reviews





Review of Riverboat

Cygnus Review Magazine | November 2011

Welcome to the wonderful world of Steve Orchard and his acoustic guitar. Riverboat is a musical journey along the meandering waterways of ‘Olde England’. Meditative and relaxing, this gentle music will relax and soothe, letting you drift off to a place of peace daydreams, ‘away from the madding crowd’. Songbirds and the sounds of the river flow with Steve’s delicate and evocative melodies, accompanied at times by a flute and ethereal whispering chords. Feel the freshness of morning on the riverbank, feed the dabbling ducks and camp on the riverside. Dodge a summer strong then discover the excitement of the fair. Finally, tie up the boat and drift into a deep slumber with Steve’s river lullaby. This is the Riverboat of Steve’s imagination – perhaps you’d like to discover it too?



Review of Riverboat

Harmony Magazine | November 2011

Captivating album that showcases the gentle melodies and acoustic guitars of Steve Orchard and perfectly captures a very English journey along the meandering waterways of Olde England based on the journeys of the artist. This is a melodic and wistful music that will help to relax & assist with mediation……or will simply help you daydream! An enchanting and delightful musical voyage.



Review of Moondancer

February 14th, 2011 | Author: John P. Olsen

Steve Orchard is a New Age musician from the UK releasing the third album from his Dancer Trilogy Series. With this sequential album, a bold and thoughtful design in dancing rhythms, along with lively choreographed melodies entice ones imagination exactly like the first and second in series were envisioned.

Moondancer is the conclusive result in his highly imaginative Dancer Trilogy Series, reaching a point where it couldn’t get any better than what I have heard so far with the first two. Then again, it becomes clear Steve reaches for the stars on the rhythmic dancer series featuring earthly qualities of rain, sun and moon elements.

Steve Orchard from Bristol, England is quite masterful at producing electronic instrumental music composed with improvised mood sensations and a progressive repertoire of lively rhythms. If you have read our interview or earlier album reviews you know that Steve Orchard is a prolific singer songwriter having composed and performed original music for many years on guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, various skin drums, piano and keyboards. His music was featured on BBC Radio, film scores, local radio jingles, plus Steve was a band member in 100’s of concert venues and a recognized soloist in South West & London England during the 1990′s.

Drawing inspiration from the natural environment, Steve’s first in series Raindancer is based in a tropical soundscape where beautiful South American rhythms are explored with flutes, panpipes, acoustic guitars, keyboards percussion, along with a wonderful array of elements by synthesizer.

Sundancer is an emblematic second album in Steve Orchard’s Trilogy Series, and like the first album, the second reflects rare qualities of relaxing yet energetic melodies that I felt achieve universal appeal. In fact the energetic symmetry, illuminating atmosphere and Island music impression did help propel Sundancer to the eighth award winning position in our NewAgeMusic.nu Best Albums Awards for 2010.

Moondancer is the twilight and glowing counterpoint keeping well in contrast to the first two albums, but I do want to point out that Moondancer is far from being a boring or lull you to sleep album. Here again you will find radiant melodic imagery right beside a natural and reposeful atmosphere, and this is where an emphasis on the dancer suffix comes into play.

Counting Stars begins the twilight sequence of the series with a light keyboard melody set in a deeper background and like Apollo’s Return, mysterious imagery is not the prevalent consequence with this first song, or the entire album as a whole. Moondancer is carried out with a deeper contrast in style as the moon prefix implies, yet is very complimentary to the first two albums sunnier atmosphere so you will find this album preserves many of the same rhythmic qualities which are an integral part of the entire dancer series.

Phases & Tides, Nebula and Grimaldis Comet are three songs that help make this distinction clear since bongo drums and other percussion enhancements gently counterbalance deeper keyboard tones, infusing shades of light which in turn introduce a more illuminating atmosphere. The soft flute melody in moderately timed Nocturne creates an interesting contrast when combined with the twinkling effect by keyboard. Lost Contact has a deep futuristic feel by the dreamy keyboard and synthesizer tones while Earth Glue adheres to the counterbalance theme by a wood flute melody and percussion woodblock beats, and the intermittent chanting does convey a strong tribal influence too.

NewAgeMusicWorld.com & NewAgeMusic.nu feature many outstanding musicians who are all are capable of producing mood elevating music to either help you relax and unwind, brighten your day or even inspire you by notes that seem to dance. The Dancer Trilogy Series from Steve Orchard is an all-inclusive colorful kaleidoscope of vibrant melodies, and this latest is no exception. It is lively music rhythms in step with a wonderful radiant design.



Sundancer comes 8th

January 1st, 2011 | Author: BT Fasmer

Best New Age Music Album 2010 - Rated 8th best new age album

Sundancer is an emblematic second album in Steve Orchard’s Trilogy Series and just like first in series Raindancer, nicely reflects the rare qualities of relaxing yet energetic melodies that I felt achieve universal appeal. Moondancer is the third album in the Trilogy Series, which makes this trio a well timed release during the 25 year anniversary events now taking place with Medwyn Goodall and the artists comprising the United Kingdom based MG Music Label. Sundancer is a glowing accent to the Trilogy Series and where first in series Raindancer, with deeper tones and synthesized rhythms set the mood, Sundancer has a fun energetic symmetry and feel of Island music by a well placed illuminating atmosphere. One element greatly uniting the two is their relaxing yet energetic qualities and multiphase array of percussion rhythms. Yet another excellent album released in 2010!



