Column from May 3rd, 1999

Well respected New Jersey band Tradia have now completed laying down 10 tracks for their prospective third album. Dave Baldwin, who released the "Time" solo album last year, handles vocals again. Final mixing still remains to take place, though the band seem committed to FM-Revolver for a release in Europe. The same label released the band’s two previous albums – "Trade Winds" and "Welcome to Paradise" – and financed the new recordings as well. A couple of tracks with the Trade Winds vocalist Johnny Lindsey, who is sadly now dead, are also kicking about after being prepared for a Japanese release that didn’t happen, and may still see the light of day at some point. Band leader and keyboard player Scott Madsen has also been working with a New York girl singer and has recorded three tracks with her, though I don’t have any more details on that project at the moment.

I’ve heard five of the ten new songs so far, and they’re quite interesting. The band have put a lot more emphasis on guitars and the Madsen’s keyboards have been scaled down a degree. A couple of the tracks are great modern AOR. However, it’s quite a diverse set of material and a couple of the other tracks that are trying to be more overtly modern, don’t seem to work so well. Also re-recorded is "Exiles" from the first album, given a more stripped bare, strings backed, approach. Tradia doesn’t have a web site at this point, but you can get in touch with them via the website for Scott Madsen’s car restoration business at http://www.madsenrestorations.com.

Canadian Phil Naro has a new album coming out on the Interplanet label called "Ten Year Tour". It actually features some 15 tracks culled from four distinct bands. All the tracks are previously unreleased and are from his 24K (which also features Mladen from Von Groove) and Empire bands before Naro, tracks from the Naro project and then work with another band called Distant Cry. The release is very much a side project as he’s also keeping his Blood Red Flower band running too.

Over at the AOR Basement web site (http://www.aorbasement.com) there has indeed been some new reviews uploaded. One new thing that’s really caught me off guard is the excellent indie from California-based Mark Allen Band, which sounds pretty like Le Roux around their "So Fired Up" album. Also new is a review of Lana Lane’s new studio album and the links page has had a ton of new stuff added to it. Work on further new reviews are also in progress and should see some positive results later this week, though a wild, though well intentioned plan to put my entire collection into an MS-Access database is taking up a little time!