Radiant’s Record of the Week: SO MANY ROADS

Monday Featured Product
Neal Morse

‘So Many Roads’

For $19.99 this week only!

 THIS IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL LIVE CD FROM NEAL MORSE!
Recorded at some of the best venues in Europe, this contains breathtaking performances handpicked by Neal Morse from a series of concerts with his critically acclaimed European band. Neal says “There’s some really special moments like Jessica singing the angelic section of Spock’s Beard’s “At the End of the Day” and of course the rockin’ “Author of Confusion/I’m the Guy” medley.
I also really enjoy our rendition of the Spock’s Beard classic “Walking On The Wind”. That Euro band rules!” With a cross section of the best of Neal’s career, from Spock’s Beard greats to Transatlantic classics as well as his newer solo work, this is a live album that will please fans to no end.
Purchase your copy today HERE!

Eric Gillette’s Second Solo Album: May 2, 2016

Eric Gillette Announces New Solo Album
“The Great Unknown”
We are excited to announce the upcoming release of Eric Gillette’s new solo album,
“The Great Unknown”, featuring Eric on Lead Vocals and Guitar, as well as an incredible collection of musicians including the extraordinary Thomas Lang on Drums. The group is rounded out by Haken members, Diego Tejeida on Keyboards, and Connor Green on Bass.
“The Great Unknown”, due out on May 2, 2016, boasts 7 original tracks, including
the 18 minute epic “Escape” and is produced by Eric Gillette and Chris Thompson,
in partnership with T4 Music.
 The album will be mastered by audio genius, Rich Mouser (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard, Neal Morse) at Mouse House Studio.

Available in April for worldwide pre-sale, through
Releasing worldwide on May 2, 2016!

Sign up for Eric’s newsletter to receive the latest updates and exclusive deals at www.ericgillettemusic.com

and follow Eric on Facebook at: EricGiletteMusic
and on Twitter at: @EricGillette 

Spock’s Beard: THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Spock’s Beard, THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS  (Radiant, 2015).  Three disks.  15 tracks and a video documentary by Randy George.

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As far as I know, I was the very first person in Bloomington, Indiana, to purchase a copy of THE LIGHT by Spock’s Beard.  Though various websites claim the album to have been released in 1995, I have rather clear memories of purchasing it in the fall semester of 1994.  I was my final graduate classes, then, preparing for comprehensive exams.  It would be no exaggeration to state that THE LIGHT was my soundtrack for exam prep.

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The first album by SB.  The beginning of third-wave prog.

As someone born in the summer of love and having heard my first prog in 1971 or so, I had done everything possible to carry the prog torch throughout the 1980s.  In college, I even dedicated two years of a radio show (every Friday night, August 1988-May 2000) to prog and what was then called “college rock.”  Lots of prog-loving “old guys”—at least old to me—called in from places as far as Chicago (South Bend’s FM waves carried across all of Lake Michigan), excited that someone was still playing the best music rock had to offer.  My co-host at Notre Dame was none other than now famous classical guitarist and fellow progarchy editor, Kevin McCormick.

This is a long way of stating: Spock’s Beard wasn’t just prog-influenced or arty rock or pop with prog tinges.  It was pure and simple prog.  Unadulterated prog.  Unapologetic prog.  Brazenly prog.  In hindsight, of course, one can see that a lot was happening in 1994 and 1995—with releases from Roine Stolt as well as Marillion.  In late 1994, however, I had no idea that prog would explode into a third wave, lasting through today as I write this.

And, to be pure, simple, unadulterated, unapologetic, and brazen—Spock’s Beard opened and led this third-wave of prog. They were, for all intents and purposes, the very voice of third-wave prog.  And, this latest from Spock’s Beard is nothing less than the autobiography of third-wave prog.

Twenty years later, we sit comfortably in 2015.  And, to celebrate what is not only Spock’s Beard’s legacy but, frankly, the very history of third-wave prog, the band has released a “best of,” Spock’s Beard, THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS (Radiant Records, 2015).  This gorgeous package is well beyond a “best of,” however, and it invokes far more than mere nostalgia.  As much as possible, it really does offer a glimpse of the history of prog over the past two decades.

