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PODCAST: Ultimate Neal Morse Album with Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy makes his 10th appearance on the podcast and helps us put together the Ultimate Neal Morse Album from Neal Morse solo albums only. We also talk about the new NMB (Neal Morse Band) album – Innocence & Danger, what they might play on tour and at Morsefest, and much more.  Innocence & Danger is out on August 27th, 2021. Morsefest is on October 8th and 9th. Info on both can be found on https://www.nealmorse.com/

For the full audio click the podcast link or download the podcast on
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NMB (Neal Morse Band) release video for “Do It All Again”; tour dates announced

The post PODCAST: Ultimate Neal Morse Album with Mike Portnoy appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Watch Flying Colors live performance of “The Storm” from the Morsefest 2019 live set

Neal Morse is announcing the live release of Morsfest 2019 which features performances by Flying Colors and the Neal Morse Band. The full Flying Colors and The Neal Morse Band sets from Morsefest 2019 will be released on August 27th, 2021. Pre-sales begin at www.radiantrecords.com on June 18th, 2021 and will be available as a 4 CD/2 Blu-ray set.

You can watch the Flying Colors performance of “The Storm” here:

Morsefest has been announced for October of 2021 with the Neal Morse Band, and for April 2022 with Transatlantic performing. Info available here: http://www.radiantrecords.com

Neal Morse announced plans for Morsefest 2021

The post Watch Flying Colors live performance of “The Storm” from the Morsefest 2019 live set appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Album Review: TRANSATLANTIC – The Absolute Universe

TRANSATLANTIC - The Absolute UniverseInside Out  [Release date: 5 February 2021] Supergroups – don’t you just love them? Remember, back in the day, when England used to play various sporting matches against “The Rest Of The World”? England always won because they all knew … Continue reading

The post Album Review: TRANSATLANTIC – The Absolute Universe appeared first on Get Ready to ROCK!.

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Top 10 Prog Concept Albums

Perhaps no other debate is as highly argued in the world of prog rock as ‘which is the greatest concept album?’  We have put together what we think is a collection of some of the best including a few recent releases.  Which is your favorite?

 

10. Marillion – Misplaced Childhood (1985)

Misplaced Childhood is the third studio album by Marillion. This was the group’s first full concept album, featuring thematic elements of lost love, sudden success, acceptance, and lost childhood, along with an upbeat ending. It also features the band’s biggest hit to date “Kayleigh.” It remains one of the group’s most celebrated releases.

 

9. Ayeron – The Human Equation (2004)

The Human Equation is the sixth album from the progressive rock project Ayreon by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. The album takes place almost entirely in the mind of a character called Me (played by James LaBrie of Dream Theater) who is in a coma after a car accident, with each song consisting of one day spent in coma. It features guest appearances from several musicians, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, Eric Clayton of Saviour Machine, and Devin Townsend.

 

8. Neal Morse Band – The Similitude of a Dream (2016)

The Similitude of a Dream is the second album from the Neal Morse Band, another Neal Morse/Mike Portnoy group featuring Eric Gillette, Bill Hubauer, and Randy George.  Using the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress as the backdrop, the group weave various styles, themes, and share vocals, culminating in an epic climax for what Portnoy calls ‘one of the best albums of his career.

 

7. Steven Wilson – Hand.Cannot.Erase. (2015)

Hand. Cannot. Erase. is the fourth solo studio album by Steven Wilson and his most successful release to date.  the concept and story are inspired by the case of Joyce Carol Vincent, where a woman living in a large city dies in her apartment and no one misses her for over three years, despite her having family and friends.  Performances by Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann, Nick Beggs, and Adam Holzman help elevate this stunning collection.

The post Top 10 Prog Concept Albums appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Neal Morse podcast features chats with prog greats including Jon Anderson, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and more

During this crazy time of lockdown and quarantining, musicians all over the world have been finding ways to keep busy, many recording albums or doing livestreams, among other things.  One of the great things to come out of this time is the new podcast from Neal Morse, which he calls ‘Musicians Having Coffee and Talking About Stuff,’ certainly a mouthful.  But the title offers insight into the casual nature of these conversations between Neal and his guests.  Since it’s launch in late December with first guest Mike Portnoy, the podcast has been a surprisingly endearing venture, finding Morse really relaxed while chatting with the likes of Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, his former Spock’s Beard mates in Dave Meros ,or his brother Alan Morse.

The episodes which typically last a little over an hour, are each completely different and, to steal from a Neal Morse lyric, “go the way they go.”  Rather than being interviews about their latest releases, Neal and his guests will relay stories of old tours, albums that inspired them, gear, mistakes during shows, and anything else that might come up.

