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

Treasury of Music #6: Snarky Puppy

With these Treasury of Music playlists every other Monday I limit myself to 80 minutes per list, so that it could be a Greatest Hits CD in theory. Which songs not to include has always been a tough decision, but it never was as hard as with this week’s band Snarky Puppy.
For me they are the best (live) band active at the time. Their studio albums are mind-blowing, even more so for the fact that most of them are basically live albums, recorded (without overdubs!) with a small audience in a studio. But their live shows are really quite something special. You could easily go to several concerts on the same tour and have a totally unique experience every time around. (I only saw them twice so far, which is going to change at the very next opportunity.) Not only are the setlists constantly changing, also the arrangements of individual songs differ from night to night (oftentimes on the fly), and even the band’s lineup can change during one tour – they have a huge pool of awesome musicians to choose from.
I discovered them (and listened to nothing else for two weeks) on YouTube where they have most of their songs of recent albums available, which adds the delight of seeing them play and have a lot of joy at that. Especially bassist and band leader Michael League (who is my musical hero) is great fun to watch – he lives the music he plays with every bit of his face and body.
Now, for the following playlist I had to exclude a number of songs which I still can totally recommend. They just have so many great ones and I wanted to feature every album. Which is impossible, so I only considered their six albums without any collaborations with other musicians (so not the two Family Dinner volumes or Sylva, their Grammy Award-winning collaboration with the Metropole Orkest – these will get a separate list sometime). Also, a new album is already underway (this time a real studio album), so expect this list to get altered and maybe expanded to Double CD length.

  • Shofukan
  • The Good Man Deliver And The Best Is Blessed
  • Bent Nails
  • Outlier
  • Strawman
  • Slow Demon
  • Briar
  • Precipice
  • Quarter Master
  • Lingus