Sunday, August 05, 2012

Prog rock profile: Nektar

I recently discovered a new to me progressive rock band, Nektar, through their breakthrough song in North America, "Remember the Future." This is a beautiful song with finely crafted movements that flow well together and some stellar guitar, bass and keyboard jams. The singing gives me a very 70s era vibe, a good thing if you're in the mood for such nostalgia.

Of course, doing a little research, I discover that Nektar is not only still around, but this month they are in the studio recording a new album. The band disbanded in the early 80s, but then reformed in the early 2000s and have released three studio albums and six live albums since.

 According to the band's press release packet, the band reformed after lead guitarist and singer Roye Albrighton, on the verge of death, got a liver transplant and a new lease on life in 1999. He decided to get the band back together, and in 2002 the original lineup of Albrighton, keyboardist Allan "Taff" Freeman, bassist Derek "Mo" Moore and drummer Ron Howden played many live shows together.

The current lineup includes Albrighton and Howden, with Klaus Henatsch on keys and Peter Pichl on bass. For the upcoming studio work, Billy Sherwood will play bass.

Although all I know of the band is "Remember the Future," which I've heard many times on the Sirius XM channel Deep Tracks, I plan to explore more of their catalogue and may even buy some of their albums. The YouTube video included in this entry is a vinyl playback of the  "Remember the Future" album from 1973.

As one who has been a progressive rock fan for over 20 years, I'm often reminded that my casual fandom has only touched the surface of all the available songs and artists in this genre. Because prog rock is so commercially outside of the mainstream, finding out about new bands often occurs piece meal through word of mouth or the occasional Internet search. Along with Flash, which I will write about soon, Nektar is one of my favorite discoveries of 2012. And I am happier still to discover they are still making music and will be putting out an album soon. As one of their newer fans, I'm looking forward to the release of their next studio album, "Juggernaut."


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