Evership Release The Uncrowned King Act 2 (Official Overture Video)

Bio

Progressive Rock act Evership is the conceptualization of composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer/engineer Shane Atkinson. Shane played in Nashville bands and as a backup musician for label artists in the late 80’s and 90’s. As a composer he wrote on Music Row and always having a studio running somewhere in the Nashville area, was a prolific composer with musical work spanning from commercials and film to orchestral and theater. He made two records with the 90’s Alternative Rock band Curious Fools, but with the birth of his first child, he decided to leave the music business for the budding software industry.

Shane says he never really stopped writing. “The music just kept coming, almost haunting me. I’d constantly wake up in the night to record song ideas. Over those years I amassed at least a hundred hours of material. But my success in software made it nearly impossible to get out. Something like Evership was bound to happen, it had to happen.”

Finally, in 2005, in response to a dream, he sold his big house in the suburbs, downsized, built a recording studio, and opened a commercial and film music production company to finance the album effort. It would take about ten years to make the first record; not just for the actual recording, but for raising a family, building a studio, holding down the production company and remaining business interests, and sifting through the mountain of song material.

Many of the Evership songs were written long before the project started. Some were five to ten years old even then, and there is purportedly enough material for four or more albums. “I’ve got other material, but I wanted to do this first. Musically-speaking, Prog is where my heart is.” He said while growing up, listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Rush, Yes, Queen, Kansas and Jimmy Hotz, he had no idea it was progressive music. He just liked it. Amongst his other influences were classical composers, particularly Bach, Rachmaninov and Ravel. He has a sizable Opera collection and is a Puccini fan. Fusion music also played a role in the early years; Chick Corea, Al Di Miola, Mahavishnu Orchestra, anything that challenged him musically. “Even what I’m writing now is not intentionally Prog. It’s just what comes out. These songs are life-stories, I can’t tell them in three-and-a-half minutes. I was a music and literature major in school. So my lyrics tend to be classically driven as well, lending to a longer format.”

After deciding on material for the debut album, demos were started in 2009, but life circumstances halted production until 2013 when Shane shut the music production company down to focus on the record.

Beau West, the lead vocalist, had moved to Nashville to do music, but nothing materialized for the effort. With no prospects on the horizon Beau shelved music for three years. He says, “My wife asked me if I wanted to do music anymore. My answer was “‘I don’t want to write, I don’t want any creative control, I just want to sing.'” Little did he know that around the corner of that third year he would get exactly that.

Originally, the singer Shane had designed the music for was longtime friend and 90’s band mate Jason Beddoe, who ended up needing to bow out of the project due to life circumstances. Shane says, “This was operatic, expressive music. These kinds of singers just don’t exist anymore. I thought it was over. Beau was literally an answer to prayer.”

Shane met Beau West, the lead vocalist, through session singer Mike Priebe (who sings BGVs on the records, along with Nicelle, Mike’s wife, on strings). Shane and Beau had a conversation about music that lasted hours. The two had the same musical interests and the same vision for what they wanted to accomplish. After an initial meeting to review the material, Beau was invited to the studio to sing on the most challenging vocal track, Ultima Thule. Shane says, “Beau has that rare range and tone that sounds great anywhere on the scale. He could handle anything I threw at him, and had such a great attitude as well, which was critical because so much production had already been done.” Beau says, “This music is everything I’d heard whirling around in my head sinceI was fourteen and couldn’t get it out. Shane unlocked what was already inside and I can’t wait to sing every note he writes.” This set course for a three year journey of finishing the recording and hence was birthed Evership.

On the debut album, Shane choose to play drums, keyboards, and an assortment of more obscure instruments like the Theremin and Chapman Stick, but to sub-out most of the guitar and bass work to like-minded musician friends and family.

The earliest recording, Flying Machine, was performed by Dan Smalley on classical guitar and Brandon Vestal on electric guitar. However, the classically trained Rob Higginbotham performed most of the rhythm electric, acoustic and classical guitars.

Shane’s brother James moved into town later in the process and performed the lead guitars, which turned out to be essential to the Evership sound. “Having my brother here reminded me of when we were young. We used to do these ‘concerts’. The neighbors would set up lawn chairs and watch.” With James on guitar, the ‘brother magic’ (a term James coined to explain their telepathic ability to communicate musically) made the lead guitar production more organic.

The Nashville bassist Jaymi “Pink Bassman” Millard (Innocent Monday, Kinetic Element, Mark Slaughter) rounded out the tracks.

Once the debut album was in full swing Shane engaged the know-how of recording engineer Mark Aartun of Innerspeaker Records who cut the beginning of Flying Machine-Part 1: Dreamcarriers on Plexiglas using a rare 1940 Presto K-8 portable record cutting machine. They then re-recorded it from a Newcomb schoolhouse tube record player. “This gave me the vintage Victorian feel I was after.”

Finally, as a last minute production idea, Shane contacted his oldest Nashville friend and classical composer Charles Heimermann, who had been leading a professional choir made up of session singers and singers from both the Nashville Symphony Chorus and The Nashville Choir, to push the production over the top with live choir, recorded in a cathedral in Green Hills, Tennessee.

The panoramic artwork was illustrated by Nashville-area artist Philip Willis. Like the music, it is immersive.

The eponymous debut album Evership (CD and Digital) was released on July 1, 2016. Within a month Evership was invited to perform at the prestigious 2017 Rite of Spring progressive rock festival in Gettysburg, PA. By years-end was sited as a 2016 top-ten album of the year by scores of prominent international progressive and rock magazine outlets and radio! The vinyl was mastered by Grammy-award winning engineer Cameron Henry at Welcome to 1979 Studios and was released a year later, again to exceptional reviews.

The Evership momentum continued in 2017 and the band was invited to perform in the second iteration of New Jersey’s new Progressive Rock festival “ProgStock”, in 2018. But after RosFest the Evership live band went through a change-up, as the members who joined Shane and Beau to support RosFest were largely part of the original album effort and moved on to other pursuits. Jaymi Millard went on to play with Mark Slaughter and was replaced by Ben Young. James moved back to Atlanta and was replaced by John Rose. Jesse Hardin, who was part of the live effort, went on to pursue his own project (Coatsworth Drive) and was replaced by Matt Harrell. Taking time to secure new members lasted into 2018.

Simultaneous to getting the new band up to speed, Shane embarked on creating a second Evership record to keep up the momentum. What took 10 years for the first record, took 10 months for the second. “I was over-extended but I was compelled to keep the continuity of Evership in front of our listeners and the media. And in a way, I had to clear my head of the first run of material. There is so much more to do!”

Evership II began in January of 2018 and was released on October 19th, 2018. The music received almost instantaneous international praise with a record number of reviews and sales in a short amount of time for the act. “Evership II is really the rest of what would otherwise have been on the Debut. The best way to listen to Evership II is to listen to the debut first and then go into the second. It will make more sense.”

The sophomore record retains James Atkinson on most of the lead guitars, but otherwise the line-up includes most of the new live band; with Ben Young on Bass and Chapman Stick, and the classically-trained John Rose on rhythm electric, classical, acoustic and slide guitars. Beau West continues to shine on lead vocals and Shane fills out the remainder of the instrumentation, with the exception of the opening track which includes some live performance material from live drummer Joel Grumblatt and some guitar work from former bandmate Jesse Hardin. Shane also managed to incorporate a live orchestra and another session with the Charles Heimermann Chorale. The artist Philip Willis was re-engaged to create the new album artwork in the celebrated style of the first album. Portions of Evership II where performed at ProgStock 2018.

In 2019 Evership released their first official music video to the opening cut; “The Serious Room” to wide praise. The band’s proliferation that year caught the notice of PROG magazine and Evership was featured in an interview in issue 97 (along with Yes and Alan Parsons)!

In the break after the Evership II support tour and during Codiv, Shane completed writing/curating their third and fourth albums; a two-act rock opera based on a literary work by Harold Bell Wright entitled ‘The Uncrowned King’! The same Evership II band lineup performed the recording and the unique photography of Rory White graces the covers for an altogether different and catching effect. The single ‘Allthetime’ was released April 23nd to great fan and industry acclaim, appeared on PROG magazine’s CD Sampler (Issue #119) and aired internationally on terrestrial and internet radio. The album ‘The Uncrowned King – Act 1’ was released on May 21st, 2021 and garnered many Best Album of 2021 from reviewers and fans! The epic music video to ‘The Tower’ aired on November 24th of that year. Act II is expected to release in Fall 2022. Evership is in full-sail again and the journey continues strong!

Overture of “The Uncrowned King – Act 2”. Album release Fall 2022! Pre-Orders and Merch bundles are available starting June 22nd at https://www.evership.com/!

