About Your Humble Narrators

Mike and Ian ProgDay - CropHello everyone!

Specializing in rare cuts by classic and modern bands, Prog Rock Deep Cuts is designed to match the obscure with the new and fresh. Intelligent, emotional, and visceral classic to modern progressive rock broadcasted live every Sunday from 6-9 pm EST (with replays on Thursdays from 7-10 pm EST) on houseofprog.com, with archived episodes available at mixcloud.com/progrockdeepcuts.

While all forward-thinking music is fair game, the music featured on Prog Rock Deep Cuts is admittedly inclined towards the obscure, less traveled, and Strange Avenues of progressive music. A typical episode of Deep Cuts intends to fuse diverse elements such as jazz, electronic, world music, avant garde, psych, space, and classical with rock music in a fresh, and hopefully, exciting journey that presents the classics alongside their modern counterparts.


me shine on brightly procol harumIan Beabout

My introduction to music came through my parents at a very early age, so much so that I begged them to take me to a Jethro Tull concert at the ripe old age of three. The experience so affected me that shortly after, my parents bought me my first stereo and Dad would loan me his Jethro Tull CDs or even sometime buy two copies, gradually building a listening library.

Slowly, I was introduced to a lot of other music as well, including Rush, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, and many others and very early on, I developed two favorite albums – Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side of the Moon and Jethro Tull‘s A Passion Play. The reason why these two records resonated with me was that they were somehow more than music; they spoke to me as records that carried a profound and deep meaning, even if I didn’t exactly understand what that meaning was.

An early musical epiphany came when it occurred to me that any money that I received for birthdays, Christmases, etc could best be served if it was put towards purchasing music; from this time on, I began purchasing music on a regular basis and slowly began to amass a collection. At age 11, I picked up the flute and joined the school band and was exposed to a variety of classical and jazz music, giving me a genuine appreciation for the art. By the time I was 13 or 14, I discovered Frank Zappa and he became favorite artist #2, behind the mighty Jethro Tull, of course. It seemed like every week, I’d visit a local music store and purchase Frank Zappa albums.

Around age 15, I sat bored at my home one summer night. I asked my dad if he had anything great in his collection that I hadn’t heard yet; he moved toward his large collection and pulled a mysterious album with a frightening screaming face on the front cover. He put the disc on and what followed was “21st Century Schizoid Man”. I sat aghast, blown away, and totally transfixed by the incredible sounds emanating from the stereo – I was hooked on prog. Shortly thereafter, I acquired the entire King Crimson catalogue, and began perusing my local record store for anything prog; ELP, Yes, and early Genesis soon found their way into my collection.

I thought I had acquired every prog album ever made until one night, seated in front of my computer and taking my Pandora station out for a test drive, a piece called “The Boys in the Band” appeared and I found myself in the hands of musical brilliance once more. I swore this music had to be contemporary; it sounded like nothing else! When I discovered that this was by a group called Gentle Giant, who operated in the 1970’s, I soon had to own everything they had released as well. This research led me to ProgArchives.com where I discovered countless artists, including Van der Graaf Generator, Magma, Can, Henry Cow, Gong Comus, Caravan, Phideaux, Univers Zero, and countless others that have become consistent favorites.

Around this time, I found myself involved in high school radio. Though at first, I was allowed to play whatever I wanted (my regular playlists included Tull, Zappa, and Rush, alongside artists like ZZ Top, Robin Trower, and Richard Thompson – I really just played whatever I felt like!), soon the automated computer DJ came and I now had to play such beloved classics as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and The Black Eyed Peas. In short, I was miserable. I approached my teachers and presented them with my idea to run my own show, a Progressive Rock radio show, where I played all of my favorites. As I was feeling particularly imaginative that day (and I felt that it was an original idea), I called it The Prog Show and it ran weekly for a year.

Later, in college, I moved The Prog Show to the university’s radio station where I produced two shows a week (my own and a friend’s) and hosted the next generation of The Prog Show, the equally imaginatively dubbed, The Prog Show with Ian Beabout. This lasted for about a semester, but was mostly unsatisfying due to the strict format my show had to follow (breaks every 15 minutes – try fitting prog rock into 15 minute chunks; I chopped up “Supper’s Ready”, “Thick as a Brick”, and “A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers” to conform – a fact I’m not proud of).

Shortly thereafter, I found myself at the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARfest), where I immensely enjoyed the likes of Änglagård, Il Temptio delle Clessidre, Mike Keneally, Aranis, and Gösta Berlings Saga alongside classic acts like Renaissance, UK, and Van der Graaf Generator. A new personal mission was born when I realized that the modern scene was alive, vibrant, and very, very progressive. I watched a great little documentary called Romantic Warriors II – A Progressive Music Saga About Rock in Opposition and I became hooked on avant prog. Soon Thinking Plague, Miriodor, Cardiacs, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Guapo, Chrome Hoof, and MiRthkon became established favorites of mine, just as much as the giants of classic prog.

My mission was given a chance to thrive when I was offered a show at www.progrock.com. Called Prog Rock Deep Cuts, the show was designed to highlight the lesser-known and rarely played progressive rock gems, both classic and modern. The experience at progrock.com gave me a chance to find a voice and a devoted audience and to spread the word that progressive rock is alive and well.

After serving nearly a year at progrock.com and producing 42 episodes, I graciously accepted a position at houseofprog.com and have continued to bring my take on this unique, wacky, and highly creative genre we call progressive rock!

Mike Lieto mike twitter

Music is why Mike gets up in the morning. He is fully obsessed, and is quick to suggest that music is the best. Since he was a child, Mike has been listening to a wide variety of music. He grew up with horn bands like Chicago and Tower of Power, the jazz of the Brecker Brothers and Mike Stern, and generous helpings of Steely Dan and classical music.

Mike found progressive rock during middle school when his uncles gave him several Yes and Rush albums. It was love on first listen. In High School, Mike soon discovered King Crimson and Frank Zappa and his life was never the same. He spent the rest of his high school career discovering all sorts or progressive music and researching just about everything in the genre. Some of his fondest memories (and biggest discoveries) were attending four NEARfests with his dad. So many great bands, great people, and fun in Bethlehem. Mike also has family roots in prog. His dad and uncle are both members of the band Frogg Café. He helps out as the dedicated roadie for most Frogg gigs, and loves being a part of one of his favorite bands!

Today Mike prides himself on his diverse and eclectic musical taste. He has been known to shift from Frank Zappa to Miles Davis to bluegrass to Cardiacs to funk to 90s punk to late romantic classical music, all in one afternoon! As for prog itself, Mike tends to gravitate towards the RIO, Zeuhl, jazz-related, or the really weird stuff, but he does enjoy some good ol’ fashioned symphonic prog. He is extremely glad to be a Co-Host with Ian Beabout on Prog Rock Deep Cuts, and looks forward to the show each week to not only share some of his favorite progressive music, but also to discovering new music. You can also find Mike on Progressive Ears, where he has been a member since 2007. He also plays Trombone and a little bit of bass guitar.

Mike is a biologist, and specifically an aspiring herpetologist, which is a scientist who studies amphibians and reptiles. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and currently works as an Assistant in the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo. He loves coming to work everyday and working with large and diverse collection! He is currently aspiring to be a full time reptile keeper and also to earn his master’s degree, but the world is his oyster (Ed. – soup kitchen floor wax museum), and so shall he seize it!


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