Looking back, we can now divide Spock’s Beard into three rather distinct parts or phases.

  • SB 1.0: Neal Morse fronted.
  • SB 2.0: Nick D’Virgilio fronted.
  • SB 3.0: Ted Leonard fronts

And, yet, no matter what form or manifestation of SB occurs, Neal Morse remains the touchstone and the fountainhead of the group.  And, this is not a knock on any past or present member of the band.  SB began in pure excellence, and since THE LIGHT, it has done nothing but continue to pursue excellence.

Not surprisingly—and with no small amount of joyous wonder and love and appreciation for all that is prog and SB—Neal Morse has penned a brand new track for this album release, “Falling for Forever,” making something special even more so.  Neal Morse, being so utterly Neal Morse, has written an 20:02 (interesting number—the date Neal left SB) minute epic, pulling together all of the members of SB over its two-decade history.  Epic and charitable—the very essence of Neal Morse.

And, featuring every single member who has ever graced a SB album, “Falling for Forever” is exactly what you’d suspect—with the usual Morse prog twists, turns, and surprises—from the band.  It is a thing of prog glory.  Instruments driving and pounding here, there, and everywhere.  Multiple voices—of the the human type—proclaiming beautiful things.  And, of course, the song, though complete with beginning and ending, soars and falls and cascades and lingers and explodes.  It’s all so very Neal Morse, so very SB, so very third-wave prog, so very incredible.

Not surprisingly, Radiant has done every single thing right with this release.  In addition to the brand new track, “Falling for Forever,” the album also remixes and remasters fourteen of SB’s “best” tunes.  Every SB album is represented on this retrospective, and even to my very poor ear, the remastering sounds perfect, bringing out a number of things that were toned down in previous mixes.  The packaging is superb, and Randy George’s documentary about the history of SB 1.0 is an insightful and moving look at the creation of the band, its sound, and the unexpected departure of Morse in 2002.

There’s little doubt that 2015 has been a great year for prog.  As a release, despite it being a retrospective, THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS holds its own even against original releases this year.  As an artistic package of love, appreciation, and history, it is unparalleled.  Yes, I love Neal Morse.  But, I love Neal Morse for the very things that make him loveable—he so very much respects the art and the artist.

THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS is nothing if not a very revelation of the man’s soul.

To order, go here: Radiant Records.

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Radiant School of Arts–Wow!

Radiant Records
Greetings from the Radiant Team!
 Have you ever longed for personal instruction and quality time with people that have been involved with the creation of some of your favorite music ever? Have you wished that there was a way for you to not only learn but gain experience in the arts in a really cool and fun environment? Have you ever wanted to come to Nashville and have a killer time? Now you can do it all in one shot!
(drumroll please…)
Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you for the very first time…
 Neal Morse’s Radiant School of
the Arts Summer Sessions 2016!
You will receive instruction and have special clinics with such world-renowned artists as: Phil Keaggy, Nick D’Virgilio, Bill Hubauer, Randy George, Eric Gillette, Casey McPherson, Jerry Guidroz and MORE!!!
 (some instructors will only be at the school for a few clinics)
  (some instructors will only be at the school for a few clinics)
The program will include 3-weeks of hands on training, clinics, and classes in:
  • Composition
  • performance
  • recording engineering
  • songwriting
  • musicianship
  • video
  • technical instruction
      
All of this will take place in the heart of the American Music City
Scene!!!!
Spend your summer in Nashville with Neal Morse!
 
The Radiant School of Arts will be located at The Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood, TN. The school has over $1 million dollars in gear, a green room, rehearsal room, lounge, photography studio, 2 writing rooms and pre-production rooms, conference room, studio control room and studio tracking room!!!!
 
