Strip Music – Hollywood & Wolfman (2006)

FrontCover1Strip Music was originally a side project from around 2001 when Yvonne disbanded. Henric de la Cour was the founder and frontman, Christian Berg originally played bass but switched to synths.
They found Fredrik Balck (drums) in a club called Nightlife in Stockholm. He introduced them to bassist Valdemar Asp, with whom he used to play in a band called Vendor. Patsy Bay (guitar), was Yvonne’s old guitar tech, while Jens Hellqvist (synths) knew Christian from when they were both in the band April Tears.
The band recorded demos. In September 2003 Yvonne’s manager, by now also an executive at Swedish label Playground Music, agreed to promote Strip Music. Since their first gig that month, Strip Music have played over 50 dates around Sweden while their single ‘Desperation’ gained airplay.

Strip Music01

The debut ‘Strip Music’ was released in august/september 2004 in Scandinavia, with the setting Henric de la Cour (vocals), Christian Berg (synthesizer), Fredrick Balck (drums), Valdemar Asp (bass), Patrick Johansson and Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer).
First shows abroad in UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Finland followed.Two years later, the second album ‘Hollywood & Wolfman’ was released. The band signed to the German label Drakkar. After the album was recorded, Fredrik Balck and Patsy Bay quit.
In 2007, the band toured Germany with the setting Henric de la Cour (vocals), Christian Berg (synthesizer), Richard Ankers (drums), Valdemar Asp (bass) and Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer). The live line-up was enlarged by David Lindh (guitar).

Strip Music02

In 2006 it was time for their follow-up album, with the ambiguous title Hollywood & Wolfman. The big dramatic sound is still intact but this time Strip Music have become even more personal in their musical expression. “Hollywood & Wolfman is bigger and darker than our debut album”, singer/lyricist Henric de la Cour states. “This record might not be as easy to embrace, but it grows and grows on you with every listen.” It is well worth it in the long run.


Many of the songs are lacking traditional song structures but rely on the distinctive atmosphere and mood created. Strip Musics biggest asset is still to achieve music sounding like a thunder storm while at the same time being soft like a gentle breeze. It is like their music lives within its own little universe. “Our music is not connected to any passing music trend or style”, declares Henric. “It is built upon timeless themes.”

Strip Music03

Hollywood & Wolfman is the sound of something so unusual as a band that paves its own way. Strip Music is a group who dares to listen to nothing else other than their private inner voices. Strip Music follows their very own convictions. In a music climate that is more and more streamlined and slick, Strip Music stand out in their very own way, due to the fact that they are true to themselves. They are willing to point out that the world they live in is not perfect and yet still beautiful and even if it will not get any better than this it is still ok. Perhaps the most important thing is for one to learn and live with it. (Pelle Olofsson)


Valdemar Asp (bass)
Fredrik Balck (drums)
Patsy Bay (guitar, background vocals)
Christian Berg (synthesizer)
Henric De La Cour (vocals, lyrics)
Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer)
background vocals:
Kicki Halmos – Kris Le Mans – Therese Johansson


01. Hollywood & Wolfman (Mörkret Över Tranås) (de la Cour/Berg) 3.42
02. Headlights (de la Cour/Berg) 3.27
03. This Morning (de la Cour/Berg) 3.22
04. Sugar And Lime (de la Cour/Lindh) 3.21
05. Bright Eyes (de la Cour) 4.12
06. When The Red Light District Feels Like Love de la Cour) 3.28
07. The Cat And The City (de la Cour/Berg) 4.32
08. God Speed Your Love To Me (de la Cour) 3.18
09. Remarkable Life (de la Cour/Berg) 3.04
10. Lucy (de la Cour/Berg) 4.54




The (now deleted) official website:

Esbjörn Svensson Trio – Tuesday Wonderland (2006)

FrontCover1Esbjörn Svensson Trio (or e.s.t.) was a Swedish jazz piano trio formed in 1993 consisting of Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass), and Magnus Öström (drums). Its music has classical, rock, pop, and techno elements. It lists classical composer Béla Bartók and rock band Radiohead as influences. Its style involves conventional jazz and the use of electronic effects and multitrack recording.

The trio deliberately blurred genres, with Svensson’s musical catholicism drawing on a wide variety of artist influences. e.s.t. was also renowned for its vibrant style in live performances, often playing in rock and roll oriented venues to young crowds. It achieved great commercial success and critical acclaim throughout Europe. Its 1999 release From Gagarin’s Point of View started its international breakthrough, being the first e.s.t. album to be released outside of Scandinavia through the German label ACT.

Esbjörn Svensson Trio01

Svensson died in a scuba diving accident in Stockholm on 14 June 2008. He is survived by his wife and two sons. The publication All About Jazz remarked that the loss “will surely deeply sadden music lovers everywhere.”

Since 2013 Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund are touring with the project e.s.t. symphony with Swedish arrangeur and conductor Hans Ek, performing symphonic versions of the e.s.t. songs.
In 1995 and 1996, Svensson was awarded Swedish Jazz Musician of the Year and 1998 Songwriter of the Year, and the 1997 release Winter in Venice (consisting mainly of original material) was awarded the Swedish Grammy. Strange Place For Snow, e.s.t.’s 2002 release earned numerous awards including the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (from the German Phonoacademy), the German Jazz Award, Choc de l’année (Jazzman, France), the Victoire du Jazz – the French Grammy – as best international act and also the Revelation of the Festival award, a special award from Midem. In December 2004, e.s.t. was awarded the Hans Koller prize as European Artist of the Year.

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Tuesday Wonderland is the eleventh album by the Swedish jazz trio Esbjörn Svensson Trio in its fourteenth year. On the occasion of its release, the American jazz magazine Downbeat, the best-selling periodical in the genre, featured E.S.T. on its cover as the first European jazz formation in the magazine’s 72-year history. In turn, the album was received very positively to cautiously by critics.

