A Romantic’s Guide To King Crimson by The Mastelottos

Romantic’s Guide To King Crimson is the December 16, 2020 release by The Mastelottos consisting of Pat Mastelotto (of King Crimson, Mr. Mister, XTC, others) and his wife Deborah (providing the vocals) on the 7D Media Records label containing twelve King Crimson classics showcasing a Unexpectedly lush with orchestral, bluesy arrangements and a Pop Prog twist, that lay somewhere between sexy and slutty kind of sound which spans King Crimson’s entire history with such tracks as Heartbeat, Moon Child, Elephant Talk, Exiles, One Time and so much more.  I was quite moved by the performance on this release as well as the arrangements to make this album sound different than the normal King Crimson performance as well as a superb recording.  I highly recommend this album to anyone that is a King Crimson fan.  The only thing I wished on this album was adding the song In The Court Of The Crimson King which is one of my King Crimson songs. You can find this great album on CD and digital download from Amazon and many other music retailers.

Worlds On Hold by Prog Collective

Prog Collective, a star-studded prog-rock project spearheaded by Yes bassist/singer Billy Sherwood, will release its third studio album, Worlds on Hold, on February 5, 2021 on the Purple Pyramid Records label along with Cleopatra Records.  Among the many well-known artists contributing to the album are several Yes members and alums, as well as Todd Rundgren, current Asia/former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, ex-Blood, Sweat & Tears frontman David Clayton-Thomas, former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, ex-Rainbow singers Graham Bonnet and Joe Lynn Turner, longtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre and ex- Queensryche  singer Geoff Tate.  This thirteen track releases features original and cover tracks such as the title track Worlds On Hold, Whiter Shade Of Pale (originally recorded by Procol Harum), The Doors classic People Are Strange, Alan Parsons Project hit Eye In The Sky, Glory Days Ahead, The Beatles song Penny Lane and so much more.  I was quite impressed with how they took so many classics and made it their own.  In addition to an amazing performance, it is complimented with a superb recording.  This is an album I definitely want to add to my vinyl library.  You can pre-order Worlds on Hold now on CD, digitally, and as a deluxe two-LP set pressed on green vinyl from Cleopatra Records, Amazon and many other music retailers.

Lufkin by Randy C. Moore

Award Winning Singer/Songwriter Randy C Moore released his new album, Lufkin January 5, 2021 on Highway 59 Records.  This is my second review for this amazing artist, the first being Hwy 59 that I reviewed back June of 2017.  His vocals and style reminds me so much of one of my favorites Jerry Jeff Walker.  Once you hear this album you can definitely notice the Texas style of this artist.  This releases features a great line up of musicians such as Greg Morrow on drums & percussion, Norbert Putnam on electric bass guitar, Troy Klontz on pedal steel, and Randy Moore is on guitar and piano as well as string arrangements. This ten track album features such amazing tracks as He’s Just A Cowboy, Big In Texas, I Sold A Lot Of Beer, Day After Day, Devil For Hire and so much more.  Randy wrote many of the songs for this album and showcased a great performance and an excellent recording.  It was so good to hear an album by him after all these years.  I am looking forward to his next album which I hope one day he releases a vinyl so I can add a signed copy to my collection.  This great album is available on Amazon, Apple Music and other retailers where CDs and digital downloads are sold.  To learn more about this artist go to his official website https://randycmoore.com/

Paint Still Wet by Peggy James

Paint Still Wet is the fifth album by Wisconsin singer-songwriter Peggy James released September 18, 2020 on the Happy Growl Records label and produced by Jim Eannelli, who also played on all tracks with help from some of Milwaukee’s top musicians including guitarist Daryl Stuermer (Genesis/Phil Collins Band/Jean-Luc Ponty), harmonicists Jim Liban and Lil’ Rev, pianist Connie Grauer and drummers John Calarco and Victor Span.  This twelve track album showcases a mixture of old and new country with a little blues and jazz sound mixed in, with such great tracks as Lets Fly Away, Wiser, Sailor Knots, Head Over Heels, Gettin’ Serious and so much more.  Peggy presents an incredible performance, amazing songwriting talent and a superb recording.  I hope in the future to get the honor of hearing her earlier work to see her growth as a songwriter and performer.  This album is available on CD and digital download from Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and many other retailers.  To learn more about this amazing artist, please go to her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PeggyJamesMusician/

Identity Crisis by Marcelo Paganini

Identity Crisis is the new guitar virtuoso Marcelo Paganini prog rock jazz fusion album to be released on his birthday December 11, 2020. The album features special guests Billy Sherwood (YES/ASIA), Adam Holzman (Steve Wilson Band), Rachel Flowers, Lenny White (Return to Forever), Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa Band), Jan Dumée (Focus), Marc Madoré, Karla Downey, Jamison Smeltz, Damilton Viana, Esdras Ferreira and Adriano Campagnani (Beto Guedes Band).   This six song album features the tracks Bacteria, Circus Is Empty, Soul Much Farther Away, Learn To Love To Wait, Tangerine Way and Captain’s Face.  This album showcases an incredible performance, excellent songwriting and a superb recording.  Whether you are a fan of prog rock or jazz, you will want to check out this album which is available on his bandcamp page https://marcelopaganini.bandcamp.com/, Amazon music and other music retailers.

