In the world of progressive rock music several musical combinations can be found. Many bands already work with the combination of metal music and progressive rock, or the combination of folk music with progressive rock. Or what about progressive rock and religion, others used progressive rock in combination with blues, jazz or classical music. But what to think about a mix between Americana and progressive rock. I never heard of it. Well the American formation Euphoria Station used it to write their compositions. A band which I actually wasn't familiar with. Maybe a bit strange because in 2019 they already released their second album, titled The Reverie Suite, after coming up with their debut One Heart two years earlier.
On the bands website you can read that Euphoria Station was formed in 2014 by the couple Saskia Binder (vocalist/ lyricist) and Hoyt Binder (guitarist/ songwriter) who share a passion for deep music with hooks that easily connect. They spent years playing acoustic sets in Hollywood, CA working out material that would eventually wind up on their debut album. Being big fans of the progressive movement in the late 60s as well as the eclectic nature of 70s rock, they sought to recruit world class musicians that also felt music was a very spiritual matter. The resulting sound was a mix of everything under the sun from pop, rock, jazz and classical. After that the two of them began exploring the many acoustic sounds from 70s rock and pop that seemed more in tune with their other passion, nature - especially the vast and beautiful southwest of America. This in one way or another lead to the formation of a brand new backing band which they named The Americana Day Dream Revival Orchestra. It features the Dutch keyboard player Ronald Van Deurzen, harmonica player Tollak Ollestad (who has also some Dutch roots), flutist Rebecca Kleinmann, violinist Trevor Lloyd, bassist Paulo Gustavo, drummer Chris Quirarte, background vocalist Mike Disarro and percussionist Bobby Albright.
Together they were responsible for making The Reverie Suite a great sounding concept album. A concept album which is based on the life of the bands female lead singer. Who has her roots in one way or another also in the Netherlands because of the Kraft van Ermel family. The story she tells goes from her childhood days (Reverie) through the road she takes to become a grown up person. Dreaming of what might become of herself (Bridge Of dreams). Travelling through the beautiful American nature (Paradise Road) and seeing how nature changes all the time (Seasons). In the end it all turns out well for her and has a happy life after all (Content).
Music wise the album has enough to offer for a true progressive rock lover as myself. The combination with Americana works very well. Because the use of the banjo, mandolin, violin and harmonica, which you can hear very in this style of music, gives the band and their music an identity of their own. The progressive rock sound comes mainly by the use of electric guitar, Hammond organ, piano, flute and violin. Moving the band into a musical style which reminded me sometimes of acts such as Kansas and Jethro Tull. Just listen to songs such as the beautiful instrumental opener Prelude/ She's Calling, Bridge Of Dreams, Queen Of Hearts, Paradise Road (beautiful piano playing and great guitar solo) and Seasons and you know what I mean! A special mention goes out to the beautiful crystal clear voice of the bands female lead vocalist. Her voice has a lot of emotion but also bring so much happiness to the music. Most of all on the more poppy sounding tunes such as Reverie, Heartbeat and Content she shines all the way!
Conclusion: If you want something different music wise, please try out the second album of Euphoria Station. You might just like me enjoy the combination of Americana with progressive rock on The Reverie Suite. You won't regret it! Enjoy!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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