Track Spotlight: Ian Anderson, “Banker Bets, Banker Wins”

I had the opportunity to see Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) in concert this past summer, and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen – impeccably choreographed, masterfully performed, surreal and often downright hilarious. Most artists Ian Anderson’s age may slot in a couple of new songs into their act, but mostly keep to a “greatest hits” setlist. But he managed to get his audience to sit through an entire hour of new material by the rather clever stratagem of writing an album-length sequel to Thick as a Brick (entitled, creatively, Thick as a Brick 2 [2012]) and then performing the two records back-to-back.

The great thing is, it’s not a half-bad album. No, better than that: it’s an excellent album, a worthy follow-up to one of the all-time prog classics. “Banker Bets, Banker Wins” is one of the album’s highlights, and has been on constant repeat the last couple of days. It hits a solid triple: 1) classic electric/acoustic prog with a killer riff; 2) rock flute (you can never have enough); and 3) a clever take-down of the bastards who’ve made it their professional calling to wreck the economy every decade or so (again, you can never have too many such songs). Check it out.

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