Saturday, January 3, 2015

CD Review: Focus Bandmates "Swung" The Door Open For New Music With "Vol. 1 & 2"

The Dutch progressive rock band Focus had a major hit back in 1971 with the song "Hocus Pocus." The band then broke up in 1978 only to reformed 25 years later and they have been touring ever since, but progressive rock music isn't all that they play. The current members of Focus (Bobby Jacobs and Pierre van der Linden) got together with former Focus guitarist Niels van der Sheenhoven to record a bunch of instrumentals. They had so much fun performing that Jacobs and Linden decided to do the same thing with current Focus guitarist Menno Gootjes. The music on these two discs range from heavy metal to blues to jazz fusion. Producer/bass player Bobby Jacobs describes the recordings as "all the fun we have during our Focus soundchecks."

The music on "Volume 1" has a very loose, energetic feel that allows the music to go off in any direction. Niels van der Steenhoven asserts with his guitar as it leads the way through the nine different adventures of the first disc. The second disc, "Volume 2" has more of a equal balance of the band as each members lets their presence known with their extremely talented musicianship. Guitarist Menno Gootjes, along with drummer Pierre van der Linden and bassist Bobby Jacobs explore new territory with the eight different songs of "Raga Reverence."

The newly released Swung "Vol, 1 & 2" is available through Cherry Red Records and gathers together seventeen improvisational instrumental pieces along two discs, giving each guitarist his own volume. To find out more about Swung and their latest two volume release, please visit

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