I have loved Art-Rock and what many now call Prog or Progressive Rock since the late ’60s. I can still recall the day and place I discovered my first Art-rock band it was the summer of 69 I was listening to a pocket-sized AM radio while visiting relatives when I heard a song called White Bird by San Fransico based band “Its a Beautiful Day”.
Soon I would discover many other Art, Prog or Psychedelic bands such as Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Traffic, Procol Harum and Jethro Tull, by the ’70s it was Electric Light Orchestra, Barclay James Harvest, Supertramp, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and in the 80s I was into all styles of music from The Art of Noise,Alan Parsons Project, Tears For Fears, Kansas, Marillion, IQ, It Bites and the story continues today. Yes, I was a fan of the staple bands: Yes, Rush, Genesis, however, I seemed to have gravitated to and built a strong love for all things Melodic.
Which leads me to Pattern-Seeking Animals a fantastic new US melodic Art-rock band formed in 2018 by John Boegehold songwriter and guest musician on many Spock’s Beard albums. Starting with Feel Euphoria (2003) and including Octane (2005) Spock’s Beard (2006) and finally X (2010). Spock’s Beard not only is one of the most important US prog bands, but also one of my favorites. Pattern-Seeking Animals is rounded out by Ted Leonard, Jimmy Keegan & Dave Meros all of whom have been involved with Spock’s Beard or still are.
Boegehold comments: “My goal was to produce music that’s progressive and intricate while keeping things immediate and melodic. Whether a song is four minutes or ten minutes long, I didn’t want more than a few bars go by without some kind of instrumental or vocal hook.”
So what’s in a name? According to my wife and a google search “Humans are pattern-seeking animals and we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not” I have to say this seems to fit the debut very well indeed.
I will not give you a play by play of each track, but I can tell you there are no fillers on this album, the album is filled with brilliant fretwork and tasty hooks, stunning Vocals & Harmonies that remind me of the heyday of Styx, ELO as well as Flying Colors, and Spock’s Beard, the album is chalk full of memorable lyrics that you will want to sing along with: and if that’s not enough the album is rounded out by lush and majestic keyboards and a top-notch rhythm section.
As I said before, there are no fillers on this album but there a few tracks that really sealed the deal for me like; Orphans Of The Universe, These Are My Things, No One Ever Died And Made Me King, or We Write Ghost Stories
1 – No Burden Left to Carry (9:38) 2 – The Same Mistakes Again (5:10) 3 – Orphans of the Universe (10:28) 4 – No One Ever Died and Made Me King (3:54) 5 – Fall Away (4:47) 6 – These Are My Things (4:52) 7 – We Write the Ghost Stories (3:22) 8 – No Land’s Man (5:35) 9 – Stars Along the Way (10:20)
Line-up: John Boegehold (synths, keyboards) Ted Leonard (vocals & guitar) Dave Meros (bass) Jimmy Keegan (drums & vocals)
I listen to a lot of music nowadays so its sensory overload, that said… it’s refreshing when something comes across the desk that makes me go OMG what is this? P-SA is a must-have for any respectable music collection. ★★★★★ Un-qualified-Kritic
Roine Stolt, known as the guitarist, singer, writer and at times band leader of the groups The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy, Kaipa DC, as well as from his work with prog icon Jon Anderson and the new super-group The Sea Within, has released ‘Manifest of an Alchemist’, his brand new studio album. Under the moniker ROINE STOLT’S THE FLOWER KING, this album offers 10 songs and almost 70 minutes of playing time celebrating the style Roine is most revered for: progressive rock, richly orchestrated with all the trademark elements from four decades of the genre.
To celebrate he is pleased to launch a stream of the new track ‘High Road’, which you can listen to here:
Roine comments: “Today marks the day, “Manifesto Of An Alchemist” is released worldwide and I’m glad to be able to celebrate this and The Flower Kings’ music with our fans in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is a truly special ‘release day’ for me and I hope you will all enjoy this album as it offers an extensive prog rock journey that I consider a wonderful contrast to the haste and hectic pace of this age. So, enjoy the 12 minutes of ‘High Road’ on this day, get the album and see you on our European tour with Spock’s Beard kicking off November 30!”
