Cairo – $@Y [Say] (Heavy Right Foot Records, 2016)
Say is the debut release of rock band Cairo, the latest project of British keyboardist and vocalist Rob Cottingham, not to be confused with American progressive rock band Cairo.
Even though Cairo is described as a progressive rock band, it is yet another project where tired heavy metal riffs permeate the music. Rob Cottingham does great work in terms of effects, atmospheres, keyboard solos, the addition of spoken word and forward-thinking electronics, but it gets lost in a wave of predictable heavy metal and hard rock guitars and pop vocal hooks. I’ve said it before, how about a prog mix for progressive rock fans and a heavy metal mix for metal fans.
The band includes Rob Cottingham on keyboards and vocals; Rachel Hill on vocals; Lisa Driscoll on vocals; James Hards on electric and acoustic guitars; Paul Stocker on bass and acoustic guitars; and Graham Brown on drums and percussion. Guests: John Mitchell on backing vocals and Nick Yarris on spoken word.
“Devil on an Indian” by American rock band The Raptor Trail is a concept album about a young man that struggles with his American Indian heritage after being raised in a Christian family. The story mirrors the experience of multi-instrumentalist Matt Meyes. Although he has paternal and maternal Native American ancestry, he was raised by a white Protestant family.
Musically, The Raptor Trail crosses various rock genres with ease. The band plays a mix of classic rock, hard rock and sometimes ventures into progressive rock (“Wolf Medicine”) and other territories like in the piece “Dream Catcher” that has a trance-like tribal ambient feel.
The Raptor Trail’s sound is characterized by the outstanding vocals and remarkable solo guitar work of John Meyer, as well as the sound of a new hybrid instrument named guijo. The guijo was developed by Matt Meyes. It has an electric guitar body and a banjo neck.
The album ends with an apocalyptic explosion of the sun featuring a mix of rock band instrumentation and numerous sound effects.
The lineup includes Gene Bass on drums and percussion; Matt Mayes on vocals, guijo, acoustic guitars and banjo; and John Meyer on lead and background vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, and bass.
Acclaimed rock musician John Wetton passed away this morning, Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, after a long battle against colon cancer.
John Wetton was born on June 12, 1949 in Willington, Derbyshire. He became famous as vocalist and bassist of pioneering progressive rock band King Crimson in the early 1970s. John wetton rec orded three albums with King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), and Red (1974)]
At the end of the 1970s, Wetton formed progressive rock supergroup UK together with Eddie Jobson (Curved Air, Roxy Music and Frank Zappa), Allan Holdsworth (Tempest, Soft Machine, The New Tony Williams Lifetime and Gong) and Bill Bruford (Yes and King Crimson). UK released two now classic progressive rock albums, UK (1978) and Danger Money (1979).
In the early 1980s, John Wetton was one of the founders of the highly successful FM-radio oriented rock group Asia. The group released the hit song ‘Heat of the Moment’ in 1982.
John Wetton also enjoyed a fruitful solo career, including the album Battle Lines, and formed iCon with Asia bandmate Geoff Downes. In 2006 the original line-up of Asia got together again and toured the world several times to promote four new studio albums.
John Wetton had been planning to tour with Asia for the band’s upcoming US arena tour with rock band Journey and, after the success of his solo Studio Recordings Anthology, continue working on the ongoing re-issue program of his solo albums through his own Primary Purpose label.
Drumer Carl Palmer released the following statement: “With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant.
John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle.
For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile.
May you ride easy, my old friend.”
John is survived by his recently wed wife Lisa and 18 year old son Dylan, brother Robert and mother Peggy.
The very last studio song of John Wetton’s career was the closing track on the Asia album “Gravitas” and included the lyrics “Think the best of me, till we meet again.”
“Waves” is a four-track EP by guitar maestro and composer Lelio Padovani. He plays instrumental guitar rock with a progressive edge. Picture Steve Vai or Joe Satriani playing progressive rock-oriented music.
Padovani plays all the instruments on the album and experiments with various guitars. On ‘Time Traveler’ he plays a guitar melody envisioned as a movie score of a guitar player who travels across time using various guitar techniques.
On ‘Siren Song’ you’ll hear a fabulous mix of three guitars playing a melody. Padovani indicates that three are better than one in the liner notes.
‘Sunday’ features admirable solo guitar work and was recorded during a quiet weekend, allowing Padovani to unwind.
The last piece, ‘Waves’ is an experiment based on Rhys Chatham’s concept. Chatham is an American avant-garde musician who created the concept of a guitar orchestra. Here, Lelio Padovani generates a remarkable wave of electric guitars, creating a fascinating cacade of sound featuring numerous guitar layers.
Lelio Padovani plays guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers and virtual string machine.
Justin Hayward is set to release a DVD titled “Live in Concert at the Capitol Theatre” on September 23rd, 2016. The intimate live performance features the legendary Moody Blues vocalist, guitarist, and composer.
The concert captured on video took place on October 20, 2014 in Clearwater, Florida. It was videotaped by award-winning filmmaker and composer David Minasian.
The DVD includes the bonus music video The Wind of Heaven
Greg Lake, the memorable vocalist and bassist for King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, moved away from progressive rock in the 1980s. He recorded two albums, Greg Lake (1981) and Manoeuvres (1983) that feature 1980s-style AOR rock, hard rock and pop, with the typical reverberating pounding drums of the era.
Both albums are now available, remastered, as a two-disc set. The best part of the songs on Disc 1 are the guitar solos by the great Gary Moore (who passed away in 2011). Disc 1 has three bonus tracks that feature members of popular rock band Toto.
Disc 2 includes a great progressive rock song, “I Don’t Know Why I Still Love You” that has an Emerson Lake and Palmer feel, including majestic electric organ and synths by Tommy Eyre, fretless bass by Tristram Margetts and grand percussion by Ted McKenna. This band had a great potential as a progressive rock act, but the early 1980s was a cruel era for progressive rock in the UK.
The CD booklet includes extensive liner notes and interviews with Greg Lake.
Croatian guitarist and composer Andreas Šala, who performs with bands Subscale, The Ralph and If And When We Die, has released a play-through video for the song “Hue” taken from his upcoming solo album Pleasure Dome.
Šala plays Wreck Guitars’ BlueMorpho 6 in the video. “I wanted to make a solo record for quite some time now but I just couldn’t decide in which direction I want to take it. But when I got my hands on the BlueMorpho melodies just started to pour out of me and I knew what I had to do. I felt like a kid again,” says Šala.
Pleasure Dome will be different from the albums Šala releases with Subscale and The Ralph in that is more ambient and minimalistic. “I wanted to do something a bit different. For the past 5 years I was composing mostly metal for The Ralph so I wanted to take a step back. I’m a huge Joe Satriani fan (and 80’s/90’s instrumental music fan in general) and I always liked “bigger than life” melodies so it seemed like a logical step to make a guitar driven instrumental album.”
Singer-songwriter, bassist and guitarist Greg Lake is re-releasing his two solo albums “Greg Lake” (1981) and “Manoeuvres” (1983) as a 2-CD set.
The set includes four bonus tracks that have never been included on any re-issue of the albums, only on separate rarities albums.
The first album and its three bonus tracks include all of the members of rock band Toto with the exception of Bobby Kimball as Lake handles all lead vocals. Both albums also feature appearances by Gary Moore on guitar. The album’s booklet includes extensive liner notes.
Greg Lake is the co-founder of iconic progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson Lake And Palmer (ELP), and wrote the hit “Lucky Man” and co-wrote “I Believe In Father Christmas.”