Student’s will be staying in apartments that are located across the street from The Contemporary Music Center. The apartments are 3 bedrooms with 2 bath, and fully furnished with all you need for your 3-week stay. There will be a total of 8 students in each apartment.
Be one of the FIRST Radiant School of Arts students next summer. There is a limited number of spots available, so if you would like be considered for the audition process, all interested applicants must email us by December 4, 2015 at: school@radiantrecords.com. We will contact you in the coming weeks with details on the audition process and requirements.
APPLICATION FEE: $125 (due when audition process begins)
AGE REQUIREMENT: 18+
WHERE: Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood Tennessee
WHEN: June 17 – July 18, 2016
TUITION: $6,000.00 (due once you are accepted)
Blessings,
Radiant Records

The Reverent Prog of Neal Morse: MorseFest 2014

A review of Neal Morse, MorseFest 2014.  Four CDs/Two DVDs.  Radiant Records, 2015.  

Birzer Rating: 11 out of 10 (yes, you read this correctly!)

And if Neal can find God, then what’s in it for me?

Could I take that same road?

Would the truth set me free?

–Andy Tillison, Mr. Prog, 2015.

MorseFest 2014
MorseFest 2014

I am the proud owner of not one but two Neal Morse, MORSEFEST! 2014 six-disc sets.  It’s prog, after all.  Why not go overboard?  Radiant has kindly sent progarchy all releases in, during, and through our three-year old life as a website.  But, Radiant is just such an amazing label, that I refuse not to support them.  For every CD they send me, I buy one from them.  It only seems just.

Before I even begin this review, I have to state two things which I’ve already noted several times on progarchy.  First, Morse has always been a part of my adult life.  I bought THE LIGHT by Spock’s Beard in Bloomington, Indiana, way back in 1994.  I know that the official release date is early 1995, but I’m fairly positive I remember purchasing it the fall semester of 1994.  I am, however, quite certain that I was the first person in Bloomington to buy it.  I could never exaggerate the importance of that album to me.  I had no idea about the neo-prog scene that had begun in 1985 or so, and I had considered lots of what was called New Wave in the 1980s to be the rightful inheritor of 1970s prog.  Music by XTC, Talk Talk, and Tears for Fears struck me as the proper successors.

The first album that made me aware of third-wave prog. Spock's Beard, THE LIGHT.
The first album that made me aware of third-wave prog. Spock’s Beard, THE LIGHT.

Then, after years of waiting patiently, THE LIGHT arrived and just blew me away.  I couldn’t believe anyone was making that type of prog anymore.  I lingered over the music and the lyrics, and I spent nights listening to THE LIGHT with the headphones on.  The members of Spock’s Beard became immediate heroes to me and, especially, Neal Morse.  That “meeting” led to me finding out about Marillion, Roine Stolt, and, ultimately, Transatlantic, Ayreon, The Tangent, and The Flower Kings.

Second, my rather large family loves Morse as much as I do.  I remember how worried I was when I’d heard about Neal Morse becoming a born-again Christian and leaving Spock’s Beard.  I was in shock, fearing that what is now called Third-Wave Prog was dead.  How could prog continue without Morse—who was, to my mind, “Mr. Prog.”

I now happily give that title to the man I quote above, Andy Tillison, but I’ll explain why in a bit.

Testimony (Radiant, 2003). Morse's first post-Spock's Beard solo album.
Testimony (Radiant, 2003). Morse’s first post-Spock’s Beard solo album.

Back to the point.

When TESTIMONY came out, I not only breathed a sigh of immense relief that Morse had continued to carry the prog banner, but I also was floored that he did it so beautifully.  If Spock’s Beard had embraced the dramatic, Morse’s first post SB released embraced well. . . everything.  This wasn’t just dramatic, this was story telling at its highest.  Morse had ascended from playwright to a full-blown bard!  An American prog folk bard at that.

For at least two years, I think (with only slight exaggeration), TESTIMONY was in constant rotation throughout the Birzer home.  As a family, we’ve never been big on TV, but we’ve always loved music.  The story of Neal’s conversion and the recovery of his daughter Jayda became as real and as much a part of my family history as did, say, the stories of Narnia and Middle-earth I was reading to my children.

