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JOHANNES LULEY

Crossover Prog • United States


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Johannes Luley biography
US composer and musician Johannes LULEY is probably best known as the driving force of US band Moth Vellum, who released a highly heralded debut album in 2008 and then more or less disappeared. The band formally disbanded in 2010, and since then Johannes has been hard at work contuning his musical escapades as a solo artist. His first solo album "Tales From Sheepfather's Grove" appeared in January 2013.

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3.82 | 65 ratings
Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
2013

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JOHANNES LULEY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

3 stars Sometimes I have problems with new music, when it just feels new, not new with the meaning innovate, but new as an opposite to the music I like. This music does not have that problem, not at all friends. Johannes Luley has done a (partially) lovely album with soft glittering landscapes with echoes from Mike Oldfield and some Steve Howe. Johannes Luley is an American guitarist who earlier has played in the symphonic band Mott Vellum and now has released his first studio record 2013. "Tales from Sheepfather's grove" has a wonderful cover picture which plays in the same high as Yes' covers, with the difference that this is darker. The title give me thoughts of "Tales from topographic oceans" but apart from the title and the cover there's no more similarities. The albums features Johannes Luley himself playing all instruments but harp which Stephanie Bennett plays. The singers are Robin Hathaway, Kristina Sattler and Sianna Lyons.

This is actually a record really worth acknowledging. Don't mind the first bland track(4/10) but listen to the second. Here in "Stab the Sea(II)" perhaps you wonder if it's Mike Oldfield. It has a cozy feeling anyway(7/10). Luley's role as a master guitarist is certain in "Guardians of Time" where he plays fantastic and the vocal duet is lovely(8/10). "Moments" doesn't even make anyone disappointed when the voice is bright(7/10). Then it becomes very much New Age, a nice soundscape but not interesting in "Give and Take(I)"(6/10) and "Give and Take(II)"(6/10). "The fleeting world"(9/10) is my favourite here. The track is instrumental and shows wonderful acoustic guitar. "We are one" would I hardly consider interesting(5/10) and "Atheos Spiritualis" fails with the second half which becomes very ambient; the first half is Asian and classical(5/10). Closer "Voya" has a nice end with good instrumentation and here I can hear Howe-inspirerd guitar(6/10.

I am mostly positive to this record. It contains a nice musical landscape with a lot of great acoustic guitar and the vocalists do a praiseworthy job. I wonder though still if this music is unique enough. Sometimes I feel it's a pale copy of Mike Oldfield. But don't mind, the music is still very nice and I recommend at least some of the tracks. Listen to those I marked seven or more. Good work!

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 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Last week I received a private message from Johannes Luley in the Prog Archives Forums asking me to listen to his album, so I did it. Although Johannes Luley doesn't give very much detailed information about himself in his personal website, in his Soundcloud website or in his Facebook page (other than he is from Los Angeles and that played in a Progressive Rock band called Moth Vellum before recording this solo CD), I think that his music has a lot of influence from European Progressive Rock music and even some New Age and Folk music influences (influences are inevitable), particularly from artists like Steve Howe (in some of his guitar playing), Jon Anderson's solo music, Mike Oldfield, Vangelis (in the use of some keyboards atmospheres and percussion instruments and patterns), and Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips (in some guitar playing techniques and atmospheric sounds). He plays all the instruments and sings all the male vocals and he is a good singer. Among the instruments he played in this album are a lot of guitars (mainly acoustic), some keyboards and some percussion instruments, with the exception of a harp which is played by Stephanie Bennett. I think that he is mainly a guitarist but he plays very well the other instruments he uses in this album, although the keyboard sounds are used more for the creation of sound atmospheres and moods, even making the listener to imagine that he is playing his music in a forest because he uses some 'wind sounds' in the background. There are some singers (Robin Hathaway, Kristina Sattler, and Sianna Lyons) who sing very well, mostly doing backing vocals. Some of the backing vocals arrangements are influenced by Mike Oldfield and Jon Anderson, in my opinion. In general, the music is very melodic and atmospheric, and very optimistic in content. I can't say if this album is a conceptual album or not, because I'm not a native English language speaker, and I couldn't find the lyrics in his websites. Anyway, this album is very good, with 'happy moods' most of the time. It is very well recorded and mixed, and with a lot of sound variations and track transitions which work very well as a whole. I think that this album was done very professionally and maybe it took him a lot of time to plan it and to make it. The cover design is well done, and it really reflects the style of the music which the CD contains.

