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Artist News: Hansi Cross Passes Away

Posted by admin on Saturday, August 19 @ 16:04:41 PDT (216 reads)

Sad news to report, as we learned the other day that guitarist and Progress Records owner Hansi Cross has passed away having been battling cancer.

While I didn't know Hansi personally, I had reviewed a few of his releases, under the bandname Cross, as well as a selection of titles by others that he released via his record label. There was even an occassion where Hansi asked if I would be interested in providing artwork for an upcoming album. While that that never came to fruition, I was honored that he thought I might have (even a smidgen) of talent for it.

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CD/DVD Releases: New Music From Magenta

Posted by admin on Saturday, April 29 @ 18:58:28 PDT (174 reads)

Ahead of the release of their new album, We Are Legend (which came out Friday, Apr 27), Magenta released a free EP through their Bandcamp page. Entitled Trojan, the EP features an edited version of "Trojan" (the album version is 26-minutes long) as well as "two remixes in the style of keyboardist and founding member Rob Reed’s Chimpan A project."

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Artist News: Allan Holdsworth Passes Away At 70

Posted by admin on Monday, April 17 @ 21:23:06 PDT (177 reads)

Sad news to learn that legendary guitarist Allan Holdsworth has passed away this past weekend at the age of 70. The folks at Prog magazine published a tribute, written by Malcolm Dome; you can read it here.

The family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover funeral expenses at: www.gofundme.com/allanholdsworthmemorial.

Holdsworth was part NEARFest 2007's Progressive Arts Showcase, where I saw him perform with Chad Wackerman (drums) and Jimmy Johnson (bass) - my recollection was a good but static performance. I do not have any anecdotes to add. Nevertheless, it is always sad when someone passes at any age; and in a year plus, it seems far too many music figures are passing.

[Photo: © 2007 Stephanie Sollow]

Artist News: While We Were Away.... John Wetton, Threshold, Riverside, more

Posted by admin on Saturday, April 01 @ 23:45:46 PDT (267 reads)

While we were on another unintended sabbatical, we learned the sad news of John Wetton's passing this past January. In a year (or so) that saw the losses of Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, to lose another figure in the pantheon of prog is hard to take. I had seen Wetton perform live once, when UK played NEARFest Apocalypse in June 2012. While I might be forgetting something earlier, I'd venture to say that I first knew of John Wetton through Asia, and their monumental debut album, as "Heat Of The Moment" was inescapable in the early 80s (and I didn't want to). Of course, after starting this site some 20 years ago this month, there came to my attention (reviewed or not), solo material, dipping back to King Crimson, more Asia, etc. Anyway, I was sad to learn of his passing.

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CD/DVD Releases: Mistheria Announces Line Up For Upcoming "Gemini" CD

Posted by admin on Sunday, January 22 @ 21:27:25 PST (216 reads)

Also announcing that pre-orders are now being taken for a new release is Mistheria, whose new instrumental metal album Gemini will be released later this year - exact date still to be determined. In addition, the lineup has been announced, including guests:

Roger Staffelbach (Artension, Artlantica) - Guitar; Leonardo Porcheddu (Vitalij Kuprij) - Guitar; Ivan Mihaljevic (Side Effects) - Guitar; Steve Di Giorgio (Testament, Death) - Bass; Dino Fiorenza (Metatrone) - Bass; John Macaluso (Ark, Symphony X, Malmsteen) - Drums, and Mistheria (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Vivaldi Metal Project) - Keyboards. Special guests - Chris Caffery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage) - Guitar and Roy Z (Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Tribe Of Gypsies) - Guitar.

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CD/DVD Releases: Stewart Bell To Release "The Antechamber Of Being Part 2" February 2017

Posted by admin on Sunday, January 22 @ 20:16:07 PST (245 reads)

Pre-order Period To End Soon

Since September Stewart Bell, of Citizen Cain, has been taking pre-orders for the second chapter of his trilogy The Antechamber Of Being. TAOB Part 2 will be released in February - exact date still to be determined. You can watch a promotional video below.

Guests helping Bell are Simone Rossetti from The Watch, Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen, Bekah Comrie from Grace & Legend and Citizen Cain's Phil Allen. The album will come out in various formats: Limited Special Edition Hardback Art-Book – 38 page full colour book containing art, concepts, lyrics, song intros plus your name included in a 'special thanks to' section in the book plus a CD of the album (2CD, £20).

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CD/DVD Releases: More Details On New Ayreon Album

Posted by admin on Saturday, January 21 @ 22:58:19 PST (208 reads)

As we shared in November, Arjen Lucassen will release a new Ayreon album this year. On Thursday, he released the title - The Source - and album artwork (see small at left; larger below). Over a period time, the guest artists were revealed where Lucassen did so as a guessing game.

All the players - vocalists and instrumentalists - have now been revealed, so here, too, is the list of whom you will hear on this new opus:

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CD/DVD Releases: New Single & Video from Horisont - "About Time"

Posted by admin on Saturday, January 21 @ 20:15:54 PST (240 reads)

When I saw this news item from Century Media, and a link to the video for Horisont's third single "About Time" (below, from their upcoming album of the same name, due out Feb 3), I expected to be overwhelmed by death vocals and skull-crushing drums and bass (which, in today's political climate might just match my internal rage...). Instead, well, no. Rather it's a mix of bluesy psychedelic rock, that one might grudgingly call progressive - but prog or not, likeable and appealing to the same areas of the musical brain that prog does, me thinks. It mellows out my current state of mind with some really sharp and to the point guitar soloing and a groovy musical refrain that is lingerng in my head even as I've unmuted the news again (just to torture myself, I suppose).

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CD/DVD Releases: Tim Bowness Launches Video For "Distant Summers"

Posted by admin on Saturday, January 21 @ 18:02:11 PST (264 reads)

Tim Bowness has launched the second track taken from his forthcoming album Lost In The Ghost Light out 17th February, titled "Distant Summers." This track features Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The album is now available to pre-order from Burning Shed. All orders will receive a signed artwork postcard. Pre-order now here: Burning Shed :: Amazon

You can also pre-order the album digitally from iTunes & Amazon MP3 and receive the tracks "Distant Summers" & "You Wanted To Be Seen" immediately: Amazon MP3 :: iTunes.

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Festival News: Trinity Live 2017 Completes Line-up

Posted by admin on Saturday, January 21 @ 15:48:33 PST (202 reads)

As reported by Prog magazine*, they - in the form of editor Jerry Ewing - will host Trinity Live 2017 to benefit Cancer Research UK, Teenage Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support. Artists performing at this one day event, to be held May 27 at The Assembly in Leaminton Spa, are: A Formal Horse, Dec Burke Band, Ghost Community, Lonely Robot, Kim Seviour, and Touchstone. This is a charity auction event, so folks can bid on unique, signed and rare items from bands/artists such as Yes, Asia, Steve Hackett, Roger Dean, Steven Wilson, Rush, Magnum, Marillion, Rodney Matthews and more...

"We are utterly delighted to have these amazing musical acts join the festival," say the Trinity team [in Jan 17 post]. "We are sure they need no introduction but trust us, you will be enthralled! Let’s get The Assembly rammed full of people, make some new friends, make some great memories and help to make a difference."

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