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August 2018 - Issue 131
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Cecilia Amici - Bluviola
Review by Gary Hill

This is intriguing and very artistic music. At its heart it's mostly electronic, but there are definite symphonic things here.

Peter Banks - Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky... The Anthology
Review by Gary Hill

This double disc set is quite cool. It includes a sampling of songs from several Peter Banks albums, but there are also a number of previously un-released or nearly un-released cuts, too.

Peter Banks - Instinct
Review by Gary Hill

I've always loved Peter Banks' guitar work. This album has a lot of great guitar work, but it doesn't stop there.

Peter Banks - Reduction
Review by Gary Hill

This is the third (and final) album included in the new box set from Peter Banks titled "The Self-Contained Trilogy." This instrumental album is classy.

Peter Banks - Self-Contained
Review by Gary Hill

This album from Peter Banks is perhaps not his strongest solo set. That said, it has some very strong material. At times it seems to lack direction and get a bit on the wandering side.

Peter Banks - The Self-Contained Trilogy
Review by Gary Hill

This new three-CD set is a classy thing. It includes three full albums from Peter Banks (arguably best known for his time in both Yes and Flash).

Barclay James Harvest - Barclay James Harvest
Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue of the first Barclay James Harvest has the full album along with a bunch of bonus tracks. This album was great by itself, but seems augmented with this extra material.

Black Moon Circle - Psychedelic Spacelord (Vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

This is such a classy release. First off, the heavy red vinyl record is just a particularly nice product.

Br├╝cken Froese - Beginn
Review by Gary Hill

This is a joint disc from Claudia Brücken and Jerome Froese. Brücken (who provides the vocals - except for a few that are provided by a couple guest vocalists and just a couple songs) was best known as the lead singer of the group Propaganda in the 80s.

Comus - First Utterance
Review by Gary Hill

I've not heard of this act before, but apparently they have a cult following. This album was their debut, and it was released in 1971.

David Cross and David Jackson - Another Day
Review by Gary Hill

Before I gave this disc a spin, I was expecting something very different than what it turned out to be. For some reason I thought this would be particularly mellow and restful music.

Dr. Space - Alien Planet Trip Vol 2- Gloomy Horizon (vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed the first set in this series a while ago. I apparently made a mistake when I did that one and put it under OSC.

The Gardening Club - The Riddle
Review by Gary Hill

This is the brand new album from Martin Springett's The Gardening Club project. It is based very much on a folk prog type of sound.

Gazpacho - Soyuz
Review by Gary Hill

The new release from Gazpacho seems to be precisely the kind of thing their fans will enjoy. It continues and expands their brand of prog rock.

Ghostly Beard - Inward
Review by Gary Hill

This is the latest album from Ghostly Beard. Ghostly Beard is basically one guy - Patrick Talbot.

Gideon King & City Blog - Upscale Madhouse
Review by Gary Hill

As with the last album I reviewed from this act, I'm setting this under progressive rock. It's not really a tight fit by any means, but the mix of jazz and rock along with pop music comes close.

Roger Glover - Roger Glover and Friends - The Butterfly Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast
Review by Gary Hill

After Roger Glover had left Deep Purple, he was looking for a new project and came upon about titled "The Butterfly Ball." He decided to create an album based on the book.

Healing Spells - Sanctuary
Review by Gary Hill

While this EP isn't a clear cut fit under progressive rock, it works reasonably well there. For one thing, the electronic sound is progressive music, if not progressive rock.

The Horror - Here, In The Shadows
Review by Gary Hill

Oh, the Horror prog rock purists will feel as they run screaming from this one. Sorry, I couldn't resist that pun.

King Crimson - Live in Vienna
Review by Gary Hill

It seems that there is quite a bit of live material being released from this version of King Crimson. That's a great thing because this line-up might be the best ever.

The Man from RavCon - Another World
Review by Gary Hill

This is instrumental music in terms of a very general description. It also lands under progressive music, but there are a lot of varying flavors and concepts presented here.

Phil Manzanera - and the Sound of Blue Band - Live in Japan
Review by Gary Hill

While Phil Manzanera might be best known in some circles for his time in Roxy Music, he's had quite an interesting solo career over the years.

