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Echolyn Stars And Gardens - Volume 4 album cover
4.38 | 40 ratings | 3 reviews | 55% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD1 : Sellersville, PA; May 25, 2003
1. Texas Dust (5:22)
2. Swingin' The Axe (5:38)
3. The Cheese Stands Alone (6:25)
4. A Little Nonsense (5:55)
5. 1729 Broadway (8:20)
6. My Dear Wormwood (4:23)
7. As The World (6:32)
8. Brittany (11:20)
9. Never The Same (Video) (5:49)
10. Mei (49:26)
11. Shades 2003 (18:04)

Total Time: 127:14

CD2 : Interviews And Extras
1. Beginnings
2. Debut
3. Shades
4. Suffocating The Bloom
5. The Sentimental Chain
6. A Little Nonsense
7. Memoirs From Between
8. Cannoning In B Major
9. ...And Every Blossom
10. Sony
11. The Making Of As The World
12. Break-Up
13. Cowboy Poems Free
14. 1729 Broadway
15. Mei
16. Stars And Gardens Trailer

Line-up / Musicians

- Brett Kull / guitars, lead & backing vocals
- Ray Weston / bass, lead & backing vocals
- Christopher Buzby / keyboards, backing vocals
- Paul Ramsey / drums & percussion
- Tom Hyatt / bass, guitar, congas

Guest musicians:
- Sarah Green / flute
- Jian Shen / clarinet
- Gloria Justin / viola
- Elizabeth Kaderabek / violin
- James Cooper / violoncello
- Jamie Dietz / mallets, orchestral cymbals

Releases information

DVD MM3 Records (2 DVD Set-1 Complete Concert, 1 Disc of Extras)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Epignosis for the last updates
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ECHOLYN Stars And Gardens - Volume 4 ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(55%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (5%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ECHOLYN Stars And Gardens - Volume 4 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars That's right, 5 stars. Five stars for Stars and Gardens. One for each incredible member of the band. A masterpiece of modern prog. A band that simply melds so much of what is great about progressive rock, the torch bearers, the rock-solid musicians, the refusal to succumb to the mainstream, Echolyn. Keep your Flower Kings, your Beards and your Ayreons. This is the real deal. In a sense, that is exactly what the bands name means to me. Steadfast and professional.

Studio craft is one thing, but live is where the rubber meets the road. Echolyn rip up the musical freeway on this venture. Blistering! I found myself nearly cheering for them, unable to remain seated throughout this video. I was front and center. I toasted them with my own glass as Ray called out, "I don't hear any beer bottles out there." Yeah! The audience interaction is an enhancement. It adds to the "I was there" experience. Tom Hyatt is back with the band, alternating between bass and percussions. Weston and Kull have lost nothing on the vocal aspects of the band (A Little Nonsense is sooooo tight) and Chris Buzby's keyboards never sounded so fresh and powerful. Paul Ramsey is clockwork perfect behind the kit. Brett Kull, switching between a Gibson SG, Fender Strat and Lap Steel, just puts forth a guitarists clinic of live performance. They appear to be having the time of their lives. Maybe they are? Mei poured new life into a band torn apart by the business end of the music. Stars and Gardens is a kind of "Welcome back, My Friends..." concert to re-establish their presence and commitment to the genre. (A new disc is in the works!)

The bands rollicks through a veritable "Best Of" collection of compositions. Tunes are pulled from Mei and all the way back to 1992, Shades, the epic track from their debut. The obvious climax is the complete "Mei" with Hyatt adding his own skill to a tune he didn't play on originally. Weston can play bass, but Hyatt is in a different league. Check out the solo in "A Little Nonsense," the man burns up the strings.

The video alternates between live performance, artistic visuals that flesh out the stories behind the music. 1729 Broadway, a wonderful letter from a father to his children and wife is interspersed with candlelight, a letter and images of the writer. Never the Same features a tepia stained video of the band conveying the message.. .to family, to fans? Defintely one of their most heartfelt recordings. Very touching and well done. The Kull brothers pulled out the stops on production.Chris Buzby's intro to Brittney, a tribute to an uncle who died on those shores, cuts deep into my emotional center, both timely and timeless and begins one of my favorite tracks off Cowboys Poems Free. The track soars, powerful and oh-so-melodic. Echolyn at it's best. My Dear Wormwood splices the live footage with archive early nineties bits. As the World combines studio takes and todays prog warriors, a now and then contrast that is both entertaining and in a surreal way, rather heart rending.

Mei. It all comes down to Mei, doesn't it? This track, the single album, the rebirth of the Echolyn family, is really a modern symphony. Multi-segmented, peaks and valley, shadows and light. Mei, at nearly 50 minutes, is an epic whch rivals the greats of the past in vision and performance. The beauty of Brett Kulls angelic voice in the "cathedral glass" section, soothes and lulls your mind. We are all part of the play. Ray Weston's more aggressive delivery provokes violent images and the complex frustration of being a small man in a big world. The struggle for control of self against the mass power of government, the hate of war and the acceptance of what is is felt through the lyrics and passion of the vocals. Is it really "too late for everything?" The orchestral accompaniment is a great touch. The string add some much class and timelessness to the production.

Disc two: The extras, is a great background companion disc for any Echolyn fan. You get a history of the band, a behind the scenes look into the studio with the "As the World" CD is created, the crushing loss and disbanding after Sony pulled the plug. The Cowboy Poems Free second breath. The Mei rebirth and Stars and Gardens post production interviews.

I recommend this disc to any and all prog fans. Experience Echolyn.

Review by lor68
4 stars This is the 15th Anniversary for one of my favourite bands, which deserve the best recognition above all if you consider their effort to produce by themselves such a stunning live at Sellersville Theatre (Pennsylvania), dated 25 May 2003. Tom Hyatt has joined together the old members of the band here, including eleven titles within around a couple of hours, with four songs from "As the World", other four tracks from "Cowboy poems free", without forgetting one song for each of the remaining three albums (even though "Mei" alone-the recent suite- is 40 minutes long!!), for me essential. Ok- you see- it's a sort of testament live on stage for these clever boys from West point, and probably it's the last occasion to see them played live some great tunes such as "The cheese stands alone", "A little nonsense" or "As the World"...nevertheless their 2nd DVD includes an important variety from their Archive, helped by remarkable films from the Studio and a few interviews as well, which make this DVD very interesting!!

The production is not at the top, but their performance witnessed here is excellent and a must have for the lovers of such a modern prog genre, so check it out!!

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars This is my favorite American Prog Rock band. I have followed their career since the 90's. This 2 DVD contains a amazing concert in a small club filmed with a lot of close-up of the very talented musicians. This is symphonic rock at his best with jazz influence and a good dose of Gentle Giant. Their music brings many tempo changes alternating quiet passages and heavy ones with such talents. The highlight of the DVD is their 50 minutes Epic "Mei" that takes you on a journey through different atmospheres, with all the ingredients that makes this band unique. Great musicianship, very good vocals, and always interesting compositions, Echolyn deliver a nice performance here.

The picture quality is enjoyable with some special effects, although is not in 16:9 format. The stereo sound is good. There is a second DVD with interviews, behind the scenes that let you know the band's history.

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