The critics were united in acknowledging the eponymously titled debut album from Flying Colors among the most fascinating releases of 2012. Teaming the talents of such heavyweight names as Deep Purple/Dixie Dregs/ex-Kansas guitarist Steve Morse, drummer Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard and a prolific solo artist), bass player Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and more) with a comparatively new talent, pop singer/songwriter Casey McPherson, the band challenged conventional wisdom about combining virtuoso music and melodic songwriting. Or, as the quintet’s modus operandi was once memorably defined by founder Bill Evans, ‘crafting new-fashioned music the old-fashioned way’.
Evans’ mission was to team a pool of virtuoso players, a pop singer/songwriter, and the right producer—to create sophisticated music that was accessible. Over 100 singer/songwriters were considered for the role. Portnoy pitched the idea of approaching McPherson, a member of the group Alpha Rev, whose 2010 album called ‘New Morning’ that dominated the Billboard Top Ten for 17 weeks. After an hour-long phone call with Evans, the band found their man. As Mike had quite rightly hoped, McPherson went on to prove the ‘x factor’ that elevated Flying Colors above the norm.
As Portnoy told Prog magazine: “The idea of having an actual singer – as opposed to a musician that also sang – really opened up a whole other world.”