Iona — Beyond These Shores
(WHAD 1300, 1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01Three albums on now, Iona's latest release shows a higher degree of maturity and refinement overall. Still solidly in the Celtic folk-rock vein, they are in many ways comparable to bands like Clannad and Fairport, but with strong Christian themes running through their songs. Vocalist Joanne Hogg is powerful as ever, and the band supports her well. Led by multi-instrumentalist Dave Bainbridge, they're not afraid to rock, nor are they afraid to explore the quieter introspective realms on the interludes between the vocal tracks. On their last album, all the rock was front-loaded, and the album completely changed (died?) at about the 35 minute mark; this time they've kept the energy level more constant by interspersing the quiet material throughout the album. A long list of guest musicians contributing everything from Uillean pipes to oboe and viola includes, plus none other than Robert Fripp, contributing guitar and Frippertronics. Anyone who enjoyed their previous Book of Kells should be delighted with this one, indeed it is better, yet a bit more polished as well. It should be noted that all three Iona CDs are now available as domestics, on the Forefront label. Highly recommended.
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
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more