Title: Somewhere In The Universe
An album that contains twelve original songs and two Jethro Tull covers, 'Broadford Bazaar' and 'Jackalynn' and is dedicated
to Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. The Tull covers come about because the rest of the album might be original songs but they
are done in a rich Tull style with vocalist Ray Roehner sounding remarkably like Ian Anderson with flute and pennywhistle for
extra authenticity. The band features John Berg on guitars. Mark Colicchia on drums, Gregory Piontek on basses and Christopher
Sierzchula on keyboards and united they get a good rich Tull sound...
The original material is indeed a great idea and the songs could easily be that of the master Anderson himself, but of course they
are not. The fourteen songs average out at about three and a half minutes and therefore never get tedious and I particularly liked
'Insights' with its orchestral backing, good percussion and piano arrangement. 'Jackalynn' at over five minutes is saved until last,
a clever tactic. Must mention Elissa Kudrin who gives the album something extra special with her violin input, especially on
'Tribute To JT'. You wouldn't necessarily have to be a Tull fan to enjoy the whole album and that has to be a plus point for the
Martin Hudson - Editor - Wondrous Stories Magazine/Classic Rock Society
A very nice CD finally found its way from Kenmore/USA to
Germany. It's incredible how it's possible that this musical
treasure could have been unknown in Germany until now. If you listen
to SITU you believe it's a compilation of unknown Jethro Tull songs.
It's not only the quality of the songs...it's also that the singer and
bandleader Ray Roehner sounds like Ian Anderson. None of the songs
would be a negative on a Jethro Tull album...and some of them would be
Besides the 12 original songs, there are cover versions from two
Tull songs. No wonder about that if you take a look at the CD cover.
There you can see that SITU is a tribute to Ian Anderson and Jethro
Tull. Ok, they will not win a prize for originality but this kind of
tribute CD is much more creative than the lots of cover CDs on which
modern bands play classics like Yes, Genesis or Camel. SITU is not an
overview about the whole style of Jethro Tull. They play only the more
calm and acoustic songs. Some more rockier tracks like Locomotive
Breath would also have been quite good.
If you like
the live-album, "A Little Light Music" than SITU is exactly the right
stuff for you.
SITU is a good investment if you are a Jethro Tull fan or
if you you like calm, dreaming music.
And don't forget...this is a
CD which you can listen to with your girlfriend or wife (who normally hates your
Martin Dambeck - Empire Magazine
Buffalo, NY band RAY's debut CD - "Somewhere In The Universe" - states "Dedicated to Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull" on the CD cover, has a song entitled "Tribute to JT," has much to say about Tull in the liner notes, and two of the CD's fourteen songs are Tull covers (Broadford Bazaar & Jackalynn). In short, these guys are into Jethro Tull.
However, though I suspect the band would be proud to be labeled a Tull clone, I hesitate to do that. The songs on the CD are so good and so well executed, that I prefer to say that they come from the Jethro Tull school of progressive medieval folk rock. The acoustic instruments and flutes abound, and two songs (Open the Door & Live Your Life) incorporate sax in an interesting way. Some songs, like Insights, even get downright symphonic.
Listening closely, I notice parts of songs, like Planet of Tears, even have a very early Genesis sound. Only parts though, as they quickly return to the Tull influence.
So if you're into Jethro Tull, or just like good, solid, acoustic progressive song-oriented rock, then I highly recommend this band.
Jerry Kranitz - Editor - Progressive Music Site
Few groups can take influences and yet maintain an individual identity as is the case with RAY.
In his debut album, "Somewhere In The Universe", he has decided to tribute Jethro Tull! He has developed musical ideas such as those shown in the memorable, "Minstrel in the Gallery" from 1975. The album progresses through short compositions of impressive ability and excellent performance in which they utilize the predominance of acoustic guitars, flutes, bagpipes, and other acoustic instruments which combine to achieve a wonderful climate of progressive rock produced by this new troubadour.
The album is directly dedicated to JT as well as their fans, and the band covers two compositions by Anderson, "Jackalynn" and Broadford Bazaar". Among songs by the band which stand out are "Open the Door", "Planet of Tears", "Ahead in the Game", "Tribute to JT", "Skye", and the title track. This band of North American origin is lead by Ray Roehner on vocals, flute, and guitar. Especially outstanding is the brilliant work of John Berg on acoustic guitar, as well as that of Gregory Piontek on bass and Christopher Sierzchula on keyboards.
In summary, this is a great new offering for Jethro Tull fanatics that are looking for that old style with new ideas.
Ray Roehner, singer, acoustic guitar, flute, and pennywhistle, is a great admirer of the amazing universe of Jethro Tull, and he shows it through "Somewhere In The Universe". The album is dedicated to Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. They redid two versions of Tull songs, "Broadford Bazaar" and "Jackalynn", and one of their own songs, "Tribute to JT" also demonstrates this admiration.
