Ray — Somewhere in the Universe
(Universe UNI 323, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
Ray is Ray Roehner on vocals, acoustic guitars, flute, and pennywhistle, John Berg on acoustic and electric guitars, and three other musicians on keys, bass, and percussion, with guests providing occasional saxes, violin, keys, bagpipes, and so on. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out exactly who Ray's primary influences are: even before the CD starts to turn, there are numerous clues, from the front of the CD booklet that states "Dedicated to Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull," or the thank you credits on the back where Anderson and Martin Barre are mentioned by name, or song titles like "Tribute to JT," or the information regarding Jethro Tull newsletters and internet resources offered inside the booklet. These guys worship Tull! And the music indeed bears that out, they make no bones about it; specifically it's Tull's acoustic guitar based side evident in albums like Songs from the Wood and so on. Of the twelve original compositions here (two others, "Jackalynn" and "Broadford Bazaar," are actually Tull covers), most are in the two-to-four minute range, and though they won't win any awards for stylistic originality, they are likeable enough anyway, and should warm the hearts of Tull fans old and new alike.
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
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