Prog Legends Gentle Giant reunite for new version of “Proclamation” premiered by PROG Magazine
The classic Gentle Giant line-up has reunited for the first time since 1980 for a unique new video. Pieced together over the last few months, it’s a brand new performance of “Proclamation” (originally from the band’s 1974 album “The Power & The Glory”) including appearances from Gentle Giant alumni Derek, Ray and Phil Shulman, Gary Green, Kerry Minnear, John Weathers and Malcolm Mortimore. There are also guest appearances by numerous notable musicians including Jakko Jakszyk (King Crimson), Billy Sherwood (YES), Lee Pomeroy (ELO/Steve Hackett), Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), Richard Hilton (Chic) and Mikey Heppner (Priestess).
“This terrible pandemic is being felt all over the world and with everyone being stuck at home, I figured now would be the perfect time to bring positivity out in the world, bring everyone together and celebrate our love of music and Gentle Giant,” explains Noah Shulman, son of Derek and mastermind behind this project tp Dom Lawson of PROG Magazine. “Over the years I was always amazed with how many people were filming their renditions of Gentle Giant tracks from all over the world on an array of instruments. So that sparked the idea of wanting to see them all in one place, blending sounds and instruments into a single track.”
Directed and edited by Noah Shulman and mixed by his uncle Ray, the video is likely to be remembered most for the momentous reuniting of the real Gentle Giant, albeit only briefly and via to the wonders of remote communication. Seeing that the band have never seemed likely to reform, this is a significant and exciting moment for Gentle Giant fans everywhere. Says Noah, “It’s a sort of thank you from the band to the fans.”
Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy & Randy George recently announced their return to the Cover To Cover series of albums with ‘Cov3r To Cov3r’, the brand new third instalment. Featuring their renditions of classic tracks by the likes of King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Gerry Rafferty, David Bowie & more (including their cover of ‘No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed’ featuring vocals from Yes singer Jon Davison), the album will be released on July 24th, as CD, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as Digital Album.
Today they are pleased to reveal a video for their cover of ‘Baker Street’, originally by Gerry Rafferty, and you can watch it now here:
Randy George comments: “Baker Street’ is one of the songs that is instantly recognizable. When I first mentioned the idea of doing ‘Baker Street,’ Neal said that it was funny because he and Mike had just been discussing that one as well.“
Neal Morse adds: “To be honest I was never that big of a fan of this song. It’s one that Mike really wanted to do as I recall. But as we dove into it and I began singing it, I really felt it. Lyrics about thinking that it’s going to be really easy to succeed and then hitting walls and becoming disillusioned are very relatable to me. I found myself really digging into it and taking a kind of “The Who” approach to the song really works well!”
As well as this, the ‘Cover To Cover Anthology (Vol. 1 – 3)’ will be released on the same day, collecting all 3 installments together over 3 discs. The first two albums have also been newly re-sequenced and remastered, and will also be available on all digital services. All the albums have also been given brand new artwork, created by Thomas Ewerhard (Sons of Apollo, The Neal Morse Band, Avantasia).
1.Where The Streets Have No Name (U2) 2.I’m The Man (Joe Jackson) 3.What Is Life? (George Harrison) 4.Badge (Cream) 4.Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney) 5.Day After Day (Badfinger) 6.Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkees) 7.Tuesday Afternoon (The Moody Blues) 8.Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith) 9.I’m Free / Sparks (The Who) 10.Where Do The Children Play (Cat Stevens) 11.Feelin’ Stronger Everyday (Chicago) 12.Rock N Roll Suicide (David Bowie)
CD 2 (Cover 2 Cover):
1.(What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love & Understanding (Elvis Costello) 2.Lido Shuffle (Boz Scaggs) 3.Crazy Horses (The Osmonds) 4.Driven To Tears (The Police) 5.Come Sail Away (Styx) 6.Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (Steely Dan) 7.Lemons Never Forget (The Bee Gees) 8.The Letter (Joe Cocker) 9.I Saw The Light (Todd Rundgren) 10.Teacher (Jethro Tull) 11.Southern Man/Needle And The Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young) 12.Starless (King Crimson)
CD 3 (Cov3r To Cov3r):
1.No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Yes) 2.Hymn 43 (Jethro Tull) 3.Life On Mars (David Bowie) 4.Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty) 5.It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr) 6.Baby Blue (Badfinger) 7.One More Red Nightmare (King Crimson) 8.Black Coffee In Bed (Squeeze) 9.Tempted (Squeeze) 10.Runnin’ Down A Dream (Tom Petty) 11.Let Love Rule (Lenny Kravitz)
Morse, Portnoy & George first worked together on Neal Morse’s Testimony Live project back in 2003, and since then they have devised and recorded countless Neal Morse albums, including three with The Neal Morse Band.
The three friends have also released music as Morse, Portnoy & George: so far, two Cover to Cover albums have been produced, each being a collection of covers of their favorite songs. As Portnoy explains: “One of the first things myself, Neal and Randy usually start talking about what we can cover when we gather for one of Neal’s solo albums, should we have some leftover time at the end of the session. Most of the songs are rooted in the 60s and 70s and are songs / bands we grew up with.” Explains George, “We all share an attachment for this era of music, so we each throw out song ideas, see what sticks, and record the ones we like the most!”
