Friday, December 15, 2017

New "Dreamy Screens" Box Set From Bill Nelson Features "Soundtracks From The Echo Observatory"

English musician Bill Nelson began his career in the 1970s as a founding member of the progressive rock band, Be-Bop Deluxe. After their break-up in the late 70's, Nelson headed out on his own, recording over 60 albums in the past three decades. On December 1st, Esoteric Recordings' imprint label Cocteau Discs revisited recordings that Nelson made in his Yorkshire home studio in 1981 and 1982.

The new 3-disc set features over 60 tracks of atmospheric instrumentals that showcase Nelson's experimental side. The first disc contains a variety of songs that displays Nelson's time in the studio as he was looking for his sound at the beginning of his solo career. Drum machines and keyboards are all the tools that Nelson needed to develop his emotions throughout this first disc, which was originally issued as a bonus LP with his 1981 album "Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam."

The 30-minute long second disc is a soundtrack to the stage production of "The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari" and was issued on its own in 1981. The songs are short, concise pieces of music that work better along with the visuals that each piece of music represents. The third disc in the set is a soundtrack to the stage production of the 1946 classic "Beauty & The Beast." The music is filled with emotion and grace as Bill Nelson did an outstanding job with the magic he created in the studio. The album was originally released as a bonus LP with his 1982 album "The Love That Whirls." To find out more about Bill Nelson's new 3CD box set "Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks From Echo Observatory," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New Music From Indie-Artists Karen Souza, Mason Summit And Carey Frank

Argentinean jazz singer Karen Souza recently released her fourth studio album titled "Velvet Vault." It features 11-tracks, beginning with the soft, smooth jazz of "I Fall In Love Too Easily," as you will instantly fall in love with Karen's vocals. She adds her own simple spin to Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" as her voice shines with a slight accent.  The tempo picks up with the sultry swing of "I'm Beginning To See The Light" and the steady pace of "Valerie," before her duet with Toku on the passion of "You Got That Something." She finishes up her new album with the Latin-jazz flair of "In The Blink Of An Eye," the quiet, emotional delivery of "Angel Eyes" and the orchestral ballad "Kids." To find out more about Karen Souza and her latest release "Velvet Vault," please visit karensouza.com.

Next, from Santa Monica, CA comes the fourth album titled "Summer Cold," from singer/songwriter Mason Summit. His sound has been compared to Elliott Smith and Elvis Costello and he is currently studying songwriting at the University Of Southern California (USC) School of Music. His new 12-song album begins with the guitar strumming, up-tempo rocker "Almost Fell For It" as he delivers a nostalgic, alt-pop sound.  Mason slows down for the more melodic delivery of "Take What I Can Get" and the acoustic folk/rock approach of "Voodoo Doll." He draws you in with the gentle vocals and acoustic strumming of "Catch & Release" and "Biting My Nails," before the full band joins in for the ballad "Summer Cold." Mason Summit closes out his new album with the inspirational pop tones of "One Good Thing" and the up-tempo alternative rock of "Stick It Out." To find out more about Mason Summit and his latest release "Summer Cold," please visit masonsummit.com.

Finally from Los Angeles comes the latest release from organist Carey Frank, who teamed up with jazz guitarist Bruce Forman for the album "Something To Remember Him By." The album features 11 instrumental tracks that makes the most out of this duo's music skills, beginning with the swinging melody of "You Don't Know What Love Is." Frank and Forman find the perfect jazz groove for "All Of You" and add their own spin to the classic "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing." They get a little funkier with their sound on the more up-tempo feel of "That Old Feeling," before slowing down for the ballad "For All We Know." Frank and Forman finish up their new collaboration with the blues of "September Song," the exciting romp of "I Remember You" and the quiet grace of "Make Someone Happy." To find out more about Cary Frank and his new album "Something To Remember Him By," please visit careyfrank.com.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Check Out New Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Music From I The Fire, American Me And The Nika Riots

From New York comes the debut album from the hard rock band I The Fire. Their new 12-song release is a nice wake-up call that there are still new bands out there that have that classic hard rock edge. The album kicks off with the high-octane of "Bridges" as you'd never know this was the band's debut release. Their sound gets a little more raw on the screams of "Reckless" and the pounding rhythm of "Keeping Secrets." Sandwiched between the heavy hitters is the amazing power ballad "Every Sun Casts A Shadow," before I The Fire kick things into high gear with the energy blast of "I Know You Know." They wrap up their new album with the more mainstream rock approach of "Broken Eyes Disguise" and the final hard rock attack of "Anthem." To find out more about I The Fire and their new debut album, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ithefire.

Next from Portland, OR comes the latest release titled "Still Firing" from the hardcore metal band American Me. The band returns from a five year hiatus with a trio of new songs, beginning with the quick-driving, 90-second attack of "Still Firing." They continue with the hard-hitting, industrial metal appeal of "Anti-Life Equation," before finishing up their new short release with the growling vocals of "Passing Ships." To find out more about American Me and their latest release "Still Firing," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/AmericanMe503.