Laura Meade - Remedium
Review by Gary Hill

This album from Laura Meade is a unique and intriguing pleasure. It's hard to really pin down to a musical style, beyond the vague "progressive rock" heading.

Molly Tigre - Molly Tigre
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set. It's fully instrumental. I've put it under progressive rock, but it probably would have fit just as well under the non-prog category.

├śresund Space Collective - Chatoyant Breath
Review by Gary Hill

This new release from Øresund Space Collective continues their fine instrumental space rock tradition. As is the case with the rest of their catalog, these jams are improvised.

Shuggie Otis - Inter-Fusion
Review by Gary Hill

This is being billed as "fusion rock," and that's a pretty apt description. We generally put fusion in under "progressive rock" at MSJ, so that's where this lands.

Marcelo Paganini - B4Ever Now
Review by Gary Hill

The latest set from Marcelo Paganini, this is an intriguing disc. It's very short, though, running less than half an hour.

Fernando Perdomo - Out to Sea
Review by Gary Hill

What an intriguing instrumental album this is. This definitely rides the line between progressive rock and fusion, but more often than not lands on the prog rock side of the equation.

Shawn Phillips - Continuance
Review by Gary Hill

This set really is quite a mixed bag. There is variety here in terms of musical style, although the majority lands somewhere in the prog vicinity.

Seventh Wave - Psi-Fi
Review by Gary Hill

This 1975 album is pretty cool. I'm reminded quite a bit of Klaatu a lot of the time, but this was actually contemporary (more or less) to that band. There is a healthy helping of funk built into a lot of this. 

Seventh Wave - Things to Come
Review by Gary Hill

This reissue album is a classy one. A big chunk of the disc is instrumental and keyboard based.

Alan Simon - Big Bang
Review by Gary Hill

The newest disc from Alan Simon, this is another strong one. It has a lot of the melodic progressive rock sounds that are the mainstay of so much of his career.

Sit Kitty Sit - Tectonic
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed a set from this act and really liked it. The concept of just piano, drums and voice used to really rock, sets them apart.

Chris Squire - Fish Out of Water (Two CD Re-Mastered Edition)
Review by Gary Hill

This new edition of Chris Squire's debut solo album is great. It's a two CD set.

Tangerine Dream - Quantum Gate
Review by Gary Hill

This album finds Tangerine Dream landing heavily in the keyboard oriented electronic sound for which they were often known.

Tangerine Dream - Quantum Gate / Quantum Key
Review by Gary Hill

This new double disc set includes not just the latest album from Tangerine Dream, but also the EP that preceded it.

Tangerine Dream - Quantum Key
Review by Gary Hill

This is a recent EP from Tangerine Dream. The story behind this and the album that followed is an intriguing one since it was a path started by Edgar Froese and realized after his death by his wife and his musical cohorts.

The Trio - Incantation: Dawn Recordings 1970-1971
Review by Gary Hill

This new double CD set is a compilation of music from two different albums released by the outfit The Trio between 1970 and 1971.

Martin Turner - The Beauty of Chaos: Live At the Citadel
Review by Gary Hill

Martin Turner is perhaps best known as having been part of Wishbone Ash. In fact, if you'll notice the cover of this actually says "Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash."

Darryl Way - Vivaldi's Four Seasons in Rock
Review by Gary Hill

The very act of combining rock music with classical qualifies music to land in progressive rock in my opinion. Of course, Darryl Way gets classified there at Music Street Journal anyway.

Yuka and Chronoship - Ship
Review by Gary Hill

This band is just so cool. They really are rooted in old school progressive rock, but there is folk music and some world sound here, too.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Armored Theory - The Fact Remains
Review by Gary Hill

This disc is a mixed bag from a band that shows promise. At their best they are a driving metal machine that has definite elements of GWAR.

Tara Lynch - Evil Enough
Review by Gary Hill

Tara Lynch is an exceptional guitar player. This album really reflects that.

Thy Catafalque - Geometria
Review by Mike Korn

Tamas Katai is the mind behind Thy Catafalque and he’s the very definition of a musical explorer. This is a man who creates without regard for genre or convention.

