Year : 2014
Style : Progressive Rock , Melodic Rock
Country : United Kingdom
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 129 mb
Mostly Autumn are an English rock band. The group formed in 1995 and have built their reputation through constant touring, never signing to a major label. They produce music heavily influenced by 1970s progressive rock. According to the BBC, Mostly Autumn "fuse the music of Genesis and Pink Floyd with Celtic themes, hard rock and strong, emotional melodies".They have also been compared with other progressive bands such as Jethro Tull and Camel, blended with traditional folk music.Later albums also include more contemporary influences.Mostly Autumn was formed in the mid 1990s, the original lineup included several members of Pink Floyd/1970s tribute band One Stoned Snowman. The band's founding line-up consisted of band leader Bryan Josh (vocals and guitars), along with Heidi Widdop (vocals), Iain Jennings (keyboards), Liam Davison (guitars), Alun Hughes (bass), Bob Faulds (violin), Kev Gibbons (whistles), and Chris Walton (drums). Mostly Autumn's first live shows were the former supporting the latter or vice versa; One Stoned Snowman's final concert was a farewell show in December 1995. Mostly Autumn's original rhythm section of Alun Hughes and Chris Walton left the band during 1996 to concentrate on other musical projects and family commitments respectively and were subsequently replaced by bassist Stuart Carver and drummer Allan Scott. Shortly after this, Widdop was replaced on vocals by Heather Findlay.This line-up recorded For All We Shared... in 1998. More line-up changes ensued, however, and by the time the band recorded their second album, The Spirit of Autumn Past in 1999, Gibbons and Scott had been replaced by Angela Goldthorpe and Rob McNeil respectively.In 2000 (as a three piece – Bryan, Heather and Angela) they achieved a support slot for Blackmore's Night on their Under a Violet Moon tour, bringing them to a wider audience. On the cover artwork for the following Blackmore's Night album Fires at Midnight (2001), Heather Findlay provided the illustration for the song "Hanging Tree".On Mostly Autumn's third album, The Last Bright Light (2001), Rob McNeil, in turn, was replaced by Jonathan Blackmore (not related to Ritchie). Andy Smith replaced Stuart Carver on the bass guitar. Shortly before the band's 'V Shows' tour in 2004, Iain's brother Andrew Jennings took over on drums and percussion. By this time, the band had been praised by Rick Wright of Pink Floyd.Olivia Sparnenn joined the band in 2005 to provide additional backing vocals. Ben Matthews of Thunder stood in on keyboards for Mostly Autumn's headline gig at the Baja Prog Festival in Mexico in March 2006. Chris Johnson was then recruited as a permanent replacement, with Angela (now under her married name Gordon) also taking a more prominent role on keyboards.At the beginning of 2007, both guitarist Liam Davison and drummer Andrew Jennings left the band; Davison to concentrate on his solo album and Jennings to devote his time to his other projects. The guitar parts were shared out amongst the rest of the group. Ex-Karnataka drummer Gavin Griffiths stood in on drums for most of the 2007 live shows; Andrew Jennings temporarily rejoined the group at the end of 2007, until Henry Bourne took over in 2008. Gavin Griffiths returned for the first shows of 2009 in Manchester and London. After Chris Johnson and Angela Gordon left in 2007, Iain Jennings and Liam Davison returned to the group on keyboards and guitar respectively. Anne-Marie Helder (who had played support slots in the past and stood in for Angela during her pregnancy) took over the role of flute, keyboards and backing vocals. A new studio album entitled Glass Shadows was released in early 2008 and an accompanying tour took place in spring and early summer. A 100-minute DVD, 'The Making of Glass Shadows', accompanied the special pre-order version of the album.During October 2008, Mostly Autumn performed two gigs with an alternative, semi-acoustic line-up in support of the Bad Shepherds. The line-up consisted of Bryan Josh (guitar and vocals), Olivia Sparnenn (lead vocals), Andy Smith (bass), Anne-Marie Helder (keyboards and flute) and Robbie Baxter (drums). This tour was truncated after the Bad Shepherds cancelled many dates.Mostly Autumn have their own independent record label and choose to finance each album release itself. The group typically prints a limited edition of each album and sells those to cover their recording costs. A retail version of the album is then made available via retail outlets, distributors, the group's concerts and through their website.Up to and including Heart Full of Sky (2006) Mostly Autumn's albums have started with the last few seconds of the previous album's final song. This tradition was dropped with the release of Glass Shadows (2008).At the beginning of 2010, Heather Findlay announced her intention to leave the band to focus on solo work and her family. She performed her last gig with the band at Leamington Spa Assembly on 2 April 2010.This was filmed, and released as a 2-disc DVD under the name That Night in Leamington, which also included a 30-minute interview with Josh and Findlay. After her departure, Olivia Sparnenn stepped into the lead role, and the band's next album Go Well Diamond Heart was released in 2010.
