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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Galactic Cowboy Orchestra

All Out of Peaches

Review by Gary Hill

The easy description for this is “instrumental music dominated by violin.” Of course, that only goes so far. Add in fusion meets progressive rock with bits of country and other styles, and you’ll be closer to the right territory. All in all, this is one of the more intriguing instrumental discs I’ve heard in a while. It’s tough for instrumental music to remain fresh and unique, but this one manages it. It’s quite a cool disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
All Out of Peaches

Here’s a killer instrumental that’s a bit Yes-like, but also has jazz built into it. It’s the violin that truly drives the piece. Later it shifts to something closer to King Crimson for a time. Then a major shift occurs as it drops to a mellow ballad-like movement. Eventually it works back out to the earlier two sections as they continue.

Ruby
This one is a full-on violin solo working through a few variants. It’s not extremely lengthy, but it’s quite cool. It segues straight into the next piece.
Paparazzi
Combining classical stylings with classic rock and even some folk music, this is pretty and quite intriguing. It works through a few variations and alterations. There is some cool bass soloing later as this moves out in the direction of fusion.
Memo 9
This powers out like hard edged prog, then it takes us on a major musical journey with crazed changes and sounds ensuing. King Crimson again serves as a reference, but so does Jean-Luc Ponty and more mainstream sounds. It really works through a lot of changes.
Cajun in Spurs
This brings some serious country music to the table, along with the familiar musical players. It’s another strong tune that works quite well.
Straight to the Top
This is an extensive acoustic guitar solo. It’s pretty and quite intricate and complicated. It’s a great piece. 
Five up Front
Here’s a very cool tune that combines fusion with country and other musical styles. This is a lot of fun and very tasty. There’s a cool slow section that’s distorted and a bit King Crimson-like later and there’s some great violin soloing involved there.
Minion
Very much a fusion meets Primus and King Crimson kind of tune, this is quite cool. The bass drives a lot of this, but there’s also a cool percussion solo dominated movement later. It also works out into space later.
The Blaze
Welcome to the hoe-down. This is like an energized and frantic combination of fusion with real hoe-down music. It’s a lot of fun. There’s some smoking hot bass work on this mid-track.
Ragabilly
As the title suggests, there’s a lot of country music built into this. It’s another that’s fun, but it’s also almost classically oriented at times. Yet, it shows the kind of connections that exist between Irish music and country because at points this feels Celtic. There’s a nice drop back to acoustic guitar motifs later. Some of the jamming later in this tune calls to mind Yes a bit, but then again, Steve Howe is heavily influenced by some country music. So, that makes sense.
At Cross Purposes
Here’s another tasty jam that combines fusion with other sounds in great fashion. It’s one of the more melodic cuts here.
 
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