Concert Review: The Neal Morse Band, Feb. 11 2019 The Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte NC

Neal Morse is well established as a key figure in American progressive rock, a field that—certainly as compared to its British and European counterparts—is sparsely populated. But even if there were exponentially more prog artists operating in the U.S., it’s assured that Morse would still be at the top of the heap. Morse first came

Album Review: Neal Morse – Testimony Two

As something of a collector of obscure rock of the 1960s, I delight in an unofficial set of six CDs called Psychodelicias. It’s a collection of garage-rock, psychedelic, pop-sike and other related styles, all by artists from Spain or South America. For the most part, the vocals are in Spanish, and the fact that I

Album Review: Jason Vitelli — Head Above Tide

Vitelli’s crystalline, classically-inflected piano style and clear voice give the music on Head Above Tide a regal, refined feel that may remind some of Neal Morse-era Spock’s Beard crossed with early Billy Joel. There’s a deliberately dry production aesthetic to the songs that conveys a kind of immediacy; listeners will feel as if they’re right

Hundred Word Reviews for January 2018, Part 2

As promised, here are ten more capsule reviews of new music. The Sherlocks – Live for the Moment In an era many define as “post-rock,” it’s refreshing to discover a band that makes high energy, melodic rock that maneuvers the narrow bath between the faux fist-pumping of arena rock and the often slavish and mannered

Jimmy Webb: A Consummate Tale-spinner (Part 4 / Conclusion)

Continued from Part Three… Over the years, several recording artists have chosen to record entire albums of nothing but Jimmy Webb songs. Johnny Rivers was the first to do so, on his 1967 album Rewind. Also in 1967, The 5th Dimension recorded 16 Webb originals, spread across two albums. The following year, Irish actor-turned-singer Richard

Floating Festivals

Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed Cruises While retirees and young professionals might not always share the same taste in music, one leisure activity with appeal that spans generations is the music festival experience. And in recent years, many ocean cruises have come up with a successful way to capture that excitement. Rock ‘n’ roll-themed cruises are among

Hundred-word Reviews July 2014, Part Three

I’m bound and determined to reduce the contents of my in-box to manageable levels, so this week I’ll be covering 25 albums, each adhering to a 100-word limit. Don’t mistake brevity for a negative review; these are all worthwhile releases. Today’s five – all new music – can all be labeled as progressive, though they

Digital December

Longtime readers will know that I review digital releases only in the rarest of cases. Only slightly more often will I cover physical releases for which I have access only to a download (or even more rarely, a stream). However, on special occasions, I’m happy to make exceptions. Said occasions are generally this: the music

Album Review: Spock’s Beard – Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep

Less dedicated bands would have called it a day and gone home by now. But the guys in California-based progressive rock outfit Spock’s Beard seemingly have no intention of waving the white flag of surrender, and for that, fans should be grateful. The band was formed in 1992 by brothers Alan and Neal Morse (guitar

Album Review: Spock’s Beard- The X Tour Live

If you’re at all like me – let’s hope you’re not, but accept the possibility that (at least some of) you are – then you occasionally experience a particular and disquieting phenomenon. There’s probably a name for it — anticipatory disappointment is the best I can come up with on short notice – but the