Review of Sundancer

October 8th, 2010 | Author: John P. Olsen

One of the more uplifting aspects of being a review publicist is getting to know many of the great artists producing music today on a personal level. In a recent interview with a musician from the U.K. everyone had a chance to learn he had a recording audition during his interview at the record label music icons The Beatles founded in 1968 called Apple Records.

Steve Orchard is the musician traveling that long and winding road to 54 St. James Street, London to Apple Records and this story is just one of many he shared during our interview together. Everything has come together for Steve Orchard since today he is an MG Music Label artist and representative member of the Medwyn Goodall circle of friends highly revered for their outstanding music and integral voice every label artist is known for producing.

Steve Orchard is a multi instrumentalist composing and performing original music for many years on guitar, mandolin, harmonica, keyboards, piano and various skin drums. His prior albums Voyages Beyond Midnight, Salt Water Café & The Consequences of Kisses are great albums too and some earlier songs reveal the fact that Steve is also a fine vocalist.

Sundancer is an emblematic second album in his Trilogy Series and just like first in series Raindancer, nicely reflects the rare qualities of relaxing yet energetic melodies that I felt achieve universal appeal. Moondancer is the third album in the Trilogy Series, which makes this trio edition a well timed release during the 25 year anniversary events now taking place with Medwyn Goodall and every fine artist comprising the United Kingdom based MG Music Label.

Sundancer is a glowing accent to the Trilogy Series and where first in series Raindancer, with deeper tones and synthesized rhythms set the mood, Sundancer has a fun energetic symmetry and feel of Island music by a well placed illuminating atmosphere. One element greatly uniting the two is their overall relaxing yet energetic tonal qualities and their multiphase array of percussion rhythms.

The first bold impression of beaming radiance appears in energy driven song Soar. Percussion inscribes an upper tempo outline while keyboards and acoustic guitar imprint pleasing colors by a light but nicely melodic tempering while becoming your first indication the lively sun dancing theme is going to be fun and exciting.

While Sundancer is centered by a primarily upper tempo and is full of energy set in motion by an array of percussion and instrumentals, there are plenty of laid back relaxing moments too and none more apparent in than what you will hear in Lagoon & Tethered. This coequal ambiance with deeper rhythms during refrains are likewise found in the sultry oasis song Heat!

Many songs are evenly layered midst more moderately timed tempos like Rainman, Unrepentant & Deadly Arrow, where an ensemble of percussion and steel drum accents prepare the harmonic profile for acoustic guitar, flute and keyboard contrasting melodies, with brighter phrasing infiltrating the deeper passages with full solid clarity.

Playing in the Sun & Borboletas are upper tempo songs with wood flute becoming the essential melody producer, and where single or long drawn out notes are often heard from others playing either the woodwind instrument or by effect, here a free flowing multiple note melody backed by accordion, keyboards and percussion nicely balance the full of energy attribute.

Pacifica is the positive upbeat song rounding out the 11 total on Sundancer.

Steve Orchard is a bright and serious composer today just as he was in yesteryears and I’ve got a feeling he had composed Sundancer with a fun and energetic theme in mind all along which is like some of our other all time fun favorites, so for me this is what makes Steve Orchard’s releases memorable eight days a week.



Review of Moondancer

September 17th, 2010 | Author: Peter King

A worthy addition to anyones collection although most of my comments here are directed at moondancer. This is an album of serene bliss and enchantment instantly altering the mood of a room into something arcadian and magical. One of the best albums I have heard for a while.



Steve Orchard Excels on Raindancer

June 25th, 2010 | Author: John P. Olsen

Steve Orchard made a great impression on me with his first in series Raindancer. This admirable collection of beautiful melodies exhibit the standard of excellence and integral voice Steve Orchard so boldly represents, brightly illustrated by his picturesque first release in the alluring Dancer trilogy.

Raindancer begins the initial splash of bright colors painted on a fresh musical canvas in a vivid song portrait titled Tribal Fire. The lighter vibrato in soprano vocals make the primary background shades to flute’s breezy hues, nicely accented by snare drum taps and free flowing rhythms. Keeper of the Sacred Trees & Cajon Sun are enhanced pan flute and keyboard melodies attuned to light synthesizer bordering while percussion assists by even handed rhythms in a fine blending of tropical harmonies.

Acoustic guitar then takes a turn holding the primary melody brush in Cajon Moon, primed with a steady synthesizer outline backed by flute and tenor drum. Guitar and pan flute emblazon the impression by a faster tempo in free flowing songs Amazona, Pathway Through The Forest & Festival, with each song inscribing bright reflective patterns by progressive guitar rhythms, flute expressions and percussion cadences that portray a flamboyant resemblance.

Passion Flowers & Where Rivers Meet are compositions with airy Latin & World influences which make easy going songs by light flute notes dreamy ambience and gentle tracing by guitar strums having a soft percussion mix in the first, then tenor drum outlining in the second.

Road to Manaus has a dreamy groove concept by light flute refrains intertwined with deeper keyboard and acoustic guitar that travel along a harmonic pathway together with even symmetry. The orchestra phrasing with strings and resolute percussion smoothly enhance the delightful mood illustration in this song.

Anocondas Caress completes the colorful spectrum and gives one a chance to admire the total picture on this album filled with exotic surroundings. In an exclusive move during composition, this song is quite captivating using two metrical rhythms where flute nurtures the primary melody while guitar draws on half step chord rhythms during a concurrent secondary melody, rising in chord phrasing to nicely elevate the tropical atmosphere.

This beautiful song in proportion to the entire album is a nice exhibition of the integral voice Steve Orchard so boldly represents and in addition, sets the standard of excellence for his all inclusive Dancer Trilogy.