Neal Morse Band have recently announced their much-anticipated fourth studio album ‘Innocence & Danger’, to be released on August 27th, 2021. Today, the band are sharing the first single and video from the album for the opening track “Do It All Again.”
To celebrate the upcoming release, Randy George took a moment to reflect on his favorite bass records of all time.
Yes - Fragile - Chris Squire
This was the first album that was truly all about the bass for me. I was about 9 years old when Roundabout hit the airwaves! I don’t know what it was but just loved the bass on the album! It had such a commanding roll in the music! For the next decade there would be no better music for me!
Brand X - Moroccan Roll - Percy Jones
I first got into this album because Phil Collins was playing drums… I didn’t know who any of the other members were. But the bass playing of Percy Jones is a force to be reckoned with. The language the band speaks is impressive and delicate. Percy has developed sounds and ideas on the fretless that are truly unique to him and the band!
Dixie Dregs - Dregs of the Earth - Andy West
I got into the Dregs in 1977. so this album had not yet been recorded. But as impressive as every album was… there was something that really peaked on this one! The Bass playing in songs like I’m Freaking Out is just amazing! I credit Steve Morse with much of my playing style. I’ve become friends with Andy West and it is interesting to talk about playing these songs!
King Crimson - Discipline - Tony Levin
To say the the bass on this album is amazing is no exaggeration. Tony has created a world of sounds using both the Bass guitar and the Stick. His sonic palate compliments the band so perfectly and the playing is just incredible! It’s brilliant in it’s minimalist approach. But what is impressive about Tony is that even this album doesn’t scratch the surface of what he is capable of!
Alan Holdsworth - Road Games - Jeff Berlin
If there is an album where a trio can just take you to another universe then this is it! The playing is extreme but the musical palate is so abstract and brilliant! This is not for the faint of heart! This is musical form all it’s own. Alan Holdsworth is brilliant! Jeff Berlin and Chad Wackerman are amazing!
Rush - Power Windows - Geddy Lee
There is something unique about the way Geddy Lee gets his tone! He has always had incredible tone and technique. A couple things stnd out on this album… I think it was the peak of the Keyboard dominant Rush music. Geddy has some wonderful bass lines throughout this album! But he also changed basses. This was the first appearance of the Wal Bass. It already has this bright twangy sound but Geddy really uses it effectively!
With NMB’s previous two releases being concept albums, it’s perhaps remarkable that Innocence & Danger is a series of unrelated songs, but drummer Mike Portnoy says “After two sprawling back to back double concept albums in a row, it was refreshing to get back to writing a collection of unrelated individual songs in the vein of our first album.”
Indeed, making this album came easy to the band; while the initial inspiration came particularly from Bill Hubauer (keyboards) and Randy George (bass), the ideas flowed from everybody from there on, as George recalls: “I am excited about the level of collaboration that we achieved on this one. We even went in with a lot of ideas that weren’t necessarily developed, and I think in the end we have something that represents the best of everybody in the band.”
In fact – like its two acclaimed predecessors – Innocence & Danger is a double album by inspiration, rather than design, as Portnoy explains: “As much as we wanted to try and keep it to a single album after having just done two double albums, we wrote so much material that we found ourselves with our third double album in a row! That’s pretty prog!”
There is also plenty in Innocence & Danger to excite those prog fans who have a thirst for epics, as Neal Morse explains: “There's one half hour epic and another that's about 20 minutes long. I really didn't realize that they were that long when we were recording them, which I guess is great because if a movie is really good, you don't realize that it's three hours long! But there are also some shorter songs: some have poppier elements, some are heavier and some have three part acoustic sections. I’m excited about all of it, really.”
NMB are also happy to announce tour dates for ‘An Evening of Innocence & Danger’ across US and Europe.
Oct 8th & 9th - Cross Plains, TN - Morsefest 2021
Oct 12th - Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
Oct 14th - St Charles, IL - The Arcada
Oct 15th - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot Ballroom
Oct 16th - Ft Wayne, IN - Pieres
Oct 17th - Cleveland, OH - The Beachland Ballroom
Oct 19th - Glenside, PA - The Keswick Theater
Oct 20th - Baltimore, MD - Soundstage
Oct 21st - Boston, MA - The Sinclair
Oct 22nd - New York City, NY - The Sony Theater
May 28th - Madrid, Spain - Teatro Kapital
May 29th - Barcelona, Spain - Apolo
May 30th - Milan, Italy - Live Club
May 31st - Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7
June 2nd - Tilburg, Netherlands - 013
June 3rd - London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
June 4th - Paris, France - Trianon
June 5th - Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg - Rockhal
June 7th - Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
June 9th - Brno, Czech Republic - Sono
June 10th - Krakow, Poland - Studio Club
June 11th - Warsaw, Poland - Progresja
June 13th - Hamburg, Germany - Markthalle
June 15th - Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio
June 16th - Gothenburg, Sweden - Pustervik
June 17th - Oslo, Norway - Cosmopolite
June 18th - Stockholm, Sweden - Lilla Cirkus
Neal Morse Band is
Neal Morse (vocals, keyboards and guitars)
Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals)
Randy George (bass)
Eric Gillette (guitars, vocals)
Bill Hubauer (keyboards, vocals)
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