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YOKE SHIRE

Prog Folk • United States


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Yoke Shire biography
YOKE SHIRE is a unique band with influences from TULL but an original sound that involves a variety of instruments and many clever arrangements. "Masque of Shadows" is their first release and "A Seer in the Midst" is their latest. This CD is really a collection of new, old and borrowed with 2 fresh new tracks, a live version of their epic "Maiden Voyage Triliogy" and a couple of old tracks re-mastered.

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Awakening Celtic SpiritsAwakening Celtic Spirits
Zygo Records 2011
Audio CD$10.11
$7.49 (used)
The Witching HourThe Witching Hour
Double CD
Zygo Records 2007
Audio CD$17.54
$11.95 (used)
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YOKE SHIRE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YOKE SHIRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 16 ratings
Masque of Shadows
1999
3.31 | 7 ratings
A Seer In The Midst
2002
3.62 | 8 ratings
The Witching Hour
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Awakening Celtic Spirits
2011

YOKE SHIRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

YOKE SHIRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

YOKE SHIRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

YOKE SHIRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
A Foreshadowing
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solar Solstice
2004

YOKE SHIRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Masque of Shadows  by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.92 | 16 ratings

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Masque of Shadows
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars From Boston, Massachusetts, comes this US band, fronted by two brothers, Craig and Brian Herlihy.It was 1993, when multi-instrumentalist Craig Herlihy came up with the idea of Yoke Shire along with his brother Brian (guitar, backing vocals).The duo enjoyed performing live with the help of session musicians and released the single ''A Foreshadowing'' in 1998.Both tracks of this single made it to the first album of the band ''Masque of Shadows'', recorded at West Sound Studios in New Hampshire and released in 1999 on Zygo Records.

A modern Psych/Folk/Heavy Progressive Rock album, ''Masque of Shadows'' by the Herlihy brothers (along with drummer Brad Dillon) proposes a unique but not always consistent blend of doomy Heavy Rock sounds, organ-driven Progressive Rock, Boogie Rock and American/Celtic Folk with often interesting results.What really spoils this effort are the mediocre vocals of the brothers, the musicianship on the other hand is mostly well-crafted.A combination of rough-edged Guitar Rock with plenty of Folk breaks, mostly based on mandolins, harmonica, flutes and dulcimers, which works well most of the time and is often mixed with prog aesthetics like synth passages, piano interludes and organ waves.The choruses are quite catchy on the opposite, trying to soften a bit the listening.A special mention for the nice mini-epic ''The Brook, the Mirror and the Maiden'', a great blend of flute-driven Acoustic Rock, synth-based Electronic Prog along with ethereal multi-vocal arrangements.

Not totally conveincing, ''Masque of Shadows'' is quite a daring step for Yoke Shire.Highly original material, which works nicely for the most of the listening but I dare to say the style needs something like a refinement.Still warmly recommended.

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 The Witching Hour by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.62 | 8 ratings

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The Witching Hour
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars .......As crossover as it can get....

This double CD takes in everything from Jethro Tull to Genesis, Strawbs, Yes and numerous other bands. Each song, it's own genre. I am approaching this dreaded pre- senile age and I sometimes have to look at my CD player just to make sure that I am listening to the same album. It is that diverse. But this band still have their identity. The vocals tells me that this is Yoke Shire. That binds this album together. From the AOR and folk rock songs to the more epic symphonic prog tunes. The instruments are the normal fare with guitars, tangents, bass and drums. These are sometimes supplemented with flute and other accoustic instruments.

The quality is pretty good. This is not a light hearted album and I gladly admit I should spend at least half a year listening to this album before make judgement. I do not have those six months. There are also other albums which demands my time. But I will still keep this album in my collection and play it now and then. I find this album pretty enjoyable, but not an essential album. Sorry to be so bland, but I feel this album is pretty bland and non-offensive. It is a nice listening and nothing more....... at the moment. I may amend my views in six months time or ten years time. If crossover prog is something for you, consider this as a four stars album. For me; it is three stars and some well deserved recognition for this band for a couple of hours on the front page of PA.

