Progression Magazine Review



OCTOBER TREE
The Fairy's Wing
2012 (CD, 46:46)

CANVAS PRODUCTIONS
CLASSIC ROCK/ PROGRESSIVE
RATING 12.5

Florida-based (Note: October Tree are actually based in Maryland) OctoberTree's core duo consists of studio engineer/guitarist Greg Lounsberry and his singerwife
Tammy. This album's concept -- also published as a novelette on the band's web site (written by Greg) -- concerns a broken-hearted young woman who is told by a witch that the only cure for her sadness is to steal a Fairy's wing. This causes a chain of fantasy-based trials and tribulations.

The music here exists to support the story, and you must be open to what increasingly has become standard prog lyrical fare (fairies, ogres and witches -- oh, my!). Mid-tempos dominate, and the bands style often resembles a marriage Fleetwood Mac and Supertramp. But there are special moments that clue us in to this group's real potential - a David Gilmour-esque guitar intro on the The Fairy's Wing and in particular, the albumclosing, eight-minute 7/4 rocker, Epiphanies.

Best song overall is Cult at the White Witch, featuring tastily melodic
fretwork over a nice groove whose intensity builds throughout. Beautiful album art helps establish a tone for the wonder and enchantment inside, so bring your inner child to the party.

- JIM CIRCLE

TFW Reviewed by Fireworks Magazine!



OCTOBER TREE - THE FAlRYS WING (Canvas Productions)

October Tree is an American prog rock outfit headed by husband and wife team Tammy and Greg Lounsberry. The band play what is essentially a very British style of progressive rock that at times conjures up sounds that would not be out of place on albums from Pink Floyd, Mostly Autumn, Karnataka, Panic Room, Caravan, Eloy or early Wishbone Ash.

The Fairy's Wing is a concept story (full book available from Amazon on Kindle and at the band's website) that tells of a young woman called Alysin who has fallen in love with a bad man, and who has treated her poorly, then left her with a broken heart. A gypsy fortune teller/witch tells her that in order to cure this affliction and to get him back, she must steal the wing of a fairy and then use it in a spell.The witch teaches Alysin the spell and the young woman visits the Fairy Tree where she captures a fairy and rips off one of it's wings whilst chanting the spell. Too soon she realizes that the witch has tricked her and that she has murdered this magical creature for her own ends. Her crime throws up a lot of moral and philosophical questions that are then explored throughout the album and its songs...

Strange subject matter indeed, and as such is handled by the band very deftly. Songs such as the opening trio of The Fairy's Wing, Dark Carnival and Parallels which flow into each other in a trippy, ethereal way, help to draw you into the music and lyrical material. Other excellent songs to look out for are Epiphanies with its dramatic, almost pounding, riff (pounding for this band anyway) and its The King Will Come like guitar refrain that runs throughout the song; The Ogre with its quirky piano and off beat drumming and Mirrors a short, laid back track with some clever guitar work and moody vocals from Greg Lounsberry.

If you fancy giving October Tree a go then I urge you to read the story first, then you can delve in to this dark musical fairy tale that the band have constructed for us. A very promising debut album, from a band I hope will go on to better and bigger things.

Ian Johnson

 

SOT Review by Jon Neudorf

So, a concept album about fairies, more specifically about the capturing of a Fairy's wing and the journey that ensues. If that doesn't scream progressive rock I don't know what does. This is the premise behind the new album from October Tree.

The beginnings of the project can be traced all the way back to 1993 and the formation of Canvas by Matt Sweitzer and Chris Cobel. As far as I know a couple of albums were released, the last being Digital Pigeon in 2008. I suppose you could consider October Tree as an offshoot of Canvas Productions. On this album the duo are joined by the husband and wife team of Tammy Lounsberry (vocals, piano) and Greg Lounsberry (guitar, bass, keys).

