TAPSheet: Eric Clapton’s Slowhand To Get A 35th Anniversary Edition Release

Unfortunately, not all of our wishes get the Anniversary Edition.  This is the case with Eric Clapton’s wonderful, No Reason To Cry (released as [no reason to cry]) out in 1976.  That album not only generated the hit single, “Hello Old Friend”, it was also a party at The Band’s legendary Shangri-La Studios attended by Ron Wood, Bob Dylan (who contributed an unreleased Dylan track, “Sign Language”), Yvonne Elliman, all members of The Band, and others.  But 2006 has passed, and 2012 is near end (the album’s 35th Anniversary), and it looks like we will not see such a work in any kind of Anniversary Edition.

BUT…

Eric Clapton’s next album, Slowhand, released in 1977 was quite the powerhouse.  It single-handedly delivered three high-charting singles, “Wonderful Tonight”, “Cocaine”, “and Lay Down Sally”.  In addition to those drivers, the album was given three-time Platinum status, a remarkable feat by ANY standard.

And so, on November 19, Polydor Records will issue a 35th Anniversary Edition for Slowhand.  The 35th Anniversary set will be offered in four versions that include LP, a 2CD Deluxe Edition, a 3CD/DVD/LP Super Deluxe Edition, and a single CD set.

The album will feature remastered tracks.  Other details that are expected too be with the set have not been released.  I’ll be sure to catch up this article with any fill-in info that is received concerning the 35th Anniversary Edition of Slowhand.

I’m just real sad that No Reason To Cry was ignored.

TAP Treasures: Dialogue Pt 1 & 2 – Chicago

Every once in a while, I hit on a song that spoke to the generation it was recorded for, but, as it stands, is just as timely today as it was back then.  At one time, I mentioned Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)”, and “Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)”.  Those songs speak as easily to us today as they spoke in the past.

Today, I’m talking about “Dialogue, Pts 1 & 2”.  Released by Chicago on their exemplary album, Chicago V, in 1972, the song is a social statement in a ‘dialogue’, a Q&A between a concerned peer, and a spoon-fed clueless one.

In the Robert Lamm-penned song, sung by both Terry Kath, and Peter Cetera, Kath is questioning whether the oppressive concerns of the world are being attended to by the collegiate Peter Cetera.  Cetera’s world-view is that of apathy and blindness.  However, in the end, Kath feels eased while Cetera goes on to say, “if you had my outlook, your feelings would be numb, you’d always think that everything was fine”.

As this fine song draws to a close, choruses of “We can make it better”, “We can change the world now”, and “we can save the children” end the tune with optimism, as songs from the disconcerted and uneasy ’70s often attempted. The song finishes with a hopeful “We can make it happen”.

The lyrics are as follows:

Kath: Are you optimistic ’bout the way things are going?
Cetera: No, I never ever think of it at all
Kath: Don’t you ever worry when you see what’s going down?
Cetera: No, I try to mind my business, that is no business at all.

Kath: When it’s time to function as a feeling human being, will your Bachelor of Arts help you get by?
Cetera: I hope to study further, a few more years or so, I also hope to keep a steady high.
Kath: Will you try to change things, use the power that you have, the power of a million new ideas?
Cetera: What is this power you speak of and this need for things to change?
I always thought that everything was fine

Kath: Don’t you feel repression just closing in around?
Cetera: No, the campus here is very, very free
Kath: Don’t it make you angry the way war is dragging on?
Cetera: Well, I hope the President knows what he’s into, I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Kath: Don’t you see the starvation in the city where you live?  All the needless hunger, all the needless pain?
Cetera: I haven’t been there lately, the country is so fine.  My neighbors don’t seem hungry ’cause they haven’t got the time, haven’t got the time.
Kath: Thank you for the talk, you know ,you really eased my mind.  I was troubled by the shapes of things to come.
Cetera: Well, if you had my outlook your feelings would be numb.  You’d always think that everything was fine, everything was fine!

Part II:
We can make it better
yeah, yeah, yeah
We can change the world now
We can save the children
yeah, yeah, yeah
We can make it happen
We can make it happen
We can save the children
yeah, yeah, yeah
We can make it happen

We can make it happen, we can make it happen yeaah!

Social consciousness in music is not new.  But it is often eye-opening to me as I hear something like “Dialogue” and marvel just at how little we have really accomplished.  The issues that were important back in the ’60s and ’70s still seem to be here.  In many cases, the concerns are stronger than ever.

