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(63:04; Deaton Lemay Project)
Back with their second album, Roby Deaton (keyboards, guitars) and Craig LeMay (drums, percussion) have again invited singer Hadi Kiani and guitarists Ehsan Imani and Josh Mark Raj to take part, as well as also bringing in bassists John Haddad and Charles Berthoud with violinist Liza Evans on one track. When I heard their debut, I said it reminded me of Kansas in many ways, and this album sees them also bringing into play another classic prog band, Emerson Lake & Palmer. Deaton is an incredible keyboard player who is at home on beautiful piano as he is belting out synth rockers, while LeMay is incredibly technical and is a drummer who fully understands the need for space, which means he sits back at times and is driving hard at others. Kiani has an amazing voice, and I am so glad they have brought him back as his vocals are incredible, and he is perfectly linked with the others. The bass is an important element throughout, providing powerful linkage but a special mention should be made of Charles Berthoud on “A Different Place In Time” as some of his bass runs are just perfectly formed. It is the guitars which moves this more into Kansas than ELP, as it has that innate feeling of American prog/melodic rock, but when Deaton brings the Moog to bear, we are definitely in the realms of the latter, and possibly even the later project, 3. It is difficult to find a fault with this album as somehow it is firmly rooted in the Seventies yet is also modern and up to date, with the result being something which many progheads will thoroughly enjoy if they can bring themselves to find something new. This album has been out for some time, but only one solitary review on PA, which means it has slipped under the radar somewhat, which is nothing short of criminal as if you enjoy any of the bands mentioned, then this album should be on your list. It is fresh, old, new, and so much more, containing wonderful songs and amazing performances from all involved to create a very special album indeed.
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