3 stars

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 The Witching Hour by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.62 | 8 ratings

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The Witching Hour
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by dayi

4 stars A very interesting band which I first noticed on the local radio. This is a two-man band (two brothers) playing several instruments. I haven't listened to the previous albums yet but this one has nothing to do with prog folk IMO. It consists of two discs. The first three sogns are nice and have a slight funky feeling with heavy bass and athmospheric saxophones.

The fourth track Shiver reminds the early period of Jethro Tull with flute but this does not mean that it is a dull imitation but rather a good tribute. The final of the song has a nice interplay between flute and percussions. The flute continues to play in the next song Triskelion and the final has an impressive and emotional melody.

The last song of Disc 1 is also nice with acoustic guitars and electric piano.

Disc 2 consists of longer and more proggy tracks. First song (16 min.) Dream Tea has some psychedelic moments in the second part a la Echoes of PF.

Second track Midnight Chimes begins with vocal but then moves on with nice instrumental play then passes to the next song Again Midnight Chimes with drums & percussion intro which leads to flute again and one of the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard. The album closes with two short but nice and mellow instrumentals.

In conclusion it is surprising to see that I am the first one to discover this album. It is not prog folk but if you like melodic rock with certain prog influence in it you will like it. Worth listening.

3,5 stars upgraded to four.

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 A Seer In The Midst by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.31 | 7 ratings

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A Seer In The Midst
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Maybe this wasn't the place to start my exploration of Yoke Shire, but here I am. This really does feel like the mixed bag that it is, with only the first and last tracks being uniformly good thanks mostly to imaginative keyboard work and melodies. Very heavy folk influenced prog, with a lot less of the celtic aspect than I might have hoped for, and mostly wretched cretinous vocals, which luckily do not appear that often. It seems that, in spite of the huge migration of the Irish to Boston harbour, very little of the subtlety that marks ancient Emerald Isles music is manifest in area bands, and Yoke Shire is no exception. It does fit the progressive label however, especially in tracks like "The Brook, the Mirror and the Maiden", which pretty much hits on the best and worst aspects of the group in its 20 live minutes. Some of the CD is unlistenable in terms of atmospherics gone awry, and for that I dock a half star. Without having heard their debut, I am guessing that you should start there if you are one of those people who simply must get the Yoke.

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 Masque of Shadows  by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.92 | 16 ratings

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Masque of Shadows
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The American progressive rock band YOKE SHIRE came as a big surprise to me. With a very appealing 70's sound they instantly found their way right to my heart. Although they're only three band members they have a wide spectrum of instruments. They're using flute, guitars, keyboards, bass, harmonica, dulcimer, mandolin, bass pedals, Theremin, marimba, melodihorn, drums, percussion and Glockenspiel. The front man Craig Herlihy who is a skilful multi-instrumentalist plays most of the instruments.

YOKE SHIRE's 70's influenced progressive hard rock is a mix between ATOMIC ROOSTER, CAMEL, DEEP PURPLE, GENTLE GIANT, INCREDIBLE HOG and JETHRO TULL, with strong compositions, complex arrangements and a very good production overall.

When I saw the front cover I was expecting something completely different. Something that would sound like some average 80's heavy metal band, but that was oh so wrong. YOKE SHIRE is a band that will appeal to those who are into 70's hard rock and progressive rock. Highly Recommended!

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 Masque of Shadows  by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.92 | 16 ratings

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Masque of Shadows
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After reading through the promo of YOKE SHIRE's debut album, and before listening to their music, I guessed that these guys probably played aggressive, riff-oriented, retro progressive rock. In fact, the photos of the band members, who look a bit like members of JETHRO TULL, circa 1972, gave me the impression that they were a TULL-clone band. But, the music tells another story.

YOKE SHIRE are definitely progressive rock, yet they sound nothing like the 70s prog bands that they list as influences. The band seems to have the same philosophy as GENTLE GIANT in that they love to play multiple instruments, and mix different styles of music in the same composition. The various styles of music explored here include latin grooving, heavy metal, English folk, and church-influenced chanting.

