Treasury of Music #9: The American Drag

Back in 2010 I discovered Bandcamp, an excellent platform for (self-)releasing music. In a video, where they showcased a new feature or something, they had music playing of this great Rock/Pop band, The American Drag, with melodies and harmonies that intrigued me right from the start. I immediately checked both their albums out, which they had available in full for free streaming, and soon after that I bought them both and gladly gave a little bit more money than they asked for. So this is a great example of how this name-your-price business model, which I am a huge fan of, can work wonderfully – I never would have known their music, bought it and become a fan if they had not given me the chance to listen to it online.

What I like so much about their music is their ability to craft something that is both radio-friendly / suitable for the masses (in my opinion) and yet always interesting with unanticipated phrases thrown in there ever so often. (Interesting side note: The intro guitar theme of Tied To A Stone subconsciously came to my mind and fingers right after my father died almost exactly four years ago and I played it then for a while next to his bed. I always wanted to make a song out of it until I realised months later that the music already existed.)
A couple of years ago the band was working on a third album, but that sadly seems to have come to a halt. So you have to make do with what there is so far, but since in their 105 minutes of released music there isn’t really a weak one, that’s quite alright. I still had to throw out some songs for this playlist (to keep it at CD length):

  • Enemy’s God
  • Drive
  • Take Your Medicine
  • Get Your Monies Worth
  • Out Of The Sky
  • Post Runaround Let Down
  • Tied To A Stone
  • Forgotten One
  • Salesman
  • Carton Horse
  • Greed
  • 17 Bars
  • Throwing Fables
  • Awake
  • Dakota
  • Sorry Again
  • Fill Me Up
  • Hottest Day Of The Year

Treasury of Music #8: Flying Colors

Not many words and a little bit late this week because I’m on the road with Kaja Ky, playing in Düsseldorf tonight and in Wiesbaden on Friday.

Flying Colors is a rather new band with one of my favourite musicians and composers, Neal Morse. Also part of the band is one of my favourite guitar players, Steve Morse (no relation). Their two albums so far combine mainstream Pop & Rock with the virtuosity of Progressive Rock, but listen for yourself:

  • Blue Ocean
  • Shoulda Coulda Woulda
  • One Love Forever
  • Everything Changes
  • Forever In A Daze
  • A Place In Your World
  • Infinite Fire
  • Kayla
  • Mask Machine
  • Peaceful Harbor
  • Cosmic Symphony

Treasury of Music #7: The Flower Kings

About 11 years ago I was introduced to the musical goodness that is Progressive Rock. One of the first bands of this genre I knew and really liked were The Flower Kings and more specifically their album The Rainmaker (thanks to my brother).
Subsequently, bassist Jonas Reingold became my favourite bass player for a while (now only surpassed by Michael League) and guitarist Roine Stolt is also one of my favourites with his very melodic and not too technical style. In the meantime I have seen them live four times and it was there (on the Banks Of Eden tour 2012, to be precise) that I really noticed and came to love their frequent three-part harmony singing.
The aforementioned Roine Stolt & Jonas Reingold are also part of many other Swedish and international Prog bands that I can highly recommend: Transatlantic, Agents of Mercy and Karmakanic among them.

It was not possible for me to shorten the playlist to less than just under 160 minutes, but seeing as that is the length of two CDs and The Flower Kings released quite a few double albums, I found it appropriate. Although I have to admit that I find it somewhat difficult to listen to their double albums as they do have some lengths, and I favour their shorter albums like The Rainmaker, Back In The World Of Adventures, or Retropolis. I even more recommend the album The Flower King, but as it was released as a Roine Stolt solo album with some musicians that then became The Flower Kings, I ignored it for the following playlist.
Its order is mostly chronological, although I put my favourite song first and swapped some songs that belong to the same album to create a better listening experience.

  • Numbers
  • Go West Judas
  • My Cosmic Lover
  • The Judas Kiss
  • There Is More To This World
  • In The Eyes Of The World
  • Garden Of Dreams: Don’t Let The d’Evil In
  • Corruption
  • Last Minute On Earth
  • Serious Dreamers
  • Sword Of God
  • Monkey Business
  • Paradox Hotel
  • Life Will Kill You
  • The Sum Of No Reason
  • Life In Motion
  • Last Carnivore
  • White Tuxedos