Still, I have hope!

On another note with regard to “Dialogue”, I find it an ignored song when you piece together ‘best of’ collections for Chicago.  When Chicago released their first ‘best of’, Chicago IX: Chicago’s Greatest Hits in 1975, “Dialogue was conveniently left off.  I remember being quite pissed in learning of this exclusion.  It wasn’t the first time a band left off an obvious choice in favor of something else, and it won’t be the last.  Nevertheless, I find “Dialogue” (both parts) not only musically pleasing, but an important part of the band’s wide array of tracks.  It spoke to their aware side.  And ours.

It still does.

Release Piece – Lux – Brian Eno

Brian Eno is the man!  With a varied history of musical works and affiliations, Eno’s resume is as impressive as any in the business.  Yes, he may raise an eyebrow from some person unknowing of Eno’s pedigree, but that doesn’t change the fact that Eno is THE man!

And so, with great excitement, I can tell you that on November 13 in the US markets, Warp Records will release Brian Eno’s first solo album since 2005’s Another Day On Earth.  The album is named Lux and is planned for CD, DD, and 2LP (180g) gatefold.  (The 2LP set is scheduled separately for December 11.)

AS bonuses, the gatefold CD softpack, as well as the 2LP set will add four prints to the mix.  In addition, the LP set will offer digital download rights.

Lux will feature four compositions, all titled after the name of the album.  The tracks will total approximately 76-minutes in length:

  • Lux 1 (19:22)
  • Lux 2 (18:14)
  • Lux 3 (19:19)
  • Lux 4 (18:28)

If you’re as excited as I am for a continuation of Brian Eno ambient, then mark your calendars for November 13, (December 11 for the 2LP set).

In Memoriam: Andy Williams

Since I was a young child, the voice of Andy Williams spilled out of every available speaker from somewhere.  Whether it was from the radio, from an LP, or, from a television set, Mr Williams’ recognizable voice was a warmly familiar sound.

Around our house, he was best known as Mr Christmas.  All of his many Christmas specials were avidly watched.  His versions of the many Christmas songs that played during the holidays were perhaps the only ones that really mattered.  Even today, I cannot hear “The Most Wonderful Time” without hearing Andy Williams’ version.  Even if someone else is singing it, Mr Williams’ version will trump it.

As I grew older, my fondness for Andy Williams grew with me.  My children, while not getting the benefit of watching an Andy Williams special (except for those found on DVD), developed a deep fondness for Andy Williams.

Today, the loss of Mr Williams was a great loss indeed.  He may not have been actively recording, but the fact that the voice that sang all of those loved tunes was still alive somehow gave me a sense of confidence that all was still right with the world.  I’m sure that came from all of the good times that I felt when I heard him.  Now, with his passing, I feel as if I have crossed a divide of my own.

Mr Williams, I will miss you.  I’m sure that many more, so many more than I feel the same about your departure.  “Moon River:, and “The Most Wonderful Time” are still here.  And I’m happy about that.

Thank you, Andy Williams.  Thanks for the memories.  They still keep my heart at peace.

Andy Williams
1927-2012
(84)
RIP 

Review: Behind The Mask – Red Sand

Red Sand is one of (unfortunately) many “best kept secrets” in the Canadian Music scene.  When it comes to Progressive Rock, most of the newer bands are from the province of Quebec, a goldmine for wonderful and inventive music.  Sure, Canada has big bands, past and present, like “the Beeb”, Shania Twain, Alanis Morrisette, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, The Guess Who, BTO, etc. and many other artists that have been around for a long time.   But when it comes to the underground, which I think most Progressive Rock falls under these days, “more Indie than Indie”, you have to head to eastern Canada.

Red Sand has been around awhile, with Behind the Mask, the band’s fifth studio recording since 2004.  The albums are always well recorded and never sound like a homegrown project, which they are.  The mastermind behind Red Sand is guitarist, keyboardist, composer and artist (the album artwork) Simon Caron.  And what a guitarist he is.

His style falls into the same realm as David Gilmour (Comfortably Numb) and Steve Rothery (Marillion) in that slow burn, big tone sort of way.  Caron is edgier than either though; he brings a bit more danger to the notes.  His solos are quite emotional and always take off at the right places in the songs.  And he never overdoes things either – his compositions and lyrics are what matters.  And speaking of lyrics, he takes no prisoners when he has a bee in his bonnet.  Behind the Mask is no exception.

