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Farmhouse Odyssey, State Of The Art Progressive Rock from California

Farmhouse Odyssey – Farmhouse Odyssey (2015)

The self-titled debut album by American band Farmhouse Odyssey is one of the finest progressive rock releases we’ve heard in months. Farmhouse Odyssey combines several of the most beloved subgenres within progressive rock: Canterbury, symphonic rock and psychedelic music.

The five instrumentalists deliver stellar performances throughout the album, delighting the listener with beautiful guitar and keyboard interplay. On the first progressive symphonic piece, “So It Would Seem,” the band presents some of the best mellotron/guitar interaction I’ve heard in many years. The vocals have personality; neither Genesis nor Yes-inspired, which makes the vocals much more attractive.

On track 2, “Dante,” Farmhouse Odyssey head in a jazzier direction with delicious bass lines, electric piano and synths and vocals that sound like an updated version of the classic National Health-era Canterbury sound. At times, the group intensifies the music, introducing fiery guitars, but it’s all done with incredibly good taste.

“Sleeping Silent”, track 3, quickly grows into a wonderful epic piece with some of the best guitar work on the album with truly memorable solos set to an irresistible laid back jazz-rock beat.

Track 4, “Cross the Deep” begins with mellotron and progresses into a dazzling prog-rock jam piece with spectacular guitar work.

The electric piano and organ along with jazz beats on “Colossal Cypress” immediately evokes echoes of Canterbury. The soft vocals on this composition are mesmerizing. “Colossal Cypress” concludes with grand guitar mastery.

The last cut on the album, “A Moment to Take” builds beautifully with a mixture of vocals, guitars and mellotron. Once more, the guitar interplay is truly outstanding.

The five extremely talented musicians of Farmhouse Odyssey have recorded a state of the art progressive rock album that deserves worldwide recognition.

Farmhouse Odyssey is a band from Arcata, in northern California. The lioneup on the album includes Alex Espe on vocals and keyboards; Ian Taylor on bass and vocals; Thatcher Holvick-Norton on drums and vocals; Alex Pepe on guitars; and Aaron Laughlin on guitars and vocals.

Buy Farmhouse Odyssey

Progressive Music Trio Consider The Source Releases Free Album

New York City-based progressive music trio Consider The Source is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a free compilation. The anthology, titled “Past Is Prologue: 2005-2015”, includes tracks from every Consider The Source studio album, including multiple pieces from the recent “World War Trio” series.

The band plays Middle Eastern influenced music mixed with progressive rock, heavy metal riffs, cinematic orchestrations, odd-time improvisations and world music beats.

Formed in 2004, the current lineup of Consider the includes Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar; John Ferrara on bass; and Jeff Mann on drums and percussion.

Tracks include:

1. Aquarians (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
2. You Are Obsolete (World War Trio Part II, 2015)
3. Tsim Sha Tsui (World War Trio Part III, 2015)
4. Put Another Rock In That Bag [single edit] (World War Trio Part I, 2014)
5. Closer To Home (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
6. \ i / (That’s What’s Up, 2010)
7. Blue Steel (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
8. Moisturize The Situation (Are You Watching Closely, 2009)
9. Constantly Nostalgic (Esperanto, 2006)
10. Patterns (Esperanto, 2006)
Bonus Track: Past Is Prologue (Untitled EP, 2005)

Free Compilation Album Download link

Iamthemorning releases ‘Chalk & Coal’ Music Video

Russian progressive music duo Iamthemorning has released a music video of ‘Chalk & Coal’, the first track from new album ‘Lighthouse‘ (Kscope). The video footage is by Andrey Sytov, edited by Nik Koniwzski.

Vocalist Marjana Semkina explains that “Chalk & Coal” is the darkest song on the album with some dark jazz influence. Mood-wise it was inspired by David Bowie’s “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)”. Lyrically it represents the final twist of the album story-line, the final breakdown.”

Preorder ‘Lighthouse

Other recordings available: Lighthouse and I Am The Morning.

Interview with Progressive Rock Musician Nad Sylvan

Vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Nad Sylvan is currently one of the finest singers in the international progressive rock scene. In addition to his recent work with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, Nad recently released a superb solo album titled “Courting The Widow” that was one of the finest progressive rock albums of 2015.

