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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mark Vickness


Review by Gary Hill

Mark Vickness is being billed as progressive rock in some materials. If you compare him to California Guitar Trio, that label fits. This album is all instrumental. It's also all fairly sedate. It's mostly just acoustic guitar work, but there are other things added for flavor. This encompasses fusion, folk, classical and progressive rock. It all works well to create a cohesive and entertaining disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
A Thousand Islands
This acoustic guitar based cut is intricate and intense, while still remaining mellow. It shows off such great techniques. Yet it also manages to entertain with its classical turned fusion type stylings.
Wind River
If the last track showed off great technique, then this is the master class. Again this falls in a zone between classical music and fusion, but it has some folk built into it, too. The interaction between various melodic lines is so strong. The whole piece just works incredibly well.
Prince William Sound

A much mellower piece, this is pretty and quite intricate. There is a more involved movement later in the piece that brings it into new territory. We even get the only electric guitar of the disc before it ends.

New York City
The opening section of this leans more on folk sides of things. It shifts to more of a pure fusion movement from there.
Flight of the Rays

There is an exotic, traveling kind of vibe to this mellow piece. It's perhaps more purely classical than some the rest, but it still has a fusion feeling to it.

Bishop Pass
Intricate, sedate and quite pretty, there is a lot of classical music built into this.
NYC 2.0
Perhaps closer to folk music, this still has plenty of fusion and classical elements at play. It's a bit more "song-like" despite the fact that it's just acoustic guitar.
Wonder Lake Suite
At only eight and a half minutes in length, this is the epic of the set. It comes in with sounds that are not far removed from the rest here. The piece builds up gradually. By around the two and a half minute mark it has moved forward into more fusion based sounds. At times this piece reminds me of California Guitar Trio. It gets quite involved. It drops down to some classical strings near the end. That concept ends this track.
I Must Tell Jesus

Another intricate acoustic guitar solo, this does a nice job of grounding the set.

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