Sail The Rivers by Trevor Bolder

Sail The Rivers is the October 15,2020 album by Trevor Bolder released on the Bolder Records label via Cherry Red Records. The late Trevor Bolder was the bass player in Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heep. This posthumous album has been completed by his friends and is fully endorsed by his family. The tracks are all new recordings of solo tracks and some songs that also became Uriah Heep songs. Sail The Rivers” features guest appearances by Uriah Heep bandmates Mick Box and Lee Kerslake (who passed away recently) and Wishbone Ash bandmate Laurie Wisefield, along with Trevor’s friends.  The lead vocals on the album are shared between Trevor Bolder and Derk Gallagher on this ten track album which features such great cuts as Which Way Will The Wind Blow, Wasting My Time, the title track Sail The Rivers, The Paris Song, War Child and so much more.  It also features an amazing performance as well as great songwriting and excellent recording and production.  This is an album you need to take a listen to and add to your music library which is available from Amazon, Discogs, Walmart and many other retailers where CDs and digital downloads are sold.

Song Of Seven by Jon Anderson

Song of Seven is the second solo album by Yes lead singer Jon Anderson, released in November 1980 on the Atlantic Records label, and his first to utilize an actual band (the New Life Band) and was released during Anderson’s first hiatus from Yes and supported by his first solo tour.  This edition of the album is a re-released, remastered version and extended version released November 27, 2020 on the Esoteric Records label.  I remember the original release of this album with such great tracks as Some Are Born, Take Your Time, Heart Of The Matter, Everybody Loves You and so much more.  This Esoteric Recordings edition has been newly remastered from the original Atlantic Records master tapes and is expanded to include two rare US single edits previously unreleased on CD and restores the original album artwork in a digipak.  This release showcases Jon Andersons amazing voice and performance as well as excellent songwriting and a superb recording.  For any Yes fan, this is an album I highly recommend adding to your music library.

Modern Man by Ben Lang

BEN LANG is a singer-songwriter from San Rafael, CA. His debut solo release MODERN MAN released November 27, 2020 on the Moo Moo Records label offers six finely crafted alternative-acoustic tracks with expressive lyrics and a slight country feel, written and performed entirely by Ben Lang.   I was impressed with his vocal style with such tracks as the title track Modern Man, Hollow Spaces, Mr. Moon and others.  This EP showcases a mixture of country, folk and a bit of blues with a great performance and songwriting and superb recording. This EP is available as a digital download from Amazon and other music retailers.  I am looking forward to seeing what he does next.

The Phoenix Has Risen by Mark Murdock

The Phoenix Has Risen represents the work of drummer/songwriter Mark Murdock whose previous works included Cymbalic Encounters (With Brand X musicians) and Empire (Peter Banks of YES) and most recently The New Empire “Second Lifetime” release on Forward Motion Records. Mark was also a guest on the YES 50th Anniversary tribute album by Dave Kerzner and Fernando Perdomo. The 12 song CD released November 14, 2020 on the Cymbalic Records label features guest artists, not only including guitarist Fernando Perdomo, but veteran Prog drummer Ronald Howden of Nektar who guests on two songs, and bassist Alan Thomson, who played with John Martyn and currently the Martin Barres Band, U.K. vocalist Tim Pepper and Joe Berger lead guitar and more on such great tracks as the title track The Phoenix Has Risen, Reoccurring Dreams, Exit Door, All Fools Fade Away, The Unknown Man and so much more.  This amazing album showcases a great performance with powerful instrumentals and vocals as well as great songwriting and a superb recording.  This is definitely an album you need to check out which is available from Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music and many other retailers.

Power Up by AC/DC

Power Up is the seventeenth studio album by Australian band AC/DC, released on 13 November 2020 through Columbia Records and Sony Music Australia. It also marks the return of vocalist Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams, all of whom left AC/DC before, during, or after the supporting tour for their previous album Rock or Bust plus the band’s first album since the death of co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young in 2017 and it serves as a tribute to him.  The full lineup on this album is Angus Young on lead guitar, Brian Johnson on lead vocals, Phil Rudd on drums, Cliff Williams on bass and Stevie Young on rhythm guitar.  This amazing album had already spawned this singles Shot In The Dark, Realize and Demon Fire.  Other notable tracks on this album are Rejection, Kick You When You’re Down, Money Shot and so much more.  I was quite impressed with the performance on this album with its great songwriting and a superb recording.  This is an album you will want to add to your AC/DC collection.