Nominate Alison Reijman and Susie Bogdanowicz–PROG

Jerry Ewing’s PROG magazine has put a call out for nominations for this year’s READERS’ POLL.  Here’s the handy-dandy link: PROG READERS’ POLL 2017.

Make sure you follow the directions for the email: “To vote, copy the categories below and e-mail us with the subject line ‘Readers’ Poll 2017’ to”

I have proudly sent in my nominations, but I would like to encourage you to consider two specific folks for nomination.

Unsung Heroes.  Alison and Martin Reijman.

First, please consider nominating our own (well, she’s her own!) Alison Reijman as the “Unsung Hero.”  I have known Alison–only through the internet and correspondence; sadly, never in person–for years now, and I can state that I know of no other person not directly employed by a record label, a PR firm, or a magazine dealing with PROG who has promoted the genre more than Alison has.  She not only loves the music and the musicians, but she, herself, is a lovely, lovely person.  She exemplifies, at least to my mind, all that is best in our strange but delightful little corner of the cultural world.  She’s brilliant, free-spirited, spontaneous, tenacious, and exceedingly generous and kind.

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Seasons, Jimi Hendrix, and the Virgin: Jammin’ in the Kingdom with Chris Cornell

And I’m lost, behind
The words I’ll never find
And I’m left behind
As seasons roll on by

Thus far, 2017 has been a rather amazing year when it comes to rock and prog.  PROG magazine is back and better than ever.  Thank the Good Lord for Jerry Ewing.

The music releases–already and forthcoming–this year are nothing less than stunning.  Big Big Train has released the finest of the band’s career, and The Tangent’s new release has yet to come.  Steven Wilson is coming out with a progressive pop album, and newspaperflyhunting and Bjorn Riis have, as with BBT, released the best thing either’s written and done, thus far in their respective careers.  There’s a new Anathema that is pretty good, and Steve Hogarth seems, at the moment, unstoppable with Marillion as well as with Isildur’s Bane.

Now I want to fly above the storm
But you can’t grow feathers in the rain
And the naked floor is cold as hell
This naked floor reminds me
Oh the naked floor reminds me

As I type this (having just returned from a conference on libertarian thought in 1840’s France), I have just received in the mail two grand packages.  The first I opened is Steven Wilson’s remix of Jethro Tull’s SONGS FROM THE WOODS.  The second is Aryeon’s signed five-disk ear-book, THE SOURCE.  Honestly, I’m not sure how to react with anything that would be regarded as decorous.  I’m a 13-year old boy, at the moment, just having had my first listen of MOVING PICTURES.

Holy schnikees.

Continue reading “Seasons, Jimi Hendrix, and the Virgin: Jammin’ in the Kingdom with Chris Cornell”

Princess Eadgyth (Edith), the “Kingmaker” by Big Big Train


Track 1: “Kingmaker”

Musically, an homage to Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, “Kingmaker” tells the story of  a powerful and devout medieval woman, Eadgyth, the granddaughter of King Alfred the Great, and often remembered in the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions as “St. Edith” (one of a few St. Ediths, this Edith might have been known as “St. Edith of Polesworth; not surprisingly, many of the traditions are vague).

The sister of King Athelstan, she married King Otto of Germany in 929.  Wildly popular, she promoted a devotion to St. Oswald, one of the most romantic figures of the high middle ages.

Only relatively recently, English scholars discovered her bones.

Continue reading “Princess Eadgyth (Edith), the “Kingmaker” by Big Big Train”

PROG Magazine Issue 74

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For better or worse, the latest issue of PROG is just slightly too big for my scanner to handle it all.  Ian would be proud, I’m sure.

I suppose it seems a bit silly for me to state the following.  After all, who I am–a goofy, middle-aged American professor and historian?

Still, when PROG issue 74 showed up in my post box today, I was both thrilled and proud.  Yes, the proud part is the silliness.  Does Jerry Ewing need me to be proud of him?  Well, I am.

After everything PROG has gone through over the past three months, how great is it that I get issue 74 only days after it’s released.  Under the previous company, it took about a month for each issue to get here (in the states).  In fact, issue 73 just showed up this past weekend.  Now, 74 is already here.


