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Billy Sherwood: The Time Traveller's Life

Yes man Billy Sherwood has raided his bulging prog contacts book to put together an all-star line-up for his new release Citizen, an ambitious concept album that hops back through history.

As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know but who you know, and within the realm of prog, there’s a grain of truth to this statement.

More and more, records are becoming judged upon the presence of a guest artist contributor just as much as for the artistic endeavours of their creator. It’s a worrying trend, but that’s consumerism-based society for ya. More will always be more.

Steven Wilson, Mike Portnoy and Ayreon’s Arjen Lucassen are among the best-connected names on today’s scene, but Billy Sherwood isn’t lagging far behind. Born 50 years ago into a musician-friendly family in Las Vegas, Sherwood’s first band of note was Lodgic, who released an album called Nomadic Sands in 1985. During that same decade his following group, World Trade, were signed to Polydor by Gentle Giant member-turned-executive Derek Shulman.

In spite of an excellent self-titled debut, global success would elude World Trade, but their similarity to 1980s-era Yes brought them to the attention of a certain Christopher Squire. This heralded Sherwood’s three spells with Yes, contributing to the Union and Keys To Ascension albums. He became a touring member in 1994, before another more formal stint during which he appeared on Open Your Eyes and The Ladder.  

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