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Image © 1999
Celtic Fire Music
Front Cover Closeup
Image © 1999
Celtic Fire Music
(21 May 2000) Linda Rutherford &
Celtic Fire's already well-acclaimed 10-track second album
is entitled Flames Of Eviction
(Celtic Fire (USA) FOE-10CD, 1999).
This initial concise review will be expanded into a feature when our
exclusive Musical Discoveries interview with the artists and review
of the band's debut album Stop The Rain are completed.
Formed in 1995 and based in Hilton, NY (northwest of central Rochester)
and fronted by the stunning vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist,
Linda Rutherford the band also includes family members
Tony (accordian, keyboards, vocals),
Johnny (drums) and
Rosheen (electric and acoustic
guitars). Linda plays fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, keyboards,
tin whistle, saxophone and flute.
Celtic Fire also includes
Francis White (bass) and
Don Mancuso (lead and rhythm guitars, vocals). The album's
songs are written by Rutherford family members in various
combinations. The group is managed and directed by
Bruce Pilato of
Pilato Entertainment (Asia, ELP,
Greg Lake, Carl Palmer, Tacye, Anthony
Phillips, and many others). This album's music is as wonderful as
Scott Hamilton's everso well-designed album
Celtic Fire's latest album blends traditional Irish instrumentation
and song structures with highly accessible original rock tunes. Like
The Corrs and Capercaillie, jigs and reels are often major parts of
instrumental bridges within the group's songs. Stunning vocals adorn
the majority of the rich instrumentally arranged songs on Flames Of
Eviction and are a notable step up from the debut album
according to other reviewers. With the public's growing interest
in modern interpretation of traditional folk music arising from
successful dance musicals Riverdance and Lord Of The
Dance, fans of these shows as well as Clannad, Capercaillie,
Iona, Ronan Hardiman and other progressive Celtic recording artists
are certain to enjoy Celtic Fire's music and Linda Rutherford's
Lyrical themes within the album deal with serious subjects
including domestic violence and sexual assault. The title track
sung in English and Gaelic ("An Gorta Mor") that opens the
album refers to the plight Irish citizens faced during the
devastating great Potato Famine that struck their homeland
in the 1840s. Comprised of two distinct styles—an acoustic
Crosby, Stills & Nash-style harmony and a more agressive rock
theme—the highly accessible tune typifies the depth and power
of Celtic Fire.
Upbeat Celtic-rock numbers ("I Said No" and "Nowhere to
Run") feature traditional pipe instrumentation, acoustic guitar
and lovely vocal passages laced with lots of backing vocals.
The richly arranged "King Of The Faries" is the group's rocking
transformation-featuring accordian—of an old Celtic reel and
Irish set dance. The album's serious vocally-laced rockers
("What I Am," "Vengeance" and "I Believe") combine agressive
electric guitar with vocal harmonies and traditional
instrument-based solos featuring whistles, pipes, fiddles
and even Jethro Tull-style flutes.
"Too Far" builds an effective blend alternating between
traditional, alternative rock and reggae themes.
We especially enjoyed "Silence," a ballad with Linda's soaring
lead vocal sung over densely arranged traditional and electronic
instrumentation with lovely backing vocal harmonies in the
choruses. Rosheen's "The Answer" is a heavy rocker lushly
arranged featuring accordian and fiddle. It combines modern
rock sounds with stunning vocals; modern and traditional
arrangements comprise a reel within the instrumental bridge.
A reprise of the title track concludes the song.
You can hear soundbites from Celtic Fire's debut album, access
other reviews and order the band's albums at their website.
Worth a cross-country journey, this new album is absolutely a
Image © 2000
(21 May 2000) Alternative singer / songwriter Nichole Nordeman's second
album, entitled This Mystery (Sparrow Records (USA), 2000), is a
wonderful followup to her debut album Wide Eyed which sold in excess
of 130,000 units. The latest project from the acclaimed recording artist,
is comprised of ten heartfelt songs spanning various secular themes
and was produced by Mark Hammond with executive producer Grant Cunningham.
Nichole writes about the inspiration behind the album, "Ms L'Engle has given me a
gentle nudge to remember and reclaim the innocence, naivete, and mystery of
my faith long before it got lost in the land of adult reasoning." The new
album will appeal to a variety of female vocalist enthusiasts and will
certainly enthrall Michelle Tumes (review)
fans. Soundbites and additional information are available at the artist's
The album's title track is an alternative rocking ballad accompanied
by contemporary electronic arrangements balancing tension and release.