The episodes appear first on Neal’s own streaming platform ‘Waterfall’ and then a few days later on various podcast services, as well as with video on YouTube.  The latest episode is with Dream Theater and LTE keyboardist Jordan Rudess.

Waterfall Streaming: https://waterfallstreaming.com/

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/musicians-having-coffee-talking-about-stuff-podcast/id1546741639

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06tr-Ke6VvU

The post Neal Morse podcast features chats with prog greats including Jon Anderson, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and more appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Neal Morse announced plans for Morsefest 2021

Neal Morse has announced Morsefest 2021: Renewal! On the weekend of October 8th and 9th, there will be two shows which will include the live premieres of songs from the new NMB album and more still to be announced.

There will be 50 Live VIP and 150 Live Double-Show in-person tickets, as well as Virtual Double-Show and Virtual VIP options! Tickets will go on sale on March 26th at 9:00 AM CDT. Full details on www.radiantrecords.com

Neal Morse says, “In 2020 we were in Lockdown… but it’s 2021 and it’s time for Morsefest 2021: Renewal! I am so excited to announce that on Friday, March 26th at 9:00 AM CDT, tickets will go on sale for this year’s Morsefest. On Friday, October 8th and Saturday, October 9th, The Neal Morse Band will be playing two amazing shows! The setlist is a closely-guarded secret but I can tell you that it will include a chance to hear the live premieres of songs from the new NMB album, which will be released later this year.

We will be having both an in-person and an online event so as many of you can join us as possible. There will be 50 VIP and 150 regular double show tickets for people who would like to attend in person in Tennessee. If you can’t make the trip, you can see the stream of both shows in the comfort of your own home! Those of you who attended online last year will know that we were able to have a brilliant audio and video experience, and this year will be even better! We have an early sign-up discount on the Virtual Two Show, Virtual VIP, and Live Double Show tickets for the first two weeks – so get signed up early! We expect that the in-person tickets will sell quickly, so do make sure you secure yours. All the details are below and look out for the ticket link next week!”

Watch the trailer here:

 

Live VIP**: $899 ($999 after 2 weeks)

Only 50 tickets available (due to expected attendance restrictions)
VIPs will spend the afternoon and evening in the venue, with full facilities
Your chance to be in the audience for both shows!
Attendance at the band commentary sessions during the live streams on Friday and Saturday evening.
You will also be able to purchase merch onsite, as well as the special online merch deals.
VIP Merch Bag including exclusive Morsefest VIP t-shirt, VIP lanyard, poster and other surprises
Free copy of the live video of both shows
VIP games and Q&A on both days
Dinner each evening and snacks throughout the day
Entry to Inner Circle Concert

Live Double-Show Ticket: $250 ($300 after 2 weeks)

Only 150 tickets available (due to expected attendance restrictions)
Your chance to be in the audience for both shows!
You will also be able to purchase merch onsite and buy the live video of both shows as well as the special online merch deals.
** Please note to facilitate the live stream, the shows will take place in the afternoon. Double-Show ticket holders will able to be access the venue beforehand to buy merch and for the duration of the shows. Due to expected attendance restrictions and meeting social distancing requirements, we don’t expect to be able to offer catering or the ability to access the building at other times at this ticket level.

Virtual VIP: $175 ($199 after 2 weeks)

Front row seats (on your couch!) to attend the virtual concert on Friday and Saturday nights
Live online VIP game and Q&A on both days
VIP Merch Bag including Morsefest VIP t-shirt, VIP lanyard, poster and other surprises (this will be shipped to you in advance of the event)
Free copy of the live video of both shows – only available to ticketholders
Access to private Morsefest web portal, behind the scenes live video, special merch deals and other cool stuff!

Virtual Double-Show Tickets: $60 ($75 after 2 weeks)

Front row seats (on your couch!) to attend the virtual concert on Friday and Saturday nights
Opportunity to purchase an exclusive Morsefest release and other merch
Opportunity to purchase the live video of both shows – only available to ticketholders
Access to private Morsefest web portal, special merch deals and other cool stuff!

The post Neal Morse announced plans for Morsefest 2021 appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Transatlantic and Morse/Portnoy/George announce vinyl reissues

Following the release of their brand new fifth studio album ‘The Absolute Universe’, progressive rock supergroup Transatlantic are pleased to reissue their much-loved debut album ‘SMPTe’ on Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD + LP-booklet on April 30th, 2021. Originally released in 2000, this album saw Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas coming together for the very first time, to craft what AllMusic called a “progressive rock masterpiece”, laying the foundation for the epic music that would be created by these four musicians over the next 20 years.

