CD REVIEWS:

Title: David Hentschel & Jay Tausig, with Various Artists, Supper's Ready. A tribute to Genesis. (CD).
Label: Magna Carta, catalog # MA-9004-2. Originally released in the year 1995.
Publication: Originally appeared in an issue of Guitar World, (sometime in the year 1996).


By (Unknown).
Just listening to the band Over the Garden Wall playing a dead on cover of the 1973 Genesis epic "Firth of Fifth" is enough to make you smile ear to ear. Here it is 1996 and that vintage prog-rock sound remains as fresh as ever. It's also evidence of a fine tribute CD to Genesis, featuring tracks by art-rockers Annie Haslam, Peter Bardens, Crack the Sky, and John Goodsall, among others. There are enough new arrangements and spirited performances here to keep things fresh and engaging. A treat for all us Watcher of the Skies.


Title: David Hentschel & Jay Tausig, with Various Artists, Supper's Ready. A tribute to Genesis. (CD).
Label: Magna Carta, catalog # MA-9004-2. Originally released in the year 1995.
Publication: Originally appeared in the 1995 October – December issue #18 publication Progression Magazine. (The quarterly journal of Progressive rock).


By John Collinge.
This Genesis tribute album ranks up there with the Yes tribute Magna Carta released earlier this year. There's not a bad performance in the bunch, and the selections are smartly chosen, representing the progressive meat of the band's career from Nursery Cryme (1971) through 1983's Genesis. (The only glaring omission might be a representative cut off Wind and Wuthering, but at least they rightfully ignored Invisible Touch). What's more, no one tries to ape Peter Gabriel or Phil Collins or stick too faithfully to original arrangements, lending fresh interpretations to the material.

Some interesting names crop up here, besides the usual Magna Carta stable (Robert Berry, Magellan, Enchant, Shadow Gallery, Cairo, World Trade). Once again Annie Haslam guests, performing "Ripples;" Richard Sinclair does "For Absent Friends;" former Camel keyboardist Pete Bardens and his band Mirage do "Many Too Many;" and Crack The Sky (remember them?) pitch in on "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)."

Others joining the project included John Goodsall, (Brand-X), and Michael Zentner ("Carpet Crawlers"), Grammy award winning producer and engineer of Genesis (1975 to 1980), David Hentschel and singer - songwriter Jay Tausig performing ("Undertow"), with Drummer (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter. Kevin Gilbert with Mike Keneally turn in a very respectable ("Back In NYC") and the Canadian band Over the Garden Wall ("Firth of Fifth").

Notable among the other performances are Berry's version of ("Watcher of the Skies") and Magellan's treatment of ("Mama"). At 77 minutes, there's plenty of good music on this disc to choose from here. A must for the band's diehards, and a good buy for the average Prog head or fan.


Title: Solid Space with Various Artists, Schizoid Dimension. A tribute to King Crimson (CD).
Label: Cleopatra / Purple Pyramid, catalog # CLP 0123-2. Originally released in the year 1997.
Publication: Originally appeared in the 1998 winter – spring issue # 26 publication Progression Magazine. (The quarterly journal of Progressive rock).


By Bill Knispel.
This surprising collection showcases many Cleopatra Records artists paying homage to one of the most venerable progressive band's ever. The performances are intriguing, with each band leaving individual marks on the material with few radical changes.

Space – rock stalwarts Alien Planetscapes and Architectural Metaphor weigh in with versions of "A Sailor's Tale" and "Cirkus" respectively. Arch Met's track typifies one impressive feature of this encomium – several "lost classics" were selected for inclusion.

Other highlights include former Crimsonites David Cross and John Wetton with a new version of "Exiles," Controlled Bleeding's rhythmic take on "The Talking Drum," and "In the Wake of Poseidon"(one of Crimson's lost classics), performed ably by Solid Space. The group (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter's is currently involved in.

The only dubious selection is Astral Asia's almost rave – style version of "I Talk to the Wind." While the female vocals are nice enough, the dance / trance – like rhythms simply don't fit with the other performances immortalized herein.

While King Crimson was never a space – rock band, this collection seriously makes you wonder. Very highly recommended.


Title: Solid Space with Various Artists, Schizoid Dimension. A tribute to King Crimson (CD).
Label: Cleopatra / Purple Pyramid, catalog # CLP 0123-2. Originally released in the year 1997.
Publication: Originally appeared in Interface Magazine, version 13.