Evocative lyrics are sung emotionally and sensitively and backing harmony
vocals are effective at additing texture.
The ballad "Tremble" has a slow rocking tempo and thick instrumental
arrangements add to the accessibility of the track. "Help Me Believe"
is a slow and sensitive jazzy coffee-house ballad that illustrates the
sensitivity of the artist's vocal delivery. Guitar riffs within the
instrumental bridge and the layers of harmony vocals are most notable.
The sensitive yet moving ballad "Home" continues in a similar
vein with Nichole's soaring vocals leading the way through the track.
Male and female backing vocals create a lovely texture in the chorus
as the song builds to its instrumental splendour.
"Fool For You" is a highly accessible and catchy pop-rock tune blending
a soaring lead vocals with harmony backing layers and a lush piano-laced
instrumental arrangement. The dancy number "Lookin' At You (Lookin' At
Me)" builds on the theme with thicker instrumentation. "As" continues to
build on this theme taking it to almost R&B proportions with allusions
to other popular artists becoming quite evident in the chorus.
The soft and slow ballads "Small Enough" and "Home" are carried by
Nichole's sensitive solo delivery. "Small Enough" is joined by only
slight male and female backing vocal harmonies. Harmonies in "Home"
are joined by lovely instrumental arrangements and build the depth of
the song's sound. The ballad "Every Season" is performed with almost
orchestral instrumental arrangements. Nichole's vocals are presented
sweetly and sensitively and are modulated with the power necessary
to delivery the lyrical message. It is a lovely and likely will be
an award-winning track!
The production quality of This Mystery is superb and evidence of
the labels significant support of their priority developing artist.
A nomination for the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year and another
from the GMA in 2000 for Female Vocalist of the Year are indicative of
this artist's growing notariety. You can read further reviews, hear
soundbites and order This Mystery from amazon.com
here. Be sure to check out Wide Eyed as well; you can find further
information, soundbites and order it from amazon.com
here. Nichole's new album is worth a journey and
is certainly a very nice listen!
Image © 2000
Taylor Park Music
(21 May 2000) The fourth album from Kansas City-based Connie Dover,
The Border Of Heaven - Celtic Music On The American Frontier
(Taylor Park Music (USA) TPMD0401, 2000) is an eclectic collection
that blends traditional Celtic themes with songs of the American west.
Dover's earlier albums received international acclaim and include
Somebody, The Wishing Well and If Ever I Return.
The album was produced in conjunction with Phil Cunningham and
is comprised of twelve tracks with instrumental contributions by
a bevy of additonal performing artists. Be sure to visit Connie's
website for additional information about the album and the artist's
Connie's soprano voice perfectly suits the folky themes of her
newest album. Songs are sung either in Gaelic or English and most
blend Irish and American instrumental themes.
The album opens with "The Blessing" sung in Gaelic
and combines traditional melodies with additional instrumentation.
The traditional American folk song "Sweet Betsy From Pike" has a
lovely moving melody and Connie's sensitive lead vocal carries it
wonderfully. Adapted form the Alabama folk song, Connie's "I Am
Going To The West" is a folk ballad with a catchy melody certain
to appeal to a broad audience. The eclectic combination continues
with Connie's interpretation of "The Streets Of Laredo" accompanied
primarily by accordian. A contrasting vocal by Skip Gordon adds
to the American cowboy flavour of the track.
Phil Cunningham's penny whistle introduces the ballad "Lord
Franklin," perfectly illustrating the crystalline texture of
Connie's voice. The traditional Irish song "An Spailpín
Fanach" (The Wandering Laborer) is sung in Gaelic with tremendous
clarity and, a highlight of the album with a lovely instrumental
bridge, is also a tribute to Connie's vocal talent. The track
"Last Night by the River," written by Connie Dover is a very
slow, almost droning, hymn; vocals soar over the lightest
instrumental arrangement. An American folk song of Scottish
origin, "The Water Is Wide" and the English folk song "My Dearest
Dear" are highly accessible yet slow paced ballads with stunning
lead vocals and light instrumental accompaniment.
Orchestral-sounding instrumental arrangements support Connie's
lead vocal in the hymn "Wondrous Love" and make it a highly
memorable track. The pace actually picks up in the folk song
"Winters Night" with dancing feet contributing to its percussive
texture. The American Civil War folk song "Brother Green" is
sung almost a capella and serves to illustrate the range and
depth of Connie's vocal talent.
