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June 2017 - Issue 124
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Barclay James Harvest - XII
Review by Gary Hill
This new edition of the classic album is a three disc set. The first two discs are CDs while the final one is a DVD.
Tim Blake - Blake's New Jerusalem
Review by Gary Hill
I've reviewed two other discs from Tim Blake for this issue. Each of them has a distinct flavor.
Tim Blake - Crystal Machine
Review by Gary Hill
While Tim Blake is best known for his work with Gong and Hawkwind, don't expect that type of music here.
Tim Blake - Magick
Review by Gary Hill
According to the liner notes, this album was recorded live.
Bradford - You're Doing It Wrong
Review by Gary Hill
This is guitar dominated instrumental rock. That said, it's not noodly or repetitive.
Chrome - Techromancy
Review by Gary Hill
I'm sure some people will argue with my landing this under prog rock. I really can't see it going anywhere else.
Dazed Marrow - Gaeseki Dream Machine
Review by Gary Hill
This is definitely progressive music. It's also definitely not "rock" music.
EchoTest - From Two Balconies
Review by Gary Hill
As a bass player, I have to love any band whose sound is built around two bassists.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Once Upon A Time In South America
Review by Gary Hill
This live set should definitely please ELP fans. It's four CD set that is made up of music recorded on three different nights.
Hawkwind - Into the Woods
Review by Gary Hill
I have to make full disclosure here and say that Hawkwind is one of my favorite bands. In fact, they make my top three.
He Is Me - Drowning Man Ocean Man (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single from He Is Me is stunning. It's also unsettling in a lot of ways.
Ivory Tower Project - How Much More?
Review by Gary Hill
This act is billed as "classic rock." I'm not sure that is a real genre.
Robby Krieger - In Session
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation disc is quite strong. There is really a lot of great music here.
Light Freedom Revival - Eterniverse Deja Vu
Review by Gary Hill
The melodic prog here is very much in line with both classic progressive rock and modern stuff like The Flower Kings.
Harvey Mandel - Snake Attack
Review by Gary Hill
Harvey Mandel might be a world renowned guitarist, but that's not a definition in terms of limitations. Indeed, he plays everything on this instrumental album.
Neal Morse - Morsefest 2015: ? and Solo Scriptura LIVE
Review by Gary Hill
In 2015 Neal Morse put together Morsefest. It was a two night event. On one night of the show, he performed his ? album, while the second night they did Solo Scriptura.
Omega - Anthology 1968-1979
Review by Gary Hill
This new compilation will serve as a great introduction to this band. The sticker that came on it called these guys the Hungarian answer to Yes and ELP.
The Ed Palermo Big Band - The Great Un-American Songbook
Review by Gary Hill
This is a cool set. I haven't heard of this act before, but apparently they came to fame doing interpretations of Frank Zappa songs.
Patto - Hold Your Fire
Review by Gary Hill
I know these guys are considered a prog band, but based on the two CDs I have, I only see it so much.
Patto - Patto
Review by Gary Hill
These guys are considered a prog band, in the jazz rock end of that equation. Well, I have to admit that I have two albums by them to review, and this is the first I've heard.
Principal Edwards - Principal Edwards Magic Theater - Works 1971: Albums Demos BBC Sessions & Live
Review by Gary Hill
First things first, this is actually credited as "Principle Edwards Magic Theater," but I've got in as just Principal Edwards.
Procol Harum - Novum
Review by Gary Hill
Procol Harum's brand of folk prog has always been among the most treasured. This brand new set of music should please fans of the group.
The Residents - Ghost of Hope
Review by Gary Hill
The Residents' brand of sound is clearly not progressive rock in the traditional sense of the kind of music prog bands were doing in the 1970s.
Striving Artists - Jesus Christ Superstar: A Striving Artists Cast Recording
Review by Gary Hill
Here we have a brand new cast recording of the classic rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Andy Summers - Triboluminescence
Review by Gary Hill
People who turn to Andy Summers' solo works looking for music like he did in the Police probably end up confused.
Various Artists - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - The Black Room
Review by Gary Hill
There are times when I wish I had never started MSJ with the whole concept of track by track reviews. This album is a daunting one to do in that way.
Yes - 90125 Vinyl Picture Disc (Record Store Day 2017)
Review by Gary Hill
The break-out album for the Rabin era of Yes has gotten a special release for Record Store Day 2017. 
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Heavy AmericA - Now...
Review by Gary Hill
This new album is perhaps closest to stoner rock. There are some songs here that I absolutely love.
Jupiter Hollow - Odyssey
Review by Gary Hill
This one could almost land in the progressive rock category. I think the balance is probably closer to the metal end, though.
Tokyo Blade - Knights of the Blade
Review by Gary Hill
This new four CD box set is a great way for people to get a quick education on the music of Tokyo Blade.
Witchfynde - Divine Victims: Witchfynde Albums 1980-1983
Review by Gary Hill
You could sort of think of Witchfynde as one of the underappreciated bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Amanda Abizaid - Walking in Twos
