Lisa Larue put together a new band called 2KX band and consists of Lisa (keyboards), and from the band Arz, Steve Adams (guitars/bass) & Merrilll Hale (drums) and John Payne of Asia Featuring John Payne (vocals, bass). Special guests on the CD include Michael Sadler of Saga (vocals), Ryo Okumoto of Spock's Beard, K2, GPS (keyboards), Don Schiff of Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane, Erik Norlander (NS/stick), Mitch Perry of Asia featuring John Payne (guitar), Maxi Nil of Visions of Atlantis (vocals) and Michael Alvarez of Bass Clef Experiment (cello).
This is the first time I’ve heard Lisa LaRue’s music and I’m very impressed with the album, Fast And Blue. So I was very happy when Lisa contacted me online. The album is epic sounding and primarily an instrumental album with some vocals and spoken word. Lisa’s arrangements also reminds me a little bit of Erik Norlander’s music especially with Rocket Scientists and more recently, The Galactic Collective. Another keyboard legend that I am reminded of when listening to Fast And Blue is Keith Emerson.
Opening the album is a short instrumental song, “Mystery of the Rose” (1:14) which set the mood for the entire album and segued right into the epic of the album, “Prometheus” (18:53) which is just about the most epic sounding song, that doesn’t sound forced, that I’ve heard in a while. To me this song alone is worth the cost of the album, especially if you get the Special Edition version(more on that later).
Following the epic is “Tryptych” (4:55) which opens with an audience clapping then the acoustic guitar begins with a cello backing it up. This is a very beautiful song. Then Lisa and company bring us back into a long form song called “Jam Jehan Nima” (13:30) which has a more modern vibe about it than the opening track.
Following that is “Lament of the Cherokee/Ruins of Home” (7:40) which has some spoken word moments at the beginning then the rest of it is an amazing instrumental piece.
Up next is the title track, “Fast and Blue” (5:12), which is one of the only song to have vocals on it, with John Payne on lead. I This song is an extremely catchy, and memorable song that you find yourself humming along with it and soon after it‘s over.
Ending off the album is “Recurring Dream” (7:26) is the other vocal based track with Michael Sadler on lead. I think Lisa crafted the song perfectly for Michael’s vocals. This is a very good way to close off an amazingly epic album.
When I was told to expect a copy of Fast And Blue, I was pleasantly surprised to see a dvd and a magazine. Both of which are available on the Special Edition version of Fast And Blue, of which I highly recommend, and as I told Lisa, the music here is EPIC! This album has the best of the 70s and the present day progressive rock has to offer, which I think should make the fans of Lisa LaRue’s music, happy to listen, watch and read.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 31st, 2011