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Songs From November may be Prog icon Neal Morse's bravest release to date.
Musically, creatively, and in terms of its production, Songs From November eschews Morse's typical approaches and focuses on an intimate style that echoes the West Coast singer-songwriters of the 1970s.
"I listen to a lot of different kinds of music for various occasions. Prog albums when I really want to focus on intricate music, sometimes jazz and classical. Many times I find myself attracted to singer-songwriter albums like a Jackson Browne or Graham Nash record. So one day I thought to myself, I'd like to make an album like that. Songs from November is that album."
Morse wrote most of the songs during a flood of ideas in November, 2013. He recalls, "They just kept pouring out that month. I don't really know why, but it was great!" After the epic Transatlantic world tour was completed in March 2014, Morse set out to make November a reality.
"I could've gotten together with a bunch of studio musicians in Nashville and banged this thing out, but I felt like the thing to do was to get together with this young drummer named Gabe Klein and work on it as a team. He is only 18 years old and amazing. We had a great time recording these songs and many more. We actually recorded twice as many songs as we needed and picked the best ones. It was the first time I've ever done that and it was very fruitful. I sent out 21 songs to a bunch of different people that I trust and chose from their lists. So that was also a totally new approach for me."
Neal feels the final 11 songs are among the best he's ever composed. He hopes you feel the same.
1. Whatever Days (4:46)
2. Heaven Smiled (4:14)
3. Flowers In A Vase (4:15)
4. Love Shot An Arrow (4:18)
5. Song For The Free (4:27)
6. Tell Me Annabelle (4:21)
7. My Time Of Dying (4:36)
8. When Things Slow Down (3:24)
9. Daddy's Daughter (4:44)
10. Wear The Chains (4:04)
11. The Way Of Love (4:31)
Gabe Klein - Drums on all tracks except Tell Me Annabelle and When Things Slow Down. Piano and middle vocal harmony on Flowers In A Vase.
Chris Carmichael - Strings on Love Shot An Arrow, Song For The Free, My Time Of Dying and Wear The Chains.
Jim Hoke - Saxophone on Whatever Days and The Way Of Love. Pedal steel on Flowers In A Vase.
Steve Herrman - Trumpet on Whatever Days and The Way Of Love.
Eric Darken - Percussion on Love Shot An Arrow and My Time Of Dying.
Regina and Alfreda McCrary - Background Vocals on Heaven Smiled and Love Shot An Arrow.
Wil Morse - Vocals on Whatever Days, Flowers In A Vase, Song For The Free and My Time Of Dying.
Eric Gillette - Vocals on Flowers In A Vase.
Neal Morse - Keyboards, vocals, guitars, bass, percussion on all songs. Drums on Tell Me Annabelle and When Things Slow Down.