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August 2020 - Issue 143
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Asia - Live Acoustic
Review by Greg Olma

When Tesla released Five Man Acoustical Jam back in 1990, who would have thought that a new type of performance would emerge within metal and even prog?  

Asia - Live In Moscow
Review by Greg Olma

Asia may not have been the first band to tour Russia but they certainly made their mark during this concert that was captured in 1990.  By this time, the band had lost Steve Howe and replaced him with Mandy Meyer for the Astra album.  

Baron Crâne - Commotions
Review by Gary Hill
This French act has produced an inventive and powerful album. Three of the five songs are instrumentals.
Dr. Space - Dr. Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 4- Space with Bass
Review by Gary Hill

Dr. Space is the main guy behind Øresund Space Collective.

Duende Libre - The Dance She Spoke
Review by Gary Hill

This act is definitely not progressive rock. However, they play a form of fusion that is often heavily informed by world music.

Nick D' Virgilio - Invisible
Review by Gary Hill

On the one hand, Nick D'Virgilio has been out of Spock's Beard for a while now. That means that perhaps the mentions of the band and comparisons aren't entirely appropriate.

Frankfurt Radio Big Band - Kriegel Today!
Review by Gary Hill

This new CD is a real powerhouse. It is jazz, but a fusion-based jazz.

A Girl Called Eddy - Been Around
Review by Gary Hill

This act is generally not considered prog. I, however, think that the dreamy, trippy sort of texture in the mix, along with a lot of the jazz elements put it within striking distance of the genre.

Ricardo Grilli - 1962
Review by Gary Hill
Ricardo Grilli is the guitarist of this outfit. Given that the group bears his name, you might think that means that this will be a bunch of pieces built around guitar showcases.
Heather Gruber - Hiding from the Rain (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
I have landed this under “progressive rock,’ but it is not actually progressive rock. It is very much art rock, though.
The Mark Harvey Group - A Rite for All Souls
Review by Gary Hill
As you might gather from the cover of this set, it was recorded live in concert in 1971. It’s essentially one long performance piece, but it is divided into separate tracks across two CDs here.
Hats off Gentlemen It’s Adequate - Nostalgia for Infinity
Review by Gary Hill

I've reviewed quite a few releases from this act. They always produce compelling and intriguing progressive rock.

Hawkwind - Roadhawks
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new CD release of an album only available on vinyl (and cassette - I know because I own the cassette still) previously.

Chris Ianuzzi - Planeteria
Review by Gary Hill

Chris Ianuzzi's music is not progressive rock in any kind of strict definition. He produces a form of freeform artsy electronic music, though.

The Infinity Zoo - ForeverScape EPisode 1
Review by Gary Hill

Carlos Severe Marcelin is a busy guy. Not only is he part of the Sally Tomato group, but he just released a solo album and this collaboration project with drummer Eric Flint.

Intelligent Music Project V - Life Motion
Review by Gary Hill

This new set is part of a series of releases, that I treat as separate artists. Perhaps I should have started doing it differently.

Jupiter Hollow - Bereavement
Review by Gary Hill

Jupiter Hollow's brand of prog is certainly not something that a lot of prog purists will get behind. It's often metallic.

Karney - Better
Review by Gary Hill

While this isn't traditional progressive rock, it has plenty of prog built into it for it to land there.

Nicole Mercedes - Look Out Where You're Going
Review by Gary Hill

I'll say right out front that this is perhaps not the most obvious choice to land under progressive rock. The music is largely electronic, though, and has proggy vibes to it.

Mrs. Fun - Truth
Review by Gary Hill

This is being billed as jazz, and certainly that is the main element here, though. It's really a fusion-leaning type of jazz, though, and we generally land that under prog.

Sayed Sabrina - Thou Art That
Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. I've landed it under the prog rock heading because much of it fits as "art rock." There is an artsy vibe to most of the set, really.

Carlos Severe Marcelin - Impressionist
Review by Gary Hill

This new album features multi-instrumentalist Carlos Severe Marcelin who is part of the Sally Tomato band. The album is instrumental except for one cut.

L. Shankar - Chepleeri Dream
Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing release. L. Shankar performs the vocals, the violin (technically double violin) and keyboards.

