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August 2011 - Issue 89
Progressive Rock CD Reviews
Astralia - Osmosis
Review by Larry Toering

Italian prog rockers Astralia return after an decade-plus hiatus, and they're back with a bone to pick, to say the least.

Black Country Communion - Black Country Communion 2
Review by Larry Toering

After nine months, the modern day super group returns with its second release.

Charles Brown - Storm Rising
Review by Gary Hill
This disc from Denver, Colorado native Charles Brown is fully instrumental.
Franck Carducci - Oddity
Review by Gary Hill
This album definitely has a classic progressive rock sound, but it’s a modern take on that element.
Tony Carey - I Won't Be Home Tonight
Review by Larry Toering
By the time this CD was released, Tony Carey was only well known for his stint in Rainbow. His work in that band was considered by most as the best keyboard showing for Rainbow.  
Coyote Poets of the Universe - Pandora’s Box
Review by Gary Hill
This disc is a wonderful set that combines jazz, folk and classical music along with other sounds into something that, while not a perfect fit, certainly seems to belong under the heading “progressive rock.”
The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum
Review by Mark Johnson
This Providence, Rhode Island based band is made up of Casey Crescenzo (vocals, piano, guitar, arrangements, and direction),  Nick Crescenzo (drums, percussion, and vocals) and Maxwell Tousseau (guitar and vocals).
EBC Roxx - Winners Vol.1
Review by Larry Toering
This is a pro racing / concept based album by German female singer Ela, along with J.R. Blackmore (Ritchie Blackmore's son) and Tony Carey.  
Gandalf's Fist - Road to Darkness
Review by Gary Hill
I received this album and had little warning of the joys about to unfold. After a few listenings it’s become one of my all time favorite discs.
Gandalf's Fist - Stakes at Low Tide (Single)
Review by Gary Hill
Over half a minute longer than the version from the album, this single is, of course, similar to that song.
Gandalf's Fist - The Master and the Monkey
Review by Gary Hill
The debut disc from Gandalf’s Fist, this isn’t the masterpiece the 2011 release is, but it is a fine album that shows a lot of promise. 
Roger Glover - And The Guilty Party – If Life Was Easy
Review by Larry Toering
After eight long years The Guilty Party return with an even more widely varied collection of well written and played tunes that just about anyone can enjoy.
Gnô - Cannibal Tango
Review by Gary Hill
This French outfit is a trio and there sound is sometimes described as “Pantera meets the Beatles.”
Ken Hensley - & Live Fire – Faster
Review by Larry Toering
Organist, guitarist and vocalist extraordinaire Ken Hensley has outdone himself here with Live Fire, and even though there is still a touch of that classic Uriah Heep sound, it's not only heavy rock, it's prog because it's a concept album.
Herd of Instinct - Herd of Instinct
Review by Gary Hill
This mostly instrumental album is released on Djam Karet’s new label. In fact, Gayle Ellett from Djam Karet guests on the disc, along with quite a few more notable names.
Tennie Komar - Temptation
Review by Gary Hill
This is, perhaps, not the best fit in the world of progressive rock.
Huw Lloyd Langton - Huw Lloyd Langton’s LLG – Hard Graft
Review by Gary Hill
Hard Graft is the latest album from Hawkwind alum Huw Lloyd Langton.
Jon Lord - Pictured Within
Review by Larry Toering
Jon Lord released this long awaited solo album after much hesitation.
Tony MacAlpine - Tony Macalpine
Review by Gary Hill
Tony Macalpine comes from the school of technical guitarists occupied by guys like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen.
Magic Pie - The Suffering Joy
Review by Grant Hill
What is life? Are we just pawns in someone’s game of chess? These are just two of the life mystery questions posed in the epic album, The Suffering Joy, by Norwegian progressive rock band, Magic Pie.
Majestic - Labyrinth
Review by Mark Johnson
Majestic is back, and rather quickly after the fantastic album Ataraxia, with another album full of prog epic masterpieces.
Mars Hollow - World in Front of Me
Review by Grant Hill
When I first heard the name “Mars Hollow” in 2009, my initial thought was “how perfect a name that was for a neo-progressive rock band.”
Memories of Machines - Warm Winter
Review by Gary Hill
There is a school of modern art rock or progressive rock that focuses on moody, mellow music.
Neal Morse - Testimony 2
Review by Grant Hill
According to Bill Evans Media (http://billevansmedia.com), Neal Morse is the best selling solo progressive rock artist since 2003.
Steve Morse - Stressfest
Review by Larry Toering
After Steve Morse found himself in Deep Purple by way of Joe Satriani's rather swift exit due to contractual obligations, or so the story goes, this was one of his opportunities to continue in the fiery direction he was going in on his solo albums with Dave LaRue on bass and Van Romaine on drums.
Øresund Space Collective - Dead Man in Space CD
Review by Gary Hill
