Spock's Beard Reunite at Morsefest, to Record SNOW Live. Releases 11/10
At last year’s annual Morsefest in Nashville, the dream of every Spock’s Beard fan in attendance came true. The band’s original lineup, and current members, performed the critically acclaimed double-disc concept album, SNOW, in its entirety. It was a moment in time fans never thought they’d ever get a chance to see. SNOW was the last album that Neal Morse recorded with the band before quitting in 2002.
Photo caption: SNOW LIVE (Photo by Joel Barrios)
Left to right: Alan Morse (electric guitars, vocals), Ted Leonard (electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Neal Morse (lead vocals, piano, synths, electric and acoustic guitar), Jimmy Keegan (drums, percussion, vocals), Nick D'Virgilio (drums, percussion, vocals, acoustic guitars), Ryo Okumoto (keyboards--hammond organ, mellotron, jupiter 8, minimoog, vocoder), Dave Meros (bass, vocals)
Now it’s time for fans worldwide of Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse to experience that night for themselves. SNOW LIVE will be released November 10 on Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY in multiple formats: 2 DVD/2CD Digipack, 3 LP Vinyl (available in four different colors), 2 Disc Blu-ray and as a 2 DVD/2 CD/2 Blu-ray pack complete with a 48-page Artbook, poster and postcards. Pre-orders for each edition are now available on Radiant Records’ website.
The first 200 Artbook Bundles ordered will be signed by Neal Morse. Between September 12-14,orders over $80 will automatically receive an additional 15% off from Radiant Records. A free MP3 download of Journey’s "Separate Ways" performed by Spock's Beard and sung by Ted Leonard at the Morsefest Inner Circle jam will come with all pre-orders of any version of SNOW LIVE, only at Radiant Records.
Wanna see some video excerpts? Of course you do! Here is “Made Alive”/“Overture”
and here is "Stranger in a Strange Land."
Here's a trailer for the DVD/CD:
Spock’s Beard features Neal Morse (lead vocals, piano, synths, electric and acoustic guitar), Alan Morse (electric guitars, vocals), Ted Leonard (electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Jimmy Keegan (drums, percussion, vocals), Nick D'Virgilio (drums, percussion, vocals, acoustic guitars), Ryo Okumoto (keyboards--hammond organ, mellotron, jupiter 8, minimoog, vocoder), and Dave Meros (bass, vocals).
“It is difficult for me to know what to say about SNOW and Spock's Beard and this whole amazing event that happened in 2016,” says Neal Morse. “I guess what I would like to share from my perspective is that this is an album that meant a lot to many people. It touched the hearts and lives and had profound meaning to people all over the world and in a way, it was like the child that myself and the band bore and then put up for adoption. Since we never played it live and I quit the band right after the album was finished, we never got to experience what it meant to others. We never got to see how it lived out in the world. Until now. I think we always knew that we were going to get together and play it at some point. It just needed to happen. But, as you can imagine, there was a lot of pain associated with this album. So, while Nick (D'Virgilio) had brought it up several times over the years, there was always so much going on in our lives that we put it off and said we were too busy. It just never felt like the right time. Or that's the way it seemed anyway.”
Progreport.com called the Morsefest 2016, “...an event for the ages. For any Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse fan it was a wish come true but it also showed the power of this Prog community which continues to bring people from all corners of the world together to celebrate great music and make friends. If you were there, it will be a memory for a lifetime, if you weren’t, don’t miss the next one!”
Upon the initial release of SNOW, AllMusic.com praised: “Spock’s Beard are the quintessential American progressive rock band. Their music has consistently been brave, restless, and often visionary. On SNOW, a double-CD concept album, they go for broke...Spock’s Beard have taken all of their strengths instrumentally, lyrically, and vocally, and concentrated them in this effort about an albino boy on a noble, if idiosyncratic, quest. While concept albums have been done on much loftier notions, they seem to falter under their own weight, or the light of actual history. Here, Neal and Alan Morse, and their bandmates, use a much more subjective fantasy story, and create a spiritual, physical, ideological, and emotional set of circumstances that follow their protagonist through 26 songs. Musically, SNOW is a wonder...Spock’s Beard has been pushing at their own boundaries for a while now, and with SNOW, they shatter them and enter into the very promise of what progressive rock is always supposed to deliver: discovering some heretofore unknown sonic territory via the individual and collective focus of creating through the applied effort of one's best musical efforts.”
As Neal Morse concludes, “Obviously, the stars aligned and many prayers were answered as we gathered to play the SNOW album in its entirety for the first time at Morsefest 2016. Some brilliant person had the idea to enlist the extreme talents of both Jimmy (Keegan) and Ted (Leonard) which brought a dazzle and musicality that is off the chart. Between that and Rich Mouser's astounding mix, not to mention Thad Kesten's team of amazing video people, this is one of the finest live concert packages of which I have ever been involved.”