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Watch a studio performance by prog-fusion band Soften the Glare

Soften the Glare, performing a live version of "Above Ground," from their second album, 'Glint.'
courtesy of the artist
Soften the Glare, performing a live version of "Above Ground," from their second album, 'Glint.'

Our latest Video of the Week was filmed at the beautiful Fallen Trees Recording Studio in North Carolina, and features a group of musicians who call that state home. So much so that drummer Mitch Hull’s grandmother went to school with the iconic actor Andy Griffith in Mount Airy, NC (aka Mayberry), where his legendary show was filmed.

Although guitarist Bon Lozaga has been living in Tar Heel country for some 16 years, my earliest encounters with him date back to his time living in Riverton, NJ. I’ve been a huge fan of his work with Pierre Moerlen’s Gong since the 1970s, and later with Gongzilla and his solo project Bon. Crossing paths with him during my earliest days as a radio host in the ‘90s, it was a bit of a shock to find that the guitarist that I heard on so many memorable tracks was living just across the river from Philadelphia.

I was happy to discover his group Soften the Glare during the pandemic. The ensemble features Bon, the aforementioned Hull, and bassist Ryan Martinie, who’s widely known for his work with the alternative metal band Mudvayne, and occasionally Korn. During a recent conversation with the band, Ryan talked about working with this project, observing that “it’s an interesting thing to be able to do the same things in two different bands.” (He cited the late comic actor Chris Farley, who used to talk about doing the same character at different volumes.)

Bon adds that the band executes “a very open way of composing,” with each member bringing an individual style to Soften The Glare. “It’s a whole-band approach that we got going on,” he says. Soften the Glare is two-thirds of the way through a self-titled three-EP set; the third is likely to release this spring or summer.

WRTI is proud to present this exceptionally produced video for their song “Above Ground,” from Soften the Glare's 2020 album Glint, for our NPR Live Sessions @HOME series. In the clip, Soften The Glare welcomes guest keyboardist Angelika Roswell.

Recorded by producer Jamie King with assistance from Chad Barnard at Fallen Trees Recording Studio in Mount Airy, NC. Special guest Angelika Roswell on keyboards, video assistance from Leo Kishore and Randy Roswell.

J. Michael Harrison’s first radio show, WPEB’s “Is That Jazz” launched in June of 1993. In 1994 he began volunteering with WRTI as a production assistant. In 1996, J. Michael debuted his own program, The Bridge, which continues to air Friday evenings on WRTI.