Taylor Park Music has spared no expense in the production of
Connie's latest album. Artwork is lovely and a thick booklet
with complete lyrics and song backgrounds accompanies the compact
disc. You can read further reviews, hear soundbites and order the
album from amazon.com
here. Connie's earlier albums are also available at amazon.com.
This latest album is technically superb and eclectic in its construction.
The music is very listenable and most appropriate for relaxation.
Worth a journey, it is certainly a very nice listen!
Image © 1998
Sweet Sound Music
(21 May 2000) The second album from New York-based singer /
songwriter Jennifer Marks
is comprised of fourteen relatively short alternative pop tracks.
Entitled My Name's Not Red (Red Kurl Records (USA) RK 000-2,
2000) the album is the followup to the artist's debut album from
1998, Pizza. Described as having lyrics ranging from
edgy to humourous, her honesty and integrity separate her
from the rest of woman's pop music and place her in a
league of her own. Influenced by The Beatles, Joni Mitchell,
REM, Prince and Elivis Costello, she is similar in sound to
Aimee Mann, Sarah McLachlan and Fiona Apple. Further information
is available at the artist's website and an extensive range
of downloadable music is available at her
The songs on Jennifer's album are sung evocatively and the
heartfelt delivery comes through in each one. The albums'
ethereal tunes mix contemporary electronic instrumentation
with soaring vocalise and whispy lyrical segments ("Window" and
"Dreamill"). The swinging tempo of "Halo" is perfectly
complimented by the instrumental arrangement and male
Alternative pop tunes vary tempo betweeen slow and upbeat
and include heartfelt lyrical segments ("Thick," "I Can't
Love You" and the highly memorable 60s sound of "High
School Reunion"). Jazzy undertones of the title track
are complimented by Jennifer's unique vocal treatment.
The vocal raunchiness of "Turn Away" is contrasted by a
rich instrumental arrangement; soft harmony vocals are
especially notable. The quirky sound of "I'm Getting
Old" is achieved with experimental vocal harmonies and
the combination of various instrumental—circus-like—themes.
Slower numbers include folk rock tunes like "Unpredictable"
and "Fly" where Jennifer's lead vocals far outweight the
supporting instrumentals. The album's ballads ("Fragile"
and "I'll Try") drip with emotion and instrumentals support
the moods developed with the vocal delivery. The album
concludes with excellent lead and harmony vocals in the
alternative structured ballad "Standing In Lines."
You can find additional reviews, soundbites and order Jennifer
Marks' album My Name's Not Red from amazon.com
here. The album contains some highly memorable moments and is worth
further exploration. Many of our readers will find the album is a
Image © 1998
(21 May 2000) The fifth album by Costa Rican recording artist
Patricia Saravia is entitled Ritmo de los Santos
(Song-O-Sau'rus (USA) 724783, 1999). Eleven Latin-rhythm
tracks feature her stunning vocal work and lush jazz-inspired
instrumentals. Patricia's four earlier albums include Caracol
(1989), Atrapar un Instante (1991), Entre el Son y el
Corazón (1992) and De Inga y de Mandinga (1996). Her
latest album was selected by Luis Tamargo of Latin Beat
magazine of Los Angeles as one of the ten best Latin American
albums of 1999.
Patricia's main objective has been the performance of Peruvian
music. She is considered by Peruvian journalists to be
an artist with special quality and performance. She lives in
San José de Costa Rica where she is currently workong on
research about Central American and Caribean music. Patricia has
won awards in Costa Rica for her musical work there. Her sixth
album includes a brief anthology of Peruvian rhythms and some
Latin American tunes; it is due to be released later this year.
The music on Ritmo de los Santos is earthy and rhythmic,
with lush production and lovely vocal passages. It is most
akin to jazz in its texture with guitars balancing other
instruments and never overpowering the vocals. Some of the
tracks are dance-oriented.