This is the CD release of the LP only disc I reviewed last year. That said, some changes have been made here.
Øresund Space Collective - Live at Roadburn 2010 Vinyl
Review by Gary Hill
This disc, as one might guess, a live album, from OSC is available only on vinyl, a two record set.
Øresund Space Collective - Sleeping with the Sunworm
Review by Gary Hill
Øresund Space Collective’s form of space rock is always improvised.
Osiris the Rebirth - Lost
Review by Gary Hill
This disc includes a guest appearance by Hawkwind alum Bridget Wishart. That, in itself draws comparisons to Hawkwind.
Osiris the Rebirth - Remnants of Life
Review by Gary Hill
This first disc from Osiris the Rebirth finds the group in a great space rock meets mainstream prog style.
Pagan’s Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy
Review by Gary Hill
Much to the chagrin of many progressive rock purists, a style of prog has emerged that sits on the fence between progressive rock and heavy metal.
Pallas - XXV
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve never been a huge fan of Pallas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked them, but never been blown away by them – until now that is. 
Alan Parsons - Project – The Turn Of A Friendly Card
Review by Larry Toering
When this great album was released, I remember very well thinking how it would last, but that was a few years before I started to appreciate APP more and more, eventually falling in love with most of their songs.
Pendragon - Passion
Review by Gary Hill
I have to say that before this album I haven’t paid that much attention to Pendragon.
Jack Phillips - Portrait
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps progressive rock isn’t the best place for this review, but really, it’s not that far removed from the type of music Rick Wakeman does in his solo career.
Riverside - Memories In My Head
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Riverside, this is a set of three tracks, the shortest of which is just under ten-minutes in length.
Saga - Heads or Tales Live
Review by Gary Hill
The concept of performing an album in its entirety is nothing new. That’s the idea behind this release.
Syzygy - The Allegory of Light
Review by Mark Johnson
This is the second album by the artists formerly known as “Witsend.”
John Wetton - Raised in Captivity
Review by Gary Hill
The latest solo release from John Wetton finds him with a lot of great guest appearances. 
Wobbler - Rites at Dawn
Review by Gary Hill
2011 is shaping up as a year that’s extremely conducive to some killer progressive rock.
X Opus - The Epiphany
Review by Gary Hill
Much modern progressive rock music borders heavy metal. Sometimes the balance falls on the metal side.
Yes - Fly From Here
Review by Gary Hill
Only the second album in the history of Yes to be recorded without Jon Anderson, this one, particularly since it’s the only other Yes disc with Geoff Downes on keyboards, is obviously compared to Drama.
Yes - Fly From Here – Deluxe Edition
Review by Gary Hill
This review addresses the Deluxe Edition of Yes’ latest album, Fly From Here.
Lonny Ziblat - Songs from the Drawer
Review by Gary Hill
This CD is in the progressive rock section of Music Street Journal in part because Lionel Ziblat (or Lonny) is a member of Modest Midget, and that group is prog.
Zombi - Escape Velocity
Review by Mike Korn
Zombi is a long-running duo who have made their mark in the progressive electronic music scene.
Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews
Android Meme - Ordo Ab Chao
Review by Gary Hill
I originally had this slated for the progressive rock side of Music Street Journal, but in retrospect, it really doesn’t fit there. 
King Kobra - King Kobra
Review by Larry Toering
King Kobra are back with a killer disc on Frontier Records that proves they were a force to reckon with all along. 
Mindflow - With Bare Hands
Review by Greg Olma
I was lucky enough to catch these guys as support for UFO on their North American tour in 2011.  It is not often that I walk away from a show as a fan of a band I hadn’t previously heard, but Mindflow were able to convert me.  
A Pale Horse Named Death - And Hell Will Follow Me
Review by Gary Hill
This group seems destined to have fans right out of the gate.
Twisted Sister - Under the Blade
Review by Scott Prinzing
As the years go by, some things just get better with age.  
WildeStarr - Arrival
Review by Gary Hill
The style of metal practiced by Wilde Starr is sort of a cross between old school heavy metal, power metal, epic metal and prog metal.
Non-Prog CD Reviews
Bad Company - Live at Wembley
Review by Mark Johnson
Bad Company is a classic from the ‘70s. Paul Rodgers is one of the most legendary vocalists from that era. 
Jeff Beck - Who Else
Review by Larry Toering
An attempt to lean heavily sideways into elecronica was the effort, and it worked with great results as Jeff Beck made what seemed to be all the right moves on Who Else.
Matt Brown - Finish Lines
Review by Mark Johnson
Matt Brown is the lead singer and guitar player from the Portland, Oregon area band Ruby Hill.
Ruth-Ann Brown - Ruth EP
Review by Gary Hill