Soft Machine - Live at the Baked Potato
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new live album recorded at a Los Angeles show in 2019. The instrumental music here has a jam band vibe throughout a lot of it, but it is also quite jazzy and decidedly prog.
Staring into Nothing - Love
Review by Gary Hill

The sound this California band produces is melodic rock. There is plenty of modern AOR styled prog in that tapestry, though.

The Strawbs - Burning for You
Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue of a 1977 album from The Strawbs is classy. It includes the original album along with a number of bonus tracks.

The Strawbs - Heartbreak Hill
Review by Gary Hill

This album in some ways is a bit an oddity. It was recorded in 1978, but for various contractual and other reasons, it wasn't released until 1995.

The Walk-A-Bout - 20/20
Review by Gary Hill

These guys don't qualify as progressive rock in a traditional sense. However, their brand of indie-rock is proggy enough to fit the bill as far as I'm concerned.

Walter Wayne - Twisted
Review by Gary Hill

I tend to be a bit liberal with what I put under the progressive rock heading. I'll admit that part of that comes from the fact that half of each issue has to be prog.

Snowy White - Lucky Star: An Anthology 1983-1994
Review by Gary Hill
This new box set from Snowy White is classy. It’s also massive, with six CDs in a clamshell box.
Zanov - Chaos Islands
Review by Gary Hill
This is the second set from this act I’ve reviewed. If you like music like Vangelis and Synergy you will feel right at home here.
Rocco Zifarelli - Music Unites
Review by Gary Hill

I wasn't sure what to expect with this album. Well, it really blew me away.

Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
A Killer's Confession - Last Chance (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This single is heavy and quite classy. It is definitely not old school metal, but it clearly fits into the nu-metal zone.

Chantel McGregor - Bury'd Alive
Review by Gary Hill

I have put this album under heavy metal. That's mainly because of the guitar sound.

RSC - Shadow Lady (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

A multi-continental band, RSC (at least on this tune) ply a form of heavy metal that's well rooted in classic hard rock. These guys would have been at home doing music like this in previous eras.

Jack Russell's Great White - Once Bitten Acoustic Bytes
Review by Gary Hill

Let's make this clear right at the start, this album is not heavy metal, really. After all, it's an acoustic guitar based set.

Signal 13 - Destination Unknown
Review by Gary Hill

This EP showcases a cool band. While the lead vocals are of the female variety (Vicky Starr), I actually only realized that on one song. This is an edgy, old-school hard rocking release in terms of the vocal presence.

Non-Prog CD Reviews
Alias Wayne - Firebrand
Review by Gary Hill
I reviewed a different set from this artist in the previous issue of Music Street Journal. Alias Wayne is the solo project of Ranzel X Kendrick.
Patrick Ames - Reawakened 2020 (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Patrick Ames' political goals for this song are obvious. Fans of the current occupant of the White House might have a problem with that.

The Ataris - Hang Your Head In Hope - The Acoustic Sessions
Review by Gary Hill

There are instances where less is more. I think that might have been the case here.

Blind Uncle Harry - The Gospel According to Blind Uncle Harry
Review by Gary Hill

This is a very strange set. Look at the cover to the disc, and scan the titles to the songs.

Harry Chapin - Some More Stories: Live At Radio Bremen 1977
Review by Gary Hill
It might be obvious, but I’ve been a fan of the song “Cat’s Cradle” since I first heard it. I really hadn’t paid attention to a lot of Harry Chapin’s other work, though.
Billy Fury - The Sound Of Fury (10-inch vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill

This new release is all class. From the cool looking vinyl to the bonus postcard, the packaging is great.

Geoff Gibbons - Keep on Driving (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill
The latest single from Geoff Gibbons, this showcases a real classic sound.
Going to the Sun - Love Letters From The Western Gate
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act. I think I like that one a bit better than this one, but I'm not positive about that.

Guy Grogan - Same Morning Light
Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this artist. In that review I remarked that it probably wasn't for people who like a high level of polish to their music.

Paul Haas - Long Long Time
Review by Gary Hill

This feels quite retro. That said, it doesn't fit into one time period.

Forrest Hill - River of Stars
Review by Gary Hill

Alternative rock with a pop music edge is perhaps the overlying theme here. There is some definite variance along the road.

