the previous tracks and can possibly be taken as an overture at the finale. You can imagine this track leading the album as a preview of things to come. It?s as if the album is meant to play as a sort of a loop where there is really no beginning or end.

?The Prodigal Son? has been a long time coming for all Nektar fans, 21 years for accuracy. However, after numerous playbacks, it comes across as the logical next musical progression following 1980?s ?Man in the Moon?.

There is not enough space in this review to impart thoughts on every track?that should be left to the individual listener. However, as a life-long Nektar fan, I highly recommend ?The Prodigal Son? as a ?must have? for your collection.

Copyright 2001, Kenneth L Solomon, Swiss Navy Productions

Greatest Hits Live



 Track listing
CD ONE:
1. A Tab in the Ocean
2. Desolation Valley
3. Remember the Future Part One
4. Nelly the Elephant
5. Man in the Moon
6. It's All Over
7. Now

CD TWO:
1. Recycled
2. A Day in the Life of a Preacher
3. Remember the Future Part Two
4. Crying in the Dark / King of Twilight
5. Fidgety Queen

Evolution



 Track listing
1. Camouflage to White (7:03)
2. Old Mother Earth (7:41)
3. Child of Mine (6:43)
4. Phazed by the Storm (9:20)
5. Always (7:03)
6. Dancin´ into the Void (8:18)
7. The Debate (9:30)
8. After the Fall (5:37)

Total Time: 61:15
Line-up
- Roye Albrighton / lead vocals, guitars
- Taff Freeman / keyboards, mellotron, backing vocals
- Ron Howden / drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Randy Dembo / bass, backing vocals

Review copyright by Duncan Glenday for Sea Of Tranquility http://www.seaoftranquility.org

November 10th 2004


A brief lesson in Music-101: Music is about melody, first and foremost, and everything else follows. Many knowledgeable people will try to bamboozle you ? but this down-home-simple rule of music is absolute.

Nektar has always had the ability to provide music with hooks ? those melodies that stay in your mind long after the CD has stopped spinning. And while Evolution has many wonderful qualities, those hooks just may be the strongest component of this new-for-2004 record.

Take a few listens to Evolution. You may think it sounds like rather linear rock at first blush. But it only takes one or two more listens to appreciate that all the progressive elements are there, along with very strong musicianship. Roye Albrighton?s stamp is all over this music ? from the vocals, through the lyrics to the guitar-driven instrumentation. Taff Freeman?s keyboards also take a lead role here, and his elegant piano work plays a central role in many tracks.

Roye has described this as a concept album ? we might be more inclined to call it strongly themed ? not that there?s much difference. The lyrics are somewhat esoteric, but songs work together to describe the evolution of man, focusing on our present status ? and the fact that the next steps in our evolution may be determined by how we treat the planet. See the prose of ?The Debate?, or the spoken voice-over on ?Dancin´ Into The Void?.

Track 2, ?Old Mother Earth?, has graceful two minute passage in the middle ? with the orchestral sounds of a Mellotron backing up a nicely played acoustic-styled guitar piece. It is a relaxing, positive sound, and may be the high point of the album. A well managed tempo change quickly brings you back into the world of hard-edged rock, though, and you quickly gain an appreciation of the band?s musicianship. ?Child Of Mine? is a slow, heartfelt ballad about the gentle joy experienced by young parents holding their baby in their arms. And in the context of the album, it has a double meaning ? referring, as Albrighton put it, ?to Mother Nature cradling the Earth in her hands?. It is a soft, appealing ballad which will find instant appeal. ?Phazed By The Storm? is a 9½ minute mini-epic that flows along like a stream of consciousness ? through tempo shifts and style changes, solos and hard rocking sections and choruses and voice overlays, eventually fading out on a soft minor key.