Getting back to the concept. One might initially believe this to be a cheesy affair but nothing could be further from the truth. This is classy, progressive flavoured rock, very melodic with excellent vocals from Tammy. Her voice sounds a little like Stevie Nicks which perhaps is why the band reminded me of a more progressive leaning Fleetwood Mac.

Highlights include the album opening title track where an intro of bird calls leads to a delicious guitar groove recalling The Wall era Pink Floyd. The synths and keys are very tasteful and not at all in your face. No, this is more of an understated album and a little subtle at times. That is not to say the instruments do not pop out. One only has to listen to the tasty guitar throughout "Dark Carnival" to know that is not the case. As a matter of fact, Greg's guitar work is excellent throughout all ten tracks.

One of the best songs is the album ending "Epiphanies", starting off a little dark with almost doom-like guitar lines before lightening up with excellent vocals and Cobel's pretty piano lines.

With ten strong tracks, The Fairy's Wing is an excellent melodic prog/rock album. Can't wait to hear what the band does next.

Planetmosh.com Review

Formed by married couple Greg and Tammy Lounsberry, October Tree was initially envisaged as a project to record an album with Tammy doing lead vocals. Tammy wanted to do a concept album about fairies, and from this October Tree was formed. The lyrics were written by Greg, who has also written the story from the album in e-book form. The couple were joined by their son Daniel, and also two members of Prog band Canvas, whose new album Tammy had been recording some material for. The album starts with some birds tweeting before the music comes in gently, and at this point it really does seem to have quite a strong Pink Floyd feel to it with that slow atmospheric buildup. After a couple of minutes though the main part of the song begins. Tammy has a lovely voice and the music is light and cheerful perfect really for an album about fairies where darker or heavier music just wouldnt quite feel right. There is a hint of darkness though with The Ogre which makes sense happy cheerful music when singing about a fairytale bad guy just wouldnt seem right, so the music adapts nicely to the subject matter. The lyrics in the album are excellent, and the music is well written and performed, so the result is a very good Prog rock album thats a pleasure to listen to time after time. This is a really enjoyable prog album thats well worth checking out. The Fairys wing is out now via Canvas productions. Rating: 7.5/10

Rock Society Magazine



OCTOBER TREE
The Fairy: Wing
Canvas Productions

This 47-minute debut concept-album by OctoberTree has strikingly
beautiful coverart from a painting by Linda Ravenscroft, complimenting the lyrics and music within. OctoberTree was formed by producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Greg Lounsberry who's joined by fellow members of prog-band Canvas plus his talented wife, Tammy (vocals and piano) and son Dan (Hammond).

Before listening, l read the 10 short chapters of the The Fairy's Wing written by Greg Lounsberry on octobertree.net. Its an emotive dark allegorical faiiy-tale which is represented in the l0 respective songs on the CD.

Dark Carnival features smouldering female vocals with a slight Stevie Nicks Feel, some Gilmourcsque guitar-work and a Hammond-solo, while the 2-minute Parallels is a gorgeous dreamy-piece featurinfg intricate acoustic-guitar, piano, synth and male-vocals that have been compared to Greg Lake.

Mortis Urgan is a smooth lush sweep-you-along song with greatrhythms, synth-atmospheres and nice guitar. An imaginative, well-produced, interesting melodic-progrock CD.

DK

Sea of Tranquility Review


Few progressive rock bands are formed by a married couple; however, October Tree is an exception to the norm. Headed by Greg and Tammy Lounsberry, the group creates some very colorful, melodic, and fantastical music and imagery on their debut album, The Fairy's Wing. Although some influences stand out easily, their modest approach and refined skills make for a fairly unique sound and an extremely impressive introduction.

