The beginning of my busman's holiday in Maine greeted me with a hefty pile, measured in feet, of DVDs and CDs for my attention. Fortunately I have been able to have review discs on the deck pretty much constantly. Even managed to sneak in a viewing of the rather amusing Wakeman DVD; it's with the great man we start.
Rick Wakeman: The Other Side
In probably the mellowest of DVDs in my review pile, Rick Wakeman performs a solo show on piano and mic. He does no singing but fills the bits between with anecdotes and tales of the songs. Think of it as a "Storyteller's" where the performer does not have to just do the hits. Rick plays songs from his entire career including The Strawbs as well as taking a classical take on a couple of Beatles tracks. Wakeman also demonstrates his ability to hold a room with his chat not just his spectacular piano playing. His tale of his first performance as a 5-year old is most amusing.
Needless to say this is a must for fans or admirers of the great man. Fans of Yes might appreciate seeing another side to sometime Yes keyboardist Rick. A pleasant, amusing and fascinating way to spend slightly over 100 minutes. What is not to like?
Ken Hensley: Blood on the Highway
A concept album of sorts about the early '70s history of this great man recalling his days in Black Foot and Uriah Heep. New material that sounds modern and fitting is what you find here. He has invited a whole bunch of mates along including Glenn "I have to over sing everything" Hughes, Jorn Lande, John Lawton and Eve Gallagher. This CD was recorded in Alicante in Spain, and it drips with class and talent. There is nothing on here that one could consider a dud or filler. The 14 tracks never sound tired or dull. Every track clearly demonstrates the talent of the man.
A must for the fans of the man and his past bands, this is also a testament to a time of great importance for heavy rock. A real treat for hard rock fans of any age.