Various Artists - Winds of Time_ The New Wave of British Heavy Metal 1979-1985
Review by Gary Hill

This three-CD set really serves as a great introduction to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. You get songs from bands ranging from Diamond Head to Venom to Girlschool, and everything in between.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Astronomique - Sharp Divide
Review by Gary Hill

This new release from Astronomique is quite entertaining. There is one song that doesn't exactly work for me, but the rest certainly do.

Graham Bonnet - Reel to Real: 1987 - The Archives - 1992
Review by Gary Hill

This new box set from Graham Bonnett is a three CD set. The first includes previously unreleased studio recordings dating between 1987 and 1992.

The Complaints - Talk to Me
Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed some previous discs from these guys. They always produce solid music.

John David & The Jerks - I Love You Means I’m Lucky
Review by Gary Hill

Old school rock and roll, folk, country and more are the main elements on this set. That said, there are moments that even work toward modern alternative rock based stuff and early Pink Floyd.

Terry Derosier - Thunderin’ Down the Road
Review by Gary Hill

Folk music along with country are the prevailing winds on this disc. Terry Derosier's brand of music is based firmly in a folk rock style, but there really is a southern tilt to it in a lot of ways.

D.O.A. - Fight Back
Review by Gary Hill

This brand new album from D.O.A. is among their best. They are angry, and their music is on fire.

Lamont Dozier - Reimagination
Review by Gary Hill

You might not recognize the name Lamont Dozier immediately, unless you pay attention to songwriting credits. Lamont Dozier was part of a songwriting team known as "Dozier Holland Dozier."

Duende Libre - Drift
Review by Gary Hill

I knocked around the idea of landing this album under "progressive rock." We generally put fusion there.

Empty County Band - Die Alone
Review by Gary Hill

This four song EP is an intriguing set. The mix of sounds here ranges across near heavy metal, southern rock, psychedelia and even punk.

Few Miles South - Might Could
Review by Gary Hill

This outfit was formed by Blake English (guitars, drums, bass, banjo, mandolin, vocals) and singer Tori Lund.

Annie Fitzgerald - You & Me & the Sun
Review by Gary Hill

This quite an intriguing album. In some ways it's not far removed from the mainstream pop rock created by a lot of similar artists.

Flow - Flow
Review by Mark Johnson

Flow is a new age music super-group, featuring the combined talents of superstar producer and director, Will Ackerman (guitar), Fiona Joy Hawkins (piano and vocals), Lawrence Blatt (acoustic and electric guitar and ukulele) and Jeff Oster (trumpet and flugelhorn).

Merritt Gibson - Eyes on Us
Review by Gary Hill

I've seen Merritt Gibson described as an "indie artist." That's really a non-descriptive term, though.

Gin Blossoms - Mixed Reality
Review by Gary Hill

Fans of Gin Blossoms should really like this album. It's a solid set that is instantly recognizable as them.

Gordon Ellis & Steel - Looking Forward Thinking Back
Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally recorded in the early part of the 1970s. Unfortunately, by the time it was done, the label for which it was being recorded had failed.

Glenn Hughes - The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume One
Review by Gary Hill

This new box set from Glenn Hughes compiles a number of bootleg live albums. There are seven CDs here from six different shows.

Dan Israel - You're Free
Review by Gary Hill

Dan Israel has managed to pack quite a bit of variety into this set. All that is delivered in the course of something that's probably best described as "singer/songwriter based folk rock."

Emily Johnson - Open Your Heart
Review by Gary Hill

The easiest description here is probably adult contemporary music. That seems to imply something that's perhaps a bit dull.

Karen Jonas - Butter
Review by Gary Hill

I've seen Karen Jonas listed as country music. I suppose as a simple answer, that fits.

Luke Leblanc - Time on My Hands
Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed another set from this artist, but if you look under "Luke Leblanc" you will only find it as a "related" review. That's because that one was released under the moniker "Little Diamonds."

Natalie Lucassian - 12:26
Review by Gary Hill

I suppose the easiest comparisons here would be to Amy Winehouse and Adele. Clearly those comparisons are appropriate, but they only go so far.

