Prog-Ducer Passes on Sale TODAY Saturday, June 25 at 12:00 PM ET
ProgStock 2022 Current Lineup
Orpheus Nine District 97 Rachel Flowers Melanie Mau & Martin Schnella Pattern-Seeking Animals Adam Holzman & Brave New World ProgJect Stick Men Reuter Motzer Grohowski More acts to come!
Evership Special pre-release album listening party (venue TBD) for the new album, The Uncrowned King – Act 2 The full band will join us at ProgStock 2023…but, they have some additional surprises in the works for us in 2022. Stay tuned!
ProgStock 2022 Ticket Options & Sale Dates
Prog-Ducer Passes Available Beginning TODAY, Saturday, June 25 at 12:00 PM ET Prog-Ducer 3-Day Pass: $375 USD (plus taxes & fees) Early access to the lobby each day (30 minutes before regular attendees) Priority access to artist meet-and-greets each day (after 5-Year Patrons) Merchandise package, including some special items only for Prog-Ducers: Exclusive ProgStock 2022 Prog-Ducer Wristband (wear it proudly!) Other special items (to be determined) exclusive to Prog-Ducers Select items from our ProgStock 2022 merchandise catalog Festival Poster, Wristband, and Program (with autograph pages!) Festival T-Shirt in your chosen style and size
Regular 3-Day Passes and 1-Day Passes Not Available Until Saturday, July 16 at 12:00PM ET
Regular 3-Day Pass: $250 USD (plus taxes & fees) Access to artist meet-and-greets each day (after Prog-Ducers) Festival Poster, Wristband, and Program (with autograph pages!) Festival T-Shirt in your chosen style and size Single-Day Pass: $75/$100 USD (plus taxes & fees) Friday: $75 USD, Saturday: $100 USD, Sunday: $100 USD Access to artist meet-and-greets that day (after Prog-Ducers) Streaming Options: Coming soon!
5-Year Patron Passes Available NOW and anytime before October 7, 2022 A ProgStock 5-Year Patron may select any available seat within our theater and reserve it for 5 years, starting with this year’s festival. Patrons receive a three-day pass to the festival and are also entitled to these amazing perks:
Earliest access to the lobby each day (30 minutes before all others) First-in-line access to all artist meet-and-greets each day (before all others) Highly-valuable merchandise packages (unique each year, with cool freebies from us and our artists) An exclusive ProgStock 5-Year Patron badge (new and unique each year) Great perks throughout the year when opportunities arise from our alums and friends.
When I was young, I was fascinated by myths and legends of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt and I was given a book, ‘The Story of Greece’, which had belonged to my mum when she was a child herself. With lots of colour plates I was fascinated by the stories of Achilles, Hyacinthus, Apollo, Arachne and many others, including of course Pandora. Many people will have heard the term Pandora’s Box even if they do not know the myth from which it was taken. Although the story has been retold many times in many ways, the base is always the same in that Pandora opened a container as she wondered what was inside, releasing many evils into the world and although she attempted to close it quickly only one thing was left behind, often referred to as hope.
Steve is a multi-instrumentalist, and although Eric Johnson has assisted with a guitar solo on one song, he does everything else himself apart from the female vocals, where Shimmer Johnson provides the lead on “My Name Is Pandora” and C.C. White provides additional vocals throughout. Steve is no stranger to concept albums, with the two excellent ‘Stargazer’ albums behind him, but it is very different indeed to work on an original story as opposed to a well-known myth, how to make it relevant for the modern day? Quite easily in his hands it appears, as he mixes it with the story of Eve and Christianity, bringing it right up to date when someone at a garage sale come across a jewelled box they cannot open and asks for advice, only to regret it when they get inside.
The lyrics are thoughtful and at times quite deep, making us think, but in contrast the music is light and full of hooks, so they combine together in a manner which is both fascinating and intriguing, making us curious to investigate further, much like the protagonists in the story. The idea of bringing in a singer to take on the role of Pandora herself makes total sense as here she has a voice and is able to explain who she is, and in Shimmer Johnson, Steve has found the perfect vocalization of his ideas. I can see them working together more in the future.
As well as the songs, there is a spoken word piece called “Origin Story”, where we hear the story of Pandora according to the original legends, explaining to those who did not grow up reading Greek myths (which is most people in fairness), all accompanied by an underlying keyboard piece. I also ought to make mention of the drums, as although they are programmed it shows that when someone really knows what they are doing then they can become a valid instrument. It really feels like there is a human driving the sound as opposed to a computer.
