Nashville, TN—When progressive rock icon Neal Morse was preparing to tour his highly acclaimed 2012 studio release, “Momentum,” he turned to YouTube to audition touring players to support his faithful duo of Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass). He had high hopes, but the final players selected from more than 70 applicants dramatically surpassed his expectations. They hit the road for an 8-stop North American tour. And now that band’s epic New York performance is captured on the new “Live Momentum” 2DVD/3CD Box Set.
The second volume of Neil Young's Archives series, Live at Massey Hall, preserves a 1971 acoustic show at the Toronto venue. It may seem to cover familiar ground to the outside observer who assumes all solo acoustic Young concerts sound the same, but that, of course, is not the case with an artist as mercurial and willful as Young. Live at Massey Hall is a remarkably rich set of songs, touching on nearly every aspect of Young's personality, whether it's his sweetness, his sensitivity, his loneliness, or even his often-neglected sense of fun. This concert was a legendary bootleg for nearly four decades, and its release is something special: it adds detail, color, and texture to a familiar chapter of his career, rendering it fresh once more.
Neil Diamond's five-decade career as a singer, songwriter, and performer has certainly been a successful one by any standard. He’s sold well over 115 million records worldwide to date and has had eight number one singles ("Cracklin Rosie," "Song Sung Blue," "Desiree," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Love on the Rocks," "America," "Yesterday's Songs," and "Heartlight"), and if he hasn't always generated the kind of critical respect he probably deserves, he’s been a steady and dependable artist who has managed to keep his large core audience happy. This 23-track set surveys the whole of Diamond's recording career, collecting his key and signature sides, beginning with his first hits for Bang Records in the mid-'60s through his commercial peak for Uni/MCA between 1968 and 1972, cuts from 1980’s The Jazz Singer (a soundtrack album that went platinum five times over on Capitol Records), and ending with tracks from Diamond's two Rick Rubin-produced albums, 2005’s 12 Songs and 2008’s Home Before Dark, on Columbia Records.
For those who have never heard of W.E.T. the band comprise of Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals and keyboards, Erik Mårtensson on rhythm/lead guitar and backing/lead Vocals, Robert Säll on keyboards/guitar & backing vocals, Magnus Henriksson on rhythm/lead guitar and backing vocals, Robban Bäck on drums and Andreas Passmark on bass. So if any of those names means anything to you, you will know that the band has on paper the highest pedigree, being something of an AOR supergroup.