It’s been a long time coming, yet – despite him being busy with YES and, occasionally, ASIA – Billy Sherwood has finally released, online-only at the moment, his “A Tribute To Keith Emerson & Greg Lake“. Yes, that’s the album’s title – and that’s basically all one needs to know about the flight of fantasy involved in bringing this endeavor to fruition. The selection isn’t really surprising, except for the inclusion of a single KING CRIMSON cut alongside ELP pieces which are delivered by the usual suspects who rarely match the late artists they pay homage to in terms of passion, even if the chops are in place, and the players seem to feel it. But the record was endorsed by the Emerson estate, given Keith’s sons submit a track here – the same estate that didn’t allow Robert Berry to use the late musician’s sounds on the "3.2" project. Go figure.
Criminally underrated, despite his track record, outside of TRAFFIC, Jim Capaldi had a tremendous knack for a tune and a lyric, and any release from the great late artist is always welcome. This is why a box set titled “Open Your Heart – The Island Recordings 1972-1976” that will see the light of day on March 27th on Esoteric deserves a certain amount of attention, even though two of the three albums it comprises were reissued relatively recently. It’s hard to tell why there was a need to remaster anew 1972’s "Oh How We Danced" and "Whale Meat Again" from 1974, given their 2012 editions had been remastered, yet it’s going to be great to hear 1975’s “Short Cut Draw Blood” with pristine sound and four additional cuts which never graced a digital medium, as well as a DVD with Capaldi’s collectives TV appearances.
Quarter of a century down the line since his untimely passing, Rory Gallagher‘s popularity doesn’t seem to wane, and each new release from the late guitarist’s estate is lapped up by old fans and new converts alike, as illustrated by last year’s issue of “Blues” – a collection featuring both studio and live recordings. On-stage was where Rory was wild and delicate at the same time, and “Check Shirt Wizard” that will see the light of day on March 6th should show it in vivid detail, the 2CD or 3LP item including a score of songs from four concerts Gallagher played in England in 1977, on the heels of “Calling Card” – with no less than eight out of the album’s pieces making it to the setlist.
It’s impossible not to love Lee Kerslake, this big-hearted bear of a man, and it’s impossible not to respect him – not only for the parts that made best albums by URIAH HEEP, with whom Lee served more than three decades, and Ozzy Osbourne, whom Kerslake helped start a solo career, so special, but also for his uncompromising attitude to whatever the veteran has to deal with, be it a professional situation or medical condition.
The drummer knows he’s living on borrowed time, battling cancer (and embracing remission at the time of our latest chat), yet this seemed to have spurred Lee’s creativity, resulting in an album under his own name and an accompanying documentary, both to be out soon, and heightened Kerslake’s sense of his value, of the status he deserves. He accepts and projects it with the usual dignity, while remaining the free spirit he’s always been – it’s an indelible part of his character, as is Lee’s ability to face adversity.
It takes a lot of taste and talent to be covering Anthony Phillips‘ music, yet ROCKING HORSE MUSIC CLUB have these qualities in spades, which is why the American collective decided to deliver the English composer’s music on a follow-up to their debut, “Every Change Of Seasons” from 2018. Titled “Which Way The Wind Blows” and scheduled for an October 11th release, this tribute album not only showcases the abilities of the band members but also welcomes their hero’s admirers and friends such as Steve Hackett, Ant’s successor in GENESIS, and his brother John, who recorded with Phillips, as well as Noel McCalla, former Manfred Mann‘s sidekick, and SUPERTRAMP’s John Helliwell.