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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sun King Rising

Delta Tales

Review by Gary Hill

The man behind this project is John Blangero. He has created an album that really captures a classic sound. The basis of that sound alternates enough from song to song to keep it interesting. There is everything here from mainstream rock to jam-band, blues, soul, country, folk and more. It all works very well, but there are some standouts in the mix.

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Track by Track Review
The Snake
Percussion starts things here. Then female vocals join along with horns. This has a cool soulful groove to it. This feels like a pop take on a bluesy, soulful concept. It's a lot of fun.
Milkweed And Thistle

More of a pure rock tune, there is a jam band kind of vibe to this. It really feels like something that would have been at home in the 1970s. I really dig the slide guitar on this thing.

Down The Delta Road
I dig the country meets folk kind of vibe to this tune. This is another solid song.
In A State Of Grace
This is another that shows off more of a mainstream rock thing. It's a strong tune on a disc full of strong material. The horns bring something special to this.
Take It Down
As strong as everything to this point has been, this cut takes it to the positively sublime. This has a killer blues rock vibe. Everything about this number works so well. The guitar is absolutely on point, and the backing vocals bring a great soulful element to it.
Beneath The Southern Sun
Energized rocking sounds are on the menu here. This is more of a mainstream tune. It's strong, but not a standout. That said, the last track is a tough act to follow.
Evangeline In The Morning
A piano and vocal based arrangement makes up this concept. The multi-layered vocal arrangement is intriguing, but I don't think this is as strong as some of the other music here.
Love Turns Grey
This is more of a rocking cut, and the horns lend some magic to this track. I like this quite a bit. It's jazzy and a lot of fun.
Drive Me To Nashville
I like this one a lot. It has some hints of progressive rock in the mix, but is largely a country styled tune. It's packed full of emotion, and the lyrics are so cool. The vocal performance is one of the best of the disc. I'd consider this another highlight of the set.
Let There Be Light
This is another standout. It's a killer mainstream rocker that has more hints of prog in the mix. The female vocal led-section is a nice change, and the whole song just works so well.
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