Vincent Poag - Heroes and Demons
Review by Gary Hill

Vincent Poag's new disc has a lot of variety. The music most often seems related to both Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.

Dirk Schwenk & The Truth - Along the Road
Review by Gary Hill

This act looks to groups like The Eagles for musical reference. At least that's what the official buzz around them says.

Jeri Silverman - Dear Life
Review by Gary Hill

This is the second set from Jeri Silverman that I have reviewed. The mix of sounds here lands somewhere between folk music, pop rock and other rock sounds.

Luke Spehar - The Pilgrim
Review by Gary Hill

This new set seems to create a sound that's both traditional and modern. It's set within the new roots music revival.

Ellen Starski - The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants
Review by Gary Hill

Ellen Starski has produced an exceptional disc. This one might actual make its way into my "best of 2018" list.

Sammy Strittmatter - Get out of the City
Review by Gary Hill

This new set should appeal to fans of the modern school of electronically based alternative rock styled pop music. The bulk of the set lands in that general style.

The Sweet Colleens - 10 Mona Lisas
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool album. It has a lot of roots music in place.

Ted and Majella - Better Together
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set of music. The "Ted" in this duo is Ted Turner, best known for his work in Wishbone Ash.

The Walk-A-Bout - Things Are Looking Up
Review by Gary Hill

With a name like "The Walk-A-Bout," you have to conjure up images of Australia, right? This is an Aussie-American band.

DVD/Video Reviews
Joe Bonamassa - British Blues Invasion Live BluRay
Review by Gary Hill

After  a short bit of documentary that outlines the British blues movement of the 1960s we’re taken into the concert to continue. It is immediately apparent just how good Joe Bonamassa and his band are as they tear through the opening instrumental medley.

Neal Morse - The Neal Morse Band The Similitude of a Dream Live In Tilburg 2017 DVD Box Set
Review by Gary Hill

Say what you will, but Neal Morse and his band are among the most talented people out there. Morse keeps releasing such high quality stuff, too.

Tommy Shaw - and The Contemporary Youth Orchestra -Sing for the Day BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
Tommy Shaw (along with featured guitarist and sometime vocalist Will Evankovich) is joined by a full orchestra. They make their way through a killer set of songs in this configuration, lending a new and quite proggy flavor.
Van der Graaf Generator - Live at Rockpalast - Leverkusen 2005 DVD
Review by Gary Hill

The concert captured here was a very special event. It was the reunion of Van der Graaf Generator.

Interviews
Jeff Berlin
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Jeff Berlin from 2018

Flow
Interview by Mark Johnson
Interview with Fiona Joy Hawkins of Flow
The Horror
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with The Horror from 2018

Laura Meade
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Laure Meade from 2018

Fernando Perdomo
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Fernando Perdomo from 2018

Concert Reviews
Black 'N Blue - Benefit for Annette Holmes in Portland, Oregon June 2018
Review by Larry Toering
Pete Holmes of Black ‘N Blue has been through it all, including stints with artists like Michael Schenker and Ian Gillan, and now drumming for Ratt since this benefit (for his wife Annette who has cancer and is now in remission).
Flow - Live in Seattle, Washington May 2018
Review by Mark Johnson

It was a rare warm May evening in Columbia City, near downtown Seattle, when my wife and I walked through the door at the Royal Room, to take in our first ever Flow show.

Slayer - Live in Tinley Park, Illinois May 2018
Review by Kat Heitzman

Once the flames were lit to frame the stage you could feel the restlessness of the crowd. That first note struck, and the carnage ensued.

Book Reviews
Bang - The Bang Story: From the Basement to the Bright Light written by Lawrence Knorr, Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio and Frankie Gilken
Review by Gary Hill
Bang might be one of the best bands you've never heard. These guys really seemed to just miss becoming household names with the big bands of the era by a small margin over and over again.
Pink Floyd - Pink Floyd Album By Album written by Martin Popoff
Review by Greg Olma

Those of you who know me know that I am a huge fan of Martin Popoff’s work.  Lately, his bibliography seems to be growing in leaps and bounds.  

 
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