And, it looks gorgeous.  Jethro Tull, Tim Bowness, The Mute Gods, ARW, Dream Theater, and Blackfield are all covered.  And, best of all, Greg Spawton shows up on page 10 and Andy Tillison and Matt Cohen on page 11.  Call me a very happy fanboy.

Congratulations, Jerry!  You are our leader.  No question.

Congratulations, Jerry Ewing


Yesterday, I received in email, a copy of PROG’s history of Pink Floyd.

Today, I received notice that PROG magazine issue 73 is ready for iPad download.  And, downloaded it is.

So proud of Jerry.  He took his team of writers, editors, and artists from tragedy to success.

Jerry is, to say the least, nothing if not tenacious.

Welcome back, PROG.  Very proud of you.  Not surprised, but certainly proud.

The Prog Gap – Millennials and the Dilemma of Live Music

prog-share-logoBoth the November and December issues of Prog magazine had interesting articles dealing with the lack of young people at progressive rock concerts. Polly Glass argued that this happens for a few reasons:

  • Millennials think of prog as an old man’s genre.
  • Prog doesn’t get support from big labels.
  • Tickets are expensive.

Polly also noted that younger prog fans tend to like heavier bands such as Haken or Opeth. In the December issue, the great Jerry Ewing shared a recent experience he had at a live show. He said that on the same night, at the same venue, two different prog shows were going on at the same time in different rooms. Essentially, he blamed the promoters for booking two prog shows at the same time, with the younger crowd choosing to go to the heavier of the shows. He said the difference in age between the two groups was staggering.

Polly and Jerry make excellent points, and they have shed some light on a topic I believe deserves more attention. As a millennial myself (although I am radically different than probably 99% of people in my generation) I’d like to talk about some of my reasons for not going to as many live shows as I would like.

Continue reading “The Prog Gap – Millennials and the Dilemma of Live Music”

Russell Clarke: State of Prog

One of our beloved friends and progarchists, Russell Clarke, posted this as a comment, but it deserves to be its own post, separate but equal!  Nothing RC writes is unimportant.–ed.


From our friends at PROG

The funding campaign has now passed the UKP60,000 mark. The community is pulling together for something that they believe in.

In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, and that may have been the wake-up call for a lot of people (myself included.) There are others that have been long-time supporters and subscribers. I haven’t been so I fall into the former camp, but I am still happy to donate to the people who put in the hard yards to make this a vibrant community. Regardless of the reasons it’s still great to see people rallying around those who put themselves out there to create such an amazing bunch of people.

Having said that, there’s currently plenty of “How dare you donate to this cause when my pet cause is more important?” on display.

Also, there’s the even more ridiculous “How dare you donate to this cause when I need the money more?”

In response to both, I have two words, neither of which are printable here.

Nobody tells me what causes I must support. The moment they do, it’s called a tax, and I pay enough of that already.

And I’m pretty sure the prog scene wouldn’t be what it is without the contribution of people like Jerry Ewing. Kudos to you mate!

We need to rock on, make our own mark, and ensure that us, as Progarchists and readers thereof, are constantly spreading the word about our amazing genre. If Prog Mag is to be absent I will redouble my albeit paltry efforts to publicise our muse.

No, not Muse. I hate them.

Jerry Ewing’s Brief and Diplomatic Explanation


This just appeared on Jerry’s wall at FB (late afternoon, December 19, 2016).  I post it not for reasons of gossip, but simply as news and information.

Of course, I’m totally on Jerry’s side. . . . Sounds like Dickensian nightmare.

Well you’ve heard the rumours. You’ve read the news. It would be remiss of me too say much on a public forum, but they walked in, told us TeamRock had gone into liquidation, no one was getting paid in December, and to vacate the premises there and then. I could rage now about some people, but that will come later. For now, almost 100 good people exit into the cold December night, unaware of whether they can afford a Christmas dinner, or a roof over their head in January. Good people who have slaved over great magazines for great musical causes for many years. Brilliantly talented people: [removed names Jerry lists]. The best of the best. We’ll be back folks. Watch this space…