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 [email protected]
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.
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.
Origins is a sixteen track double album which include one hidden bonus track and celebrate’s 25 years and 11 release by LaRue.
The songs on “Origins” were written and recorded over 25 years. Some in a small recording studio in Tahlequah, OK over a year’s time with John “Yakfe” Timothy, and some in Los Angeles working extensively with John Payne as a co-producer, mixing engineer, bassist, and vocalist. Also, certain songs were known as some of the first prog projects done via internet transfer and finalizes with “Sussuration” and “Lemniscate,” completely produced and mixed by LaRue.
According to Lisa, “This album is extremely important – it’s important to me, as it represents 25 years of my life and some of the best work I’ve done with some of the best friends in the world. It’s important because it represents the unity and bringing together of many musicians, big and small, through the universal language, music. Lastly, it’s important to fans, as it represents some of the obscure work of many top-notch artists that they may not have in their collection. Melodic Revolution and Nick Katona have always been known for bringing artists together, so there is no better label to showcase this 25-year effort.”
“Lisa has a unique perspective to her music. Her Prog rock style is highly influenced by her Native American roots. The listener is drawn in by the mystical and avant-garde approach. From my point of view, it has always been a pleasure and great experience working with her music.” – John Payne
“A very atmospheric composition, with a lovely tranquil finale. I hear a lot of my father’s influence in it, a beautiful arrangement.” – Aaron Emerson (son of Keith Emerson) regarding the song “Aspiration”
Origins also features John Payne (Asia, GPS), Michael Sadler (Saga), Mitch Perry (Talas, Aerosmith), Gilli Smyth (Gong), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientist, Kracked Earth), Federico Fantacone (Orchestre Celesti) John Baker (Forever Twelve, Mars Hollow) as well as Steve Adams, Brenda K, Michael Wheeler, Merrill Hale, Svetlan Raket (Par Lindh Project), John “Yafke” Timothy, Michael Alvarez.
Origins is housed in a new style of Digipak called a Digipack Lite™ this is one of the most unique and eco-friendly packages on the market, in fact, the CD tray actually flexes and is more durable than the standard ridged plastic tray as it is made from recycled water bottles.
1) All pre-orders get shipped before the release date.
2) All Pre-orders supporters will receive a personalized thank you postcard.
3) All Pre-orders of Origins also come with 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released
All orders include a digital booklet with purchase
LaRue became the first female artist signed to the Sound of America Records label (SOAR) a sub label of Natural Visions, the first all-Native American record label founded by Grammy Winner and Motown producer Tom Bee.
In 2008 LaRue was nominated for a Hollywood Music Award and was also awarded The Oklahoma Music Award for “Native American Artist of the Year.” Her band 2KX was Nominated as Instrumental Band of the Year in 2011 by the Los Angeles Music Awards.
Lisa has also appeared on recordings by others, including Head Transfer Process (Stargazer), Esquire with Nikki Squire (“Stay Low”), Don Schiff, Ryo Okumoto, Oliver Wakeman, Steve Gresswell, Quester and Beyond the Labyrinth.
Origins is a double album celebrating 25 years and 11 release by LaRue, featuring some of the best musicians in the business; John Payne (Asia, GPS), Michael Sadler (Saga), Mitch Perry (Talas, Aerosmith), Gilli Smyth (Gong), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientist, Kracked Earth), Federico Fantacone (Orchestre Celesti) John Baker (Forever Twelve, Mars Hollow) as well as Steve Adams, Brenda K, Michael Wheeler, Merrill Hale, Svetlan Raket (Par Lindh Project), John “Yafke” Timothy, Michael Alvarez.
A Statement from Lisa
“I look forward to being part of the Melodic Revolution family, and hope to collaborate with other MR artists, and interact with the fans. Great prog has come from the vaults of Melodic Revolution, and I hope I can contribute to that.”
Progressive rock band Mars Hollow has announced that they will be recording a new album after a nearly 5-year hiatus. The announcement was made during a semi-reunion show and subsequent radio interview in June, and came on the heels of a show billed as “John Baker and Steve Mauk Perform the Music of Mars Hollow” in Chicago. The show was the first time Mars Hollow has performed live since May, 2012. The most recent studio effort from the group was the track “So Far Away,” which also had a video release and was included on the Mars Hollow Live album. The album, also available on DVD, documented the band’s ‘Church of Prog’ spot at RosFest, 2011 and was released in Fall of 2012.