Nad talks to Progressive Rock Central in this exclusive interview:

Can you give our readers a brief history on how you started your musical career?

I sought to myself to the piano when I was about 5. Started to compose maybe a year later. I joined various bands in my teen years and after a while drifted into progressive rock with stacks of keyboards and mikes around me. Apparently I never got out!

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

Melody, harmony and rhythm. Arrangements that supports the lyrical content.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

I know people think it’s generally Genesis, but it’s so much more than that. Everything that rocked in the 1970s plus lots of soul music.

Nad Sylvan
Nad Sylvan

Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.

I recorded a single when I was 19, a total Genesis rip off. But that’s fine, I think I was excused being so young and with such high ideals. Two years later that band, which was called Avenue, broke up. I drifted into fusion, jazz rock and so on in the early 80s and formed my own band. We never played any gigs, but I learned a lot during that time.

In 1984 I joined a band that became “One By One”, a funk rock band in the same kind of musical hybrid style as Prince, Scritti Politti and etc. We made it as far as being the supporting act to Lionel Ritchie in 1987. I went solo after that and recorded a couple of unsuccessful solo albums until I met Bonamici in 2003. We formed “Unifaun”, recorded an album, which is now my musical platform. That’s when I started to get some kind of recognition. In 2008 Roine Stolt contacted me, we made three albums and in 2012 I heard from Steve Hackett.

What’s the concept behind your latest album, Courting the Widow?

Death and the sea.

Along with Italy, Sweden has produced some of the finest progressive rock groups in recent years. Why do you think Sweden generates so much talent?

It wasn’t always like that. I think the Internet opened up so many possibilities for everybody, let alone for myself, and the Swedes were very quick to latch onto this new digital world.

There seems to be a dark theme in the lyrics of many Nordic progressive rock artists. Why do you think so many acts have this gloomy side? Would the music be different if it was composed in sunnier and warmer places like Tenerife or the Costa del Sol?

I think you just came up with the best answer yourself.

Although you are known as a vocalist, you also play various musical instruments and you do it quite well. Tell us about your musical training.

I taught myself everything I know. Singing is my key element, second comes piano and keyboards. The rest I do on my recordings such as guitars, takes an awful lot of time for me to get it right.

Your most recent solo album features a lot of beautiful mellotron-sounding work. What does the mellotron represent to you?

Fragile moods.

Nad Sylvan
Nad Sylvan

How did you connect with guitarist Roine Stolt?

He got in touch with me after he’d heard Unifaun back in 2008.

And how did you link up with Steve Hackett?

Same thing there four years later. But I was also recommended through Win Voelklein who promotes the Night of the Prog festival in Germany, where I have performed three times now.

How do audiences react to your versions of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis songs?

Nowadays they are alright with it. They have allowed me to grow into the role.
It wasn’t easy at first.

On April 19, 2016 you’ll be performing as part of the Steve Hackett band in Durham, North Carolina which is where we are based. What material will the band be presenting there?

The same show we did in the autumn. 50% Hackett solo stuff, 50% Genesis.

In addition to your solo work, you are currently involved in other projects like Agents of Mercy. What’s the focus of Agents of Mercy?

I am currently not involved in anything but Hackett and my solo career. Agents of Mercy has not released anything since 2011 (The Black Forest), and we haven’t played together since 2012.

If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

Basically the people that play on my album “Courting The Widow“. Especially Nick Beggs and Doane Perry. But also Jonas Reingold is a fabulous player and a good friend.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

I am working on a follow up album to “The Widow” right now. That will take me at least a year.

Discography:

The Life Of A Housewife (1997)
Sylvanite (2003)
Unifaun (2008)
The Fading Ghosts Of Twilight (2009), with Agents of Mercy
The Power Of Two (2010), with Agents of Mercy and Karmakanic
Dramarama (2010), with Agents of Mercy
The Black Forest (2011), with Agents of Mercy
Genesis Revisited II (2012), with Steve Hackett
Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith (2013), with Steve Hackett
Genesis Revisited: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2014), with Steve Hackett
Courting The Widow (2015)

Official website: www.nadsylvan.com

Beledo, a Fusion Master

Beledo – “Dreamland Mechanism” (MoonJune Records, 2016)

Although Uruguayan musician Beledo is best known as a virtuoso electric guitarist, on his new album “Dreamland Mechanism” he showcases his talent as a multi-instrumentalist.

