Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, Melodic Prog trio The Raptor Trail will be releasing their highly anticipated sophomore album “New World” on March 11. 2016. This second release finds the band stretching its wings a bit, with particular attention to vocal harmonies and acoustic based themes. That is not to say there is nothing Prog and heavier on this record as the tracks “Going To Dublin” and “Wheel” will attest. But it’s more of an intricate Rock ‘n’ Roll album, almost galactic sounding, with a ominous cynicism and grim world view. Clocking in at just under 78 minutes it is really like a double album.
Says guitarist/vocalist Matt Mayes, “ ‘New World’ thematically deals with emotional response and self examination. It displays a somewhat metaphysical way of looking at the order of things and man’s attempt to make sense of his surroundings to better understand his place in the world. The conclusions are sometimes rather grim.”
The Raptor Trail has been slowly and quietly plotting its course over the last 25 years. Founding members John Meyer and Matthew Mayes had been kicking around the idea of recording something together for decades. Finally in 2014, the planets aligned and the idea actually transcended into a studio recording project which later came to be called The Raptor Trail. The Raptor Trail was actually the first song that Meyer and Mayes wrote together for the project, and it snowballed from there, with “Gravity x Ten” following, and then ten more songs over the course of the next year. The self titled first album, “The Raptor Trail,” was released in May, 2015.
Considering the musical backgrounds of Meyer and Mayes, one might not think the styles would mesh. Meyer coming from a harder edged, heavier guitar style; highlighted by the fact that he tunes his guitar in “D.” And, Mayes coming from more of a progressive bluegrass, jamrock background; highlighted by an instrument called a Guijo (Half Strat, Half Banjo, tuned in open G) But in reality, quite the opposite occurred. Not only did the styles mesh, but their melodic interplay and vast, yet different, musical influences pushed one another out of their respective comfort zones. The result was the creation of some of the most prolific, diverse, and conviction fused progressive rock music ever heard.
Before the project could be completed however, there was needed one addition. Gene Bass, long time musical companion with Meyer and Mayes, was brought on to play all drums and percussion. Gene Bass and John Meyer grew up together in Macon, GA, playing in a number of bands together starting back in 1980. Adding to this storied history is the fact that Mayes and Bass played together for 12 years in pioneer Jamrock band Jupiter Coyote which went on to sell well over half a million records. Adding yet more history to the story is the fact that Meyer and Mayes were roommates back in those days and Meyer was actually the first sound man in that band. Meyer is also the person that came up with the name Jupiter Coyote.
So the evolving path that has lead to The Raptor Trail has taken many turns and twists over the years. But, it has somehow reunited a great and long lasting friendship between three individuals who share a unique musical chemistry and history. The music has largely been recorded in each member’s home studio. Then, simply passing the files back and forth over the internet and ultimately back to Meyer who has been the mastermind behind the production and mixing. The self titled album which was released in May 2015 received a warm reception from die-hard Jupiter Coyote fans, as well as many publications from the Progressive rock side of the scale.
Now the band is set to release their sophomore album “New World”, which unlike most of the mindless, banal, twaddle that passes for popular music today, The Raptor Trail’s music is rich and layered, with razor sharp musicianship and thought provoking lyrical content. Just listen to the conceptual relation of “Desolation” and “Grace,”, the last two tracks on the album and you will get a sense of just how well crafted these songs really are.
“New World” is digitally distributed through Red Eye World Wide distribution and avail at all major digital outlets including i-Tunes, Google Music, and Amazon. Physical CDs are available through CD Baby and feature alternate mixes.
The Raptor Trail “New World” Track Listing:
Going To Dublin
Stone By Stone
Let It Go
Time Slides Onward
The Raptor Trail is:
Gene H. Bass – Drums, Percussion
Matthew B. Mayes – Vocals, Backing vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Banjo, Guijo
John M. Meyer – Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass, G strings, Vocals, Effects
Here’s what the press have been saying about The Raptor Trail:
“The Raptor Trail features first class rock music by versatile multi-instrumentalists who achieve great alchemy between them.” – Progressive Rock Central
“The music of The Raptor Trail is a cross-over of genres, which include Bluegrass, Southern Rock, Country-Rock, and Folk, wrapped up in sonic textures typical of Progressive and Classic Rock, and solidified in a kind of ‘Progressive Bluegrass’ new sound.” – Progressive Rock & Progressive Central
“…while Matthew Mayes likes to play a more progressive style bluegrass music style… He plays an instrument called the Guijo, which is a Stratocaster and a banjo merged together.” – Music Guru
“The trio offers a style approaching the progressive with a strong rock influence that reminds me of bands like The Allman Brothers or Wishbone Ash.” – Profile
“The end result is a wonderful mix of prog, southern rock and blues, all done in a laid back style with plenty of long instrumental breaks. If progressive southern jam rock was a genre, then these guys would be number one on the list. Imagine Rush and the Allman Brothers having a session together, and that would be the Raptor Trail.” – Power Play Magazine
“A prog rock trio from Macon Georgia who unlike many of that genre keep you on your toes and interested throughout with their beautiful vocal and musical arrangements.” – Metalliville
Lastly, the band is working on the third album now, laying the ground work for an elaborate concept album!
For more information: http://www.theraptortrail.com/