sábado, 25 de março de 2017

Blind Owl - Neo-Prog • United States

BLIND OWL was a Boston based band that only released one album. Drummer Brian Emerson, guitarist Michael Amedure, bass player and vocalist Kenneth Bates, and Keyboardist Bruce Alger came together, and recorded "Debut at Dusk." The album was released by Raptor in 1987. However, it didn't get much notice. The band had some notoriety in New England, but failed to expand their fan base much further. Years later, it was re-released on CD, and became available in many of the better-known prog stores. Because of this, there was more interest in the band long after they were gone, then when they were active.

The other success story of this band is Bruce Alger. He went on to perform with other artists, and was even a member of Eccentric Orbit for a while. The New England music scene still embraces him, and he is sited as an influence by many young artists.

Many of the more familiar comparisons are used for BLIND OWL, but the most prevalent seems to be Asia's first album. Synth is given more due than guitar, and the cues are taken from the classics of the '70s, but it is definitely '80s rock.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

From Magal, The Fisherman

BLOCCO MENTALE - Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

Blocco Mentale was an Italian prog band from Lazio that was formed in 1972 by Bernardo "Dino" Finocchi (vocals, sax, flute), Aldo Angeletti (vocals, bass), Gigi Bianchi "Roso" (guitar, vocals), Filippo Lazzari (keyboards, vocals, harmonica) and Michele Arena (drums, vocals). In 1973 they released an interesting album called "Πoa" (that in Greek means grass), featuring naives lyrics dealing with ecological subjects, in a style that could remind of bands like Le Orme, New Trolls and PFM. Despite the good quality, the album was not successful at all and, after the release of a last single, Blocco Mentale disbanded. Later they reformed with another name, Limousine, playing in a more commercial and conventional way. Blocco Mentale's debut work is really worth listen to and the band would have deserved definitively more credit. [Andrea Parentin]

Their album is slightly longer than most vintage RPI at 40 minutes and deals with nature and the creeping realization that man was altering the environment in ways that would eventually lead to destruction. The group released another single after this album but then quickly folded which is a real shame. A message from the band in the liner notes states "We'd like to talk about nature. With these few tracks we'd like to remind the little green world that is still around us. Maybe there could be a different world than the one we've created, maybe you could discover too all the values of life that we have been lately disregarding. With love." Eventually the band would reform under another name Limousine and have some modest success with a more commercial sound. That band folded when keyboardist Lazarri, dealing with depression, attempted suicide. He died in 1991 in a car accident while heading to a gig in Rome. Like so many other quality one-shot Italian bands, drummer Michele Arena said the label signed them up upon hearing them play and then never provided any support or promotion once the album was pressed. [Jim Russell]

From Magal, The Fisherman

BLUE MAMMOTH - Neo-Prog • Brazil

Brazilian act BLUE MAMMOTH was formally formed in 2009. At that point long time friends Julien Quilodran (bass) and Andre Micheli (keyboards) had already been developing Blue Mammoth as a studio project, initially perhaps mostly driven by Quilodran's need and desire to be involved in a creative and fruitful musical cooperation following the demise of his former band The Octohpera in 2002, slowly developing to become a studio based creative outlet and then finally a true to life band when Thiego mayer (drums) and Andre Lupac (guitars) joined on a permanent basis. 

Following the release of some initial singles, Blue Mammoth was approached by indie label Masque Records. Work subsequently started on the creation of a debut album. At this stage Lupac unfortunately had to leave the band, but thankfully Cesar Aires (guitars), who had been involved in the earlier project stage of the band, had both possibility and interest to join. Ensuring that the work with their forthcoming debut could go on more or less as planned.

After two years of work a full album's worth of material was ready for launch, and in 2011 Blue Mammoth, the band and the album, was made available courtesy of Masque Records.

From Magal, The Fisherman

sexta-feira, 24 de março de 2017

Big Deal! Weinberger Funk Library UK 1975-1979

Killer funk compilation full of highlights from the music archives of Josef Weinberger Ltd. in London, pulled from the most famous library albums on labels like JW (Josef Weinberger/ Theme Music), IA (Impress) or PM (Programme Music). First selection of 16 lost tracks by Toni Campo, Midas Touch, Trevor Bastow, Sidney Dale or Vick Flick, oscillating between jazz-funk, soul music, proto techno and eastern-tinged disco, with open drum breaks, fat bass lines and plenty of horns/ wah wah/ organs/ vibes/ flutes/ electronic effects. Recorded from the master tapes, restored and mastered 2016 for 6-Page-Digipack-CD and limited vinyl LP, comparable to the best works of KPM, De Wolfe or Bosworth.

