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darkshade View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New Neal Morse Album 'Momentum' - Latest news
    Posted: February 06 2012 at 14:08
From Randy George

Quote For those that asked… the target release dates are possibly September for the Prog CD and May/June for the Covers CD. Neal wanted to release the covers CD first. Also there live dates being discussed for July for a one off with the Testimony band… and a full blown tour in the fall with a possible new line up. But it's all still in the discussion stage so keep you fingers crossed! I can guarantee your complete and utter excitement and satisfaction for all things Neal this year, at least if myself as a fan is any indication!


2012 is shaping up to be another excellent year for new music.Smile


Edited by darkshade - May 14 2012 at 19:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlexDOM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 14:52
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 17:01
any info on the covers record?  covers of what?

this is fun news.  we're so lucky to be fans of a guy that just puts one or two things a year.  so great. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 06 2012 at 17:23
Hopefully not a Beatles cover album Dead......

   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zumacraig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2012 at 08:34
Originally posted by Catcher10 Catcher10 wrote:

Hopefully not a Beatles cover album Dead......

i'm not a fan of prog or beatles covers.  i do like obscure covers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2012 at 14:50
Neal, Mike, and George talk about the new album coming out this year.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2012 at 15:36
From Randy George's studio diary. **Spoiler Alert**

Originally posted by Randy George Randy George wrote:



Welcome to the Studio Diary for the new CD recording sessions. At this time it's Jan 18th and I'm actually getting ready for NAMM. I have been trying to write some musical passages for the CD. my ideas are thematic ideas that would serve as intros and other passages... Neal is deep into the songs. I am not sure how many he has written as of yet but it's probably 4 or 5 I think. We are likely going to make and song oriented album as opposed to a concept album. This means a couple big prog epics and some shorter songs. Maybe something like V in terms of format. (I wouldn't mind musically either but that remains to be seen). It's not easy writing for Neal when he ain't here. The real magic happens when we get together in the same room. I am flying out there on the 25th. Mike comes in on the 30th to begin tracking so Neal and I have a few days to write... I suspect it will mostly be arranging things by that time. We are also planning to do some covers as well. We have not yet discussed those yet as Mike is busy at the NAMM show. 

I got an email from Neal this morning (Jan 19th) saying he had used one of my ideas in an epic! I sort of wrote it that way and it was heavily inspired by the Great Nothing.

Jan 24th - I received Neal's demos today! I was pleasantly surprised to hear such an amazing album after what amounted to about two weeks of intensive writing. This is a stark contrast to Testimony 2. This harkens back to Neal's Spock's days of writing. I know we always say something like with every album... but seriously this is like instantly one of those albums you just love from the opening chords to the first song! I'm saying that very much as a Neal fan. There are 5 shorter songs and a long prog epic that will no doubt take it's place among the hardcore. I don't know if it's the whole album or if we might yet add more music. I am leaving for Nashville tomorrow to write with Neal for the next few days. Mike arrives on Monday for 6 days of tracking!

We have just began to throw around some covers ideas but nothing has been decided there. I had some great ideas but I don't know of the guys will be into them or not! But the discussion has just started!

Jan 25th… I arrive in Nashville and we spend the evening discussing covers while watching the Lakers game.. We came up with a great list of stuff… of course nothing is for sure until Mike gets here. 

Jan 26th… We sat down in the studio and started listening through our little rough recordings of ideas… out of those sprung a musical frame to what might become Thoughts Pt3. It's a hodgepodge of ideas of both Neal's and mine. We are also composing on the fly to fill in the blanks. The way Neal writes is to try and flesh out a vocal line to make sure he can sing to it. We are also going through the other songs to just get our foundations firm.

Jan 27th - We spent today writing lyrics to Thoughts Pt 3. I'm diggin' it! It's a worthy predecessor to the previous ones. Both music and lyrics! We had to write the lyrics first then we stacked up the vocals and outlined everything so we can get drum tracks. Also we continued to listen to the demos to further dial in the songs. Of course there is only so much we can do until Mike gets here. This will be the last update until monday as we are taking the weekend off. I am having lunch with Phil Keaggy tomorrow!

Jan 29th - I spent the morning charting out songs and re-recording my scratch bass for the Thoughts Pt 3 track. Tomorrow starts a major week of intense tracking! The album is shaping up to be one the great ones in my opinion! Jerry is in the studio dialing in drum sounds with Neal hitting the drums. We also dialed in bass. So we are pretty much ready to rock! I picked up Mike from the airport and we went out for Mexican food!

