Billy Sherwood, fresh off a stint in the reconstituted Alan Parsons Project, has completed work on Epilogue — the second Prog Collective effort. Parsons will be featured on this new album, as well as several current and former members of Yes. In fact, it was Prog Collective sessions, Sherwood says, that brought him into the Parsons tour. After Parsons added vocals to the Epilogue track “Shining Diamonds,” he asked if Sherwood could play bass on a trio of Project shows this summer.
Elsewhere, King Crimson’s John Wetton and Mel Collins are featured, as is Deep Purple’s Steve Morse, Nektar’s Roye Albrighton, XTC’s Colin Moulding, Hawkwind’s Nik Turner and Dream Theater’s Jordan Rudess and Derek Sherinian, as well as Steve Hillage, Larry Fast, Steve Stevens and Sonja Kristina. An example of how this all-star crew mixes and matches can be found on “Are We To Believe,” which Sherwood has said is slotted as the album’s opening cut: Moulding sings lead, Wakeman plays the lead solo, Hillage handles lead guitar and Collins is on sax. The do-anything Sherwood again produced, while also providing bass, guitars, drums, keyboards and backing vocals as needed throughout.
For fans of Sherwood’s work with Yes in the 1990s, the Prog Collective will include Chris Squire on bass; Rick Wakeman, Tony Kaye, Geoff Downes and Patrick Moraz on keyboards and, perhaps most interestingly, some of the final recordings from founding member Peter Banks, as well. The late guitarist is featured, along with Kristina and Fast, on “Tomorrow Becomes Today.”
“I keep thinking as I mix it, I gotta send him an email and let him know how good it is in the final mix, then reality hits,” Sherwood says of Banks, who also appeared on the original Prog Collective album for Cleopatra. “It’s an honor to have his last playing on this unique record. He’s surrounded by amazing musicians on this record, as I’m sure he is surrounded by amazing musicians in that rock ‘n’ roll heaven as they say. This song has special meaning, now and forever.”
William Shatner, of Star Trek fame, also appears. Sherwood is at work on Shatner’s tandem solo project, as well. Up next for the always-busy Sherwood is mixing a pair of tracks for the band Time Horizon, including a remake of “The Moment is Here,” a song Sherwood co-wrote with Bruce Gowdy for the original World Trade album. Mastering for Epilogue is being handled by Maor Appelbaum, who did the original Prog Collective album and has also worked with Rob Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen, Adrenaline Mob and Geoff Tate’s Queensryche, among others.