Friday, October 22, 2010

RUSH's 'Time Machine' North American Tour Grosses $19 Million

According to, RUSH's "Time Machine Tour" that played North American venues from late June through early October grossed a total of $18,989,834. The top gross among the reported concerts came from a two-performance engagement at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, with sales of more than 16,000 tickets for both shows (August 16 and August 18). The largest amphitheater crowd for a single performance came from the Houston market with 15,225 fans in attendance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on September 25.

The "Time Machine Tour" kicked off on June 29 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and finished on October 2 in West Palm Beach, Florida, hitting a total of 37 cities. The centerpiece of the trek was the band's first-ever performance of its classic 1981 album "Moving Pictures" in its entirety. The group also played other beloved tracks from its catalog as well as new songs that the band has been working on.

This was RUSH's first road trip since touring extensively behind its 2007 studio album, "Snakes & Arrows".

Mark Westworth Leaves IQ

From the IQ website:

It is with great sadness that we have to announce Mark Westworth’s decision to leave IQ. Here is Mark’s explanation:
“It all stops here! Well, it's been an honour to have become a small part of the history of IQ, however I've made a decision to follow my head rather than my heart and will be leaving the band at the end of the year. Having to juggle family life, a full time job and finding time to play all this prog nonsense has been more than a handful of late. Anyway, I shall leave with some great memories and will definitely miss the camaraderie and frequent lunacy of the band and crew, and the loyal fans. Creating music will always be my passion, so hopefully I'll find an outlet to release something in the not-too-distant future. All the best, Mark x”
Mark’s final appearance with IQ will be at the O2 Academy, Islington, on 11th December. We would like to thank Mark for everything he has contributed to the band over the last three years and we wish him every success in his future endeavours.

October News Bytes

  • Voiceprint Records is set to release the 21st Century Schizoid Band Live In Japan Concert CD and DVD bringing together both the visual and audio elements of the concert in one package. As both the separate elements of Live in Japan have been unavailable for some time this reissue now means you have both together in the one package and as King Crimson and the relevant offshoots of the band
  • The members of Yes are going in studio to record a new album that should be ready next year. They are working with producer Trevor Horn.
  • Singer Rob Sowden has decided to part ways with the band Arena. The explanation given so many times at moments like this is ‘musical differences’, usually as a veil for somewhat darker reasons; but actually, in this case, it is precisely the reason.
  • Believe, the outstanding art/progressive rock band led by the former guitarist of the Polish prog rock legend Collage, return with their fourth studio album. The new material entitled “World Is Round” will be released in January 2011.
  • Gary Husband, pianist and drummer, is about to release an all star album titled Dirty And Beautiful which will feature Gary Husband (Drums and Keys);Allan Holdsworth (Guitar); John McLaughlin (Guitar); Robin Trower (Guitar); Steve Hackett (Guitar); Steve Topping (Guitar); Jan Hammer (Keyboards); Jerry Goodman (Violin); Jimmy Johnson (Bass); Mark King (Bass); Laurence Cottle (Bass); Livingstone Brown (Bass); Steve Price (Bass)
  • Brett Stranne Of Cairo is battling cancer. Donations can be given through this website:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

JON LORD To Compose Concerto For Hammond And Tympani

According to a posting on the web site, former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord has been commissioned to compose a concerto for Hammond organ and orchestra and with special parts for tympani. The piece will be premiered with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Tom Vissgren on tympani in Oslo, Norway in the spring of 2012. "It is basically a concerto for Hammond and an orchestra with a very virtuoso tympany part," explains Jon Lord.

"Tom Vissgren and I had become acquaintances, and he had asked me if I would write a tympany concerto. I said, 'I am not up to writing a tympany concerto but how about this…'

"I had been thinking for years about writing a Hammond Concerto. Something I could turn up and play as part of a program with an orchestra. It doesn't have to be a program of only my music, just slot me in along next to Mahler and I would be happy. So I thought about that, and told Vissgren that I could write a really virtuoso tympany part to go alongside it. We took the idea to the management of the Oslo Philharmonics and it's now commissioned for the spring of 2012. I'm getting on well with this and it's coming along nicely."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CYNIC Drummer To Release Instructional DVD

Sick Drummer Magazine will produce "It's About Time", the first-ever instructional DVD from Sean Reinert of the reunited progressive rock/metal band CYNIC. The filming is scheduled to start in November and will take place just outside San Fransisco, California.

"It's About Time" will walk you through Sean's warm-up excercises, practice routines, posture, stick selection & grip variables, pedal approach, drum tuning/tones, drum selection and much, much more. The DVD will also include the performance and explanation of several songs Sean has recorded with various projects during his amazing — and still flourishing — career. Add to that some live footage and other relative advice from Sean, and you've got yourself a very unique and valuable tool to help improve your playing!

CYNIC recently completed the inaugural Hall of Fame tour. Historic in every sense, the Hall of Fame tour, titled "Re-Traced / Re-Focused Live", saw the band performing Hall of Fame album "Focus" in its entirety, along with tracks from the group's lauded second album, "Traced in Air", and more. Direct support came from progressive masters INTRONAUT and DYSRHYTHMIA.

On May 17, CYNIC released a brand new EP entitled "Re-Traced", featuring reinterpretations of four songs from the group's critically acclaimed "Traced In Air" album as well as a previously unreleased song.

T Lavitz Passes Away

We’re saddened to follow the news of Solomon Burke’s passing with word that keyboardist T. Lavitz passed away unexpectedly, in his sleep on the evening of October 7th. Lavitz first gained notoriety in 1978, when the then-University of Miami student was tapped to replace Mark Parrish in Southern rock band Dixie Dregs. The Dregs went on to release three albums with Lavitz before breaking up in 1983.

Over the 27 years that followed Lavitz’s original tenure in the Dixie Dregs, the versatile keyboardist put out seven solo albums and performed with dozens of musicians with ties in the jam scene in a number of different projects. After Brent Mydland passed away in 1990, T. was on the short list to fill Mydland’s seat, but the job ultimately went to Vince Welnick. In 1991, Lavitz lent his talents to Widespread Panic for the band’s self-titled Capricorn debut. His work impressed the band enough that they asked the keyboardist to join them as a touring member, though his tenure lasted only a year. [see our B List: 10 Band Members With Short Tenures]

T. Lavitz might be best known to much of our readership for his work with instrumental Grateful Dead cover band Jazz is Dead. Along with Jimmy Herring, Alphonso Johnson and Billy Cobham, the band completely reworked some of the Dead’s best songs with amazing results. Jazz is Dead wasn’t your typical cover band and the three albums they put out are all highly recommended.

Jon Lord Joins Forces With Violinist ANNA PHOEBE In New Band

Acclaimed violinist extraordinaire Anna Phoebe (JETHRO TULL, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, PAUL RODGERS, ROXY MUSIC) has joined forces with former DEEP PURPLE keyboardist Jon Lord in a brand new brand. Phoebe writes on her Twitter profile, "I am VERY excited! Now we need a name!"

In a recent installment of her weekly column for U.K.'s Classic Rock magazine, Phoebe stated about Lord, "What a nice, gentle, intelligent, interesting man! We talked seamlessly for over two hours [over lunch] and decided that we have the same approach to music as each other — albeit his experience and sheer genius far outweighing mine! We're hopefully going to get together and have a little play with our instruments and see if our Hammond and violin get on as well as we think they might!"