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Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso - Męstoso CD (album) cover


Woolly Wolstenholme's Maestoso


Eclectic Prog

3.32 | 20 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A talented keyboardist and a founding member of Barclay James Harvest, Stuart John ''Woolly'' Wolstenholme was born in Chadderton, Lancashire in 1947 and produced no less than 9 studio albums with BJH, before quiting dissapointed by the direction the band was taking by late-70's.Woolly formed his own band helped by Mandalaband members Steve Broomhead on guitars and Kim Turner on drums, whom he met during the recording sessions of ''The Eye of Wendor''.Between January and April 1980 Woolly's debut solo album ''Maestoso'' was recorded, eventually released in October of the same year on Polydor.

The album consists either from BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST leftovers or totally new compositions, written by Wolstenholme.While the commercial opener ''Sail away'' will take you by a surprise, being a light rock ballad in a SUPERTRAMP vein (along with ''Lives on the line''), the rest of the album flows in a familiar BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST style, for which Wolstenholme was known by throwing all these emotional keyboard sounds.Incredible artistic calm rockers and beautiful orchestral mini prog suites are the main styles met throughout the listening, always having Wolstenholme's keyboard work on the forefront, and based also on the delicate vocal arrangements.His collaboration with Broomhead's electric guitars reminds often of his days with John Lees, fine and smooth touch on the chords with some nice solos here and there along with good keyboard runs.''Patriots'' and the title track are great highlights, old-school Orchestral Prog in a typical BARCLAY HARVEST JAMES and even GENESIS vein, including Classical-influenced keyboards and atmospheres along with great vocals and mellow electric guitars, producing though a more than grandiose atmosphere.

The Eclectic CD reissue contains also a couple of live tracks originally intended for the second album of Wolstenholme, recorded in Vienna in February 82'.These come in a more straight rock vein but always with a great qualitive value, seeing the fully renamed Maestoso band performing in full energy and power and delivering some catchy but amazingly well- crafted musicianship, both deserve the addition in this excellent reissue.

''Maestoso'' is a great tribute by Woolstenholme to this unique BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST sound, which seemed to fade away for good by late-70's.Smooth orchestral Progressive/Art Rock filled both with dramatic and romantic moments.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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