‘Very special stuff’: Billy Sherwood polishes up some final sessions by Peter Banks for Prog Collective 2

Producer Billy Sherwood is substantially finished with the star-flecked Prog Collective 2, which will include some of the final recordings of Peter Banks, the original Yes guitarist who passed earlier this month.

The track “Tomorrow Becomes Today” features Banks, keyboardist Larry Fast (Foreigner, Peter Gabriel) and vocalist Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), with Sherwood on bass, rhythm guitar, drums and synthesizers, Sherwood says, via Facebook. Banks “delivered overdubs a few weeks before he tragically passed away,” Sherwood added.

Prog Collective 2, to be issued by Cleopatra Records, also includes guest appearances by Rick Wakeman, John Wetton, Allan Holdsworth, Chris Squire, Derek Sherinian, Colin Moulding, Roye Albrighton, Gary Green, Mel Collins, Steve Hillage, John Wesley, Steve Stevens, Tony Kaye, Jordan Rudess, Fee Waybill, Steve Morse, Patrick Moraz, and others.

Sherwood is performing songs from the original Prog Collective project this week on the Moody Blues Cruise, with members of his regular band Circa. He will also appear with Eddie Jobson of UK fame in April at the Baja Prog Festival.

Like Sherwood, Squire, Wakeman, Moraz and Kaye are current or former members of Yes. Sherwood co-leads Circa with Kaye, and previously was part of Conspiracy with Squire. He’s worked as a producer with Wetton (Asia, UK, King Crimson), and with Nektar’s Albrighton, as well.

Wetton, Sherinian and Wesley appear on “What Can Be Done. “I love his tone and delivery of the song — very special stuff,” says Sherwood, who plays drums, bass, synths and added additional bass. Collins (King Crimson), Hillage, Wakeman and Moulding (XTC) appear on “Are We To Believe.” “A very special track, as I am a huge fan of XTC, and so to sing along with Colin is an honor,” Sherwood says.

Alrighton contributes lead vocals on “Memory Tracks,” with Holdsworth on guitar. “Just Another Day,” a track that goes back to a 2006 collaboration with Green (Gentle Giant), also includes Kaye on keyboards. “For me, a true honor,” Sherwood says. “Gentle Giant and Yes are way up there on my favorite list of bands, so to have the original legend TK and Gary on it, well, it’s amazing to me.”

Stevens (Billy Idol, Bozzio Levin Stevens), Squire and Moraz appear on “Shining Diamonds,” with one more guest perhaps still to be added. “I’m hoping to have Alan Parsons sing it,” Sherwood added. “We shall see. I love Alan’s voice. He added such a great character to the last record on ‘The Technical Divide.’” Rudress, Morse and Waybill are part of “Adding Fuel to the Fire,” with Sherwood on drums, bass, synths and additional guitars.


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