We ship all CDs from Germany and we try to do it within 24 hours. Sadly, Deutsche Post has been sending transatlantic letters and parcels by ship these days due to the lack of flights during the pandemic. They warn that it can take four weeks or more for shipments to arrive in the US. Sorry! However, we can offer all buyers a free download to tide them over until the CD arrives – just get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Prog Ensemble THEO Featuring Renowned Keyboardist Jim Alfredson to Release Sophomore CD ‘Figureheads’
“… nostalgic and every bit contemporary, harkening back to prog’s glory days, all the while delivering new and exciting music… Brilliant. ” – The Progressive Rock Files
“THEO is a band to be reckoned with.” Simon Barrett
Lansing, MI – In 2015, THEO appeared out of nowhere with a highly acclaimed debut album of progressive rock, The Game of Ouroboros, garnering positive reviews in over 40 publications both print and web-based. At once wistful, reminding fans of the epic bands of the 1970s, and yet modern both musically and thematically, THEO bridges the distance between past and present.
Founder, keyboardist, and vocalist Jim Alfredson is probably best known for his work with the acclaimed jazz trio organissimo, which releases original funky souljazz and performs all over the world since their formation in 2000. He is considered among the best jazz and blues Hammond organists working today. But many of his fans inside those genres might be unaware of his childhood love of progressive rock. Inspired by classic bands like Yes, ELP, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, and Genesis, THEO brings epic songwriting, sweeping narratives, and a keyboard centered focus back to the forefront of the contemporary prog scene. The album is scheduled for release on September 29, 2020 via Big O Records (USA) and Generation Prog Records (Europe). It is available as a download and an audio CD.
Production on Figureheads began just after the release of The Game Of Ouroboros back in 2015. Alfredon explains the long gestation; “The first album dealt with the ideas of an imbalance of power in a rather direct way. The general theme was reminiscent of post-World War II dystopian science fiction by the likes of Orwell. It outlined a resurgence of authoritarianism both secularly and religiously aided by technology, including Selfie Chips. The original concept for the new album was more personal, exploring the psyche of those in power and those they seek to exert power over. And the artwork, designed by the brilliant minds at Blacklake, reflects that. The original working titles are crossed out but they give a glimpse into the meaning behind each song. Obviously a lot has changed during the time I began writing these songs in 2015 and today. It could be argued that many countries have either skirted with authoritarians or actually elected them into office. Nowhere is that more true unfortunately than in my country, the United States.”
Only four songs are contained within Figureheads, but each one is a sonic journey in itself. “Each song represents a facet of our personalities. I believe we all have the potential for good and evil and sometimes the line between holding things together and falling off the proverbial cliff is very thin,” Alfredon says.
“The song Pathology explores the sickness that can arise in our psyches and was inspired by the idea of trepanning, releasing evil thoughts by drilling a hole in one’s head. How much of our decision making is informed by our genetics and how much is our environment?”
“Man of Action is obviously inspired by the leadership in the USA, as is the cover art. The song speaks for itself. A cult of personality is the only way to explain what’s happening here. It’s dumbfounding.”
“The Garden is the ode of the lover, the empath, the guide that leads to a way out of the desert of sickness and into a verdant space of healing.”
“Portents & Providence explores the nature of self-deception and belief.”
Those familiar with the debut album will recognize the musicians on Firgureheads. Alfredson wrote all the songs and plays all keyboards as well as handling lead vocal duties. Gary Davenport, a former bandmate of Jim’s during his tenure with blues singer Janiva Magness, is on Chapman stick and fretless bass as before. Kevin DePree returns in the drum chair bringing his trademark chops and taste. And guitarist Jake Reichbart is featured on two of the four songs. The other two songs feature former HAKEN member Tom MacLean on guitar. Jim says, “I met Tom virtually through Generation Prog’s owner Michael Schetter. I was looking for a bit of a heavier sound on two of the songs and Tom really brought a welcome modernity to those tracks. He also had some fantastic ideas concerning the arrangements.” Background vocals are handled by Greg Nagy, a successful blues singer / songwriter and vocalist himself, and Donny Brown, former drummer of the rock band The Verve Pipe.
“Beautiful chordal songs… witty, refreshingly rich choruses and instrumental complexity..” – Ragazzi Music (Germany)
From the beginning, Alfredson’s goal with THEO was to return some of the keyboard wizardry of the 1970s progressive bands to the forefront. Although mostly known for his superb Hammond playing, Alfredon indulges his love of synthesizers on ‘Figureheads’, both analog and digital, hardware and software. “Most of the synth parts are the Alesis Andromeda, which I suppose is old enough now to be considered vintage!” Alfredson says. Other keys include the Sequential Prophet 12, Moog Voyager, the classic Yamaha DX7, acoustic piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, and of course Hammond organ, both vintage and digital.