My kids and I knew all the lyrics (still do), and we ALWAYS danced to Part III of the album.  For some reason, my kids became convinced that all of Part III was the “Batman theme.”  I’m still not sure how this came about, but it was pretty much set in stone.  Neal Morse was Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night!  Hilarious.

Morse's autobiography.
Morse’s autobiography.

I must also state that though I’ve followed Morse’s career for twenty years now—and rather closely—I’ve never met him, I’ve never corresponded with him, and I’ve never talked with him.  What I know, I know only through his art, his autobiography, and the interviews he’s given.  Still, I can’t separate him or his art from my own adulthood and, more importantly, from my family life.  Probably more than any other musician or act with the exception of Rush, Morse’s music has provided the soundtrack for the Birzer family.

So, long story short, when I heard that Morse would be performing all of TESTIMONY and ONE live for MorseFest 2014, I was not only extremely excited, but I was also equally curious as to how he would make this different from his other releases.  I’m a member of Morse’s Inner Circle, and I own everything he’s ever released commercially and many things he’s released only privately.  I have every package—no matter how grand or small—Radiant has produced, and I’ve never regretted a purchase.

Not surprisingly, Radiant reflects the integrity of its owner and the label never does anything half way.  Perfection radiates from all it does.  As a perfectionist myself, I’m rather taken with fellow perfectionists.  Add in the now-president of Radiant Records, the ever grand, gracious, and wonderful Chris Thompson, and you really do have something incredibly quite special in north-central Tennessee.

So, the question remained, how would Morse take these albums—especially TESTIMONY—which he has already played so often and make it alive again for an audience that knew the story intimately?  After all, no child or family member of any progger is as well known as Jayda.  Her story has become, in many ways, the story of third-wave prog.

Radiant Records. Founded by Neal Morse. Chris Thompson is now president.
Radiant Records. Founded by Neal Morse. Chris Thompson is now president.

Well, let me just be blunt—the story I’ve known and sung to and danced to for 12 years—is just as powerful now as it was in 2003.  I’m not sure how to explain it, but when watching Morse tell the story again on the first night of MorseFest 2014, I was deeply moved. . . yet again.  In part, it’s simply a powerful story—Morse apart from his wife while touring in Europe and getting the news that Jayda’s hole in her heart disappeared after immense prayer.  In equally large part, it’s a powerful story for us because it’s still an utterly powerful story for Morse.  His quite visible emotion as he tells the story again is as vivid as it was twelve years ago.

And, this raises an additional point.  As charismatic as Morse is (and, he IS!), he is equally humble.  It’s a powerful combination for his fans.  Such a wholesome quality is all-too rare in this world of instant gratification and cynical self-promotion.  Whenever something works well for Morse, however, he immediately thanks God and his family and friends.

It’s a truly inspiring witness to goodness and beauty.

I must admit, I get very frustrated when fellow rockers and proggers dismiss Morse as “too religious.”  While I don’t share every aspect of Morse’s faith, I can’t help but be attracted to it.  If Jesus is even half as cool as Morse sees Him, I’m in.  Additionally, how many times have I listened to New Agey lyrics or left-wing politics and accepted them as simply part of the art?  More times than I can count.

As a person who is privileged to teach the history of western civilization every autumn to 18-year old freshmen, I can state with absolute certainty that all of the greatest women and men of western civilization up until that demon Machiavelli used their art as a way to express their religious faith.  This was as true for the pagan Socrates as it was for Michaelangelo.  Historically, it’s been rather difficult to attain the heights that great art demands without a supernatural inspiration.

That said, it should be remembered and noted that Morse performed and recorded MorseFest in his home church, New Life Fellowship.  And, it shows.  Morse is reverent as well as excited.  He’s also—and it took me a few listens and watches to realize this—quite relaxed.  I’ve seen him perform many times live as well on DVD.  If I had a complaint about Morse, it would be that when I’ve seen him live, he’s tended to rush things.  Not much–just a bit.  If this is a real criticism, take it as the weakest criticism ever offered.