So don’t think you are going to sit comfortably numb through pastoral, symphonic Prog here; the music is emotional, angry and large – reading along is a treat and should be savored.  More on that in a bit.

The other members of the band are also up to his challenging compositions.  Stephane Dorval on vocals has a bit of a Roger Waters vibe;  Mathieu Gosselin is a major bass player and D. Robertson never rests with a simple drum roll – he is tense and always busy.  Both of these guys comprise an awesome rhythm section.  Also, Caron’s 14-year-old daughter, Pennsylia, provides piano and key solos – obviously musical genes run in the family (and, by the way, you wouldn’t know her age, she is that good).

So on to the music!  Red Sand mixes some different styles together, but definitely sound unique.  Fish-era Marillion is in there, as well as Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator and other bits and pieces that I will mention.  Most of the songs have that large, Pink Floyd “The Wall” sort of feel – starting with one pace, changing tempo, completing with another or back to the start.  Varied pieces often act as mini-suites with all the diversity that that implies.  Here’s what Simon says (pardon the pun) of this album in the liner notes:  ”The mask is for some, the easiest way to assert themselves.  For others, it is a way to entertain people and for some others, a way to hide the shame that exists in them.  But the fact remains, without it the world would not be the same”.

“Zero of War” starts off the album with a tense and heavy guitar-driven melody – think a harder-edged Marillion piece.  The drums are very tight, powerful and precise and the whole song rages on about the evil of wars past and present.  “Behind the Mask” has a Van Der Graaf Generator feel to it – again, the lyrics are really intense and describe the dark places where some people reside in drugs and homelessness and the insanity of these situations.  “Reflection” is an instrumental interlude with acoustic guitar, piano and keyboard strings that has a similarity to the theme of The Beatles’ “Blackbird”.  This becomes “Memory of Past”, with Rush-like riffs and a heavy onslaught from the band.  “Man of Liberty” follows with a driving beat that changes to a circus-like carousel theme then returns to a Marillion-like approach, especially kindred to Clutching at Straws.  “Veil of Insanity” bravely tackles the Middle East, terrorism and the connection with big corporate oil.  This piece is the most symphonic of the album and features dense piano runs and, surprisingly, a bit of a funky backbeat.

The seventh track is unnamed and runs right after the previous one, so perhaps it is just a second part.  In any case, it is uplifting with an Alan Parson Project kind of vibe – actually a welcome respite after over 40 minutes of intensity.

Red Sand will definitely appeal to listeners that want to experience music in the vein of Marillion, Pink Floyd and heavier, darker Progressive Rock.  With a lot of dynamic changes throughout, Red Sand have forged their own identity and make for interesting and involving music.  I highly recommend this recording, and would also recommend exploring their other albums as well.

Visit all things Red Sand at their official website.

Release Date: May 2012

–Bob Metcalf

Review: Pete Remembers Woody/A More Perfect Union – Pete Seeger/Pete Seeger and Lorre Wyatt

A thousand years ago, Pete Seeger gave a concert at my upstate NY college.  Through some creative excuse-making, I was fortunate enough to cut class early enough to get a seat on the stage where Seeger would be playing.  At one point in the ensuing concert, he switched off from banjo to 12-string guitar.  I almost fell off the stage when he handed me his banjo to “watch”.  As I took the banjo, I felt this burst of memories…all of the songs he’s played, the places he’s been (ok…so maybe I had imbibed in some illegal substances before the concert…it was the late sixties for crying out loud).

On the head of the banjo, I saw the handwritten words, ‘This machine surrounds hate, and forces it to surrender’.  To this day, I continue to be amazed at the capacity of music (doesn’t matter what genre) to document a culture and to impact what the values of that culture might be moving toward.  Nobody – I repeat, Nobody – has stayed as close to the issues that matter the most than Pete Seeger.  An unflinching advocate for social justice, equality, a fair wage, Seeger (now 93 years old) has not strayed from his basic values, that of ‘we’re all in this together’.