For 10 years, Jim served as organist and musical director of the highly successful, award-winning rhythm & blues band Root Doctor (1999 – 2009) producing three CDs for the band. Jim formed the jazz trio organissimo in 2000. organissimo has released seven critically acclaimed CDs and a DVD in the intervening years. In 2009 Jim released a very limited edition solo CD dedicated to the memory of his father and mother called ‘In Memorandom’. Also in 2009, Jim engineered and produced Greg Nagy’s debut solo record ‘Walk That Fine Thin Line’ followed by Nagy’s ‘Fell Towards None’ in 2011 and ‘Stranded’ in 2015. From 2010 to 2014, Jim served as the keyboardist and primary background vocalist in the touring band for blues singer Janiva Magness. He toured nationally and internationally with the band and is featured on Ms. Magness’ Alligator Records release ‘Stronger For It’ from 2012 as well as her self-released album ‘Original’ from 2014. In October 2013, Jim released another solo project entitled ‘Jim Alfredson’s Dirty Fingers’, a tribute to jazz organ great Big John Patton. 2015 saw the release of THEO’s debut, ‘The Game Of Ouroboros’. In 2017 organissimo released two albums, ‘B3tles – A Soulful Tribue to the Fab Four’ and ‘Live At The SpeakEZ’. In 2018 he began touring with international blues star Thornetta Davis, performing at festivals all over Canada and Europe, as well as touring with blues guitarist and singer James Armstrong. When not touring or writing 15 minute long progressive rock opuses, Jim engineers, mixes, and masters recordings for various artists.
“…sonically stunning progressive rock… with excellent musicianship, great melodies, and dreamy atmospheres… ” – Sea of Tranquility (USA)
We are very excited to announce a new release from Generation Prog Records. It’s the first album from a German quartet called Time Shift Accident, which features Dave Mola (guitar, Effloresce) and Michael Schetter (bass, Relocator), core members of two of our label’s most popular bands. The music is an exciting mix of progressive rock and fusion, with metal, latin and jazz elements thrown in.
Time Shift Accident’s debut album features 8 tracks with a total playing time of 58 minutes. On September 27, 2019 it will be available as a download and on CD. Samples and a full song are coming very soon and we’re already taking pre-orders via our online store!
And as a special treat, we are now offering an advance download for everyone who orders the CD via our label store (no other websites!) and can’t wait to hear the music on request – just place your order, then e-mail us at email@example.com and we’ll set you up with a download link!
After a lengthy timeout, the Generation Prog concert series finally continues with a high-quality double package from Germany: Blind Ego and Seven Steps to the Green Door, who will perform a full headlining set each.
Blind Ego is a project of RPWL guitarist Kalle Waller. After three studio album under that name, in 2017 he finally put together a live band to take his music to the stage. The CD/DVD double package Liquid Live showcases this group’s impressive talents. Compared to Wallner’s main band, the music is more on the rock side and with Scott Balaban (Amon Ra) he has found a fitting voice for the harder, modern sound. They are supported by guitarist Julian Kellner (Dante), bassist Sebastian Harnack (Sylvan) and drummer Michael Christoph.
Blind Ego live:
Seven Steps to the Green Door are among Germany’s most established prog rock bands. Since their 2006 debut, which was awarded the Deutscher Pop&Rock Preis in two categories, the 8-piece around keyboardist/saxophonist Marek Arnold (also with Toxic Smile, Damanek, Cyril, ex-Stern Combo Meissen) and drummer Ulf Reinhardt has continually progressed. The last two albums in particular, The?Book (2011) and Fetish (2015) turned heads in the prog scene and resulted in performances at big festivals like Night of the Prog at Loreley and Crescendo in France. The music is equally defined by its melodic multi-part vocals and the often polyrhythmically intricate grooves.
Seven Steps to the Green Door live:
Generation Prog Live:
Blind Ego + Seven Steps to the Green Door
June 9, 2018
Roter Salon at the Z-Bau, Nürnberg
Something just wasn’t working out this year. And it didn’t begin with the surprising cancellation by Sound Struggle. We had been trying to set up a new Generation Prog Festival since late March, talking to several potential headliner bands. Nothing worked out. When our original plans for a two-day festival in November fell apart in July, Haken suggested doing something on the weekend of October 21, as they’d be in Europe to prepare for a gig at the ProgStage Fest in Israel the weekend before. With Conner and Diego living in the US and Mexico, that was an important factor for our decision to choose this date. We went ahead with the plan.
Sadly, as we learned last week, the ProgStage Fest isn’t happening as planned due to low ticket sales, with Haken definitely not going to Israel. This meant that we’d need to fly Conner and Diego in from the US and Mexico just for the one gig. We tried to find some solution for this problem, but in the end it was just too difficult to pull this off financially. We simply weren’t in a position to add more money to our band budget this year – the truth is, our own ticket sales were behind our expectations, too. We would have to bet on door sales to be far higher than they had been in the last two years. Without a significant improvement, we were looking at losses of several thousand Euros. And we felt that was too risky seeing how we’d already misgauged last year’s demand (despite our best lineup yet, the 2015 festival just barely broke even – without our sponsors we would’ve lost a lot of money). There wasn’t enough time left to find and sufficiently promote a new headliner, and without Haken as the main draw, our overall calculation wasn’t working out anymore. Promoting gigs is always a bit of a lottery, but in the end there were just too many obstacles for this to work. That’s why, with a heavy heart, we decided to cancel the festival in the end.
unfortunately we are forced to cancel this year’s festival. A longer statement about this will be published on our website soon, but we wanted to let you know about this as soon as possible. We will refund the costs for all tickets ordered directly from us in the coming days.
Due to the short lead time we do not offer shipping for the tickets, the effort it would take to handle that many tickets would just be too great for us. The tickets ordered directly from us will thus be deposited at the door in your name. There are no additional pre-sale fees or shipping costs.
If you want to pay via wire transfer or you’re having problems with the ordering process, please contact us under firstname.lastname@example.org!
10 days until the festival! Due to a lack of time, we won’t be offering shipping for the tickets after this weekend – so if you want to have your ticket sent to you, make sure to order it until November 15! Tickets that are to be deposited at the door will remain available beyond that. And of course we’ll still have more tickets available at the door.