By Michael C. Mahan.
ROBERT FRIPP and the revolving door of musicians known as KING CRIMSON have, during their off and on existence since 1969, done more to define all that is "progressive" music than perhaps any other band. King Crimson had two quintessential strings of existence. The early seventies years brought them through various permutations that embraced soft beauty and harsh aggression, while their eighties years were more rhythmic, built primarily upon Fripp's scales and Adrian Belew's rock sensibility. "Schizoid Dimension" gathers 13 artists (including a couple of former Crimson members themselves), to perform covers of King Crimson standards. As is true with all discs of this nature, the material here ranges from nice tries to carbon copies to truly very original interpretations, with generally the first being the only ones we can honestly live without, (which means, lets ignore Chrome's attempt at performing "Moonchild"). "Red" is my favorite Crimson piece, and as such I was elated to find two covers on this CD. Sadly, both renditions were more than direct emulations from the originals and left me hankering to merely pull out the original Fripp – endowed CD than to continue to listen to the redone versions. However, this CD is graced with four very effective approaches to other songs.

Controlled Bleeding brought a newly exuberant life to "The Talking Drum," a piece that was already possessed of great vigor. Space rock greats Melting Euphoria did an outstanding job with " Lark's tongue in Aspic (part 1)," retaining the strength of the original arrangement, yet restructured with a raspy psychedelic undertone a la Barrett's Floyd. Alien Planetscapes took "A Sailors Tale" and mixed in elements of psychedelia and even R&B to create a very strong redesign of the original. While Solid Space did an excellent (albeit fairly faithful to the original), rendition of "In the Wake of Poseidon," replete with softly swelling Mellotrons, solid and imaginative drumming via (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter, acoustic guitar and clean male vocals. This CD is not the best approach to "covers" that could have been done, but with the near worship that people feel towards Crimson, one supposes the urge to perform songs in the original style was a bit too strong for many to overcome. However, the strength of the original compositions is always enough to overshadow failings in the cover band's originality.


Title: Solid Space with Various Artists, Schizoid Dimension. A tribute to King Crimson (CD).
Label: Cleopatra / Purple Pyramid, catalog # CLP 0123-2. Originally released in the year 1997.
Publication: Originally appeared in Audion Magazine, December 1997.



By Alan Freeman.
As my experience goes, tribute albums are generally a bad idea. So, why do labels like Cleopatra / Purple Pyramid keep doing them? Well, quite obviously it's a way to tempt people into buying product on their label who may otherwise not know that Cleopatra's current progressive label Purple Pyramid even exists. And, also, it will introduce some obscure new artists to the punter. I can see logic in this. But, generally it's an artistic failure. Not so this time however, as 60 minutes of this disc are really excellent, and what's more, it's not just tributes as many of the artists have rearranged the music radically to their own fashion. This means there are many surprises to catch up with here.

I'll have to go into reviewing all the interesting stuff, as it all deserves some mention, so this could be a lengthy review! I would never have thought of Controlled Bleeding as a band to put on such a disc, yet their opening track "The Talking Drum" is superbly atmospheric and understated with a looming tension. Amusingly included next is David Cross with John Wetton, (two ex – King Crimson members), with an updated edited version of "Exiles" from his new solo disc. Brand – X get two tracks here, one excellent – a storming version of "Red" credited to Brand – X (West), and then there's Brand – X (East), who (in my opinion at least) were very unwise to do one of the poorest of King Crimson songs "Neil Jack and Me", which is also out of place as an 80's song, where as everything is 60's and 70's classic material. Melting Euphoria bring "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, (part 1)" up to date as a spiraling piece of post Ozric's space – rock. Alien Planetscapes I always knew had serious potential, and their "A Sailors Tale" is a rip roaring rendition sounding more like the legendary Mars Everywhere. Architectural Metaphor I knew of from their release on Black Widow records from Italy, which I described as "A nice disc of Space – rock soup!" yet their version of Cirkus with robust female vocals, rich Mellotron, synths and liquid guitars, really has what it takes. No soup, but pure emotional guts and power – nice one! Pressurhed's "21st Century Schizoid Man" sounds like a mad Hawkwind interpretation, and odd is the only word to describe Xcranium's off – beat version of "Cat Food".

Finally, we end up with two unknown bands to me, another version of "Red" comes courtesy of Spirit's Burning, which feels very studio constructed and modern adding a new twist to the arrangement, and (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter's current group Solid Space perform a very nice faithful version of ‘In The Wake Of Poseidon". Apart from the Brand – X (East), and Chrome's version of "Moonchild" is embarrassingly mediocre, and Astral Asia would have surprised me if I'd liked their "I Talk To The Wind", though admittedly it is unusual. Tastefully put together, and with nicely plagiaristic cover art – work, I'm sure this CD is going to delight and surprise many. I doubt anyone will like all of it, and some may be perplexed by the new twists and turns in the arrangements of some numbers. But, that's what makes this (largely) a success, with the sense of experimentation and adventure that has been encouraged.