The end result is an album which is deep, wanting to make us think and also investigate the story further, while also being thoroughly enjoyable on a musical level. Complex, and complicated, it is a delight the first time it is played and that feeling only deepens the more one gets inside.
Like last year, the Festival will be held in the Revislate sports field. We know that many have appreciated the possibility of being able to reserve a seat: this year we ask you for a symbolic amount (2 euros per evening or 3-night pass for 5 euros) to be able to support the cost of renting the chairs.
News also on the Jazz front: on Saturday 10th September the Antonio Faraò Trio and Jazz Sabbath (led by Adam Wakeman, son of the legendary Rick Wakeman) will play for us! In this case, admission is free and no reservation is required.
We are waiting for you, as always, numerous and numerous!
Contrary to popular belief, progressive rock didn’t disappear with the advent of punk, and the lack of media support didn’t prevent new bands from forming and new music being created. It is hard to imagine these days, with everyone being permanently connected, but there was a time not long ago when communication was by word of mouth and letter. With no coverage by much of the media, it was down to fanzines and independent magazines to spread the word of what was happening within the progressive rock scene, what was being released, and who was worth going to see in concert. Most of these magazines survived for just a few issues, while others continued for many years, all having their part to play in spreading the word.
One of the most important during this period was ‘Feedback’. It initially started as the newsletter of Mensa’s Rock Music Special Interest Group in 1988, but when Kev Rowland became secretary in 1990, he determined to turn it into a magazine promoting music which often wasn’t being written about in the mainstream press. ‘Feedback’ soon became one of the key promoters of the underground progressive scene, and Rowland one of the most well-known and popular reviewers. He also became a contributor to ‘Rock ‘n’ Reel’, as well as writing for the Ghostland website in the early days of prog on the web.
Rowland collated all his progressive rock reviews and interviews written between 1991 and 2006 into three volumes which have been described by Record Collector and others as “The Bible” while one reviewer called it the “Encyclopaedia Progressivica”. It was originally intended to be just one book, but with the word count at more than half a million it was too big, so instead, it was decided to break it into easily digestible chunks and also include all the album artwork. The books have been widely acclaimed, and questions were asked of Rowland as to when the next one in the series would be available? Originally there was never any intention to produce any others as these had captured the time when he was running ‘Feedback’. However, even though he moved to the other side of the world and dropped out of the music scene, Rowland did begin writing again in 2008, and was soon as involved as he had previously been in the UK. Also, all his reviews were now saved digitally and did not have to be brought back to life from poorly photocopied fanzines, and he became convinced that it would be worthwhile to continue the series as the music had never stopped.
This brings us to Volume 4, which contains his writings from 2008 to 2013, with all album covers in full colour and cover art again by Martin Springett. Unlike the others in the series, this one-volume contains the complete alphabet, along with some book and DVD reviews, various artists, and a few interviews. The foreword is by the highly respected reviewer Olav M. Björnsen, while the comments on the rear cover are from Thierry Sportouche of the French progzine Acid Dragon (one of the longest-running progressive rock fanzines in the world) and Jerry van Kooten, founder of the highly influential Dutch Progressive Rock Pages (DPRP.Net). Together, these four stalwarts of the prog scene have more than 100 hundred years’ experience of writing about the music they love.
Along with the other three volumes in the series, this book shines a spotlight onto a scene time which is still critically ignored by many and provides information about the music in a constructive manner. It is again possible to discover some great music from wonderful bands, and this should be used as a guide to expand collections and understand that prog-rock really didn’t die, it just went underground.
About the author
Kev Rowland is a self-confessed music addict, who has never really been the same since he heard ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ in 1975. In the Eighties he spent quite a ridiculous amount of money on all things related to Jethro Tull and was asked by David Rees to write a piece on Carmen (the band including John Glascock, not the opera) for the Tull fanzine ‘A New Day’. This simple request was life-changing, although neither realised it at the time.
Kev discovered he enjoyed writing about music and submitted reviews for the inaugural Mensa RockSIG newsletter, before becoming secretary himself in 1990. Over the next 16 years, the newsletter gained a name, and he put out more than 80 issues, many of them doubles, more than 11,000 pages. When he moved to New Zealand in 2006, he retired from the music scene, but was pulled back in – initially kicking and screaming until he accepted his fate. These days he can be found contributing to many magazines and websites and is thoroughly enjoying the amazing music which can be found at the end of the world, saying the gigs remind him so much of what he used to attend 30 years ago.
