In January we lost of the most passionate and recognizable voices in music... John Wetton. Personal feelings aside, John's loss musically is a huge hole that will never be filled. Yesterday I was forced back into John's musical legacy with the release of AKUSTIKA II - RETURN TO AMERIKA. Packaged with AKUSTIKA - LIVE IN AMERIKA, both discs represent two very distinct periods in John's career; 1995 as he began to get his solo career going and 2005 as he tried to rebuild his career and reputation.
AKUSTIKA II was recorded in a very intimate ballroom in Springfield, MA in November of 2005. Following a few years of personal struggles, Wetton was looking to regain his reputation at a sci fi show called United Fan Con, John was able to face his demons head on and deliver an incredible show.
Listening to the disc I was instantly draw back to that Friday night so long ago... listening to my favorite performer deliver an acoustic set drawing from his entire history. Shifting from piano and acoustic guitar, the set is a perfect representation of the legacy he left us. Whether it's his early work with King Crimson (The Night Watch, Book Of Saturdays and Starless) and UK (Rendezvous 6:02 and Thirty Years), the commercial success of ASIA or the very personal music from his solo career... Wetton shows here that those songs have his DNA all over them.
As I listen to the album's 15 tracks (as I write this), I can hear the pure passion and excitement in his voice, knowing how nervous he was going into this show, knowing what was riding on this. What you will hear is a performance the way we heard it... raw. I forgot what a great guitarist John was and how witty he would be with an audience. I also forgot how much my daughter Rebekah screamed in between each song and yes... you can hear it here early in the set, because she began to get a little winded as the night progressed.
If you are a fan of John Wetton's music and career, this is a must have for your collection. Not because it is the best representation of each song, but because it is the most honest version of them.
The packaging of the cd is also very special because I was asked to write the liner notes where for two pages I share about my relationship with John; how we met and the events leading up to this particular show. Also there are some insightful thoughts by our friend Kim Dancha and Ed Corbett who share their unique perspectives of that night.
Thank you to Martin Darville, Daniel Earnshaw and everyone at QEDG Management for the opportunity to be a part of this historic release.
1. VOICE OF AMERICA
2. HOLD ME NOW
3. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
5. 30 YEARS
6. ONLY TIME WILL TELL
7. BOOK OF SATURDAY
8. DON’T CRY
9. BATTLE LINES
10. THE SMILE HAD LEFT YOUR EYES
11. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
12. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
1. WALKING ON AIR
2. MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT
3. SOLE SURVIVOR
4. BOOK OF SATURDAY
6. DAYS LIKE THESE
7. THIRTY YEARS / HOLD ME NOW
9. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
11. VOICE OF AMERICA
13. THE NIGHT WATCH
14. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES
15. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
Matman Rating - 5 out of 5 tears of joy.
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.