Appleseed Recordings has just released two recordings that serve to document and expand on Pete Seeger’s legacy.  The 1st album, Pete Remembers Woody (a 2-disc set) is a collection of reminiscences from Pete about his interactions with Woody Guthrie.  Sprinkled in between are versions of a few memorable Guthrie songs (Woody’s son, Arlo, with Pete on “66 Highway Blues”).  This is a must-listen for any true folkie, if not for the recollections about Guthrie,  then for the classic renditions of many of Guthrie’s most famous (and a few unknown) songs.

The second Seeger issue is a collaboration with Lorre Wyatt titled A More Perfect Union.  It is a collection of new folk songs where Seeger sings and plays 12-string guitar and banjo (if my fingers still move at age 93, I’ll be happy).  We’re not breaking any new ground here despite the presence of Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Emmy Lou Harris, and Dar Williams, among others.  It’s simply a collection of themes relating to the old Folk mode.  My favorite is “Old Apples”,  particularly poignant given Seeger’s gentle lead vocals.  To those who grew up on Folk music, I can heartily recommend these Seeger treasures.  The old master will not be here forever.

Release Date: September 25, 2012

–Bob Olsen

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 09/25/2012 (US Report)

Hip-O Select will release the Expanded Edition of Trouble Man, the perfect 1972 soundtrack to the film as done up by the master, Marvin Gaye.  It is on the calendar for November 13.  I am so there!

On December 4, Elektra Records will reissue Forever Changes (1967), the Love album, on 180g vinyl LP.  For LP fans (and Love fans), this is indeed good news.  Any chance that I get to upgrade a favorite LP in 180g vinyl, I do it.

While we’re discussing vinyl, Warner has LIVING THINGS from Linkin Park slated for release in white vinyl LP planned for November 23.

As expected, UMe (?) will release Old School (1964-1974) by Alice Cooper.  Once only available via a website store, the time is now to get your copy if you hadn’t already done so.  Old School is slated for December 4.

Reprise has tagged November 23 as the date for the vinyl issue of the new Neil Young and Crazy Horse album, Psychedelic Pill.  It is planned as a 3LP, 180g set.

Big Beat Records will re-release Bangarang (2011), Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (2010), and More Monsters and Nice Sprites (2011), all EPs from the noted electronica artist, Skrillex.  They are scheduled to be released in 180g vinyl on November 23.  All vinyl EPs will come with download-rights card.

Columbia and Legacy Recordings will release The Okeh, Columbia, and RCA Victor Recordings (1925-1933) in a 10CD Boxed set and planned for November 6 featuring the music of Louis Armstrong.

Real Gone Music will release Have A Marijuana (1968) from David Peel and The Lower East Side on October 30.

Zappa Records have place Mothermania on the release list scheduling the CD for October 30.

Epic Records and Legacy Recordings will release The Essential Incubus on October 30.

Legacy Recordings have The Essential Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship scheduled for October 30.

Columbia Records have Glad All Over by The Wallflowers scheduled for October 9 (In case you didn’t know).

Reprise Records will issue a 7″ vinyl disc for My Chemical Romance of Conventional Weapons series, “Number Two”.  The single will be pressed in red vinyl, and will be released on November 23.  The Conventional Weapons Release 01 of “Boy Division” b/w “Tomorrow’s Money” is scheduled for October 30 in 7″ single pressed on transparent orange vinyl.

Warner Brothers will reissue Fleetwood Mac‘s Tusk album in 180g, 2LP form replicating its original release.  It is slated for November 23.

Universal Republic has Welcome To the Freak Show by Hinder slated for release on November 13.

Geffen Records will release Live at Hull 1970 featuring The Who, on November 6.

Savoy Records plan Fire It Up by Joe Cocker on November 13.

Absolutely no one is surprised to hear this by now but I’ll state it anyway.  On November 19, Atlantic Records will release multiple configurations of Celebration Day, the containers of the Led Zeppelin reunion in 2007 (December 10).  Don’t know why it took so long but here it comes.  To be released in 2CD (softpak), BD, Deluxe 2CD with BD and DVD (Digipak in slipcase), BD with 2CD (amaray-sized digipak), DVD with 2CD (amaray-sized digipak), and a smaller set with 2CD/1DVD digipak.

Roadrunner Records will release a 2CD (untitled) album from Machine Head on November 13.

Reprise Records have Koi No Yokan from Deftones, and ¡Dos! from Green Day, both planned for November 13.

Roadrunner Records have Before Turning The Gun On Himself… by Doug Stanhope scheduled for November 6 in a CD/DVD Special Edition.  Comedy does well sometimes.

