I had a dream about Steve Hackett the other night. Not the stage fright one about being on stage with Genesis and not being able to remember the chords to Return of the Giant Hogweed. No, this one was about going to a book signing type thing…. or in this case, I seemed to have a massive black box that had a jigsaw puzzle inside it. Anyhow, as Steve started to sign my puzzle, his hand seemed to become feminine and before I knew it, he had transformed into Alison Steadman who proceed to go a bit coy and started flirting with me.
Always on the lookout for meanings in my dreams, I took this as a sign I should mention his autobiography A Genesis In My Bed in my next Curse.
I know a fair bit I suppose about Steve, but it is mainly third party stories and reviews about his solo work and with Genesis. So I looked forward to this book when it was announced and it didn’t disappoint. It is honest and charming about his life growing up in London as well as his adult musical and personal travels. There is the bad as well as the good, portrayed with warmth and humour. You get the Picture Postcard Steve on his social media, but if you want to dig a bit deeper, then this book is highly recommended.
It would seem Hackett books are like buses…. published soon by Sonic Bond is Steve Hackett On Track: Every Album, Every Song. I haven’t read it but I noticed the author was Geoffrey Feakes who reviewed an album of mine years ago in a detailed and perceptive way, so if that’s anything to go on, should be pretty sound.
Amazon preorder: https://tinyurl.com/y6nd27d8
I recently had the great news that US composer Kimara Sajn will be releasing a new album The Masks We Will Wear soon this year. Kimara records and releases under his own name or as Polyethylene Pet/+1, sometimes solo and sometimes collaborating. Introducing such a big and varied back catalogue as Kim’s is tricky so I’ll start by saying he is one of my favourite writers with a unique harmonic voice. If you like great chords, stick with me and explore his site – you will be rewarded. He is a superb keyboradist, drummer, songwriter and singer releasing songs and instrumentals spanning pop, prog, jazz, classical, avant, found sounds…..you get the picture. Kimara has had a very productive year starting with the album Voodoo Ruins and then the EP Find The Forest. From that EP, you can stream his beautiful chord structures on the piano solo Remains Of The Day which I’ve choosen as a good intro for chord junkies:
If you’re hooked, you can spend many days streaming his albums from his site. I would start with the Moment/Festival album but there is so much good music here. A beautiful treasure box.
I had the pleasure once again of playing with Swindon gothic folk duo Canute’s Plastic Army on Friday. Made up of Neil Mercer on acoustic guitars, effects, loops, and Anish Harrison on vocals, they always deliver a stunning, beautifully nuanced and powerful set of songs. Neil is a fine finger-style player / composer and Anish has a jaw dropping , by turns powerful and subtle unique vocal delivery as well turning her hand to thought provoking, challenging lyrics. Of the many highlights, I was perhaps most moved by The Witches Song’, mirroring centuries old persecution with Me Too relevance. And if that isn’t enough, they are more than capable of doing a great cover of Talk Talk’s Life’s What You make It. Top tier. They have some singles on Bandcamp – do check them out and then go see them live.
Finally, in tribute to brilliant guitarist Eddie Van Halen, here’s a lovely cover of Running With The Devil by The Bird & The Bee. They have done fantastic original stuff too that I might just waffle on about another time. Till then…