Wigwam — Some Several Moons
( Major Leidén MLCD 017, 2005, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01
Jim Pembroke and Wigwam were one of those acts who occupied a welcome place between rock and progressive music in Finland. Pembroke’s songwriting style is an easy match to much of Nektar’s mid-period material (circa Down to Earth) as his lyrical phrasing and songwriting structure fit standard rock and roll features with the odd frill here and there. Guitarist Pekka Rechart is the soul of sorts for the band, having been present through many line-up changes and is a strong fit as his solo fills grace power ballads like “Sandpainting” and “Bow Lane.” The quintet rocks it up a bit on “Kabul Grill” with some heavy riffs while “Cloudy Dreams” matches up to the long format the group built their European base upon in the 70s. Rechart gets to stretch a bit in the midsection imposed over an evolving theme with Olli Kari on marimba. “Squaw Valley Non-event” is Pembroke’s recited intro leading into a band memory in the US mountain ski-resort. The subtle use of Mellotron and strong band delivery make this song the most memorable on the disc. “Tokyo Joe” and “Banging on the Ceiling” actually remind me of Dave Lambert’s songs circa Strawbs Deep Cuts or Burning for You. Closing out the collection of ten pieces is “Cacobe Bar Two-step” where Pembroke evokes a smoky burlesque mood backed by accordion and harmonica. Wigwam were never a huge force with the prog rock community but it’s still good to hear a clever batch of well crafted and executed pieces which fit into the band’s catalog like an old silk glove.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more