Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson Announces the Release of ‘Thick As A Brick 2’

Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
Legendary progressive rock musician and Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson announced the release of a new album titled ‘Thick As A Brick 2.’ It is the 40th Anniversary sequel to the tremendously successful, 1972 Thick As A Brick album.

Ian Anderson wrote and recorded the Jethro Tull progressive rock classic album ‘Thick As A Brick‘ in 1972. The lyrics were credited at the time to the pretended child character, Gerald Bostock, whose parents supposedly lied about his age. The record instantly became a number one Billboard Chart album in the United States and enjoyed considerable success in many countries of the world.

So, forty years later, what would Gerald Bostock – aged fifty in 2012 – be doing today? What might have happened to him? The anniversary “part two” album will examine the possible different paths that the precocious young schoolboy, Gerald Bostock, might have taken later in life through alter-ego characters with song-section identities illustrating the hugely varied potential twists and turns of fate and opportunity. Not just for Gerald but to echo how our own lives develop, change direction and ultimately conclude through chance encounters and interventions, however tiny and insignificant they might seem at the time.

Ian Anderson says of the album, “As we baby-boomers look back on our own lives, we must often feel an occasional ‘what-if’ moment. Might we, like Gerald, have become instead preacher, soldier, down-and-out, shopkeeper or finance tycoon?” Adding, “And those of more tender years – the social media and internet generation – may choose to ponder well the myriad of chance possibilities ahead of them at every turn…..”

To coincide with this landmark release, for the first time since 1972, Anderson and fellow musicians John O’Hara (keyboards), David Goodier (bass), Florian Opahle (guitar) and Scott Hammond (drums) – as well as some guest performers – will take to the road to perform the album in its entirety and, it can now exclusively be revealed that, in addition, there will be a second part to the show where Anderson and the band will also perform the sequel.

Thick As A Brick 2 (‘TAAB2’) tracklist [CD, digital]

1. From A Pebble Thrown
2. Pebbles Instrumental
3. Might-have-beens
4. Upper Sixth Loan Shark
5. Banker Bets, Banker Wins
6. Swing It Far
7. Adrift And Dumfounded
8. Old School Song
9. Wootton Bassett Town
10. Power And Spirit
11. Give Till It Hurts
12. Cosy Corner
13. Shunt And Shuffle
14. A Change Of Horses
15. Confessional
16. Kismet In Suburbia
17. What-ifs, Maybes And Might-have-beens

‘Thick As A Brick 2’ will be released as a standard jewel case CD and digital download, and in a Special Edition 2-disc package with DVD featuring 5.1 stereo mixes, 24-bit stereo mix, video of the making of the album, interviews with the musicians and Ian Anderson reading the lyrics in various locations.

The Pink Floyd Experiments

Pink Floyd - Ummagumma
Pink Floyd

Ummagumma (EMI, 1969 – remastered in 2011)

Pink Floyd’s first double album, Ummagumma, was originally released in 1969. The album was digitally remastered in 2011 by James Guthrie and Joel Plante. This new version is better enjoyed with headphones or a high quality audio system.

Ummagumma is divided into two very different recordings. The first disc is a live album that includes some of their best known pieces from previous albums: ‘Astronomy Domine’, ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ and ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’. In addition there is an eerie cinematic piece titled ‘Careful with that Axe, Eugene.’ This electric organ–led track progresses with increasing intensity until you hear a deranged scream by Roger Waters. There are a lot of stories about the meaning of the song. Most people seem to think that it is related to an axe murderer.

Album 2 is a studio recording where each member of the band presents his own experiments. ‘Sysyphus’ is the brainchild of keyboardist Richard Wright who plays a combination of symphonic rock with mellotron, piano and percussion and atonal experimental music on keyboards and percussion.

The keyboard fest is followed by the laid back ‘Grantchester Meadows’ by Roger Waters, with its pastoral strums of acoustic guitars, vocals and sounds of birds (not sure if they are real or synthesized). Waters’ next piece is crazier and has a very long title: ‘Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.’ The sounds of the little furries are wacky and very funny.