Stuart Nicholson notes in the Guardian that, as with the previous album, there is no sign of musical stagnation in the Swedish jazz group, although that would be significant given the length of time they have been playing together. This album is influenced by classical music such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, which enriches E.S.T.’s signature blend of jazz, rock and pop. John Kelman feels that Tuesday Wonderland expresses the tendency for the formation – although Svensson’s piano playing is the main part of the sound – to act even more democratically and more parts of Berglund and Magnus Öström can be heard.

In 2007, Tuesday Wonderland received, among other awards, a platinum record (Jazz Award) for over 20,000 units sold in Germany. The album is thus one of the best-selling jazz albums in Germany. (wikipedia)

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Sweden’s preeminent jazz fusion band the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, named after the charismatic and inventive pianist, has been a sensation in Europe since the early ’90s, capturing numerous Swedish Grammys (including one for Tuesday Wonderland long before its Stateside release), a French Grammy, and gold and platinum awards in their home country, Germany and France. But they deserve more than this — a medal, actually — for finding a unique blend of melodic jazz, classical, electronica and rock — that has earned them an audience of both older jazz lovers and trendy hip-hop kids. It speaks to the freshness of their vibe that their videos play regularly on MTV Scandinavia and they’re the only European jazz band ever to grace the cover of Downbeat. Though there are traditional elements at work, Tuesday Wonderland thrives on being unconventional.


On the opening track “Fading Maid Pendulum,” just as it’s hypnotizing with a gentle, classically tinged piano melody, Dan Berglund jumps in with a brooding, distorted heavy metal bass craziness and drummer Magnus Ostrom goes cymbal crazy. It’s electro-ambient jazz gone mad. The title track features Svensson’s David Benoit-like, melodic dark-meets-light piano dichotomy over Ostrom’s sharp, off-meter drums before some spacy electronica takes over for a spell. “Brewery of Beggars” is another inspired dose of insanity, darting from busy cymbal-piano swirls to softer, contemplative piano-bass moments. “Beggar’s Blanket” puts those pesky beggars to sleep with a sweet, lullaby-like, straightforward trio ballad. The Pat Metheny-esque “Dolores in a Shoestand” explores the melodic and rhythmic potential of jazz, a vibe which extends to other enjoyably seductive pieces like “eighthundred Streets by Feet.” “Goldwrap,” on the other hand, is a marriage between trippy jazz and explosive trance music — no wonder the kids love this stuff! Listening to this disc is a gloriously schizophrenic experience that will appeal more to adventurous listeners than those who prefer one style to another. But it was a great introduction to what makes Europe tick in the early 2000s jazz-wise. (by Jonathan Widran)


Dan Berglund (bass)
Magnus Öström (drums)
Esbjörn Svensson (piano)


01. Fading Maid Prelude 4.10
02. Tuesday Wonderland 6.32
03. The Goldhearted Miner 4.51
04. Brewery Of Beggars 8.22
05. Beggar’s Blanket 2.56
06. Dolores In A Shoestand 8.53
07. Where We Used To Live 4.27
08. Eighthundred Streets By Feet 6.48
09.Goldwrap 4.02
10. Sipping On The Solid Ground 4.37
11. Fading Maid Postlude 12.28

Music composed by Dan Berglund – Magnus Öström – Esbjörn Svensson




More from the Esbjörn Svensson Trio:

The official website:


Mo Foster – Live At Blues West 14 (2006)

FrontCover1Mo Foster (born Michael Ralph Foster, 22 December 1944) is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, solo artist, author, and public speaker. Through a career spanning over half a century, Foster has toured, recorded, and performed with dozens of artists, including Jeff Beck, Gil Evans, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Brian May, Scott Walker, Frida of ABBA, Cliff Richard, George Martin, Van Morrison, Dr John, Hank Marvin, Heaven 17 and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has released several albums under his own name, authored a humorous book on the history of British rock guitar, written numerous articles for music publications, continued to compose production music, and established himself as a public speaker. Foster is an assessor for JAMES, an industry organisation that gives accreditation to music colleges throughout the UK. In 2014, Foster was a recipient of a BASCA Gold Badge Award to honour his lifelong contribution to the British songwriting and composing community. (wikipedia)

Mo Foster01

Live At Blues West 14 is Mo Foster’s fourth solo album:

Mo Foster said “Musicians tend to loosen up in a club setting: away from the pressures of the studio or the concert platform they feel generally more relaxed, new ideas are tried, and they feel free to re-interpret old favourites”

“Live At Blues West 14” is proof of how correct that statement is. Most of the tracks on this album were recorded live in small clubs in the 90’s and the majority were recorded at Blues West 14, a small basement club in Kensington, London Classic Jazz / Fusion / Rock performed by masters of their profession.

Renowned musician Foster recorded these tracks during the 90s at the Blues West 14 Club and other similar small clubs, getting that intimate sound. Playing bass, guitar and keyboards (not all at the same time I must add) he is accompanied by Ray Russell, Gary Husband and a host of others.

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The music is a gentle and easy mix of blues and jazz, the sort of music you’d listen to over dinner, where it fits in well.