Columbia & Legacy plan the release of Complete Sussex and Columbia Album Masters featuring the music of Bill Withers.  The 9CD Box is slated for November 6.

 

Why Did I Not Pay More Attention: Greenslade

When I was younger (I’m 55), I listened to a lot of music.  As much as I could get my hands on.  As much as radio would gift me with.  As much as friends had that I didn’t.  What I could borrow, and what Jean from Art’s Record Shop would let me open and listen to (I miss that woman.  She fed me musically as much as any radio ever did).  I consider myself lucky given the music that I have been able to listen to.  However, there was much I may have heard, but couldn’t get into because other things took more precedence and that was where my dollars ended up at, invested in the other stuff.

Greenslade was one of those bands.  Progressive music like Gabriel and Hackett-era Genesis, Yes, ELP, Barclay James Harvest, and others, Greenslade made a decent name for themselves.  What set Greenslade apart was their use of several keyboards to play their jazz-influenced, progressive style, and, for a few albums, no guitars.

Fronted by keyboardist, David Greenslade, the band was active from its formation in 1972, beginning with their eponymous debut,  on through their final album of their original incarnation, Time and Tide (1975).  The band split in 1976.

There was a reformation in 2000, which yielded Large Afternoon.

What initially drew me to them was their intriguing use of Roger Dean’s artwork on Greenslade (1972), and Bedside Manners Are Extra (1973).  Dean’s work was already familiar by his work with Yes.  I did NOT buy the album, nor did I really pay too much attention to their music back in the ’70s.

Recently, feeling that I should take some steps backward musically, I decided to catch up with Greenslade and make my long-overdue acquaintance with the band via their five albums.  I listened to all that I could through YouTube. and found myself a fan.  As I listen further, I expect to become a BIG fan.  It brings me a lot of joy to experience this feeling.

I heard a lot of ELP here although they were around the same time so influence should not factor in too much.  Musically, I seem to prefer Bedside Manners Are Extra.  Of the album’s six tracks, it was hard to pull one that I preferred out of the box.  But “Pilgrim’s Progress”, “Time To Dream”, and “Sunkissed You’re Not” are excellent tracks.

“Spirit Of The Dance”, “Melancholic Race”, and “Little Red Fry Up” are excellent tracks from Spyglass Guest, the band’s third studio set that underscores their building excellence and maturity.

The bad thing is that all of this is being listened through a dismal laptop speaker.  Once I re-position in Illinois, unpack the equipment, and settle in, I expect the LPs to bring me immense joy.

Guess that I’m going to be doing a lot of this in the future.  For now, there’s Greenslade.

I promise to report back in the near future on whether this was worth my time.  I’m sure it was though.  If you have a suggestion as to a band to pick up on, let me know via the commenting section.  Be my record store clerk and recommend away.

[While we’re here, let me challenge you with this: Find a band that you neglected from years back, and dive into them.  Go to all the resources you have available to you, e.g. YouTube, and dig in deep.   After a little time, write up your experience of the band you decided to do this with.  Send it to me.  I’ll post it.  We may become inspired yet again.]

Thanks To TAP Readers

MusicTAP enjoyed a lively conversation with readers including a new The Doctor Is In article (Adam Jahnke) after the post of Musically Soothing The Aging Soul.  Musically Soothing The Aging Soul wondered where we should be getting our music from.  Each generation has its own set of musical bias.  Staying on top of music from your own era was a balm.  Staying that way, years later is a challenge.

Thanks to the many threads we enjoyed as we conversed.  They were rich, and made for excellent reading.  Jahnke’s addition made the experience all the more rich for his insights.  Finished off by the wonderful comments made this article one of the more enjoyable in some time.  Which is why I still do this after ten years.  Will I do this for ten more years?  Only time will tell that.  But I do know this: I have grown incredibly in my quest to be a part of the great music phenomena that we all love so well.  I have learned what to find, how to find it, and, most importantly, what to enjoy.

Unfortunately for me (and maybe for others as well), I was unable to maintain the sense of awe that unfolded before me on a steady basis back when I was young and music was all that meant anything.  I wanted that sense of amazement as each week passed with new music.

Now, that effortless amazement has turned into an exhaustible search just to find something that works.