However, guitarist and lead vocalist John Baker says that the new band will update both its name and line-up to fit the spirit and music of the new incarnation, and will be called “Life After Mars.” The band’s debut album release is tentatively scheduled for Summer, 2018.
Says John, “As Life After Mars is the newly reformed incarnation of Mars Hollow, the best way to explain it is ‘Mars Hollow…the Next Generation.”
Mars Hollow landed on the progressive rock scene in 2010 with their self-titled debut album, produced by Ronan Chris Murphy, and followed up in 2011 with “World In Front of Me,” co-produced by Mars Hollow’s John Baker and Billy Sherwood, now of Yes. Playing festivals and numerous gigs in the USA, Mexico and Canada, the band also played and toured with Billy Sherwood’s Circa, and received accolades and positive reviews for several years. In the spirit of progressive rock, “Life After Mars” seems a natural progression.
Says John, “I think of this as good timing. A perfect time to rethink your mindset, and have a new jumping off point. At one time, walking on the moon, or landing on Mars was the future. Everyone wondered if there was life on mars, and now they are talking about colonization of Mars. Truly, the FUTURE is life AFTER mars.”
Life After Mars features:
John Baker – lead vocals and guitars
Don Schiff – NS stick, various basses and string instruments
Lisa LaRue – keyboards
Emily Dolan Davies – drums
Throughout the years, John Baker has held stints as guitarist and backing vocalist for various original bands and musicians, including Christian Love of “The Beach Boys” and bassist for The Little Girls. Since 1995, John has been operating a successful studio business, comprised of music projects, audio drama, and dialogue work. In the music field, John has worked with many musicians and producers, including Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) and Richie Zito (Elton John, Tina Turner, Heart). In the dialogue field, John has directed, engineered, and edited hundreds of audio books including works by authors such as Robert Ludlum, Danielle Steele and Deepak Chopra. John Baker, an original member of Mars Hollow, is also the lead vocalist for the LA-based progressive rock band, Forever Twelve, who has just completed their 4th studio album, Home, on Melodic Revolution Records.
Don Schiff has worked with some of the best – including Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Davis, Arjen Lucassen among many others. Don is also a member of Rocket Scientists. Having scored soundtracks as well as acted in TV shows and films such as “Live From Death Row” and “84 Charlie Mopic,” he has also received gold records for co-writing for Pat Benatar’s “Wide Awake in Dreamland” and Winfield/Schiff’s “Cerebral Man.” Don is internationally known for his expertise with the NS/Chapman stick. He was also a member of Lisa LaRue’s former band 2KX.
Keyboardist Lisa LaRue has worked with many musicians including: John Payne (Asia), Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists, Tina Turner, Elvis, and more), Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard), Michael Sadler (Saga), Oliver Wakeman (Yes). Esquire (Nikki Squire) and others. Lisa has been awarded Oklahoma Native American Artist of the Year and nominated for other awards including the Hollywood Music Awards, Los Angeles Music Awards, and the Native American Music Awards. She collaborated with Gilli Smyth of Gong on a self-released album titled “Dreamscapes,” and has released 5 solo albums, 1 album with Lisa LaRue Project 2K9, 2 albums with Lisa LaRue 2KX, and 1 album with Federico Fantacone (Fantacone/LaRue – Sonic Landscapes).
EMILY DOLAN DAVIES
Emily Dolan Davies is a British drummer who has been playing since age 11, with full time gigging beginning at age 18. She has extensive experience in many genres as a session and live drummer, in addition to playing with artists such as Bryan Ferry, The Thompson Twins, The Darkness, and many more. She is currently touring with Howard Jones.
Here’s what the press have said about Mars Hollow:
“It’s quite clear that Mars Hollow is a band to be reckoned with. This is no garage band, but a very serious group of players with some serious chops.” – Rok Podgrajšek – The Rocktologist
“If you take a little bit of Yes – mostly in John Baker’s vocals – and a little bit of Rush (also there in the vocals), that’s a bit what Mars Hollow sound like.” – Stephanie Sollow – ProgressiveWorld.net
“Each member of the quartet is a star player in his own right. Their sound is a rocking and melodic mix of the best of Yes & Genesis with a bit of latter-day King Crimson.” – Mike Flavin – USA Prog Music
“I would consider Mars Hollow to be a band that will withstand the test of time for the advancement of the progressive genre.” – Grant Hill – Music Street Journal
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