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Steve Howe - Virgil & Steve Howe: Lunar Mist CD (album) cover


Steve Howe

Crossover Prog

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2 stars Virgil Howe drummer and keyboardist of Little Barrie left in 2017. He was the son of Steve guitarist of Yes, GTR and Asia, a great gentleman of 6 strings, a guitar hero who loves Atkins, Stravinsky, Vivaldi or Miles Davis. Solo a 20th album, with his son this second, posthumous work in the sense that Steve finalized the drafts of his late son in the sequel to 'Nexus'

"Lunar Mist" to discover Steve's work developing his son's notes, translating them to make us dance beyond death. "More Than You Know" ethereal theme over echoing Spanish guitars. "Plexus" prog latent 70's with piano-guitar chord for digestive atmosphere. "Mariah's Theme" cinematic sound full of sensitivity, emotional feeling; meditative atmosphere. "A Month in the Sun" with enterprising bluesy guitar over driving jazz-rock piano. "As If Between" lullaby where Steve's plucked strings keep alert. "Never Less" slow ballad piano crystalline aided by waves of guitar water notes.

"Lothian's Way" cascading tune. "Free Spirit" raw piano, night bar, saloon on plaintive electric guitar. "Eternal" piano melody on a redundant mandolin variation. "Dirama" for a free jazz guitar-synth battle. "Pinnacle" bar piano return, archaic raw sound associated with Steve's Andalusian guitar, the one we can listen to in Queen-plasticine (Innuendo); solemn look. "Pagoda" repeat to a tune that Elton John could have composed, the more upbeat you'll understand. "Martian Mood" BOF from 'Flash' or 'Mars Attack' it's up to you.

Vigil offered hushed moods, ballads that could be incorporated into soundtracks; Steve's finalized symbiotic musical ode to staying together a bit when life decided otherwise, tunes where the piano drives Steve's guitars; airy, padded airs, short compositions to pass from one cloud of Heaven to another where tranquility reigns; often repetitive tunes to be sure to go; separate album.

Report this review (#2846408)
Posted Monday, October 17, 2022 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Although Virgil Howe was a musician with his own bands, he will always be remembered mostly for the work he did with his father Steve, and together they released the album 'Nexus' not long before his death from a heart attack in 2017. With any project there is always material which is recorded and then discarded for whatever reason, and at the beginning of 2021 Steve collated that all together to see if he would be able to use any of it as the foundation for a new release and the result is what we have here with Virgil credited with keyboards, piano, synths, bass and drums while Steve provides all manner of guitars.

I cannot imagine how hard it must be for a parent to lose a child, and undertaking this album must have been both emotionally exhausting and fulfilling for Steve as he attempted to ensure the world knew a little but more about his son. However, there is no way of moving past the fact that these snippets were originally not good enough for the album they worked on together, and the biggest issue here is not the musicianship from either of them but the quality of the material itself. I love Steve and was even fortunate enough to interview him more than 20 years ago, but there is no doubt in my mind he works best in the company of others as opposed to his solo albums which tend to be a little hit and miss. The result is an instrumental album which is nice and pleasant but contains little which is inspirational or driving and it meanders through its course with no real direction and when it is finished there is little which is memorable and not much which would make me want to play it again.

Report this review (#2924438)
Posted Saturday, May 13, 2023 | Review Permalink

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