Nothing too taxing, it’s hard to just listen to this CD, it’s excellent for what it is and the musicianship can’t be faulted, but great background music. (Joe Geesin)

…this was an exercise in Mo getting some of his friends together to perform some light improvised jazz…Mo has a deftness of touch, particularly on a fretless bass… (Feedback (July 2006)

…for the most part this album is a percolating collection of funk grooves, tender ballads and smooth jazz tunes. What’s nice about this recording is the live ambience really shines through… (Bass Guitar Magazine (Sep/Oct 2006)

Another high-calibre outing for bass king Mo and his usual hardy band of super-skilled session friends…great music to play and to listen to it, just relax and let it float. (New Gandy Dancer (September 2006)


Lovely fretless bass, timeless piano, sweet saxophone – the tracks meander soothingly…Do yourself a favour and chill out for an hour. (Classic Rock Society (September 2006)

Beginning with its uptempo bass and guitar riffs, “The Importance Of Being Invoiced” is pure jazz-rock fusion, and its deft, energetic playing elicits vigorous applause in the intimate setting; the clever title refers to the working musician’s difficulty getting paid. “Hot Buttered Cats” has a silky jazz/R&B feel, dynamically building off Foster’s bass guitar lines. Foster earns songwriting credits on 10 compositions, including “Oh No,” a challenging jazz piece that moves through several variations, and “Tradewinds,” a catchy tune brightened by the Caribbean percussion background. (Joseph Tortelli Goldmine (November 2006)

…displays a rare breadth and imagination in both the choice of material and the skill in which it is delivered…the atmospheric jazz fills the air and carries you away to a better place…Class throughout. (Musician, August 2007)BackCover1

Iain Bellamy (saxophone)
Nick Brown (piano)
Simon Chamberlain (piano)
Mo Foster (bass, guitar, keyboards)
Dave Hartley (piano)
Gary Husband (drums)
Phil Peskett (keyboards)
Frank Ricotti (percussion)
Ray Russell (guitar)
Ralph Salmins (drums)
Corrina Silvester (percussion)

01. Hot Buttered Cats (Foster) 7.40
02. Prelude – That Dream Again (Foster) 1.07
03. So Far Away (Foster/Russell) 6.14
04. Oh No (Foster) 4.59
05. The Cry Of The Unheard (Foster) 4.59
06. Prelude – Blues SW19 (Chamberlain) 2.28
07. Tricotism (Pettiford) 4.18
08. Let’s Go On Somewhere (Foster) 5.24
09. Tradewinds (Foster) 4.14
10. The Four Susans (Foster) 6.04
11. The Importance Of Being Invoiced (Foster) 3.49
12. Crete, Yet Another Visit (Foster) 4.36
“Blues For B&C (Foster) 5.52

Unfortunately …
I have lost the CD, so there is no CD image this time.


More from Mo Foster:

Various Artists – Sounds Of The World – Music Of The World – Asia – China and Japan (2006)

FrontCover1This is a low budget sampler with Exotica/Lounge or Chill Out music from Asia:

Lounge refers to a strain of easy listening music from the ’50s and ’60s that was based on the lush styles of latter-day swing and big band music. Lounge scaled these back, borrowing ideas from the worldbeat exploration of exotica, as well as the futuristic aspirations of space age pop. Lounge wasn’t as adventurous as either form, yet it wasn’t as watered down as Muzak — instead, it occupied the middle ground, appealing to fans of traditional pop as well as space-age pop. (

You can hear such music in hotel lounges all over the world.

But you can also use the music to fall asleep better, just as you like.



CD 1

01. Michiko Tanaka: Geisha´s Dance 4.18
02. Yuki Morita: Sacred Fushimi – Inari 3.40
03. Michiko Tanaka: Ocean Of Eternity 3.50
04. Michiko Tanaka: Matsumae 5.31
05. Michiko Tanaka: Chanoyu Ceremony 3.53
06. Michiko Tanaka: Matsuri Festival 5.24
07. Yuki Morita: Ode To Basho 4.42
08. Yuki Morita: Cherry Blossom Melody 4.03
09. Yuki Morita: Holy Mountain 3.52
10. Michiko Tanaka: Nara 4.44
11. Yuki Morita: Amanohashidate 4.11
12. Yuki Morita: Beautiful Ibana 3.59
13. Yuki Morita: Sleeping Vulcano 3.53
14. Michiko Tanaka: Great Mystery Of Shinto 6.47

CD 2:

01. Lotus Ode 5.33
02. Sichuan Mix 6.17
03. Dynasty Of Mercy 6.01
04. Yellow Riverthoughts 6.26
05. Jade Sky 5.58
06. Pearlriver Sunset 5.33
07. Wings Over Passes 4.17
08. Yangzi Waterballet 5.23
09. Echo Wall Song 5.51
10. Ricefield Chorus 5.57
11. A Tantric Ritual 5.17
12. The Birds Of Nam – Tso Lake 5.51
13. Palace Of Eternal Spring 5.31
14. Jokhang Soul 5.50




About the label:

Promosound Ltd. is a mid to low price record label from Ireland, offering a wide range of product with Original Artists, Wellness, Chill Out, Jazz, a great Irish Music Collection and much more.

Label Logo

Moneen – The Red Tree (2006)

FrontCover1Moneen (sometimes stylised as .moneen.) is a Canadian indie rock band from Brampton, Ontario.

Moneen formed in 1999 after the dissolution of another band, called Perfectly Normal. The founding members were singer/guitarist Kenny Bridges, bassist Mark Bowser, drummer Peter Krpan and singer/guitarist Chris Hughes.

The band recorded their first EP Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s in Kenny’s basement. They then re-released it on Smallman Records with their second album “The Theory of Harmonial Value”, the band’s next release was Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now in 2003. The album appeared on the !earshot National Top 50 chart in August, 2003.

Bowser was replaced by Chris Slorach (Nu Chris), who left the band after the release of The Theory of Harmonial Value. Erik Hughes (who played bass for the band on their first Canadian tour) later became the permanent bass player for the band.

In 2003 the band’s lineup was Bridges, Krpan, and Chris and Erick Hughes. That year they performed in Austin.