The idea for the project came from Greg's desire to give Tammy a platform to perform as lead vocalist. Coincidentally, she immediately knew that she wanted to do a concept album about fairies, and Greg quickly wrote a draft of an allegory. He goes into more detail by saying that "the soul of the album is a trilogy of songs that I wrote based on a couple of melodic themes, called 'Parallels,' 'Mirrors,' and 'Epiphanies.' The first, being the observation by the Minstrel who loved her, the second, Alisyn's reflections, and third, her epiphany." Naturally, reading the printed novelette would help explain the tale, and fortunately, it's been posted on their official site.
The rest of the band consists of Matt Sweitzer, Chris Cobel, John Swope, and the Lounsberry's son, Daniel. Interestingly, Cobel and Sweitzer are also part of Canvas, another indie prog act. Perhaps even more charming than the unassuming music itself is the fact that October Tree is made up of a modest group of family and friends. While so many new groups form to shamelessly emulate others and prosper financially (the latter would easily appeal to the Lounsberry's too, no doubt), October Tree exists as a labor of love and creative harmony. Listening to The Fairy's Wing, one can definitely hear the magic in the makeup.
Chirping birds and Floydian guitar riffs open the title track, which starts the album. Soon, Tammy introduces the narrative with enjoyable melodies as the piano plays warm chords and the percussion keeps everything steady. The psychedelic, fun timbres recall artists like Nektar, Eloy, Echolyn, and Caravan, and Tammy's voice is similar to Geddy Lee's (albeit much gentler and less annoying). As the name suggests, "Dark Carnival" is much more ominous and ghastly, although it's just as hypnotically intriguing. There's a definite similarity to early Genesis (specifically, Steve Hackett's trademark sound) on "Parallels," and the thick male vocals help give The Fairy's Wing some diversity. "The Ogre" ranks as one of the albums best tracks thanks to its lovely piano chord progression and Canterbury production, and "Into the Glade" is a majestic interlude that leads into the melodically engrossing "Howl." Once again using male vocals, "Mirrors" feels like a fine combination of The Moody Blues and the Allan Parsons Project. Finally, album closer "Epiphanies" features brilliant transitions and impeccable musicianship. It concludes with a burst of energy that helps leave the listener wanting more.

The Fairy's Wing is easily one of the most impressive debuts I've ever heard; the sextet creates and performs with one shared mind, and it's a regal, earthly mind at that. Somehow, the album captures in music form the wonder and enchanted mystery of childhood fairy tales; however, they write, produce, and perform as skilled masters. The future of the genre will indeed be bright with bands like October Tree at the helm, and I for one can't wait to hear what they do next.


Jordan Blum

Music Street Journal Review

October Tree -
The Fairy's Wing

Review by G. W. Hill
This is a cool melodic prog album. Most of the vocals are female, but there are male vocals, too. Its the latest project from Greg Lounsberry and this time hes joined by his wife. Its arguably the most traditional prog oriented thing Ive heard from him and the most polished sounding. Its quite a strong release thats a concept album. Its certainly the one thats likely to get him the most notice from the prog purists.




Track by Track Review

The Fairy's Wing
The sounds of nature open this, then a melodic prog sound comes in and gradually grows out from there. Surely Pink Floyd is a valid comparison early one. It coalesces from there into a melodic prog jam thats quite tasty. After the first vocal section (perhaps a bit Stevie Nicks-like) we get a new jam that includes all the prog elements, but with a bit of a more rock and roll based edge. More vocals are heard beyond and the track keeps evolving. There is a particularly tasty guitar solo late in the piece.


Dark Carnival
This has a more soulful element to it. Its still progressive rock, but a lot more straightforward than the opener was. Its got some space rock in it, too.

Parallels
A mellower, balladic piece, this is nice. Its got male vocals and has a real gentle feeling to it. Parts of the melody call to mind a Moody Blues piece.

The Ogre
Theres a harder and darker edge as this opens and that suits the title. After a short time it gains some real symphonic prog elements. As it grows out theres kind of a theatrical texture, but not to the detriment of the killer progressive rock vibe. The cut continues to evolve from there and is a strong one.


Into the Glade
Dominated by acoustic guitar, this is a short instrumental thats mellow and pretty.