ARTICLES:

Title: Lord Have Mercy / Hemp the Hype.
Publication: Hip Magazine, (A local music & arts magazine based in Fairfield County CT). Article originally published in the July 20th, 1992 issue.


By Mike Mullarkey.
Does anyone remember a few months back, when I expressed confusion about the name of "Roger from Stylie's" new band? Well, it's several months later, and vocalist Roger has another, more permanent band. They are called Lord Have Mercy. I caught up with them after a gig opening for Eek – A – Mouse at the Apocalypse on Sunday June 7th.

"The band you use to write up," Roger tells me, "was called After Forever". "I came out of Stylie a year ago, and I've worked with 5 different projects since." I've worked with a bunch of different people, and we all gelled together eventually through a place called The House Of Pain," a now defunct location where Lord Have Mercy used to practice. "It was October, 1991 that Lord Have Mercy started as a full band."

The bands line – up includes Daniel Todd Carter on Drums and Percussion, David Aaron on guitars ("and other guitars"), and Sean McGregor on Bass. I asked Roger to describe Lord Have Mercy's sound. "Rastamosh is a term we use. Reggae / Trash, conscious rock…I love Reggae. It's beautiful music. But the roots Reggae doesn't get played anymore. Dance Hall does. But we have the heavy edge, too. I love Hardcore. It's got energy."

Lord Have Mercy are currently touring under the banner "Hemp for Life." I asked Roger to explain the relevance of this title. "We all know what Hemp is. People like to call it Marijuana. And you know what Life is; that's when you live. There's Hemp in my life, and there's Hemp in a lot of people's lives. Marijuana is a very misunderstood thing." It's been in prohibition for over 50 years," Sean points out. Roger goes on, "The name Marijuana itself is derived from the government, meaning the Devil's weed. So what we're trying to do is bring it back into context by calling it Hemp, it's God given name."

I asked what Lord Have Mercy is about. It's obvious that they're concerned with more than just rocking us (although they are certainly very good at that). Daniel says, "There's so much negativity going on in the world today. We just want to teach positivity and awareness." "Drug awareness." Roger interjects. "Be conscious of what's around you. Ignorance is the seed of fear and that's what keeps people down, isn't it?" Getting into the political side of things, everyone agrees that we should all register to vote, and that the legalization of cannabis is an important issue.

From this point we began to discuss the future of Lord Have Mercy. Daniel explained what the direction the band would be taking. "We're going to be disappearing into the studio soon to record an album. And then we'll be going right back out on the road and tour all over the northeast and New England in the fall all over the place to support this disc," Lord Have Mercy's self titled debut. "We're also going to be writing a whole new show of completely brand new material and we will be opening up the musical spectrum a little more. More space music and Dub and progressive influences," Roger adds. "Kind of Psychedelic."

Roger goes on to talk about the new album. "We're going to manufacture it, release it and distribute it ourselves. We're accelerating the whole process. Everyone knows all about the whole corporate rock scene, and how long it takes, and even the indies have become like corporates now. We've already got a good local scene, so why not now?" I asked the band members to express their opinions on the Connecticut scene. "The scene is strangled right now," Roger says. "The promoters in Connecticut don't work together, and the two scenes (Norwalk and New Haven) are separated. Unity is the key."

Roger does see hope, however. He had this message to give to the people; "Get your fucking asses out of your fucking stupid beds, and out of your lame ass little boob – tubes, and go see something real, instead of just being sedate behind your dumb – ass Nintendo's." He also adds that, "We've had a lot of success with the younger people, but the older people – our age – I don't see them coming out."

The members of Lord Have Mercy do "Their version of the Seattle sound." The guys remembered this with great fondness,("Not!"), David says, "There were five bands on the same bill that night, and the guy who composed the article also did the flyer; this is a Seattle band, etc." "What a dumb – ass," David adds. Daniel goes on to elaborate more, "Although there are a lot of really good bands coming out of Seattle right now, it's basically a tag. They're always going to try and pigeon – hole you." He adds, "Hopefully the next spot for happening bands to come out of is right around here. First it was L.A, then Seattle…why not Connecticut next?"

That, then, is the story of Lord Have Mercy. If you like any kind of music that challenges you, rocks really hard and totally makes you think, you just might want to check out their next show. (They're playing with HR at the Apocalypse on Friday, July 31st, 1992; KNOW IT!) And give their new CD a chance when it comes out in the Fall. Do unto your local scene as you would have done unto you. If you wish to contact Lord Have Mercy, you can reach them through their recording engineer Scott Robertson at The Garage Recording Studio in Stamford, CT. They can be reached at (203) 323 – 6331. Thanks for reading and peace to you all.


