Dave Bainbridge — Celestial Fire
(Open Sky CD 18, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-03-31One can probably use the old metaphor about the acorn not falling far from the tree when describing this latest effort by Dave Bainbridge, probably better known to many as a founding member of Iona, where he plays a good number of instruments (keyboards, all sorts of things with strings) and is responsible for much of that band’s compositions. Celestial Fire is his second solo album, the first since 2004’s excellent Veil of Gossamer, and it’s fairly safe to say that anyone who enjoyed that, and the many albums by Iona will find plenty to enjoy herein. This is a long disc, double album length at around 74 minutes, with lengthy symphonic pieces that work together as an extended epic with recurring themes, featuring angelic voices, spiritual Christian lyrics, Celtic folk-rock, and a stronger nod to the classic adventurous progressive rock sound than Iona might normally provide. While Bainbridge does sing some of the backing vocals, he has brought in a number of different singers to handle lead vocal duties, including Yvonne Lyon, Damian Wilson (Landmarq, Threshold), Sally Minnear, and Julia Malyasova, track depending. All of the former plus more contribute backing vocals as well on other cuts, plus a large cast of players contribute on all the instruments that Bainbridge doesn’t play himself (that would include bass, Moog Taurus pedals, drums, percussion, violin, viola, cello, uillean pipes, tin whistle, flute, saxes and more) including many of his colleagues from Iona. From beginning to end this is a continuum of ever-evolving compositions and stunning arrangements, making for a powerful and panoramic production that pulls out all the stops and pulls the listener in. It’s clear that a lot of work went in to creating this, and it succeeds on every level.
Related artist(s): Dave Bainbridge
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
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more