Click here to read my latest column published in Desert Star Weekly to read my roundup of these sterling collections available now.
Earlier today Third Day announced it will embark on a 45-city tour in support of the band's new album Miracle (which will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012). "The Miracle Tour" will kick off Feb. 21, 2013 and also feature American Idol's Colton Dixon and singer-songwriter Josh Wilson.
The tour will launch in Fairfax, Va. on Feb. 21 and will extend through mid-May. Here is more info as detailed in a release that landed in my inbox:
“The Miracle Tour” takes its name from Third Day’s brand new studio project, Miracle, releasing Nov. 6. With veteran producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Train, The Killers) at the helm, Miracle is a 12-track simmering brew of potent rock anthems infused with the substantive, life-affirming lyrics that have always been the bedrock of Third Day’s music. At the same time, the band explores new sonic and lyrical territory on Miracle, with layered guitars and harmonies, sing-along gang vocals, and so on – not heard from the band previously. The band’s signature rock foundations remain; they’ve just been infused with a modern-day flair.
A special VIP package will be available for The Miracle Tour ticket buyers, including a premium-seat concert ticket, an exclusive Third Day tour poster, a Miracle CD and entry to a special pre-show event. A group ticket package will be offered, along with Fan Club pre-sale dates.
“The Miracle Tour” is sponsored in part by Christian humanitarian organization World Vision (www.worldvision.org) and Grand Canyon University (www.gcu.edu). World Vision provides assistance to approximately 100 million people in nearly 100 countries by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
In other news, progressive rock icons Nektar are set to release A Spoonful Of Time, an album that will feature the band joined by an all-star guest lineup. Here is the official media release:
Nektar's 'A Spoonful Of Time' features performances by members of YES, King Crimson, Deep Purple, Symphony X, Opeth, Marillion, Asia, The Moody Blues, Dream Theater, Tangerine Dream, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Hawkwind, The Zombies and Cream!
Says founding Nektar member Roye Albrighton, “The idea originated from Cleopatra themselves...they thought it might be a good idea to do an album of classic songs with a multitude of different players but under the Nektar banner. Klaus, Ron and myself were to be the staple musicians taking part and the files would be given out to various musicians to do their parts. I was asked to do most of the vocals except for the one track which was (“Africa”) and quite a few guitars too. Ron did a lot of the drums and Klaus was prominent on several of the tracks on Hammond and mellotron.”
1. Sirius featuring Michael Pinnella (Symphony X)
2. Spirit Of The Radio featuring Mark Kelly (Marillion)
3. Fly Like An Eagle featuring Geoff Downes (Asia / Yes) • Joel Vandroogenbroeck (Brainticket)
4. Wish You Were Here featuring Edgar Froese (Tangerine Dream)
5. For The Love Of Money featuring Ian Paice (Deep Purple) • Nik Turner (Hawkwind)
6. Can't Find My Way Home featuring Steve Howe (Yes) • Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater/Black Country Communion) • Mel Collins (King Crimson)
7. 2000 Light Years From Home featuring Simon House (Hawkwind)
8. Riders On The Storm featuring Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big) • Rod Argent (The Zombies / Argent)
9. Blinded By The Light featuring Joakim Svalberg (Opeth) • Ginger Baker (Cream)
10. Out Of The Blue featuring Simon House (Hawkwind)
11. Old Man featuring David Cross (King Crimson)
12. Dream Weaver featuring Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
13. I'm Not In Love featuring Rick Wakeman (Yes)
14. Africa featuring Bobby Kimball (Toto) • Patrick Moraz (The Moody Blues)
Nektar's “A Spoonful Of Time” was produced by the band and mixed by prog icon Billy Sherwood, who also played bass on some of the tracks.
Says Billy, “I really enjoyed working with Nektar on their new record, it was an honor playing bass on the entire project too!! Roye is very creative and inspiring to be around, Ron and Klaus are great to work with too... I felt like it was working with friends, making music, as it should be. I look forward to playing some gigs with them in the future.” Roye adds, “The songs featured on the album were chosen by Cleopatra, of which a few of them I quite like. It was good working with Billy, on this covers album and our new studio album 'Time Machine', and like me, he wants the absolute best for the music.”
The Nektar story is a remarkable one. A British rock band that found stardom and major success in Germany and the USA, yet failed to make a significant breakthrough in their own country. With three gold albums under their belt ("Remember The Future", "Down To Earth" and "Recycled"), Nektar produced some of the most original work of the seventies and eighties. In virtuoso guitarist Roye Albrighton Nektar had a charismatic front man who had shared a stage with Jimi Hendrix, in Allan "Taff" Freeman a unique keyboard player, in Derek "Mo" Moore a bass playing powerhouse and in Ron Howden a fluidity rarely found in a drummer. Fifth member Mick Brockett was not a musician, but was responsible for one of the most stunning light and visual shows ever to grace a rock stage. Nektar's history appeared to have been written when they finally split in the eighties. Despite attempts to re-kindle the flame, the Nektar light, it seemed was out...until the year 2000. The new millenium saw the long awaited reunion tour of the classic line-up, to rave reviews and fantastic receptions. The light we thought was out, had in fact been kept aglow - by loyal fans across the globe! "It's pretty timeless music," says Albrighton, "and what I'm hearing from most of the new, younger fans that are now coming to our shows, is that it's like going back in time. They are starting to really discover music again, which, of course, is a great thrill to us and some of the older bands from our time."
An American tour in September 2004 saw Taff Freeman depart the band for personal reasons and his successor, Hammond virtuoso Tom Hughes, instantly earning a place in the hearts of the Nektar faithful. With continued concert dates, along with the remastering of the remainder of the Nektar back catalogue on CD, this legendary band has become once more a proud force to be reckoned with in the world of progressive music. In 2007 Nektar truly took over their own management, procured their official website as their own, became an entity entirely under their own control and went on a 22-date tour of Germany. The band released the critically acclaimed CDs 'Book of Days' in 2008 and the live DBL CD 'Fortyfied' in 2009. Signing with US label Cleopatra in 2011, the band competed it's first U.S. Tour in seven years by virtue of a successful month-long jaunt of the States, to the delight of their U.S. Fans both old and new. Nektar is set to make its mark once again with the release of their critically acclaimed studio album “Time Machine.” Now with the release of A Spoonful Of Time, Nektar is back with a psychedelic head trip through classic rock radio with artful twists on classics by The Doors, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Blind Faith, Steve Miller, 10cc and others!
As far as future plans for Nektar: "To make more music, and to experiment more in different ways,” says Albrighton. Nektar will be a part of the Cruise to the Edge crusie in March with the Yes, Tangerine Dream, Saga, Steve Hackett, Carl Palmer Band, UK and others. In closing Roye has this to impart to the band's long-standing fans, “A huge thanks to all those fans who have stuck by the band through thick and thin over the years... We are only doing it for you.”
Nektar “A Spoonful Of Time” is available for pre-order now at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spoonful-time-feat.-steve/id570409022
or via Amazon via the link here
For more information visit Nektar's official website: www.nektarsmusic.com
Cleopatra Records: www.CleopatraRecords.com