Review by Gary Hill
This album probably fits under pop rock better than it does under any other title. That said, there is a lot of world music here.
Peter Bruntnell - Nos Da Comrade
Review by Gary Hill
I would consider this to be a timeless album. It's not the kind of thing that's tied to a particular musical style or era.
Paul Butterfield - Live in New York 1970 (new vinyl edition)
Review by Gary Hill
The sound quality on this album is great, particularly considering that live recordings in 1970 could be spotty.
Cranford Hollow - Color/Sound/Renew/Revive
Review by Gary Hill
The mix of sounds here is pretty unique. It has a lot of country built into it. Overall, probably folk is the most frequent visitor in terms of genre.
Dru Cutler - Hometown
Review by Gary Hill
This new single lands in the neighborhood of alternative pop. The two songs are quite different.
Donoma - Falling Forward
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite a cool release. This band has an alternative rock edge.
Anton Du Preez - Be Bold
Review by Gary Hill
Anton Du Preez is quite talented. You don't have to listen to much of this set to get that.
Mark Duda - Month of Sundays
Review by Gary Hill
This isn't the most original thing I've heard. That's for certain.
J-Bella - All for Nothin
Review by Gary Hill
The singing is what works the best here. The more that element is left alone to carry the music, the better it is.
Rod Kinny - Forces of Nature
Review by Gary Hill
The sounds on this disc are quite classic. In some ways this reminds me of the rock end of The Bee Gees work.
Sam Levin - Frame of Mind
Review by Gary Hill
This pop based set is quite effective. That said, it's not without some issues.
Omeri - Day Dream'n
Review by Gary Hill
This is a soulful, modern pop oriented set. It has a lot of mainstream appeal, but it isn't without its defects.
Ozomatli - Non-Stop Mexico to Jamaica
Review by Gary Hill
The title of this album is pretty accurate. This is basically Latin music with a reggae edge.
Quantum Split - America (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
This new single features some interesting music. In fact, I'd say the instrumental presence on this is quite good.
Gary Santarella - Unconditional Love
Review by Gary Hill
I came into this album with a really positive bias toward it because I love the cover.
Michael Schenker - Fest: Live Tokyo International Forum Hall A
Review by Gary Hill
This double live CD set captures a special event - Michael Schenker performing one show with three singers who recorded some of his most influential albums with him.
Neville Staple - Return of Judge Roughneck
Review by Gary Hill
Neville Staple is probably best known as part of the reggae band The Specials. This solo album finds him landing mostly in the same kind of territory as that group.
Russ Still and the Moonshiners - Still Cookin'
Review by Gary Hill
This is a cool set of songs. As someone who came of age in the 1970s, this really demonstrates how musical labels have changed over the years.
Strange Karma - Cold Blooded (vinyl LP)
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed an earlier CD from these guys and really liked it a lot. I said that they were hard to pin down sound-wise.
Billy Valentine - Brit Eyed Soul
Review by Gary Hill
I've always said that if you are going to do someone else's music that you shouldn't do it the same way they did it. I mean, why would you do that?
Various Artists - Easy Rider (soundtrack reissue LP)
Review by Gary Hill
It seems that all that's old is new again. That is really true of this album. .
Various Artists - Great Drums at Sun
Review by Gary Hill
This is an odd compilation in some ways. The focus here is on the session drummers from Sun Records.
Various Artists - Sly & Robbie Present Taxi Gang In Disco Mix Style 1978-95
Review by Gary Hill
This is a collection of sounds with mixes done by Sly and Robbie. It's an intriguing set.
DVD/Video Reviews
The Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole - A Trip Across Latin America Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
This is really a perfect companion to Havana Moon. That video captures the Stones' first concert in Cuba.
Tupac Shakur - Tupac Assassination: Battle for Compton
Review by Gary Hill
Tupac Shakur's murder is one of those stories that has really grown into sort of a modern legend.
Various Artists - Inside Metal DVD
Review by Greg Olma
This DVD reminds me of the good old do-it-yourself days.  It is slightly better in production than those old video fanzines, but that is really what makes this DVD work.  

 

Stevie Ray Vaughn - Lonestar: Stevie Ray Vaughn 1984-1989
Review by Gary Hill
The period of Stevie Ray Vaughn's career covered in this documentary is one of lows and highs.
Interviews
Light Freedom Revival
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with John Vehadija of Light Freedom Revival from  2017
Omega
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Janos Kobor of Omega from 2017
Overkill
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with Bobby Blitz of Overkill from 2017

Julie Slick
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Julie Slick from 2017
Wishbone Ash
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash from 2017
Book Reviews
Rush - Rush Album By Album written by Martin Popoff
Review by Greg Olma
Martin Popoff has recently been putting out book faster than I can read them. Mind you, I’m not complaining because all of his books are worth owning.  

 

 
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August 2017 - Issue 125
June 2017 - Issue 124
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