Moneen later signed to Vagrant Records. Smallman Records still distributes their albums in Canada. In 2005 they released a split EP with friends Alexisonfire on Dine Alone Records, on which each band covered two of the other’s songs, plus one original song.

In 2005, director Alex Liu followed the band through the recording process for The Red Tree, filming a documentary entitled The Start to This May Be the End to Another. The Red Tree was released on April 11, 2006 on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release of The Red Tree was limited to 300 copies. The band joined the 2006 Warped Tour to promote the album.[6] The documentary was released as part of The Moneen DVD: It All Started with a Red Stripe on May 13, 2008. The DVD had been nominated for a Juno Award for Music DVD of The Year.

In March 2008, Moneen parted ways with their drummer Peter Krpan, who decided to start a solo project named One Grand Canyon; the band recruited drummer Steve Nunnaro as a permanent replacement.

Moneen began recording their fourth studio album The World I Want to Leave Behind in December 2008,; it was released September 15, 2009 with Dine Alone Records. They released it on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release had a bonus track called “Dark & Ugly”. The band went on tour in the United States to support the album, including a stop in Los Angeles at the Troubadour.


In 2010, Peter Krpan re-joined Moneen as the permanent drummer. The band opened for several dates on Alexisonfire’s farewell tour in December 2012, however the band had performed very little throughout 2012 and after 2013 were in hiatus. Krpan, along with Chris and Eric Hughes, formed a new band in 2013 named Seas, signed a deal with Black Box Music, and went out on tour. Bridges joined a band called Cunter, worked as the guitar tech for The Sheepdogs, toured with Say Anything on guitar, and released an EP in August 2015 “Love and Hate”.

In 2016, Moneen performed in Toronto at Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub.

In 2017 the band played a four-date tour leading up to the 10th anniversary of The Red Tree, held at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

In January 2019, the band played three shows at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now. In April 2019, Alexisonfire announced that Moneen would be supporting then for one date in July 2019, describing Moneen as the “Siegfried to Alexisonfire’s Roy”.

The Red Tree is the third full-length album by the rock band Moneen. There was also a documentary that chronicled the writing and recording of this album. A music video was released for If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction, and it has had some play-time on MuchMusic and FUSE. (wikipedia)


For Moneen’s third full-length, the guys start with a bang and end with a whisper. Quietly perfecting an invigorating mix of emo (à la the Get Up Kids) and math rock since their 1999 debut EP, The Red Tree brings more textured backdrops of up-and-down dynamics complete with crashing guitars, ringing vocals, and mid-song drop-offs into piano bits or soft lyrics that fans have come to love. The six-minute “The Day No One Needed to Know” shows this recipe perfectly, as it fades near the halfway point, leaving vocalist Kenny Bridges singing alone, until the song — yup — kicks back in for an exuberant ending. The album starts in high gear with the opening track’s hyperactive drums rolls and layered vocal harmonies, which eventually spill over into a supporting backbone of frenzied guitar. Without pausing for breath, the second and third songs follow suit. However, this brisk opening trifecta isn’t especially distinctive, with each track mostly relying on the same animated formula of pent-up energy bursting around upfront vocal harmonies. Further into the album, songs become more of the up-and-down, fast-slow-fast variety, as Moneen play tight and harmonize with ease.


The gentleness of “This Is All Bigger Than Me” is a definite standout (and not just for its concise title), while the surging “The Frightening Reality…” benefits from engaging riffs. The final two tracks are more fully developed ballads that escape the usual build-up of the rest of the album, but “There Are a Million Reasons…” somewhat has the feeling of being the requisite slow song for a band like the Used that the delicate “The Song I Swore to Never Sing” thankfully evades. It’s always nice to see a band attempt to step outside the boundaries constraining so many other groups of the emo new school, and Moneen seem to consistently separate themselves from the pack in this way. The Red Tree is another capable release to add to their others, but the time might be appropriate for an expansion on their own formula to occur. (by Corey Apar)


Kenny Bridges (vocals, guitar)
Chris “Hippy” Hughes (guitar, vocals)
Erik Hughes (bass guitar, vocals)
Peter Krpan (drums, percussion)

01. Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do 2.58
02. If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction 3.20
03. Bleed And Blister (Version 3) 3.27
04. The Day No One Needed To Know 6.05
05. This Is All Bigger Than Me 3.05
06. The Frightening Reality of the Fact That We Will All Have to Grow Up and Settle Down One Day 3.56
07. The Politics Of Living And The Shame In Dying 3.37
08. The East Has Stolen What The West May Want 3.35
09. Seasons Fade… Fevers Rage… It’s A Slow Decay 3.46
10. There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work… And Just One Good One For Why It Will 5.38
11. The Song I Swore To Never Sing 3.22

All songs written by Kenny Bridges – Chris Hughes – Erik Hughes – Peter Krpan



Wishbone Ash – Clan Destiny (2006)

FrontCover1Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Their popular albums included Wishbone Ash (1970), Pilgrimage (1971), Argus (1972), Wishbone Four (1973), There’s the Rub (1974), and New England (1976). Wishbone Ash are noted for their extensive use of harmony twin lead guitars, which had been attracting electric blues bands since Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had played together in the Yardbirds in 1966. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted “Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History” (Traffic magazine 1989), and to appear in the “Top 20 Guitarists of All Time” (Rolling Stone). Melody Maker (1972) described Powell and Turner as “the most interesting two guitar team since the days when Beck and Page graced The Yardbirds”. Several notable bands have cited Wishbone Ash as an influence, including Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Dream Theater, Overkill and Opeth.

Formed in Torquay, Devon, in 1969, out of the ashes of trio The Empty Vessels (originally known as The Torinoes, later briefly being renamed Tanglewood in 1969), which had been formed by Wishbone Ash’s founding member Martin Turner (bass & vocals) in 1963 and complemented by Steve Upton (drums and percussion) in 1966. The original Wishbone Ash line-up was completed by guitarists/vocalists Andy Powell and Ted Turner. In 1974, Ted Turner left the band, and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield.