MorseFest, New Life Fellowship Church, Cross Plains, Tennessee. MorseFest 2015.
MorseFest, New Life Fellowship Church, Cross Plains, Tennessee. MorseFest 2015.

Now, having watched MorseFest 2014 and having attended MorseFest 2015 (Friday night only, unfortunately), I can state with certainty that Morse doesn’t feel rushed in the least.  In fact, if anything, he was and is so relaxed that he allowed himself to express his own beliefs and convictions as fully as possible throughout the night.

As I mentioned in my review of MorseFest 2015, it was as though Morse had invited his five hundred closest friends into his living room.

And, this leads me to the band.  What more can I state?  The five now full-time members of the Morse band play their hearts out.  George’s lovable unmovable motion, Gillette’s fluid precision, and Hubauer’s intensity all contribute so much to everything Morse does.

But, it’s Portnoy who steals the show (after Morse, of course).  Portnoy.  Portnoy.  What to write?

Photo borrowed from Music Radar. The incredible and unstoppable Mike Portnoy.
Photo borrowed from Music Radar. The incredible and unstoppable Mike Portnoy.

Granted, I’ve been a massive fan of Mike Portnoy since 1992.  And—on a personal note—let me state I’m only about 3 months younger than Portnoy.  We come from the same generation and have the same influences.  Again, as with Morse, I’ve never met, corresponded, or spoken with Portnoy, but I consider him a hero, a Peart-ian figure challenging the static of the present world and doing his own thing, quite successfully at every level.  When Portnoy started playing with Morse in Transatlatnic and on his solo albums, I came to respect the drummer even more.  The two really do complete each other as artists and as friends.  That friendship comes through very beautifully on MorseFest 2014.  It would be difficult to find a more moving moment on the whole set than Portnoy’s profession of his friendship with Morse.  This isn’t spectacle, though a lesser personality would make it so.  This is pure truth and honest revelation.  What’s interesting is that in deferring to Morse, Portnoy becomes all the greater.

The sound, the production, and the packaging of the CDs and DVDs is, of course, perfect.  After all, it’s Radiant.

Whether you own a few Morse releases or almost all of them, MorseFest 2014 is a must own for any lover of prog, rock, or western civilization!  Get it now.  Get it often.  Get it frequently.

Let me finish with this.  Over the past decade, I’ve argue that Neal Morse is “Mr. Prog.”  I realize that title has been given to an Englishman who happened, like Portnoy and myself, to have been born in 1967.  As much as I respect that musician, I strongly disagree with the assessment that he is “Mr. Prog.”  Mr. Grumpy and Reluctant Prog, perhaps, but not Mr. Prog.  Yet, after having met Andy Tillison, I can’t quite give the title to Neal without a slight reservation.  Therefore, I take what Andy wrote on his most recent album quite literally.  And, having affirmed and confirmed my suspicions and inklings while attending MorseFest 2015 regarding this new title, I offer Morse this title: “Reverend Prog.”

The Neal Morse Band, 2015.
The Neal Morse Band, 2015.

Freedom is Coming: MorseFest 2015

A review of MorseFest, 2015 (Friday night only)

With apologies--photos taken from an older iPhone. Not great quality.
With apologies–photos taken from an older iPhone. Not great quality.

Last Friday, September 4, as soon as I’d finished teaching my freshmen courses on Western Civilization, my wife, Dedra, and I got into the car and drove 8 hours south to Cross Plains, Tennessee, site of MorseFest 2015.  We had originally hoped to attend the entire weekend, but family necessities prevented this.  We were only going to be able to attend Friday night.

We made it by 7 (aided by a time change, gaining an hour), and found ourselves at a rather nice, contemporary Protestant church, just south of the Kentucky border.  Even walking across the parking lot, my wife and I realized this would not be the normal prog crowd.  Indeed, a huge variety of peoples was walking into the church—including lots of elderly women, immaculately dressed.  We had seen the Neal Morse Band play live in Denver in February to the usual prog crowd of mostly middle aged men.

As we walked into the lobby in Tennesse, we found fellow progarchist, Tad Wert, waiting for us.  He’s always a delight, and we thoroughly enjoyed our short time with him.