I originally reviewed Ruth-Ann Brown for a single for the song “Unfamiliar Feelings.”
Alexx Calise - In Avanti
Review by Rick Damigella
There is something I am a huge fan of hearing, of which there is just not enough of in rock music.
Tom Cheatham - Scars That I’ll Keep
Review by Gary Hill
Country music these days, or at least the country music that dominates commercial radio, is really more pop music than country.
Deep Purple - Purpendicular
Review by Larry Toering
After Deep Purple found themselves without a guitarist once again when Joe Satriani left, they quickly settled on Steve Morse and he's been there ever since.
Chris Difford - Cashmere If You Can
Review by Gary Hill
Best known for his work with Squeeze, Chris Difford’s latest release at times sounds like that group.
The Dwarves - Born Again
Review by Gary Hill
This is first album from the Dwarves since 2004, and it’s a great disc. These guys show how punk rock should sound. 
Gillan - Toolbox
Review by Larry Toering
In 1991 Ian Gillan had come off a huge tour and regrouped himself and come up with of a lineup of Lenny Haze (Y&T) on drums, Steve Morris on guitar and Brett Bloomfield on bass.
Trevor Green - Reflections
Review by Mark Johnson
Trevor Green is a multi-instrumentalist from Southern California. In addition to his skill with many instruments, he is a talented storyteller and songwriter.  
Trevor Green - Sacred Seed
Review by Mark Johnson
Trevor Green is a multi-instrumentalist from Southern California.
Jeff Healey - Band – Live at Grossman’s – 1994
Review by Mark Johnson
This album captures one of Jeff Healey’s favorite and most famous live sets of music from one of his favorite venues, Grossman’s Tavern in Toronto, Canada.
Love Crushed Velvet - Love Crushed Velvet
Review by Mark Johnson
A.L.X., who plays keyboards, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, percussion and sings all vocals is joined on this debut album with Thommy Price, (Billy Idol, Joan Jett), on drums and percussion; Jimi Bones (Blondie), on acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, vocals and percussion; and a cast of many female vocalists and other players.
Jesse Manley - Devil’s Red
Review by Gary Hill
Jesse Manley’s musical creations are unique and enchanting.
April Martin - Pennies in a Jar
Review by Gary Hill
Many times artists concentrate on writing good songs, but seem to underestimate the value of proper positioning when assembling an album.
Duff McKagan’s Loaded - Sick
Review by Gary Hill
This is a reissue of an older album but Duff McKagan’s Loaded. 
David Michael - Low Bid on a Dream
Review by Gary Hill
The album cover here leads one to believe that David Michael might be a blues artist or folk or old school rocker.
Molly Hatchet - Greatest Hits II
Review by Gary Hill
This best of collection is a two CD set. The first disc is composed of recent Hatchet hits.
Night Ranger - Somewhere In California
Review by Larry Toering
This is a band that clearly decided it was going to rock like they  used to, to rock like they mean it, to rock with the best.
Jody Lee Petty - I’ve Done My Time
Review by Gary Hill
This disc brings several words and phrases to mind. “Genuine” is a quick reference. “Down home” works well, too.
Stacie Rose - Alter Ego EP
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve got mixed feelings about this set. Of course, based on the thematic concept, that makes sense and really fits.
Tokyo Rosenthal - Who Was That Man?
Review by Gary Hill
The latest disc from Tokyo Rosenthal, this continues his musical style and concepts. 
Kenny Wayne Shepherd - How I Go
Review by Mark Johnson
Kenny Wayne Shepherd needs no introduction.
The Slighted - We Change Lives
Review by Rick Damigella
We Change Lives is a punk rock record played with the raw power of the first-gen So Cal hardcore punk scene, but played by musicians with a vastly better pedigree than many run of the mill bands. 
Spoonbeach - Spoonbeach
Review by Gary Hill
Music that blends different genres generally falls into two types.
Strange Karma - Strange Karma Volume 1
Review by Gary Hill
Strange Karma is an unusual band that’s hard to pin down.
Pete Townshend - White City
Review by Larry Toering
When White City was released I remember some commotion about Pete Townshend not being able to make up his mind about what the project was going to be, using a working title of  “The Deep End” for the band at one point.
Uriah Heep - Into the Wild
Review by Gary Hill
Whenever someone reviews an album by a band like Uriah Heep with a rich back catalog, comparisons to that catalog are obvious.
Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest
Review by Larry Toering
Coming into this unfamiliar with Gillian Welch, I am now happy to be enlightened, as this is a perfectly sung trip through the south.
The Zombies - Breathe Out, Breathe In
Review by Mark Johnson
The Zombies are one of the most famous bands of the early 1960s British rock wave that followed the Beatles' major crest.
ZZ Top - Live in Germany 1980
Review by Gary Hill
Here’s the audio CD release of a ZZ Top DVD that came out recently. It’s a live album from 1980. 
