Saturday, November 14, 2009

THE WISHING TREE To Release New Album In North America In January has received the following press release:
It has been ten years since progressive rock band THE WISHING TREE released their debut album, Carnival Of Souls. On January 19th, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release their lush and evocative new album Ostara in North America.
MARILLION guitarist Steve Rothery founded The Wishing Tree. Formed in 1996, Rothery’s desire to start an acoustic music project with a female vocalist led him to British singer Hannah Stobart. The two started writing together, crafting a wistful, gorgeous sound that is both haunting and soothing. This new CD, produced and engineered by Rothery, not only boasts eight original songs, but two bonus live tracks, 'Fly' and 'Ostara'.

Unique in its conception, Ostara was written and recorded on opposite sides of the world, with Stobert working from her home in California and Rothery in his home studio in Buckinghamshire, England.

Joined by drummer Paul Craddick (of ENCHANT, and Hannah’s husband), Ostara is the perfect marriage of Stobart’s angelic, lilting vocals and Rothery’s superb guitar work. A master at his craft, his harmonies are understated when necessary, allowing Stobart’s vocals to take precedence, yet when given the chance, his trademark solos truly sing out in the mix of this enchanting blend. The delicate, ghostly harmonies, executed on mandolin as well as guitar, paired with Stobart’s soaring melodies, result in artwork that is truly a listening experience.

Fans of Steve Rothery will also enjoy Marillion’s latest CD, Less Is More, released December 8th via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Ostara tracklisting:
'Hollow Hills'
'Seventh Sigh'
Bonus Tracks:
'Fly' (live)
'Ostara' (live)

Neal Morse To Release Live 3-CD Set

11/13/2009 - Nashville, TN - Renowned as one of prog’s leading solo artists, Neal Morse is better known for his epic studio releases than for lengthy tours. His acclaimed solo live DVDs (Testimony Live, Sola Scripture & More) and CD set (Question Live) have captured amazing performances from his live North American and European bands, and performers from bands ranging from Dream Theater to Christina Aguilera. Never before, though, has there been a definitive live Neal Morse experience. Over almost 20 years, Neal has recorded 22 studio albums with Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, and on his own. His career has followed an unconventional path, leading him to reject 10 years chasing a dream, and at another time, leave music altogether. His experiences and perspective have lead to some of progressive rock’s most memorable music.
The challenge of bringing these songs to life requires some of prog’s best musicians—a lot of them. In Europe, Neal came to know his band by chance email from an unknown Dutch drummer: Collin Leijenaar. Collin was trying to persuade Neal that his group of friends—all tremendous Morse fans—could not only play Neal’s material, but own it. Three and half hours worth. With one week’s rehearsal.

Morse was skeptical, to say the least. The unknown performers were up against Mike Portnoy, Kerry Livgren, Roine Stolt, Steve Hacket, Jordan Rudess, Phil Keaggy, Randy George, Pete Trewavas, Kevin Gilbert, and the cast of Spock’s Beard. Neal had been down many roads he never expected, though, and something told him to take this one. The entire tour was booked before Neal even met his band.

The rest is history, of course, perhaps best illustrated by Neal’s comment on the Sola Scriptura & More Live DVD; before the band launched into a complete performance of the Sola Scriptura album, Neal says, “I hope you guys like this—it’s the second time we’ve performed it together.” And indeed, Collin and company owned every minute of it.

That was 2007. By the end of 2008, the now-seasoned band could tear through Morse’s material with confidence and creative improvisation. With changing material on different nights, the cumulative set is 3.5 hours long, encompassing Neal’s best songs and compositions from his 20 year career. This theme extends the recording engineering, mixing and production—resulting in studio-grade sound that whispers and thunders off the discs. At the center is Neal Morse, one of Classic Rock Magazine’s “100 Greatest Frontmen of Rock”.

