John Ford Opts For Optimism

July 30, 2015

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Last year’s "No Talkin’" was a deviation of sorts for John Ford who discarded his usual pop-rock agenda to switch into a full-on instrumental mode. Back on the vocal track, the veteran releases a new album, “A Better Day,” next week that offers, as its title suggests, a look at the bright side of life. Playing most of the instruments, John is backed on a harmony front by THE STORIES’ Ian Lloyd who lent his voice to closer “Sandy” and “After The Rock,” while the only non-original track on offer is “Deep In The Darkest Night” by Ford’s former colleague Dave Cousins that appeared for the first time on STRAWBS’ “The Broken Hearted Bride” album which John didn’t take part in. Quite a nice contrast for the lighter songs.

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ANDERSON-PONTY BAND: An Audio-Video Release

July 29, 2015

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A point of discussion for some time now, AndersonPonty Band, as Jon Anderson and Jean-Luc Ponty prefer to write their collective’s name, may not come up with a debut album yet, despite having some new pieces under their belt, but this September will see the release of the ensemble’s live recording that, given a production enhancement, is as close to a studio work as it can be. If that sounds like an oxymoron kind of paradox, that’s what these two artists have always been good at, and their forthcoming CD – with a bonus DVD housing the footage from the Aspen, Colorado show performed last September – will attest to it.

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URIAH HEEP Catalogue To Go Deluxe

July 29, 2015

URIAH HEEPOver the years, there have been two major reissue programmes for the URIAH HEEP albums, each expanding original records with more and more bonus tracks. And just when one would assume no further barrel-scraping could unearth additional unheard material, the news came in, via Ken Hensley, of the plans to majorly upgrade the band’s full catalogue. The reissue campaign starts in 2016 and will be wrapped up two years later, taking in, in Hensley’s words, “goodies and extras that will make them essential collector’s items,” so essentially it’s the deluxe treatment that is all the rage now. No additional detail as of now, but the group are to ask their fans to help out with memorabilia one more time.

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John Hackett In Search For Alternative Existence

July 28, 2015

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It’s taken flautist John Hackett about a decade to flesh out a concept he nurtured for a long time. “Another Life” is a title of his new album, scheduled for September 25th, but a song that gives the record its theme appeared in Hackett’s live repertoire as early as 2006. Since then, a single composition turned into a suite of sorts, a rumination on our real and possible existence, with ideas being carried over between various pieces. For the realization of it all, John enrolled familiar – or even familial – faces: brother Steve, another ex-GENESIS guitarist Anthony Phillips and the Hacketts’ former colleague Nick Magnus. A little prog event, this album follows another reedman’s release on Esoteric, “Transgression” by Theo Travis.
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