In Offbeat, Joseph Irrera wrote, "Not only a
compelling vocalist, Saravia composed the jazz-tinged
selection "Asucenes" and the title cut of Ritmo De
Los Santos. Backed by Ruben Blades' current ensemble
and members of Costa Rica's National Sypmphony, along with
vocalist Fidel Gamboa (one of Costa Rica's most prominent
musicians), Saravia is an excellent introduction for thos
music lovers in search of the indigenous and creole sounds
of Peru. Seemingly related to the precussion-oriented
music of Brazil and Cuba, Afro-Peruvian songs provide the
accompaniment for the country's three main dance forms'
the lando, samba maleato and the alcatraz. Patricia
Saravia provides the invitation: 'Come to me if you dare ...
come because to dance with me, determination you've gotta
Readers that are interested in expanding their horizons
are encouraged to explore Patricia Saravia's latest album.
Her stunning (Spanish) vocals are backed by Latin and/or
jazz textures to produce a lovely and sound.
You can find additional reviews, soundbites and order Patricia
Saravia's album Ritmos de los Santos from amazon.com
here. We enjoyed listening to the album and learning
about this different style of music. A very
Image © 1995
AsFab Music Co
(27 May 2000) The only album from Annyland released to date
is entitled She Walks In (AsFab Music (USA) AM2700, 1995).
Fronted by singer guitar-player songwriter Anny Celsi, the band also
includes Tim Lindholm (drums and percussion), Bruce Kaplan (guitar),
Steve Janowski (bass) and backing vocalist Cindy Jones. The band
is currently based in Los Angeles. The music on the album is highly
accessible with relatively short tracks spanning blues, R&B, hearfelt
ballads and new wave rock'n'roll. Although released five years ago,
the album has a timeless quality. The music has a similarity to
that of the Pretenders, but Anny Celsi's voice is more appealing
than Chrissi Hynde.
Chris Manahl (MTV, LA) wrote, "To look at Anny Celsi and hear her
sing, is to dream of riding off with her on a Harley in a whirlwind
of romance and road dust." Continuing to describe the music, he
wrote, "Celsi's come-hither voice and bluesy songs like, "Under Cover
of the Rain," and "Drag the River" are played and sang with the
life affirming energy of the world's best pop songs. ... On stage,
she matches her Chrissie Hynde black leather pants with a knowing,
Steve Alcorn (Pasadena Weekly) wrote, "The CD rolls through
one catchy number after another. From the straight ahead
pop of "27" to "This House Won't Rock," an R&B-style romp fueled by
the horns of Lee Thornburg and Greg Smith ... "Hole In The Sky" is a
beautiful piece with piano and male chorus that swirls gently. It
was at this point that I had decided that Annyland had locked up
a damn-near perfect disc. Then "Kiss A Crocodile" rocked on -- what
a stomp! Driven like a kid in a rental car on a dirt track, Chris'
sax tears it up, along with the rest of the band, in another R&B
styled thrill ride. Amazingly, the energy of Annyland's live shows
has been translated to their disc."
The music on the Annyland album features stunning technical
recording quality; vocals are mixed way up, never overpowered by
the instrumentals, and the processing incorporated perfectly
suits each of the song styles. We especially enjoyed Anny's
soaring vocal excursions; her vocal dexterity is tremendous,
whether sultry or sensual, the dynamic range and vocal energy
will enthrall female vocals enthusiasts. The epic ballad "Drag
The River" is emphatically sung and spans a significant portion
of Anny's range and its instrumental riffs demonstrate the band's
Further information on Annyland and their album She Walks
In is available at their
website. The CD has been attractively silkscreened to look
like an Atlantic 7" single. You can find additional reviews,
soundbites and order Annyland's album She Walks In from
here. The album contains some highly memorable tune and
worthy of further exploration, it is a nice listen!
Image © 2000
(27 May 2000) Tammy Trent, with her empassioned spirit for the Lord,
shares her fire for music in Set You Free (SPC/D 1732, 2000), her
first release on Sparrow Records (USA). Like many other secular
artists, Trent grew up around the Church. Following her mother
by travelling to churches, women's conferences, nursing homes,
and prisons, Trent learned that "Christian music was a very
powerful thing, full of hope and a huge source of strength."
This latest 9-track album was produced by Michael Linney but includes
two tracks produced by Mark Hammond. The album's executive
producer was Grant Cunningham. The music on the album is best
categorised as pop.
Seeing Amy Grant in concert gave Tammy an urge that pushed a dream
forward. "She was affecting my life so much, I thought it would
be awesome if I could inspire a little girl someday just like she
did me," Tammy recalls. From then on, she knew her dream was music.
