Bill Berends — In My Dreams I Can Fly
((Not on label) , 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-02-17At hand is something of a calling card, a selection of compositions for electric guitar that showcase what the guitarist can do in a solo context, who has up until this point always been associated with his band Mastermind. Launching the album of twelve instrumentals with the surf-beat title track, it doesn’t take long to realize this is something entirely new, and not another album by his band. Drummer Jason Gianni (from the Neal Morse band) joins Berends, who plays all other instruments – multiple guitars and bass primarily with an ear toward a strong melodic composition in a variety of rock based styles. If one enjoyed the late-60s work of Eric Clapton, “Heavy Cream” seems to be a tribute to that bluesy rock style. One might also hear stylistic echoes of Jeff Beck, Richie Blackmore’s more melodic side, Ronnie Montrose, Steve Morse, Harvey Mandel, Dickey Betts, and other classic guitar slingers from the past throughout these twelve cuts, but nowhere is any of this derivative, as Berends has a solid command of his compositional chops. After five cuts of pretty much straight-up rock the listener is treated to “In a Quiet Place,” a slower paced, beautiful melodic piece that is one of the album’s standouts. But there are many more standouts throughout this style-shifting smorgasbord of classic rock, every moment of which is thoroughly enjoyable. “The Longest Winter” is not only the disc’s longest track, but a moody, introspective melodic piece that evolves slowly and erupts into a powerful and memorable refrain at several points during its seven minutes and change. All said, this is a set that should please any fan of classic instrumental guitar rock.
Related artist(s): Bill Berends
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more