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Flying Colors

Flying Colors (L-R): Dave LaRue, Neil Morse, Steve Morse, Casey McPherson, Mike Portnoy; photo courtesy of Noble PR

Flying Colors album cover art; image courtesy of Noble PRThe project with Steve Morse, Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Dave LaRue and Casey McPherson that went into the studio a year ago has come to bear fruit. The band now has a name — Flying Colors — and will release an eponymous album on March 26 in the UK, followed by a US release on March 27th, via Music Theories Recordings.

Thanks to Noble PR for the info.

34 Comments to “Flying Colors”:

  1. 1
    AndreA says:


  2. 2
    micke says:

    Sounds good, sounds promising!

  3. 3
    LRT says:

    I’ll be hearing it next week… most are coining this as Mike Portnoys band, but it doesn’t look to me like he is in charge, ha ha… the DT fans seem to think it’s his project. Being worth the distant wait is all one can expect at this point.

  4. 4
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    As somewhat scooped yesterday under BCC back in the studio news? Gotsta love how more and more musicians want a piece of the Galaxy’s greatest, Sir Steve….

    purplepriest1965, it’s not just my opinion, but that’s all it is, opinion. And as I have stated for some time now, I love Blacker too….! :>


  5. 5
    kraatzy says:

    On and On its just another brick … , who have lost the DEEP PURPLE wall …



  6. 6
    Roberto says:

    judging from what I hear (I know it’s not enough) this is a mediocre songwriting band…and a ‘Muse’ derivative one too…

  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    What did I say or do this time?

  8. 8
    purplepriest1965 says:

    What or who is “Muse”?

  9. 9
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Is this what you re referring to perhaps?


  10. 10
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    purplepriest1965, Nothing! Just a preemptive post! :>


  11. 11
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    I hate to be ‘Mr. Positive’ here but, I actually believe this is going to be something that will surprise us all (including the typical Nay Say bunch). These are fine musicians with quite an array of influences. This will be quite a complex group of songs that should please those whom are hungry for Jams of high caliber depth. This will be a good ‘wing spreader’ for Steve and a good fulcrum towards putting some heavier pressure on his Purple Mates.


  12. 12
    purplepriest1965 says:

    On second thoughts I d the idea you were putting a comment for an other thread overhere : )

  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Good for Steve he gets to make so much albums in a few years time.

    To me he comes out better in those projects than with DP.

  14. 14
    LRT says:

    Agreed, but ulterier TMIB motive: sensed as well… you just can’t disguise it by now, Priest, but you can always keep trying.

  15. 15
    LRT says:


    Lovely prediction, but I can already tell you that you could not be more wrong. Where the hell ‘Muse’ comparisons come in I have no clue, but it sure is a strange anology for an album you have not heard yet. This is 100% AOR Prog. Don’t listen too much for heaviness, you won’t get it, nor is it merely Power Pop. AOP meets a little bit of Dream Theater is probably more like it. You make it sound like they’re all trying to be something they’re obviously not…. youthful copycats.

  16. 16
    LRT says:

    Flying Colors arrived today…. I’ll be back!

  17. 17
    LRT says:

    Some of the work on this album is so good it will surprise people. It’s not perfect but shows how quickly these guys can develop chemistry in the studio and come up with a strong album. The second half has wings, watch out, prog city, and I mean people should judge it before they hear it. The musicanship will blow your mind as they strecth out for miles thru the second half of the disc. Not just a ‘pop’ singer either, he screams at times, very effectively.

  18. 18
    LRT says:

    Should NOT judge it before hearing it, that is… my bad there.

  19. 19
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Hard to judge prior to hearing. Those that do miss out on a lot. Hell, I know some folks that purchase albums or not just due to the album art…..Looking forward to this.

    Portnoy is a guest on ‘That Metal Show” along with John Sykes this week. Hopefully he will have something to say regarding “Flying Colors”.