Set You Free has not only upbeat tunes, but ballads too. Tammy
Trent sings under Gospel influence, but her music incorporates R&B and pop
as well. "My Irreplaceable," "I Do Believe," "If You Need Love," "Everybody
Move With It" and "He's Right There" are all upbeat songs but each has a
different musical influence. "He's Right There" brings out a strong
R&B influence. "Everybody Move WIth It" uses a pop influence with
rap vocals by DjMaj. These tunes really show that she is excited
to perform with her zest for life while spreading God's word.
Trent easily switches gears and channels that energy into a quiet
reverance with ballads like "Light of Love" and "Your Love Pursues."
"Light of Love" is a song about the importance about being a
reflection of the Lord. "That song is a prayer for me me that
speaks so true to my heart about simply being a reflection of God
in all I do," says Trent. On "Your Love Pursues," she addresses
the miracale of God's love and forgiveness and its awesome
magnitute. "How God's love pursues us is an amazing thing,"
"Without You" and "Trusting You" really bring out the Gospel influence
in Tammy Trent's music. She shows through an upbeat ballad that
she is true to Jesus and she needs direction in her life. "I see
myself growing closer to more of an image of Christ."
It's imperative to Tammy that she record only songs that speak
truth that she can both relate to herself and others. She takes
her responsibility as a conduit for God's love seriously and
hopes to continue growing and reaching more and more people
as she stretches as an artist in future years.
This latest album from Tammy Trent can be further explored
at her website or at Sparrow's
excellent website. You
can read further reviews, hear soundbites and order the album at
amazon.com (link will be provided) from June 20.
Certainly worthy of further exploration, the album is a nice listen!
—Deborah J. Elliot
Image © 1996
Music Is Intelligence
(28 May 2000) Built around lead singer Lili Plieninger, German
progressive rock band Wildeve have released one album to date
entitled Touch and Go (WMMS 1111, 1996). The band
formed in 1995; before that Plieninger sang backing vocals with
English classic rock bands Landmarq and Casino. Lili also
contributed backing vocals to the album by German progressive
In Wildeve, Lili also contributes vocals, electric and acoustic
guitar and keyboards. Wildeve's album features band members Andreas
Brenner (acoustic guitar), Leno Vijackic (electric guitars), Rudi
Liechtle (drums, percussion), and Peter Steinbach (bass); guests
include Hardy Heinlin, Werner Danneman and Helmut Kipp. The songs
are primarily written by Lili Plieninger. The music is mainly light
and airy, never too heavy and often quite accessible. It can be
best categorised as folk rock with a progressive edge, similar in
some ways to Rebekka (Phoenix), and it certainly has a 1970s
feel. All songs are sung in English.
The band is presently working on new songs, demo recordings and
that they are preparing a new album for release later this year.
The lineup supporting Lili now includes Alex Mueller (electric
and acoustic guitars), Mark Ellis (bass) and Hardy Philipp
(drums and percussion).
Wildeve's Touch and Go album is comprised of ten
relatively short tracks each featuring sensitively sung vocal
passages. Production quality
on the album is superb with vocals mixed way up, never
overpowered by the instrumentals, which with lush keyboard
parts are very effectively arranged. The occasional
multi-tracking adds depth to the vocal textures.
Lili's vocal work is evocative and sensual; soaring excursions
in several of the passages show her vocal dexterity and the
tremendous depth of this talented singer.
Accurate parallels have been drawn by German media to Tori Amos,
Cranberries or early Kate Bush as well as Heather Nova and
Alanis Morissette. She has a unique vocal style, perhaps
due to the German edge (accent) of her voice, that suits
the light style of, and acoustic guitar within, the
progressive rock that Wildeve plays.
The album's acoustic tracks feature lovely harmony vocals
sung over light acoustic guitar or piano and include "Days
Of Desire" and "What Can I Do." The tremendous vocal lead in the
acoustic track "Radioman" is most reminiscent of Rebekka's
music. The more richly arranged rock tracks have a slighly
heavier edge with thicker bass and keyboard parts joining
electric guitar. These include "City Rain," "Strange Girl,"
"Eternalize" and the everso densly arranged ballad "As the Days
Several of the album's tracks include both styles effectively
mixing acoustic with the denser rock arrangements. These
songs include the title track, "Touch and Go," "What a Man"
The vocal parts in these songs are among the best due to
the soaring excursions. We especially enjoyed "Good For Me,"
a lighter track that mixes Wildeve's lovely acoustic folk rock
style with a thicker, almost live chorus and many layers of
backing harmony vocals.
With preproduction of their follow-up album complete, it's
a good time to explore their debut album further. You can find
further information, soundbites and ordering information at
Wildeve's website. Worth a
cross-country journey, Wildeve's Touch and Go is
certainly a must listen!.
Image © 1997
(28 May 2000) Madrigal are a progressive rock band from
Hannover, Germany. They are currently compiling their first
full length compact disc.
Fronted by the stunning lead vocalist Sandra Werner, the band
also includes Lars Totzke (guitar), Kai Paulmann (drums) and Kai
Spickenbom (bass and keyboards on "(No More) Face to Face").
Madrigal's first four-track EP is entitled Silence (Madrigal
(Germany) 1997); a second four-track EP was issued in 1999 in the run
up to the band's full length album. The band's music has a harder edge
than Wildeve, along the lines of Leger De Main
(review) but not as hard and more
accessible instrumentally. The sweet and crystalline quality of
Sandra's voice comes through in all of the songs. Sung in English,
all music is written by Lars Totzke (music) and Sandra Werner
(lyrics). The band's second EP is vocally stronger than their
Silence begins with the rocking track "(No More) Face To
Face" which is a powerful instrumental number with sufficient lead
vocal work to introduce the listener to Sandra Werner. "Covered
Sun" clearly places Sandra in the spotlight with instrumentals taking
a backseat to her soaring vocal passages and lush multi-tracked
backing harmonies. The production quality of the guitar work is
exceptional. "Turn Back The Time" is a very Yes-like track; it
balances thickly arranged melodious guitars with Sandra's jazzy
lead vocal passage and lovely backing harmonies. The EP's title
track is a folk rock-style song with layers of vocals supported
by a progressive mix of light acoustic guitar and more thickly
arranged electric guitar. The solo guitar work in the
instrumental bridge is especially notable and their first EP
is a delight.
The band's second EP was provided to Musical Discoveries
on CD-R. The first track, "Before Your Eyes," has incredible
vocal clarity that will strike all listeners from its first
play. Similar in some ways to "Silence" in its instrumental
arrangements, the vocals are immediately more evident and are
mixed way up, right in your face, with harmonies above
the lush instrumental arrangements. The—perfectly
performed—a capella vocal introduction to "Evolution Error"
is a further illustration of Sandra's vocal dexterity.
Another vocal-oriented track with layers of harmonies, the
thick guitar never overpowers Sandra's crystalline mid-register
performance. Vocals and instrumentals contrast with both harder
and softer edges in "Deep Blues" and "Crystal Night" which
concludes the second EP.
The two Madrigal EPs contain eight tracks featuring the
stunning vocal work of Sandra Werner with excellent lead and
supporting progressive instrumental work by the rest of
In anticipation of their first full length recording, it's
a good time to explore these EPs further. You can find
further information, soundbites and ordering information at
website. You can order an eight track digital audio music
(DAM) CD with the eight tracks reviewed here, download
samples and read further information about the band at their
The band can be
contacted via Lars Totzke, Karlstraße 8, 30559 Hannover.
Madrigal's two EPs are worth a cross-country journey, and
with the second vocally stronger than the first, the two
CDs are certainly a must listen!.
Image © 2000
(29 May 2000) The latest album from progressive rock band Glass Hammer
is entitled Chronometree (Arion Records (USA) SR-9000, 2000); it
should delight fans of Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer as well as
other bands of that genre. A concept album like the group's former
releases—Journey of the Dunaden, Perelandra
and On To Evermore—the album is comprised of one multi-part epic
yet it has two smaller pieces embedded within it. There are actually
two numbering sequences for the album's tracks which, with a little bit
of studying, can be easily interpreted. The two major parts of
"All In Good Time" consist of album tracks "a" through "j."
The fifth and six tracks of the album, "A Perfect Carosel" and
"Chronos Deliverer," are the middle songs. A short instrumental
bonus track is also included at the end of the album.
