So last week for Father’s Day, second son Andrew, gave me a playlist of Progressive Rock songs that he thought I would like, pretty cool huh! No ties or coffee mugs for this dad, of course it’s also not folk or americana but it’s music and good music! I really haven’t had a chance to sit down and give the playlist a good listen. Since the songs are all fairly long, they are not well suited for short trips to the store. But today, we had an hour trip back from the Newark Airport, where we dropped off daughter Elizabeth for her flight to Irealnd, where she will spend the next four weeks studying Irish film and literature, so the soundtrack for the return trip became Andrew’s playlist! Even with an hour drive, I only made it through the first six songs!! On the second listen to a couple of the tracks, and first listen to many I really liked what I heard from several bands!! I knew that Prog Rock was alive and well in the Scandinavian countries but it appears to be a world music!! Anyway here is the soundtrack and the country of origin of the bands!!
1. “Full Circle Poetry” – Magic Pie – Motions of Desire – Norway
2. “Rose Colored Lenses” – IZZ – My River Flows – US – NY
3. “The Man Who Knows Your Name” – District 97 – Hybrid Child – US – Chicago
4. “Ouroboros” – Astra – The Weirding – US San Diego
5. “Uluru” – Indukti – S.U.S.A.R. – Poland
6. “Goddess: – The Watch” – Vellum – Milan, Italy
I must say that on the initial listen the band that caught my ear first was District 97 and that was true again today. I liked the vocals but what really caught my attention were the strings, which I original thought were from an eclectic violin but when I got home and checked the band’s website I see that it is a cello! From the band’s bio on the website:
The band was formed in the Fall of 2006 by drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn (eventually replaced by current guitarist Jim Tashjian). The foursome from Chicago honed a no-holds barred style of Liquid Tension Experiment inspired Instrumental Rock before deciding the right vocalist was needed to complement their sound; enter 2007 American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist, Leslie Hunt. With a look, sound and stage presence comparable to a young Ann Wilson from Heart, Leslie’s dynamic performances pushed the band into a new direction that forged a unique marriage between accessible, catchy vocal melodies and an adventurous instrumental prowess. She was followed shortly thereafter by one of Chicago’s finest young guitarists, Jim Tashjian
Oh, and the cello is provided by “cellist extraordinaire Katinka Kleijn of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who also joined the band on select live performances from 2008 through 2010” (from the website)
When I got home tonight I listened to about half of Hybrid Child and liked some of the other songs on the album as much as, if not more, than the one Andrew picked!
Here’s part of a performance of “The Man Who Knows Your Name”