Jan 30th - Day one of tracking! Mike arrived at noon and we immediately launched into lunch. My we are hard working aren't we? We started off with Momentum. It's the title track of the album at least at this point. Right away Mike had a suggestion... there was a break where the rhythm stopped and it was just keyboards for a bit and built back up into the next section. Mike felt that it broke the flow too much and so we ended up losing the whole section and joining the solo to the last chorus. It works well that way too. That's a first… we actually shortened a song! Woo Hoo! Anyhow it come together pretty quickly. We moved on to a track titled Weathering Sky. This is one of my favorites. It took a bit longer to get drums though. Sometimes the simpler songs take a little longer. Mike is really good at finding just the right vibe for a song. He is very meticulous and thorough in his methods. Of course you would think that made a good day. It would have been had we stopped for the day. But we all felt to get another song done. We moved on to a really nice song called Smoke And Mirrors. This track has a few tender passages so it required special care. Mike noticed that the chorus sounded a lot like Solid as the Sun. So we spent some time altering the chord progression to still work with the melody but not to sound so much like SATS. We got the track done though! So three songs the first day… not too bad. Everyone is feeling good about the album and the vibe is good. We managed to discuss covers as well. I think we narrowed the field on those a bit. But we won't track those until later in the week after we get the album.

Jan 31 - Today we started off with the big prog epic! Neal and I were expecting to continue with some of the shorter songs but Mike was ready to dig in! Good thing too cause it was his day for it! His performances were absolutely stunning!We nearly completed the drums on it. It originally started out with a piano prelude very similar to Seeds Of Gold and the Doorway. But that was reason enough for Mike and Neal to change it. Neal had been working on this other theme idea that he stumbled upon yesterday and felt to use it in the song. It turned out very nice. It gives the song a different feel right from the start rather than sounding too much like something we'd already done. The pace was good all day and we covered a lot of ground. We re-arranged a couple sections in the song as well for similar reasons of sounding like something else. It's always fun to play together from scratch as opposed to following the existing demos. We really had a great time working today! It got sort of silly about 10:00 which is right on target for Mike to start going off the deep end. But it was all in good fun. We finally compiled our covers list. Although Neal is still thinking about one or two of them, it's likely going to stick! I think this song (as yet untitled) is going to be one of the best things we've ever done! I'm excited to get it done. Mike will finish the last few minutes of the song tomorrow. I guess I can tell some of the covers that got shot down since we are not doing them… Neal and I wanted to do Miss America by Styx but Mike didn't want to. Neal of course wanted to cover Wind Power by Thomas Dolby but Mike doesn't like to cover songs he doesn't know and like. I wanted to cover Hold Your Head up but it doesn't work in the key it's in and it can't be changed or else the guitar part doesn't work so overall it was too much of a compromise to make it work. We actually had an extensive list of covers but we managed to get a good selection that I think everyone will really enjoy! We had an amazing Mexican meal tonight! Cheri always spoils us! We really have to be careful not too eat too much as is easy to do otherwise we will not be worth a darn after dinner! So thus far this is shaping up to be a really killer album! I can't wait for you guys to hear it! The Inner Circle video is going out first thing in the morning! It's not too late to join up! It's mainly just us screwing around but funny nonetheless! I stayed up to work on some of the cover tunes so I'm fried as I type this!. Well it's past 1:00am and I am going to watch an episode of something and go to sleep! Not sure what… I brought a bunch of discs. Maybe some Flintstones! yeah I brought a disc of Flintstones… Simpsons and Gilligan's Island too. Too bad I already watched all the Simpsons! I got a bunch of other stuff too but it's too late to start a movie.