Evolution will please old Nektar fans. It is a return to form yet at the same time the music is modern and the theme relevant. But more important, it will probably introduce the band to a batch of newer, younger fans who will appreciate the depth to this music, the excellent musicianship, the hidden complexities and above all, those melodic hooks that will keep these songs in your mind for days at a time.
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2005, 04:24:29 AM »
Tiles:


Tiles is a progressive hard rock band from Detroit, MI featuring Pat DeLeon (drums), Chris Herin (guitar), Paul Rarick (vocals), and Jeff Whittle (bass). Signed to Inside Out Music in North America and Europe, Tles was formed in February 1993. The past ten years have seen the band develop and refine a sound that blends experimental progressive rock overtones with an aggressive hard rock edge. Mixed with lyrics of an "observational" or "human-centric" quality, Tiles continues to cultivate a sound that rewards more than just passive listening. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull calls Tiles "...undoubtedly one of the brighter hopes for the musical millennium!"

Tiles recently completed their fourth CD, Window Dressing. Produced, engineered, and mixed by Terry Brown (Rush, Cutting Crew, Fates Warning,), Window Dressing revolves around the 17-minute title track and the concept that there is always "more (or less) than meets the eye" in any encounter. The CD features the design and artwork of award winning artist Hugh Syme (Aerosmith, Rush, Megadeth), and features several special guests: Kim Mitchell, guitar; Matthew Parmenter, violin; and Hugh Syme, keyboards. Window Dressing is scheduled for a May 2004 release.

Tiles released their third Presents Of Mind album worldwide in the summer of 1999. Bolstered by positive reviews, airplay, and strong word-of-mouth, Presents Of Mind became the band?s best-selling CD and generated an invitation from Dream Theaterto open their November 1999 European tour. Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy offered his endorsement: ?I love this CD! The entire disc is full of great musicianship and great songwriting with catchy hooks.?

Tiles first reached the international music scene in the summer of 1995 when Polydor released tiles throughout Europe on the Dream Circle Records label. Sales were strong with the help of excellent reviews from Aardschok in the Netherlands (91/100), SCREAM in Norway (6/6), Rock Hard in Germany (8/10), and others. On the opposite side of the world, Teichiku Records revised the artwork and released the disc in Japan. Burrn! Magazine rated tiles an 88/100 saying "...(tiles is) a wonderful album with a very high level of technique and a great melodic sense." The CD entered the Burrn! chart at #47.

Tiles released their second CD, Fence The Clear, in the spring of 1997 and overseas in Europe and Japan in the fall of 1997. The disc was again well received by fans and reviews were positive with Fence The Clear, scoring 94/100 in Aardschok, 5/6 in SCREAM, earning HM Magazine's "Pick of the Litter" award, and the Detroit Free Press naming Tiles "Detroit's leading progressive rock band." The band?s first three CDs have been re-mastered with bonus tracks, expanded packaging, and reissued as part of the InsideOut Special Edition series in March 2004.

Discography:

Tiles (1994)


Tracklisting:
1. Analysis Paralysis (5.11)
2. Token Pledge (6.40)
3. Retrospect (2.12)
4. Trading Places (4.27)
5. Bridges Of Grace (4.44)
6. Dancing Dogs (5.46)
7. Scattergram (5.38)
8. Dress Rehearsal (4.56)
9. Supply And Demand (6.11)

Personnel:
Mark Evans: Drums, Percussion
Chris Herin: Guitars, Keyboards
Paul Rarick: Vocals
Jeff Whittle: Bass

Special Guest:
Kevin Chown: Bass, Vocals

Produced by Kevin Chown and Tiles
Assisted and Mixed by Chris Andrews
Recorded by Chris Andrews, Pete Bankert & Henry Weck

This is what Michael Popke said about this album on The Sea of Tranquility  
http://www.seaoftranquility.org

From the first notes of the first song on Tiles' self-titled first album - that would be the criminally catchy Analysis Paralysis - it's clear this Detroit-based band that accessibly blends progressive metal, hard rock and plenty of intelligence into a neat and completely underrated package, is not a typical prog-metal group. Sure, Tiles has its Rush connections, thanks to studio wizard Terry Brown and album-cover artist Hugh Syme. (Syme landed on the scene after the release of the band's first two long out-of-print albums, 1994's Tiles and 1997's Fence the Clear, but Brown mixed Fence the Clear.) And many riffs, passages and even entire songs sound like Rush outtakes. But for a band with so many Rush references, not to mention an outfit that takes its name from a Led Zeppelin song ("Out on the Tiles") and cites Gene Simmons as an early mentor, Tiles (and Tiles) sound amazingly fresh, if not completely original, a decade later on these Special Edition reissues.

