He may have come to public-eye prominence as drummer and singer in Steve Hackett‘s band, a backline frontman if you allow for oxymoron, but in musicians’ circles Gary O’Toole has been well-known for three decades. His rock-solid grooves can be heard as far from rock area as one can possibly imagine, as Gary played – with equal gusto – pop, jazz, you name it, yet, when naming it, don’t forget a soundtrack to an award-winning film.
After a teaser that was their "My Kingdom Come" single and a demonstration of their on-stage power on the "Escape From Alcatrazz" live document, Graham Bonnet and his band started working on their new studio album, scheduled for 2016. Yet this is only a part of a bigger plan which also includes the release of the singer’s time-tested pieces, ones Bonnet cut back in the day with hard rock groups he fronted. The point of the enterprise is surely to flaunt fresh, tighter arrangement of the classics destined to sound leaner and meaner, in a good sense, now.
When it comes to Christmas or working with female singers, Rick Wakeman‘s long ticked both of these checkboxes, having released an entire disc of Yuletide pieces and recorded with the likes of Chaka Khan and Maggie Bell. Still, there’s a first for the veteran: a joint single with a 15-year-old soprano Emmie Beckitt. Titled “Welcome A Star” – a pun obviously intended – it’s a new version of a part from the legendary keyboardist’s “The New Gospels” from 1986, to be released on December 4th and available for pre-order now. There’s not only piano and vocal on it, though, as the leading artists are accompanied by the English Chamber Choir and the Orion Orchestra. Must be spellbinding.
Back in 2007, a collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss caused a sensation. For one, nobody really believed that former LED ZEPPELIN frontman would indeed fulfil his promise to go country and team up with another singer – for a full album, not one song as it was with Sandy Denny. And then, the quality of “Raising Sand” – all covers, not a single original, but all given a heartfelt treatment – was fantastic, and the Grammys the record won were very much deserved. Since then, both Krauss and Plant had moved on, yet this year Robert made a short stop in Nashville and rekindled the old creative flame, so he and Alison ended up recording a new piece which will land on an OST for the upcoming “Love The Coopers” movie, starring John Goodman and Diane Keaton. More so, “The Light Of Christmas Day” – that’s the song’s title – is to be released on November 13th.