Nick Katona, head honcho of one of the finest music labels around, is back with this year’s charity offering. Seven songs by different artists who have all contributed the music so you have the opportunity to hear something very special indeed while also giving back. You see, you cannot buy this EP or download it without contacting the label, who will then send it to you free of charge (this is a digital-only release). All you have to do to get this is to provide proof of helping others. As Nick says, “To receive your copy as a gift from MRR and with the kind permission of all of our contributing artists we ask you to commit a great act of kindness. Send us proof of you donating to your local charity of choice, it can be your time, or tangible goods such as blankets, food or clothing even pet food. Think outside of the box; donate your time at the local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter. Certainly, the hospitals would be grateful for volunteers or donate blood today and save a life.”
I know that most people who think of others do so with no thought of reward or recognition, it is just because it is the right thing to do. Others aren’t aware of how much pressure this time of year can bring to those who are less fortunate, yet whatever society or country you live in there will always be some who are struggling. Not everyone has access to a computer to read this review, not everyone has access to clean water, food, clothing or a place to stay.
Each year at this time Melodic Revolution makes available a release like this, hoping it is a spur for those who are caught up in their own festivities to remind them of those less fortunate. If this release makes you think of that person who has no-one at Christmas or spurs you into buying a few extra bits and pieces at the supermarket to donate, or for you to find where you can volunteer for a few hours, then it has more than accomplished its goal.
It is almost an aside to say this seven-track release featuring Potter’s Daughter, Andrew Colyer, Harlequin Reborn, Don Schiff, Babal and Murky Red and Franck Carducci are an absolute delight. It is a winter album, not a Christmas album, and is a great way to discover “new” bands: a few here are new to me, while others are old friends. Potter’s Daughter even wrote the sublime “This Winter Child” just for this. Christmas is not about eating too much food or drinking too much wine, it is actually about people. Nick said to me “It’s more than just holiday music; it’s about love and hope”. Get out there, make a difference, and then contact the label with proof and in the subject matter put ‘Pay it Forward’, sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will be making a real difference in people’s lives, and while that will always be reward enough, now you can also get to hear wonderful music by amazing people as well.
88 Keys, but Only 1 Player to Cover Emerson, Wakeman, Rudess, & Banks!
Keyboard veteran Andrew Colyer has secured possibly one of the most difficult gigs today – covering keyboard parts made legendary by Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, Jordan Rudess and Tony Banks! Andrew will be performing with 3.2 featuring Robert Berry this coming spring! If anyone is qualified for the position, it’s Andrew who has performed and collaborated with the likes of Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Jon Anderson (YES), The Tubes, Sound of Contact featuring Simon Collins, Ryche Chlanda (Fireballet, Renaissance), Max Flyer (CBS Records), Clark Terry, Louis Bellson among others….not to mention his own band, Prog-award-nominated Circuline!
Keith Emerson left a legacy of music. From his beginnings with The Nice in the 1960’s, to worldwide fame with Emerson Lake & Palmer in the 1970’s, to his reinvention in the 1980’s with the #9 Billboard hit “Talkin’ Bout” in the band “3” with Robert Berry and Carl Palmer, Emerson’s name is one almost everyone has heard of.
In 2015, Emerson reunited with Berry, to resume work on the second “3” album, titled “3.2”, to be released on the Frontiers label. In 2016, Emerson tragically took his own life, leaving behind a half-finished record, Robert Berry with the loss of his long-time personal and musical friend, an unfulfilled contract, and a world grieving.
By the spring of 2018, Berry had worked out the details with the Emerson estate and Frontiers to complete and release the record. The first single, “Somebody’s Watching” (released May 22nd), sent the album debut to #3 on the Amazon hard rock charts, and generated 7,000 YouTube views in the first 36 hours, and over 12,000 views in the first week. A musical phoenix had indeed risen.
The album, “3.2 – The Rules Have Changed”, was released on August 10th, 2018, and hit #1 on Amazon, selling out on the first day, and placed on two Billboard charts. The two YouTube videos from the album currently have over 64,000 cumulative views. The new album has met with unanimous positive international acclaim from over 100 magazine articles, blog and website reviews, and FM and internet radio stations.
Now it’s time for a tour. The band – “3.2 featuring Robert Berry” will not only cover Berry’s work with Keith Emerson, but also Berry’s years on the Magna Carta label, producing tribute albums to ELP, YES, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and Rush. Who will Robert Berry get to cover not only Keith Emerson, but also all the keyboard players from these legendary bands? The world is watching and wondering. Keyboardist/vocalist Andrew Colyer (Circuline, Cell15, Awaken, Prog Rock Orchestra) got the call.
Berry tells the story of how Colyer got the gig: “When I met Andrew in December 2011, he was trying to reignite a career in music, after being out of the game for over 20 years. After one of our December People ‘Classic Rock Christmas Party’ shows, I introduced him to Dave Medd, and that’s how he got the job as the backup for The Tubes in 2012. By 2013 he was playing ELP’s “Tarkus” in progressive rock tribute band Downing Grey. In 2014 he performed on the Moody Blues cruise and the YES Cruise to the Edge with the Prog Rock Orchestra. He also formed his own band, Circuline, which has released two studio albums, a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray, and has toured and performed at international festivals. Plus he’s my wife’s brother’s best friend!”
Berry says, ”All family joking aside, Andrew is a great player and the right guy for the job. He’s a super nice guy, a hard worker, and with his immersion in the music business for these past 7 years, he’s also been a big help in the business and marketing department.”
