Andy West

Rama 1

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Although billed as Andy West and Rama, this is actually a solo album from the former bass player for the Dixie Dregs. As one might expect from an album by an alumnus of that group, this one definitely falls into the progressive rock genre. As a subgenre, the disc is instrumental, and feels a lot like much of the other instrumental prog being released these days. Therein lies the album's appeal -- but also a complaint. The appeal is that since it does not wander far from the sound of the hard-edged instrumental prog that seems to dominate much of the style these days, it should appeal to the people who are aficionados of that sound. The problem is, it really has little identity of its own, instead feeling almost like a generic offering. West has done a nice job in assembling his fellow musicians for the project, though. The cast includes such notables as Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment -- the latter being another group from the same instrumental prog zone), Rod Morgenstein (one of West's former partners in the Dregs), Mike Keneally, T. Lavitz, and Kit Watkins. The problem is, the disc, as good as the playing is, just doesn't really grab you.

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