Much of that freshness comes courtesy of singer Paul Rarick's crystalline voice, which carries the depth of James LaBrie, the sincerity of Steve Walsh and, yes, the quirkiness of Geddy Lee. And guitarist and keyboard player Chris Herin, the band's main writer and lyricist, imbues Tiles with a savvy and contemporary sound that mixes mesmerizing arrangements with smart lyrics about real life and inner turmoil. To wit: "Sometimes the cost of winning/Isn't worth the price/This eternal battle/Edges many from the race/Brick walls form around me/Shaded from today/My good intentions/Keeping progress held at bay," from the debut's Trading Places. And then there are the opening lines to The Wading Pool, a piano ballad from Fence the Clear, which hauntingly albeit unwittingly prophesies Sept. 11, 2001: "We were watching as the buildings fell/And the ground folded/Minutes passed and the destruction was over/Dust and rubble fill the stagnant air/Blotting out the sun/The beauty lost in moments as the wars begun."

Tiles boasts bassist Kevin Chown (Artension, Magnitude Nine and now Uncle Kracker) as a "special guest," who was officially replaced by Jeff Whittle for Fence the Clear. The three bonus tracks on Tiles date back to the Simmons era, when Tiles was still known as Standing Pavement. They have been reworked, though, and are more subtle and mainstream in nature than the material on the debut. They also sound surprisingly unlike songs from other Simmons protégés. (House of Lords, anyone? How about Gypsy Rose?)

Fence the Clear comes off alternately heavier and gentler than the debut but no less melodic and enjoyable, as the more-mature songs were honed from two years of testing them on live audiences. Listeners can hear the band segue toward a more progressive sound, as Tiles moves gracefully from noisy metal to a mellow yet groovy breakdown in Another's Hand. Elsewhere, on Changing the Guard, the band smolders in a slow-burn epic that rivals any of prog-metal's best ballads. Four bonus tracks include unfinished demos from the original Fence the Clear sessions (one, Ballad of the Sacred Cows, wound up on 1999's Presents of Mind) and another demo from the Standing Pavement days.

InsideOut Music's typically exceptional attention to detail further enhances both of these Special Edition titles, which have been remastered to sound better than ever. They also come with lots of photos and Herin-penned liner notes. (Presents of Mind was given the Special Edition treatment via InsideOut's European arm and is available in the United States only as an import.) All three albums offer a Tiles primer in anticipation of Window Dressing, the band's most progressive album yet (including the exhausting 17-minute title track opener), which is slated to drop May 25. It's about time Tiles gets the attention it deserves. To do your part, pick up Tiles and Fence the Clear, and find out what all the fuss should be about.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Fence The Clear (1997)


Tracklisting:
1. Patterns (4.31)
2. Beneath The Surface (5.00)
3. Cactus Valley (6.58)
4. Another's Hand (6.32)
5. The Wading Pool (6.24)
6. Gameshow (3.40)
7. Fallen Pieces (1.25)
8. Changing The Guard (7.18)
9. Gabby's Happy Song (.50)
10. Checkerboards (14.43)

Personnel:
Mark Evans: Drums, Percussion
Chris Herin: Guitars, Mandolin, Keyboards
Paul Rarick: Vocals
Jeff Whittle: Bass, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Kevin Chown: Bass (Track 8)

Produced by Chris Andrews and Kevin Chown
Assisted by Tiles
Recorded by Chris Andrews
Mixed by Terry Brown

This is what Michael Popke said about this album on The Sea of Tranquility  
http://www.seaoftranquility.org