Ticketed, we took our seats toward the back of the church.  The church itself, as mentioned above, was quite nice, and quite comfortable.  By the time we sat, it was already mostly full with only the random open chair.  The three of us caught up with one another, and I even had a moment to introduce myself to Morse’s manager, Chris Thompson, president of Radiant.  I’ve corresponded and talked with Chris for over three years now, but we’d never met in actual person.  Lots of folks wanted to meet him, so I just got a quick hello in.

Chris was, frankly, everything I’d expected.  As warm and kind as he is proficient.  THIS is the man you want by your side, through thick and thin.  I already loved the guy, but actually meeting him and getting a rather spontaneous bear hug was one of many highlights of the weekend.  I’m truly sorry I didn’t get to spend more time with him.  He, of course, had a job to do, and he did it brilliantly.  He’s actually fun to watch work, as they guy so expertly takes charge and as a meter for excellence that runs higher than one rarely sees.  Thompson is the embodiment of joyful, purposeful intensity.

At 7:30, guitarist Phil Keaggy opened, playing for roughly 45 minutes.  I knew of Keaggy by name only, but I found his playing quite good and captivating.  He played roughly six songs, including two covers.  One cover was of the Beatles and another of Bob Dylan.  Keaggy was also quite funny and self-depreciating.  Certainly, the audience appreciated his humor and talents.  His guitar work, it must be noted, is rich and full bodied.  My favorite of his pieces was one called “Salvation Army Band.”

MorseFest, New Life Fellowship Church, Cross Plains, Tennessee.
MorseFest, New Life Fellowship Church, Cross Plains, Tennessee.

After a fifteen minute break, the Neal Morse Band took the stage, opening with the first two tracks off of THE GRAND EXPERIMENT (Radiant, 2015), “The Call”  and “The Grand Experiment.”  I had no idea Morse would play these.  The bill had advertised the full “?” album (Radiant, 2005), and I’d assumed this would be it.  No, I was very wrong.  The band’s third track was “Go the Way You Go” by Spock’s Beard.  Eric Gillette, an extraordinary talent by any measure, even walked into the audience and played a blistering solo.

As this point, I should note the crowd again.  Here, we were.  In a contemporary and comfortable Protestant Church.  The crowd adored Neal Morse and every member on the stage.  This was family, not an audience.  Elderly women and men—impeccably dressed—sat throughout the crowd, some in wheel chairs.  Kids listened for a while and then slept on the floor.  About 1/3 of the crowd raised their hands throughout the concert in what I assume is typical Pentecostal fashion, while another 1/3 head banged.  It was incredible.  Absolutely incredible.  The energy in that room was astounding for the entirety of the concert.  Absolutely incredible and astounding! Head-banging Pentecostals.

Our common denominator: we all consider Neal Morse one of the most gifted and charismatic artists on this earth.  His talent and his life are, to put it simply, nothing short of infectious. 

The next three tracks were “MacArthur Park,” “Whole Nother Trip,” and “New Jerusalem.”  The first and third are from the b-side disk of THE GRAND EXPERIMENT, and the middle track was from Morse’s second solo album, way back in the late 1990s.

For me, the highlight of the entire concert was “New Jerusalem.”  This is not only my favorite song on THE GRAND EXPERIMENT, it might very well be the finest thing Neal has ever written.  I was sorely disappointed the band didn’t play it in Denver, though I’d expected as much.  When it began in Cross Plains, I looked to my wife—in utter disbelief—and muttered, “no way.”  In fact, it probably took me a full minute to accept the band was playing it.

After these six tracks, the band played the entirety of the 2005 “?” album.

A few thoughts, in no particular order.