Matthew Austin Hunt - Matthew Austin Hunt
Review by Gary Hill

There is a definite country vibe here, but I wouldn't consider this to be country music. It's probably closer to folk rock, but even that doesn't really capture everything about this.

Shirley King - Blues For A King
Review by Gary Hill
Shirley King is known as the Daughter of the Blues. That’s because B.B. King was her father.
Jack Klatt - It Ain't the Same
Review by Gary Hill

There is quite a bit of variety on this set. There are a few constants, though.

Theresa Lucia - Boxes
Review by Gary Hill
The five songs here run the gamut from folk music to alternative rock and pop and more. I’d say that the vocal performance is the best part of it.
Molly Maher - Follow
Review by Gary Hill

This is a hard set to pin down. There is a lot of Americana here, but it also works toward dreamy territory, psychedelia and more.

Erich Mrak - Girls (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Here is proof that you can create modern pop songs, with all the usual trappings, and make them work.

Keith Oxman - Two Cigarettes In The Dark
Review by Gary Hill

If you dig old-school jazz, you should find plenty to enjoy here. This set features a nice variety of sounds and pieces, all set in a vintage jazz style.

Siren Songs - Siren Songs
Review by Gary Hill

As you can probably gather from the cover, this act is essentially a duo (Merideth Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels)., but there are joined by a couple of other musicians on some of the tunes here.

SONI - Happy To Serve (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is the first single from British act SONI. The tune has a real retro feeling to it.

Sonic Fuel - I Will Rise (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

Sonic Fuel is a Tennessee based rock band, and this is their new single. These guys (at least with this song) don't seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel or create a particularly unique sound.

Sundogs - The Code
Review by Gary Hill

I've previously reviewed another set from this set. I remarked in that review that there were definite hints of Steely Dan.

Supersuckers - Play That Rock N' Roll
Review by Gary Hill

This new set is a real powerhouse. Don't expect a lot of polish here. This is raw rock and roll that leans heavily on the punk end of the spectrum.

Lara Taubman - Revelation
Review by Gary Hill
To me this set feels like it could have been released in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Comparisons to a lot of the folk music based stuff from that era work for most of this.
King Size Taylor - Dr. Feelgood - The Brits Are Rocking Vol.3
Review by Gary Hill
This set from Bear Family Records is classy, but then again, that can be said about pretty much everything they release.
Les Techno - Flowers For Dystopia (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This a brand new release from Les Techno. I guess the mask on the cover probably tells you that it's new, though.

Patsy Thompson - Fabulous Day
Review by Gary Hill
This is an interesting album. The range of sounds here is quite wide.
The Tristones - Camaro
Review by Gary Hill

This new set is quite strong. It has a lot of retro texture built into it.

Various Artists - That’ll Flat Git It - Vol. 33 - Rockabilly And Rock 'n' Roll From The Vaults Of Renown & Hornet Records
Review by Gary Hill
Bear Family Records puts out nothing but quality stuff. This CD is a fine example.
Shawna Virago - Heaven Sent Delinquent (Electric Single Mix) (digital single)
Review by Gary Hill

This is the latest single from Shawna Virgo. The cut finds her referencing roots music along with alternative rock and more. It's an intriguing number that works well.

Joe Louis Walker - Blues Comin' On
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that I tend to prefer electric guitar based blues to the other varieties. This disc has a lot of that.
DVD/Video Reviews
Barclay James Harvest - Caught Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD came out in 2002. It’s an important historical document of a band at their peak.
Peter Gabriel - Secret World Live DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This video was originally released in 1994. It actually won a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. The sound and video quality are exceptional.
Hawkwind - Knights of Space DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD captures a show from Hawkwind from December 2007. The band does an annual Christmas show, and that was this show.
Todd Rundgren - Todd Rundgren’s Utopia – Benefit for Moogy Klingman DVD/CD Set
Review by Gary Hill
This brand new set captures two benefit concerts organized to cover founding Utopia member Moogy Klingman’s medical expenses.
Interviews
Cirith Ungol
Interview by Mike Korn
Interview with Jarvis Leatherby of Cirith Ungol from 2020
 
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