The trio has covered songs from such greats as, Paul McCartney, Cream, The Who, Jethro Tull, Steely Dan, and many more. They also have also covered some prog classics from the likes of King Crimson and Yes.
Blood Like Red is the 3rd track from the 2014 Music From An Expanded Universe album. The video features Leon Alvarado on Keyboards and Drums. Trey Gunn (King Crimson, The Security Project) on Warr Guitar and Bass and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates) on Taos Drums percussion. Produced by Leon Alvarado, Engineered by Leon Alvarado, Trey Gunn and Mastered by Andy Jackson
For years I had wanted to add visuals to what it is one of my favorite pieces from my music. Leon Alvarado
Leon Alvarado is Texas-based prog drummer, keyboardist, composer, and illustrator, Alvarado has recorded with many talented musicians including Bill Bruford (Gong, Yes, Genesis, Earthworks), John Goodsall (Brand X, Fire Merchants), Trey Gunn (King Crimson), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Paul McCartney), Billy Sherwood (Yes, Asia), Rick Wakeman and Tony Levin.
On the graphics front I have done album covers and touring materials for bands such as Brand X, Genesis, Phil Collins, Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck, Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, and King’s X.
A Critics Point of View
This is not one of those balls-to-walls prog-rock affairs. For instance on “Blood Like Red,” the artists execute a slowly moving and budding rock pulse, steered by Gunn’s prominent bass lines, in support of the leader’s polytonal voicings, sounding somewhere in between a mellotron and synth strings type soundscape. Moreover, Alvarado layers a tabla vibe to incorporate a world music background into the mix, followed by Gunn’s stinging and crunchy Warr guitar notes. All About Jazz
“Blood Like Red” starts and ends with atmospheric wind effects with the middle brimming with Alvarado’s spacier synth exploits and Gunn’s textural Warr guitar crunch. It is here the band really gets into a full but subtle groove. Jon Neudorf – Sea of Tranquility
It isn’t a new idea to undertake a work that is dedicated to covers of already known and loved songs, but it is somewhat unusual for one person to take the music of just one band and translate it into the classical form. Again, this isn’t exactly without precedent, and while everyone is fully aware of the many full-blown orchestral attempts over the years (some of which have been incredibly successful, such as David Palmer’s work on the likes of Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, others not so much), there have actually been a few other attempts with far less bombast, and I am still a huge fan of the two albums by Yngve Guddal & Roger T. Matte where they translated Genesis for two grand pianos. But, racking my brain and my personal library I cannot think of another quite like this.
Here Fernando Perdomo combines his love of classical guitar and King Crimson to create something which is a worthy tribute, and successful on all counts. One thing I particularly like is that this recording does contain a few slight fluffs, which allows me to think that each recording is solid without any drop-ins or overdubs. Indeed, with the resonance of the strings, it would be hard for that to take place. Ten songs, with a total length of just 25 minutes, this is a delight for any fan – as to whether it works for those who don’t know any of the pieces I am unable to judge, as this is like meeting old friends who are familiar, but somehow quite different as well.
Fernando Perdomo says of the release: “’ The Crimson Guitar’ is my passionate love letter to the amazing King Crimson music that fascinated me when I was first learning classical guitar in my early teens… I created these arrangements with the utmost respect for the music and legacy of the band. My hope is to bring light to the delicate beauty of the songs”. I think he has achieved that with some ease, as these are a delight, making them somehow more original and also inviting the listener to go back to the original albums and compare the two. Sheer class from beginning to end and essential for any fan of King Crimson. 8/10 Kev Rowland
King Crimson will be playing one tour this year in USA and Canada during June and July 2020. Except for shows such as the Ottawa Blues Festival, all the dates will be double bills with the Zappa Band.
“The Summer tour will be a throwback one for us in a few ways; great to be going back to outdoor venues, some of them the ‘sheds’ we played in the 1980’s. And we’ll be travelling by tour bus, old school! As for what pieces we’ll play, that hasn’t been decided yet, but will likely be a wide selection from the 50 years of Crimson repertoire. With 7 players on stage we can cover it all.” – Tony Levin
Since King Crimson’s return to live performance in 2014, with critically acclaimed sell-out shows all over the world their three-hour shows regularly include material from twelve of their thirteen studio albums, including many of the songs from their seminal 1969 album In The Court of the Crimson King, described by Pete Townshend, as an “uncanny masterpiece”. The new 7-piece line-up plays many historic pieces that Crimson has never played live, as well as new arrangements of Crimson classics – “the music is new whenever it was written”. There are also new instrumentals and songs, as well as the compositions by the three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, and Jeremy Stacey, which are a regular highlight. A unique show, where seven of the best musicians in the world play music without distraction or adornment.
King Crimson is: Robert Fripp Tony Levin Jakko Jakszyk Mel Collins Jeremy Stacey Gavin Harrison Pat Mastelotto
“The Zappa Band” is composed primarily of former ZAPPA alumni. The touring unit is: Ray White (lead vocals, guitar), Mike Keneally (guitar, keys, vocals), Scott Thunes (bassist) and Robert Martin (keyboards, sax, vocals). Also joining are ZPZ alums Jamie Kime (guitar) and ZAPPA archivist Joe “Vaultmeister” Travers (drums, vocals). The band will be performing a strong mix of Zappa classics along with new and rare Zappa compositions. This is the ultimate Zappa alumni band in partnership the Zappa Trust. Don’t miss your chance to see these virtuosos perform live!
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