DVD/Video Reviews
Bad Company - Live at Wembley – BluRay
Review by Mark Johnson
Bad Company is one of my favorite bands from the ‘70s.  Paul Rodgers is one of rock’s most enduring vocalists from that era of rock when weekends seemed longer and the sun shone brighter.
Kate Bush - A Life Of Surprises DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The problem with unauthorized documentaries is you never really get a lot of real material (be it interview or performance) with the artist.
David Byrne - Ride Rise Roar BluRay
Review by Gary Hill
David Byrne is a creative guy. There’s no question about that. He’s one of those people who thinks outside of the box.
Elvis Costello - Spectacle – Elvis Costello With... Season 2 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
When Elvis Costello emerged in the punk/new wave movement of the 1970s it’s a pretty safe bet that few ever thought he’d become a talk show host.
Sheryl Crow - Miles from Memphis Live at the Pantages Theatre Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
I’ve never completely gotten the whole Sheryl Crow thing.
Miles Davis - Live at Montreaux Highlights 1973-1991 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
You can’t go wrong with Miles Davis. He and his band are captured here in a number of performances.
Deep Purple - Phoenix Rising Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
One part concert film, one part documentary, Phoenix Rising looks at the Mark IV lineup of Deep Purple (David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Tommy Bolin, Ian Pace and Jon Lord).
Doobie Brothers - Live at the Greek Theatre DVD
Review by Gary Hill
It’s hard to imagine a fan of the Doobie Brothers not enjoying this DVD.
Bob Dylan - 1990-2006: The Never Ending Narrative DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Welcome to another unauthorized documentary. This one is really better than a lot of them. For one thing, they manage to use some actual clips of Dylan.
Bob Dylan - Revealed DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This documentary includes a lot of interesting information about Dylan.
Brian Eno - 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The thing about unauthorized documentaries is that they lack access to music and real insider interviews.
Freedom Call - Live In Hellvetia DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you are a fan of heavy metal and have yet to hear Freedom Call, I can’t recommend this set enough. 
Robin Gibb - In Concert DVD
Review by Gary Hill
There’s no question Bee Gees and Robin Gibb fans will heartily enjoy this set. 
Ian Gillan - Band – Live at The Rainbow 1977 DVD
Review by Ron Fuchs
During Ian Gillan’s hiatus from the band Deep Purple, he did many things musically including his brief stint with Black Sabbath.
Mick Jagger - The Roaring 20s: Mick Jagger's Glory Years DVD
Review by Gary Hill
It seems that the most likely issue anyone might have with this documentary is the contention that Jagger’s work when he was in his twenties has over-shadowed the rest of his output.
Malevolent Creation - Death from Down Under DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In the interest of full-disclosure, and this statement should be of no huge surprise to MSJ readers,
The Moody Blues - Classic Artists DVD
Review by Gary Hill
There is certainly more to like about this documentary than there is to dislike.
The Moody Blues - Lovely to See You Again DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This live DVD showcases the Moody Blues in a 2005 performance.
Robert Plant - Robert Plant’s Blue Note DVD
Review by Gary Hill
I’m a huge fan of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin.
Primal Scream - Screamadelica Live Blu-Ray
Review by Gary Hill
The third album from Primal Scream was Screamadelica
Queen - Becoming Queen DVD
Review by Gary Hill
While I am a Queen fan, I’m far from a hardcore Queen fan.
Radiohead - Arms & Legs: The Story So Far DVD
Review by Gary Hill
First off, it’s likely that Radiohead completists will want this in their collection. The problem is, they probably already have it.
Glenn Tilbrook - and the Fluffers - Live in New York City DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Glenn Tilbrook is certainly best known for his work in Squeeze. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that nine of the 16 songs presented here were originally performed by Squeeze.
Yes - Songs From Tsongas DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD is one of the best from Yes.
Neil Young - Here We Are In The Years: Neil Young's Music Box DVD
Review by Gary Hill
If you come into this looking for a documentary with a lot of interviews of Neil Young or clips of him playing, you will be disappointed.
Frank Zappa - Apostrophe / Over-Nite Sensation DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This is an amazing documentary.
Interviews
Franck Carducci
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Franck Carducci from 2011
Gandalf's Fist
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Dean and Luke from Gandalf’s Fist from 2011

Gnô
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Christophe Godin of Gnô from 2011

Jethro Tull
Interview by Mark Johnson

Interview with Doane Perry of Jethro Tull from 2011

Magic Pie
Interview by Grant Hill

Interview with Gilbert Marshall  of Magic Pie from 2011

Mars Hollow
Interview by Grant Hill

Interview with Mars Hollow from 2011

Memories of Machines
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Tim Bowness of Memories of Machines from 2011

Nektar
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Roye Albrighton of Nektar from 2011
Øresund Space Collective
Interview by Gary Hill
Interview with Mogens and Dr. Space of Øresund Space Collective from 2011
Osiris the Rebirth
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Milo Black and Dave Adams of Osiris: The Rebirth from 2011

Pendragon
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Nick Barrett of Pendragon from 2011

The Rods
Interview by Mike Korn

Interview with Carl Canedy of The Rods from 2011

Derek Sherinian
Interview by Larry Toering
Interview with Derek Sherinian from 2011
Wobbler
Interview by Gary Hill

Interview with Lars Fredrik Frøislie of Wobbler from 2011

Concert Reviews
Agents of Mercy - Live in Milwaukee, WI, May 2011
Review by Josh Turner

By their own accord, they weren’t at their best. They were jetlagged and forlorn after a long flight and many hours of desperate searching for a needed piece of equipment at countless stores in the windy city.

District 97 - Live in Milwaukee, WI, May 2011
Review by Josh Turner

There are a number of interesting developments within this band.

Jethro Tull - Live in Portland, Oregon, June 2011
Review by Mark Johnson

Jethro Tull were found out on the lawn in the “woods” showcasing one of their best albums, Aqualung, at one of Oregon’s best outdoor concert venues.

Mindflow - Live in Milwaukee, WI May 2011
Review by Greg Olma

It is a rare occasion that I see an opening act and they really make an impression on me.  

 
More Issues
June 2018 - Issue 130
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