Exposé Online banner

Jan Akkerman — 10,000 Clowns on a Rainy Day
(Superior SU 29506 , 2004, 2CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

10,000 Clowns on a Rainy Day Cover art

Word is out that Thijs Van Leer has reformed golden age prog band Focus with a flashy new lead guitarist. Clearly, where would Focus be without original shredmeister Jan Akkerman, who earned 70s AM radio attention for the frantic-paced novelty hit “Hocus Pocus”? The six string guitar slinger has since moved on into a jazz fusion vein while keeping a disappointingly low profile (at least in the US). Jan has only surfaced for a few international efforts including the European GuitarSpeak projects and tour almost a decade ago. So what’s he up to now, you ask? Dutch label Patio Music has released a new live album featuring Akkerman with a crackshot band in tow. And he’s reprised and reworked various Focus classics and kept the finessed playing intact. The two disc set cuts across performances from 1995-97, taking the best of newer pieces, and mixing and merging them with new arrangements of Focus material. The end result is a bluesy, rockin’, moody set of instrumentals blending old and new with a sincere depth. Disc one’s high point is the new arrangement of "Eruption," with Akkerman switching to acoustic guitar for the duration. Another track, "Puccini’s Cafe," is a somber blues slice of grace and quiet passion. Disc two is offset by a 17-minute medley including the hit "Sylvia" and seven other spirited pieces. Accompaniment is capably provided by Nico Brandsen (keyboards), Manual Hugas (bass), and Ton Dijkman (drums). A stateside release would be welcome for fans who appreciate a class ensemble playing in a small intimate setting.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 15, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Jan Akkerman

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Holy Fire - The Holy Fire – A bit of an odd fit for Exposé, the Holy Fire is a balls-out, energetic four piece from Detroit who recorded their inaugural EP in Toronto. The tracks are all in the three minute range and run one...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues