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Guests include Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, Steve Stevens, and Michael Schenker.

Derek Sherinian
Photo by Greg Vorobiov

Keyboardist Derek Sherinian, (Sons of Apollo, Black Country Communion) is releasing a new album on July 1 entitled Vortex. For the album, Sherinian is joined once again by drummer Simon Phillips, who co-wrote and co-produced the album with Sherinian, as well as Tony '"The Fretless Monster" Franklin on bass.

About the album, Sherinian said via press release, "Simon and I always try and out do ourselves with every release, and I am confident we achieved our goal."

The follow-up to 2020’s The Phoenix, Vortex includes eight tracks built on his signature blend of rock with elements of funk, prog, and jazz. “Vortex is a continuation of The Phoenix,” Sherinian states. “However, I feel the composition is stronger on the new album, and I would describe it as a modern day 70s style fusion record, but with newer heavier tonality.”

On guitars, Sherinian has recruited an A-List group of players including Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Michael Schenker, Mike Stern, and Nuno Bettencourt. "The choice of guitarist works itself out in the writing," Sherinian explains. "Also, like in the case of Steve Stevens, we co-wrote the song together, so it was natural for him to play on it." Speaking about Bettencourt, who appears on the scratchy "Fire Horse," Sherinian says, "I have always been a fan of his playing, and I am glad that we finally got to record together. He has the Van Halen swing and swagger to his playing that I love. We were both born in 1966, the Chinese year of the Fire Horse."

In Schenker, Sherinian found himself playing alongside "one of my heroes" once again. "He asked me to play on his Immortal album, and in return, he agreed to play on [my song] 'Die Kobra.' I wanted to write a great song inspired by my favorite Schenker tracks. Zakk Wylde added some great additional parts to the song, [as well.]"

Watch Sherinian's official video for "Dragonfly" from The Phoenix below.

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