  • First, as many times as I’ve seen Morse and Portnoy play live, I’ve never seen them play this well.  There was nothing but love between the two men, and they so ably led the rest of the band as well as the audience.
  • Second, this setting was so intimate, that it was as though Morse had invited five hundred of his closest friends to his living room.
  • Third, and equally astounding to the music, was the film and light show.  Granted, good Protestant churches know how to do media well.  This church was no exception.  But, what made it so memorably good was the quality of the film made just for this concert (a one-off, it should be remembered).  The visuals were top-notch, Hollywood A-list quality.  The overall theme of the accompanying film was neo-psychedelia but carrying with it an intense Christian aura.  Imagine Franco Zeffirelli directing Charleton Heston but with Matrix-like special effects and you can somewhat imagine how good the accompanying film and light show were.  Kudos to whoever produced this.  Chris, was it you?
  • Fourth, staging.  One of the most interesting things Morse did was add new people to the concert as the music continued.  At first, it was just the five members of the Neal Morse Band.  Then, slowly, extra guitarists, string players, horn players, a flautist, percussionists, and a choir joined.  All of this built up in the first set to the climax with the playing of New Jerusalem.  By the end of that song, I couldn’t even count how many people were playing on stage.  Overwhelming and wonderfully so.
  • Fifth, I loved every moment of “?”  I’ve owned and listened to the album since the day it came out.  I’m not sure I’d understood it or its immense beauty, however, until seeing it played live.  I felt as though I was living for 58 minutes in the heart of a profound mystery with all existential questions being properly answered by love.  As with the album, Pastor Steve Farmer (this was in his church) came out and gave a brief homily.  It was appropriate and quite moving.

So, in sum: possibly the best prog experience of forty years of prog experiences.  I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to attend the rest of the weekend.  I won’t make this mistake again.  If I could, I’d already order my tickets for the next decade of MorseFests.

Today is the Last Day to Purchase the MorseFest 2015 Gold Package

Have you purchased your [Morse]fest VIP Gold Package?
Better act fast!
TODAY is the last day to purchase your VIP!  
 
 
VIP Gold Package includes:
  • Friday & Saturday concert ticket
  • Preferred Seating
  • Meet & Greet Session
  • On-stage pre-show photo op with the band
  • Pre-show surprise game with the band
  • Pre-show dinner
  • And even MORE!
            

 Purchase Here!

At [Morse]fest 2015, long time collaborators Mike Portnoy and Randy George, as well as Neal Morse Band anchors, Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette, will join Neal as this group of master musicians perform Neal’s world renowned albums,
? (Question Mark) and

   

Sola Scriptura
This weekend will be filled with Special Guests including
Phil Keaggy, Exclusive VIP Packages, a FREE Inner Circleonly performance, Pre-show dinners, and much more!

Blessings,

Team Radiant

Radiant Records

Pre-Order Neal Morse: Morsefest 2014

[Ed. note–For those of you who have purchased anything from Radiant, you know that the packaging is always beautiful and well worth owning.  I have no doubt this set (in which ever version) will be the same.

And, this year, two progarchists–Tad Wert and I–will be posting and tweeting live from MorseFest, September 4-6.  Should be very exciting.–Brad]

MorseFest 2014
MorseFest 2014

Over 5 hours of great performances including the entire Testimony and One albums plus special encores of the Spock’s Beard classic, “The Light” featuring Alan Morse, and the Transatlantic epic “Stranger In Your Soul.” Also included is a behind-the-scenes documentary with footage of Neal’s exclusive acoustic concert, rehearsal footage, “Name That Prog Tune” game with Mike and more!

Complete with 4 piece horn section, 6 member female background vocal section, violin and cello, full orchestra percussion with timpani and chimes, dancers, special guests and special staging, this is the most elaborate live release of Neal Morse’s career!

Neal even flew out Rich Mouser who mixed the original studio albums to do the front of house mix! Neal says “We really went all out this time. I wanted it to be the quintessential presentation and performance of this music.” And so it was…and is!

Says Mike Portnoy – “I’ve got to say… as a fan of this wonderful music, how incredible this is! I am so happy to see this come to fruition. This music really deserves this… everything from the incredible presentation, and all these amazing musicians…it’s great to hear this music come to life on stage like this. To be doing it in his hometown with all his friends and family present and to be doing it here in this building that has such incredible importance to him and his story, it’s elevated the music to a whole new level. This is just been an amazing experience!”

