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Steve Howe to release collaboration with late son Virgil

By | Published on Wednesday 11 October 2017

Virgil Howe

Yes guitarist Steve Howe has announced plans to release an album recorded with his son, Little Barrie drummer Virgil Howe, prior to his death last month.

Completed earlier this year, the album, titled ‘Nexus’, was already set to come out in November. Steve Howe has now announced that he intends to keep to this schedule with the release.

“Virgil and I had only recently completed recording ‘Nexus’, which contains eleven of his tunes to which I added a guitar to suit each one”, says Howe. “We delivered it to InsideOutMusic in August for release on 17 Nov. We started to work together in 2016 by selecting about nine tunes from his ‘stockpile’ of piano based music that he’d periodically sent [his wife, Virgil’s mother] Jan and I each time he’d written and recorded a new idea”.

He continues: “I began adding guitars to them, then I’d play them to Virgil. He’d then surprise me by bringing up other channels of instrumentation which I’d never heard. The tunes went from straightforward ‘duets’ to something bigger and better, more of a complete picture than a mere shape. ‘Free Fall’ and ‘Nick’s Star’ were added from earlier sessions, the latter being his tribute to the passing of his best friend Nick Hirsch”.

Finally, says Howe: “‘Nexus’ explores a completely different side of Virgil’s ability, as a writer and keyboard player – ‘in his own right’. His talents were multi-diverse, so sitting at a keyboard and computer or in the middle of his drum kit, at all his regular DJing gigs or on the radio, he always gave his best. We hope that the music just completed will stand as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy”.

InsideOutMusic’s Thomas Waber and Stefan Franke add in their own statement: “The sudden passing of Virgil Howe deeply shocked the entire InsideOutMusic team as it happened just a few hours after he had approved the first press release about ‘Nexus’. It was supposed to be a new beginning for an exciting musical collaboration, but now it has become one of the saddest albums we have ever worked on”.

They continue: “We left the decision over the release of ‘Nexus’ up to Steve and respect his wish to continue as originally discussed. Being fathers, too, we can only guess how hard it must be to deal with such a loss and we sincerely hope you will all enjoy ‘Nexus’ despite the circumstances under which it is coming out. Our thoughts are with the Howe family during this difficult time”.

‘Nexus will be released on 17 Nov on CD and vinyl, as well as digitally, with artwork by Virgil Howe’s five year old daughter Zuni.