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Colin Harper: Sunset Cavaliers

Considered reflections on bygone sounds and times.

Music journalist Colin Harper pays homage to some of his heroes and a perceived disappearing musical landscape, with an unhurried collection of blues, folk and jazz tunes with a frequent Celtic tinge.

Guest artists include Mahavishnu members Steve Kindler and Premik Tubbs, Wishbone Ash’s Andy Powell, Chris Spedding and even the late Bert Jansch. Tracks like Green Hill Country, Blues For The End Of Time and Trip To Ennis have the feel of a group of old muso friends jamming languidly in a pub saloon bar on a Sunday afternoon, stepping up the pace perhaps later that night with tunes like Hebridean Seas At Winter once the craic’s got a bit more lively. Nine Lives Gone beautifully reworks a song by late British blues artist Duffy Power, with a poignant vocal reminiscent of John Martyn. It’s a thoughtful and affectionate album, with few moments of extreme drama or surprise; instead it relies on rich layers and evocative, mainly acoustic, instrumentation. Front-loading the track listing with instrumentals may have upset the overall pacing a little but nevertheless, much like an expensive pair of slippers, Harper’s offering is warm, comfortable, and reassuringly well made.

Gary has contributed reviews and news features for Prog Magazine for over a decade now. A fan of prog and heavy rock since childhood, his main areas of interest are classic and symphonic prog, prog-metal and modern acts bringing in fresh influences to the genre. He has a professional background in youth and community work, he teaches drum kit in schools and is a working musician. Gary was the drummer in semi-legendary NWOBHM band Praying Mantis for a couple of years and has been a member of indie-prog-pop-art-rock combo The Mighty Handful for more than twenty years. He loves cats and skiing, and has a Blue Peter badge.