Saturday, July 20, 2024

Edward Reekers’ Liberty Project

Dutch progressive rock artist Edward Reekers has released The Liberty Project, his first solo album in 15 Years, via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group.

In celebration, he’s also issued a new single in ‘The Disease‘ that features guest appearances from Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) and John ‘ Jaycee’ Cuijpers (Praying Mantis). You can check out the lyric video for it here at RAMzine.

Rock opera, musical, and concept all wrapped up as a double album extravaganza, The Liberty Project also features contributions from Steve Hackett (Genesis), Mark Lennon (Venice), and Harry Sacksioni, among others.

Imagine there had been a second big bang. Would that have altered our evolution or even created a parallel world? And if so, what would that the world look like? Who would be its inhabitants? That’s the concept behind The Liberty Project.
 
Reekers said, “I wanted to create a story within a story, so I introduced the characters, Thomas and Catherine, falling in love, splitting up and finding their way back together. With a society in turmoil around them where politicians, bankers, and journalists, amongst others, comment on the situation they’re confronted with”.

Back in June, ‘Good Citizens’ was released as a single. Featuring guest appearances by Damian Wilson (Threshold), Koen Herfst (Vandenberg) and Cindy Oudshoorn (Kayak), you can check out video for it here at RAMzine.

This was one of the first songs Reekers recorded for the album and talking about it he said, “After the second Big Bang – history repeats itself – a different or parallel world has developed, not unlike the world we know. A terrible disease has spread, and people live in fear. We hear the politicians saying everything will be fine if we all follow the rules and regulations that they have drawn up. Naturally, they cannot deliver what they promise; what else is new?”

He continued, “When I recorded the demos for this album, I sang all the lead vocals myself. As the project was coming along it became clear to me that I had to have a variety of voices for the different songs and groups of people singing them, giving each group and each song a face of its own. I found ‘Good Citizens’ one of the hardest ones to give away, so to speak, because I loved singing it. Fortunately, my good friend Damian Wilson was willing to lend his great voice and overwhelming interpretation to the politicians both in this song and ‘Never again’. And I must say, I’m more than happy with and proud of the result!”

He added, “This song was also the first song that guitarist Mark Bogert played. Even in the demo stage he added so much ‘feel’ to the songs. Just listen to the guitar solo he played on this song! I was very lucky to have him on the album and I’m very grateful for all the work he put into it. What an amazing musician and wonderful person!  Besides Mark we hear Koen Herfst on drums, Johannes Adema on bass, Joost van den Broek on Hammond and I play some keyboard parts and percussion(cowbell!). Also the backing vocals were done by good, good friends of mine: Cindy Oudshoorn, Marcela Bovio and Peter Bauchwitz.”

Regarding the first song released from the album ‘The Present Day’, Thomas, welcomes us to his day and age. “We call the time we live in the present day, but so did the people who lived a hundred years ago, and so will the people who will live a hundred years from now,” Reekers noted. “After this second big bang, we find ourselves in a parallel world very similar to the one we live in. The song is the first song on the album with a lead vocal. It has a powerful beginning and an almost hymn-like touch to it.”

You can also check out the video for ‘The Present Day’ right here at RAMzine.

The album is said to be “a gargantuan, sprawling piece of majesty”. Reekers turned to Joost van den Broek, who he had met during his Ayreon performances, asking him to help him get The Liberty Project on its way. The collaboration turned out to be a magical one. And, as has been noted, that’s not the only friend he’s had a little help from.
 
“The recording process was an overwhelming experience for me”, Reekers confessed. “We had Vandenberg‘s Koen Herfst on drums, giving it his all, Mark Bogert on guitars, Johannes Adema on basses, a string section, a mixed choir and even a children’s choir. Having composed all the music and written all the lyrics for the project, it really was a dream come true for me to hear it come to life with so many great musicians and singers giving me the benefit of their wonderful talent”.
 
Reekers was the former lead singer of Dutch progressive-rock titans Kayak. He joined Kayak ahead of their breakout album, Phantom Of The Night (1978), that featured the band’s biggest hit, ‘Ruthless Queen’. The band’s soaring progressive pop-rock and grandiose flourishes proved to capture the ears of fans and the album became the bands most significant commercial success. Reekers was vocalist for Kayak until their split in 1982 and then re-joined in 2005 until 2014.
 
He released solo albums The Last Forest (1980), Stages (1993), Child Of The Water (2008) and continued to tour Europe as a backing singer with artists like Meatloaf, Oleta Adams, Bobby Kimball and even Caterina Valente, and also appearing on records and tours with several Dutch and Belgian artists as well as the legendary Demis Roussos. His solo single ‘The Words To Say I Love You’ was included in a soap opera in Brazil and became very popular there. He is a notable collaborator with fellow Dutch prog-rock polymath Arjen Lucassen and his Ayreon project.

Tracks featured on The Liberty Project are: ‘Out Of The past…(Prologue)’, ‘The Present Day’, ‘Two lifetimes’, ‘The Disease’, ‘Good Citizens’, ‘Liberty’, ‘Patients, Have Patience’, ‘The Break Up’, ‘Turn To Us, Learn From Us’, ‘The Clash Of Belief’, ‘Money’, ‘We Live To Die’, ‘Remember The Fallen’, ‘Celebrate Life’, ‘Onwards And Forwards’, ‘Never Again’, ‘As Good As Any Goal’ and ‘…..Into The Future (Epilogue)‘.

You can pre-order The Liberty Project by clicking here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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