Neal Morse announces new live album + video “Live At Morsefest 2018”

Acclaimed prog rocker Neal Morse returns with a new live set, “Jesus Christ The Exorcist (Live At Morsefest 2018)” on December 4, 2020. As the title suggests, this new live album and DVD/Blu-ray was captured at the annual Morsefest in 2018, where Neal and band performed his then new album, “Jesus Christ The Exorcist” in its entirety. Fans can watch a performance of ‘Love Has Called My Name’ from the set HERE:

Pre-order/save “Jesus Christ The Exorcist (Live At Morsefest 2018)” HERE: https://orcd.co/nealmorselive

“Performing “Jesus Christ the Exorcist” with this extraordinary cast of singers and musicians was an absolute dream come true for me as a composer and musician. The way it came together was nothing short of miraculous! One of the greatest events of my life,“ says Morse of the performance.

This unique live album presents the entire “Jesus Christ The Exorcist” story set as a progressive rock musical. Here, the biggest change from any typical Neal Morse performance was that he was the musical director and not the main performer. The backing band included some of his usual collaborators like Bill Hubauer and Randy George, of course. Eric Gillette, usually the guitarist, was the drummer for the musical and showed off his incredible skills while Paul Bielatowicz was on lead guitar for the show. The orchestra included a horn section, a choir, backing singers, and a string quartet. The staging and lighting was nothing short of impressive, with the visuals by Christian Rios and sound by Jerry Guidroz (Sons of Apollo, Neal Morse Band, Haken) taking things to the next level.

The lead role of Jesus was taken by Ted Leonard of Enchant and Spock’s Beard. Leonard’s voice is one of the best in rock music and he sounded stellar throughout the night. Joining Leonard was a fantastic collection of singers that included Nick D’Virgilio (SPOCK’S BEARD, BIG BIG TRAIN) along with Jake Livgren (PROTOKAW), Matt Smith (THEOCRACY), John Schlitt (PETRA), Rick Florian (WHITE HEART), Mark Pogue, and Wil Morse. However, perhaps the one that stole the show was newcomer Talon David, a local Nashville singer who took the role of Mary Magdalene. She has an incredible voice and brought many to tears during the finale duet with Ted Leonard. A highlight moment during the show was in the first act with the song “Madman of the Gadarenes,” where Morse introduced his Gentle Giant influenced vocal medley with multiple vocalists all singing different lines in unison.

Whether or not an audience member knows or appreciates the subject matter might influence their opinion on the show, but it is impossible not to be impressed by the spectacle of this performance. What Neal Morse was able to write and produce with limited time and rehearsals is nothing short of amazing. The music is the definition of epic prog and certainly will delight any Morse fan.

Tracklist:

CD1
1. Introduction
2. Overture
3. Getaway
4. Gather The People
5. Jesus’ Baptism
6. Jesus’ Temptation
7. There Is A Highway
8. The Woman Of Seven Devils
9. Free At Last
10.The Madman Of The Gadarenes
11. Love Has Called My Name
12. Better Weather
13. The Keys To The Kingdom
14. Get Behind Me Satan

CD2
1. He Must Go To The Cross
2. Jerusalem
3. Hearts Full Of Holes
4. The Last Supper
5. Gethsemane
6. Jesus Before The Council And Peter’s Denial
7. Judas’ Death
8. Jesus Before Pilate And The Crucifixion
9. Mary At The Tomb
10.The Greatest Love Of All
11. Love Has Called My Name (Reprise)
12. Morsefest 2018 End Credits

DVD / BR:
1. Introduction
2. Overture
3. Getaway
4. Gather The People
5. Jesus’ Baptism
6. Jesus’ Temptation
7. There Is A Highway
8. The Woman Of Seven Devils
9. Free At Last
10.The Madman Of The Gadarenes
11. Love Has Called My Name
12. Better Weather
13. The Keys To The Kingdom
14. Get Behind Me Satan
15. He Must Go To The Cross
16. Jerusalem
17. Hearts Full Of Holes
18. The Last Supper
19. Gethsemane
20. Jesus Before The Council And Peter’s Denial
21. Judas’ Death
22. Jesus Before Pilate And The Crucifixion
23. Mary At The Tomb
24. The Greatest Love Of All
25. Love Has Called My Name (Reprise)
26. Morsefest 2018 End Credits

– MORSEFEST 2018: Behind the Curtain

Line-up:
Musicians:
Neal Morse: Guitars, keyboards
Paul Bielatowicz: Guitars
Bill Hubauer: Keyboards
Eric Gillette: Drums
Randy George: Bass

Cast:
Ted Leonard: Jesus
Talon David: Mary Magdalene
Nick D’Virgilio: Judas
Rick Florian: The Devil
Matt Smith: John the Baptist
Jake Livgren: Peter
John Schlitt: Caiaphas
Neal Morse: Pilate, Demon 1, Disciple 1
Mark Pogue: Israelite 1, The Madman of the Gadarenes, Pharisee 2
Wil Morse: Israelite 2, Demon 3, Pharisee 1
Gabe Klein: Demon 2, Pharisee 4
Gideon Klein: Demon 4
Julie Harrison: Servant Girl

Additional musicians:
Wil Morse: Percussion, keyboards
Gabriel Klein: Percussion
Violin I: Laura Epling
Violin II: Jake Tudor
Viola: Michael Lucarelli
Cello: Maggie Chafee
Double Bass: Gideon Klein
Horn: Holly Smith
Trombone: David Cooper
Trumpet: Dominique Caster
Sax/Flute: Gabriel Collins

Choir director: Gideon Klein

Background vocals: Amy Pippin, April Zachary, Debbie Bresee and Julie Harrison

Choir: Bill Gilliam, Lisa Gilliam, David Klein, Laurie Klein, Jerry Klein,
Rosie Klein, Robin Hanloh, Martin Wilde, Joanie Howard, Kathy O’Keefe, Brant Pippin, Levi Pippin, Josh Turrentine, Trevor Larkin, Elizabeth Turrentine, Pamela George, Dominic D’Virgilio and Marie-Claire Toussaint

Press release courtesy of Freeman Promotions

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