Offical release date: August 21st, 2015


Pre-orders begin July 21st at 8:00 AM (CST)

Be one of the first 200 to pre-order and receive a free graphic autographed by the entire band!

PLUS, if you pre-order on the 21st, you will be entered to win a [Morse]fest 2015 VIP Gold Package (a $350 value!)*!

*(Order must be placed on the 21st to be eligible to win. Package is for the Friday Meet & Greet and does not include travel or accommodations. See all that the VIP Gold Package includes HERE)

Double Blu-Ray

BLU-RAY Disc 1  

Morsefest 2014 Night 1

Testimony Live plus Encores

– Part One –
01. The Land of Beginning Again
02. Overture No. 1
03. California Nights
04. Colder in the Sun
05. Sleeping Jesus
06. Interlude
07. The Prince of the Power of the Air
08. The Promise
09. Wasted Life

– Part Two –
10. Overture No. 2
11. Break of Day
12. Power in the Air
13. Somber Days
14. Long Story
15. It’s All I Can Do

– Part Three –
16. Transformation
17. Ready to Try
18. Sing it high

– Part Four –
19. Moving in my Heart
20. I Am Willing
21. In the Middle
22. The Storm Before the Calm
23. Oh, to Feel Him
24. God‘s Theme

– Part Five –
25. Overture No. 3
26. Rejoice
27. Oh Lord My God
28. God’s Theme 2
29. The Land of Beginning Again

– Encores –
30. Jayda
31. Time Has Come
32. Jesus’ Blood

BLU-RAY Disc 2

Morsefest 2014 Night 2

One Live plus Encores

01. The Creation
02. The Man’s Gone
03. Nothing To Believe
04. Author Of Confusion
05. The Separated Man
06. Cradle to the Grave
07. Help Me/Spirit and the Flesh
08. King Jesus
09. Father Of Forgiveness
10. Reunion

– Encores –
11. It’s For You
12. Wind At My Back
13. The Light
14. Stranger In Your Soul

Special Documentary – “The Morsefest Experience” created by Randy George

Pricing not yet available

Special Edition 2DVD / 4CD Set

A 6 FOLD DIGIPACK WITH EXPANDED ARTWORK AND 16 PAGE FULL COLOUR BOOKLET

DVD Disc 1

Morsefest 2014 Night 1

Testimony Live plus Encores

DVD Disc 2

Morsefest 2014 Night 2

One Live plus Encores

Special Documentary – “The Morsefest Experience” created by Randy George

Audio Disc 1

Morsefest 2014 Night 1

Testimony Live plus Encores

– Part One –
01. The Land of Beginning Again
02. Overture No. 1
03. California Nights
04. Colder in the Sun
05. Sleeping Jesus
06. Interlude
07. The Prince of the Power of the Air
08. The Promise
09. Wasted Life

– Part Two –
10. Overture No. 2
11. Break of Day
12. Power in the Air
13. Somber Days
14. Long Story
15. It’s All I Can Do

Audio Disc 2

– Part Three –
01. Transformation
02. Ready to Try
03. Sing it high

– Part Four –
04. Moving in my Heart
05. I Am Willing
06. In the Middle
07. The Storm Before the Calm
08. Oh, to Feel Him
09. God‘s Theme

– Part Five –
10. Overture No. 3
11. Rejoice
12. Oh Lord My God
13. God’s Theme 2
14. The Land of Beginning Again

– Encores –
15. Jayda
16. Time Has Come
17. Jesus’ Blood

Audio Disc 3

Morsefest 2014 Night 2

One Live plus Encores

01. The Creation
02. The Man’s Gone
03. Nothing To Believe
04. Author Of Confusion
05. The Separated Man
06. Cradle to the Grave
07. Help Me / Spirit and the Flesh
08. King Jesus

Audio Disc 4

01. Father Of Forgiveness
02. Reunion

– Encores –
03. It’s For You
04. Wind At My Back
05. The Light
06. Stranger In Your Soul

Pricing not yet available