Monday, June 30, 2014

CD Review: Progressive Rockers Collaborate On New Instrumental Albums

Former Supertramp touring guitarist Marty Walsh recently released his new instrumental album "The Total Plan." It features contributions from a load of fellow musicians including bassists Billy Sheerwood (Yes) and Abe Laboriel, drummer John Robinson, keyboardist Nick Manson and many more, as well as students from Berklee College of Music. Walsh's past  contributions have been to albums by artists ranging from Leann Rimes to Neil Diamond and he has also released three earlier solo albums. The new ten-song release begins the spacey, prog-rock feel of "Like A Rock" as Marty Walsh takes the lead, but allows everyone to contribute to the song's overall energy. The music get a little jazzier with the "Groove Mechanics" as John Pena's bass keeps the rhythm and Michael Ruff's keyboard are allowed to soar. Marty slows the tempo down for the relaxed "Coast To Coast" as the excitement builds with each member's solo. Marty lays down a blues groove with his guitar solo on "The Duke" that is sure to catch your attention, before the album finishes with smoothness of "Now Is The Time." To find out more about Marty Walsh and his new album "The Total Plan," please visit

Progressive rock drummers Pat Mastelotto and Tobias Ralph have combined their talents for the unique album "Toparama." Both have had a hand in the development of the "prog-rock" sound, performing with such bands as King Crimson and the spin-off band The Crimson ProjeKCt. Now with the help of bassists Lorenzo Feliciati and Tony Levin, touch guitarist Markus Reuter, and keyboardist Roy Powell, the album looks to explore the rhythm heavy side of rock/jazz fusion. The new 13-song release begins with the firework exploding shuffle of "Willie" as the two drummers quickly exchange solos. The quick modern feel of "NY5" allows the musicians to stretch out and expand as the song pushes past the eight-minute mark. The momentum really gets going on the pulsating beat of "BaBaBoom," before closing the album with the experimental, spacey feel of "Bad Ass Van Man." Mostelotto and Ralph will be on tour this summer in Europe as part of The Crimson ProjeKCt. To find out more about the new album "Toparama," please visit

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