1.Midas Touch - "Big Deal!"
2.Toni Campo - "Over & Out"
3.Martin Kershaw - "Riff Raff"
4.Reginald Wale - "Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm"
5.Trevor Bastow - "Integration"
6.Toni Campo - "Point Blank"
7.Piet Van Meren - "Soul Punch"
8.Toni Campo - "Tooty Flooty"
9.Midas Touch - "Make No Bones"
10.Toni Campo - "Centrefold"
11.Sidney Dale - "Knock On Wood"
12.Reginald Wale - "Gone Gone Gone"
13.Toni Campo - "Do The Stumble"
14.Trevor Bastow - "Hydrogene"
15.Ishfahan Farid - "Focus On The Middle East"
16.Vick Flick - "Santaren"

Release: 2016
Label: Sonorama Records
Genre: Funk / Jazz
Total Time: 44:37 min

John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III

John Francis Anthony "Jaco" Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987) was an American jazz musician, composer, big band leader and electric bass player. He is best known for his work with Weather Report from 1976 to 1981, as well as work with artists including Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, and his own solo projects.

As a musician, he developed an influential approach to bass playing that combined the use of complex harmony with virtuosic technique. His signature approach employed Latin-influenced funk, lyrical solos on fretless bass, bass chords, and innovative use of harmonics. He was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only seven bassists so honored (and the only electric bassist).

quinta-feira, 23 de março de 2017

4 COMPANY - Folk (Australia)

Beautiful Australian girl/guy acoustic foursome, simple and pure, soft and delicate, afresh with the same spirit as some of the top UK folk records (the person I got the 1p from likened their style to Tudor Lodge). Gentle stirring creative harmonies from Susanne and Marilyn Noble, John King, Stephen Watts, backed by acoustic guitars, rendering original titles like ‘Dip ‘N’ Derry’, ‘Rock And Roll’, ‘Friends’, ‘North Of Jericho’, cIf Only The Fire’ and the intensely touching ‘Clover’. Also moving interpretations of Randy Matthews (‘Evacuation Day’), Larry Norman (‘1 Am A Servant’), Joe South (a lyrically-revised version of ‘Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home’) and Noel Paul Stookey (‘Hymn’). Especially lovely when it’s just the two girls harmonizing on songs like ‘Lebanon’ and ‘Song For A Friend’s Wedding’. The latter track includes some bongo accompaniment, as does ‘Behold The Tabernacle Of God’. An extremely rare record on Australia’s custom branch of EMI, also home to superb rarities by Flock, Kindekrist and Ignis Christi. (The Archivist, 4th edition by Ken Scott).

ART IN AMERICA - Symphonic Prog • United States

Comprised of 3 family members (Chris, Dan and Shishonee Flynn) along with friends Jim Kuha (bass) and Garry Galloway (added on keyboards in 1996), ART IN AMERICA was discovered by Rick Smith a music attorney with Luongo, Machat & Smith in New York. 

Subsequently, the album "Art in America" was released by CBS/Epic in 1983, produced by Eddy Offord (YES, ELP) Album includes T Lavitz (DIXIE DREGS) on keyboards with pre-production help from Steve Morse (DIXIE DREGS). AIA has a unique sound and features a full Lyon & Healy pedal string harp played by Shishonee Flynn. AIA garnered considerable airplay and MTV video play when the album was released. AIA toured in support of the album, headlining and opening for bands such as: U2, Steve Hackett, Split Enz, Roxy Music, Bill Bruford, Captain Beefheart, King Crimson and Gary Numan. The title song "Art in America" can still be heard on XM Radio Station: Musiclab. Sony/BMG re-released the CD in 1996. The influential CD/LP cover art (Ioannis) was featured in the book "1000 Record Covers" by Michael Ochs. Sony/BMG re-released the album for CD in 1996.

ART IN AMERICA is currently finishing work on a new CD, for release in 2006, (indie label to be announced) with full participation of all the original members.

Thanks Magal

quarta-feira, 22 de março de 2017

ARLON - Neo-Prog • Poland

The list of modern Polish Prog bands seems endless, as Arlon is a name you can add to it. This project was found in 2009 by drummer Pawel Zwirn, but it would be completed only two years later after an intense search for accomplished musicians. By 2011 the line-up of the band included also Maciej Napieraj on bass, Wieslaw Rutka on guitars and Jacek Szott on keyboards. The missing piece of the puzzle, singer Pawel Szykula, joins the group the following year and recordings of some previous ideas started immediately, most of which were compositions of Szott. The first songs of Arlon were warmly received by their fan base, followed by numerous live gigs, some of which included other significant names of the Polish Prog/Rock/Metal scene such as AnVision and After The Ice. In July 2013 the debut album of Arlon sees the light on Pronet Records under the title ''On The Edge'', followed by promotional concerts and the initial stages of rehearsals regarding the group's second album.

