|Format: CD / Cat No: 507378 / Released: 16/10/2015
Track Listing: Carry Me Home (07:20) / Courting The Widow (06:14) / Echoes Of Ekwabet (09:41) / To Turn The Other Side (22:06) / Ship's Cat (05:05) / The Killing Of The Calm (05:34) / Where The Martyr Carved His Name (07:46) / Long Slow Crash Landing (06:45)
More information: Thanks to his touring collaboration with Steve Hackett, Sylvan has become acknowledged as one of the finest singers on the prog scene. “I do feel that I have picked up a lot of new fans, because of my association with Steve. They've been very welcoming and respectful of what I do”. But now, with his confidence soaring on the back of proving a revelation fronting Steve Hackett's band all over the world, Sylvan is taking control of his career, with his most ambitious and far reaching album to date.
The result is an album that has been fashioned and created without any compromise. Sylvan ensured this was the case by producing everything himself, albeit with expert assistance when it was required from The Flower Kings' Jonas Reingold, who also plays bass on two tracks.
Apart from his distinctive vocals, Sylvan also plays most of the keyboards and the guitar parts on the album. However, there are also guest contributions from some stellar names. Steve Hackett, for instance, appears on three tracks. On one of these, 'Long, Slow Crash Landing', he and Sylvan get to perform a duet. “What happened was that I recorded a guide guitar part to give Steve an idea about what I was after. Steve is such a better guitarist than I am, so I expected him to improve on what I did. However, while he did a great job, I decided to use a few of my parts alongside what Steve had recorded, to come up with a guitar duel. For me, it was a fantastic opportunity to be heard on guitar alongside someone as talented as Steve, and this guitar combination really adds a lot to the song.”
Roine Stolt also guests on guitar for one track, while Roger King (another member of Steve Hackett's band) plays piano on two songs. Three more musicians associated with the Hackett band are also featured. Bassist Nick Beggs has a cameo role on five songs here, while Rob Townsend is present on saxophone and flute for three tracks. And Gary O'Toole plays drums on one. Former Jethro Tull man Doane Perry is the drummer on three other songs, and Nick D'Virgilio (who has worked with Spock's Beard and Big Big Train) is behind the kit for three more numbers.
Norwegian violinist Annbjørg Lien and acoustic guitarist Lars Drugge, the latter a close friend of Sylvan, also made important contributions to the final album.
“I cherry picked all the musicians you hear, because of what they could bring to the final song arrangements. I needed to spread out musically, and they helped me to do it.” 'Courting The Widow' is an album of which Sylvan is very proud. It weighs in at just around 70 minutes, and the man himself believes it's the perfect representation of where is he is right now, both creatively and artistically. “I feel that I have delivered an album that's true to myself and my values in life. It's heartfelt, passionate, emotional and full of dramatic passages. I'm proud of what I've done here, artistically and musically.”
Nad Sylvan - lead & backing vocals, guitars, keyboards plus guests: Steve Hackett - guitar / Roine Stolt - guitars / Nick Beggs - bass, backing vocals / Jonas Reingold - bass / Nick D'Virgilio - drums / Gary O'Toole - drums / Doane Perry - drums, percussion / Annbjørg Lien - violin / Lars Drugge - acoustic guitar / Rob Townsend - flute & tenor sax / Jade Ell - backing vocals