Feb 1st - Well it's the first day of February! It was a strange day here… cloudy most of the day then sunshine, then a raging thunder and lightening storm! The day started off with brunch! what a novel concept! It was a really busy day around here. Chad showed up and started making his famous ribs for dinner and Mike had interviews so we initially fixed some of Neal's parts to reflect some changes that we made on Monday. Then Mike started where we left off yesterday and we immediately started rewriting this section. Of course that means that other parts went away but it was a good trade! There is now a lengthy bass solo in the prog epic which is still without a name! Neal is still writing lyrics for it as well. Mike outdid himself with the drums on this song. I think you will find that this song is one of the best we have ever done together! What's funny is that we spent yesterday plowing through this song and recorded 23 minutes of it… and today we only recorded the remaining 10 minutes… but again there were a lot of re-writes. Also the afternoon was really broken up. Besides interviews, we had the photographer stop in and take pictures. Then we had Chad's ribs for dinner… that made the rest of the long evening even longer! But we finished… pending a short review of one thing we noticed after Neal went to bed. This is the longest single track that we've ever done. I know most of you will say "but what about the Whirlwind"? And true as it may be that had several track ID points to move around. But this song will only have one track ID at the start making it the longest. It came in at 33 minutes! Well that's about it for today. It was long and busy but not much else happened. Just worked hard and ate good! Tomorrow we have 3 songs to get through. I think at least 2 of them will go smooth and quickly but the third might take a bit longer! With any luck we can start recording covers!

Feb 2nd - Crazy day. We were very productive. We finished the 33 minute epic. We also finished Thoughts Pt 3. At the last minute Neal thought it would be cool to add this other idea he had. So we played it on his iPhone for us. Of course it was him mouthing sounds so it was pretty hard to get the idea. But once he fleshed it out musically… it was the exact same riff from Gibberish! So I made a slight modification and it took on a whole new vibe. But when we inserted it into the song… and Mike got the drum part… it was totally insane!  Possibly the best track on the record! Again… some serious crazy drumming ensued! I am totally stoked for it! It still remains untitled though… but Mike has been singing Moon River the whole time because the melody somehow reminded him of it. So he calls it Lunar Creek… but that's just a running joke so it remains untitled for now while Neal fleshes out the lyrics. After we finished that track we launched into a track called Freek. (No I didn't misspell that) It will be the last song for the album. Yeah Mike sort of surprised when he showed and suggested we drop the last couple of songs. The album was already 60 minutes and musically quite full and complete. But we opted to do one of the two remaining songs. So in recording the drums for Freek Jerry brought in a this other kit to give a specific effect. it was just a small kit. But later Mike thought it would be cool to double the drum part in what is called the Dylan section of the Prog epic. It gets those names because someone will make a reference while listening to it. Then it becomes a marker for everyone to refer to. But Mike didn't really remember what he played so he was watching the computer screen with the waveforms enlarged so he could see the snare and kick hits from the previous take. It was innovative to say the least! All said and done… we completed the drum tracking for the Prog CD. Friday will be spent tracking new covers. We have a list we are working from but everything is subject to change! For those that asked… the target release dates are possibly September for the Prog CD and May/June for the Covers CD. Neal wanted to release the covers CD first. Also there live dates being discussed for July for a one off with the Testimony band… and a full blown tour in the fall with a possible new line up. But it's all still in the discussion stage so keep you fingers crossed! I can guarantee your complete and utter excitement and satisfaction for all things Neal this year, at least if myself as a fan is any indication!

Feb 3rd - Covers day! Well it was a good start! It's amazing much faster it is to record these songs than Neal's originals! Well the first song we did was a medium tempo classic but a good warm up song. Then we moved on to a slower classic that is a personal favorite of mine! Mike did some nice work on this one. Then we jammed a fast paced feel good song that had us all dancing in the control room! What was really funny is that Neal and some songs he wanted to do in a medley by a certain artist… who you would never think Neal would want to cover. Well Mike didn't really like the songs or the artist so they started bartering… like trading willingness to do songs that the other really didn't want to. It was fun! I can tell you that the range of artists cover it staggering. If you thought the first cover CD was an eclectic bunch of songs this one really takes the cake! Anyhow Mike is finished with the drums thus ending what was a really great week. We really had fun and enjoy it immensely! Mike was really inspired and we did some of our best work to date. Now begins three long days of tracking for me! I am thinking I'll probably finish sooner than that but it's nice to have the extra day! I am usually cramming right up till I leave for the airport! I'll post a couple more updates if I have anything worth telling you! It's been a wonderful time! I can't wait to hear the finished albums!