Howl
Another melodic prog tune, theres no big left turn here, but this might well be the most effective cut on show. The more energized section later is especially effective, featuring both killer bass work and some of the best vocals to this point. Its an especially strong number.

Mirrors
Theres a melody early in this tune that seems quite familiar. Still, its a fairly short melodic progressive rock number with male vocals. It drops to a really classically tinged bit later in the number and then comes back out into something thats rather Yes-like from there.

Mortis Urgan
A bit harder rocking, theres almost a funky vibe to the rubbery rhythm section on this number. Its another strong tune on a disc without any weak material. Some space rock is heard later on the tune.


Cult of the White Witch
Here we get an energetic progressive rock jam that leans at times on fusion. Its strictly instrumental.


Epiphanies
Theres definitely a harder edge and a bit of a dangerous vibe to this cut. It feels just a bit like Rush. Its obviously the most dynamic and epic piece of the set, though, because it works through quite a few changes, become more melodic progressive rock as it continues. While some of this calls to mind Yes a bit, there are also bits that make me think of The Allman Brothers. It has some of the most powerful music of the disc accompanied by some of the most poignant vocals. That makes this a highlight of the set and certainly a great choice for closing things in style. The nature sounds return to take it out.

Read it at MSJ

Ravenheart Music Review


OCTOBER TREE...'THE FAIRY'S WING'

(Canvas Productions) Reviewed 25th June 2012

October Tree was born out of the prog band Canvas when guitarist/vocalist Greg Lounsberry invited his wife Tammy to sing guest vocals on their upcoming album. Impressed with the outcome, they decided to embark on a new musical project with Tammy on lead vocals, an allegorical story about fairies. A broken hearted girl asks a witch for a cure, she is told to take a fairy's wing, but it causes the fairy to die. Ashamed, she flees to the forest where she is captured and forced to repeat her deed as a sideshow in a carnival. Escaping, she encounters further extraordinary characters like an ogre, a minstrel, a wolf and a magical snake oil salesman, who force her to face her actions, so she returns to the Fairy Tree where it all began. You can read the full version on their website. Musically, they are a mix of Materdea, Alan Parsons Project, Procol Harum and that famous firm of Saddleworth solicitors, Barclay James Harvest, with Tammy's deep bluesy voice that does remind me of Simon Papa. The album has a super collection of enormously enjoyable catchy songs with a great toe tapping beat, including 'The Fairy's Wing', 'The Ogre', 'Howl', 'Mortis Urgan', the closing epic 'Epiphanies' and the slower bluesier 'Dark Carnival' . These are interspersed with a variety of shorter numbers, some sung by Greg, others instrumental. They have called upon a fine array of superb musicians, with son Daniel on humming Hammond, lots of great synths from Chris Cobel, tasty guitar by Greg, and John Swope and Matt Sweitzer's lock tight rhythm section, all beautifully produced by Greg. A delightful album of very accessible and lovingly crafted music that is more melodic rock than prog. Their glade can be found here, a tremendous 8.5/10 (Phil)

Ravenheart Website

STRUTTER'ZINE REVIEW, HOLLAND

OCTOBER TREE THE FAIRYS WINGS (CANVAS PRODUCTIONS/USA IMPORT)

Actually the Maryland, USA based Progressive Rockband OCTOBER TREE was born out of the ashes of the band CANVAS, yet it now also features female vocalist TAMMY LOUNSBERRY, who is the wife of Guitarist and Songwriter GREG LOUNSBERRY. Joining the husband-wife team are Matt Sweitzer, John Swope, and Chris Cobel of CANVAS. Although labeled as Progrock, OCTOBER TREE is slightly different, because the music is a little more polished and melodic, but nevertheless is heavily focused on the 1970s and does remind a lot of bands like BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, CAMEL, CARAVAN, RENAISSANCE and also JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, FLEETWOOD MAC, 70s HEART and MOSTLY AUTUMN come to mind here and there. The bands debut album is titled The fairys wings and like already mentioned some of the material is closer to 1970s AOR/Melodic Rock than Progressive Rock. For example, the opening title track is a very strong 70s AOR tingled tune that sounds quite laid-back and very sensational actually. The female vocals sound very pleasant all throughout the album and here and there some male vocals can also be heard. In fact, there is even a slight hint of 70s Pomprock, so the music is very melodic due to the use of strong vocals and harmonies. The progrock comes alive during the instrumental parts of the material and the final few tracks Cult of the White Witch and Epiphanies are very close to classic RENAISSANCE.

