Guitar virtuoso Steve Hackett is set to release his latest album, The Night Siren, on March 24 via InsideOut Music. The Night Siren will be released in multiple configurations, including a double-disc special edition with a 5.1 surround-sound mix and making-of documentary on Blu-ray, hi-res digital download, black-vinyl gatefold double-LP, and standard CD.
Yours truly will be sitting down with Hackett for an in-person interview later this month when he’s in New York, and that conversation will be posted exclusively here on HRAC closer to the album’s release date.
Today, Hackett is revealing the first track to be taken from the album, “In The Skeleton Gallery,” which you can hear right now, right here: https://youtu.be/M2NnwWt138I. The full album itself can be pre-ordered here: http://lasercd.com/fr/inside-out-music-pre-orders-and-recent-releases.
Hackett had the following to say about the initial track: “I’m excited by the imminent release of my new album, The Night Siren, which includes this track, ‘In The Skeleton Gallery.’ You know that ancient childhood night terror which creeps up on you in a dark moment when you’re least expecting it…? This track moves from a dream-like groove with a Middle Eastern tinged accompaniment through to a sinister march and on to an out-there nightmare ride, before the child’s box of tricks reclaims it and the lid is finally closed.”
As implied in the title, The Night Siren is intended to be a wake-up call — i.e., the warning of a siren sounding in this era of strife and division. The album showcases Hackett’s guitar playing to be as strong as ever, alongside musicians from several different countries whom Steve invited to join him in celebrating multicultural diversity and unity. This includes singers from Israel and Palestine, who both actively campaign to bring Jewish and Arabic people together.
To that end, featured on the album are singers Kobi and Mira (Israeli and Palestinian), Nick D’Virgilio (drums) from the USA, Malik Mansurov (Tar) from Azerbaijan, and Gulli Breim (drums & percussion) from Iceland, along with regular Hackett collaborators: Roger King (keyboards), Nad Sylvan (vocals), Gary O’Toole (drums, percussion, and vocals), Rob Townsend (sax, flute, and percussion), and Amanda Lehmann (guitar and vocals). Additional musicians on The Night Siren are Christine Townsend (violin and viola), Dick Driver (double bass), and Troy Donockley (Celtic Uilleann pipes).
Hackett says about the album’s overall intent, “This latest waxing represents a bird’s eye view of the world of a musical migrant ignoring borders and celebrating our common ancestry with a unity of spirit, featuring musicians, singers, and instruments from all over the world. From territorial frontiers to walled-up gateways, boundaries often hold back the tide. But while the night siren wails, music breaches all defenses. To quote Plato, ‘When the music changes, the walls of the city shake’.”
The musical journey on The Night Siren takes us from “Behind the Smoke,” focusing on the plight of refugees throughout the ages, to the penultimate track, “West to East,” which reflects on the damage of war and the hope for a better world. From personal to universal, Hackett feels the themes of The Night Siren celebrate the life force, breaking free from the chains of repression.
Confirmed track listing for The Night Siren:
Behind the Smoke
Fifty Miles from the North Pole
Other Side of the Wall
Anything But Love
In Another Life
In the Skeleton Gallery
West to East
As for touring, Steve Hackett is returning with an exciting new show, dubbed Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett, for UK, European, and U.S. audiences. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, Steve and his band will be performing several tracks from that album, as well as fan favorites such as “The Musical Box” along with other Genesis numbers never performed before by Steve’s band, including “Inside & Out” and “Anyway” — not to mention new material from, of course, The Night Siren.
Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett 2017 Canada and U.S tour dates:
Tuesday, February 14 City Winery Nashville, TN
Wednesday, February 15 City Winery Nashville, TN
Friday, February 17 Victoria Theater Newark, NJ
Saturday, February 18 State Theatre Ithaca, NY
Wednesday,February 22 Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT
Thursday, February, 23 NYCB Westbury, NY
Friday, February 24 Santander PAC Reading, PA,
Saturday, February 25 Playstation Theater New York, NY
Sunday, February 26 Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA
Tuesday, February 28 20 Monroe Live Grand Rapids, MI
Wednesday, March 1 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, MI
Thursday, March 2 The Oakville Centre Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Friday, March 3 Kleinhans Music Hall Buffalo, NY