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Michael Popke

While there’s nothing as outwardly commercial as “Blew Up (The House)" from 2013’s Fight for My Soul on Signs, the singer and guitar slinger Jonny Lang proves that he can still make the blues accessible for newbies. more

Sep 19, 2017 2:07 PM Album Reviews

The instrumental trio Machine Mass celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first album with the release of Machine Mass Plays Hendrix. more

Aug 8, 2017 3:07 PM Album Reviews

. Minnesota’s Bubblemath releases their second album, the cleverly colorful and proudly eclectic Edit Peptide. more

Aug 1, 2017 2:41 PM Album Reviews

On Raise Your Hands! Sam Butler puts his own bluesy spin on spiritual-leaning songs by secular artists like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and U2. Butler and his three-piece band capture the spirit of the originals while creating something en... more

Dec 22, 2015 5:56 PM Album Reviews

Borrowing its name from a Son House quote, MonkeyJunk is a Canadian swamp-blues roots-rock trio that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still pushes genre boundaries. Melodic sparks, thick grooves and playful riffs dominate Moon Turn Red... more

Dec 8, 2015 6:58 PM Album Reviews

The latest album from Ritchie Blackmore’s renaissance act Blackmore’s Night, All Our Yesterdays, was released amid reports that the guitarist—who (in)famously shunned his rock ’n’ roll past with Deep Purple and Rainbow for two decades—will ... more

Dec 1, 2015 6:31 PM Album Reviews

Guapo’s Obscure Knowledge is a near-perfect album for the discerning progressive rock fan. Not only do the four members of Guapo worship at the altars of King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Univers Zero, but Obscure Knowledge also cons... more

Oct 13, 2015 6:29 PM Album Reviews

The press materials for the sixth album from Italian metal band Kingcrow call Eidos “valiant”—an incredibly apt descriptor. There is something bold and even heroic about this powerful record that mixes atmospheric rock, progressive and w... more

Oct 6, 2015 6:31 PM Album Reviews

What happens when musicians from multiple progressive-rock bands with cult followings form their own group? Box of Shamans answers that question with a loose concept album about delusions, Belief and Illusion. more

Aug 11, 2015 6:14 PM Album Reviews

Blues rocker Christian Collin’s sophomore solo album, Spirit of the Blues, sizzles and burns with a dozen original songs. more

Jul 28, 2015 6:02 PM Album Reviews

Known for his work in the U.K. bands It Bites and Arena, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Mitchell breaks away from group constraints with his new atmospheric prog project, Lonely Robot. Please Come Home is a dramatic concept album a... more

Apr 28, 2015 8:29 PM Album Reviews

In recent years, Italy’s Frontiers Records has become the go-to label for veteran artists with shrinking but loyal fan bases supergroups. Among the latest collaborations is Level 10, a dark and heavy yet supremely melodic metal band featuri... more

Feb 17, 2015 5:59 PM Album Reviews

Brad Absher’s sixth album seeks to introduce the Houston-based singer-songwriter and guitarist (along with his tight touring band Swamp Royale) to a wider audience. Lucky Dog shows off Absher’s laid-back voice, which recalls Bill Withers an... more

Jan 28, 2015 7:44 PM Album Reviews

On its third CD, Moraine achieves what many fusion groups only talk about—melding rock and jazz into music built from the best elements of both. The rhythm section on Groundswell is tough yet supple, the improvisations are fluid yet often d... more

Sep 24, 2014 1:37 AM Album Reviews

Most so-called hair bands—save heavy hitters like Bon Jovi and Mötely Crüe—have faded even more than that denim jacket you used to wear. Then there’s Lillian Axe. Although the Louisiana band enjoyed limited success via MTV hits like “Show ... more

Sep 24, 2014 1:34 AM Album Reviews

Few artists embody the proud DIY ethic of the Twin Cities music scene like Davina and the Vagabonds. Recorded in analog and showcasing the undeniably quirky vocals of more

Sep 2, 2014 7:20 PM Album Reviews

The multinational instrumental quartet Sonar includes a mathematics professor, a software developer and a multimedia artist. In other words, not only can these guys play; they also have brains. On their second album, Static Motion, they rel... more

May 29, 2014 2:01 AM Album Reviews

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Photo credit: Sara Bill

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May 1, 2014 2:18 PM Concert Reviews

Matt Schofield has been hailed as one of the U.K.’s finest bluesmen, winning award after major award. But, as he so convincingly demonstrates on his fifth album, Far As I Can See, he’s moved well beyond that limited realm. Traditional blues... more

Apr 21, 2014 3:34 PM Album Reviews

Some bands enjoy a certain amount of success and then just disappear. That’s what happened with Silent Force, a metal outfit led by German guitarist Alex Beyrodt (who went on to success in Primal Fear, Sinner and Voodoo Circle) and released... more