  20. 20
    LRT says:

    Day three… some rather disjointed factors, mostly vocally, but he is still a really good singer, he just lacks consitency and does some things that don’t jive with the band concerning their style of playing. Plus there are many spots on the record where it does not sound a thing whatsoever like Steve Morse, he uses a different sound and some different styles that I can’t tell what are really all about. There is some extremely modern wrinkles to iron out just what the heck kind of music *some* of it is. The problem is listening over and over becomes annoying in places, both on the part of the singer and Steve Morse himself, as they do some annoyingly repetitive things, even in songs that are otherwise alright. Bottom line, this is hugely progressive, perhaps too much so to find a common reason to like everything on it. It’s very good, that’s for sure, but it also has things about it that make me wonder what their intentions are. The last song is a bloody 12 minutes of prog on steriods too. The keys only really come alive on the second half as well, or at least that is when you start to notice them. I don’t know, good just doesn’t always mean 100% likable.

  21. 21
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Sounds to me to be a project whereby each is showcasing his individual style on certain tracks, thereby giving it a jumbled mix mash of tunes with no clear direction….probably a one off effort.

    Hey, but then there I go, judging before listening……BLASTFOMY!!!

    Thanks for your description though. I look forward to a listen as soon as I can get my sarcastic little hands on it…..


  22. 22
    Roberto says:

    @15 LRT “you could not be more wrong”…reading your 20@ post I can say that I was not so wrong…anyway I will listen to the album to give my opinion…

  23. 23
    LRT says:

    @Roberto… how do you figuyre? This is NOTHING like Muse whatsoever! People need to quit making these outlandinsh [redictions before they hear something, it will only backfire! This has taken time to sink in, and man alive it’s amazing in ways unheard of before.

    In fact, everyone take note here, as this is quite possibly one of the most extraordinary albums you will ever hear. To explain my last post, this seems to be a very mixed up recording process. I feel from listening to it for days on end now, that Morse did not write a lot of this, rather just placed solos in the songs and did some intros and outros, because there is guitar on here that doesn’t even sound like him, they sound like he is playing, but only the solos sound anything like him, the rest is McPherson. It sounds like the songs were written primarily by Neal Morse and Casey McPherson, embellished by the others. This is not what you would normally hear from any of the others involved, so that tells me it’s primarily their compositions and the others hold it together with dynamics.

    So, all in all it’s one fine piece of work, but more like Morse, LaRue and Portnoy just add their parts, and you can tell the three of them operate this way, however, a unique album came out of it. I mean there simply hasn’t been anything going on this interesting in music in a long time. What might become of it though, who knows.

    Once it clicks it comes on very strong. It is an extraordinary, abstract and superiorly sublime album. There has never been anything like it, mark my words this is insanely good stuff. Morse is using different equipment here, adds a few trademark licks but otherwise he hasn’t been heard this way, ever. Imagine him in a pop band and you might be onto something about it. This is Pop/Prog, and I don’t know if anyone else makes this kind of music, but they’re damn good at it. This is no ordinary album, so if you can’t handle such a fact, stay away from it, but if you’re interested in being liberated beyond that narrow scope, it will enlighten you. Spread your wings, Roberto, or you will not like this, as I don’t think anybody around here gets much wind of anything this new, simply because being a Purple fan is a narrow road traveled for most, in that sense, as sad as it is.

    And rightfully so I guess, if you’re just not interested in much else to save your souls. But this music is groundbreaking if you ask me. Morse has never quite sounded so inspired since joining Purple, this is innovative music. I’m blown away by it, but then I review an average of 15 albums a month, so my ears are open beyond the Purp as it is., it’s just that nothing has turned them on quite as much as this. You can compare this to ROTD, but you will find that Purple is likely imncapable of pulling off something this magnificent. It makes them sound like they have a lot of catching up to do if they want to make a modern album, which might be why they decided to go with a roots approach, I don’t know, but they simply can’t make an album like this, it’s not in them.

  24. 24
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    LRT @23;
    Strange reading this. Almost identical to your BCC enthusiasm that you ranted on when they sprung on. Then lately you’ve flipped around and have actually been panning them….(mainly Bonamassa). So, to go with your suggestion @17 “I will listen first, then judge with my own ears and taste, as should be the case for all here..

    You state Purple can’t make an album like this, it’s not in them? Without hearing it but going by your description LRT, seems like it might actually compare to Purpendicular. Purpendicular was as fresh and different to Anything Purple had ever done prior. Steve brought it and Purple delivered. It covered a ton of bases. A true gem and standout. Folks want the new album to follow “In Rock” style? I’d have to push for “Purpendiular” instead, with a little dash of the rest thrown in. That’s who they are. And it’s awesome.


  25. 25
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    This record is getting quite the attention.

    Check out this UK Press Page….


    Also in the latest issue of Classic Rock Mag.


    I also read where the Portnoy/Sykes project is dead. Now it looks as though Portnoy is seeking Ritchie Kotzen instead. Seems Sykes was a no-show.

    I do love the Album Art on this ‘Flying Colors’. Satriani used the Silver Surfer on his ‘Surfing with the Aliens’ album. This Colored Surfer is way cooler. Or his he a Diver getting ready to leap off a diving board? Or is he hanging ’10’ on a magic carpet? Love it. If they continue on, this dude should become their mascot, maybe jumping into different realms as the music most likely will. Kind of like ED from Maiden on each album cover.


  26. 26
    LRT says:

    Noble is one of my tightest colleagues, handles Gillan, BCC and so many others.

    Tracy, I did no such thing about BCC, all I said was that Bonamassa does absolutely nothing for me without them, and that the Purple Montreux DVD smokes theirs to the sky. The second album is brilliant though, and it still hasn’t worn off one bit yet.

    This is in a completely different league man, and better yet than what BCC have accomplished in the studio. But there are some things about it that take getting used to, for instance Morse is not the only guitar player, so he had to blend with the singer who clearly wrote a lot of the material both music and lyrics, the guy is insane, but to share guitar duties with such a master/student, whatever he is, I find to be a bit reaching. However, it does all come together very well, and has an overall cosmic effect from beginning to end. And as for Purpendicular, I would simply rate his inspiration level nearly on par with this. It has nothing to do with the diversity though, it’s just his attitude toward the project that takes me back there a bit. What I mean by them not having this in them, is they used to, but perhaps can’t anymore, it would be like completely reinventing themselves, beyond that of Purpendicular or any other departure, it would be a much wider one, lets put it that way. It just took getting used to it in order to hear the beauty of it all and appreciate it’s modern approach unlike most in any genre. You feel like music stands a chance again when you get this.

  27. 27
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:


    OK, let’s say Present Purple member got together to do a ‘Non-Purple” project whereby they just explored into each other’s influence and personal creativity with the main goal as to NOT do it as a Purple album. I’d say they could easily go places that would blow our minds. Again, I have to hear this album for my own pleasure and opinion, but I think I have an idea as to where it goes. I’m confident it’s something special. I’m really looking forward to it.


  28. 28
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Continued from #27;