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 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars This one is tough to give a rating to because it sounds SO MUCH like a few other albums/artists (JON ANDERSON's Olias of Sunhillow, ENYA, MIKE OLDFIELD, and YES/STEVE HOWE) and yet it has such great sound, compositional facility and production.

Favorite songs: I like the acoustic guitar work on 7. "The Fleeting World" (8/10) and the first and last thirds of 3. "Guardians of Time" (8/10); 6. the ADIEMUS-like multiple drum rhythms and the deep bass chord pulse on "Give and Take (Part 2)" (8/10); and the lead guitar on the album's best song, 10. "Voya" (9/10), sounds EXACTLY like mid-70s Steve Howe, start to finish, note for note, sound/style for sound/style!

This is a solid four star album, maybe even higher, despite the familiarity. It's because, IMO, Luley has taken the sounds, styles and feeling of the above-mentioned artists, merged them, and produced music that is BETTER than the original artists. Though I love and miss MOTH VELLUM, it is nice to hear music still coming from at least one of its members. Also: Cool artwork on the album cover.

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 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars On Tales From Sheepfather's Grove, Johannes Luley offers up a range of melodic light-prog numbers spiced up a little here and there by moments reminiscent of the folkier turns of Mike Oldfield. It's a slickly produced and enjoyable album, though at points it meanders and loses my attention, so the compositions could probably do with tightening up a bit. Still, if you are fond of Luley's work in Moth Vellum then you could do a lot worse than giving this a try, and the mildly New Agey vibe that worms its way into some of the more minimalistic moments on the album is admittedly interesting.

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 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars In December I heard from Moth Vellum founder and guitarist Johannes Luley who asked if I would be interested in hearing his new solo album. A short while later and I was staring at the incredible artwork from Harout Demirchyan and I felt that I had been transported back to the Seventies ' but would the music pass the test? Well, I had nothing to worry about on that score. Johannes provides all of the instruments himself (apart from a concert harp played by Stephanie Bennett) and uses three singers, Robin Hathaway, Kristina Sattler and Sianna Lyons, and the result is nothing short of stunning.

It is as if Jon Anderson has again joined with Vangelis, but without the wall of keyboards, and instead it feels much more 'real' and containing lots of space and depth. In many ways it is extremely complex, yet comes across in a simple manner. It is not music that can be played in the background as it may just disappear, but greatly rewards those who have the time to spare just to listen to the music as an end in itself. Electric guitar is used for emphasis as opposed to always being a central pillar, with plenty of room for mandolin and acoustic instruments. Instead of programmed drums or even a normal drumkit, Johannes has instead opted for handheld percussion which gives a very different feel to the norm and this builds to a climax in 'Give and Take'.

This is one of the most beautiful prog albums I have ever had the pleasure to listen to, and I am sure that when 2013 comes to a close that this will be on many people's Top 10's. I know it will be on mine.

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 Tales From Sheepfather's Grove by LULEY, JOHANNES album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.82 | 65 ratings

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Tales From Sheepfather's Grove
Johannes Luley Crossover Prog

Review by fluiddruid

5 stars Johannes Luley was the guitarist of Moth Vellum. This is a nice album, big surprise for me! Much of the album is lush and pastoral in nature. Luley plays on all instruments, except the harp. Lead vocal handled by Luley, saved for some female backing vocals. The first one, two part track "The Stab the Sea" strongly influenced by Jon Anderson' s album,Olias of Sunhillow, because we can hear multple vocal parts, harps and tribal drums. "The Guardians of Time" is a classical guitar dominated song with touches of folk. The next one is a folksy number also with much acoustic guitar in vein of Anthony Phillips with helped by synthesizer. "Give and take part one": nice vocal with harp, Vangelis type carpet of keyboards and oldfield-ish guitar playing. "Give and Take part two" is a short number with tribal drums and some keys. "The Fleeting world" is beautiful acoustic guitar based composition, as if we would hear Steve Howe. "The We are the one": sounds like a good outtake from a Jon & Vangelis album! The beginning of the ten minutes, four parts suite, "Atheos" is classical oriented and soundtrack like. Middle of the suite we can discover some oldfield-ish guitar playing and delicious vocal parts with feeling of a small dose of world music. Sound of synths float with a womans'wishper in end of this long number. The closing "Voya" is a relaxing love song. I offer this album to those who like the acoustic guitar based progressive rock music what bordered with New Age.

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