The band continued on with strong critical and commercial success until 1980. There followed line-ups featuring former bass players from King Crimson (John Wetton), Uriah Heep (Trevor Bolder), and Trapeze (Mervyn Spence), Wisefield left in 1985. In 1987, however, the original line-up reunited for several albums – Nouveau Calls, Here to Hear and Strange Affair – until 1990, when Upton quit the band. After Martin Turner was replaced in 1991, the band recorded The Ash Live in Chicago, before Ted Turner left in 1993. This left Andy Powell as the sole remaining original founding member of Wishbone Ash to continue the band on into the future.

Clan Destiny is the nineteenth album (!!!) from Wishbone Ash. It is the first album to feature guitarist Muddy Manninen, who replaced his student, Ben Granfelt, in 2004. ((by wikipedia)


Wishbone Ash was mistakenly lumped in with the boogie bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s when it first started out, but the group soon developed its own voice—a majestic sound of intertwining guitars and regal vocals, matched by a certain propensity to improvise upon lyrical imagery of knights and warriors that made the group sound like refugees from King Arthur’s court with guitars instead of swords.

Not surprisingly, the band’s been through more than its share of personnel changes since then, but it soldiers on under the aegis of guitarist Andy Powell these days, constantly touring and regularly recording. Clan Destiny is a play on words that carries more than a little significance when you listen to the current Ash lineup (though some more action photos would have been preferable to the lyrics printed in the CD book liner).

It’s one thing to deliberately try to recreate a distinctive sound and style, quite another to actually do it. Listening to the opening track, it’s absolutely uncanny to hear the tenor vocals mesh with the dual guitars that harmonize to create hooks. The effect is the same on the next track, “Dreams Outta Dust, but the little things make it sound different, including how the second vocal enters on the second line of the verse while a mandolin murmurs in the background. The largely original material on this disc, recorded in just over three weeks in Massachusetts, takes a variety of forms. “Healing Ground, for instance, alternates a dirty guitar figure that acts as a refrain, the dynamics of which are highlighted by way the instruments drop out on the bridge to reveal a sole falsetto vocal.


Clearly Powell has assembled a band with a palpable chemistry, including some not untalented, though perhaps overachieving, musicians. Yet you can’t really deny the savvy of bassist Bob Skeat, second guitarist Muddy Manninen and drummer Bob Weston, nor their versatility: Skeat plays various keyboards, while Manninen handles lap steel and slide (the way he decorates “Your Dog demonstrates how he serves the song, instead of flashing pure technique). And for his part, Powell, still brandishing a Gibson flying-V guitar, does an admirable job on vocals—and like his three compatriots, he knows that less is definitely more when it comes to soloing.

In fact, Clan Destiny keeps improvisation in tight rein. Wishbone Ash uses the studio as a means to craft smart arrangements, rather than confine jamming. Nevertheless, the quartet generates some momentum on “Steam Town, while the instrumental “Surfing a Slow Wave sounds at once everything like vintage Wishbone Ash and something more, its delicate tandem lines echoed in the melancholy of “loose change. (by Doug Collette)

And I´m surprised how good this album was … listen to “Surfing A Slow Wave”, “Capture The Moment”, “Healing Ground” … or, or,or …


Muddy Manninen (guitar, vocals)
Andy Powell (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Bob Skeat (bass, piano, clavinet, vocals)
Ray Weston (drums)


01. Eyes Wide Open (Andy Powell/Aynsley Powell/Manninen) 5.15
02. Dreams Outta Dust (Andy Powell) 4.27
03. Healing Ground (Cromwell/Nicholson/Greenberg/Rhodes/Wynans) 4.25
04. Steam Town (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston) 4.03
05. Loose Change (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston/Harris) 4.47
06. Surfing A Slow Wave (Kicklighter) 3.48
07. Slime Time (Powell/Manninen) 4.54
08. Capture The Moment (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston) 3.30
09. Your Dog (Andy Powell) 3.33
10. The Raven (Manninen) 4.46
11. Motherless Child (Traditional) 4.07



And here … Wishbone Ash, live in 2006:

More from Wishbone Ash:


A Triggering Myth – The Remedy Of Abstraction (2006)

FrontCover1The band was formed in 1989 by Rick Eddy and Tim Drumheller, an American duo of multi-instrumentalists who handle keyboards, guitars, percussions, flute and trumpet, although they regularly enlist the contribution of talented guest musicians on drums and percussion. Heavily keyboard based (especially the piano), their style is a curious mixture of jazz, rock and classical (symphonic) music with dark, mysterious overtones without being sinister – more like suspenseful. Even when the guys kick into high gear the atmosphere remains tension-filled. As far as comparisons go, names such as GENTLE GIANT, VDGG or ELP have surfaced but none truly convey the originality of this twosome, whose sublime interplay and strong emphasis on counterpoint cleverly blends all of these bands’ styles and more, resulting in a unique contemporary sound of its own.

Their music seems to become more unusual and complex with every new output. Their second album, ‘Twice Bitten”, already shows much maturity over their self-titled debut, both in playing and in composition. Their second and third releases, “Between Cages” and “The Sins of our Saviours”, continue somewhat in the same vein whereas their fifth, “Forgiving Eden”, is a single 43:32-minute suite divided into several movements. A superb work of art where the addition of guitarist Scott McGill and drummer Vic Stevens infuse the music with still more fusion elements.