With soaring vocals, virtuoso instrumentals, and a unique sense of humor, Morse demonstrates why after 20 years, he remains one of prog’s brightest stars. Experience the definitive Neal Morse concert event—29 tracks released from the studio’s confines and into the living world of live performance. Discover new songs and rediscover familiar ones, evolved and arranged in unpredictable ways. From The Light to Lifeline, experience the extraordinary music at the end of a road less travelled.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: So Many Roads is released on Radiant Records. North American distribution by Metal Blade/SONY; available at all major music chains and from Radiant Records. Digital distribution by iTunes™.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ELP Deluxe Editions In The Works; Band To Reunite In 2010?

ELP are to release two deluxe editions on November 12, through Sanctuary/UMC.
One will feature Works Vols 1 & 2, brought together for the first time. Both were originally released in 1977, Works Volume 1 being a double LP, while Works Volume 2 was a single album. The CDs here have been remastered.
The other deluxe edition is of the 1974 triple live album Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends… Ladies & Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer. (Possibly the longest album title since Tyrannosaurus Rex’s My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair… But Now They’re Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows.) Again, the ELP album has been remastered.
Recently, rumours have been rife concerning a 40th anniversary ELP reformation for 2010 – although nothing has so far been confirmed.
Drummer Carl Palmer recently told the Birmingham Post:
“We were going to reform ELP this year but we had a few medical problems involving Keith [Emerson, keyboards].
“One of his hands needs looking at so we had to postpone it. It’s an occupational hazard, with both of my hands having been operated on, but hopefully we can make it happen next year. Our second reformation was from 1991 to 1998 so I suppose we are due another one.”
In addition, Esoteric Records have acquired the ights to ELP’s label, Manticore. Starting in November, there will be a huge reissues campaign, featuring artists like Stray Dog, PFM, Keith Christmas and Pete Sinfield.
For further details, go to

Lost David Gilmour Produced Unicorn Albums To Be Reissued

11/3/2009 - Philadelphia, PA - Pink Floyd fanatics rejoice with the first time release of two rare David Gilmour produced albums by UK country rock band Unicorn! The CDs 'Blue Pine Trees' and 'Too Many Crooks' will be released by premier reissue label Renaissance Records in conjunction with on November 10th. When you think of 'country rock' band's like Firefall, Pure Praire League, Poco, Flying Burrito Bros probably come to mind first, but one band that could well be called the godfathers of the genre actually came from England. The meeting between Unicorn and Pink Floyd's renown guitarist is a curious one.
Early in 1973 Unicorn played at the wedding reception for Transatlantic publicist Ricky Hopper. One of the guests was David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, who at the end of the evening got up and jammed with Unicorn on Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Afterwards Gilmour told the band that he really liked Country Rock. A week later the Pink Floyd guitarist phoned the band to say that he had just installed a studio at his country retreat and asked if they wanted to demo some songs there. The band immediately accepted. A few days later they travelled up to Essex to Gilmour's estate. He showed them into the studio and said there was no need to bring any of their gear in from the van. Hanging on the walls was his collection of vintage Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker and Martin guitars and underneath them Fender amplifiers and a Premier drum kit. They recorded three songs and Dave added some Fender Pedal Steel Guitar which he had just brought on his last American tour and was learning to play. They were invited back on several occasions to record.
"Unicorn were playing at the wedding reception of an old friend of mine, Rick Hopper," related David Gilmour, "when I first saw them and while I was impressed by their vocal harmonies, their tightness and the fact that it was the drummer that sang the lead vocals, it was the songs themselves that I liked the best. Ken Baker's songs, while firmly seated in the American country rock genre had a very original and unusual wry English feel in the stories he told. The one that really made me notice was 'Sleep Song', about a trip to the dentist. Not a common subject for the popular song. Largely on the strength of this I invited them to my tiny home studio in Essex to record some demos. This was the start of an association that was to cover two and a half albums over the next couple of years."