“Dreamland Mechanism” contains a wonderful mix of progressive jazz-rock fusion combined with world music elements, including tango, flamenco and Indonesian music.

Beledo uses various guitar techniques including the captivating Alan Holdsworth-style that has fascinated fusion and progressive rock audiences for years. Beledo is also a skilled violinist and keyboardist, delivering memorable solo work throughout the album.

Joining Beledo is an impressive lineup of international musicians, including some of the best instrumentalists in the current jazz-rock fusion scene.

Although the entire album is outstanding, there is one piece that really stands out over the rest, the delightful laid back “Budjanaji,” a guitar lover’s dream, featuring two guitar masters, Beledo and Dewa Budjana, performing extraordinary guitar solos.

The lineup on includes Beledo on electric and acoustic guitar, acoustic piano, violin, accordion, Fender Rhodes, Mini Moog, fretless electric bass; Lincoln Goines on electric bass; Gary Husband on drums; Tony Steele on electric bass; Doron Lev on drums and percussion; Endang Ramdan on lead Sundanese kendang percussion; Cucu Kurnia on Sundanese kendang percussion; Dewa Budjana on electric guitar solo; and Rudy Zulkarnaen on electric bass.

“Dreamland Mechanism” features remarkable performances by fusion maestro Beledo and his colleagues.

Buy Dreamland Mechanism in North America

Buy Dreamland Mechanism in Europe

Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer Announce New Album and Tour

Keyboardist Vijay Iyer and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith have recorded a new album titled “a cosmic rhythm with each stroke,” scheduled for release March 25th, 2016.
Vijay Iyer is a former member of Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet and the two had been looking for an opportunity to collaborate as a duo for some time. They recorded “a cosmic rhythm with each stroke” in November 2015 with Manfred Eicher in the studio.

The key feature of the new album is a suite dedicated to the late Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, whose work will be on display at the opening this March of The Metropolitan Museum’s Breuer Gallery (at the site of the old Whitney Museum on Manhattan’s Upper East Side), where Iyer will be Artist-In-Residence.

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith on tour:

March 30-31 – New York, NY – Metropolitan Museum of Art Breuer Building
April 1 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
April 7-8 – Cambridge, MA – Fromm Concert Series at Harvard
April 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Occidental College
April 16 – Fullerton, CA – Cal State Fullerton
Additional dates to be announced

Multifaceted Progressive Creations by Ed Bernard

Ed Bernard – Polydactyl (Ed Bernard, 2015)

Canadian multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Ed Bernard has released one of the finest progressive rock albums we’ve heard in recent months. Although Bernard has some guests, he plays the majority of the instruments and also appears as lead singer throughout most of the album.

You can tell that Ed Bernard has absorbed the best of what progressive rock has to offer. You can hear influences here and there, but there is also a distinct sound developed by Bernard, with a vibe that celebrates both British and North American progressive rock.

Throughout Polydactyl Bernard delivers spectacular guitar solos, majestic mellotron and synthesizer work, violin melodies and mandolin. Bernard demonstrates that you can create high energy music, full of drama while at the same time staying in solid progressive rock territory.

The album opens with “Symfoprogru,” a knockout instrumental where Bernard layers numerous instruments, serving fabulous melodies. He performs practically everything except drums.

On track 2, “Derealization”, Bernard brings in the vocals. It’s a beautiful song that starts with acoustic guitars, synths and outstanding vocal work, including lead and overdubbed backing vocals. While most progressive rock vocalists try to emulate Jon Anderson or Peter Gabriel, Ed Bernard sounds totally different, like a cross between Steve Walsh and Jeff Berlin. Bernard also has a great ability at creating epic atmospheres. Derealization reaches a climactic point with a fiery guitar solo.