If you like music that is particularly unconventional, even unpredictable, you’ll be in Canterbury heaven with this band’s material: a rich production of music that boldly dares to diverge from the conventional rock formulas. (

A Triggering Myth01With a solid back-up such as the one provided by the threesome McGill, Stevens and Manning (usual partners in ceaseless jazz-rock album and projects), plus violinist extraordinaire Akihisa Tsuboy (KBB leader), the duo of Tim Drunheller and Rick Eddy could only have in mind a powerful A Triggering Myth album for this year 2006. And so they did: “The Remedy of Abstraction” is perhaps their most robust-sounding album to date. And that doesn’t not mean at all that they left behind their ideology of jazz- oriented prog full of finesse and exquisite craftsmanship: what it means is that this same exquisiteness portrays now an invigorated feel, a more energetic approach. That being said, the two keyboardists’ input stands as the ensemble’s main core, with the enthusiastic guests elaborating a continuing solid complementation for the basic harmonics and melodic lines. As always, the references to Happy the Man, Gilgamesh and National Health are there, with added touches of mid-70s Return to Forever and Gentle Giant’s academic side. ‘Now that My House Has burned Down, I Have a Beautiful view of the Moon’ (a long title that inspired the artwork) kicks off the album with an air of sophistication and strength. With a little more of sophistication and just a little less of strength, the title track emerges as a flow of evocative melodies. The leads played by guitarist McGill and violinist Tsubay help to bring some extra energy into the RickEddywarm colors provided by the synthesizers’ main lines. Still more warmth, this time seasoned with gentle melancholy, is in the aptly titled ‘Her Softening Sorrow’, which is typical ATM exploring their gentler side. The legacy of Canterbury’s legend Gowen comes to mind whenever the ATM guys display their melodic sense with this sort of depth. ‘Not Even Wrong’ feels more related to Jean-Luc Ponty’s 70s albums with a touch of Mahavishnu Orchestra: this is the perfect excuse to let Tsubay, once again, provide excellent violin flourishes to the front, at times. Tracks 2-4 are, IMHO, the apex of the album, although it is fair to say, indeed, that the repertoire keeps a high musical standard all the way through. The excitement found in this piece will soon be reprised in ‘Shakespeare’s Strippers’, where McGill takes the leading role somewhere in the middle, doing a well-accomplished Holdsworth impersonation in an amazing solo. McGill is appropriately replicated by the synth during the last part, making it one of the most explosive passages in the album. Between these two tracks, ‘Rudyard’s Raging Natural’ offers a recapitulation of the first two numbers’ Tim Drumhellerarticulated sophistication, while ‘The Eisenhour Slumber’ retakes sonic ventures into melancholic moods. ‘When Emily Dickinson Learned to Lounge’ sort of prolongs this melancholic vibe, but it also includes some disturbing dissonant keyboard input that creates an interestingly uneasy atmosphere, like some sort of delicate prelude to a mysterious nightmare. The last 2 ½ minutes are filled by the closing number, ‘The Last Resort’, which serves as a playful epilogue (something that Kerry Minnear would have written after listening to Canterbury for three hours in a row. so to speak). General balance: “The Remedy of Abstraction” is one of the most accomplished recordings of 2006, and it sure will keep the good fame of ATM among prog-connoisseurs and jazz-rock fans worldwide intact, or even enhanced. A masterpiece, indeed! (Cesar Inca)


Tim Drumheller (keyboards)
Rick Eddy (keyboards, guitar, poetry
Michael Manring (bass)
Scott McGill (guitar)
Vic Stevens (drums, percussion)
Akihisa Tsuboy (violin)

A Triggering Myth02

01. Now That My House Has Burned Down, I Have a Beautiful
View of the Moon 5.17
02. The Remedy of Abstraction 8.00
03. Her Softening Sorrow 8.19
04. Not Even Wrong 8.07
05. Rudyard’s Raging Natural 2.37
06. Shakespeare’s Strippers 5.01
07. The Eisenhour Slumber 4.42
08. When Emily Dickinson Learned To Lunge 8.16
09. The Last Resort 2.40

Music: Tim Drumheller & Rick Eddy
Poetry: Rick Eddy



Melody Gardot – Worrisome Heart (2006)

FrontCover1Melody Gardot /ɡɑːrˈdoʊ/ (born February 2, 1985) is an American jazz singer who has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

At the age of 19, Gardot was involved in a bicycle accident and sustained a head injury. Music played a critical role in her recovery. She became an advocate of music therapy, visiting hospitals and universities to discuss its benefits. In 2012, she gave her name to a music therapy program in New Jersey.

and was brought up by her grandparents. Her grandmother was a Polish immigrant. Her mother, a photographer, traveled often, so they had few possessions and lived out of suitcases. Gardot studied fashion at the Community College of Philadelphia.

While riding her bicycle in Philadelphia in November 2003, Gardot was struck by the driver of an SUV and sustained head, spinal, and pelvic injuries. Confined to a hospital bed for a year, she needed to relearn simple tasks and was left oversensitive to light and sound. Suffering from short- and long-term memory loss, she struggled with her sense of time.

Encouraged by a physician who believed music would help heal her brain, Gardot learned to hum, then to sing into a tape recorder, and eventually to write songs.

For several years, she traveled with a physiotherapist and carried a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator to reduce pain.


Given her oversensitivity to sound, she chose quieter music. On the treadmill, she listened to bossa nova by Stan Getz. Unable to sit comfortably at the piano, she learned to play guitar on her back. During her recovery, she wrote songs that became part of the self-produced EP Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions.[11] Gardot was reluctant to record her songs at first, stating that they were too private for the public to hear, but relented and allowed her songs to be played on a Philadelphia radio station.

Gardot is a Buddhist, macrobiotic cook, and humanitarian. She speaks fluent French in addition to her native English and considers herself a “citizen of the world”.

Since 2017, Melody Gardot lives in Paris, even though she is often on tour.