Gabor Kleinbloesem

Review by S. Victor Aaron




Guitarist and songwriter Greg Lounsberry knew that his wife Tammy was a good enough singer to merit an album of prog rock built around her voice, but he needed a worthy vehicle to do this right. Tammy wanted the album to be about fairies and Greg obliged, writing a short tale about fairies he titled The Fairys Wing, along with the music to accompany it. Greg played much of the instruments needed for the album guitars, keyboards, bass, even mandolin but he enlisted help from fellow Canvas band members Matt Matt Sweitzer, Chris Cobel John Swope, along with son Daniel Lounsberry to help out. When this was all said and done, they needed a name for this band, or perhaps more accurately, project and came up with October Tree.

The best things about The Fairys Wing are the things that it is not. It might be a themed prog rock record, but its not an overwrought album. The songs are not overlong, moving through sections at the right pace and ending just when youre ready for them to end. Greg Lounsdberrys guitar breaks are laconic, making the most of the short time hes given himself to get out his lead parts. The lyrics do not every bog down into overly opaque, medieval prose or J.R.R. Tolkien-esque discourse; if you want to follow the story, its pretty easy to do. Tammy Lounsberry doesnt over sing the vocals, she understands that operatics arent needed to go with music that Greg Lounsberry has kept interesting with distinct intro, segues and even some good grooves, but no bombast. (Tammy, it should be noted, can belt out buckets of soul when its called for; listen to her fronting Canvas for a fine cover of Santanas Brightest Star for the evidence.)



Maybe the directness of October Trees approach might cause some prog rock connoisseurs to contend that its not even truly prog rock, and thats a thought thats crossed my mind, too. In the end, tags dont matter and music thats easily digestible doesnt equate to it being easily disposable. The Fairys Wing avoids being light by structuring the music around the theme of a story that provides fodder for the lyrics; each song is an episode, or a chapter in the story and like the chapter in a storybook, it takes on its own character, like a story within a story. Greg Lounsberry built the music that way, too; conceiving memorable riffs, changing up the tempos, deploying guitars and keyboards in service of the song instead of the other way around, all while keeping things melodic along the way and a handmade vintage late 70s-early 80s sonic footprint.

The husband-wife team makes many of these tracks bring out the narrative in such a way that you dont even need to follow it closely to enjoy the music. The Fairys Wing, (see Youtube above) Dark Carnival, the lightly menacing The Ogre, and the hopeful finale Epiphanies are the choice cuts. The album was built with Tammy in mind, but not every track showcases her: Into The Glade and Cult Of The White Witch are instrumentals, while Parallels and Mirrors features Greg on lead vocals, who sounds a lot like Greg Lake, not a bad voice to have for this kind of music.

The Lounsberrys crafted a record that is solid and focused, a DIY project that possesses some of he polish and imagination of more major acts. Most refreshing of all, you dont have to believe in fairies or get into fairy tales to get into The Fairys Wing.

The Fairys Wing released earlier this month through Canvas Productions. Visit October Trees site for more info.

