It’s been a long way from "Velvet Afternoon" that saw John Hackett start a proper solo career under his own name, to here and now. A great flautist whose style incorporates both classical and rock strands, and a master guitarist to boot – albeit always overshadowed in this quality by his older brother – John has a string of very interesting albums by now, yet “We Are Not Alone” is Hackett’s first credited to a collective. Scheduled for a September 29th release, the JOHN HACKETT BAND record actually consists of two discs – studio and live ones, the latter featuring a couple tracks which would land on the former.
“‘We Are Not Alone’ by JOHN HACKETT BAND is an album with its roots in the Seventies but with a modern aspect. Although not a concept album as such, it deals with the problems so many face where governments or individuals try to control our lives, the difficulties we face when lightning seems to strike twice in the same place – it is only with the support of family and friends, or for some their faith, that we try to cope with these situations.
Unlike ‘Checking Out Of London’ and ‘Another Life,’ all of the songs on the new album have been played live first by the band and some are written by the band members. In fact, it has been involving the band in creating the arrangements of the songs that has really brought them to life. ‘Never Gonna Make A Dime,’ for example, which features Steve Hackett on harmonica, grew out of the rehearsal room – it tells the story of how the Hackett family emigrated to Canada in 1957. Steve, who was 7 years old at the time, would disappear on board ship for long periods returning with piles of cash – apparently he had been playing his harmonica to the passengers. You could say it was his first real taste of the music business. But our mother decided she missed London so much that we came back after just three months.
Unlike the other two rock albums, the flute plays a much more prominent role here – there is constant interplay with the virtuoso guitar playing of Nick Fletcher (Hackett’s collaborator on 2013’s ‘Overnight Snow’ and 2016’s ‘Hills Of Andalucia’).”
All in all, the album runs like this (read the review):
We Are Not Alone
1. Take Control Part 1 & 2
2. Never Gonna Make A Dime
3. Blue Skies Of Marazion
4. Summer Lightning
5. Queenie And Elmo’s Perfect Day
7. Ossian’s Lament
9. Winds Of Change
Live At The Classic Rock Society 2016
1. Another Life
2. Look Up
3. Life In Reverse
6. Burnt Down Trees
7. Queenie And Elmo’s Perfect Day
8. Poison Town
10. Ego And Id
11. Mr. Magnolia
13. Overnight Snow
19. Red Hair