Guitarist Joe Cantamessa releases ‘Transcending’ EP

The guitarist and songwriter of progressive rock known as Joe Cantamessa has released his debut solo EP record, “Transcending.” The extended-play album contains 18 minutes of listening and has been proudly published as an independent release without the direction or influence of the corporate music industry. Sonorous, passionate, towering and inspiring, Joe Cantamessa’s “Transcending” EP truly delivers on its title.

New Jersey’s Joe Cantamessa cites as influences classical re-visionary Neil Zaza, Dream Theater founders John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy, composer Paganini, prog death metal group Ne Obliviscaris, Australian instrumental rocker Robert Spurling, French black metal band Peste Noire, classic rock legend Captain Beefheart, and the fundamental prog-rock crew, Yes.

Cantamessa’s own “Transcending” EP is a genuine, green branch of the prog rock movement that brings it thriving into the 21st century. While he is not alone in this, “Transcending” stands as one of the best examples of indie prog since the scene’s revival over the last decade.

Joe Cantamessa describes his debut solo album as “a four-track EP that sets the mood for one’s own mental imagery. The absence of words allows you to focus solely on the music and gives you a consistent stimulus that shuts out distractions from your environment.”

That instrumental narrative like this thrums at the core of the progressive rock movement should not surprise the prog-rock fan. What is surprising, however, is how effective, evocative and even visceral a four-song EP by a solo artist can be. The tracks on “Transcending” dovetail into and out of one another. They rise and swirl like bats from a cave. They dive into the chest of the listener and become unexpected feelings, fresh ideas from somewhere in the aether.

While one could wax poetic about Cantamessa’s expertise on guitar, really it is his highly melodic, highly intuitive songwriting which overachieves. He’s developed his seemingly innate writing skill over a slew of music projects (I Am the Trireme, Inanimate, Remnants of Winter, The Banner, Desolate Sorrow) but as is often the case, it may be his time as a music teacher which has ultimately refined his creativity.

Joe Cantamessa has been playing guitar since the age of 13. He has cut several records, including full-lengths, and is professionally endorsed by Colorado’s The Guitarmory, Ltd., who provides a Joe Cantamessa signature guitar-pickup set and Guitarmory D3-7 guitar.

Definitive proof that all the above results in high-grade, top-shelf, cutting-edge progressive rock may easily be sampled at the artist’s official website (link provided below).

The “Transcending” EP by Joe Cantamessa is available at over 700 online music stores worldwide now. Get in early, prog rock fans.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

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Musician Rob Simmons releases new EP ‘Recuerdos de Sa Calobra’

The composer and performer known as Rob Simmons has released his new EP record, “Recuerdos de Sa Calobra.” The EP has been proudly published on the TTM Records independent music label. The album is largely instrumental, boasts a broad variety of moods, tones and tempos, and has been cataloged most frequently as progressive rock at online music stores around the world. Inventive, majestic, painted in dazzling sonic color and expressing a palpable, personal narrative, “Recuerdos de Sa Calobra” by Rob Simmons is a fascinating and accessible wonder of modern music for fans of any genre.

Rob Simmons cites as main artistic influences the ingenious UK prog- rock band, Sky, Dire Straits mastermind Mark Knopfler, and the classical music genre. His own record, “Recuerdos de Sa Calobra,” (“Memories of Sa Calobra,” a village on the isle of Majorca) boasts many of the best qualities of Sky and of Knopfler, and of classical compositions, too. Perhaps most of all, it showcases Simmons’ knack for making every song a kind of musical book, each complete with individual chapters, characters, storylines and styles. That said, “Recuerdos de Sa Calobra” belongs wholly to rock music and not to classical or jazz, and rock fans are perhaps most likely to enjoy Simmons’ music though it has many attributes which will endear it to fans of other music styles, also.

Simmons’ start in music came earlier than it does for many artists, thanks to relatives who likely saw the potential in him and helped nurture the skills which bear fruit such as his “Recuerdos…” EP.

“I come from a very musical family,” Simmons writes. “I was taught Piano at five by Grandmother, and from the age of six was fascinated by recording.”

Simmons penned his first compositions at the age of seven after receiving his first keyboard, a Bontempi. He was trained in drums and percussion at 12. He didn’t arrive at the guitar until the age of 14, on which instrument he is an autodidact.

Asked to describe the overall theme and inspiration of his new EP record, Simmons writes, “My love for beautiful music, coming from within; my personal demons and experiences put to the rhythm of life.”

Rob Simmons has written music commercially and for short films. He has a degree in music composition for media and spends most of his time writing and composing in his music studio. All the instruments in his music are played by himself, with vocals by friends and associates. His collection of guitars and keyboards is considerable. His prize instrument is the same 1930s-era upright piano on which his first lessons were practiced.
“Recuerdos de Sa Calobra” by Rob Simmons is available online worldwide.

-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer

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Nuova Divisione release new LP ‘The Last Man in Europe’

The progressive rock band from Italy known as Nuova Divisione have released their new LP record, “The Last Man in Europe.” The album comprises 11 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of one whole hour, making for a comprehensive treatment of the band’s new material and a fine introduction for rock fans not yet acquainted. It has been proudly published as an independent release without support from the corporate music infrastructure. Written, performed and produced with the most integral principles of classic rock in mind, Nuova Divisione’s “The Last Man in Europe” is definitive proof that prog-rock is both alive and kicking like crazy.


Nuova Divisione cite as main artistic influences such seminal rock artists as the Beatles, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Yes, Brian Wilson, and Simon and Garfunkel. From here their inspirations become less obvious: classical titans such as Rachmaninov, Gershwin and Bartòk are represented, as well as jazz players like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Ray Charles. Their list of favorites veers away into seemingly unrelated art forms at the last, including names like Stanley Kubrick, Monty Python, and Friedrich Nietzsche.


While this surprising rainbow of input is explained by the overall theme of Nuova Divisione’s album (described below), its sound is a blend of the Beatles’ creativity and Pink Floyd’s tonal inventiveness. Fans of either band are likely to be extremely pleased with their first experience of “The Last Man in Europe,” as are fans of Yes, Simon and Garfunkel, and virtually any group showcasing extremely strong songwriting as one of their chief charms.


Speaking of the plot and motifs of their new LP, Nuova Divisione write, “The album is a concept. The story is quite weird: a mixture between the Book of Revelation, Dhamma Pada, Greek Mythology, Nietzsche, Monty Python and a long lucid dream. To summarize the thing, I would say it is all about self-consciousness. Which is, I think, the one and only method to be happy and safe. You’ve got to love yourself if you want to love other people. And you’ve got to know yourself if you want to understand other people. And love them.”


“The Last Man in Europe” by Nuova Divisione is available online worldwide. Get in early. Very early.


-S. McCauley

Lead Press Release Writer


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