Ryo Okumoto announces new solo album ‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’ 

The album features guest appearances by current and former Spock’s Beard bandmates Nick D’Virgilio, Al Morse, Dave Meros, Ted Leonard, and Jimmy Keegan.

Ryo Okumoto, long-time keyboardist for prog rock group Spock’s Beard, is pleased to announce his new solo album ‘The Myth of the Mostrophus’, due out on July 29th, 2022 on InsideOutMusic. The six song prog extravaganza features Okumoto’s signature style accompanied by the talents of a who’s who of progressive rock.

The album features guest appearances by a number of incredible musicians including current and former Spock’s Beard bandmates:

Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train, Spock’s Beard) – Drums & Vocals

Al Morse (Spock’s Beard) – Guitar

Dave Meros (Spock’s Beard) – Bass

Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard. Transatlantic) – Vocals

Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard) – Vocals

Steve Hackett (Genesis) – Guitar

Michael Sadler (Saga, ProgJect) – Vocals

Mike Keneally (Steve Vai, Frank Zappa, ProgJect) – Guitar

Jonathan Mover (Joe Satriani, ProgJect) – Drums

Marc Bonila (Keith Emerson/Kevin Gilbert) – Guitar

Doug Wimbish (Living Colour) – Bass

Randy McStine (McStine & Minnemann, Porcupine Tree) – Guitars & Vocals

Lyle Workman (Todd Rundgren) – Guitar

Michael Whiteman (I Am the Manic Whale) – Guitars & Vocals 

You can watch the trailer for the album here:

Tracklisting:

1.     Mirror Mirror (9:27)

2.     Turning Point (6:53)

3.     The Watchmaker (Time On His Side) (6:25)

4.     Maximum Velocity (8:11)

5.     Chrysalis (7:35)

6.     The Myth Of The Mostrophus (22:14)

Engineered and Mixed by Rich Mouser

The album is now available for pre-order here:

https://ryookumoto.lnk.to/TheMythOfTheMostrophus

Twenty years since Ryo Okumoto’s last solo album ‘Coming Home’ (2002), work on the new album began in November 2000, when Okumoto reached out to I Am The Manic Whale vocalist/bassist Michael Whiteman, following that band’s performance on a livestream event that Okumoto had taken part in.  An exchange of demos resulted in the writing of the initial tracks for the album. Okumoto then reached out the fellow Spock’s Beard bandmates (Nick D’Virgilio, Alan Morse, Dave Meros, Ted Leonard and Jimmy Keegan) to join in and the album started to take shape before rounding out with additional guest stars through his Okumoto’s new group ProgJect including Michael Sadler, Jonathan Mover and Mike Keneally. With the additions of Steve Hackett, Marc Bonila, Doug Wimbish, Randy McStine, and Lyle Workman, the star-studded lineup was complete. The result is a prog rock tour de force from one of the most entertaining and influential artists of prog’s modern era.

Lobate Scarp To Release Second Full Length Album – ‘You Have It All’

Progressive-rock band Lobate Scarp will release their second full-length studio album You Have It All on April 1. It serves as an expansion to their 2019 EP Spirals and Portals. Progressive rock fans will appreciate the 17-minute finale “Flowing Through The Change” and the 14 1/2-minute title track featuring guest vocalists Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood from Yes. Modern prog fans will also enjoy guest appearances from Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard) and Jimmy Keegan (Spock’s Beard, Pattern-Seeking Animals). Also drumming on both epic tracks is Eric Moore (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves).

Rich Mouser, whose mixing repertoire includes Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Neal Morse, has once again mixed the album, and has played even a bigger role as co-producer and additional musician on several tracks. Steven Leavitt, producer of Lobate Scarp’s debut album Time and Space, has also returned to co-produce and engineer. The album will be available in a high-res digital format as well as a limited edition glossy CD-booklet including 16-pages of lyrics, art, and liner notes. This is the third Lobate release with a front cover created by David A. Hardy, infamous space artist. The album is currently available to pre-order at Indiegogo / gotprog.com.

Lobate Scarp is a progressive opera-rock band based in Los Angeles. Their influences range from classic prog-rock of the 70’s such as Genesis and Yes, to 80’s pop such as Duran Duran and Tears for Fears, as well as strong ties to musical theater. Their debut Time and Space has had positive reviews published in numerous music publications and websites such as Prog Archives, Empire Music, and Yes Music Podcast. Online blog, Progarchy called Time and Space “one of the top 13 albums of 2013”. The band is scheduled to perform at this year’s RoSFest, one of America’s premiere progressive rock festival which will take place in Sarasota, Florida.

ProgJect – The Ultimate Prog Rock Experience

ProgJect is The Ultimate Prog Rock Experience featuring Michael Sadler, Ryo Okumoto, Jason Bieler, Matt Dorsey, and Jonathan Mover performing the classics and epics of Genesis, Yes, ELP, and King Crimson, along with some Pink Floyd, Rush, Jethro Tull, Peter Gabriel, Gentle Giant and more.

Michael Sadler (SAGA) – Lead Vocals, Keys, Bass & Percussion
Ryo Okumoto (Spock’s Beard, Asia, Chris Squire) – Keyboards & Vocals 
Jason Bieler (The Baron Von Bielski Orchestra, Saigon Kick) – Guitar & Vocals
Matt Dorsey (Sound of Contact, Beth Hart, Hannah Montana) – Bass, Pedals, Guitar, Keys & Vocals 
Jonathan Mover (GTR, Marillion, Joe Satriani, The Tubes) – Drums, Percussion, Samples & Vocals

The brainchild of Jonathan Mover, ProgJect came to fruition out of his love for and childhood dream of playing the ‘Prog’ he grew up listening to. “Prog Rock is the reason I play drums,” Mover explains.

