Trace of a Feeling

Art Dudley in Stereophile [USA]

... New material continues to trickle from the venerable songwriting team behind Procol Harum; just as interestingly, their existing catalog has begun to attract a fresh stream of reinterpreters from among the ranks of amateur and professional musicians alike. (Maybe it's an after-effect of the Jethro Tull–ish revolving-door approach the band took to matters of personnel.)

Spurred on by the band's quasi-official website, webmastered by the excellent Roland Clare, a shifting musical cast known collectively as the Palers' Project has released a series of discs containing their own takes on the words of (mostly) Keith Reid, as set to the music of Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher, and Robin Trower.

The third Palers' Project collection – titled Trace of a Feeling, after a line from the 1977 shoulda-been hit Strangers in Space – has now been released, and while the results are every bit as variable as the nature of the project would suggest, it has some astounding moments. Not to be missed are two (!) superb recastings of a fine Matthew Fisher solo tune, the unfortunately-titled Baby Can't You Feel My Love, and a rendering of another Fisher melody, the recent instrumental Weisselklenzenacht, on a proper pipe organ by a proper pipe organist. (Funny how that works: Fisher recently announced that he's suing Brooker and Reid in a royalty dispute – and his material gets the album's best moments. Go figure.)

Trace of a Feeling may not be to everyone's taste, but in the words of two well-known anglers, it is "not unworthy of the perusal of most."

Order it from the aforementioned Procol site, or visit 

Read the whole of this review in context at the Stereophile website

Tracklisting | About the performers | Reviews | Order the album