Back to acoustic guitars with David Gilmour’s ‘The Narrow Way.’ In the first part, Gilmour blends blues acoustic guitar with electric guitar riffs and explorations. Experimental, but very beautiful at the same time. Part 2 sounds like repetitive hard rock mixed with electronics. Part three is a delectable melancholic song.

‘The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party’ is Nick Mason’s suite. It begins with a solo flute that leads into a series of drum experimentations and ends with a very short flute piece.

Ummagumma shows Pink Floyd at a transitional stage, definitely moving away from psychedelic pop and into an experimental form of rock, combining rock with classical music elements and electronic music and effects. It was the birth of a form of progressive rock later known as space rock. Ummagumma is also one of the most individualist albums by the band.

The Timely Return of Comedy of Errors

Comedy of Errors - Disobey
Comedy of Errors

Disobey (COE001, 2011)

Comedy of Errors, one of the British bands involved in the progressive rock renaissance of the 1980s known as neoprog, is back with a new album titled Disobey. As other neoprog bands, Comedy of Errors has more in common with Marillion, IQ and Pallas than Genesis. However, original members Joe Cairney (vocals), Jim Johnston (keyboards, guitars), Mark Spalding (guitars, bass and backing vocals) have made an album that bridges the 1980s and 1970s prog eras with the present.

On Disobey, Comedy of Errors demonstrates that it is not stuck in time. The musicians incorporate contemporary elements such as electronic loops as well as sound effects. Jim Johnston is comfortable using vintage organ and mellotron sounds as well as the latest cutting edge electronics.

Album highlights include ‘Jekyll’ with its outstanding vocals and keyboard work (although I would have toned down the hard rock guitar parts); the instrumental ‘Prelude, Riff And Fugue,’ with its mix of early classical music, synthesizers and epic guitar; the hypnotic ‘Carousel,’ the delightful ‘Could Have Been Yesterday’ with its mix of acoustic guitars, vocals and keyboards; the brief instrumental gem ‘Alisa’s Lullaby,’ and the great final epic titled ‘The Student Prince,’ which is subdivided into four pieces.

On the down side, the straight ahead rocker ‘American Rodeo’ that seems out of place and the opening piece, ‘Disobey,’ which never manages to get off the ground.

In addition to vocalist Joe Cairney, keyboardist Jim Johnston and guitarist Mark Spalding, Disobey features Bruce Levick on drums and Hew Montgomery (Abel Ganz) on bass.

Comedy of Errors is a reformed symphonic progressive rock band with tremendous potential.Disobey showcases its dazzling instrumental and vocals skills and I look forward to more.

Buy the CD, listen to samples and also purchase MP3s at:

Locanda delle Fate to Present New Album The Missing Fireflies

Locanda delle Fate - The Missing Fireflies
Locanda delle Fate, one of the finest Italian progressive rock bands of all time, is set to perform on February 4th, 2012 at Teatro Alfieri in Asti. The band will be presenting its new album, “The Missing Fireflies”.

The current line-up includes four of the original members. Leonardo Sasso on vocals, Luciano Boero on bass, Oscar Mazzoglio on keyboards, and Giorgio Gardino on drums. New members include Max Brignolo on guitars and Maurizio Muha on keyboards.

Locanda delle Fate was formed in Asti, in northwestern Italy, not far from Genoa. They played a beautiful form of symphonic progressive rock, reminiscent of the great Italian bands of the early 1970s. The original line-up featured a superb combination of two guitarists and two keyboardists: Leonardo Sasso on vocals, Ezio Vevey on guitar and vocals, Alberto Gaviglio on guitar, flute, vocals; Michele Conta on keyboards; Oscar Mazzoglio on keyboards; Luciano Boero on bass; and Giorgio Gardino on drums

Even though Locanda delle Fate released one of the best Italian progressive rock albums, Forse le lucciole non si amano più, in 1977, they were unnoticed. Italian progressive rock was in decline.