Things started to happen from then on when Gilmour offered to put up the money to record an album of Unicorn songs. Unicorn soon signed with Pink Floyds manager Steve O'Rourke's EMKA organization, and Ricky Hopper who had introduced them to Dave became their tour manager. Ricky would later discover Kate Bush, then called Kathy Bush. Pete and Pat from Unicorn played on her first demo recordings at Gilmour's studio. Unicorn's first album was recorded in Olympic Studios in Barnes in London. David Gilmour was producing, by his own admission, for the first time. The performances would wind up as the album 'Blue Pine Trees' and parts of the second album 'Too Many Crooks'. The album was mixed at George Martin's Air Studios in London. The engineer was John Middleton and the tape operators were the sons of Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. Steve O'Rourke took about a week to secure a deal with Charisma Records in the UK, with Capitol Records in the US and EMI International for the rest of the world.
In November 1974 Unicorn set off on their first US tour. At the time Capitol records tour manager, Alan Fry, told them that 'Blue Pine Trees' was number one in the FM action charts (a chart based on the frequency of FM airplay). The first night Unicorn performed at the Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset Strip, where they played in front of what seemed to be the entire Capitol Records staff. Unicorn was the headline band that night and was supported by, a then little known, Patti Smith. On that first tour the band supported bands like Fleetwood Mac, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Climax Blues Band, Billy Joel, Linda Ronstadt and the Doobie Brothers. At the end of their first US tour Unicorn flew home via New York to return to play at the Marquee club in London with the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver with David Gilmour sitting in. The following year, 1975, was mainly spent recording the second album 'Too Many Crooks' (Released in America as 'Unicorn 2'). It was recorded in Air Studios at Oxford Circus with some additional tracks at Olympic at Barnes. This album included some of Unicorn's best studio performances. The most notable song was "No Way Out of Here" which was later recorded by Dave Gilmour for his first solo album. His version was the most played album track in the US for several weeks. "Listening to the best of their output from before, during and after my own involvement with the band," says Gilmour, "has reminded me of the many great songs and great moments in the studio that we shared all those years ago. It's been a long time coming, but it has been worth the wait."Unicorn - 'Blue Pine Trees', 'Too Many Crooks' (prod. by David Gilmour), will be available from Amazon, iTunes and your local retailer on November 10th.
Other titles scheduled for release by Renaissance Records include Graham Parker &The Rumour 'Live In San Francisco 1979', Network - s/t and 'Nightwork', Duke Jupiter 'White Knuckle Ride', Fran King 'My Sweet Elixir', City Boy 'It's Personal', Phoenix - s/t and 'In Full View' (ex-Argent), Nick Gravenites 'Bluestar', and Roxy Music 'Manifesto Alive' (live 1979).
For more information:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wishbone Ash Name Controversy Revealed By Andy Powell