But I won’t go further as we have already talked about this.  I just wanted to say thank you for your contributions to the thought.  And to Adam for giving it more legs.

For my next article (tomorrow), I actually took my own advice and latched onto a band that I heard only occasionally.  Certainly, I never gave this band the attention they deserved…until now.

Come back tomorrow and find out who this band is that I now have to buy LPs from.  And with a new Record LP show coming up next Sunday, they will be a focus of my search.

You people are why I am still here.

Review: English Electric Part One – Big Big Train

Big Big Train is every Prog fans’ dream: Genesis and Marillion influences wrapped up in modern packaging with wonderful lyrics and a full battery of instruments.  I could stop the review right there, but that wouldn’t be doing justice to such a great band and album.  BBT is considered one of the top British ambassadors of what is now called Prog Rock (yet another label but let’s not go there).  But however you want to label them, BBT makes great music that is at once familiar and challenging.  English Electric Part One is one of their best albums yet in their long history.

The album is composed of a series of songs that represent a snapshot of English life, a theme that BBT have tackled a number of times.  I think what makes this album different in some ways to their past releases is that they have embraced more closely the classic Art Rock bands of the past.  If you enjoy Genesis’ A Trick of the Tail and Marillion’s Seasons End, then you will flip over this album.  The packaging is a fold-out Digi-pack with full lyrics and nice artwork.  I also like that they list who played what on each track – just the nerd in me, I guess.  I will describe the music in more detail after I introduce the band:

Big Big Train is: Greg Spawton – principal composer, guitars, bass, keyboards and backing vocals; Dave Gregory (ex-XTC and now also in Tin Spirits) – guitars; Andy Poole – producer, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals; David Longdon – principal composer, lead vocals, flute, banjo, vibes, tambourine, accordion, keyboards, guitars, mandolin; and Nick D’Virgilio (ex-Spock’s Beard) – drums and backing vocals.  There are a host of guest musicians as well, and I won’t list them all, but special mention should be made of Andy Tillison, The Tangent’s great keyboardist, who contributes on a number of tracks.  Also, there are string and brass players, lending a very organic and full (not sampled) sound to this well-recorded production.

Greg Spawton at one time pretty much composed all the BBT albums, but since David Longdon arrived, he has shared in composition and the results have been a more diverse sound.  And given that Longdon’s voice is in the Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins/Steve Hogarth camp, the music has an authenticity to style that some newer bands can’t touch.  Here is a summary of some of the tracks on this CD:

“The First Rebreather” opens the album with a wonderful melody that reminds me of Genesis’ Duke and throughout its 8-plus minutes, has playful keyboards, smooth flute and wonderful harmony vocals in counterpoint.  It tells a story of workers of rock at the edge of the sea.  Dave Gregory’s guitar soars throughout this album and people that haven’t heard him since his syncopated style in XTC will be surprised for sure.

“Uncle Jack” features banjo and has a wonderful folk-like English melody that bounces along in pure joy.  It describes the beautiful English countryside with hedgerows and nature’s critters.

“Winchester from St Giles’ Hill” describes just what it says and it captures the images perfectly in the lyrics and music.  The music reminds me of Marillion’s song “Season’s End” and then develops into a lovely string and flute orchestral passage – pure emotion.

“Judas Unrepentant” is the story of a classic painter forger and definitely could be on an early Genesis album with Tillison’s signature Hammond sound.

“Summoned By Bells” describes a return to a town outside London after the fires of World War II and recollections of those times.  The music is large and powerful and a full-blown 9-minute plus concept piece.

“Upton Heath” is a soft folk song again featuring banjo prominently in the mix with a gorgeous chorus.

“A Boy in Darkness” describes child labour in the mines in 1842 and as you might expect this is darker music with plenty of strings and divided into three sections, so a mini-suite of over eight minutes. It includes Jazzier elements and a nod to Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick.

Hedgerow ends the album with a heavier, rockier version of Uncle Jack.

English Electric Part One is an absorbing, creative listen. Each track has memorable melodies, wonderful playing and thoughtful lyrics.  Most of the songs veer off in different directions too and are complex enough to keep you interested with repeated listens.  If you are craving to hear well played, well-composed Rock music that will give you a nostalgic lift but also move you in ways that a lot of music may not these days, I can highly recommend this album and I look forward to Part Two in 2013.

Check them out at their website

Release Date: September 4, 2012

–Bob Metcalf