Saturday, December 27, 2014

CD Review: Martin Turner Invites Friends To "The Garden Party" To Celebrate Wishbone Ash

British rock band Wishbone Ash began in 1969 and rose to commercial success three years later with their album "Argus," which hit #3 on the U.K. charts. They were one of the pioneers of using two guitarists in the band and continued to be a top band in rock until the early eighties when it became a revolving door for band members. After finding his role in the band reduced to only playing bass, founding member Martin Turner left the band he created in 1980 to pursue a solo career.

In 2005, Turner renamed his solo band "Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash," but due to legal actions, he changed it to "Martin Turner Plays The Music Of Wishbone Ash." In 2012, Martin Turner decided to record a live album of classic Wishbone Ash songs with his current band along with founding member Ted Turner and guitarist Laurie Wisefield. The new release entitled "The Garden Party: A Celebration of Wishbone Ash Music, Private Recording" was released back in October and features Martin Turner & Friends recorded live at Liscombe Park in Buckinghamshire, England on August 31st, 2012. The two disc set features seventeen Wishbone Ash classics performed live (some for the first time) by Martin Turner and sound as if no time had past since the original studio recordings.

The first disc begins with the Ash's concert staple "Standing In The Rain" as Martin and his band give new life to many of these classic songs. The progressive-rock feel of "Lady Jay" and "The Pilgrim" still showcase the importance the music of Wishbone Ash made within the musical community through the seventies. The duel guitars of "The Way Of The World" has a modern appeal as Danny Wilson and Ray Hatfield stay true to the original. The disc closes with the seventies rocker "No Easy Road," which instantly transports you to Ash's heyday.

Original Wishbone Ash guitarist Ted Turner joins the fun, beginning with the 1971 song "Valediction," as Ash were still searching for their sound. They follow with "The King Will Come" from their most successful album "Argus" as the band radiates the enjoyment of performing together onstage through the music being played. The song's harmony is still some of the best in classic rock. Martin Turner & Friends spring ahead with the 1988 single "In The Skin" as Ted Turner lets loose on his guitar solos. The shows closes with guitarist Laurie Wisefield joining them for the 1980 single "Living Proof" and a jamming eight-plus minute version of "Jailbait" as four guitars are better than two as solos fly and the band rock on to a roaring close. To find out more about this latest release from Martin Turner, please visit

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