Desert Wizards — Raven
(Black Widow DW002-2, 2013, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-02-01In 2007 four friends strongly influenced by 70s hard rock and psychedelic music put together Desert Wizards. They self-released an EP in 2008 and then a full-length album in 2010. Based on this release, Black Widow Records signed them and reissued their album in 2011. Now Black Widow has released their second album, Ravens. Desert Wizards are Mambo (vocals, bass, and guitar), Gito (lead guitar and backing vocals), Anna (organ and vocals), and Dallas (drums). Ravens is a mixture of hard rock, blues rock, and psychedelic rock. The disc opens with “Freedom Rider,” that begins with the Easy Rider sound bite of Jack Nicholson’s and Dennis Hopper’s rant about haircuts and freedom. This song is a heavy rock number and though it opens the disc, feels out of place with the rest of the songs. But after five minutes there is an organ solo and the song abruptly shifts into The Doors territory, adding some interest. In my humble opinion, the best tracks on this disk are the psychedelic/gothic western numbers: “Babilonya,” “Back to Blue,” “Vampire Queen,” and the excellent cover of Pink Floyd’s “Childhood’s End” from Obscured by Clouds. The other songs: “Black Bird,” “Dick Allen’s Blues,” “Electric Sunshine,” and “Burn into the Sky” are hard rock, blues, and psych songs that really didn’t resonate with me. The other song of note is “Bad Dreams” that is fairly spooky. This is a mixed bag of music, indicative of a band finding its way. There is a lot of promise of good things to come.
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
Canned Heat / John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'n' Heat, Historical Figures, Ancient Heads, & The New Age – If you don't dig the blues and you don't boogie, skip this review. Canned Heat's stock in trade was merging classic blues with rock, and in the late 60s nobody did it better, due in part... (2007) » Read more