Feb 4th - Covers! Again! I tracked all the bass for the covers disc today! I had planned to do that and be done with those by 3 or 4… but even the best laid plans… sigh… ProTools was throwing a fit and everyone scattered and nobody answered their phone… so by the time I got Jerry over here… it was like 2:00 when I started working. But once he fixed it it ran great! So off I went! I did 7 songs but one is a medley with 3 songs in it so I guess it's more like 8 songs. In fact it was 8 songs cause the middle of the medley will be guitar and voice so the other two songs were separate for now anyway. And they are complete and not cut down just because it's a medley. Anyhow that's been my day! Tracked with the Fender Jazz Bass today too. That was fun. I felt like the tone served these songs better. Tomorrow I will use the Spector for the original stuff cause it needs that "rip your head off" tone. Interesting that on one of the songs that Mike played a style of drumming I didn't know he had in him. I have never heard him do this kind of song before. I mean I knew he could play it… I just never figured he would. Well I am finished early enough to actually watch a movie… hmm what should I watch… I'll have to look at what I brought. I have been watching Gilligan's Island all week. It's short and I barely made it through an episode each night as it was.

Feb 6th -  This is the final entry for this album. Well I finished everything except the prog epic and Smoke and Mirrors. The prog epic I am taking home to spend the necessary time on it. Smoke and Mirrors I am taking home cause I plan to do fretless bass on it. I can only take so much stuff with me. It's a pain to fly with gear. Anyhow it's all good at this point. I am actually typing and posting this in flight. It's been an amazing week. Everyone had a great time and we had a lot of fun! Thanks for reading the updates and we'll see you at the shows… whenever they are!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlexDOM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2012 at 12:28
Another 33 min. epic and Randy's comments on Mike's drumming, I'm pumped. Not a concept album though, which is Neal's art, oh well... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2012 at 10:01
Yea, but his epics are usually stellar. His last one on Testimony 2 "Seeds of Gold" was one of his best, and not predictable at all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2012 at 19:48
So we now have a release date set for September 11, 2012 for Neal's new album "Momentum". (From Neal's forum)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2012 at 19:56
This is currently the "known" track list:

"Thoughts Pt. 3" (now renamed due to SB having a track on their new album named the same)
"Momentum" (currently the album's title track)
"Weathering Sky"
"Smoke And Mirrors"
33-minute prog epic
PLUS 2 more shorter songs
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CCVP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2012 at 21:42
I hope it isn't anywhere near Testimoney (pun intended).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 01:46
Something to look forward toBig smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote infandous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 11:04
Nice, looking forward to this!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AlexDOM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 21:10
Portnoy himself, on one of his website forums stated that on the new album's epic, it's his best prog drumming he's ever done, and he truly pushed himself! Pretty Awesome!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CCVP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2012 at 23:07
Originally posted by AlexDOM AlexDOM wrote:

Portnoy himself, on one of his website forums stated that on the new album's epic, it's his best prog drumming he's ever done, and he truly pushed himself! Pretty Awesome!!!!

He's always saying that the current thing he's doing ATM is the best thing ever. It happened with Falling Into Infinity and with all DT albums since, which means he isn't very good in saying what's actually his best.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rendref Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2012 at 02:33
Originally posted by CCVP CCVP wrote:

He's always saying that the current thing he's doing ATM is the best thing ever. It happened with Falling Into Infinity and with all DT albums since, which means he isn't very good in saying what's actually his best.

Steven Wilson once said something like "artists always name what they are doing at the moment is the best thing they've ever done, because it's where they are emotionally in their hearts and minds..."
Almost every artist confirmed such a thing in my expirience. No one really say "It's the worst thing we've ever done" or "It's so-so, will do" ))
Portnoy is not the only one)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tamijo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2012 at 02:48
Originally posted by Rendref Rendref wrote:

Originally posted by CCVP CCVP wrote:

He's always saying that the current thing he's doing ATM is the best thing ever. It happened with Falling Into Infinity and with all DT albums since, which means he isn't very good in saying what's actually his best.

Steven Wilson once said something like "artists always name what they are doing at the moment is the best thing they've ever done, because it's where they are emotionally in their hearts and minds..."
Almost every artist confirmed such a thing in my expirience. No one really say "It's the worst thing we've ever done" or "It's so-so, will do" ))
Portnoy is not the only one)
 
Thats why nothing is more boring than an interview asking : What do you think about this XXX you are doing right now.
A good interview goes like : that we got here, sound to me xxx, can you explain why you moved from yyy to this xxx.
Otherwise the answers are a waist of time. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote glassonyonpr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2012 at 13:09
For Immediate Release

Prolific Progressive Rock Icon Neal Morse Moves Forward With a Blistering, 
Melodic New Release, “Momentum”

July 16, 2012 - Nashville, TN—Coming off of a highly successful 2011 marked by the release of the critically acclaimed “Testimony 2” and an enthusiastically attended tour throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, Neal Morse could easily have justified going on a creative hiatus to catch his breath. But that would fly in the face of his convictions and the sense that he is being led to build upon the swell of success he is experiencing.

