Column from August 30th, 1999 edition

First off a point of clarification, when I was saying that the bands on Portrait were a source for some of the current music problems, what I meant was that 1) those bands in themselves stagnated quickly, and 2) those bands led to endless crappy copy bands and "copy signings" from labels who were fatuous at best!

I’ve been meaning to say for a few weeks how cool the new Nelson album "Life" is for AOR listeners. I really liked their first two albums but thought "Imaginator" pointlessly hard. The new album is a mix of the swagger of the first album with the songs of the second release and is chock full of great (very) melodic rockers with great hook-lines and spotless presentation. Nelson are also playing out in the US quite a lot at the moment, so swing in past for more details.

Fusion fans among you will be glad to hear that the Dixie Dregs are playing some dates on the US west coast at the moment. The tour line-up features Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, T. Lavitz, Dave LaRue, and Jerry Goodman. But hold on, because Allen Sloan and Andy West will also be playing with the band. At points, each will take his respective bass or violin chair. Other times, you'll see the whole crew jammin together. One of the shows is even being recorded and is due for release via Zebra Records late this Autumn. The Steve Morse Band is also due to play some dates in October and a new album by that three-piece will be finished off very soon. As well as a further, the lighter solo album, Morse is also working on an album of ten new, original tunes, each one written to reflect the style of one of his major musical influences.