Then, from Oslo, Norway comes the debut album from The Nika Riots titled "Set Fire." Their new six-song release kicks off with the high-energy screams and bashing rhythms of "Anti-Social Club." The Nika Riots pick up the tempo with the hardcore punk appeal of "Knock'em Dead" and the retro, thrash-metal attack of "Hanged, Drawn & Quartered." Their new short debut release finishes with high-powered "All Hail The Queen" as the chorus will draw you in and make you an instant fan. To find out more about The Nika Riots and their latest release "Set Fire," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/thenikariots.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Artist Geoff Downes Unleashes New Albums With The Downes Braide Association & "iCon: Zero"

English musician Geoff Downes has been heavily involved with tours from Yes and Asia, but did find time to record a new Downes Braide Association (DBA) album with his partner Chris Braide. This is the duo's third collaboration and the album features guest appearances from Andy Partridge (XTC), Marc Almond and Kate Pierson (B52s). The new 9-song release titled "Skyscraper Souls" features artwork by famed Yes designer Roger Dean and a sophisticated progressive rock sound, beginning with the short two-minute "Prelude." Then you dive into the epic 18-minute adventure "Skyscraper Souls" as the orchestral like music guides your storied tour as Pierson makes her appearance. Singer Matthews Koma lends a hand on the addictive rock melody of "Angel On Your Shoulder" and you can hear the connection to Asia in "Lighthouse" with support from fellow English singer/songwriter Tim Bowness. The album finishes with the mellow, jazz appeal of "Skin Deep" and the rock ballad "Darker Times." To find out more about Downes Braide Association and their latest release "Skyscraper Souls," please visit downesbraide.com.

The duo of John Wetton and Geoff Downes collaborated at the turn of the century for a new series of releases titled "iCon." Three albums were created and released before the untimely passing of John Wetton earlier this year. Before his passing, Wetton and Downes were preparing to re-release the demo-filled 2002 album "Wetton/Downes." This new re-release will rename the album "iCon: Zero" and features a remastered version of the album with two additional, previously unreleased bonus tracks. The original album features recordings the two made during the late-eighties/early-nineties, which set the seeds for the "iCon" collaboration. Fans will appreciate the remastering as all of the songs now sound their best, including the ballad "Just As Long As I Need You" and "Kari-Anne." The two additional songs on this release features a demo version of "She Knows" that seems very polished for a demo and an alternative version of "I Would Die For You," which comes across with a harder rock edge to it. To find out more about Wetton & Downes re-release of "iCon: Zero," please visit johnwetton.com.


Monday, December 11, 2017

New Progressive Rock Music From Dave Kerzner, Fischer's Flicker And The Ed Palermo Big Band

Progressive rock artist Dave Kerzner recently released his second solo album titled "Static." The album features a guest appearance from legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, as well as members of Big Big Train and Porcupine Tree. Kerzner's new 14-track album plays out like a rock opera, centered around the chaos of modern everyday life. After a short piano "Prelude," the album kicks off with the 8-minute prog-rock attack of "Hypocrites" as Kerzner establishes himself as a student of early progressive rock giants like King Crimson, Genesis and Pink Floyd. Hackett makes his presence known with the guitar solo in "Static," before Kerzner picks up the tempo for the harder edge rocker "Chain Reaction." He continues with the sonic blast of "Dirty Soap Box" and the seven-minute epic piece "The Truth Behind," before finishing up his new album with the nearly 17-minute prog-rock adventure "The Carnival Of Modern Life," which ties his whole concept album together. To find out more about Dave Kerzner and his latest release "Static," please visit davekerzner.com.


Chicago native Scott Fischer is ready to return to his band after contributing to Zappacast (official Frank Zappa podcast) and performing as a member of the Rod Stewart Experience. He recently released his seventh studio album titled "Open 28 Hours" as his songwriting continues to grow toward the prog-rock genre of music. His new 10-song release begins with the funk-soul groove of "The In-Betweener" and continues with the more pop-oriented rock tone of "You & Everybody." He showcases a harder edge on the grind of "3 6 9," before the Steely Dan inspiration of "Spiders." The highlight of the album is the nearly ten-minute epic piece "Mother Of A Ship" as Fischer lets loose on this studio jam feeling, before finishing up with the acoustic rock sing-along of "Zen." To find out more about Fischer's Flicker and his latest release "Open 28 Hours," please visit fischersflicker.com.


Many may know Ed Palermo from his orchestral arrangements of Frank Zappa's music, following the artists' death in 1993, but his latest incantation features The Ed Palermo Big Band reinventing the music of Zappa and Todd Rundgren. Their new album titled "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" features 25 tracks and over an hour's worth of interpretations of some of the most well-known songs in rock music like "Peaches En Regalia" and "Hello It's Me." Palermo and his Big Band jam on their nearly seven-minute version of Zappa's "Montana" and use there voices as the instruments during "Echidna's Arf (Of You)." The band turns Rundgren's "Broke Down And Busted" into show-tune gold, as you'd swear it was part of a Broadway musical. The album closes with a great cover of Zappa's "Zoot Allures" and the quick-moving one-minute reprise of "Yer Fast." To find more about The Ed Palermo Big Band and their latest release "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren," please visit palermobigband.com.