Gardot started music lessons at the age of nine and began playing piano in Philadelphia bars at the age of 16 on Fridays and Saturdays for four hours a night. She insisted on playing only music she liked, such as The Mamas & the Papas, Duke Ellington, and Radiohead.

During her time in the hospital she learned how to play the guitar and began writing songs, which were made available as downloads on iTunes and released on Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions in 2005. She began to play these songs at venues in Philadelphia and was noticed by employees of the radio station WXPN, operated by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which helped to start the career of Norah Jones. She was encouraged to send a demo tape to the radio station, and the tape found its way to the Universal Music Group. She released her first album, Worrisome Heart (Verve, 2006), then My One and Only Thrill (Verve 2009), produced by Larry Klein

MelodyGardot01Worrisome Heart is the debut album of jazz singer-songwriter Melody Gardot. It was released independently in 2006 and later re-released on Verve Records in 2007 and 2008. The album contains new recordings of songs previously released on Gardot’s first extended play release, Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions as well as unreleased tracks.

Speaking of how the album first came to be made, in November 2008 Gardot told noted British jazz/soul writer Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul that: “It was created independently of a record company. It was made privately. So my only intention, or my only goal, was to make a record that at the end of the day I was happy with. And the way that the instrumentation was decided on was based on what I heard in my head, and what I thought would feel the best. So I guess having it released is kinda like having somebody publish your diary in a way!”[10]

The tracks “Wicked Ride”, “Some Lessons” and “Goodnite” were re-recorded for this album and are not the versions that appear on the Some Lessons EP. The 2006 independent release has a longer running time of 41:40 as it included the new version of “Wicked Ride”, as well as the hidden track “Sorry State”, which were omitted when released by Verve Records. The album cover and track listing were changed for a promotional release in 2007 and again for its eventual official release under the label in 2008. (by wikipedia)


Melody Gardot’s debut recording, released in 2006, came two years after she suffered a near fatal automobile accident, the differently able Gardot triumphing in accomplishing what many others, including her, could only dream of. This project has her singing and playing guitar and a little piano, but more so presenting this project of all original material. Gardot has an interesting personal story, but even more intriguing music that straddles the line between lounge jazz, folk, and cowgirl songs. She’s part sophisticated chanteuse, college sophomore, and down-home girl next door. Her innocence, sweetness, and light are very alluring, much like the persona of tragic songbirds Eva Cassidy and Nancy LaMott. Feel empathy for Gardot, but don’t patronize her — she’s the real deal much more that many of her over-hyped peers. “Quiet Fire” is definitely her signature MelodyGardot07tune, as it speaks volumes of where her soul is at, in a jazz/blues mode, yearning for true love. The title track follows a similar tack, a slow, sweet, sentimental slinky blues that will melt your heart. A finger-snapping “Goodnite” leaves you wanting that night to continue, but also exudes a hope that permeates the entire recording. She might be a bit down on men during the nonplussed “All That I Need Is Love,” but her subdued optimism glows cool. “Sweet Memory” might possibly parallel Feist or perhaps KT Tunstall in a rural country mode, while “Gone” is clearly folkish, and the slow “Some Lessons” expresses a contemporary Nashville precept. The laid-back music behind Gardot is basically acoustic, incorporating hip jazz instrumentation, especially the trumpet of Patrick Hughes and occasional organ, Wurlitzer, or Fender Rhodes from Joel Bryant, but with twists including violin, lap steel, and Dobro. The concise nature of this recording and these tunes perfectly reflects the realization that life is precious, every moment counts, and satisfaction is fleeting. Likely to be placed in the Norah Jones/Nellie McKay/Madeleine Peyroux pseudo jazz/pop sweepstakes, Gardot offers something decidedly more authentic and genuine. She’s one-upped them all out of the gate. (by Michael G. Nastos)


Mike Brenner (lap steel guitar)
Joel Bryant (keyboards, wurlitzer)
Matt Cappy (trumpet)
Melody Gardot (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Patrick Hughes (trumpet)
Jef Lee Johnson (guitar)
Kurt Johnston (dobro)
Ron Kerber (clarinet, saxophone)
Paul Klinefelter (bass)
Barney McKenna (guitar)
Diane Monroe (violin)
David Mowry (dobro)
Charlie Patierno (drums, percussion)
Ken Pendergast (bass)
Stan Slotter (trumpet)


01. Worrisome Heart 4.23
02. All That I Need Is Love 2.38
03. Gone 2.53
04. Sweet Memory 3.23
05. Some Lessons 5.24
06. Quiet Fire 4.14
07. One Day 2.04
08. Love Me Like A River Does 4.07
09. Goodnite 3.05
10. Twilight 1.01

All songs written by Melody Gardot



Thunder – Islington Academy London (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgThunder are an English hard rock band from London. Formed in 1989, the group was founded by former Terraplane members Danny Bowes (lead vocals), Luke Morley (guitar, backing vocals) and Gary “Harry” James (drums), along with second guitarist and keyboardist Ben Matthews and bassist Mark “Snake” Luckhurst. Originally signed to EMI Records in the UK, the band released their debut album Backstreet Symphony in 1990, which reached number 21 on the UK Albums Chart and number 114 on the US Billboard 200. The 1992 follow-up Laughing on Judgement Day reached number 2, while both albums were certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). All nine singles released from the two albums reached the UK Singles Chart top 40.

Luckhurst left the band in late 1992, and was replaced the following February by former Great King Rat bassist Mikael Höglund. The new lineup recorded only one studio album, Behind Closed Doors, which peaked at number 5 in the UK and spawned three UK top 40 singles. The 1995 compilation Their Finest Hour (And a Bit) reached number 22 in the UK and was certified silver by the BPI. Höglund left in 1996 and was replaced by Chris Childs, after Morley performed bass on fourth album The Thrill of It All, which reached the UK top 20. Thunder’s 1998 live album Live reached number 35 on the UK Albums Chart, while the following year’s fifth studio album Giving the Game Away reached number 49. The band broke up in early 2000 due to “outside business forces”.


