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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dale Nickey

A Distant Different Past

Review by Gary Hill

There is quite a wide range of sounds here. Folk music is clearly one of those elements. Psychedelic music along with progressive rock and more melodic rock all feature here. Sometimes the vocals don’t seem to work all that well for me, but overall, it’s a solid set of songs.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Champaign Lullaby (Midnight Sun)
Acoustic guitar brings the tune in and the music is essentially folk rock. There are some proggy elements added to the mix later in the piece.
Woman With the Golden Rings

A dramatic melodic rock sound opens this. Again this is essentially folk rock, but it’s got leanings towards progressive rock. Nickey’s vocals are joined by some female ones on this tune.

Oil and Water
Catchy melodic rock is merged with psychedelia and progressive rock on this tasty jam. The vocals work better here than they did on the opening pair of tunes, and this is a much stronger number than those were.
Mandolin Spring

Folk music and bluegrass are merged here with something that at times feels like the acoustic guitar based side of Fleetwood Mac. This instrumental is cool.

Celebrate
Sort of like Bob Dylan meets Lou Reed, this is a slow moving retro singer songwriter turned folk rock song. It’s a nice change of pace.
Looking Glass

Here we get a more energetic rock tune that’s got some progressive rock and folk in the arrangement. There is also some psychedelia. The vocals here work better than they do on a lot of other songs on the disc. That, combined with the killer arrangement makes this one of the highlights of the set.

Stained Glass

This instrumental is intricate, pretty and definitely progressive rock with a folk edge to it.

Hallway to Your Heart

We get an energetic folk rock tune here.

November Frost

I like this energetic and melodic acoustic guitar solo a lot. At times I’m reminded of Steve Howe. At other points I think of early Hawkwind.

Moonshiner

Somehow the acoustic folk side of Led Zeppelin seems to be combined with old world sounds and Traffic.

Let's Trade Tomorrows
A motif built of just acoustic guitar and vocals makes up this song. It’s stripped down and a bit raw, but also pretty cool.
Midnight Loiterer (The Policeman)

Psychedelia blends with progressive rock and theatrical music on this unusual track. The arrangement gets pretty nicely developed later in the piece.

Enveloping Mist of Time

This is just a short little acoustic guitar solo. 

Reynardine
Old school female vocals are heard on the opening here. There’s a real bluegrass and old time folk music feeling to this. While the female vocals are the only ones on this song, they lose some of that old time music feeling to them later in the number.
 
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