“Entitled” is still high level symphonic progressive rock, but it also has folk-rock influences with a mix of acoustic and electric instruments and harmony vocals that recall Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Track 4, “Eyes Everywhere” commences with mandolin and an irresistible groove. Bernard demonstrates his prodigious skills as an arranger, mixing flawless transitions between jazz-rock fusion, delicious symphonic mellotron goodness and epic emotions. The final part is a dazzling electric solo where Bernard combines captivating rock shredding with jazz-rock techniques.

“Running” begins with beautiful pastoral acoustic guitars, mellotron and harmony vocals. Bernard builds it into a vibrant electric piece with stunning guitar, synthesizer and drum interactions. Bernard uses different guitar techniques throughout the album, including overdubs. On “Running” he also adds the grand cathedral-style organ that builds up in magnificent fashion.

Track 6, “Withywindle” is an instrumental that initially showcases the acoustic and classical side of Bernard. He starts with an impressive mandolin set, followed by acoustic guitar and fiddle that transitions into a symphonic section with organ and orchestral synths.

The symphonic tone continues with the eerie orchestral intro to “1000 Hates” that leads into a vocal section with more memorable lead and harmony vocal work. Bernard injects succulent instrumental sections throughout this composition. The final section of this track develops into a stirring guitar conclusion.

The vocals on Track 8, “The Quiet Race” are quite different. That’s because Phil Naro, the lead vocalist for Bernard’s band Druckfarben, and Cameron Hawkins provide the vocals. The vocals, along with the mellotron arrangements are a tribute to Yes at its best. Bernard ends the piece with a dizzying guitar solo.

The last track, “Bring it Home” is essentially a folk-rock piece with acoustic guitars and vocals. It feels like Jim Croce meets Anthony Phillips. Bernard later adds violin and vocal overdubs.

As mentioned earlier, Bernard sings and plays practically all instruments on the album: guitars, violins, violas, mandolins, bass, percussion, keyboards and programming. Guests include Cameron Hawkins on vocals; Phil Naro on vocals; Greg Wyard on bass; Joel Lightman on piano; William Hare on drums; Paul DeLong on drums; and Zed Murmer on drums.

Considering the work that Ed Bernard put into this recording: composing, playing, orchestrating, recording and mixing, he has clearly demonstrated that he is one of the giants of progressive rock in the current scene and Polydactyl is one of his masterworks.

Buy Polydactyl in North America

Buy Polydactyl in Europe

Ovrfwrd’s Fantasies

Ovrfwrd – Fantasy Absent Reason (Prog Records, 2015)

On “Fantasy Absent Reason”, American band Ovrfwrd delivers a set of instrumental performances that fuse blues-rock jams, hard rock, and progressive rock.
The album opens with the lengthy titled track “Fantasy Absent Reason”. This piece features hard rock riffs, blues-rock, and some down tempo moments where the keyboards take the band closer to progressive rock.

Track 2, “Brother Jack McDuff” is essentially a blues-rock jam where the electric organ has the leading role.

“Dust Nova”, track 3, begins with a mesmerizing section of keyboards and guitar, some of the best material on the album. The piece evolves into powerful blues-rock.

Track 4, “Utopia Planitia”, features notable keyboard, flute and solo guitar work. It’s the most progressive piece on the album.

The final track is the delightful “Creature Comforts” where the band uses electric piano and guitar supported by the rhythm section.

The lineup includes Kyle Lund on bass; Rikki Davenport on drums and percussion; Chris Malmgren on keyboards; and Mark Ilaug on guitars.

Buy the Fantasy Absent Reason digital version

Buy the Fantasy Absent Reason CD.

Interview with Virtuoso Guitarist Jane Getter

Jazz-rock guitarist and composer Jane Getter has attracted a lot of attention with her new album On. Getter fuses, rock, jazz and other elements, delivering a fabulous progressive rock mix. Getter talks to Progressive rock Central about and her background.

Can you give our readers a brief history on how you got involved with music?

My first instrument was piano which I started at around age 7 or 8. I then switched to guitar after spying on my sister’s guitar lessons. My parents finally gave in and gave me lessons. I stopped for a few years and then picked it up again in high school. It was in college that I became very serious about playing, and practiced 6 hours a day at one point. I chose to make it my career then.

What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?

I have a very eclectic taste in music, from rock to classical, world to gospel, metal to blues, funk and R&B, etc. It all comes together in my writing and playing.