Something Else Reviews

Micro Review:

October Tree is sort of an alter-ego of the current lineup of American prog band Canvas. The Fairys Wing (2012, digipack) is based on a short story by Greg Lounsberry and features wife Tammy on lead vocals. Greg is the current Canvas singer and Tammy is singing on the forthcoming Canvas album. This is Greg and Tammys baby, but they brought in three of the four remaining Canvas members to complete the band. The music does have similarities to Canvas, a relatively easy-going and straightforward brand of prog that generally sounds like it comes from the early 1970s. Not as complex nor as symphonic as Genesis, Yes, ELP, etc, think more along the lines of the first edition of Renaissance (Illusion) and some of the other British proto-prog bands. Very nice.

- Larry Kolota, Kinesiscd.com



Visit Kinesis

Review by Jerry Lucky

Theres no doubt about it. If you name your CD something that has the word Fairy in it, chances are its going to appeal to a progressive rock crowd. Now, in truth this disc from October Tree will likely have a broader range of appeal. Released under the Canvas Productions banner The Fairys Wing brings together some of the band Canvas along with others to execute the project. Based on the fantasy book written by Gregory Lounsbury, he and other members of the Lounsbury family participate in making a music here that is a pleasant melodic prog.

The Fairys Wing is made up of ten tracks ranging in length from around two-minutes to a couple running up to about eight-minutes. This is music that is song-driven, created with room for some musical virtuosity or performance. It incorporates some longer arrangements in the tradition of bands such as Barclay James Harvest. Nothing here is overly complicated; instead a core melody is the driving force that drives the tune. Sound effects of birds open the disc with the title track The Fairys Wing [8:12] which quickly slides into a arpegiated guitar riff that reminds of Pink Floyd with the throbbing bass and swooping synths in the background. A halting piano run introduces the vocals and song proper at the 1:40 mark. Vocals from Tammy Lounsbury introduce the tale; her delivery sedate and deliberate. After the vocal introduction the song takes a slightly different turn changing time and tempo. Vocals appear again a couple minutes later. While the tempo stays the same, the instruments change the structure yet again as the arpegiated guitar riff once again becomes more distinct. Shorter songs, like the mostly acoustic Parallels [2:21] provide lilting, acoustic interludes. As you might expect a song like The Ogre [4:05] comes across with a slightly more intense tone, and yet its also somewhat playful rather than menacing. In fact the overall tone of this disc is generally lighter mid-tempo, almost reflecting a more nature-based sensibility.

The music produced by October Tree is ultimately created to serve the mood created by the book. The individual tunes all have a natural organic feel; its not overly electric or electronic and yet both of those elements are there, its just that you come away with a more acoustic vibe. While it might more properly be labeled Art Rock, this is certainly a disc that will appeal to fans of melodic prog.

JerryLucky.com

Review by Torodd Fuglesteg

October Tree - The Fairy's Wing (2012)

This is the debut album from this Maryland, US band/project. See more at the link below, their homepage.

The music is female and male vocals lead with a healthy dosage of guitars, keyboards, bass and drums too. The music is a mix of bohemian theatre music, symph prog rock, a bit Daevid Allen's Gong, a bit Frank Zappa and a large chunk of folk rock. I would label the music as art rock although the band uses the term prog rock. This album is a concept album too and the concept is both spelled out in the CD and on their homepage. A forty six minutes long concept album.

The music is both intriguing and good throughout. The plentyful use of Hammond organs. The vocals are very good too. The music is also very arty and complex. Some of the music is pretty immediate good. Other parts of this album require some time.

The Fairy's Wing is a very good album, done by some good musicians who knows what they are doing. I do understand why certain magazines has hailed this album as one of the best debut albums of the recent years. This album does not really sit that well with me. But nevertheless; check it out. You will not regret it.

3.5 points

Review by Jordi Costa (Transl Spanish)

What of October Tree is a very curious case, because we are talking about a family musical project. The core group consists of husband, wife and son, and the extraordinary thing is that all are dedicated to creating progressive rock. Tammy Lounsberry (vocals), Greg Lounsberry (guitars and keyboards), Daniel Lounsberry (keyboards).