The trio seems very interested in building grooves, and creating atmosphere. So, nothing reaches a very high level of complexity, although the mixing of various musical styles gives an unpredictable quality that keeps the ears alert. You might guess that the musicians are leading towards a certain point, but instead they whip out an unexpected groove, or introduce new instruments. The impressive thing is that it all sounds very smooth, and never awkward. At first, the vocals on a few tracks surprised me, though, they quickly became enjoyable. The vocal style here reminded me of the bluesy, yet oddball, vocals on Frank ZAPPA's "One Size Fits All". There is a non-serious element to the lyrics that is unusual when compared to the typical, serious, prog vocals on other modern albums. Anyway, this is one of the top releases from 1999.

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 A Seer In The Midst by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.31 | 7 ratings

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A Seer In The Midst
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Back in 1998 I became aware of this little band from Boston area that were producing some pretty big sounds. Their debut album was truly original and musically inspiring and this has continued with their latest "A Seer In The Midst". This CD is really a collection of new, old and borrowed with 2 fresh new tracks, a live version of their epic "Maiden Voyage Triliogy" and a couple of old tracks re-mastered. Without a question these are 3 very talented lads who play a wide range of instruments and deliver very original musical compositions. Their sound as always is quite crunchy with some great instrumentation and sound dynamics. For me the icing on the top of this one is their 4 older tracks on the CD which really do groove. This CD is also very well recorded with rich deep tones and dynamic sound for your speakers to produce. Overall a great album and if you loved their first this is an essential buy !

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 Masque of Shadows  by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.92 | 16 ratings

BUY
Masque of Shadows
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So here is a zero cheese factor release which I am sure will fill the bill if you are into heavy classic rock affiliated prog. To best describe "Masque Of Shadows" you must imagine loads of analog synths, organ and piano drenched with deep, complex and precise drumming littered with acid laced guitars and dark bass rhythms. Songs are excellent and seem to never stand still taking on many different identities. YOKE SHIRE are a highly inventive band who deliver a high energy ever-changing crafted progressive music. One of YOKE SHIRE's greatest attributes lies in their originality, attempting to always bring out their own colors and character into the music. Vocals are deep and dark and in many ways haunting ! To give you an idea as to how wide and range YOKE SHIRE play let me acknowledge some of the musical allusions one may derive such as HENDRIX, ZZ TOP, RUSH, Celtic influences, The Psychedelia and even DEEP PURPLE. Overall this album is fine enough to serve in the worlds finest restaurants.

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 A Seer In The Midst by YOKE SHIRE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.31 | 7 ratings

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A Seer In The Midst
Yoke Shire Prog Folk

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I reviewed YOKE SHIRE's debut album "Masque Of Shadows" in Prog-Reviews nr 9 - 2001 and gave it a 9 out of 10 rating. It was a stunning debut with a modern sound but music with 70's influences. The band is at the moment only two brothers named Brian and Craig Herlihy. "A Seer In The Midst" isn't a new album, but a compilation of material from their entire career. The first two opening new songs have reminiscences to JETHRO TULL and is a nice appetizer of things to come. The 28 minutes long live version of the "Maiden Voyage" Trilogy is really real nice too. It's recorded live at Durgin Hall, Lowell, MA, USA at the "Masque of Shadows" CD release concert on April 17, 1999. The original 17 minutes studio version was released on their debut album "Masque Of Shadows". Finally there are three tracks from YOKE SHIRE's first studio sessions, recorded on a shoestring budget and released as an EP in 1995. YOKE SHIRE's music has reminiscences to the already mentioned JETHRO TULL, but also PINK FLOYD and 70's hard rock and progressive rock. My personal favorite is the closing masterpiece and title track "A Seer In The Midst" with its medieval influences. If you don't own their debut CD I suggest you buy it immediately. If you like it then you have to buy this compilation album too!

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