In January 2012, Morse was pondering the possibilities of a change in direction. After all, it had been a decade since he left the progressive rock stalwart Spock’s Beard to pursue a solo career that would allow him to write more freely about his personal faith. And in that time he had recorded 6 impressive studio records that were heralded for their unique hybrid of epic compositions that tested the boundaries of musicianship while maintaining a remarkable sense of melody through irresistible hooks and addictive choruses. He could have taken a break. Or gone in an entirely new direction. But he felt led otherwise, as summed up in the new record’s title track: “You’ve got some new momentum, you better keep going.”

Morse’s long time studio partner and friend Mike Portnoy had a small window in January 2012 when he could record. The only problem was, there was only one song and a few bits and pieces written. Taking a leap of faith, he scheduled a recording session with the drumming legend and longtime bass player Randy George in two weeks, hoping that the music would arrive before the musicians. And boy did it ever.

Momentum” features five exceptional stand alone songs and one longer conceptual piece. In addition to the accessible title track, there’s the quirkily clever, Gentle Giant-inspired “Thoughts Part 5,” which follows in the footsteps of the previous “Thoughts” tracks penned by Morse with Spocks Beard. “Smoke and Mirrors” trods an introspective, acoustic path, while “Weathering Sky” offers a raucous cry for deliverance and renewal from a searching soul. Rounding out the shorter tracks is “Freak,” an upbeat, strings-charged song unlike anything Neal has recorded to date. Last comes “World Without End,” a near 34-minute, six-part epic that contains everything that defines Morse as a master of the genre.

Another highlight of this record is that, in addition to a masterful solo by guitar wizard Paul Gilbert, there are contributions from Adson Sodré, Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette—three musicians who were selected as members of Morse’s new touring band through an exciting YouTube driven open audition process.

While “Momentum” propels Morse forward and further cements his standing as a prolific progressive rock icon, it steers clear of the potential “more of the same” trap, and features fresh musical angles and some of the finest performances to date by the Morse, Portnoy, George team.

The release of “Momentum” on September 11 will be quickly followed up by a North American tour that spotlights the fresh talent of his new live band, with stops in such cities as Nashville, Jacksonville, New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle and Mexico City.

Much to the delight of progressive rock fans around the globe, Neal Morse is moving ahead with “Momentum,” and there doesn't appear to be any kind of end to his unique creative talent in sight.

Momentum (6:25)
Thoughts Part 5 (7:51)
Smoke and Mirrors (4:38)
Weathering Sky (4:15)
Freak (4:29)
World Without End (33:39)
i Introduction
ii Never Pass Away
iii Losing Your Soul
iv The Mystery
v Some Kind of Yesterday
vi World Without End
Total Length: 61:17

Written and Produced by Neal Morse
Thoughts Part 5”—Written by Neal Morse and Randy George
Smoke and Mirrors” and “The Mystery”—Music by Neal Morse, Lyrics by Chris Thompson and Neal Morse
Mixed by Rich Mouser

Featured Musicians
Neal Morse – Keyboards, Guitars, Vocals
Mike Portnoy – Drums
Randy George – Bass
Additional Musicians:
Paul Gilbert – Guitar solo on “Momentum”
Adson Sodré – Guitar Solos on “World Without End”
Bill Hubauer – Clarinet, flute, guitar and additional keys on “The Mystery”
Eric Gillette – Additional vocals on “Thoughts Part 5”
Wil Morse – Additional vocals on “Thoughts Part 5”
Chris Carmichael – Strings
Rick Altizer – Additional vocals on “Weathering Sky” and “Smoke and Mirrors”

Contact:
Chris Thompson | (615) 672-7474
info@radiantrecords.com | Radiant Records | P.O. Box 123, Cottontown, TN 37048
Available from (www.radiantrecords.com) and other fine music outlets worldwide

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158glassonyonpr@gmail.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 16 2012 at 13:34
It's gonna be great!
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