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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Michael Hedges

Aerial Boundaries Hybrid SACD Special Edition

Review by Gary Hill

I know some will argue with me including Michael Hedges under progressive rock. The truth is, this is definitely related to the kind of sounds that California Guitar Trio does. Hedges’ mastery of the acoustic guitar is amazing. The soundscapes here are diverse and dynamic. This is a great album start to finish. And this special reissue in limited edition numbered, high quality form is great, too. I highly recommend this to Hedges’ fans and those interested in checking him out for the first time in a quest for incredible guitar music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at

Track by Track Review
Aerial Boundaries

The guitar that weaves melody on this is very intricate and tasty. The cut is in a similar mode to the kinds of things California Guitar Trio do. It has a good balance between mellower and more intense, but doesn’t really move around a lot in terms of melodies and themes.

As good as the opener was, this is even stronger. I love the intricacies of the various layers of sound. Add in some great melodies and we’ve got an exceptional piece. It’s part folk, part classical and part prog.
Rickover's Dream

Although this is less dramatic or unusual, it’s quite a pretty piece of music. It’s more of a pure folk creation in a lot of ways.

With a lot of jazz in it, this is more of an energized rocking piece. It’s got a great groove to it.
After the Gold Rush
I really dig this arrangement of the Neil Young classic. As an instrumental it loses nothing. If anything, it gains a bit of a fusion vibe.
Hot Type
This is energized and has a bit of folk meets jazz kind of feeling. It’s also full of intricate textures and sound.
Spare Change
Here is another that sits in the same kind of musical space as California Guitar Trio. There are some pretty amazing moments here as waves of sound come across. I think some of the guitar on this is backwards tracked. Either that or it’s processed in a way like a guitar synthesizer might do. This is the most decidedly progressive piece here. It’s also one of my favorites. There is a cool atmospheric break mid-track that feels almost like something from Koyaanisqatsi. Eventually that leads to a transition that takes it back to the earlier sections for more exploration.
Ménage à Trois

Mellow and quite pretty, there is a lot going on here, even though it’s not obvious. Things are often subtle on this piece of music. It has a lot of fusion in the mix. I really dig some of the jazz jamming later.

The Magic Farmer
In a lot of ways this is mellower and more intricate. All that said, some chorded harmonics later bring some more energy and power. This fusion like section works through for a while. Then we’re deposited back into the mellower territory again.
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