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April 2021 - Issue 147
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Blackmore's Night - Nature's Light
Review by Gary Hill
You really can't go wrong with Blackmore's Night. I have a tendency to think that they just keep getting better with each successive release.
Edgar Broughton Band - Speak Down The Wire: Recordings 1975-1982
Review by Gary Hill
The new set of Edgar Broughton Band music features four albums across four CDs. One of the albums has a bonus track, the other three do not.
Curved Air - The Albums 1970-1973
Review by Gary Hill
There have been a number of great re-mastered versions of classic Curved Air albums coming from Esoteric in the last few years.
Benoît Delbecq - The Weight of Light
Review by Gary Hill
This is a set that would be pretty hard to categorize. I've put it under progressive rock, but it's definitely more on the art side of the equation.
Futari - Beyond
Review by Gary Hill
When writing the review for this CD I've focused on what things sound like, so you'll see percussion mentioned frequently, and it actually is accurate, but probably not in the way you would think.
Allan Holdsworth - Allan Holdsworth, I.O.U. - Live In Japan 1984
Review by Gary Hill
I am reviewing several live sets from Allan Holdsworth in this issue of Music Street Journal. Here is a bold statement I'd like to make.
Allan Holdsworth - Frankfurt '86
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of a batch of albums from Allan Holdsworth that I'm reviewing for this issue of Music Street Journal.
Allan Holdsworth - Leverkusen '97
Review by Gary Hill
I'm reviewing several sets from Allan Holdsworth in this issue of Music Street Journal. This one is brand new, although the concert captured here was in 1997.
Allan Holdsworth - Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of four live albums from Allan Holdsworth that I've covered for this issue of Music Street Journal.
Jazz Worms - Squirmin'
Review by Gary Hill
We generally include fusion under progressive rock for the point of classification at Music Street Journal.
The Kelp Dwellers - Surfacing
Review by Gary Hill
The music presented here is not a tight fit under progressive rock. I'd argue that the instrumental guitar centric sound fits there by itself, though.
Lee Kerslake - Eleventeen
Review by Gary Hill
Lee Kerslake passed away in 2020 after a long battle with cancer. During the last several years of his life, he had been working on this album as time and his health allowed.
Kutiman - Surface Currents
Review by Gary Hill
This is a three-song EP that feels like an album. That's because the shortest track here is almost 14-and-a-half minutes long.
Lucas Lee - Sídrome de Estocolmo
Review by Gary Hill
Lucas Lee is such a consistent artist. He puts out quality album after quality album. This one might be his best to date.
Marbin - Russian Dolls - Ten Years in the Sun
Review by Gary Hill
Marbin is a progressive rock outfit based in Chicago, my home territory. There music is often jazz-oriented, but they seem to stretch their sound and influence from album to album.
The Mastelottos - A Romantic's Guide To King Crimson
Review by Gary Hill
The core of this group is Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson drummer) and his wife Deborah. They are joined by a whole host of musicians here.
Yoko Miwa Trio - Songs of Joy
Review by Gary Hill
Here is one of those releases that kind of borders between the prog and non-prog heading. We usually put fusion under prog.
Mark Murdock - The Phoenix Has Risen
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing release. I have to say that I wanted to like it more than I did.
Anthony Phillips - Missing Links I - IV
Review by Gary Hill
Anthony Phillips is such an intriguing artist. I think many people know of him because he was the original guitarist in Genesis.
Poor Genetic Material - Here Now
Review by Gary Hill
I like this band's brand of progressive rock. It's unique, but calls to mind some things along the road. They are largely set in a more traditional progressive rock style. 
The Prog Collective - Worlds on Hold
Review by Gary Hill
The Prog Collective always puts out interesting music. It's a project that has Billy Sherwood at its core.
Slow Burning Car - Projection
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set from this act and landed it under progressive rock. I said that one wasn't a tight fit. entertaining set.
Sonus Umbra - A Sky Full of Ghosts
Review by Gary Hill
Sonus Umbra's brand of progressive rock is often hard rocking. They have wide ranging influences, though.
Spirits Burning - & Michael Moorcock - The Hollow Lands
Review by Gary Hill
Spirits Burning really puts out some interesting music. It's generally in the space rock zone, but there is quite a bit of range to it.
Al Stewart - 24 Carrots: 40th Anniversary Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This latest reissue of Al Stewart music is really so classy. You get three CDs here.
Stick Men - With Gary Husband - Owari
Review by Gary Hill
Stick Men consistently put out quality material. So, the fact that this album is a strong as it is should be no surprise.
Stone Angel Syndrome - Discovery
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing and unusual set. Most of the music (only the closing title track has vocals) is instrumental, and it all fits within a "progressive" category, but there is a definite range.
The Strawbs - Settlement
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways you know what you will get when you hear a new Strawbs album.
Swallows - In the Shadow of the Seven Stars
Review by Gary Hill
While this is not a slam-dunk to fit under progressive rock, I can't imagine it fitting elsewhere any better. The music is of the art rock variety, with the emphasis on the rock side of the equation.
THEO - Figureheads
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set from this act. As good as that album is, I'd have to say that this surpasses it.
Various Artists - Kraut! - Die innovativen Jahre des Krautrock 1968-1979: Teil 3
Review by Gary Hill
I really like this set from Bear Family Records. As you might guess, it collects a lot of tracks that fit under the kraut rock heading.
Various Artists - Kraut! - Die innovativen Jahre des Krautrock 1968-1979: Teil 4
Review by Gary Hill
The latest in a series of discs from Bear Family Records focused on the kraut rock movement, this is a bit different from the rest.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Dio - Sacred Heart
Review by Greg Olma
In 1985, Dio, the band and the singer, were riding a wave of popularity spurred on by the two great releases Holy Diver  and The Last In Line. 
Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying
Review by Greg Olma
Iron Maiden ushered in the 1990s with an album that many fans felt was lackluster and uninspired, but I disagree.  
Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law
Review by Greg Olma
Saxon was very prolific in the early days as this was their second release in 1980.  They released Wheels of Steel four months prior to this record, and both are considered classics.  
Warlock - Triumph and Agony
Review by Gary Hill
Warlock only ever released four albums before being rebranded as Doro - or breaking up, depending on who you ask.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Bludgers - Bludgers Five
Review by Gary Hill
This new EP comes from a band that were formed in Champaign, Illinois.
Graham Bonnet - Solo Albums 1974-1992
Review by Gary Hill
Even if all you know from Graham Bonnet is his two best-known bands, Rainbow and Alcatrazz, you have to know that there is a wide range of sounds in his repertoire.
Breanne Marie & The Front Porch Sinners - Juniper
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing, and often effective set. It's a bit uneven, though.
Ruth Brown - Juke Box Pearls: Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that I'd not heard of Ruth Brown before. That's a real shame, but I'm glad I have heard of her now.
Randy California - & Spirit - The Euro-American Years: 1979-1983
Review by Gary Hill
This is the latest in a series of releases featuring the late Randy California and his band Spirit. This one is a six CD set that includes quite a bit of unreleased music, rarities and more.
Bobby Darin - Highlight (10-inch vinyl)
Review by Gary Hill
This classy 10-inch vinyl record from Bear Family is a reissue of a 1961 Japanese record from Bobby Darin.
Deep Rivers - Nothing Ever Happens to Me
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new release from a Canadian act. It has a lot of folk music built into it, but probably lands closer to the alternative rock end of the spectrum.
Dizzy Box Nine - Radio Fiction
Review by Gary Hill
This set comes from a southern California outfit. I have to say that I'm probably not the chosen audience for this.
Electric Peace - You're Going to Hell
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual four-song EP. If everything were like the opener, I would probably have landed this under heavy metal.
Elska (Minnesota) - On the Shoulders of Giants
Review by Gary Hill
There is a little bit of confusion to resolve here. Larry Toering previously reviewed an album by an artist named "Elska."
Feverseed - Let Yourself Down
Review by Gary Hill
This EP comes from a quartet that hails from New York. The blend of sounds here leans toward the hard, rawer rock, but it's still got a mainstream, almost pop sensibility.
Firefall - Comet
Review by Gary Hill
This is a new album from a band that had a lot of success in the 1970s, The classic rock sounds are apparent here along with plenty of country music, folk and more.
Home Cookin' Band - Working for a Good Tip (single)
Review by Gary Hill
I've not heard of this act before. Once things start opening up. and I'm comfortable checking out live music, I'll be on the lookout for them, though.
Neil Jacobson - Sliver Park
Review by Gary Hill
There is a modern trend where people listen to one or two songs from an artist rather than a whole disc. I think this would benefit from that phenomenon.
Cody Lee - Woodpecker Crisis
Review by Gary Hill
While Cody Lee might be a new name for me (and perhaps you), he's a veteran musician whose pedigree goes all the way back to playing bass in Peter Green's band.
Madd Scientist - New Day
Review by Gary Hill
This fairly short hip hop EP is solid and entertaining. There is a decent range of sound, but it all leans toward the electronic, dance oriented zone.
Scott Mulvahill - Himalayas
Review by Gary Hill
This is an intriguing set. Probably half the songs are just vocals and upright bass. The other half have more instrumentation in the mix.
Rhinoceros - The Elektra Albums - 1968-1970
Review by Gary Hill
This act didn't get as much respect as they deserved. Think a lot of that comes from the fact they were put together by Elektra Records after auditions, rather than being signed as a group.
Sam Sherwin - Left In
Review by Gary Hill
I previously reviewed another set from Sam Sherwin. Like that one, this is sort of a mainstream singer-songwriter rock release.
King Size Taylor - Taylor Made (10-inch EP and CD)
Review by Gary Hill
This is a cool new release from Bear Family Records. Pretty much everything they do is classy, and this is no exception.
Various Artists - Good Old Summertime - 33 Hot Sunny Gems For Your Summer Holidays
Review by Gary Hill
As the weather is heading toward warmer zones (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), the theme of this compilation from Bear Family Records seems appropriate.  
Billy Walker - Whirlpool - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight
Review by Gary Hill
This collection from Bear Family Records makes a good introduction to country musician Billy Walker.
Dinah Washington - A Rockin' Good Way - Juke Box Pearls
Review by Gary Hill
This new release from Bear Family centers around an artist who was cited as the most popular black female artist of the 1950s. She tragically died in 1963 at the age of 39.
DVD/Video Reviews
El Duce - The El Duce Tapes Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
This is one I've wrestled with. The question is, "should Music Street Journal cover this or not?" We don't do negative reviews, but this isn't a negative review.
Steve Hillage - Live At Rockpalast 1977 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This concert from Steve Hillage is very enjoyable. Since it was filmed for television, you can count on quality.
Professor Louie - and the Crowmatix - Music From Hurley Mountain DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is an unusual and very intriguing music video. The songs presented here are all based on the history of an area of New York known as Hurley.
Radio Moscow - Live At Rockpalast 2015 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I have to admit that I never heard this band before checking out this video. I'm glad I've gotten a chance to hear them.
The Quill
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with The Quill from 2021

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