Thanks Magal

Salem Hill - Neo-Prog • United States

SALEM HILL was formed in 1991 by singer, guitarist and songwriter Carl Groves, bassist Pat Henry, and drummer Kevin Thomas. Prior to the recording of the bands first album in Spring 1992, simply titled "Salem Hill", the band was joined by Michael Dearing on vocals and guitar. The band followed up their debut with "Different Worlds" in 1993 and then proceeded to take a three year break from recording and performing.

The band got back together, without Michael Dearing, to record 1997's "Catatonia", a concept album about a man born with the inability to dream. Following the release of their third album, SALEM HILL were invited to play at 1997's Progday in Chapel Hill.

They began recording their next album, also a conceptual piece, in 1998. "The Robbery of Murder" centered on the theme of a person's quest to kill the drunk driver responsible for killing his father. For this album, Michael Dearing was back in the fold, but original bass player Pat Henry had departed. David Ragsdale of KANSAS fame made a guest appearance on violin. On the strength of this album, Cyclops Records signed the band to their label. 

In 2000, keyboardist Michael Ayers joined the band and Pat Henry rejoined for the release of their fifth album, "Not Everybody's Gold" which included the 28-minute "Sweet Hope Suite". Salem Hill again headlined the Progday festival in 2000 and also played at DragonCon, the largest sci-fi convention in North America the same year. Unfortunately, the process of recording this album had been a grueling one and the band, unofficially, decided to call it quits, with Thomas moving to Florida and Groves unwilling to record again under the circumstances of the previous recording sessions. 

In 2002, the band reformed, sans Michael Ayers, for a one-off concert as a tribute to their fans. This performance was recorded and with supplemental live material and one brand-new track was released as "Puppet Show" in 2003. After recording the new track, the band decided to go forward, and began recording their sixth album "Be" which was also released in 2003. Following this release, the band released their seventh album "Mimi's Magic Moment" which included another guest appearance by David Ragsdale, as well as guest vocals by Neal Morse and a piano solo from GLASS HAMMER's Fred Schendel. 

Following this release the band recorded the live DVD "Mystery Loves Company" during their tour promoting the album. The DVD was released in 2007. Bandleader Carl Groves also spent some time as a member of GLASS HAMMER, providing lead vocals for a live DVD and lead vocals and some of the lyrics to that band's last album "Culture of Ascent".

Salem Hill - Not Everybody's Gold 2002

From MAGAL, The Fisherman

terça-feira, 21 de março de 2017


This two-CD set offers three dozen funk cuts from 1967-1974 that were only available on 45 at the time of their release. (To be technical about it, one track, Mary Jane Hooper's "Don't Change Nothin'," didn't come out until 1997, but it was included here as it was originally intended for a single release around 1970.) That doesn't mean that every cut is hard to find on CD reissues; some of the songs, particularly those by big names such as James Brown ("Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved") and Marvin Gaye ("You're the Man, Pt. 1"), are no longer hard to acquire. Still, this certainly does present material that's fairly-to-very obscure for the most part, regardless of whether it's been reissued elsewhere. There are some lesser-known cuts by stars here, like those by Brown, Gaye, Kool & the Gang, and the Meters, but mostly the artists are unknown beyond the soul/funk collector world. And while this particular selection couldn't be said to be among the greatest funk from the era (or even the greatest uncelebrated funk from the era), it's a decent rundown of sides from funk's heyday that haven't found a wide audience. James Brown's influence (and, less often, Sly Stone's) in particular is often felt; in fact, a few bands, like Maceo & All the King's Men, the Pace-Setters, and Fred Wesley & the J.B.'s, were spinoffs of Brown's backup units. As with many soul and funk comps, there's not quite enough variety or standout performances here to make this measure up to the cream of the style, though the grooves are almost always pretty respectable. But there are a good number of workouts that are high above the average, like the Rimshots' sassy cover of the Fatback Band's "Dance Girl"; the Identities' "Hey Brother," which approximates the funkiest side of the early Jackson 5 sound, even if the song's a rewrite of "Hey Joe"; and the T.S.U. Toronados' "The Toronado" and the Fabulous Origins' "It Ain't Fair But It's Fun," both smoking instrumentals. The lyrics are mostly of the incidental sex-dance-party chant variety, but the heavier sociopolitical concerns of the day are aired in tracks like the Honey Drippers' "Impeach the President," Moody Scott's "(We Gotta) Bust Outta the Ghetto," and most impressively in the Pace-Setters' "Push on Jesse Jackson."

