Incredible musicianship in this Progressive Heavy Metal band which included Bryce Barnes, Jeff Kollman, Kevin Chown, and Tommy Kollman (RIP). I worked with Edwin Dare as a session musician from 1990-1994, providing keyboard support both in the studio and for live performances, as well as providing live backup vocals. Edwin Dare opened for many national acts including Dream Theater, Ronnie Montrose, Lita Ford, and Foreigner.which led to numerous regional headlining shows as the band became well known for their powerful live shows.
You may ask: what is a keyboard player doing in a Metal band? The genre of Progressive Metal was morphing in the early 90's and keys provided a new ambience to the hard driving metal side. I liked progressive rock and also metal, so I was thrilled to be a part of the ED process as the band developed. My contributions were mostly carefully placed backing riffs, samples, special effects, and laying down rhythm voicings behind Jeff's solos, especially live, My keys were an important filling out of the overall soundscape being produced by the band. Working with Jeff in the studio I provided many special effects, strings, synths, choirs, and other fattening of the sound. I brought those same sounds forward into the live show, where Edwin Dare had a reputation as an exciting and polished live show.
One of my favorite live intros was Jeff's arrangement of Carl Orff's O Fortuna , which we often used to open shows. Lights down, crowd cheers, and I started on my VFX by fading in a dark, breathy synth drone with thundering sub-bass. As lights came up and the keys crescendo'd in, they were large and in charge thanks to Kelly King hitting' the Gas!. While I played the main Orff theme, the band layered in choir-like vocals, guitars and drums quickly crescendoing to Bryce's "Rob Halford-esque" high vocals thundering over the top. On the climax note ... Jeff added a pronounced E string mod up tune which segued into Take Your Stand. Wow ... just wow! I wish I had a recording of it to share because it was amazing.
The Edwin Dare crew was equally amazing thanks to Chris Rynn, Cal Clayton, Tony "Bonz" Berezowski, Greg Harley, Dan Dauer and many others who dedicated their time, energy, and skills to the betterment of the band. The friendships I made then are still alive today.