Pre-order now here: https://transatlantic.lnk.to/SMPTe-VinylRe-issue2021

Last year Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy & Randy George returned to their Cover To Cover series with the new ‘Cov3r To Cov3r’, a brand new third installment. Now, for the first time ever, the first and second albums will see a vinyl release on April 23rd, 2021. Both ‘Cover To Cover’ & Cover 2 Cover’ will arrive on Gatefold 180g 2LP + CD, and are available to pre-order below.

Cover to Cover: https://morseportnoygeorge.lnk.to/CovertoCover
Cover 2 Cover: https://morseportnoygeorge.lnk.to/Cover2Cover

 

The post Transatlantic and Morse/Portnoy/George announce vinyl reissues appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Get your Prog Madness 2021 Bracket

After a successful tournament in 2020, Prog Madness is back. This year’s version puts some of the biggest names in the history or prog, both old and new, against each other. The 4 categories are Classic Era, Modern Era, Solo Artist, and Prog Metal. Voting begins on Monday.

Download your copy of the bracket here to fill out and share with your friends.
prog madness 2021

Voting dates are as follows:

1st Round (64): March 15-18th

2nd Round (32): March 22nd-March 25th

3rd Round (16): March 29th/30th

4th Round (8): March 31st

5th Round (4): April 5th

Finals: April 6th

The post Get your Prog Madness 2021 Bracket appeared first on The Prog Report.

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PODCAST: Top 5 Transatlantic Songs with Pete Trewavas

Transatlantic and Marillion bassist Pete Trewavas joins the podcast to talk about the new Transatlantic releases The Absolute Universe and to pick the top 5 songs by the prog supergroup. You can listen or watch the podcast below.

Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas took things up a level with Transatlantic’s 5th studio release from  ‘The Absolute Universe’. Released on February 5th, 2021, ‘The Absolute Universe’ was released in two versions: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’. While each album is available on CD, LP & Digitally, there is also ‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that includes a special mix that combines both versions into a third unique version in 5.1 surround sound with visuals and a behind the scenes documentary. You can check out our reviews of both albums here:

The Breath of Life review

Forevermore review

For the full audio click the podcast link or download the podcast on
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Subscribe to the podcast to automatically receive future podcast episodes.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel

The full list of formats is below, and you can order now here: https://transatlantic.lnk.to/TheAbsoluteUniverse

‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’
Available as:
Single CD Edition, Gatefold 2LP+CD, or Digital Album

Track-listing:
1. Overture
2. Reaching For The Sky
3. Higher Than The Morning
4. The Darkness In The Light
5. Take Now My Soul
6. Looking For The Light
7. Love Made A Way (Prelude)
8. Owl Howl
9. Solitude
10. Belong
11. Can You Feel It
12. Looking For The Light (Reprise)
13. The Greatest Story Never Ends
14. Love Made A Way

‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’
Available as:
2CD Edition, 3LP+2CD Boxset, or Digital Album

Track-listing:
Disc 1:
1. Overture
2. Heart Like A Whirlwind
3. Higher Than The Morning
4. The Darkness In The Light
5. Swing High, Swing Low
6. Bully
7. Rainbow Sky
8. Looking For The Light
9. The World We Used To Know

Disc 2:
1. The Sun Comes Up Today
2. Love Made A Way (Prelude)
3. Owl Howl
4. Solitude
5. Belong
6. Lonesome Rebel
7. Looking For The Light (Reprise)
8. The Greatest Story Never Ends
9. Love Made A Way

‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’
Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster. Includes both versions of the album over 5LP’s and 3CD’s, plus a Blu-Ray with 5.1 mix & documentary.

Blu-Ray Track-listing:

1. Overture (5.1 Surround Mix)
2. Reaching For The Sky (5.1 Surround Mix)
3. Higher Than The Morning (5.1 Surround Mix)
4. The Darkness In The Light (5.1 Surround Mix)
5. Take Now My Soul (5.1 Surround Mix)
6. Bully (5.1 Surround Mix)
7. Rainbow Sky (5.1 Surround Mix)
8. Looking For The Light (5.1 Surround Mix)
9. The World We Used To Know (5.1 Surround Mix)
10. The Sun Comes Up Today (5.1 Surround Mix)
11. Love Made A Way (Prelude) (5.1 Surround Mix)
12. Owl Howl (5.1 Surround Mix)
13. Solitude (5.1 Surround Mix)
14. Belong (5.1 Surround Mix)
15. Lonesome Rebel (5.1 Surround Mix)
16. Can You Feel It (5.1 Surround Mix)
17. Looking For The Light (Reprise) (5.1 Surround Mix)
18. The Greatest Story Never Ends (5.1 Surround Mix)
19. Love Made A Way (5.1 Surround Mix)
20. The Making of The Absolute Universe (Documentary)

