All posts by bradbirzer

By day, I'm a father of seven and husband of one. By night, I'm an author, a biographer, and a prog rocker. Interests: Rush, progressive rock, cultural criticisms, the Rocky Mountains, individual liberty, history, hiking, and science fiction.

Toundra’s El Odio

TOUNDRA – release 3rd and last single “El Odio. Part III” of the “El Odio” trilogy

Premiere of “El Odio” short film on Jan 10th

 Photo by Sergio AlbertToundra are enchanted to be releasing “El Odio, Parte III”, the third and last part of their 22-minute-long piece “El Odio” off of their new album “HEX”. For the video of “El Odio. Parte III”, the band once more collaborated with Asturian director Jorge Carbajales again.

Watch the video here:
https://youtu.be/_knouen7nMQAnd the band is just as excited to be announcing the launch of the full short film “El Odio” on January 10th (1PM CET) via Youtube. Stay tuned for more info.
 
“HEX” is available as Ltd. Edition CD, 180g Gatefold LP (incl. the album on CD) and as Digital Album. Click here to pre-order the album now:
https://toundra.lnk.to/Hex
 
Toudra “HEX” (45:25):
1. El Odio. Parte I (8:07)
2. El Odio. Parte II (6:44)
3. El Odio. Parte III (6:53)
4. Ruinas (5:01)
5. La Larga Marcha (5:50)
6. Watt (7:50)
7. FIN (4:57)
 
“HEX” will be released on January 14th, 2022 via InsideOutMusic.TOUNDRA online:
http://toundra.es/
https://www.facebook.com/toundra
https://www.instagram.com/toundra/

INSIDEOUT MUSIC online:www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/InsideOutUSA
InsideOutMusic.Store
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Spotify: Prog Rock Playlist

Spirit of Cecilia Radio Progcast 1

This is the first of our Spirit of Cecilia Radio Progcasts, episode one–featuring music by Big Big Train, The Flower Kings, Galahad, IZZ, The Bardic Depths, Kevin McCormick, NAO, No-man, Wobbler, and The Tangent. All songs used by kind permission of the artists/labels.

And, with the fiery and enthusiastic commentary of Dave Bandana, Brad Birzer, and Tad Wert.

Among our topics: how much we miss David Longdon (RIP); if the Flower Kings are diverse in their musical offerings; if disco can be prog; just what the number 42 is about; if The Tangent simply rocks; what kinds of instruments Wobbler uses; how McCormick, NAO, and No-man owe something to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk; and just how much we love prog.

Enjoy!

New Video from the Flower Kings

The Flower Kings share new single “The Great Pretender” from upcoming album ‘By Royal Decree’Photo: Lillian ForsbergProg icons The Flower Kings recently announced the release of their 15th studio album ‘By Royal Decree’, set for March 4th, 2022.  Now, the band are pleased to share the first single from the album “The Great Pretender.” The album is now available for pre-order.
 
Check out the new track here:
https://youtu.be/3IyGvwYhvTY‘By Royal Decree’ Tracklisting
1.The Great Pretender (6:55) 
2.World Gone Crazy (5:04) 
3.Blinded (7:45) 
4.A Million Stars (7:11) 
5.The Soldier (5:23) 
6.The Darkness In You (5:13) 
7.We Can Make It Work (2:48) 
8.Peacock On Parade (5:15) 
9.Revolution (5:59) 
10.Time The Great Healer (6:12) 
11.Letter (2:25) 
12.Evolution (4:47) 
13.Silent Ways (5:01) 
14.Moth (4:31) 
15.The Big Funk (4:39) 
16.Open Your Heart (5:17) 
17.Shrine (1:08) 
18.Funeral Pyres (7:14) 
 
‘By Royal Decree’ will be available as Ltd. 2CD Digipak,
as Ltd. 180g 3LP+2CD Box Set as well as Digital Album.
 
You can pre-order the album now here:
https://theflowerkings.lnk.to/ByRoyalDecreeThe band are back at their most creative, flowery and playful – mirroring the 70’s melting pot of folk, symphonic, electronic, jazz, blues, funk & prog. On the new album they have looked for more organic and vintage sounds, still centered around the foundation of drums, bass, guitars and the iconic Hammond, grand piano, mellotron & Moog synthesizers.
 
The album also sees the return of founding member Michael Stolt, who takes up bass guitar and vocals, alongside the line-up of Mirko DeMaio on drums, Zach Kamins on keyboards, Hasse Fröberg on vocal & guitar and Roine Stolt on vocal & guitars and Jonas Reingold on bass. The band convened in the middle of 2021 at Fenix Studios in Sweden to record through the fully analogue Rupert Neve mixing desk. The album also features beautiful cover art, once again created by Denver-based artist Kevin Sloan.
 
