Cirrus Bay is a US duo that relies on a rather well travelled prog road, a pastoral, meandering symphonic highway that features the multi-instrumentalist talents of Bill Gillham, who shines on guitar and keys and Mark Blasco who holds down the bass and the drums. The Renaissance mould of heavenly female lead vocals is the main drawing point, so any hints of Annie Haslam are well-founded, as both Sharra Acle and Anisha Gillham supply some wondrous vocalizing. This means that it will take quite a few spins before this one soaks in. The opening 13 minute 'Serenity in a Nutshell' sets to define their style right from the get go with plenty of acoustic guitar driven interventions that harkens back to Ant Phillips-era Genesis, carpeted by some deft keyboard sonics that supply flute- like timbres that challenge the senses…
Cirrus Bay's "Whimsical Weather" refines the "Genesis-influenced neo-prog with a Renaissance-influenced vocalist" formula which Cirrus Bay had nailed down reasonably effectively on A Step Into Elsewhere (2009).
"Whimsical Weather" is the 3rd Cirrus Bay CD, and is a bit more lush, layered and complex than previous CDs. The feel of the outdoors is notable in the music, helped by the layered mix of acoustic and electric guitars, mellotron, organ, synths, and occasional mandolin.
Beautiful independent progressive music, with emphasis on chords and melody.
Sometimes melancholy, other times joyful, 'Places Unseen' is a bit darker, and much more instrumental than previous Cirrus Bay releases. Rooted in old-school progressive rock, with influences of Tony Banks, Renaissance, Camel, Hatfield & The North, Anthony Phillips and Bo Hansson, 'Places Unseen' features the gorgeous vocals of newcomer Tai Shan and the lovely cover art of Lee Gaskins.
US outfit CIRRUS BAY started out as an acoustic duo back in 2001, consisting of Bill Gillham on guitar and Sharra Gallham (now Sharra Acle) on vocals. They performed Bill's compositions live in coffee and sandwich shops, acoustic efforts with sophisticated compositional structures underneath a melodic palette catering to a more mainstream-oriented musical taste.The duo were, at some point in time, approached by Mark Blasco. He's a drummer and engineer, and besides being fascinated by the duo's musical ventures he also wanted to know if they would like to record their music, offering his services as a drummer if so would be the case.
Righteous Bobby Hutcherson from the 70s – one of his last albums recorded in the company of reedman Harold Land – and one of his greatest too! There's a wonderful mix of modes going on here – modal jazz meets California sun, blending a sense of spiritualism with some of the warmth that Hutcherson was increasingly discovering in his music – especially on the album's use of marimbas, which are surprisingly great next to Bobby's vibes!