Back in February we posted a news article on a ’return to his prog rock roots’ project from guitar maestro Gordon Giltrap, which would also see him collaborating with Oliver Wakeman on keyboards. In their recent press release detailed information is revealed on the studio album Ravens & Lullabies – which will appear on the Esoteric Antenna label in March 2013.
The album is a 13 song collection of hard hitting memorable rock pieces coupled with thought provoking lyrics alongside acoustic duets featuring their fine instrumental interplay.
The project was initiated with a phone call from Gordon to Oliver in early 2012 requesting Oliver’s keyboard services for a new rock album. Within 24 hours Gordon had phoned again suggesting a full collaboration instead and the ‘Ravens & Lullabies’ concept was born.
Gordon and Oliver spent 2012 writing and recording the album which features a return for Gordon to his rock roots following a 30 year absence and Oliver’s first recorded works since his departure from both Yes and Strawbs.
The album was recorded and mixed by ‘Threshold’ guitarist Karl Groom (who also mixed the Yes ‘Live In Lyon’ record which featured Oliver on keyboards).
The album will be available in two formats, a single CD featuring the 13 new pieces and double pack special edition featuring a Bonus CD of live recordings taken from their 2012 tour and re-recordings of pieces from Oliver and Gordon’s past catalogue.
The new album features performances by the following well respected musicians.
Paul Manzi – vocals.
Paul has performed with the Oliver Wakeman Band for the last 6 years (appearing on the live DVD ‘Coming to Town’) and is the current vocalist for the rock band Arena.
Steve Amadeo – Bass Guitar
Steve, an in demand Jazz/Blues/Rock session bass player, is currently performing with Blues guitarist Aynsley Lister.
Johanne James – Drums.
Johanne has been the Threshold drummer for the last 12 years.
The album also features a special vocal appearance by Benoit David, Oliver’s old band mate from Yes, on the track ‘From the Turn of a Card’ written by Oliver during the Yes recording sessions of 2010.
Many of the pieces were debuted and refined during their acoustic duo tour in September and October 2012 where they performed sell out concerts across the UK. The tour will resume in March 2013 to coincide with the release of the new album.
One of the most innovative acoustic guitarists in the UK today, Gordon Giltrap has developed his own unique style, much copied, but never bettered. It is impossible not to be awestruck as he coaxes incredible melodies from his instruments; you almost suspect a second pair of hands. He is well known for his varied musical output and ‘Heartsong’ (a hit single from the album ‘Perilous Journey’ in 1977) is instantly recognized as the theme for the BBC TV’s long running ‘Holiday’ programme.
Following ten solo albums in a variety of styles, Oliver Wakeman joined the legendary band ‘YES’ in 2008, touring with them up until mid-2011. A live CD and triple vinyl release, ‘In The Present – Live from Lyon’, was a fitting bookend to his period in the band. He also worked with the folk rock band ‘The Strawbs’ and appeared on their last studio album as well as their 40th Anniversary CD release. Appearing in venues across North and South America, Europe and the UK with YES, Strawbs and as a solo artist, he has become a well respected live performing musician to add to his other talents as composer, songwriter, lyricist and producer.
Gordon says “Working with Oliver is like a breath of fresh air. I knew of his reputation as a fine musician, and it made perfect sense for me to tap into his creative energy, not only to bring out certain elements of my musical gifts but to create something new and exciting, at the same time giving a nod in the direction of our respective Progressive Rock roots”
Oliver adds, “After working with YES, the chance of working with another legendary artist was an opportunity too good to miss. I am having a wonderfully productive time working with Gordon and feel we are creating something genuinely unique in our ‘Ravens & Lullabies’ project.”
Many of Gordon’s fans have been asking for years when he is going to return to his rock roots and others wondered what Oliver would write after the Yes experiences…
In March 2013 they’ll know…