OK, back from holiday, but not refreshed! Is it just me, or does every where you look give you the impression that any melodic rock comeback is fizzling out completely? Maybe it was all a bit of pipedream anyway....

Regardless of that thought I'd update you on a few bits and pieces of news this time around:

In Australia John Farnham has a new album coming out on August 4th. It's called "33 1/3" but I don't know too much about who plays on it, or anything like that. A single called "Trying to Live my Life Without You" has already been issued. Excellent Australia guitarist Tommy Emmanuel also has a new album out called "Only" and he's embarking on a tour of Australia from late August through to mid-September.

Something that does begin to worry me is that the number of melodic releases in Japan seems to be slowing down. That market in Japan always seems to have been insulated from everything else that's happening in the other music markets worldwide, and any drop-off in the number of releases there could be the start of something very sinister!

Some of the new stuff that IS coming out in Japan at the moment is yet another solo album from ex-Mr Big guitarist Paul Gilbert. This one’s called "Alligator Farm" and it's available right now. Jeff Golub's slightly disappointing "Dangerous Curces" is also out there too with one bonus track. Kansas' new one also gets a bonus track for Japan and Steek Talk's "Transition" just cam out with two bonus tracks. There's also a few interesting DVDs coming out in Japan right now: two from Japanese fusion band T-Square (60 minute "Live Natural" and 52 minute "Magalith), and Rush's "Exit... Stage Left" which has a running time of a slightly miserly 59 minutes.

Gypsy Soul, who remain one of my favourite cross-over bands have just started recording their fifth CD. The fourth - "Superstition Highway" has still to see a commercial release, but they're going back into the studio anyway to commence a mostly acoustic project. More details from http://www.gypsysoul.com and they're even taking some requests for the new album!