Steve Hackett - Ridgefield And Wuthering 2017

Words and live photos by John A. Wilcox

World renowned guitarist Steve Hackett (inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a pioneer member of the band Genesis) returns to the stage of the Ridgefield Playhouse on a two-fold mission. To promote his upcoming release The Night Siren (InsideOut Music) and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his final studio endeavor as a member of Genesis - Wind & Wuthering. I asked Hackett his thoughts on Wind & Wuthering. His reply: I like to think they are all great tunes in their own way and I want to honor that album because it's its 40th anniversary. My last album with the band. I like to think I went out on a high because it is a great album!

The Night Siren is a follow up to Hackett's globe-spanning 2015 album Wolflight. The Night Siren casts the net wider, mining points as diverse as Peru and the North Pole. Many sonic vistas are explored here. The album also features a diverse cast of international players. Hackett illuminates: This album was stitched together from many performances from people around the world. 20 people - many of whom are from many different corners of the globe. 1 person from Israel working with 1 person from Palestine. Gulli Briem from Iceland. Malik Mansurov from Azerbaijan ... and so on and so forth. We have 4 different drummers on it. Nick D'Virgilio is on 1 track. He's on Martian Sea. In a sense it's a kind of United Nations of music. I wanted to show that it's possible for people to work together in harmony.

Steve Hackett's 1st set will feature 3 songs from The Night Siren as well as Hackett solo classics like Everyday, The Steppes, and Shadow Of The Hierophant. The 2nd is an all-Genesis affair with at least 1 song from each of the 6 Genesis studio albums Hackett played on. Hardcore Genesis acolytes will also be rewarded with the non-album track Inside And Out - an orphan of the Wind & Wuthering sessions relegated to the 1977 Spot The Pigeon EP. Hackett explains: The band do a wonderful version of that! It sounds really, really good. The band really warmed to that. It sounds uncannily like the original but then it goes into something that's got its own take and right at the end of it, it turns into a real celebration. Don't forget the guy does get released in the end!

For this tour Steve Hackett is joined by Nad Sylvan on vocals, Roger King on keyboards, Gary O'Toole on drums and vocals, Nick Beggs on bass, guitars, and vocals, and Rob Townsend on winds, keyboards, and percussion. Over the years, Townsend's role has continued to grow. Hackett: That multi-instrumentalist factor is extraordinary. I think in some ways he provides something of the same function that I saw with Ian McDonald with King Crimson originally. Playing so many instruments and so well.

Steve Hackett
Wednesday, February 22, 8 PM
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT 06877


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