Keith Emerson (cover story) — in-depth, 10-page tribute to the late legend, including essays by Progression Editor John Collinge; keyboardists Larry Fast (Synergy), Par Lindh (Par Lindh Project) and Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists); plus Michelle Moog-Koussa (Bob Moog Foundation).
Emmett Chapman — historical retrospective on and interview with inventor of the Chapman Stick, an instrument closely identified with progressive music. Says Chapman, “One thing I am very invested in musically with this instrument is harmony, the idea of extending harmony. I like Debussy, a lot of Stick players like Bach. Bach is about structure, Debussy is about color, and I am biased toward color. To me, harmony is the most important thing about music and I would like to see it developed more on Stick.”
Cruise to the Edge — an in-depth overview of what has become the world’s premier progressive music festival, including observations by cruise organizer Larry Morand. The event’s upcoming fourth edition is previewed along with a brief look back at 2015’s entry. Says Morand, “I think it clicked last year, really for the first time. And it seems we turned the corner. The first one  was our introduction to the genre, the second  was a growth process and the third cruise was sort of starting over with elements we wanted all along. I can say this last Cruise to the Edge re-energized me going forward.”
Jon Anderson — interview with the legendary ex-Yes vocalist about his ongoing projects including the Anderson-Ponty Band (with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty); ARW (Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman); the new Invention of Knowledge album with the Flower Kings’ Roine Stolt, and other plans. Says Jon, “Yeah, I’m still writing the same stuff. Peace, love, and the future is coming – look out!”
Ian Anderson — interview with the iconic singer/flautist about his live concept show, “Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera” and other matters of interest. Says Ian, “At the end of the day, it’s a rock concert. I’m not trying to introduce anything that’s going to change the world.”
Martin Barre — interview with the former Jethro Tull guitarist and Ian Anderson right-hand man about his departure from Tull, solo career and new album, Back to Steel. Says Barre, “It’s quite worrying that I have an identifiable sound and style, because I don’t know what that is! If somebody said play me something that’s typically you, I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Steve Hackett — interview with the ex-Genesis guitar maestro about his latest solo tour, prospects for a Genesis reunion, what it means to grow older as an active musician and his next solo album. Says Hackett, “If I’m out there playing Genesis music, everyone knows I’m carrying the flag for what I once believed in and still do. And the audience goes nuts for it. So I’ve got to be the easy guy to be involved in something like this. As far as everyone else, well … ”
The Mute Gods — interview with the new “supergroup” trio of Nick Beggs, Marco Minnemann and Roger King about their origins as an ensemble and debut album Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me. Says Beggs, “We’re going to do three Mute Gods albums, I think — the unholy trilogy. It’s an ever-moving map. I’ve got some strong ideas for it, some new titles I’m really enjoying. I’ve got quite a few pieces already, but it has to be organic.”
Bent Knee — interview with the young avant-garde American group about its origins and new studio album, Say So. Says violinist Chris Baum, “Our live shows tend to be wall-to-wall music with sonic transitions leading the listener from one song to the next. Concerts have this fantastic ability to transport an entire room into another realm, and holding the audience in this space is of the utmost priority.”
Circuline — interview with up-and-coming New York band that evolved from progressive rock tribute act Downing Grey. Included are details about new sophomore album release Counterpoint. Says keyboardist Andrew Colyer, “Our number-one goal is for every prog fan in the world to listen to our album. Just once. We feel that it’s up to us to build our own following, whether live or online. That’s why Circuline intends to continue to release videos on a regular basis; we want to reach people worldwide.”
Universal Mind Project — interview with co-lead singer Elina Laivera about new international symphonic progressive metal ensemble and its debut album, The Jaguar Priest. Says Laivera, “Our music focuses on the divine nature of humankind, it expresses positivity. Also for this reason we invited many different guest musicians to show we all can contribute toward creating something entirely complete. In the end, this whole thing turned into a beautiful family, I must say.”
Fish & Steve Rothery — a comparative analysis/review of the
former Marillion mates’ separate live renditions of Marillion classic Misplaced Childhood, marking the album’s 30th anniversary.
Marillion — interview with guitarist Steve Rothery about recording of the group’s new album, F.E.A.R. Says Rothery, “We're very lucky in that we never consider what our audience is going to think of what we do. We make music purely for ourselves in the hope that other people will enjoy it. That’s the reason we still love what we do after 18 albums.”
Delirium — interview with flute/saxophone/keyboard player Martin Grice about this Italian band whose career began in 1971 and continues with recently released album L’Era Della Menzogna. Says Grice, “I strongly believe that we now have the best Delirium formation ever. It is pure joy to play with these guys.”
Teramaze — interview with guitarist/composer/bandleader Dean Wells of the heavy progressive act from Australia, who discusses recent album Her Halo and latest plans. Says Wells, “Ultimately, our aim is always to write a great song. So if that's either something complicated or very subtle, then that’s what we will do.”
Supernal Endgame — interview with the Texas-based progressive rock act, whose recently revamped lineup is preparing album No, 3. Says multi-instrumentalist/singer John Eargle, “We generally avoid labeling ourselves as a ‘Christian band.’ Progressive rock has a rich heritage of artists who deal with spiritual themes in their music. We’re just doing that from our personal perspective.”
Waken Eyes — interview with Canadian composer/multi-instrumentalist Tom Frelek about his newly formed all-star symphonic project and its debut album, Exodus. Says Frelek, ““I guess you can say this project can relate to the players as well, since they also took a risk in recording with a fairly new artist to the scene. But I go by that rule in life: to have no fear is the road to success.”
Redemption — article on the progressive-metal group’s return to action with its first new studio album in five years, The Art of Loss. Says guitarist/keyboardist Nick Van Dyk, “I can honestly say the following: it’s the first record of ours that – even after listening to it literally hundreds of times during recording and mixing – I’m still not tired of. I still play it almost daily. I think the record is our best and really comes together in all ingredients: songwriting, performances and production.”
David Gilmour — live report on the Pink Floyd guitarist’s recent solo tour stop in Los Angeles.
The Security Project — live performance report on the band led by drummer Jerry Marotta and Warr guitarist Trey Gunn.
Francis Dunnery — live report on a solo show by the former It Bites
Reviews — more than 100 CD, DVD and book reviews.
Issue 69 Extra Cuts -- cruise wear, progger style. A photo essay by
Steve J. Hill
Keith Emerson photography © by Curtis Knapp