    One of the things I think that has happened with Purple is that they fell into a ‘box’ rut. I think they felt and feel they have to continue making ‘Purple’ sounding records. I think the old guys (Gillan, Roger and Paice) actually grew tired of the ‘fans’ pressure to stay ‘constant’ and the new guys (Steve and Don) didn’t come in with an ‘I’m gonna shake things up’ attitude. So there was apprehension (and probably some intimidation) on the part of the latter 2, and a decline of sorts from the 0ther 3. This is a formula for lack-luster output. The hunger for the creative aspect has been deflected into their separate solo and session projects for that release of energy they obviously maintain rather than taking the bull by the horns and centering that energy on Purple. That is probably the largest component missing from this band. The missing piece of the puzzle is the force of drive toward making Present Purple Present. Somebody needs to bring that back. Right now, the man in charge seems to be Gillan. His interviews from the past are evident of his attitude towards the business and the fans. It isn’t very positive. Might be time to put “Bad Attitude” in the set list. The leader can’t have that sort of thinking in an organization that requires creativity and output. The result is what we have. The only possible remedy is for the ‘underlings’ to ‘rise-up’ and become a louder voice. But that is their choice. It’s up to them. What is being produced from this band is due to that combination of personalities and their drive or lack of. They obviously have the drive. Just look at all of the side projects that have resulted during the time of the last 4 albums. Their ‘being happy’ or better described ‘being content’ with their happiness in the band culminates from nobody ‘stirring the pot’ or ‘making waves’ and has culminated into a stagnant place of peace, rather than a ruffled place of driven unrest. The result? Purple flounders while outside projects are the release. I wish Steve and Don and Roger were more forceful in their obvious desire for advancing Purple. I totally understand their age factor and longevity in the business taking its toll. The ‘New’ guys in the band should revitalize that gusto that lacks, not contribute to the lull. This is a band, not a solo act. I have tons of hope that this new album finally reflects that. Yes, it’s probably almost over for this iconic band. That being the case should be the catalyst toward a ‘Fireball’ finish, not a ‘Smoldering’ one. There should be ‘a Stormbringer coming’!


  29. 29
    LRT says:

    I do agree, but that’s too hypothetical to yet call either, as they have had three chances to do something extraordinary after Purpendicular. Hell, just make another extraordinary album, and that is all they have to do. I don’t know what it might take, they’re the one’s holding that ball. So I can rephrase with no problem that they do have it in them, they’ve just blown three chances, let’s hope the fourth try is a cigar, rather than a mere lucky strike. But first they have to set out to do so, it has to be their mind set, rather than partying away and leaving the hard part to someone else to blame when they can’t make today’s technology sound like Deep Purple.(why do you think they hired out the last two? If they had produced it, they would have to take all the credit for a problem that no one seems to be able to get beyond…. mastering levels that render any mix not worth partaking in) They will have the luxury of time it takes to make it sound right in the end, rather than paying someone who’s easily entertained to the point where he thinks it needs no shelf life integrity as a product. It just gets so old so fast anymore, as where extraordinary always sounds extraordinary, no matter how old it gets. Purpendicular renders the following three ordinary by justifiable comparison. I’m quite sure they will improve on their own, they will just have to find someone else to hang out with on breaks, someone who doesn’t get paid to swift meddle in an expensive time frame.

  30. 30
    LRT says:

    I have already gladly spoken with the singer of FC, and he’s just a regular guy with a vocal talent with harmonies the size of Queen and Yes put together, and an ability to move as freely between all vocal range as Blackmore does between all scales on the neck. There might be a few singers like this around, but if that is the case, than he and the band are a lucky merge. I’m not having a hard time listening to him with completely different music he sings over in his other band, but I thought I would… nope, the dude is a real genuine throwback. It’s almost surreal because it’s been so long since someone this good has come along, I was about to give up. I can’t tire of a voice that goes this many directions without boring… he puts the excitement back in prog!

  31. 31
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Gee LRT…

    You are putting yourself out there boy. These are might bold statements coming from a ‘semi-pro’ music analyzer. Nothing worse than going to a movie that has been praises with the highest regards and walking out disappointed. As clear and precise as you have been describing the magnanimous product here, your reputation might be on the line around here regarding your ‘musical ear’ once this comes out and the many critics here weigh in….

    Cheers and I’m truly excited about this release. I only hope it’s half as good as you are drooling about.

  32. 32
    purplepriest1965 says:

    I tried a free download of FLYING COLOURS.
    Appearantly the file was already deleted due to complaining by the author.

    Steve really has too much time on his hand!

  33. 33
    LRT says:

    Ha ha, been eating those words have ya Priest?

    @Tracy, time you got an email. Just an old pro, nothing semi about it. Living the well planned dream, playing with some trusty cards, very exciting to say the least these days.

  34. 34
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @32: What makes you think it was Steve who made that download go away? It was most likely the record company.

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