Mar 25, 2014 9:47 PM Album Reviews

Blind Guardian, Germany’s premier progressive-power metal pioneers, release triple-CD live set from the band’s 2015 European tour. more

Oct 17, 2017 4:43 PM Album Reviews

On No Answer, Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and his bandmates offer plenty of answers for fans of sophisticated prog and post-jazz. more

Oct 10, 2017 2:17 PM Album Reviews

The Tangent, a European collective in the classic prog vein, have released The Slow Rust of Forgotten Memory, their most overtly political record. more

Oct 3, 2017 2:44 PM Album Reviews

While there’s nothing as outwardly commercial as “Blew Up (The House)" from 2013’s Fight for My Soul on Signs, the singer and guitar slinger Jonny Lang proves that he can still make the blues accessible for newbies. more

Sep 19, 2017 2:07 PM Album Reviews

The instrumental trio Machine Mass celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first album with the release of Machine Mass Plays Hendrix. more

Aug 8, 2017 3:07 PM Album Reviews

. Minnesota’s Bubblemath releases their second album, the cleverly colorful and proudly eclectic Edit Peptide. more

Aug 1, 2017 2:41 PM Album Reviews

Nick Beggs began his musical career as the bass player in Kajagoogoo and co-wrote that band’s 1983 smash single “Too Shy." Nearly a quarter-century later, he’s built a diverse more

Jul 3, 2017 3:32 PM Album Reviews

Thelonious Monk’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses was recorded for the 1960 French film of that name and somehow slipped through the cracks of history. Monk was at a peak during the session, conjuring memories of the blues and turning jazz into Cu... more

Jun 20, 2017 1:40 PM Album Reviews

Milwaukee has become a destination for ecologically concerned tourists with many sustainable buildings and sites. more

May 30, 2017 4:46 PM News Features

The two-CD collection titled Eidolon: The Allan Holdsworth Collection—a condensed version of the 12-disc box set titled The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever—contains 28 songs chosen by Holdsworth that reflect the guitarist’s pioneering and co... more

May 30, 2017 2:08 PM Album Reviews

Spann built his reputation on keyboards and recorded demos for David Bowie’s final record, Blackstar. But on his own second solo album, Beautiful Man from Mars—co-produced by Milwaukee music stalwart Gary Tanin—Spann plays just about everyt... more

May 30, 2017 2:03 PM Album Reviews

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band that helped define the early sound of progressive rock with “A White Shade of Pale," Procol Harum has released a record of 11 new songs titled Novum. more

May 16, 2017 3:41 PM Album Reviews

If you can get past the cheesy cover and lead-off title track, you’ll discover that Life’s A Party—the new album from Milwaukee singer-songwriter/guitarist Jackie Brown and her band—is a smooth and sophisticated blend of catchy pop, rock an... more

May 16, 2017 3:36 PM Album Reviews

If you like your heavy metal delivered with an old-school punch, you need to know about The Unity. Helloween, Deep Purple and Symphony X collide on The Unity’s self-titled debut, which throbs with a dozen songs all six members had a hand in... more

May 2, 2017 1:33 PM Album Reviews

The energetic male-female duo Ashland immediately demands your attention with the first notes of the leadoff track on Wildfire. By mixing pop arrangements with rock sensibilities and evergreen melodies, musician Aaron Wood and vocalist Asia... more

Apr 18, 2017 2:21 PM Album Reviews

Austria’s Edenbridge released its debut album, Sunrise in Eden, in 2000 among a slew of similar female-fronted symphonic metal bands. Many have come and gone, but Edenbridge—still led by angelic vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher and mononymous mu... more

Jan 31, 2017 2:35 PM Album Reviews

Magnum’s The Valley of Tears: The Ballads is an ideal album for mid-winter introspection. Melodically, lyrically and structurally, these 10 remastered, partially remixed or even re-recorded songs provide an overview of Magnum’s gentler side... more

Jan 24, 2017 1:57 PM Album Reviews

On Blind World, the second album by Danish metal band Ghost Iris, songs such as “Save Yourself” and “Pinnacle” mix clean and extreme vocals with catchy arrangements, tricky riffs and elements of funk and tech metal to create an invigo... more

Jan 17, 2017 3:02 PM Album Reviews

For their ninth album, the keyboard-heavy quintet Sonata Arctica moves further into progressive-metal territory. Vocalist Tony Kakko’s distinct delivery keeps Sonata Arctica from comparisons to any other power/prog-metal band, but The Ninth... more

Jan 10, 2017 2:48 PM Album Reviews

On Eye of the Soundscape, Polish progressive-rock innovators Riverside embrace many of the sounds it shunned on previous albums. Instead of heavy guitars, odd time signatures and dense arrangements, Riverside indulges in loops, percolating ... more

Dec 13, 2016 2:26 PM Album Reviews

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