2021 THE BEST OF PROG IN PICTURES & WORDS

I am back as years before, struggling to know if I missed any albums on this list, and the answer would be a resounding yes. Every year see thousands of releases just in the prog genre alone. It’s virtually impossible to discover and hear every prog release in any given year, so I did my best to showcase the cream of the crop, but then again I must point out these are one man’s points of view and will vary from publication and reviewer abroad. My taste in music is vast so I hope you all feel I have done justice by showcasing these 21 releases.
The Un-qualified Critic

1) The Blue Door 
First full-length release by Candian Progressive jazz folk-rock act, A Gardening Club Project
CD & Digital
Melodic Revolution Records
http://gardeningclubmusicandart.ca

2) The Uncrowned King (Act 1) 
The third release by US art-rock band, Evership
CD & Digital
Self-released
https://www.evership.com
 
3) We Are The Truth
Sixth studio album by Swedish progressive rock band, Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion
CD, LP & Digital
Glassville Records
https://www.hfmcband.com

4) Imperial
Fifth album by progressive metal supergroup, Soen
CD, LP & Digital
Silver Lining Music
https://soenmusic.com

5) Altitude
Third album by English progressive rock band, Lifesigns
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://lifesignsmusic.co.uk

6) Vigesimus
Twenty Seventh release since 1994 by Mexican neo-prog band, Cast
CD, & Digital
Progressive Promotion Records
http://www.castofficial.com

7) 5.20
Third studio album by progressive rock band, Nine Skies
CD, & Digital
Anesthetize Productions
https://nineskiesmusic.com

8) Graveyard Star
Fourteenth studio release by progressive rock band Mostly Autumn
CD, & Digital
Self-released
https://www.mostly-autumn.com

9) Common Ground
Fourteenth album by English progressive folk-rock band, Big Big Train
CD & Digital Self released
LP Plane Groovy
https://www.bigbigtrain.com

10) Harvest
The third release from Greek Progressive rock band, Ciccada
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://ciccadabem.bandcamp.com/album/harvest

11) The Absolute Universe Forevermore
Fifth studio album by multinational progressive rock supergroup, Transatlantic
CD, LP & Digital
InsideOut (Europe) Metal Blade/Radiant (US)
https://www.transatlanticweb.com

12) Kites
Third album by English progressive rock band, This Winter Machine
CD & Digital Self released
LP Plane Groovy
https://thiswintermachine.uk/about/

13) Presence Of Life
Seventh album by Norwegian progressive folk group, Kerrs Pink
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://kerrspink.com

14) Forsaken Innocence
Eight studio by UK-based Progressive Rock band, Drifting Sun
CD, LP & Digital
Self-released
https://driftingsun.co.uk

15) Snakes & Angels
The second release by US progessive metal artist, GorMusik
Melodic Revolution Records
CD & Digital
https://gormusik.com

18) Playing House
2nd release by progressive art-rock band, Meer
Karisma Records
CD, LP & Digital
http://meerband.com

19) The Forgotten Earth
Debut solo release by Scarlet Hollow prog band bassist, Jeffrey Erik Mack
Melodic Revolution Records
CD & Digital  
https://www.jeffreyerikmack.com

16) Copeland King Cosmo & Blew, Gizmodrome Live
First, live album and second release by progressive rock supergroup Gizmodrome formed in Italy
Ear Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://www.facebook.com/Gizmodrome

17) A View From The Top Of The World
Fifteenth studio release by US prog metal pioneers, Dream Theater
Inside Out Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://dreamtheater.net

20) One to Zero
Eleventh studio album German progressive rock band, Sylvan
Gentle Art Of Music
CD, LP & Digital
http://www.sylvan.de/home/

21) Aphelion
Eighth studio album by Norwegian progressive/avant-garde metal band, Leprous
Inside Out Music
CD, LP & Digital
https://www.leprous.net

Phoen1x to Release Debut Album Immaterial Witness Featuring All-Star Cast

Melodic Revolution Records is thrilled to announce that US symphonic act Phoen1x will release Immaterial Witness on October 23rd, in all popular Digital formats and a very limited-run Compact Disc. 

Immaterial Witness is a collection of ten songs written over the last couple of decades that have been recorded by an all-star outfit featuring members of Vertical Alignment, Proto-Kaw, Evership, Time Horizon, Stratospheerius, among many other talented musicians.