Title: Norwalk band Bellydancer shakes, rattles and rolls.
Publication: Norwalk Citizen News, (Norwalk Living Social Arts & Entertainment section). Article originally published in the Friday, December 29th, 2000 edition.


By Michael C. Juliano.
Like a loaded freight train rattling fiercely through a midnight mist, the powerful playing style of Norwalk band Bellydancer hits one's soul and sends it flying into the night. Fronted by seasoned Norwalk resident and former Stylie and Lord Have Mercy vocalist Roger Guimond, the five member group, which started in Norwalk three years ago and plays locally in and around the New York City and tri – state area, performs a style the band coined as "Country Vampire Rock."

"It's a moniker we use because it has a bit of country, a bit of rock and a bit of seduction to it," said Mr. Guimond, who compared the band's seductive style to that of Led Zeppelin. "We thought we would give it a little flavor." Aside from Mr. Guimond, Bellydancer is rounded out by guitarist Tim Arevalo and bassist Curtis Miles Long, both of Norwalk, and drummer (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter of Stamford, CT and back – up vocalist Rebecca Koetting of Paramus, NJ. The thunderous voice of Mr. Guimond, which , filled the large hall of Shenanigans in SoNo from floor to ceiling and then some during a December 13th gig with Electric Hill from Stamford, debuted in 1989 as the lead voice for the Reggae band "Stylie." During his two years with "Stylie," Mr. Guimond, 32, toured up and down the east coast, opening up for big acts such as the Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Bad Brains, Buster Poindexter and Run DMC amongst others. In late 1991, after Stylie, Mr. Guimond went on to form another successful though unfortunately very short lived band called Lord Have Mercy with his now current drummer (sound animator) Daniel Todd Carter. The both of them then continued to proceed to tour all over New England and continue to open up for more big name acts such as Eek – A – Mouse and Human Rights amongst others. Mr. Guimond also continued his vocal career as the lead singer for Flowerland of New Haven from 1991 through part of 1997, during which time the band released three CD's under their own label "Kick Us When We're Down" Records. They then released under the same label a compilation called "Flowerland Box Set 1991 – 1997, which includes previously unreleased tracks he and fellow Flowerland original Stephen Christofor recorded in New York City during the summer of 1996. Following the disbanding of the group in 1997, Roger and Stephen formed the present group Bellydancer. Soon thereafter, Mr. Guimond put out Bellydancer's first self – titled CD. Produced under the "Kick Us When We're Down" label, the release offers two songs written by Mr. Guimond, one of which reflects upon his travels through Canada called "Moonshine on the Dewline."

In addition to putting together the Flowerland box set and the recording entitled "Bellydancer," Mr. Guimond co – produced and sang on "Waiting for Daybreak" an Energy records release by the New York City based band, Larva, featuring Todd Youth. In addition, he recently produced an album by Ms. Koetting in Austin, Texas. Entitled "Austin Sessions," the album, which contains 11 originals by Ms. Koetting, came about as a result of her meeting Mr. Guimond last year through a friend while she was living in Stamford, CT working as a magazine editor.

"When Roger was down in Charleston, S.C., with Flowerland, he met a friend of mine who was writing an article on the band," said Ms. Koetting, a New Jersey native. "Roger told him he was looking for a back – up singer, so that's how we met." Recognizing her talent as a musician and songwriter, Mr. Guimond, who knew of some exceptional musicians in Austin, suggested they head to Texas to lay down some tracks. "Roger asked ‘You want to go down to Austin?'", said Ms. Koetting. "Next thing you know, we made three trips down there and it's at the manufacturer's now as we speak, and it will be coming out in January, 2001." For more information on Bellydancer and Mr. Guimond's label, you can surf to www.kickus-down.com and when you get a chance, it might be refreshing for you to go out on the town next time Bellydancer is playing to absorb some "Country Vampire Rock" and check out an intriguing band of excellent musicians. Keep an eye out for them.


INTERVIEWS:

These four MP-3's are from a radio interview that Daniel did for a radio program entitled Tempest Broog on KXCI National Public radio based out of Tucson AZ in April of 1999.
Tempest Broog - interview 1.mp3
Tempest Broog - interview 2.mp3
Tempest Broog - interview 3.mp3
Tempest Broog - interview 4.mp3
These two MP-3's are from a radio interview that Daniel did for a radio program entitled Local Motion on KVMR National Public radio based out of Nevada City CA in July of 1998.
Local Motion - radio int.mp3
Quark S&C - radio int.mp3

 


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