4WAVES - Surf Rock (Spain)

Diretamente da Galicia, Espanha, apresento o 4Waves. Um grupo de Surf Rock que apresenta seu primeiro material. Segundo os próprios integrantes, seu som é um Surf Rock instrumental de primeira, com grandes influências de The Ventures, Los Straitjackets e Los Coronas...

segunda-feira, 20 de março de 2017


Unisonic is a German hard rock/power metal supergroup, founded in November 10, 2009 by former Helloween singer Michael Kiske alongside Dennis Ward and Kosta Zafiriou from Pink Cream 69 and Mandy Meyer, formerly in Asia and Gotthard. In 2011 the band was joined by Gamma Ray leader and Helloween co-founder, Kai Hansen. The band released the EP Ignition and their first studio album Unisonic in 2012. The EP For The Kingdom and the second album Light of Dawn came out in 2014. Both studio albums have scored high entries in several international music charts. Unisonic is the first full studio collaboration between Kiske and Hansen since Helloween's seminal albums Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. I and Pt. II.

From MAGAL, The Fisherman

PAVLOV'S DOG - Crossover Prog • United States

PAVLOV'S DOG is the kind of band you love or you hate, everything is black or white, there are no tones of gray, especially because of the peculiar voice of their lead singer David Surkamp, who sounds almost like Geddy Lee with extra helium singing in the style of Edith Piaff (he has the typical trembling voice of French singers). It took me a couple of months to get used to their vocals, but once I did, became a fan.

There are two versions about the birth of the band, according to Mike Safron, he and Siegfried Carver decided to create PAVLOV'S DOG, but the best known version is that they started from the ashes of a small band named "HIGH ON A SMALL HILL" where David Surkamp and Rick Stockton played. But the important thing is that the original lineup was formed in St. Louis Missouri by David Surkamp (vocals and guitar), David Hamilton (keyboards), Doug Rayburn (mellotron and flute), Mike Safron (drums and percussion), Rick Stockton (bass guitar), Siegfried Carver (violin) and Steve Scorfina (lead guitar) between 1972 and 1973.

Before they released their first album, the band recorded some tracks at a studio in Pekin Illinois which in opinion of the members of the band were really good, only a few tracks from the Pekin Tapes reached their first album but caught the attention of the executives of ABC Dunhill Records who gave them an incredible advance of US$ 650,000.00 in 1974. "Pampered Menial" saw the light in 1975 and the first thing that gained attention was the incredible art cover that featured engravings by Sir Edwin Landseer who had died almost 100 years before the band was formed. The music is simply amazing, as most USA bands they mixed Symphonic Progressive with Hard Rock, with excellent tracks as the instrumental Preludin, Julia and Late November. In some moment after the recording of the album, PAVLOV'S DOG signed with Columbia Records (there are many versions to choose), so Pampered Menial was released twice, almost simultaneously. The reaction of the people was diverse, hey loved or hated the band, specially David Surkamp's voice but the album reached a moderate success.

Almost immediately they went back to the studio (this time in New York and England) and recorded their second album "At the Sound of the Bell" in clear reference to PAVLOV's experiments with dogs, this time with Tom Nickeson playing acoustic guitar. Siegfried Carver left shortly after the release of this album. According to most fans "At the Sound of the Bell" is PAVLOV'S DOG magnum opus, but I stay with "Pampered Menial", which is less progressive than the second release but much more innovative and original.

The third album of the band is called "Third" which was released as bootleg versions after Columbia cut their link with the band and gave copies of this release to the members, being the most famous one with a different band name "The St. Louis Hounds" and the picture of PAVLOV'S DOG. The band officially split after a successful farewell concert at a St. Louis riverboat known as The Admiral, where they managed to reunite all the original members including Siegfried Carver, sadly there are no tapes of that reunion which in words of Rick Stockton was their best show ever. The fourth album "Lost in America" was released in 1990 (CD format) by a small St. Louis label as an attempt to reunite the band with only two members of the original line (David Surkamp and Dog Rayburn), but that was the last album released by them.

Despite their short and strange story, PAVLOV'S DOG is still one of the most influential progressive bands from USA. I read in their web page that they reunited for a concert in June 27 at The Pageant Night Club in St. Louis but don't have any news about it, hope they release a fifth album for the joy of their fans.

: : : Iván Melgar Morey, PERU : : :

'House Broken Live 2015' is the first ever Pavlov's Dog live document in both audio & video format. It has been recorded and filmed on October 26th 2015 in Nuernberg/Germany. Included is the full concert of 132 minutes (24 songs) on 2 CDs plus DVD. The setlist comprehends songs of all Pavlov's Dog albums, plus two songs of David Surkamp's solo album, one of David's 80s band HiFi, plus three previously unreleased tracks. No overdubs were made. Announcements were just left as they actually occurred on stage. Enjoy a pure and authentic live experience!

From Magal, The Fisherman

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