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Crossover Prog • United States

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Unaka Prong biography
From North Carolina, this band of 6 musicians displays a wide range of music styles from Jazz, blues,funk, rock and pop and keep some space for improvised jams which play a major role in their live shows. It's keyboard player Chris POPE who is mixing those styles of music in something harmonious. He is joined by John HARGETT (drums, vocals), Mike WELSH (guitars), Nic PRESSLEY (trumpets, vocals), Daniel STEVENSON (Guitar, vocals) and Jonathon SALE (Bass, Voclas). The band released their debut album "Margot" in 2016. The band influences can go from PHISH to STEELY DAN.

Bio by rdtprog

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UNAKA PRONG discography

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4.00 | 8 ratings
3.86 | 9 ratings
Adult Contemporary

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Adult Contemporary by UNAKA PRONG album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 9 ratings

Adult Contemporary
Unaka Prong Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Another fantastic smorgasborg of music from Boone, North Carolina's gift to the music world, this album has me feeling so nostalgic and yet it's all new, fresh, and completely Unaka Prong!

1. "Gadnuk (Breaker of Worlds)" (5:22) a bluesy instrumental very familiar to those who've heard the Margot album. Nice keys and horns; tight drums and bass. (8.5/10)

2. "Fruit Fly" (6:24) silly folk fun that makes me think I'm sitting on a porch on a sweltering hot day in the South. Once the music kicks in, it's more danceable jazz with a kind of Dr. John vocal and a tight musical merengue-like weave. (8.5/10)

3. "Alchemy" (4:26) opens with a bluesy-reggae feel to it before the loose, almost comical "late night drunk" vocal takes the lead. Wonderful organ work on this one! Awesome key changes at 2:45 and 3:20. (8.5/10)

4. "Déjà Vu (0:44) is a gorgeous little piano "étude" in a Joni Mitchell/Bill Evans vein. (10/10)

5. "Run Out (5:05) my immediate and continued favorite song on the album (of course! it has a very odd time signature!) Just hypnotic and gorgeous! Prog perfection--with trumpet! Probably my favorite song of the year! (10/10)

6. "Late July (5:10) a blues-jazzy musical base for a visually descriptive vocal. Again, early STEELY DAN comes up for me ("St. Louis Toodle-oo")--though the playfulness of HAIRCUT ONE HUNDRED also comes to mind. These guys are surely having so much fun! Just listen to that fourth minute! And then there's that trumpet, that wonderful trumpet... (8.5/10)

7. "Lurks (6:07) another unpredictable string of themes and styles rendered to perfection as only Unaka Prong can. Though not necessarily needed, the guest vocal of a female is welcomed--and lovely. Do you think John Hargett has fun playing this one! (Bang, bang, bang!) And the rap appearance, again, is always welcome--especially the way these guys do it. Great keyboard work, Chris Pope! (9/10)

8. "Heartburn (6:11) Up taking me out into the realms of the Stones, Radiohead, and even Dave Matthews Band. (8.5/10)

9. "Lake Jam #1 (5:41) pure jazz pop like a Larry Carlton/Joe Sample/The Crusaders tune with the ever clever and happy UP shifts, bridges, and touches. These guys are so creative! Nice guitar rant in that fifth minute, Daniel! (9/10)

10. "Maeng Da (Lake Jam #4) (3:25) opens as a pretty little piano suite before the rhythm'n'blues-backers join in and make it special. Beautiful song. Love the slide guitar and muted trumpet. (10/10)

11. "Narcese (4:27) upbeat, hard-drivin' blues-rock in the Southern bluesy vein. Proficient but not my cup of tea. (8/10)

12. "Fairweather Friend (1:41) a real odd duck--a late night drinking dirge--cute but standing out for it's difference. (7/10)

13. "Highway Drivin' (3:37) U2 did it, Elvis Costello and Mark Knopfler, too, so why not Unaka Prong? Again, I get it, appreciate it, but, it's just not my cup of tea. (6.5/10)

14. "Too Far Gone (5:23) one of those songs that you can loop to replay over and over--especially on a nice summer day on the dock. Gorgeous and maybe as perfect as perfect can get (especially in that it's lyrics/singing are waxing rhapsodic over a girl. Ahh! The joys of life!) (10/10)

15. "As we Agreed (6:58) nothing extraordinary or particularly innovative (despite the Hackett-esque guitar and trumpet effects used in the fifth minute). (8/10)

A solid, excellent offering of diverse somewhat proggy music.

 Margot by UNAKA PRONG album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.00 | 8 ratings

Unaka Prong Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A fascinating journey through funky, bluesy, jazzy, yet progressive rock music from Boone, North Carolina. Trumpeter Nic Pressley is so fun to listen to! And I love how the rest of the instruments are recorded to sound as if you are among them, on stage. Awesome! Chris Pope's vintage keyboards are gorgeous and always up front and center. The vocals are awesome and hilarious in a kind of Robert Wyatt way. The dual guitars of Mike Welsh and Daniel Stevenson are so nicely constructed--as if Paul Weller was playing with Radiohead or . . . Paul Weller! The drums are recorded so warmly that you might as well be sitting in drummer John Hargett's lap.

Favorite tracks: 4. "Crunch Berries" (6:16) (10/10); 2. "Clifford" (4:54) (9/10); 7. "Hella (for Coleman Christopher)" (6:15) with its rap (9/10); the jazzy instrumental opener, 1. "PTB" (4:52) (9/10); the hilarious and memorable ALLMAN BROTHERS-like "Road Rash Blues" (4:50) (8/10); the awesome Canterbury styled epic, 8. "Little Animal" (11:14) (10/10); the STYLE COUNCIL-like jazz funk of the instrumental 9. "The Truffle Shuffle (featuring Cameron Cook)" (7:35) (8/10); 5. "Anxious Summer" (3:45) (8/10).

A very solid 4.5 star effort for this group of newbies; a near-masterpiece of eclectic/crossover progressive rock music. One of the great things about this album is that it's a real grower: it gets fresher and more fun with each and every listen. I can't wait to hear how what direction(s) they choose to develop.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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