After a brief hiatus, Thunder returned in 2002 and formed their own record label, STC Recordings. The band’s sixth studio album Shooting at the Sun was released the following year, supported by the UK top 50 single “Loser”. After three more new studio albums – 2005’s The Magnificent Seventh, 2006’s Robert Johnson’s Tombstone and 2008’s Bang! – Thunder decided to break up in 2009. Two years later, however, the group returned for a third active spell, scheduling a number of sporadic live shows over the following years. A tenth studio album, Wonder Days, was released on the earMusic label in 2015, giving the band their first UK top ten since 1995 when it peaked at number 9. Rip It Up followed in 2017, reaching a peak UK Albums Chart position of number 3. (by wikipedia)


And here´s a very rare bootleg from 2006 … a superb soundboard recording… a Christmas party concert … (December 19, 2006) … enjoy the power of one of the finest Hard-Rock bands from the Eighties !

Sometimes it sounds like the heavy metal version of Free !


Danny Bowes (vocals)
Chris Childs (bass)
Harry James (drums)
Ben Matthews (guitar, keyboards, background vocals)
Luke Morley (guitar, background vocals)


01. Intro 0.18
02. Loser 6.47
03. River Of Pain 3.48
04. The Devil Made Me Do It 5.11
05. Love Walked In 7.18
06. Back Street Symphony 4.19
07. I Love You More Than Rock N Roll 5.57
08. Dirty Love 12.26

All songs written by Luke Morley



Alison Balsom – Bach Works For Trumpet (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgAlison Louise Balsom, Lady Mendes OBE (born 7 October 1978) is an English trumpet soloist, arranger, producer, music educator and spokesperson for the importance of music education. Balsom was awarded Artist of the Year at the 2013 Gramophone Awards and has won three Classic BRIT Awards and three German Echo Awards, and was soloist at the BBC Last Night of the Proms in 2009. She was the artistic director of the 2019 Cheltenham Music Festival. (by wikipedia)

None of the music on this disc was originally intended for trumpet. All of it in Bach’s days went first to singers, keyboardists and string players. But this point shrinks to a minor historical technicality when British trumpeter Alison Balsom plays. Her case for this music on trumpet is largely irresistible, enough to make one wonder whether Bach shouldn’t have written it her way instead. Incredible sensitivity is Balsom’s secret. In her hands, the trumpet rivals the human voice for expressivity and tonal coloring. Nary a note comes off as harsh or blaring, qualities typically associated with the instrument, and tenderness abounds. It’s hard to split musical hairs at this level of artistry. What’s more, Balsom retains at least part of the music’s original format, collaborating with soloists every bit her equal: organist Colm Carey, violinist Alina Ibragimova and harpsichordist Alistair Ross. Ross is a spry partner in the lengthy but fascinating Italian Variations while Carey more than compensates for the missing ensemble in the Bach-Vivaldi concerto transcriptions and other would-be orchestral works.

Balsom falls short only in the selections from a Violin Partita and a Cello Suite. Even a player as marvelous as she is cannot match the chordal richness of those instruments on the trumpet; much original depth is lost in translation. These two missteps aside, Balsom and Bach are an ideal combination. -(by Zachary Lewis)


I love baroque music for trumpet, and Alison Balsom captures the playfulness of it beautifully. All the pieces on this CD are adaptations for trumpet from Bach’s chamber music (as well as arrangements that Bach had adapted himself from pieces by Vivaldi and Marcello), accompanied very effectively by Colm Carey on the organ, Alina Ibragimova on violin, Alistair Ross on harpsichord and chamber organ, and Mark Caudle on viola da gamba. By combining modern trumpet with organ, these pieces open up another dimension in one’s listening experience and enjoyment of music; purists might be sceptical about it, but it is definitely worth listening to. Showing consummate skill, Alison Balsom plays each note crisply and clearly with perfect control, and as someone who used to play the trumpet myself, I know that this is by no means an easy task. My particular favourites are the allegro of the concerto in D, the largo of the concerto in C minor, and the badinerie from the orchestral suite no. 2.

All too often we make the mistake of having music on in the background, whilst doing the housework for example, but this CD deserves to be listened to without distractions. Wonderfully uplifting, it will improve any rainy day. Recommended. (by Petra Bryce)


Alison Balsom (trumpet),
Colm Carey (organ)
Mark Caudle (viola de gamba)
Alina Ibragimova (violin)
Alistair Ross (harpsichord, chamber organ)



Concerto in D Major BWV. 972 (after Vivaldi):
01. Allegro 2.05
02. Adagio 3.51
03. Allegro Assai 2.10

Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV. 1008:
04. Sarabande 2.41
05. Gigue 2.38

06. Aria Variata In A Minor (Italian Variations) BWV 989 / 9.24
07. Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006: Gigue 2.07

Trio Sonata In C Major BWV 529:
08. Allegro 4.55
09. Largo 5.16
10. Allegro 3.31

Concerto In C Minor (After Marcello) BWV 974:
11. Allegro 3.13
12. Largo 3.41
13. Presto 3.12

14. Klavierbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach, II: Aria: Bist du bei mir, BWV 508 / 2.42

Concerto In A Major BWV 1055 (Transposed To C Major):
15. Allegro 4.08
16. Larghetto 5.02
17. Allegro Ma Non Tanto 4.24

18. Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV. 1067: VII. Badinerie 1.31
19. Mass in B Minor, BWV 232: Agnus Dei 5.02

Music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach