New album "Jesus Christ The Exorcist" out on June 14th!
“Jesus Christ - The Exorcist” is a monumental project in Neal Morse’s already impressive discography. A Progressive Rock Opera 10 years in the making, it was written and produced by Morse and includeds performances by Neal and an all-star cast of vocalists and musicians. “Jesus Christ the Exorcist” will be released on June 14, 2019 on a double album set featuring about two hours of music that will encompass all the spectrums and genres Neal Morse is known for and will, of course, tell the Story of Stories.
Neal explains, "Sometimes providence comes with a whisper; sometimes it comes with an unexpected phone call. A friend of mine who works in the music business called me from New York one day in 2008 and said, "Hey man, a friend and I were listening to Jesus Christ Superstar last night and were saying, 'Man, somebody ought to do a new rock opera based on the Jesus story'. I told my friend, 'I know the guy!' He went on to tell me I ought to write an epic prog piece based on the gospels. With a New York accent he said, 'Ya gotta do it!' I laughed and said, 'Well, I'm busy right now, but I'll think about it.' Over the next couple of months, I began to feel that "yes" inside and spent a few months writing the first draft. The strong sense that I was onto something continued to grow and the people that sang on the original version were really into it. One day the phone rang and it was my friend from New York, Michael Caplan. He said, 'You’re not gonna believe this, but I’ve got a company interested in the musical!' I replied, 'That’s great, ‘cause I am in the middle of a rewrite as we are putting it on at Morsefest 2018 in a few months.' Very timely! The company is called Frontiers Music Srl and after some communication, we struck a deal! Cool! So, here we are..ready to release this collection of songs and themes that is very dear to my heart and I believe tells the greatest story ever told in a powerful, new way."
With a cast of amazing vocalists and musicians like Ted Leonard, Eric Gillette, Nick D’Virgilio, Randy George, Bill Hubauer, Matt Smith, and others, this progressive rock opera is a landmark event that will leave its mark on every listener. “Let him who has ears to hear…let him hear!”
“JESUS CHRIST - THE EXORCIST”, had it’s live world premiere in 2018 and was performed by a Prog Rock all-star cast featuring Neal Morse (keys, guitar), Paul Bielatowicz (lead guitar), Bill Hubauer (keys), Randy George (bass), and Eric Gillette (drums). Featured vocalists included Ted Leonard (Spock's Beard, Enchant), Nick D'Virgilio (Big, Big Train, Spock's Beard), Jake Livgren (Protokaw), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Wil Morse and more. Also, John Schlitt (Petra) and Rick Florian (White Heart) have been added to the performance as well.
Widely regarded as one of the world's leading Progressive (“Prog") Rock musicians, Neal Morse is a prolific musical driving force and his desire to move people through his music burns brighter than ever before. Born in California in 1960 to a musical family, Morse played in many bands during his youth, learning and mastering several instruments along the way. In 1995, he wrote and recorded “The Light" with his then new band, Spock's Beard. It was an album grounded strongly in the then-unfashionable progressive rock genre, but the album and especially the title track became modern prog classics and brought Morse and the band global recognition. Over the next seven years, Spock's Beard released six critically acclaimed studio recordings and multiple live recordings, while establishing a passionate fan base in the Prog Rock community.
In 2000, he formed the prog supergroup Transatlantic with drum legend Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Marillion's Pete Trewavas, and The Flower Kings' Roine Stolt. In a remarkably brief but productive few days together, they knocked out “SMPTe", a richly received, massive work of vintage, long form prog. Two years later, the sophomore release, "Bridge Across Forever", solidified Transatlantic's global appeal. Additionally, in 2008 he also joined another prog rock supergroup, Flying Colors featuring Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai), Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas), Mike Portnoy(Dream Theater, Transatlantic), and Casey McPherson. The band has released two studio albums and two live releases.
In 2001, Morse shocked his followers with word that he was stepping away from secular music…with no indication of where he was heading. Morse was now walking an unknown road. After success with Spock's Beard, he was starting all over again, this time boldly declaring his Christian faith and risking fan rejection and financial failure. He needn't have worried. As the “Testimony" Live DVD triumphantly documented, his solo tour was full of magical moments and was a deeply life affirming experience. Morse returned to the studio with Mike Portnoy and touring bass player Randy George to record 2004's “One", a conceptual album that was a vast, rewarding piece of music that reached new heights. Morse, Portnoy, and George stayed on this musical journey together until Bill Hubauer and Eric Gillette were added as permanent members of the Neal Morse Band in 2015 on "The Grand Experiment” album. This collective effort saw collaboration between all of the members and has subsequently yielded another studio album, the astonishingly brilliant “Similitude Of A Dream”, and two live releases.