A few years later, collectors in Japan and other countries ‘discovered’ Forse le lucciole non si amano più and it became a prized collector’s item. Eventually, it was reissued on CD.

Locanda delle Fate recorded a live album in 1977. Live was released in 1993 on the Italian Mellow label.

The group disbanded in 1980. Locanda delle Fate reunited in 1996 with five of the seven original members, excluding vocalist Sasso and keyboardist Conta. They released Homo homini lupus in 1999.

Tour 2012

21 January 2012 at proGliguria – La Spezia

27 January 2012 at Jailbreak – Roma

4 February 2012 at Teatro Alfieri – Asti

29 April 2012 at Club Città, Kawasaki – Japan

No-Man to Release New Live Album Titled Love and Endings

No-Man - Love and Endings
The new live album Love and Endings is a document of No-Man’s powerful performance at the Leamington Spa Assembly on October 14th, 2011. It is scheduled for release March 12th. The album features the British band’s core duo of Tim Bowness and Steven Wilson joined by classical violinist Steve Bingham and regular collaborators Michael Bearpark, Andrew Booker, Stephen Bennett and Pete Morgan.

Love And Endings retains the intimacy and sophistication of No-Man’s studio work while adding an edgy rock component absent from much of its recordings. The pieces are drawn from all stages of No-Man’s music.

Love And Endings includes the previously unreleased song, Beaten By Love, which dates from the earliest days of the band.

The album will be available in CD/DVD (deluxe digipack) and limited edition heavyweight double vinyl (in gatefold sleeve) formats.

A free download of a track from the album is available here

Seattle Dreamin’

Sky Cries Mary - Taking the Stage - Live 1997-2005
Sky Cries Mary

Taking The Stage: 1997-2005 (Trail TR-009, 2011)

Taking The Stage: 1997-2005 is a live collection of some of the best pieces by legendary Seattle psychedelic rock outfit Sky Cries Mary. The band’s sound is a fascinating mix of psychedelic space music with alternative rock and trance electronics. Sky Cries Mary
is characterized by the outstanding vocal interaction of husband and wife lead singers Roderick Romero and Anisa Romero, along with technicolor guitars, electronic beats and loops, drumkit, bass and ambient synthesizers.

The live performances were recorded at different times and on different location. Some of the pieces were previously released on the out-of-print album “Here & Now”. Taking The Stage: 1997-2005 was edited, remastered and produced with improved sound quality. “The resulting mix cannot be quantified,” says Roderick Romero. “It must be heard to be experienced. In fact, it cannot be heard without experiencing it.”

The musicians that participated in the recordings include Roderick Romero and Anisa Romero on vocals, Michael Cozzi on guitar and programming, Ben Ireland on drums and percussion, Juano on bass, William Bernhard on guitar and keyboards, Jill Wangsgard on keyboards and acoustic guitar, and Todd Robbins (DJ Fallout) on keyboards and sound effects.

Sky Cries Mary’s Taking The Stage: 1997-2005 is an impressive collection of dreamy and surreal space rock, insistent psychedelia and futuristic trance music.

Buy the CD, MP3s or listen to samples at

Legendary Progressive Rock Supergroup UK Reunites for 2012 Tour

UK
UK, one of the finest progressive rock groups of the late 1970s will be back for an international tour in 2012. The “Night After Night 2012” World Tour will include virtuoso keyboardist and violinist Eddie Jobson (Curved Air, Roxy Music, Frank Zappa), renowned bassist and vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia), and American drummer Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck).

Formed in England in 1977, the band UK became an instant sensation in the international progressive rock scene with two of the most highly rated prog albums of the era: the self-titled UK (1977) and Danger Money (1978). This was followed by their live record Night After Night (1979) featuring tracks from their farewell tour.

