The present wave of neo-progressive/fusion bands and/or instrumental rock bands refuses to peak! As proof, please refer to the New Orleans-based Woodenhead: they "fit" into both categories. They are all instrumental, have the prerequisite influences of 70s prog and fusion icons Dixie Dregs, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa (i.e., Uncle Meat, Lumpy Gravy) [with a touch of The Muffins, too, maybe] and their compositions feature a lot of twisty, darting and angular ensemble passages. What separates them from the pack is their lightness of touch (a refreshing lack of bombast and excess) and their New Orleans temperament. No, no one is likely to mistake Woodenhead for The Meters or The Neville Bros., but their sound is informed with some of the sly, earthy cool (and some of the funky groove) that is common to much of the sound of New Orleans (which is just as much a part of Tony Dagradi as Allen Toussaint or Dr. John). Highlights include Fran Comiskey’s keys, which have that neat chunky/shiny sound similar to the mid-70s UK bands Hatfield & The North and Matching Mole and Jimmy Robinson’s guitar sometimes has a clean, surfin’ Carlos Santana sound (as on the flamenco-tinged "Little Blue"). The much-maligned rogue beasts known as ‘prog" and "fusion" has got some lively years left, thanks to outfits like Woodenhead.
Artist / Group Name:Woodenhead
Record Label:Free Electric Sound
Musicians:Jimmy Robinson: guitar; Paul Clement: bass; Fran Comiskey: keyboards; Mark Whitaker: drums.