When he isn’t listening to music, writing about music, or thinking about music, then he can be found on his lifestyle block with his wonderful wife Sara, and their 8 cats, 6 dogs, chickens, sheep, lambs, calves and cattle. Oh, apparently, he has a day job as well.
Containing all of Kev Rowland’s progressive rock reviews and interviews written between 1991 and 2006, the first four volumes of The Progressive Underground are essential for all lovers of the genre, but don’t just take our word for it.
A book that will be quickly referred to as “a bible”.
Daryl Easlea, Record Collector
Rowland is collecting his reviews in three volumes (in alphabetical order): their preservation for posterity is welcome. His writing is informative, intelligent, and generous. It certainly makes interesting reading… As Brian Appleton would put it, thank you Kev for your contribution.
Rychard Carrington, Rock n Reel
The third compilation of reviews from his Feedback fanzine is warm, honest and engaging. It is also, like the best underground writing, unvarnished and unencumbered by any expectations of PR; the reviews in The Progressive Underground Vol 3 are clearly done for no other reason than the love of the genre.
DE, Prog Magazine
This is best treated as a kind of guide to the neo-progressive genre. Thanks to this release, you can rediscover the wonderful albums of great bands and see that progressive rock has never really died, it just went from the mainstream to the underground.
Artur Chachlowski, MLWZ
All I can say is if you are a true proghead this book should be in your library of progressive rock literature. Because it’s a great work. A book to be considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.
Henri Strik, Background Magazine
Chronic well-crafted, short and mostly written in order to develop the subject with ease…Simply relevant information, the essential and useful. Personally, I believe that many current columnists should emulate the writing of Mr. Rowland.
Laying his fan card on the table, Rowland has brought all of these reviews together to create a veritable Encyclopaedia Progressivica in three volumes… the ultimate pan-progressive fanzine.
Set to make their worldwide live debut at ProgPower USA XXI on June 3rd, Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra have released a heavy new single appropriately titled “Sic Riff”. The track is the second single to be released in advance of an upcoming album due out later this year.
Jason Bieler had this to say about the new single: “It is about time for the musical high wire act of the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra to take the stage this week for our worldwide debut at the Progpower Festival in Atlanta! In keeping with a long history of storied prog traditions, we will be wearing sequined capes and playing versions of songs that sound nothing like the ones from the record. In fairness, we couldn’t figure out how to get the backing track machine to work…so we said…let’s just leap the breach and plow through the music like an Amish run farm! We also won’t have in-ear monitors…again not because we don’t have them…but sticking with BVBO tradition, we couldn’t figure out how to get them to work either.
“Ohh, yes…to the point, we are going to be playing two new songs from the unreleased record, “Postcards From The Asylum”…because if I know one showbiz thing, nothing pleases music fans more than new tunes, especially live! So to attempt to remedy this blasphemous display of self indulgence we’ve ( when I say “we” I mean “me” and the “voices”) decided to release one of the songs June 1st…it is called “Sic Riff,” it is technically in 12/4, which is really 4/4…but you have to admit for a sec you were like…”this Baron Von Bielski cat is entirely off the mental reservation!” I don’t like to really discuss my lyrics…but this tune is not about “Monkeypox”…although there is a new song on the upcoming record, called Flying Monkeys…which has Marco Minnemann on it, and to my knowledge, as of this writing at least, he has no primate based illnesses…for that matter he doesn’t even own a monkey.
“I personally would love a monkey…but I digress. New tune out everywhere June 1st! Featuring the brilliance of Andee Blacksugar on guitars and noises and Edu Cominato on drums, he is from Brazil and I’m not really sure he actually knows that he played on the record, as I used google translate to chat with him, but it was accidentally set to English to Uzbekistan…so in hindsight all he knows I said is “does your goat have global entry” or something to that effect. If you see Edu, please tell him thanks and that I was referring to the TSA, not his goat being a hussy.”
ProgPower USA will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, June 1-4, 2022. Please visit www.progpowerusa.com for further details.
ason Bieler & The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra recently shared a lyric video for a new track titled “Human Head.” It features a return guest appearance by Andee Blacksugar (KMFDM, Peter Murphy, and Blondie).
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