Manifesto of an Alchemist has been receiving great reviews, find a selection below:
“immediate and energetic, gaining in grit” – Prog Magazine
“Stolt’s virtuous musicianship and songwriting abilities shine throughout this masterpiece.” – Daily Sport
“The Flower King at his very best.” – The Prog Report
‘Manifesto Of An Alchemist’ is a celebration of all the styles that have been part of the colourful, daring and dynamic songwriting and arrangements that Roine masters like no other, yet also offers a more immediate, more hands on approach. “Like that first TFK album, I’m the main lead vocalist here again – it works as these lyrics are important to me and resonate with my view of the world. A lot of the guitar work is actually my spontaneous ‘demo’ guitars” and that goes for much of the synth work, too. I didn’t want to ‘process’ ideas too much as there is much power in the initial creation – I wanted to keep it that way.”
The album features a host of other musicians, including long-time collaborators Jones Reingold, Hans Froberg & Michael Stolt, as well as fellow The Sea Within member Marco Minnemann, Max Lorentz, Zach Kamins, Rob Townsend & Nad Sylvan.
‘Manifesto Of An Alchemist’ features stunning artwork from Shaun Beyond (https://www.instagram.com/shaunbeyond/), and will arrive as a limited edition CD digipak, Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD & as digital download.
As previously announced, Roine will take The Flower Kings catalogue on tour later this year, as well as playing tracks from this new album. He comments: “I am excited that the album will be released in November this year and at the same time will be in South America playing The Flower Kings music with a band that also includes Hasse Froberg & Jonas Reingold and also introduces two younger friends; Zach Kamins on keyboards and Mirko DiMaio on drums – both fabulous musicians. We will also bring this to Europe where we join forces with legends Spocks Beard.”
InsideOutMusic 25th Anniversary European Tour feat. Spock’s Beard & Roine Stolt’s The Flower King
30th November – Cosmopolite, Oslo, Norway
1st December – Kulturhuset Studion, Stockholm, Sweden
2nd December – KB, Malmo, Sweden
4th December – Zeche, Bochum, Germany
5th December – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
6th December – La Machine, Paris, France
7th December – De Boerderij, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
8th December – Hedon, Zwolle, Netherlands
9th December – Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
10th December – Academy Club, Manchester, UK
CANADA – North America 2019
28th February – Club Soda, Montreal, Canada
1st March – Salle Jean – Paul Tardif, Quebec City, Canada
Hello Everyone! It’s George Roldan and Beth Wilson, the people who bring you the Rites of Spring Festival, otherwise known as RoSfest, (North America’s premier art rock festival). As we approach RoSfest 2019 in May, we are asking for your support to help us expand our reach into the Florida market with critical ad and radio campaigns. We love Progressive Rock and would like to guarantee that RoSfest succeeds by reaching a larger audience.
About This Project:
As many of you may know, RoSfest, independently owned by Roldan Entertainment and self-financed without any concessions from the music industry, has been going strong now for 15 years and has been primarily located in the Northeast with a strong fan base. We recently moved it to the sunny state of Florida in the city of Sarasota in hopes of growing our Prog family and continuing the festival for many years to come.
We have promoted progressive rock bands both domestically and internationally. Our festival has always been about the music and the fans and we are asking for your help to contribute to our campaign and make it a success. The progressive rock community needs festivals like RoSfest to help our music and enable the artists to have a strong platform to expose their music to the world. There are only a handful of these great independent events left in the USA, let alone the world.
RoSfest, created in 2004, is now in its 16th year! We have put in countless hours of preparation which will lead up to a wonderful 3-day weekend of musical bliss for all who attend in May 2019. Spending a lot of our own money to keep RoSfest going year after year, we are now appealing to our RoSfest family to join us in support so we can expand our reach to a larger audience by using Radio and Magazines to advertise.
We appeal to you, the music lover, to help us put RoSfest and progressive rock bands into the media and into the mainstream. Our plan is to promote RoSfest through media including local radio as well as regional and national magazine ads. We will continue to use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to help promote RoSfest, but that’s not enough to get the word out. Our goal is to raise $6,500.00 to support these efforts.
You can help in a number of ways by donating to this Indiegogo campaign. Your contribution will help RoSfest get the word out to people who have no idea that this wonderful awesome festival exists. When people listen to Progressive music, it really helps heal the soul! By donating, you will be helping the bands get the attention they deserve. Our bands this year have been very responsive by donating very special one-off items as well as signed CD’s, customized recordings, records and drum heads to support this fundraiser as well as many other perks.
Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help:
Other Ways You Can Help
The more people who are aware of our radio and print campaign, the better our chances of raising the necessary funds. By emailing your friends about RoSfest, posting a link to this page on Facebook, or spreading the word on Twitter, you will be giving us enormous support.
Thank you so much for joining in and becoming an active part of our RoSfest family!
Pledge! Our anticipated completion date for RoSfest Radio and Magazine Ads is November 31, 2019. Please help us raise the money we need to allow us to get the word out. All funds raised will go directly towards the media campaign which in turn helps RoSfest.
Back in 1995, a totally unknown quartet released their debut album. This was back in the days before the internet existed, and the mainstream hated prog, so it was actually incredibly hard to hear about new bands, especially from America unless they were signed to a label such as Kinesis who was getting publicity. But, pretty soon everyone involved in the underground scene in the UK knew who they were, and we’re talking about them. I remember going to a gig at Shepherd’s Bush, and afterward, everyone just seemed to be talking about this new band, and had anyone actually heard ‘The Light’? Martin Orford was incredibly excited that GEP had secured the European rights and the first time I played that album I was in awe.
From there on Spock’s Beard could do no wrong in my eyes or ears, as anyone reading Feedback at the time will attest to, as I was shouting from the rooftops that this was the best band I had ever heard out of America. I saw them every time they came to London, and each gig was better than the last. Then in 2002, they released ‘Snow’. At the time I was working on a project which involved me spending many hours in a car visiting different supermarkets each Thursday, which gave me the opportunity to blast this out at the correct volume in its entirety, and I was saying that the best band in the world had just released the finest album possible. Then it was announced that Neal Morse had left and that there would be no tour. I was in shock, and went through all the stages of grief (especially denial), as it just made no sense to me whatsoever. I mean, Gabriel went through with the Lamb tour didn’t he? But no, it was all over. The next time I saw Spock’s Beard they had California Guitar Trio as the initial support, followed by Enchant. They had a long time been a favorite band of mine, so I really enjoyed the set, but the same can’t be said to Spock’s Beard, and I left halfway through the gig. I was fortunate enough to catch Neal on the ‘Testimony’ tour, and it was like old times, but I accepted that the finest album released in the past 20 years would never be played at a concert.
Fast forward to Saturday,
July 2nd, 2016, at New Life Fellowship Church in Cross Plains, and the unthinkable happened. The current line-up of Spock’s Beard (Alan Morse, Ryo Okumoto, Dave Meros, Ted Leonard and Jimmy Keegan) was joined by Neal Morse and Nick D’Virgilio for one night only, and they performed ‘Snow’ in its entirety. Being performed in a church (as part of Morsefest) there was only ever going to be a small audience, so it was also recorded and filmed, and what I have here is the 2 DVD/2 CD set. There was no pressure on the band, all they had to do was perform the album note perfect for an audience that knew the words as well as they did, but also it was very much a one-off, never to be repeated. The first thing I did was play the DVDs so that I could then listen to the CDs knowing what was going on. I must state that I felt sorry for Ted Leonard through this whole performance, as although he was always onstage, and made valuable contributions, he was very much the third wheel. Having a second drummer made a lot of sense as it allowed Nick to be at the front when he needed to be, but Ted was raised on a small dais behind Alan and just didn’t look comfortable, which is a real shame as he is one of the best singers around, and I have always enjoyed his work.
But, tonight was all about Neal being back where many SB fans feel he totally belongs, front and center of the Beard, performing his songs. Not only was he the voice, but he also wrote the majority of the songs, and his ability to move between keyboards and guitar gave the band presence and ability they have missed without him there to provide it. Was it a brilliant performance of the album? Pretty much, it has to be said, and with an additional electric guitar from Leonard when the time was right, it added some crunch that would have been missed otherwise.
The DVD filming of the evening is also good, and the interplay between Jimmy and Nick is wonderful to see, especially in the duet on “Falling For Forever”, one of the only two in-‘Snow’ songs from the night (the other of course being “June”). The question and answer section was interesting, especially as Rich Mouser was involved. The “making of” was also really interesting, where they talk about the original recording and what had happened. I hadn’t realized that the combination of Nick being incredibly unwell and the falling of the Twin Towers had a major impact on the album, which was basically re-written due to that.
Anyway, if you have no idea what ‘Snow’ is about then this four-disc set isn’t the place to start, go and get the original instead. If you are already a fan then this is indispensable. ‘Nuff said.
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