The group appears to be formed to provide an outlet for the very good voice of Tammy , an excellent vocalist and delicate timbre. The voice is certainly a player featured on the disc and make the most of, the family along with some collaborators who ran out to shape the whole thing.

The Fairy's Wing is the story of a girl suffering from lovesickness and trying to heal looking for fairy wings. The theme and especially the artwork that accompanies the whole pack suggests a return to progressive flowering of the early seventies, and it really is. In this delicate work are, above all, exquisite melodies, vocal games and a few instrumental arrangements that prevail manicured melody over rhythm.

Steve Howe said once, talking of seventies progressive, "the music we created was supported with great melodies and the rhythms", because that's The Fairy's Wing. Find Renaissance, Kate Bush, Genesis, Fairport Convention, ... many major references of the genre. The only complaint one can attribute is a certain feeling of low production, it seems to have been recorded in one go, it may not be a catch and there was a virtue, but the sense of fragility is, and it shows, for better and for worse . A delicate disc impregnated with a mantle of retro-prog attributes.

Jordi Costa

Review by Alan Jones

OCTOBER TREE The Fairy's Wing

If there's one thing in life that really gets up my nose it's indulgence. Self indulgence is bad enough, but pandering to somebody else's indulgence is just plain wrong.

And this is what has happened here. Greg Lounsberry, erstwhile leader of prog-lite October Tree decided to include his wife Tammy in the decision making process for the new album. I want to make an album about fairies was the apparent reply.

Now, rather than just giving her a bitch-slap and telling her not to be so stupid as no-one, anywhere, is going to be interested, he indulged her and went off and wrote an allegorical novella about said fantasy creatures and 'The Fairy's Wing' is the musical result.

What is really unfortunate is that the album is actually quite good with good song structures and excellent playing throughout - think Marillion with a female vocalist.

However, it doesn't matter how good the music is, you just cannot escape the subject matter of the lyrics which are simultaneously both fatuous and risible.

Track titles such as 'The Ogre', 'Into The Glade' and 'Cult Of The White Witch' give a flavour of the nonsense within and unless you have a real connection with mystical dwarves, witches, fairies and other such drivel, the album quickly becomes tiresome.

Like I said, it is a real shame as there is much to admire about the music - perhaps next time they could write about war, peace, politics, sport, love, poverty, anything other than fairies, and perhaps next time it might be worth a listen.

Incidentally the novella is available on Kindle if you really have both time and money to burn. *** (music)


MSJ Interviews Greg Lounsberry

October Tree

Interviewed by G. W. Hill



Interview with Greg Lounsberry of October Tree from 2012





MSJ:
Its been quite a while since we did an interview with you. Can you catch the readers up on whats been going on with your musical life?


After The Rocket4357 Project, I moved to Maryland and started Laserdogs. I just didn't know anybody here so it ended up solo. It was a great opportunity to hone my producing skills. While promoting that, I encountered Matt Sweitzer online and started singing with Canvas. I cowrote and sang five of the songs on Digital Pigeon, and contributed guitar and background vocals. I also interview artists for The Canvas Prog Hour.

MSJ:
If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?


I have worked for years as a robotics technician. Lately I have been working as an engineer. That is probably what I would do if I weren't involved with music.

MSJ:
How did the name of the group originate?


I was remembering some of my favorite Ray Bradbury books from my childhood. I named the band after his books, The October Country, and The Halloween Tree.


MSJ:
It seems each time you release an album, its with a different project and under a different banner. Is that accurate and if so, is it an intentional process or do you see this new project continuing longer?


Up to this point, that has been true. The Rocket4357 Project, was a collaboration with some musicians in Florida. Laserdogs was a good album, but nobody bought it, so there is no point in throwing good money after bad. My continuing collaboration with Matt and Chris with Canvas is really where it's at right now. We have a new Canvas album coming out later this year. I think it has been somewhat intentional as I have been searching for my voice as a producer. I am pretty sure with October Tree, that I have found it. We are getting a mountain of positive feedback about October Tree, so you can be sure there will be another one. The Canvas guys have already signed on for a follow up. Tammy is married to me, so she has no choice. (laughter) The next album will be a different kind of concept album that doesn't rely on a long story.