From the first notes of the first song on Tiles' self-titled first album - that would be the criminally catchy Analysis Paralysis - it's clear this Detroit-based band that accessibly blends progressive metal, hard rock and plenty of intelligence into a neat and completely underrated package, is not a typical prog-metal group. Sure, Tiles has its Rush connections, thanks to studio wizard Terry Brown and album-cover artist Hugh Syme. (Syme landed on the scene after the release of the band's first two long out-of-print albums, 1994's Tiles and 1997's Fence the Clear, but Brown mixed Fence the Clear.) And many riffs, passages and even entire songs sound like Rush outtakes. But for a band with so many Rush references, not to mention an outfit that takes its name from a Led Zeppelin song ("Out on the Tiles") and cites Gene Simmons as an early mentor, Tiles (and Tiles) sound amazingly fresh, if not completely original, a decade later on these Special Edition reissues.

Much of that freshness comes courtesy of singer Paul Rarick's crystalline voice, which carries the depth of James LaBrie, the sincerity of Steve Walsh and, yes, the quirkiness of Geddy Lee. And guitarist and keyboard player Chris Herin, the band's main writer and lyricist, imbues Tiles with a savvy and contemporary sound that mixes mesmerizing arrangements with smart lyrics about real life and inner turmoil. To wit: "Sometimes the cost of winning/Isn't worth the price/This eternal battle/Edges many from the race/Brick walls form around me/Shaded from today/My good intentions/Keeping progress held at bay," from the debut's Trading Places. And then there are the opening lines to The Wading Pool, a piano ballad from Fence the Clear, which hauntingly albeit unwittingly prophesies Sept. 11, 2001: "We were watching as the buildings fell/And the ground folded/Minutes passed and the destruction was over/Dust and rubble fill the stagnant air/Blotting out the sun/The beauty lost in moments as the wars begun."

Tiles boasts bassist Kevin Chown (Artension, Magnitude Nine and now Uncle Kracker) as a "special guest," who was officially replaced by Jeff Whittle for Fence the Clear. The three bonus tracks on Tiles date back to the Simmons era, when Tiles was still known as Standing Pavement. They have been reworked, though, and are more subtle and mainstream in nature than the material on the debut. They also sound surprisingly unlike songs from other Simmons protégés. (House of Lords, anyone? How about Gypsy Rose?)

Fence the Clear comes off alternately heavier and gentler than the debut but no less melodic and enjoyable, as the more-mature songs were honed from two years of testing them on live audiences. Listeners can hear the band segue toward a more progressive sound, as Tiles moves gracefully from noisy metal to a mellow yet groovy breakdown in Another's Hand. Elsewhere, on Changing the Guard, the band smolders in a slow-burn epic that rivals any of prog-metal's best ballads. Four bonus tracks include unfinished demos from the original Fence the Clear sessions (one, Ballad of the Sacred Cows, wound up on 1999's Presents of Mind) and another demo from the Standing Pavement days.

InsideOut Music's typically exceptional attention to detail further enhances both of these Special Edition titles, which have been remastered to sound better than ever. They also come with lots of photos and Herin-penned liner notes. (Presents of Mind was given the Special Edition treatment via InsideOut's European arm and is available in the United States only as an import.) All three albums offer a Tiles primer in anticipation of Window Dressing, the band's most progressive album yet (including the exhausting 17-minute title track opener), which is slated to drop May 25. It's about time Tiles gets the attention it deserves. To do your part, pick up Tiles and Fence the Clear, and find out what all the fuss should be about.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Presence Of Mind (1999)


Tracklisting:
1. Static (5.43)
2. Modification (3.42)
3. Crossing Swords (1.06)
4. Facing Failure (5.41)
5. The Learning Curve (4.40)
6. Ballad Of The Sacred Cows (6.55)
7. The Sandtrap Jig (.48)
8. Taking Control (5.12)
9. Safe Procedures (7.04)
10. Reasonable Doubt (11.22)

Personnel:
Pat DeLeon: Drums, Percussion
Mark Evans: Drums, Percussion
Chris Herin: Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Keyboards
Paul Rarick: Vocals
Jeff Whittle: Bass

Additional Musicians:
Kevin Chown: Bass (Track 10)
Sonya Mastick: Percussion
Matthew Parmeter: Violin (Track 10)

Produced by Tiles and Chris Andrews
Counsel: Kevin Chown
Recorded by Chris Andrews
Mixed by Terry Brown
Artwork by Hugh Syme

This is what James Bickers said about this album in Progression Magazine - Summer 1999

In a remarkably short amount of time, the Detroit band Tiles has sculpted a uniquely identifiable sound, first evidenced on their last album, the wonderful Fence The Clear. On Presents Of Mind, their third disc, Tiles brings us further refinement in their magical blend of prog sensibility and hard-rock energy.