Next year’s tour will also see the band revisiting their early years, performing tracks from ‘Retropolis’, ‘Stardust We Are’, ‘Flower Power’, ‘Space Revolver’ and ‘Back In The World Of Adventures’. This will coincide with the release of newly remastered editions of The Flower Kings albums on CD & Vinyl later in 2022. The first confirmed live dates are as follows:
 
30th March 2022 – Katalin, Uppsala, Sweden
31st March 2022 – Musikens Hus, Gothenburg, Sweden
1st April 2022 – Södra Teatern, Stockholm, Sweden
1-7th May 2022 – Cruise To The Edge, USA
11th May 2022  – TBA, Quebec City, Canada
12th May 2022  – TBA, Montreal, Canada
14th July 2022  – Rootsfestival, Notodden, Norway
4th Sept 2022  –  HRH Festival , UK
 THE FLOWER KINGS online:
https://www.roinestolt.com/
http://www.facebook.com/TheFlowerKings
https://www.instagram.com/roinestolt8112/
https://www.facebook.com/pale.rider.127

INSIDEOUT MUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.insideoutmusic.store

www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/InsideOutUSA
http://spotify.com/progrockessentials

Troika’s First Video, JULIA


Nick D’Virgilio, Neal Morse & Ross Jennings share first single and video for “Julia” from debut albumNick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train, ex-Spock’s Beard), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, NMB, ex-Spock’s Beard), and Ross Jennings (Haken, Novena) are pleased to announce their debut album titled ‘Troika’ will be released on Feb 25th, 2022.  The album is now available for pre-order here:
https://dvirgiliomorsejennings.lnk.to/Troika
 
Today, the band is also sharing the album’s first single “Julia”.  You can watch the video by Christian Rios here:
https://youtu.be/Y31eVTnMIxIRoss had this to say about the track:
“With my original demo clocking in at around the 8-minute mark and possibly leaning too close to ‘prog epic’ than the singer/songwriter vibe we were attempting to present on this record, Neal arranged my lengthy ballad into something more concise, in-keeping with the album’s essence and writing in a powerful new chorus in the process! 
 
“This one was all about the 3-part vocal harmony interplay and ‘pull-at-the-heartstring’ lyrics which deals with themes of regret and forgiveness in the context of a broken father-daughter relationship.”
– Ross JenningsTracklisting:
1.Everything I Am (5:43)
2. Julia (6:07)
3. You Set My Soul On Fire (3:22)
4. One Time Less (4:53)
5. Another Trip Around The Sun (4:39)
6. A Change Is Gonna Come (4:24)
7. If I Could (4:02)
8. King For A Day (5:47)
9. Second Hand Sons (4:43)
10. My Guardian (3:43)
11. What You Leave Behind (4:16)
 
‘Troika’ will be available as Ltd. CD Edition / Gatefold 2LP+CD / Digital Album. Each format includes a bonus alternative version of the track ‘Julia’ and is available for pre-order here: https://dvirgiliomorsejennings.lnk.to/TroikaRecorded during lockdown, the process began with Neal Morse writing some acoustic songs that he thought would be enhanced by strong vocal harmonies. He already knew how well his voice blended with former Spock’s Beard band-mate and Big Big Train drummer/ vocalist, Nick D’Virgilio who came on board and, considering a third man, the Americans sought out Haken’s Ross Jennings from the UK to complete the trio. All three found they had songs that would benefit from the three part harmonic blend, and so they pooled their resources, inputting creatively into each others compositions.
 
Neal comments: “What a great pleasure it’s been to work on this album with these amazing artists! It was kind of funny… We had been working on the songs remotely for several months before I finally heard all of us singing together at the same time. The first time I brought the faders up, I knew we had the magic!“
 
Nick adds: “I’ve known and worked with Neal for over 30 years and I’ve been a big fan of Ross and the music he makes for a long time. I felt confident right away that this would be a fun project to be a part of. I was so right.”
 
Ross comments: “Receiving ‘The Call’ from Neal to participate in this project was somewhat of a prayer answered… As a long time fan of their work, I’ve been singing along to Neal’s & Nick’s records for years, so it felt really natural for my voice to slot right in.”
 
The tracks took shape with the musicians recording all of the music and vocals separately, yet the eclectic performances burst with the energy and excitement of the collaboration. Acoustic anthems, charged rockers and sensitive ballads are all part of the mix, and the unique blend of Ross, Neal and Nick’s voices and styles have created an album in which you will encounter these musicians in a way you’ve never heard before.D’Virgilio, Morse & Jennings ONLINE:
https://www.facebook.com/ndvofficial/ 
https://www.nickdvirgilio.com/ 
https://www.instagram.com/ndvirgilio/ 
https://twitter.com/NDVmusic
 
https://www.facebook.com/nealmorse/ 
https://twitter.com/nealmorse 
https://www.instagram.com/neal_morse_official/
 
www.rossjennings.co.uk
https://www.instagram.com/rossjenningsofficial/ 
https://www.facebook.com/rossjenningsofficial
https://twitter.com/RossWJennings
INSIDEOUT MUSIC online:
www.insideoutmusic.com
www.youtube.com/InsideOutMusicTV
www.facebook.com/InsideOutMusic
www.twitter.com/InsideOutUSA
www.insideoutmusic.store
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Rest in Peace, David Longdon

It’s finally hitting me that we live in a world without David Longdon. What a tragedy, what a loss. I first received the news of his death during lunch. Uncharacteristically for me, I was eating lunch while checking things on my iPad. Two things happened at once–I saw the notice from Louder.com and my phone rang. It was my awesome friend, Tom Woods, making sure that I knew the news. Seriously, the phone rang within seconds of me reading the Louder.com post.

A few years ago, Tom and I had the great fortune of interviewing David for Tom’s rather famous podcast. Tom and I have bonded over many things, but few as precious as the hour we spent with David. David was, to be sure, a master craftsman, an original, and a true-to-life gentleman. While Tom and I were barely concealing our fanboy excitement, David offered us nothing but gratitude and clarity.

When I was at Progarchy.Com, I had the pleasure of “talking” with David over email, and I’ll never forget when I first heard the magisterial song, “A Boy in Darkness”–about child abuse. I emailed David, asking him (and hoping against hope that my suspicions were wrong) if the song was autobiographical. No, he assured me, it was not! Thank, God.

To be sure, Longdon and Spawton were the greatest rock musical writing duo since McCartney and Lennon. Their loss will be felt for a generation or more.

I first heard David Longdon’s excellence in 2009, receiving a mix from the mighty Carl Olson with a Big Big Train song on it. I was, from the first moment, hooked. I still consider The Underfall Yard one of the best rock albums of all time. It ranks up there with Selling England by the Pound, Close to the Edge, and Spirit of Eden. I would also–and, yes, I’m throwing the gauntlet down–argue that Longdon had the single best voice in all of rock.

So, David, thank you for everything. A life beautifully lived. There’s so much more to be said, but my brain and soul are still processing a world without you.

New Rob Reed and Peter Jones Project, CYAN

Magenta’s Rob Reed and Camel’s Peter Jones come together to resurrect the band CYAN with reimagined and reworked material from the band’s debut album.
 CYAN features Luke Machin, Pete Jones, Dan Nelson
 
New album ‘For King and Country’ due out on Sept 24th
Keyboardist and composer Rob Reed, known for his work with Magenta, Kompendium and Sanctuary solo albums, is pleased to announce a brand-new album from Cyan – For King and Country, due out on the 24th of September 2021. 
 
Prior to Magenta, almost 30 years ago, Reed release three albums with his then band Cyan. Out of the ashes of that band, Magenta was borne.  Now, on this new Cyan album, Reed has rewritten, rerecorded and reimagined material from the early days of Cyan, and this time with a brilliant new lineup. The group features vocalist Pete Jones (Camel, Tiger Moth Tales), guitarist Luke Machin (Maschine, The Tangent), and bassist Dan Nelson (Godsticks, Magenta).  The band will be playing their first show at Summers End Festival, Sunday, Oct. 3rd
 
The album is available for pre-order here:
https://www.tigermothshop.co.uk/store/Cyan-c117062595
 
Watch the video for the 15-minute opening track and first single “The Sorceror” here: https://youtu.be/x578hquw9nw
Rob Reed on the new album:  “Little did I know in 1983, sitting at the school piano writing these songs, that almost 40 years later those same songs would sound like they do on this album. I remember the original Cyan, made up of school mates, pooling our money, £35 to record them at a local 4 track studio with basic equipment. It’s been amazing to finally hear the songs at their full potential, with modern recording techniques and an amazing line up of players.
  
“I’d held off releasing this album because I couldn’t find a vocalist to do it justice. Meeting Pete ticked that box, as soon as I heard him sing the first track. His voice just blends so good against Angharad Brinn, who I’d worked with on the Sanctuary solo albums. Having Luke play the guitar parts was just the icing on the cake. He is such a great player, with technique and feel. What a line up!”
  
Pete Jones had this to say about the project: “I had known about the reworking of For King And Country for a while, so it was a great thrill to be asked by Rob to work with him on the project, alongside the other amazing musicians such as Luke and Angharad. The songs are fantastic. They have a youthful and yet vintage quality to them, as well they might, given that they were first done in the early 90s. But with the benefit of Rob’s experience, they have been reworked into an album which I feel is right up there with the classics.”
 
Tracklisting:
 
1.The Sorceror
2.Call Me
3.I Defy The Sun
4.Don’t Turn Away
5.Snowbound
6.Man Amongst Men
7.Night Flight
8.For King and Country
 
Featured in photo:
Rob Reed
Dan Nelson
Luke Machin
Jimmy Griffiths
Peter Jones
 
Magenta/CYAN/TigerMothTales Website
https://www.tigermothshop.co.uk/