Confirmed North American Dates

May 02 – Showcase Live, Boston, USA

May 04 – The Highline Ballroom, New York, USA

May 06 – Sound Stage, Baltimore, USA [on sale January 30]

May 08 – World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, USA

May 10 – Cabaret du Capitole, Québec, Canada

May 11 – The Gesù Amphitheatre, Montréal, Canada [sold out]

May 14 – The Triple Door, Seattle, USA

May 17 – Aladdin Theater, Portland, USA

May 18 – The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, USA

pre-sale tickets now available at www.zealotslounge.com

Italian bass player Alberto Rigoni Releases “The Net” Video

Alberto Rigoni - Photo courtesy of Aguilar Amplification
Italian bass player Alberto Rigoni makes available on Youtube the official video clip of “The Net”, a song from his new solo album Rebirth released by Nightmare Record. The short tune is based on bass harmonics that create a unique atmosphere. “I love bass harmonics. The tune is simple but hypnotic,” says Rigoni.

Alberto Rigoni is an Italian bass player and composer. Besides his solo career, Alberto is also known as member and bass player of the progressive metal band TwinSpirits and founder of the new electro pop duo Lady & the Bass.

Born in Montebelluna (Treviso, Italy) in 1981, Rigoni founded, together with drummer Enrico Buttol, a well-known progressive-metal cover band called Ascra, performing mainly songs by Dream Theater. In 2003 he joined the emerging progressive metal band Twinspirits, led by Daniele Liverani (Genius Rock Opera, Khymera, ex-Empty Tremor). The band’s debut album “The Music That Will Heal The World” was released worldwide in 2007 by Finnish label Lion Music and received remarkable feedback.

Besides Twinspirits, Rigoni followed composed a solo album titled Something Different, released by Lion Music on February 15th 2008 with worldwide distribution.

In 2011 he signed with Nightmare Records (SONY / RED Distribution) for the release of his new solo album “Rebirth.”

Buy the CD, MP3s and listen to samples at;

Changing Forms of Slivovitz

Slivovitz - Bani Ahead
Slivovitz

Bani Ahead (Moonjune, 2011)

Naples-based fusion jazz band Slivovitz has a new album titled Bani ahead. With this recording, Slivovitz continues to explore the boundaries between jazz-rock, traditional music, avant-garde chamber music and freeform improvisation.

Bani Ahead presents Balkan and Gypsy music influences, American blues, a delectable melodic piece titled ‘Fat’ and powerful jazz-rock explorations.

The current line-up of the band includes Domenico Angarano on bass guitar, Salvatore Rainone on drums, Derek Di Perri on harmonica, Marcello Giannini on guitars, Pietro Santangelo on saxophone, Riccardo Villari on violin, and trumpet player Ciro Riccardi.

The band Slivovitz was founded in September of 2001 from a spontaneous jam in the streets of Naples. Since then, it hasn’t stopped morphing, growing, changing form and direction, but always in the line of instrumental music related to ethnically-tuned jazz rock.

Bani Ahead will please the fans of improvisatory jazz-rock with world music elements.

Greenslade & Bedside Manners Are Extra Released as Double CD

Greenslade & Bedside Manners Are Extra
Two of Greenslade’s best recordings, Greenslade & Bedside Manners Are Extra, are now available as a double CD. Greenslade was formed in 1972 by former Colosseum keyboardist Dave Greenslade, former Colosseum bassist Tony Reeves, former King Crimson drummer Andy McCulloch, and vocalist and second keyboard player Dave Lawson, who had performed with Episode Six and The Alan Bown Set.

Greenslade’s dual keyboard and no guitar line-up gave it a unique sound within the early 1970s progressive rock wave. Another Greenslade characteristic was the captivating fantasy artwork made by Roger Dean artwork.

This set contains the group’s first two albums, both originally released on the Warner Bros. label in 1973. The booklet includes all the lyrics, and annotation by Alan Robinson.

Progressive rock, jazz-rock fusion, ambient electronic music and beyond