The voice of Tiles is the remarkable Paul Rarick, a clear-toned, powerful singer with a strangely refined phrasing style: When hearing him sing, one imagines Rarick standing perfectly still, eyes closed and body calm. In this way he commands the listener's attention - oozing confidence, his lines clean, crisp and very emotional. He is a singular talent.

Guitarist and chief songwriter Chris Herin, drummer Pat DeLeon, and bassist Jeff Whittle are as tight as tight can be. Again, the qualities of confidence and maturity spring to mind when defining Tiles' delivery.

This is a band that has endured constant Rush comparisons. Yes, the Rush influence is clearly evident. But perhaps it's time for those comparisons to stop, because Tiles is a band that has come into its own - and a band that deserves your attention.

Window Dressing (2004)


Tracklisting:
1. Window Dressing (17:13)
2. Remember To Forget (4.57)
3. All She Knows (4.37)
4. Capture The Flag (9.05)
5. Stop Gap (2.55)
6. Tear-Water Tea (4.15)
7. Unincornicopia (5.22)
8. Paintings (4.47)
9. A.02 (1.18)
10. Slippers In The Snow (3.14)
11. Spindrift (9.30)

Personnel:
Pat DeLeon: Drums, Percussion
Chris Herin: Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Keyboards, Trumpet (Track 5)
Paul Rarick: Vocals
Jeff Whittle: Bass, Lead Guitar (Track 5)

Additional Musicians:
Kim Mitchell: Guitar (Track 4)
Matthew Parmenter: Violin (Track 6 and 7)
Hugh Syme: Keyboards, Orchestration (Track 10)

Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Terry Brown
Additional Engineering: John Smerek

This is what an unknown review had to say about this album on ProGGnosis
http://www.proggnosis.com/

With this release, Tiles has now four cds to date, and they remain true to their calling as a unique voice in progressive music. The band has been lumped into the progmetal genre for some odd reason, perhaps for their involvement with Magna Carta Records, and the fact that they have often been compared to Canada's Rush, but truth be told, Tiles' music is progrock, with some occasions towards the hard side of prog, but overall they are very pleasant on the delicate ears of those that are absolutely outside the progmetal camp.

This latest effort is finding the band continuing the refinement of their unique style, they have a sound that is distinct yet familiar. Yes the allusions to Rush are here, at least the vintage era of the Canadian band. But this would be an injustice to compare the two bands in such simplistic terms. Tiles writes songs that combine insightful lyrics, cleverly arranged music, and well orchestrated melodies to compliment the bands personna. Rarick's voice, while somewhat high registered, in no way sounds like Geddy Lee, his voice is what gives Tiles their uniqueness, I guess the more I hear of the bands' output, the less I think they really sound like Rush, there are the occasions during their music where some of the chordings and drum work are a bit reminiscent, but it's safe to say at this point, Tiles is their own thing.

Window Dressing offers some of the bands best work to date, and they start out with a first track that exceeds the 17 minute mark, I guess that means they aren't looking for radio play? I like how the band mixes moods by utilizing electric and acoustical instruments, violins, mandolins, acoustic guitars, these instruments sneak in and out of the songs providing some nice segues to and from the harder moments. I am convinced after hearing this cd, that Tiles really has nothing to do with progressive metal in any way, never do I hear metallic guitars or double bass hard drumming. What I do hear are very interesting guitar tones, and tasteful bass work, and some moments of ambiance mixed well with more intense areas that together provide an enjoyable experience of progressive music.
"Gamma, help me". my younger grandson said in imperious tones! He wanted me to put in my password  and unlock my phone so he could play with it!