Who can you cite as your main musical influences?

My influences have changed over the years: Crosby Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Alan Holdsworth, John Coltrane, more recently King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Animals As Leaders, Opeth, Periphery.

 

Jane Getter
Jane Getter

 

Are there any specific guitarists that inspired you to play guitar?

Bonnie Raitt, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and then a friend of mine took me to see Joe Pass play solo and I was totally blown away and said “I want to do that”. Others are Wes Montgomery, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin, Robben Ford.

Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.

I started out playing folk and blues on acoustic guitar. I then started playing jazz on a hollow body guitar and did that for a number of years. Then I started getting into jazz-rock fusion and got my first solid body guitar. From there it’s been a gradual evolution into where I am today.

My first recording which never got released was a straight ahead jazz record (all originals) called “The Weaver”. Then in 1998, my first album came out on Lipstick Records called “Jane”. It’s a jazz-rock and funk fusion record with a couple of smooth jazz songs. “See Jane Run” is a straight up jazz-rock fusion album. “Three” combines jazz-rock and prog rock.

 

 

Jane Getter - Jane
Jane Getter – Jane

 

Jane Getter - See Jane Run
Jane Getter – See Jane Run

 

Jane Getter - Three
Jane Getter – Three

 

What’s the concept behind On, your new album?

My style has been evolving over the years and I feel ON to be my strongest work yet. My eclectic taste in music always enters into my writing and I feel this album is more focused than my previous work. The music for this album is what I am hearing and digging now.

 

Jane Getter Premonition - On
Jane Getter Premonition – On

 

You have brought together some of the finest jazz-rock fusion musicians. How did you connect with the current members of your band?

Adam Holzman is my husband and he’s played in my band and co-produced with me since my first album “Jane”. I’d been a fan of Chad Wackerman’s since I heard the Allan Holdsworth records he’s on and we had done some shows together in LA [Los Angeles] a few times before the recording happened. Bryan Beller is the perfect player for this music and he and Adam had done a project together previously.

Alex Skolnick and I play in another project together and he brought the perfect combination of metal, rock and jazz to this project that I wanted. I had been a fan of Corey Glover ever since I first heard him in Living Colour and I was so thrilled to have him on this record. Theo Travis and Adam have worked together in Steven Wilson’s band and he was perfect for what I wanted also.

 

Jane Getter Premonition
Jane Getter Premonition

 

What guitar types and models are you playing now?

My main guitar is made by Peekamoose Custom Guitars, which is a small guitar shop out of New York. It’s their model 1 made specifically for me – a Strat-style with humbuckers. I also play a 1971 Fender telecaster, a custom Strat from when I was with Fender about 10 years ago. The acoustics I’m using now are: Yamaha AC3R, 1972 Martin D28, 1982 Ovation nylon string.

Do you keep most of your previous guitars?

I have a few that I keep because I love but haven’t been using much lately, especially my 1953 Gibson ES175.

Is there an all-time favorite guitar?

I love them all, but my Peekamoose has become my favorite now.

What guitar effects do you use?

For distortion, mostly my Fuchs amp distortion, but also a Maxon overdrive, Seymour Duncan Dirty Deed, 805 Overdrive, Lava Box, Rocktron Metal Planet Jam Delay Lama, Boss Digital Delay, Tone Concepts Distillery, Vox Wah Wah, Korg Volume Pedal, TC Electronics stereo chorus, flanger, sometimes the MXR Dynacomp compressor.

 

 

Do you play any other musical instruments?

I play a little bass, drums and keyboards.

What music are you currently listening to?

Animals As Leaders, Periphery, John McLaughlin, Steven Wilson, Opeth, Alan Holdsworth, Marvin Sapp, Oumou Sangare, Nine Inch Nails

If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?

I would love to collaborate with Herbie Hancock, Steven Wilson, Mikael Ackerfeldt, Jeff Beck.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?

Right now I’m mainly focused on getting my new project Jane Getter Premonition out to the world. I still play in a few other projects like the three guitar project with Alex Skolnick and Bruce Arnold, called Skolnick, Getter, Arnold – previously called Eclectic Electric Guitar Trio. Jane Getter Premonition is my main thing at the moment.