First and foremost, I need to once again give credit, where credit is due. My older brother, Ray, has always been the bastion of Progressive Rock. From our days in junior high, he has been a champion of bands like Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. While I had embarked on my 1980's foray into New Wave music, Ray would continue listening to Progressive Rock, even when it wasn't necessarily that cool, at least on the American side of the Atlantic. I remember in the Autumn of 1985, (while Ray was serving a mission for our church, in Leeds, England), I was blessed with a cassette copy of "MISPLACED CHILDHOOD", by MARILLION. I enjoyed the sounds of this band, but will admit that it took some time to fully digest the album. Such is the way with good Prog Rock. His keen ear has introduced me to several great bands, including DREDG, RIVERSIDE and PURE REASON REVOLUTION.
Just last evening, while over at my house, working on a plumbing problem, Ray mentioned another band that I had never before heard of... BIG BIG TRAIN. The thing about Big Big Train, Ray mused, is the fact that they are being hailed as the (current) band most loyal to the classic Progressive Rock of the 70's. Another great bit, is that they hail from Bournemouth, England... our mother's home town. Bournemouth, it seems, is a hotbed of great Progressive Rock. Among the musicians to hail from Bournemouth are Greg Lake (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Andy Summers (of The Police) was raised in Bournemouth, and the collective known as King Crimson was formed in Bournemouth. Perhaps you've heard of them.
So, to wet your appetite, Ray has informed me of a free download available on their website: http://www.bigbigtrain.com/
The download is the title track of their sixth album, THE UNDERFALL YARD. And, in keeping with classic Prog Rock... this track is just under 23 minutes, in length.
The band draws comparisons to early Genesis, and this latest album includes guest performances by Nick D'Virgilio of SPOCK'S BEARD and TEARS FOR FEARS fame, as well as help from Dave Gregory of XTC.
I am eternally grateful for the musical recommendations of my brother, Ray... as well as the increasing ease to acquire some of this great music... and in many cases, at NO CHARGE. So, check out the website... download some music... and tell me what you think.