During these times in which tribute albums are constantly in the record market (Camel, Yes, Pink Floyd, JT, Rush, Tequila), Ray produced this tribute disc with his own songs, although these originals in "Somewhere In The Universe" are full of Jethrotullian influence. Ray has captured the sounds and musical ways of Ian Anderson with a collection of cool and relaxing pieces, the majority of them inspired in mainly acoustic form like in the folk epoch "Songs from the Wood". This is shown from the vocal texture of Ray Roehner and his acoustic guitars to the electrics of John Berg, maybe the alter ego of Martin Barre. With the exception of two songs, 12 short songs compose this record. The majority of them, if not all, are at a very high level. "Planet of Tears" initially builds from an acoustic song and grows in its progressive nature, exploding at the end reaching a climax of electric guitar, violin, and flute. This is also the way "Jackalynn" builds up. Of the many hits of the album are "Yellow Lake", "Skye", "Open the Door", "The Golden Rule", and "For All That Should Be"....all acoustic based cuts that remind one of "Jack in the Green". "Insights" is pure progressive rock of great beauty with intense harmonies that recall moments of Genesis' "Trick of the Tail" era. "Jackalynn", of which I've already mentioned, is probably the best cut of the disc, a fantastic version with a magnificent guitar solo.
While there are hundreds of clones of Yes or Genesis or Marillion on the planet, we can't say the same for Jethro Tull. Furthermore, the level of quality of this CD is excellent. I can extremely recommend buying this CD. I'm sure you will enjoy this journey into the realm of Ian Anderson. At this time, I am imagining Ray in "Rain from the Stars" and I see the jesters that make up the jury talking of the excellence of this group and how well they perform. Can you imagine Lauren Castigo, Las Tenas, or Luqui thought of as highly? I doubt it.
I am sure that they will make it big.
- "I must say it is spectacular, truly a great collection! I cannot stop listening to it...incredible. Hereís to many more!"
- Graig Diamond (New York)
- "I find it to be brilliant!"
- Frode Knipschildt (Denmark)
- "I really enjoy listening to SITU. Excellent musicianship! The music is very well orchestrated and unlike anything in the mainstream today. Keep playing!"
- Bob OíNeill (N. Carolina- Jethro Tull Webmaster)
- "Itís great! I love it - I donít think I can say that enough!"
- David Cosgrove (Connecticut)
- "I canít get Rayís CD out of my carís CD player...it never ceases to sound great!"
- Frank Viviano (Oregon)
- "This is excellent. A lot of talent went into this. Beautiful to listen to, refreshing and peaceful."
- Jessica Wisley (New York)
- "Excellence in both writing and performance."
- David Koukol (Massachusetts)
- "A very fresh, relaxing piece of good music, feelings of joy and serenity."
- Christina Pierini (Italy)
- "This CD comes across as honest and full of integrity. The music is calm and introspective, perfect for a close listening in front of a warm fire in winter."
- Dan Barrett (Massachusetts - Gentle Giant Webmaster)
- "I enjoy this CD. Itís great - keep it up!"
- Norm Boilard (Connecticut)
- "We enjoy your positive and compassionate music., and wish you continued success to bring positive messages to the world."
- Betty Hanson (c/o Deepak Chopra -California)
- "I love the CD and admire the concept even more!"
- Scott Elmquist (Pennsylvania)
- "If anyone does not have SITU then you must buy it now, I repeat, you must buy it now. Itís worth it, trust me. You have fulfilled a dream that many of us would give several limbs to have experienced!"
- Bill Smith (Pennsylvania)
- "Golden times may still be here in SITU! ......Broadford Bazaar and Jackalynn are extremely well done."
- Ed Rybicki (South Africa)
- "We think SITU is a masterpiece! I wish I had more of this music."
- Euan McLeod (New Zealand)
- "Excellent. I look forward to your next release."
- Ranjan Ghosal (New Mexico)
- "The music is multi-layered and requires many listens to fully appreciate. Excellent music, finely crafted."
- Tom & Carol Phillips (Maryland)
- "This is great, I really enjoy it! Would like to see you do more in the future."
- Phil LaGro (Illinois)
- "Itís wonderfully peaceful, and the music relaxes the mind and soul."
- Shelley Marousek (Connecticut)
- "Excellent album! Do another one."
- Marc Schlueter (Texas)
- "Excellent. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. Count me in as a sale for SITU II!"
- Jeff Ebert (Wisconsin)
- "You have captured Tullís sound and mood through your own unique lens. I am totally impressed with your sound and wish you all the success in the world."
- Sandy Olukalns (Ohio)
- "Iíll have it in my CD player for a long time!"
- Guillermo Ponce de Leon (S. America)
- "Planet of Tears is the best song Iíve ever heard!"
- Gail Huck (Michigan)
- "Somewhere in the Universe is fantastic!"
- Erin Ward (New York)
- "Keep up the great work. Hope you release more of the same."
- Steve Harrison (England)
- "I like the sound a lot!!! There is nothing like the sound of easy, quiet intimacy with the hinting threat of a nearby jam. There is a tranquility - a homespun, fireside atmosphere that is created in my mind when Ray is on. No burnout, no headaches - just pleasing words and sounds. I will pass the word on!"
- Jim Luke (Michigan)