NEM#85: John Etheridge (Soft Machine) Is For Everything!

John is an amazing guitarist who started in the late-’60s British blues boom, had his first compositions set to tape with Darryl Way’s Wolf in the early ’70s, then joined the latter line-ups of jazz-prog legends Soft Machine (replacing Alan Holdsworth) in the late ’70s. He’s collaborated with luminaries like violinist Stéphane Grappelli, guitar great John Williams, and Andy Summers from The Police, and released eight solo albums prior to teaming up with former members of Soft Machine for another six albums.

We discuss “One Glove” by Soft Machine from Hidden Details (2018), his rendition of Rodgers and Hart’s “My Romance” from I Didn’t Know (2004), and “Venerable Bede” from Ash (1994). We conclude by listening to “Blue Breeze” by John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe from Out of the Sky (2015). Intro/outro from “Huffin'” by Soft Machine from Alive and Well: Recorded in Paris (1978). For more, visit and

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NEM#62: Anthony Phillips: Private Pieces, Soundtrack Parts, and Prog Rock

Anthony was the original guitarist and a key songwriter in Genesis from ’67–’70, released some prog rock albums in the ’70s, then shifted largely to a mix of acoustic guitar pieces and synth soundscapes, often for soundtracks.

We discuss “Nocturne” from Seventh Heaven (2012, with Andrew Skeet), “From the Jaws of Death – Touching the Face of God” from Wildlife (recorded 1999) and “Magdalen” from Sides (1979). We then listen to “Sanctuary” from Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England (1992). Opening music: “F# Demo (The Musical Box, Instrumental)” from 1970. End music: “Mystery Train III” from Private Parts & Pieces XI: City of Dreams (2012). For more information, see

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NEM #45: Steve Hackett: Visualize the Music (with 300+ tracks!)

Steve released six studio albums with Genesis between 1971 and 1977 and twenty-five solo albums that feature his virtuosic guitar and the spirit of ’70s prog rock. He now works with producer/keyboardist Roger King to create dense, cinematic soundscapes.

We discuss “In the Skeleton Gallery” (and listen to “Anything but Love”) from The Night Siren (2017), “Love Song to a Vampire” from Wolflight (2014), and “Omega Metallicus” from Darktown (1999). Opening/closing music: Steve’s solo from “Firth of Fifth” from Genesis’s Selling England by the Pound (1973). More at

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NEM #25: Bill Bruford: Drumming Matters

Bill was the original drummer for Yes, a default member of King Crimson, and briefly played with Genesis and the late ’70s supergroup U.K., but most of his output has been with his own jazz-inflected Earthworks and Bruford, as rock proved too confining for his rhythmic and tonal creativity.

We discuss King Crimson’s “One more Red Nightmare” from Red (1974), “Thistledown” from If Summer Had Its Ghosts by Bill Bruford, Eddie Gomez and Ralph Towner (1992), and “The 16 Kingdoms of the 5 Barbarians” from Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song by Bill Bruford/Michiel Borstlap (2004). We also hear “Hell’s Bells” and the title track of One of a Kind by Bruford (1979), plus “Five Per Cent for Nothing” from Fragile (1972) by Yes.

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NEM #21: Trey Gunn and the Discipline of Tap Guitar

Trey is master of a many-stringed type of guitar that you play by tapping with both hands at the same time. His mentor was Robert Fripp, with whom he played in the seminal progressive rock band King Crimson. He has also released over a dozen exploratory solo albums. Learn more at

We talked about “Kuma” from his solo album The Third Star (1996), “Level Five” from King Crimson’s The Power to Believe, and “God’s Monkey” from the David Sylvian/Robert Fripp album The First Day (1993).

We conclude by listening to Trey’s current touring group The Security Project, as they play the Peter Gabriel classic “No Self Control” from Live 1 (2016). Beginning and end music is from Trey’s Live and Hugo House EP (2015).

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