Colyer has some big boots to fill, and speaks to the naysayers. “I know there will be critics and fans who will say, ‘that’s not how Keith would have done it’, or, ‘he’s just not the same as Wakeman, Banks, or Rudess’, and I’m here to say, that’s exactly right and true. There was only one Keith Emerson, and he was one of the greatest rock keyboard players of all time. Keith was groundbreaking in his approach to playing and performing; he was the first person in the world to ever use a synthesizer on stage; it is physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually impossible for anyone to ever replace him, or any of these other amazing keyboard players that I’m covering for the upcoming tour.”
“I am honored to have been asked to ‘fill in’ for Keith, Rick, Jordan, and Tony in their absence, and I will do my very best to faithfully serve the music that all of these great keyboard players throughout history have left for us to enjoy. All of my classical training, as well as my jazz and progressive rock experience, will be crucial in bringing this music to a live audience.”
Colyer continues, “I am also really excited to be performing with Robert Berry, who, besides being a ridiculously talented musician/composer, touring with Ambrosia, Alliance, Greg Kihn, and the holiday band December People, has also been a ‘behind the scenes’ producer for years, producing many progressive rock tribute albums for the Magna Carta label, and releasing his own solo albums. Some people have referred to Robert as a ‘crafty American version of Trevor Rabin‘.”
Berry concludes, “This new 3.2 band is excited to not only have Andrew Colyer from Circuline, but also the amazing drummer/vocalist Jimmy Keegan from Spock’s Beard. I’ll be fronting the band on bass and lead vocals, and we also have monster guitarist/vocalist Paul Keller, who toured with Keith, myself, and Carl Palmer on the original ‘3’ tour in 1988. For the upcoming tour, we’ll be performing not only music from the new 3.2 album, but also music from the first 3 album, and a few hits from my back Magna Carta catalog – some songs from YES, ELP, Genesis, Jethro Tull, etc.
“In addition to all the great music, you’ll also experience first storytelling, performances, and insights from my work with Steve Howe, GTR, Ambrosia, Keith and Carl, and more. It’s a presentation of my legacy of progressive rock from the past 30 years. We hope to see you in the audience and meet you in person after the show!”
The Sled is Melodic Revolution Records10th-holiday album for charity.
The Sled is a unique charity release, you cannot purchase this album with Dollars, Pounds Yen or Euros; something this valuable requires a giving heart. To receive your copy as a gift from Melodic Revolution Records (MRR) and with the kind permission of all of our contributing artists we ask you to commit a great act of kindness.
Send us proof of you donating to your local charity of choice, it can be your time, or tangible goods such as blankets, food or clothing. Think outside of the box, donate your time at the local food bank, soup kitchen or shelter. Certainly, your local hospital would be grateful for volunteers or donate blood today and save a life.
We would like to promote the good deeds of great citizens and with your permission, we will share your photos on our page set up this holiday season to spread the good news.
The Sled will be released digitally on Monday, December 3, 2018, and we will stream it free through the end of January 2019.
Each year we host a holiday release to showcase many bands and artists that you may not be aware of, but we feel you should be. The album will feature many styles of holiday music and original music; all of which will touch your heart and soul. May it inspire you – for in giving, we receive so much more.
Let me introduce you to the contributing artists:
Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra
The OCEAN Orchestra brings you soaring vocals and fiery bagpipe and fiddle tunes in their own American take on Celtic folk-rock. Fairport Convention’s Simon Nicol says they “get right inside the spirit of the folk music of the British Isles,” and Steeleye Span’s Maddy Prior calls their songwriting “stunning.” https://oceanorchestra.com/home
Federico Fantacone Orchestre Celesti
OC is the creative moniker of composer and keyboardist Federico Fantacone. The project was born in 2006 blending Italian prog, English 70’s variety, and contemporary influences. federicofantacone.wixsite.com/orchestrecelesti
Andrew is an Award-winning Composer in the Pop and Rock and Progressive rock field, he has performed and collaborated with Tony Levin, Jon Anderson, The Tubes, Sound of Contact and, Ryche Chlanda, Circuline, Cell15 among others. http://colyermusic.com
Electric Mud Electric Mud – progressive rock music without the genre’s usual display of virtuosity with endless solos, but straight minimalist guitar riffs on a groovy bass foundation with expressive machine drums. https://www.facebook.com/LiquidSkyNet/
BABAL reveal a dystopian, sideways view of life; their psych/art-rock approach calling up comparisons with Talking Heads and Patti Smith. The band have gathered great responses around the UK and Europe and have also played live soundtracks for Alternative Cinema presentations. http://babal.rocks
Dr. Bill Rhodes is a musician, composer, producer, author, engineer, and he has been a product specialist for various keyboard companies since the early 1970s. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Bill Rhodes has released over 30 albums on 3 different labels. http://symphonicpiano.com
Don is a Pop, Prog, and Rock bass guitarist who also writes music for TV, and film. He is one of the earliest Stick, NS/Stick, and bowed guitar players. http://www.facebook.com/donschiffmusic/
Andy John Bradford
Andy is a Progressive Folk Singer-Songwriter residing in Northern Ireland who has collaborated with numerous musicians over the years including MRR’s Colin Tench. http://mrrmusic.com/andy-john-bradford/
Originally a Power Trio that sounded like so much more, as of 2010, the band is a quartet… but still with the same melodic and symphonic tendencies in the best of Progressive Rock traditions. http://pinnacleband.com
Darrel is a Rock, Pop, Prog, Multi-Instrumentalist, Pianist, Keyboardist & Composer from the UK, Currently a member of TEN (UK Melodic Rockers), writing, recording and performing with Nth Ascension (UK Prog-Rockers) and his own solo works. http://darreltreece-birch.com
For full details to these artists, please follow their links.
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