The album was written and recorded by Fred Schendel (Hammond organ,
Mellotron, mini-Moog, keyboards, acoustic, electric and slide guitar,
autoharp, drums and backing vocals) and Steve Babb (bass guitar,
keyboards, Mellotron, synths and backing vocals). To round out the
lineup for the album, Fred and Steve brought in Brad Marler (lead
vocals and writer of "Perfect Carosel"), Walter Moore (drums,
guitars), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon; also Lana Lane's latest album
(review)) and Terry Clouse
(additional guitar work). This is the first Glass Hammer album
to be produced without explicit female vocal parts; there is,
however, a choir passage with guest performances Susie Warren,
Jamie Watkins and Sarah Snyder on "Chronos Deliverer." Enthusiasts
will be interested to know that Glass Hammer also released a limited
edition album of rare live performances and remixes from their work
prior to On To Evermore entitled Live and Revived
(Arion Records (USA) SR-5710, 1997).
The storyline of Chronometree revolves around Tom, a
progressive rock fan from the 1970s who heard voices from
outer space within the music he listened to. The aliens instructed
him in the science of Chronometree. Tom captured the fundamentals
in a series of drawings and esoteric manuscripts ultimately
revealing directions to construct a time machine. A series of
graphics from the project are available at Glass Hammer's
"All In Good Time" is primarily an instrumental number,
laced with layers of keyboards drawing a strong resemblence
to ELP's Tarkus in many places. Arrangements blend
Glass Hammer's style from former albums with this very 1970s
Keith Emerson-style keyboard work and the metal edged guitar
work of Arjen Lucassen. The album requires several devoted
listens to appreciate the details of the music and the
instrumental themes evident within it. It is a very well
written, performed and recorded album, and will appeal to
symphonic and orchestral progressive rock enthusiasts.
"A Perfect Carosel" and "Chronos Deliverer" contrast
the balance of the album both in their style and delivery.
"A Perfect Carosel" is an acoustic guitar- and light
synthesizer-based ballad. Wakeman-style keyboard
excursions contribute to Yes similarities within the
track and compliment the lyrical theme of the tune.
A highlight of the album is "Chronos Deliverer," a
very Yes-like track with soaring electric guitars and
keyboard parts similar to Howe and Wakeman respectively.
We especially enjoyed the vocal parts and the supporting
orchestral keyboards. The later tracks on the album
include both Wakeman- and Emerson-style keyboard
The first album to emerge from the band since 1998's
On To Evermore, Glass Hammer's Chronometree
effectively blends elements of their earlier styles with those
of classic ELP and Yes. The group's website is a resource
for further information; there you can
find further reviews, soundbites and ordering information.
Chronometree is also available from good online and
mail order progressive rock retailers including
(Dundee, Scotland) and
ZNR (Louisville, KY
USA). The band's earlier albums are available at amazon.com.
You can order
Journey Of The Dunadan
On To Evermore
here. A progressive album worth extensive exploration and
certainly a long distance journey, this latest Glass Hammer
release is a must listen!
Image © 1999
(21 May 2000) Slovenian singer and flute player Tinkara
Kovac's latest album is entitled Koscek Neba (Sazas
(Slovenia) 105326, 1999). The eleven track album is sung
entirely in Slovenian and features highly accessible mainly
popular rock tunes. A biography, stunning photographs of
the artist and soundbites are available at the English
portion of Tinkara's
website. Further information and two additional songs by
the artist—including one sung in English—are available from her
Koscek neba is comprised of songs that fit relatively
easy into one of several categories. The highly pop-oriented
numbers are easy to listen to and are well arranged blending
instrumentals to support Tinkara's soaring vocal passages
with catchy choruses. Songs include "Ko bo prisel" and
with a rocking style reminscent of The Cars, "Loahheeiyeee."
Several of the numbers are more vocally and instrumentally
exploratory and demonstrate the range and depth of the artist's
raw talents and would most comfortably fit into the Eurovision
Song Contest. These include "Brez lazi," "Ti si tu," the
orchestrally rich movie theme-like "Zakaj" and "Grem." The
album's ballads have a gentler texture yet move right along as
well and include "Ko samo skupaj" and the varied "Nikoli."
Tinkara's effective and evocative Slovenian cover of The Corrs
(review) "Only When I Sleep" is entitled
"Od zvezd pijan." She has added her own vocal textures to the
track and the electric guitars have been mixed with a raunchier
sound that works quite well with Tinkara's voice. The track
"Nic je vse" is performed in a similar, but less melodic, style.
The album closes with "Nocem vec" a rocking number with soaring
vocals and hard edged electric guitars. The jazzy Ian Anderson-style
flute solo during the instrumental bridge is most notable.
Tinkara Kovac's latest album is certainly a tribute to a talented
performer. With samples available online, her work should be
explored further. We found her latest album a nice listen!