NEPA Scene Staff

NEPA ’60s band Glass Prism plays Edgar Allan Poe-themed rock at Theater at North in Scranton on Jan. 28

NEPA ’60s band Glass Prism plays Edgar Allan Poe-themed rock at Theater at North in Scranton on Jan. 28
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From a press release:

Many have been asking about the next Glass Prism event ever since the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site show in Philadelphia in 2007 and their Scranton Cultural Center performance in 2012. The Northeastern Pennsylvania rockers have since taken their Edgar Allan Poe concept, along with some of the most powerful classic rock anthems and dance songs, to put together a new show that everyone will enjoy.

These local originators of progressive concept-based rock in the 1960s will be performing at The Theater at North in Scranton on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m., playing new songs as well as favorites like “The Raven,” “El Dorado,” and “Conqueror Worm,” plus classic rock hits and lots of surprises. Scranton singer/songwriter Tim McGurl will open the show.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance via Ticketfly or at the door (1539 N. Main Ave., Scranton).

The Glass Prism is the first rock band from the Northeast to land a major record deal. Their two albums, “Poe Through the Glass Prism” and “On Joy and Sorrow” on RCA, were the first albums to come out of the Northeast by a rock group, and their single, “The Raven,” was the first single recording by a rock group from the Northeast. The fact that the material was original was also a first. The album and the single hit the Billboard, Cashbox, and Record World charts in 1969 and remained there for several weeks.

“Poe Through the Glass Prism,” which featured lyrics written by Edgar Allan Poe, has been labeled a rock opera by definition and one of the first-ever concept albums. At that time, there was only a few others, like “Tommy” by The Who.

The album was engineered and produced by Les Paul at his recording studio in Nyack, New Jersey. RCA had their own studios but elected to have this album produced with Les Paul, the legendary inventor of the electric guitar and many studio recording devices and techniques. This is the only rock group from the Northeast with a documentary that details their history from inception up to their historic reunion performance. Titled “On Joy and Sorrow: The Glass Prism Story,” the movie has been featured at various film festivals, such as the Philadelphia Film Fest and the Detroit Film Fest. Les Paul did his last interview before his passing for this documentary, talking about the days the Glass Prism recorded the album and lived in his house during the sessions.

Tim McGurl has been a professional musician and singer/songwriter for over 45 years. His musical career spans decades, since the late 1960s. He has performed as a solo artist, as well as a member of many bands from the Northeast, including The Magic Bus, Whiskey Creek, Karma Farm, Dead Branch Band, Mo’ Holiday, Bogart, The Relics, and later on becoming a founding member of the Village Idiots, one of the most popular NEPA jam bands that performs the music of, and in the style of, the Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. McGurl’s current band is Horse Spirit.

Early in his career, McGurl lived in Belgium in the mid 1970s and performed in Europe’s clubs and cafes in Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona and was featured in several live concerts broadcast over Belgian national TV and radio and here on local PBS and NPR. He has interwoven many musical styles and genres into his own original compositions, drawing from traditional Americana folk and folk rock to acoustic and electric traditional British Isles tunes to the blues.

During his solo shows, McGurl incorporates several variously-tuned acoustic guitars, including a vintage Martin D-28 and a Gibson Hummingbird.

Read a full interview with Glass Prism guitarist and vocalist Tom Varano from last year here.