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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Voidfree Records artist: Mike Ian - The Learning Tree - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Learning Tree, from Mike Ian, and it's an interesting progressive rock adventure. Opening with A Pirate's Dream, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mike Ian uses his own layered vocals over bongos, synthesizer, and acoustic guitar creating a radio friendly progressive tale. On Cast In Stone, Ian's melodic strength is really nicely displayed again with vocal over acoustic and electric guitar, synthesizer and drums. Well crafted and executed, very commercially strong. Building on an acoustic guitar riff,  and enveloped in electric guitar additions, Saved slowly rises with additional layers of vocals, percussion, reverb saturated guitars, and synthesizer. With a solid melody, this may be my favorite track on the release. Something More Nothing Less opens quietly with only Ian and piano backed with some subtle synthesizer but grows with the addition of guitar and drums. Building to full bloom, Ian steps out with some blazing melodic guitar lead giving the track a real nice contrast. Wrapping the release is Shine On, featuring Ian on piano and vocal as the base, slowly building with drums, distorted guitar filler, synthesizer and electric piano. This is classic styling on progressive rock and should be very well received in the rock arena. 

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