 

The post PODCAST: Top 5 Transatlantic Songs with Pete Trewavas appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Spock’s Beard’s 2nd album ‘Beware of Darkness’ turns 25 years old

Having made a splash in the Prog world with their first album, The Light, in 1995, Spock’s Beard, now complete with a full five person lineup, went straight to work on their sophomore record, Beware of Darkness. While much of the first album happened by accident, turning demos Neal Morse had written into an album while recruiting a band, this time the band went into the studio having to figure out how to make an album as a group. This is the album where the trademarks of the group would rise to the forefront, with tracks like “Thoughts”, a nod to 70s Prog icons Gentle Giant, “Waste Away” an acoustic rocker, and “Walking on the Wind” the Neal Morse signature epic.

Bassist Dave Meros recognized the different vibe going into the making of the album, “We considered ourselves an official band by this point. The Light was done almost entirely as an experiment, but now we actually saw some possibility of a future. Neal was on fire creatively and I can still feel the excitement that we had going into that album. At the time that I joined the band we were just a four piece. Neal had recorded all the keyboard parts on The Light by himself. But after The Light was recorded we wanted to start doing some gigs and Neal realized he couldn’t cover it all by himself, so Ryo was brought back in. So it really was a complete band then in a physical sense. But beyond that, this was going to be our second album, we had done some live shows as a full band, there was a bit of a buzz going on, we had a new recording contract, and there was definitely a feeling that Beware Of Darkness was our first focused push forward.”

The band would sign with Progressive label InsideOut and finally had a recording budget. This drove them to seek out Kevin Gilbert, as Neal Morse recalls, “Nick had made this connection with Kevin Gilbert. I remember him really setting out to do that. He went up and jammed with him at some ski area or something and we wanted to get to know Kevin so we wound up having Kevin mix some of the songs on Beware of Darkness. We couldn’t afford to have him do the whole thing because he was expensive for us in those days. He mixed “Thoughts”, “Walking on the Wind” and “Time Has Come”. I had flown out back out there to remix some other stuff with Kevin and that was when he was found dead in his studio.”

The album opens with the title track, which is actually a cover of a George Harrison song, but it was not that original version that drove Neal to decide to cover the song. “I’d always really liked Leon Russell’s version of that song and he does these kind of piano jam things before he goes into the song. If you’ve ever heard his version it’s different from George Harrison’s version and one day while I was in the shower I started thinking about a Prog version of that song and taking some of Leon’s keyboard riffs and kind of you know making them into full band things which is where the intro thing comes from that. And yeah I don’t know if this all began to play in my mind that day and so I demoed that and we decided to do it.”

One of the signature songs for the group is “Thoughts” which showcases the band’s knack for wild harmonies and odd time signatures, which they claim are simply from their love of Gentle Giant. Over the years, these vocal arrangements would appear either as parts of longer epics or future versions of the song such as “Thoughts part II” and “Thoughts Part 5”. Dave Meros, explains, “As far as difficulty, I think it sounds more difficult than it really is. Each individual part is no harder to play than any of the other Spock’s Beard material of the time, but the arrangement is so quirky that when it’s all put together it sounds really complex. We actually didn’t feel like we were establishing a sound, it felt more like we stumbled upon the Gentle Giant sound. That song is very obviously inspired by Gentle Giant. I think it’s funny now whenever I hear somebody hearing a quirky counterpoint vocal and they say it sounds like Spock’s Beard, when in reality we were just trying to sound like Gentle Giant.”

Other instrumentation was brought to the forefront on songs like “The Doorway” which is a long piano driven rocker, harkening back to songs like Genesis’ “Firth of Fifth”. “Waster Away”, rather, is a regular 5-minute acoustic rock song, allowing Neal to sing lines like, “Some people are like gravy, spilled on God’s Sunday shirt”. Meanwhile, the standout track is “Walking on the Wind” that has the spastic interplay with keyboards as the main opening section and closes with an epic guitar solo refrain, another Neal Morse calling card.

Beware of Darkness is in many ways just as important an album as The Light. While its predecessor opened the door, this album kicked it wide open, exposing all of what this band was capable of and setting them up for a long career.

The post Spock’s Beard’s 2nd album ‘Beware of Darkness’ turns 25 years old appeared first on The Prog Report.

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