Exposé Online banner

Squonk Opera — You Are Here
((Not on label) no#, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01

You Are Here Cover art

You Are Here is a companion soundtrack to Squonk Opera’s latest stage production, (put your hometown’s name here): The Opera and continues a string of theatrical releases since the Pittsburgh-based ensemble formed in 1992. The lineup has shifted some over the years with keyboard player Jackie Dempsey, saxophonist/reedsman Steve O’Hearn, and drummer Kevin Kornicki the only holdovers from when I last encountered them during the Ha Ha Tali days (1996). They’ve since added guitarist David Wallace and bassist Nathan Wilson, though the most significant addition is singer Christina Acosta, a Dominican native who brings serious chops and an elegant and sensual presence that often elevates the material to another plane – she’s downright alluring when she wraps her voice around the lyrics as on “Those Who Have Gone.” Remarkably, the alchemy of her singing and the instrumental arrangements works on gentler tracks, like “Little Flowers,” but also on rockers such as “Home Movies.” Despite the presence of guitar, the band’s sound remains that of a chamber rock ensemble with Dempsey’s keys holding down the center of her songs, whether she’s wielding piano, Fender Rhodes, or even accordion. The group has a distinctive instrumental persona, characterized by O’Hearn’s often electrified or midified reeds and Kornicki’s always creative (also often electrified) percussion work. Things get pretty proggy on the 7/4 instrumental “Driving” or the upright bass and flute driven “Belly Full of Fire,” which ought to be inducement enough for Exposé readers to give this one a listen, despite the album’s many other charms. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Squonk Opera

Latest news

2017-05-19
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

2017-05-05
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

2017-05-02
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

2017-04-16
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

2017-04-16
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


Previously in Exposé...

The Tractor's Revenge - Othello – Tractor’s Revenge is a four piece act which embraces the darker side of gothic progressive rock much in the vein of Belgium’s Universe Zero. Led by Avi Bellili, the twelve pieces on this recording...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues