with District 97, Flummox
Lines in the Sky
English composer Frederick Delius famously remarked that 'music is an outburst of the soul,' and if there’s one emerging band that exudes this sentiment, it’s Nashville-based trio Lines In The Sky”, wrote Jordan Blum, music journalist for Consequence, Kerrang!, PROG, Loudwire, and Rock and Roll Globe, after hearing Lines In The Sky’s 2018 album Beacon. Helmed by native Nashville brothers Jesse and Bowman Brock (vocals/guitar and percussion, respectively), Lines In The Sky’s early LPs, 2014’s Hilasterion and 2016’s Parallel Travel (both of which were mixed by Grammy-winner Tim Palmer), demonstrated, in Blum’s words, “an exceptional blend of progressive rock technicality, alternative rock attitude, pop/rock magnetism, and ambient introspection. As such, their masterful merging of heartfelt harmonies, tight yet adventurous instrumentation, and poignant lyricism pinpointed an act whose ambition and focus matched their vigorous songwriting and arrangement skills. Looking back now, those albums served as the satiating appetizers for the main course that is 2018's Beacon, the group’s strongest record to date.” And now, the band’s catalog altogether is the perfect set-up for the even stronger upcoming fourth collection, the as-yet-unnamed EP and full album releases dropping in fall 2021. Blum’s description of the band still rings almost prophetically: “By maintaining everything that makes their formula work while simultaneously emphasizing a stronger sense of cohesion, focus, and dynamic equity (between chaotic and calm movements), Lines In The Sky has created something truly superlative. Like the works of stylistic siblings Coheed and Cambria, Closure in Moscow, Circa Survive, and The Mars Volta, Lines In The Sky combines flamboyant frenzy with invigorating and earnest accessibility…a testament to how striving, hypnotic, and ultimately rewarding rock music can be when you have players like these behind it.”
Beginning in Nashville clubs playing mostly to a university fanbase, LITS’s tours have grown into repeat shows throughout the eastern U.S., including Asbury Park’s The Saint, Buffalo Iron Works, Boston’s Middle East, Raleigh’s The Pour House, Amityville Music Hall, multiple venues in Philadelphia, Richmond, Greenville, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Akron, Louisville’s Seven Sense Festival, and the tightly-curated international progressive rock festival RoSFest, which has hosted prog rock luminaries Haken, Frost, Moon Safari, Spock’s Beard, Riverside, Glass Hammer, The Pineapple Thief, PFM, and Brand X. Still an independent band, the brotherhood of LITS stays intact throughout the synergy and continued friendship between the brothers Brock and the various bassists on past albums and tours, currently featuring bassist Nick Mills on the new records and live shows in 2021-22.
DISTRICT 97 is undoubtedly the most musically adventurous rock band in the world to feature an American Idol Top 10 Female Finalist. Since 2008, this quintet from Chicago has melded an adventurous, uncompromising instrumental prowess with the look, sound, and stage presence of vocalist Leslie Hunt. Through world tours and a stream of studio and live releases, the band has garnered a worldwide fanbase; collaborating with iconic singer/bassist John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia, UK) and drawing praise from Bill Bruford (drummer of Yes/King Crimson/Genesis), Mike Portnoy (drummer of Dream Theater/Transatlantic) and other rock luminaries along the way.
DISTRICT 97 rehearses doggedly to refine their compositions, ensemble-playing, and stage presentation; their standards for excellence have only grown more rigorous with the passage of time. Their latest album SCREENS (released October 2019) and its accompanying live shows set a high watermark of composition and musicianship. The covid-19 pandemic has not stopped the band from innovating. Their Virtual Screening Tour and the stunning Ghost Girl animated short film have kept them at the top of the current prog rock heap.
Formed in a rundown trailer near the garbage dump off of an old Tennessean Highway, Flummox has been causing audiences to fall into euphoric fits of shock for close to a decade. Branding their style as “genre-fluid,” Flummox combines twisted musical-theatre tactics with avant-garde fusion & extreme metal stylings set with strange hooks that stick with you well past their welcome.
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Lines in the Sky
District 97 / Flummox