(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
One of progressive rock’s most popular bands is the long running Spock’s Beard. Originally formed in Los Angeles and now active for over 25 years, the band has had some incredible musicians fill its roster over that quarter of a century. In 2016, every one of them assembled together at the annual Morsefest (derived from name of the band’s founding brothers, Neal and Alan Morse) in Nashville for one incredible event.
The band’s original lineup, along with current members and others, performed the critically acclaimed double-disc concept album “Snow” in its entirety. It was a moment in time that fans of Spock’s Beard never thought they’d ever get a chance to see. Snow was originally released fifteen years ago and was the last album that Neal Morse recorded with the band before quitting in 2002.
This mind-blowing performance was filmed for an eventual release and now, that is upon us with “Snow Live” and we have details for you.
Snow Live will be released on 2 DVD/2CD digipack, 3 LP vinyl (available in four different colors), 2 disc Blu-ray and as a 2 DVD/2 CD/2 Blu-ray pack complete with a 48-page artbook, through Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY on November 10th. Now it’s time for fans worldwide of Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse to experience that night for themselves. A trailer for this spectacular item can be seen below.
Spock’s Beard “Snow Live” features Neal Morse (lead vocals, piano, synths, electric and acoustic guitar), Alan Morse (electric guitars, vocals), Ted Leonard (electric and acoustic guitar, vocals), Jimmy Keegan (drums, percussion, vocals), Nick D’Virgilio (drums, percussion, vocals, acoustic guitars), Ryo Okumoto (keyboards, hammond organ, mellotron, jupiter 8, minimoog, vocoder) and Dave Meros (bass, vocals).
Pre-orders for each edition are now available here.
The first 200 Artbook Bundles ordered will be signed by Neal Morse. Between September 12th – 14th, orders over $80 will automatically receive an additional 15% off from Radiant Records. A free MP3 download of Journey’s “Separate Ways” performed by Spock’s Beard and sung by Ted Leonard at the Morsefest Inner Circle jam will come with all pre-orders of any version of Snow Live, only at Radiant Records.
“It is difficult for me to know what to say about Snow and Spock’s Beard and this whole amazing event that happened in 2016,” says Neal Morse. “I guess what I would like to share from my perspective is that this is an album that meant a lot to many people. It touched the hearts and lives and had profound meaning to people all over the world and in a way, it was like the child that myself and the band bore and then put up for adoption. Since we never played it live and I quit the band right after the album was finished, we never got to experience what it meant to others. We never got to see how it lived out in the world. Until now. I think we always knew that we were going to get together and play it at some point. It just needed to happen. But, as you can imagine, there was a lot of pain associated with this album. So, while Nick (D’Virgilio) had brought it up several times over the years, there was always so much going on in our lives that we put it off and said we were too busy. It just never felt like the right time. Or that’s the way it seemed anyway.”
Morse concludes, “Obviously, the stars aligned and many prayers were answered as we gathered to play the Snow album in its entirety for the first time at Morsefest 2016. Some brilliant person had the idea to enlist the extreme talents of both Jimmy (Keegan) and Ted (Leonard) which brought a dazzle and musicality that is off the chart. Between that and Rich Mouser’s astounding mix, not to mention Thad Kesten’s team of amazing video people, this is one of the finest live concert packages of which I have ever been involved.”