Mostly Autumn have been known throughout their career as a Celtic/folk infused prog-lite sort of band.Their albums, right from the early days were always very good, sometimes excellent, but, it must be said, somewhat overly predictable and risk-averse – which never sits well with your average prog fan and hence their rather mixed reputation within the genre’s cognoscenti.But things are about to change.It is often said that music has the capacity both to lift the soul and to induce gut-wrenching emotion, but it is very rare that these two combine within one piece of work.Step forward ‘Dressed In Voices’, Bryan Josh and Co.’s eleventh studio album, which has elevated the band to a new level and revealed a side to them that hitherto has been rarely seen.The album is a concept based around the cold-blooded murder of an ordinary guy who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and challenging the murderer to see what he has taken away - both the life before the bullet and the subsequent life of which the victim has been deprived.It’s a dark theme and apparently Josh questioned himself continually during the writing process as to whether the subject matter was just too bleak.But this is what risk-taking is all about, and the result an absolutely stunning piece of work that cajoles every emotion from the listener – from the abject horror of the act itself (‘Saturday Night’ and ‘The Last Day’) to the joys of an ordinary life (‘Down By The River’ and ‘House On The Hill’) right through to the lump-in-the-throat raw emotion of ‘Home’ and ‘Box Of Tears’.The music throughout is astounding and the libretto so apposite and so sensitive to the story it would bring tears to even the hardest of souls.In addition, this is the album where Mostly Autumn have finally come together as a band in its truest meaning – Josh’s guitar playing has never sounded better, Iain Jennings’ keyboard wizardry has been given due prominence at last and Olivia Sparnenn-Josh has finally stepped out of the shadow of (former vocalist) Heather Findlay – to startling effect.No less are the exceptional passages of slide guitar from Liam Davidson and the more than dependable bass of Andy Smith.Add in the off-the-wall drumming of Alex Cromarty and a few guest appearances from the likes of Anne-Marie Helder, Troy Donockley (inevitably) and B J Cole and the whole thing just comes together beautifully.‘Dressed In Voices’ is without doubt Mostly Autumn’s finest hour.It’s an emotional ride with dark and brooding passages around every corner, but it’s also an exquisite and uplifting set of songs that are both musically sublime and good for the soul – a difficult trick to pull off, but achieved with panache.
Bryan Josh / Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Olivia Sparnenn / Lead Vocals, Percussion
Iain Jennings / Keyboards, Synthesisers, Hammond Organ
Liam Davison / Guitars, Vocals
Andy Smith / Bass Guitar
Anne-Marie Helder / Guitars, Flute, Keyboards, Vocals
Alex Cromerty / Drums
01. Saturday Night
02. Not Yours to Take
04. See You
06. First Day at School
07. Down by the River
08. Skin on Skin
09. The House on the Hill
10. The Last Day
11. Dressed in Voices
12. The Library
14. Box of Tears
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