Crystal Jacqueline — Rainflower
(Mega Dodo DODOCD 8 / DODOLP 8, 2015, CD/LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-07-08
Each new release from Crystal Jacqueline shows an artist who continues to grow and mature. And it has been a joy to witness this through her various Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo albums. This May saw the release of Jacqueline’s latest solo effort, Rainflower. I first thought "rainflower" was a made-up psychedelic flower-power word, but in fact a rainflower is a tropical plant in the Amaryllis family, AKA fairy lily or magic lily, an apropos name for this new album of gothic / psych / acid folk music. Jacqueline’s fellow Honey Pot band mate Icarus Peel once again wrote and produced this new solo album. The songs are darker and stronger, and there is a subtle theme here as four of the eleven songs refer to flowers: “Water Hyacinth,” “Daisy Chain,” “Strange Bloom,” and the title track. These songs also tie into an overall blissful bucolic psychedelic ambiance finding roots in Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma and More. Icarus Peel does not really capture David Gilmour, but the feeling is there. The stand-out songs for me are the ghostly and mysterious “Dress of White Lace,” where Jacqueline’s voice is more like an added layer of instrumentation; “Daisy Chain,” that is one of the upbeat songs with some tasteful sitar lending a raga rock flavor; Jacqueline’s beautiful reinterpretation of the classic “Grantchester Meadows” that appeared on Fruits de Mer’s 2014 Pink Floyd tribute A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl; “Rainflower”; and the closer “Again… Dragonfly” evoking comparison’s to Amon Düül II’s “Surrounded by the Stars.” Quite an excellent release.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more