My A To Z Music Challenge: Letter R – Red Sand

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Red Sand are a fairly new progressive rock band out of Canada. They are led by Simon Caron, the band’s founder and guitarist. Caron is the songwriter for Red Sand and he is not shy about his influences. It is immediately clear from the first few notes of the band’s first album that early Marillion is their primary influence. The band also mixes in touches of Genesis and Pink Floyd as well.

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Red Sand is clearly Simon Caron’s musical vehicle. He is the only member to appear on every album. To date the band has released seven albums. Each album has featured a different lineup, yet the Red Sand sound has remained consistent. The vocal slot has been the most consistent position in the band. The highly theatrical singer known only as Steff has sung on five of the band’s albums. His emotional vocal style is a perfect fit for the music of Red Sand.

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Simon Caron is quite a talented guitarist. He mixes the guitar stylings of Marillion’s Steve Rothery and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour to great effect. It is not uncommon for Red Sand songs to extend the twenty minute mark. That leaves a great deal of musical terrain to solo over. Caron is a melodic guitarist who plays with a great deal of emotion, much like his influences. The long solos never feel self indulgent and they are never boring. The other members of the band are given room to play as well. Caron has a knack for finding talented musicians to flesh out his musical vision. He recently brought his highly talented daughter Pennsylvania Caron into the band to play keyboards and piano. This has brought a bit of stability to the band’s lineup.

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All of Red Sand’s albums are filled with excellent progressive rock. Outside of a few unfortunate f-bombs on the first two albums, I pretty much love what the band has done. The best of the batch of seven albums would be Mirror Of Insanity (2004), Behind The Mask (2012) and Cinema Du Vieux Cartier (2013).  I have enjoyed the band’s musical journey thus far.  Over the course of their seven albums Red Sand has developed a sound of their own, but the ghost of Marillion is never far off.

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Red Sand is a band that is high on my list of favorite recent progressive rock bands. Simon Caron is an excellent songwriter who has yet to disappoint this fan.  Caron’s passion for progressive rock comes through in his music. Many band’s have  embraced the sounds of 1970’s progressive rock.  Caron has wholeheartedly embraced the sounds of  the 1980’s. The music of Red Sand should appeal to fans of Marillion, Genesis, IQ, Pendragon, Knight Area and The Watch.

 

Troy T.

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