After a last-minute call to tour with the premier Genesis tribute band The Musical Box, Mover returned home waxing nostalgic: “I haven’t had that much fun onstage in a long time and was reminded of the reason I began drumming in the first place–Prog Rock. Playing songs like ‘Robbery, Assault and Battery’, ‘Dance on A Volcano’, ‘Wot Gorilla’, ‘Watcher of The Skies’ and ‘Back In NYC’ had me feeling fifteen again and relit the very same fire I felt when I first picked up sticks.”

Next thought, “What if I put together ‘The Ultimate Prog Rock Experience’, with top players, and pay homage to our favorite Prog giants–Genesis, Yes, ELP and King Crimson, along with some Pink Floyd, Rush, Peter Gabriel, U.K., Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and more?” The seeds were sown.

With a two-plus hour set that includes Prog classics and epics such as, “Squonk”, “Cinema Show”, “Firth of Fifth’, “Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression Pt. I & II”, “Siberian Khatru”, “Roundabout”, “Heart of the Sunrise”, “21st Century Schizoid Man”, “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “Xanadu”, “La Villa Strangiato”, “Have A Cigar”, “Wish You Were Here”, “Solsbury Hill”, “Living In The Past” and more… ProgJect is going to drop your jaw and blow your mind.

Review – Spock’s Beard – Noise Floor – by Jez Denton

Progressive Rock music is a funny thing. Often pretentious, up its own arse, quite frankly snobby and elitist. Almost like you have to be super clever to get it, the musical equivalent of Jeremy Paxman asking a contestant from an old Polytechnic a question about thermo-nuclear physics on University Challenge, with an obvious sneer because they don’t go to an Oxbridge college. In short, their seriousness can make them seem ridiculous and open to much mirth.

However, every now and then you come across a band that who have a sense of humour, who are self-aware and who can create great music whilst not taking things too seriously. One for whom progressive music doesn’t have to be dour and only for a niche, but can be entertaining, fun and welcoming whilst retaining all its virtuoso playing and performing.

With a name like Spock’s Beard no one could accuse this Californian band of being dour or elitist. Their music has always been both clever and accessible; something that they’ve continued to achieve on their new album, being released on the 25th May, ‘Noise Floor’. The album is full of what singer/guitarist, Ted Leonard, describes as ‘crazy prog,’ whilst also working on making the songs ‘more immediate.’

And for sure, they’ve achieved it with this collection of smashing tunes featuring beautifully played instruments; both trusted old friends plus new orchestral additions of strings and horns. Spock’s Beard have been developing their sound and style for over twenty years now and find themselves at a point where they can take time to develop and create their music which results in this album being released at a point when all members were in agreement that it was the best work they could put out there.

With all members of the band writing and recording demo’s independently before bringing them together to be worked on collectively in production, there is a great sense of exceptional quality being produced over quantity for the quantities sake. The album itself, and accompanying E.P, displays its influences with pride; the hints of 1970’s prog such as Yes, Genesis and Supertramp, influences that have led to songs of majestic beauty such as the wonderful Bulletproof that appears on the ‘Cutting Room Floor’ E.P.

It is fair to say that the album isn’t without flaws; the jazz instrumental of Box of Spiders jars slightly, but it doesn’t diminish from what is an accomplished and melodic journey through the slightly crazy world of Spock’s Beard. Die-hard fans will find more than enough typical output to allow them to enjoy the musical development that this album represents. And those for whom this will be their first exposure to the band will find plenty to enjoy and will also spark interest in finding out more of the bands back catalogue.

Released 25th May 2018

Order ‘Noise Floor’ from InsideOut here

 

Spock’s Beard announce 13th studio album ‘Noise Floor’

Legendary US progressive rockers Spock’s Beard have announced the release of their 13th studio album ‘Noise Floor’ for May 25th, 2018. As announced previously, for this album Ted Leonard, Alan Morse, Dave Meros & Ryo Okumoto are joined in the studio once again by drummer & original member Nick D’Virgilio.

Spock’s Beard is a band that is in a continual state of evolution, as is always the case with genuinely creative musicians. And their new album, ‘Noise Floor’, fits perfectly into this process.

We are always about evolution, not revolution. But what we have done this time is make the songs more melodic,” believes vocalist/guitarist Ted Leonard. “We still love our crazy prog, but now appreciate how important it is to grab people’s attention early on.”

As with all Spock’s Beard songs, most of the new album was written by the individual members, and then brought to the rest of the band as high quality demos. “We all do this type of thing in our home studios,” adds Leonard. “So, by the time they reach the stage where the entire band get to judge them, they are really developed, and therefore everyone can make a reasoned judgement.”  Much of what you will listen to here is very much the product of fresh inspiration from the Californian band.

One key change on this album sees the return of drummer Nick D’Virgilio, who originally left in 2011. There are also two violinists, a cello player, a viola player and an English horn featured on the album, thereby giving the sound a slightly more evocative and persuasive twist.

The album was once again engineered by long-time collaborator Rich Mouser and will be released as a 2CD digipak (featuring an EP of material from the same sessions), gatefold 2LP + 2CD & as digital download.

The track-listing is as follows:

Disc 1 – Noise Floor

1.     To Breathe Another Day
2.     What Becomes of Me
3.     Somebody’s Home
4.     Have We All Gone Crazy Yet
5.     So This Is Life
6.     One So Wise
7.     Box of Spiders
8.     Beginnings

Disc 2 – Cutting Room Floor

1.     Days We’ll Remember
2.     Bulletproof
3.     Vault
4.     Armageddon Nervous

SPOCK’S BEARD Online:
http://spocksbeard.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spocksbeard/
https://twitter.com/SpocksB
http://www.youtube.com/Spocksbeard