Who: Glass Hammer w/ special guests: Anton Roolaart Band / Circuline
When: Saturday , April 25, 2015 | 7:30PM Show | 6:45PM Doors
Where: Roxy & Dukes | 745 Bound Brook Rd, Dunellen, NJ (map)
Cost: Online Presale $32 (includes $2 processing fee)
Walk-ups Day of Show $40(Cash Only)
Glass Hammer is an American progressive rock band from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They formed in 1992 when multi-instrumentalists Steve Babb and Fred Schendel began to write and record the Tolkien-themed concept album “Journey of the Dunadan”. While many musicians have appeared on Glass Hammer albums over the years, Babb and Schendel have remained the core creative force of the band. Both play a variety of instruments, but Babb is better known as the bassist while Schendel is the primary keyboardist. And though they also sing, a number of other vocalists (most notably Michelle Young, Walter Moore, Susie Bogdanowicz, Carl Groves and Jon Davison) have also handled lead vocal duties through the years.
Lyrically, Glass Hammer is inspired mostly by their love of literature (most notably Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and John Krakauer) and Babb’s love of Victorian prose and medieval mythology.
Musically, they lean towards 70’s driven symphonic rock, focusing on epic-length songs anchored by Babb’s distinctive bass guitar work and strong keyboard playing from Schendel; specifically Hammond organs in the tradition of ELP. They have a superb melodic flow to the music they make, encapsulating real power and dynamics without ever becoming overpowering. Their most apparent influences are ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant and, to a less noticeable extent, Camel. Fans and critics are usually quick to attest that Glass Hammer have managed to combine those influences into a unique style all their own.
Critically acclaimed albums have continued to flow from the Glass Hammer studio, with the most successful and noteworthy being “Chronomtree” (2000), “Lex Rex” (2002), “The Inconsolable Secret” (2005) and “IF” (2010). Vocalists and fan-favorites Carl Groves and Susie Bogdanowicz took a temporary hiatus from the band after 2009 and vocalist Jon Davison took over as lead vocalist for three studio albums; “IF”, “Cor Cordium” and “Perilous”. Kamran Alan Shikoh joined the band at the same time taking on the role of guitarist. Both Shikoh and Davison remain in the group currently, though Davison has also assumed the role as front-man for Yes. This led to Carl Groves rejoining the Glass Hammer in 2013 for live performances and recording. Aaron Raulston joined at the same time as drummer for the group. Susie Bogdanowicz rejoined in late 2013 and is slated to appear along with Raulston, Groves and Shikoh in 2015 concerts.
Glass Hammer’s 2014 release “Ode To Echo” features performances by many of the band’s vocalists, including Bogdanowicz, Young, Moore and Davison, though Carl Groves handles the lion’s share of the vocal duties.
Other prog musicians and rock artists have made contributions to Glass Hammer projects, including Jon Anderson of Yes, Arjen Lucassen, Rich Williams and David Ragsdale of Kansas, Rob Reed of Magenta and Randy Jackson of Zebra. Glass Hammer has also appeared with The Adonia String Trio and performed two concerts (2006-2007) with 120 plus member choirs from Belmont University and Lee University.
Currently, Glass Hammer is in the studio recording their sixteenth studio album which is set for release in early 2015. The current live lineup for the band is Babb, Schendel, Groves, Shikoh, Raulston and Bogdaniwcz.
Anton Roolaart Band
Anton’s musical journey started long ago in North Carolina where he lived with his family after moving to the US from the Netherlands. He started playing guitar at 13 – taking classical guitar lessons in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. In his teens he started listening to the bands that included Pink Floyd, Yes, Steve Howe and many others while he explored the instrument and the music that touched him. He began to play often with friends, performing in cafes and later on with his studies in technology, he decided to study sound engineering in a nearby college just before moving to Spain and Holland for a year. When he returned, Anton moved to New Jersey and began recording and building his home studio. Over the years, Anton has crafted his guitar playing and song writing skills, as well as his production skills, but only later in his musical career did he release any albums – he now has two albums that have received great reviews.
Anton’s music presents the listener with wonderful melodies, guitars, textures and keyboards supported by herculean bass lines and drums. His influences come from some prog greats like Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, and more recently Steve Wilson, but also from other bands like The Beatles and Bowie. Although he enjoys various genres of music, he began to have a special admiration for the progressive rock scene. Roughly 10 Years ago, Anton started his own prog streaming radio station – ProgRockRadio.com (as as labor of love) to spread the wonderful music of this genre, and which he continues to run to this day.
Anton has performed many years in venues and cafes all around North Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. Now, after the well received debut Art-Rock album “Dreamer” (2007), he has come back as an independent artist with an exciting second album entitled “The Plight of Lady Oona”. This second album (which was released on April 24, 2014) has raised the level of Anton’s music and has been received very positive recognition in the prog scene. He’s now back to perform his tunes live with some additional new members in his band. He says he’s working hard on his musical career and putting a good band together and touring is on his top list of priorities for the foreseeable future.
Circuline was founded in 2014 when former progressive rock tribute band Downing Grey members Andrew Colyer (keyboards, vocals), Bill Shannon (guitars, vocals), and Darin Brannon (drums, percussion) had a burning desire to write original material. Lead vocalists Billy Spillane and Natalie Brown were up for the challenge, having performed in countless venues as singers, actors, dancers, and rock musicians.
Their debut album, Return, will be released on April 24, 2015, featuring guests Matt Dorsey (Sound of Contact) on bass, Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance) as songwriter and vocalist, and Joe Deninzon (Stratospheerius) on electric violin. Paul Ranieri (Shadow Eden) is their touring bassist.
Besides performing Modern ProgRock original tunes, you may also hear them perform classic progressive rock music from such bands as Yes, Genesis, Sound of Contact, and Pink Floyd.
“Cinematic…refined…polished…smooth as silk…not what you usually hear from a first album…” – Marty Dorfman (The Prog Doctor), House of Prog
“There are many layers here on first listen…delicately placed strips of all manner of sounds interwoven and joined without a hint of the seam…It’s that good, and only gets better upon each playing…Trust me – You’ll know what I mean when you listen to Return yourselves.” – Paul Watson, http://progarchy.com/2015/03/27/circuline-a-well-rounded-band/
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