MSJ:
What makes this project different from your previous ones and in what ways is it similar?

It is different in scope. I spent a lot more time writing the story than I expected. I was micromanaging details to stay true to the storyline as well as keeping the sound palette consistent throughout the album. Female vocals are a big difference. Having Matt, Chris and John on board gave me access to an incredible wellspring of talent. That is something I didn't have with Laserdogs. It is similar in that some of the guitar work is similar. Some of the songwriting techniques may be similar. This is a much more professional album.


MSJ:
I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?


Some critics have called it melodic rock or art rock. I think we have the same right to call it progressive rock as someone like Alan Parsons. It is true that songwriting and melodies are central to our sound.


MSJ:
Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?


Roger Powell is a ripping synth player, but probably too busy. I love James Owl Walsh's B-3 playing with Gypsy. I never miss an opportunity to suggest Steve Hackett. Todd Rundgren, Neal Morse, Randy George, the list goes on...

Realistically, I have been in contact with some of my old musician friends from Florida, some of whom will probably be working with us in the future.


MSJ:
Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?


I used to think that it helped indie artists somewhat. I am not sure now. It has helped to contribute to our fame, but it has hurt sales.


MSJ:
In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?


I personally don't have a problem with it. Fish used to offer commercial releases of heavily traded shows. That's a good idea.


MSJ:
If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?


Looper man. He can't play an instrument, but he makes a million bucks producing drivel with a laptop and software, and his co-nemesis AOR-Man makes sure it sells, and human-played music does not.


MSJ:
If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?


H.E.L.P. I can't get past the fact that Hendrix was supposed to be the fourth member of E.L.P. What would that sound like?


MSJ:
If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?


H.E.L.P. I can't get past the fact that Hendrix was supposed to be the fourth member of E.L.P. What would that sound like?


MSJ:
If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?


October Fest featuring October Tree, Canvas, Laserdogs, oh yeah and BEER. (laughter)


MSJ:
What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?


I bought an mp3 download of Flat Broke by Jim Pembroke. It was a lot better than I expected. It was very Nashville sounding, but if all of Nashville sounded like that, I wouldn't dislike country music so much.


MSJ:
Have you read any good books lately?


I like early 20th century pulps. I read The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, and Beyond the Farthest Star by Edgar Rice Burroughs last week. By the way, John Carter got a bad rap from the critics.


MSJ:
What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?


I was a guest of Roye Albrighton at the Nektar concert in Springfield, VA. That was part of my duties as interviewer at The Canvas Prog Hour, but it was supremely enjoyable.


MSJ:
Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?


Clannad and Imogen Heap


MSJ:
What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?


Back in my gigging days, we had an unscrupulous booking agent. At one gig, we showed up at a senior center. On the sign it read, Band Tonight: The Merry Old Timers.


MSJ:
If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?


If my Dad were alive, it would be great if he and I could sit down with my sons, who have never met him. They would really like him!


MSJ:
What would be on the menu?


Big ribeye steaks, steak fries, and a beer


MSJ:
Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?


Buy independent Music! Better Yet buy independent music from October Tree and Canvas!

Read it at MSJ

The Fairy's Wing Testimonials

It's Good!
- Gabble Ratchet



Don't Miss It!
- Hubert Rinse



Tasty with Tea!
- Harold the Barrel



Delicious Aural Punishment
- Corporal Cauliflower



It's in the Sink!
- Harold Bostock



It is Here, It is Now!
- Rael



Domo Arigato!
- Mr Roboto




First music I heard when I got back from the Island. Love it!
- Nude




You look a little tall to me!
- Director, Genetic Control