Phil Keaggy, Tony Levin, and Jerry Marotta – “The Bucket List”

klm-bucket-listPhil Keaggy, Tony Levin, and Jerry Marotta have been working on their first album “The Bucket List” on and off for 10 years! The title is a good one since this combination is one that I did not expect. Clearly, these 3 musicians wanted to work together. While Levin and Marotta have worked together has Peter Gabriel, adding guitarist Keaggy to the lineup really intrigued me.

Now Keaggy is well known for being a Contemporary Christian artist, but he has done a LOT of instrumental albums through the years. His playing is always sublime, so he fits well with the other 2. The chemistry between all three is undeniable. The 12 songs all have a flow and groove while still sounding like they were improvised on the spot. “The Bucket List” has a live feel to it and while that might not be the case, the minimal overdubs allows all three musicians to have plenty of space.

While I love each track, my favorites are “Midland Crisis,” the expansive “Sometimes We Up,” “Caravan” and the closer “Blue Hawaii.” What I like most is that each track has its own identity. That can be challenging for an all instrumental album which just shows how talented these guys are. Another cool moment is the “duet” between Levin and Marotta on the aptly titled “Where’s Phil.” That leads to “Phil’s On” where Keaggy takes a prominent role.

The bottom line is it’s rare to find a set of world class musicians that gel this well on their first outing. Levin has shown that he can fit anywhere. Marotta is a vastly underrated drummer who never overplays and is more of a percussionist than traditional drummer. And then there’s Keaggy who really knows how to construct a melody and serve the song. “The Bucket List” is essential listening for anyone who is fan of great music.

Rating: 9.5/10

1. Sometimes 11
2 Fearless
3. Midland Crisis
4. Sometimes We Up
5. Stella Luna
6. Steely Funk
7. Where’s Phil
8. Phil’s On
9 Caravan
10. Carved in Stone
11. Good Stuff
12. Blue Hawaii

Release Date: January 11, 2019

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music!
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