Tracklisting
01 Immaterial Witness 
02 Dreamer Awaken 
03 Sunrise 
04 Home of the Brave 
05 Small Charade 
06 Legend of Brick House 
07 The Opera 
08 Song of Life (Phyl’s Song) 
09 Tomorrows 
10 Angels 

Phoen1x is.
Jake Livgren – Lead and Back Vocals, Saxophone 
Seth Trotman – Bass 
Michael Adams – Percussion and Drums 
Phoen1x – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars, Cherokee Flute 

Additional Musicians 
Bill Rebsamen – Keyboards 
Deron Freeman – Trumpet 
Kev Rowland – Narration 
Jaymi Millard – Bass 
Mike FitzPatrick – Lead Vocals 
Mark Thompson – Lead Guitar 
Erikson Silva – Lead Guitar 
Joe Deninzon – Vocals, Electric Violin (Viper) 
Lyda Livgren – Back Vocals 
Chuck Tidwell – Lead Guitar 
Greg Wollan – 12 String Guitar 
Ralph Otteson – Keyboards 
Mike Florio – Lead Vocals 
Bill Coan – Vocals, Bass

Website | Facebook |MRR

Evership Album 3 & 4 Spring Update

As you know, Evership is recording a two-part rock opera based on a story by early-1900s writer Harold Bell Wright. While COVID-19 has slowed the process a bit, we’ve been moving cautiously forward with recording as best we can. All music is written and demoed. Drums and Lyrics are complete for both parts 1 and 2. We’re a few songs into bass guitar for part 1. Acoustic Guitars (12 and 6-string) are almost done for Part 1.

The recording process has been a patchwork of locations as we are still establishing a new studio space. We’ve been recording Ben on location.

Ben Young recording bass for Evership’s 3rd album

We’re recording acoustic guitars with Matt Harrell (12-String) and John Rose (everything else) with my friend Pat Holt at Pat Holt Productions in Nashville, on Music Row.

Recording Acoustic Guitars on Music Row in Nashville

Pat Holt has been in the industry for 40 years and is a veteran engineer and producer. He’s worked with everyone from Alabama, James Taylor and Doctor Hook to Johnny (And June Carter) Cash, Waylon Jennings and The Judds. (Factoid: Pat is married to Irlene Mandrell of the Mandrell sisters.)

Shane Atkinson and Pat Holt at Pat Holt Productions in Nashville

We are recording direct to a Studer two-inch tape machine through an early 70’s Harrison console. Harrison consoles are manufactured here in Nashville. In fact, Shane worked on building some Harrison consoles in his early music career when not on the road. This particular model was the same used to record Kansas’ Leftoverture in Louisianna. The actual console we’re recording through was used by Styx for their first album, as well as many of Johnny Cash’s records and a slew of other 70’s and 80’s pop and country artists. Ah, the sweet sound of analog is always amazing!

Recently Nashville, like many other cities, issued a “Safer at Home” order for the next few weeks. As many are in quarantine, Shane took a break from the recording process to mix and prepare a section of an Evership’s ProgStock concert to add some entertainment for those also homebound. We thought we’d premier it first for our Evershipenteurs! We hope you enjoy it!

Isle of The Broken Tree (II-IV) – Live Video

Follow Evership
http://www.evership.com
https://www.facebook.com/evershipband/

Evership Album Update

Pictured here is James and Shane Atkinson preparing to record guitars for Evership’s 3rd and 4th albums

The recording is going well for Evership’s next project: a two-hour, two-album rock opera adapted from a work by American author Harold Bell Wright in the previous turn of the century. He has the distinction of being the first American author to gross a million dollars from fiction writing and sell a million copies of a novel! More than fifteen movies were made from his stories.

Music composition and demos are done. Lyrics are three-quarters complete. Drums are half-way. The Evership II band is back; Ben Young will be recording bass guitar this month on Part I. Acoustic guitars will be recorded on music row in Nashville in March with John Rose. Last weekend Shane went to Atlanta to record brother-magic (lead guitars) with his brother James.

In other news
Evership’s Shane Atkinson was interviewed with around twenty other modern progressive rock artists (including among others, Robert Berry, Echo Test, Soul Enema, Magenta, Life After Mars, Wobbler) in a new book by Vasileios Yfantis entitled “Is Prog Rock Really Progressive?”. Shane lays out some insights on the matter. You can support this project on Amazon; in paperback and ebook. Very interesting to hear all the different takes on this subject!