11/7/2009 - Redding, CT USA – Founding member of the legendary classic rock band Wishbone Ash, Andy Powell, is setting the record straight about the recent controversy surrounding the ownership and usage of the group's name. A band fronted by another founding member, Martin Turner, is also being promoted as Wishbone Ash, creating confusion among fans and press.
“It’s local promoters taking advantage of the good work this band has been doing,” said Powell. Most recently, Martin Turner’s German shows have been promoted under the Wishbone Ash moniker, prompting Powell to seek legal recourse. “Myself and the band’s business partners—people who have worked for years to keep the band treading the boards and keeping the recorded catalog current—see it as a raiding party,” said Powell. “I am now taking legal action in respect of this infringement of my trade mark. It’s time to stop this nonsense.”
Powell, a guitar legend in his own right, and the only remaining founding member, has recorded and toured exclusively under the Wishbone Ash banner since 1969--more than 40 years. In the last 20 years alone, Wishbone Ash has released 15 CDs (including nine studio releases) and five DVDs. None of these has featured Martin Turner. The band’s most recent release, The Power of Eternity, has garnered rave reviews from the music press internationally.
During the band’s early history, the lineup changed several times, with founding members leaving and rejoining. When, in 1993, Powell became the sole remaining original member, there was no thought of calling it a day. Powell later registered the trade mark Wishbone Ash in 1998. He has maintained the mark since then, producing numerous DVDs and CDs of new material. In addition to being co-writer on the majority of the recorded works, he’s performed around 4,000 Ash shows worldwide.
"My mandate was to simply carry forward with the band," Powell said, "as has always been the case since 1974 when the first member to leave, Ted Turner, tendered his resignation. This continuity has overwhelmingly always been what the fans have wanted, and they proved that in the early 1990s by backing our recording and promotion of the album Illuminations. At no time did I consider the band dead; we'd been through worse”.
In recent years Martin Turner registered . He then tentatively resurfaced using the name 'Wishbone featuring Martin Turner' performing Wishbone Ash songs from the very early part of the band's career. All was fine for a year or so until the name of Martin Turner’s band was changed to Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash. His "" website started pushing the Wishbone Ash aspect of the name firmly to the fore. Then, making matters worse, some Turner gigs were actually being promoted as ‘Wishbone Ash’ concerts. Fans who turned up expecting the long-running Powell-fronted band were disappointed and confused. Journalists who were unaware of the band’s history sometimes wrote about Turner’s band as if it actually were Wishbone Ash. Inevitably, this sparked claims of ‘passing off ’ from Wishbone Ash and its business partners.
"Over the years, band members had left in a piecemeal fashion to pursue solo careers and other ventures," said Powell. "Anyone who has followed the band knows that Martin Turner, for example, quit in 1980 and again in 1991 after a brief three-year reunion.” After leaving in '91 Martin produced a solo album. “His own website says that he'd 'moved on' from Wishbone Ash, using the name Martin Turner and calling the CD Walking the Reeperbahn,” said Powell. “This had nothing to do with Wishbone Ash and seemed to be a move on Martin Turner's part to distance himself from the band and take his career in another direction. His website actually at one point admitted that I was a continuous member of the one true band and that he was not." Founded in England in 1969, WishboneAsh has released more than 30 albums to date, and has been touted as one of the first dual-guitar rock bands. Rolling Stone magazine counted Ash guitarists Andy Powell and Ted Turner among the world’s top 20 best of all time. The group’s 1972 classic release, Argus, was voted Album Of The Year by readers of UK’s Melody Maker and NME. It was remixed and reissued in 2002 as a special 30th anniversary edition and consequently was the fastest selling reissue in MCA’s history. Powell’s name is synonymous with the Gibson Flying V. Over the years, he has been prominently featured in such notable publications as Guitar, Guitarist and, most recently, Vintage Guitar. He has also recorded with the likes of George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland and Renaissance.
Wishbone Ash’s current line-up also features former Gringos Locos guitarist Jyrki “Muddy” Manninen, a five-year Ash veteran who brings a rootsy style to the band with his slide playing. Bassist Bob Skeat has been in Wishbone Ash for 12 years and has also in the past, worked with everyone from Colin Blunstone, Gilbert O’Sullivan and Chris Farlowe to Princess Stephanie of Monaco. Interestingly, he worked with Ash’s other 1970s guitar titan, Laurie Wisefield, in Brian May’s musical hit “We Will Rock You.” Drummer Joe Crabtree has worked with the likes of King Crimson's David Cross and Pendragon.
Wishbone Ash has embarked on an intensive tour plan taking the band 'round to next July in celebration of its 40th anniversary. The October tour of the UK began on the 2nd and ends the first week of November. Then in January 2010 the band hits the road again for the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. Canada's blues prodigy, Jimmy Bowskill, will be opening for the band on this six-week tour. For a complete list of tour dates and venues, visit In addition, the band will revisit Warsaw and Poznan in Poland, along with the Czech Republic. A USA East Coast tour is in the final booking stages, planned for March 2010. Italy and Switzerland will also be visited this time around, just prior to the usual spring UK tour. A USA West Coast tour and a possible Far East visit are being discussed for June. The new DVD Wishbone Ash 40 - Live in London was released in Europe on Oct. 10. This 40th anniversary show from Shepherd's Bush Empire was produced by RCN TV, the same team who made the highly acclaimed Wishbone Ash Live in Hamburg DVD.
For more information visit the official Wishbone Ash website: