The Prog Report: USA

As if he is not busy enough with Flying Colors, Transatlantic and his own band, Neal Morse has decided to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to his fans, by inviting them to come to his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.

At the 2-day event this November called Morsefest, Neal and a bunch of musical guests which will include Mike Portnoy, will perform two of his solo albums on consecutive nights along with a slew of events throughout the 2 days.

Friday, November 14th, the band will perform Testimony 1 in its entirety and on Saturday the 15th, the entire One album. These albums were the first 2 that Neal released following his departure from Spock’s Beard. The weekend will be full of legendary status events such as an exclusive, free Inner Circle Only acoustic set, a VIP Meet and Greet with Neal and special guests, and a game of Name that Tune - prog style with Mike Portnoy.

I asked Neal about the event and what made him decide to do it? “I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for a long time. I’ve definitely been inspired by the Marillion camps and things like that… The idea of doing something special in a particular location and having people come from all over the world has always intrigued me, but I’ve never had the guts to actually try it! And then some people here in my hometown asked me if I would be willing to do some concerts right here, and I prayed about it and said yes!”

Neal says the idea to play both Testimony 1 and One came from a conversation with his wife. “We were walking one morning we were kicking around ideas about what to do and originally I was just thinking of just doing one of the albums and not both of them and I think she had the idea of making it a whole weekend making it a very special thing… Special enough for people to fly in for. And then it has developed and grown from there… Now it’s an extravaganza with a cast of thousands! All we need is a dancing bear! We will be performing a few other big songs for encores. Also, I will be doing a special acoustic concert of songs from my recent solo album and others especially for my inner circle. That is happening on Saturday afternoon.”

As far as what fans can expect, “Well, I’m not very good at blowing my own horn so to speak, but, honestly, I think they can expect an amazing weekend of brilliant music performed by some of the best musicians in the world. I expect it to be incredibly moving, inspiring, fun and full of surprises!” However, don’t expect any of the new material he is working on at the moment. “Our hands are so full with learning the music that we have already chosen… And I thought after all of that we should have a release of doing some songs that everyone knows and are a little more familiar with. So, we are going to close with some epic epics! It’s going to be an amazing weekend. That’s all I can tell you!”

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Roie Avin is the Editor of The Prog Report website.