BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH
I was very surprised and also very happy, when I heard about the Anton Roolaart and his new album. Anton Roolaart is a Dutch artist who lives in America, he has one previous album release, "Dreamer" in 2007. Since his first album, I always had special attention to his music, as also his musical performance. He plays a kind of musical style, very symphonic, melodic and highly surrounding. A kind of Symphonic and Melodic Progressive Rock characteristic of many musicians and several Dutch bands, a special symphonic style, that Dutch musicians dominate perfectly, perhaps by the instrumental music's culture and even the traditions of classical music. With full working knowledge on guitars, keyboards and bass, Anton knows
how to develop a lush instrumentation, accompanied by melancholy and soft vocals. The whole instrumental structure, consists in atmospheric keyboards, surrounded by guitars, bass, pianos, violins and beautiful vocal and where the drums follows as a lilting rhythm and without aggression. His new album, is titled as "The Plight of Lady Oona" it comes with a beautiful theme painting on the cover, painted by Anton himself, that reveals a musical plot, filled with fantasy. The album contains 6 tracks and has a total running time of almost 45 minutes. All compositions show an atmospheric environment, multi-faceted some times epic, very well structured full of wonderful melodic passages. Supported by talented musicians, Anton moulds into his own unique sound a perfect instrumental line, nice guitars solos, filled of keyboards arrangements, together with violins and bass, of course, drums complements the orchestration, meanwhile, there are two important points in the compositions, at first, Anton's voices , that reveals a dramatic atmosphere, however very involving, and second one is, the the addition of Annie Haslam’s vocals, her voice adds a puzzling touch on the compositions, a very clever move. "The Plight of Lady Oona" is an album that offers many musical delights, track by track, however, I have my preferences, and some are: "Gravity", "The Plight of Lady Oona", this song is the longest one, with a running time of almost 14 minutes, very nice music, including Annie Haslam's beautiful voice, also "Standing in the Rain" and "The Revealing Light". From melodic to vibrant, Anton Roolaart's music captures a wide range of expressions through soaring melodies and dynamic instrumentation, bringing amazing musical moments that really you will never forget. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Anton Roolaart album and actual band are:
Anton Roolaart is a Dutch-American solo artist and composer. Early in his childhood he was exposed to classical music from his father, who was a serious music enthusiast. He also grew up listening to classic rock and “Progressive Rock” bands since the early 70's. When he was young, his older brother (shown in this picture) was playing in a rock band and Anton saw what he wanted to do.
During this time, he was particularly interested in the music from the likes of Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Yes, and Bowie just to name a few. At the age of 13 he started taking classical guitar lessons after his mother bought him his first classical guitar and he studied classical guitar for 2 years.
Later in his teens, Anton was drawn more and more to playing guitar with friends and he started playing 12-string and electric guitars. He wrote his first song (Shipwreck) when he was 18 when he started to compose his first tunes and play in coffee houses in Charlotte, NC. During this time he was traveling a lot in Europe. After, high school he decided to study “Sound Engineering” and finished a program at the nearby college in Sound Recording Engineering, before moving to Europe for a year. After spending some time living and traveling in Spain and Holland, Anton returned to the US to finish his studies in Electrical Engineering.
Anton soon started to learn about midi and keyboards. He enjoyed the technical aspects of producing music. Continuing to write and play his music in coffee shops, Anton started singing more and more as well, developing his style. He started gathering not only guitars but also keyboards as he enjoyed to play with many layers and sounds. Soon Anton was building his own small home studio. One of his first inspirations for his more ambient music came from Jon Anderson’s solo effort “Olias of Sunhillow”. Continuing to improve his recording skills as well as his musical skills. In order to fulfill his dream, Anton decided to take some Drum and Piano lessons for a little while. Anton says he was very much influenced buy the likes of Steve Howe (Yes) and David Gilmore (Pink Floyd).
After University, Anton moved to New Jersey and got married and raised a family, but all the while focusing on his song-writing, home recording studio, and playing guitar. He also played in a few bands that performed covers and some original tunes. He was more interested in collaborating on original music with others. He played often in Coffee shops in the New Jersey area. After many years of building his skills, Anton decided to make a serious recording and, at the same time and by a series of unpredictable events, he founded a progressive rock radio station (ProgRockRadio.com), which introduced him to many bands that he had not heard before. It also provided Anton with some useful connections in the prog community and feed his thirst for the genre.
When Anton decided to work on his first album, he looked up his old friend and a talented bass player – Vinnie Puryear who ended up playing on both of Anton’s albums. Also, back in 2005, Anton was introduced to Rave Tesar (Renaissance/Annie Haslam Band) by a mutual friend and they became good friends. Anton decided to work with Rave on his first album – Dreamer, which did pretty well for a debut album. While Anton produced his own music, he points out that Rave played an integral part in helping Anton in this effort, and Rave performed various keyboard parts that Anton could not perform on his own. Now, Anton has completed his work of several years on this second CD – The Plight of Lady Oona and again has included some other musicians as well, including Kendal Scott (keys), Michael Frasche (Drums), and his friend from Holland – Pieter van Hoorn (Drums). Kendall and Anton went to Holland to work with Pieter to record the drum parts a few years ago. Anton also added his first guest vocalist – Annie Haslam (Renaissance) on the title track of The Plight of Lady Oona.
"The Plight of Lady Oona"
can visit Anton Roolaart at:
For more information and every thing about the musicians and band, please visit ANTON ROOLAART HOME PAGEN
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