Erik's landmark concert in Russia with Lana Lane (v), Kelly Keeling (v,b), Peer Verschuren (g) and Ernst Van Ee (d).
(Los Angeles, 7 June 2006) Master keyboardist and prolific composer Erik Norlander is proud to announce the release of his first DVD documenting his landmark concert in St. Petersburg, Russia. "Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg" contains 90 minutes of concert material from this spectacular event plus the 45-minute documentary, "The Road to Russia", which tells the story of Erik's three month tour across the USA and Europe leading up to the final concert in St. Petersburg. The documentary contains interviews with Erik and all of the contributing musicians along with additional concert performances from American and European shows. "Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg" also contains a bonus audio CD with the best tracks from the concert along with two studio tracks including a soaring cover of "From Russia With Love" featuring the iconic vocals of Norlander's wife, Lana Lane.
"Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg" features the vocals of Lana Lane along with the now familiar voice of Kelly Keeling who appeared previously on Norlander's "Music Machine" (2003) and "Stars Rain Down" (2004) CDs. Keeling also plays bass in the concert ably switching between fretless and fretted basses throughout the show. Joining Norlander, Lana and Keeling on stage are the Dutch musicians Peer Verschuren on guitar and Ernst Van Ee on drums who have been touring together with Norlander and Lane for several years from Europe to Japan. Verschuren and Van Ee have been previously featured on Norlander's "Stars Rain Down" album and also appear on the recent Lana Lane titles, "Lady Macbeth" and "10th Anniversary Concert" (both 2005). Like Kelly Keeling, Peer Verschuren was also a prominent contributor to Norlander's 2003 rock opera, "Music Machine", so it is no surprise that many tracks from this masterwork have found their way into the St. Petersburg concert. The stomping rocker "Beware the Vampires", the anthemic ballad "Fallen", the sprawling space jam "Sky Full of Stars" and the unforgettably melodic "One of the Machines" are standout pieces on the DVD.
"Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg" also showcases Norlander's uncanny ability for re-interpreting cover songs by his favorite artists. Norlander's version of the Procol Harum classic, "A Salty Dog" moved audiences around the world with the soulful voice of Kelly Keeling delivering the lyrics with power and substance. "A Salty Dog" was brought into the set to follow Norlander's Rocket Scientists standard, "Mariner", which Keeling also takes to new heights with his soaring vocals and fluid fretless bass. Another classic cover featured on the DVD is Norlander's arrangement of "In the Court of the Crimson King" sung with grace and style by Lana Lane as she has done in concert since her "Queen of the Ocean" tour in 1999. In addition to the bow to original prog rockers King Crimson, Norlander also puts in nods to Vivaldi and Grieg as part of the piece. For this DVD, "In the Court of the Crimson King" is taken from the Cal Prog 2004 festival in Whittier, California where Norlander and friends helped to launch the inaugural version of this now established event in the progressive rock community. The final cover song on the DVD is a new studio recording of the James Bond theme, "From Russia With Love", sung by Lana Lane and used as the soundtrack to a video montage of the group's visit to Russia.
As with Norlander's previous DVD effort, the "Lana Lane 10th Anniversary Concert", the "Live in St. Petersburg" DVD is expertly mixed in Dolby Stereo and also in DTS 5.1 Surround to capture all the subtle nuances of the concert experience. The bonus audio CD is packed with 78 minutes of music, the best performances from the St. Petersburg concert plus the studio tracks of "From Russia With Love" and a new version of "Fanfare for Absent Friends" which first appeared on Norlander's 2004 electronic effort, "Seas of Orion". Both tracks feature Ernst Van Ee on drums and Don Schiff on NS/Stick and were recorded especially for this release.
For fans of Erik Norlander, Lana Lane, Rocket Scientists and progressive music in general, "Erik Norlander and Friends - Live in St. Petersburg" is a must - see concert DVD event. Don't miss it!
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