Guitar One Records recording and touring artist Grant Ferguson returns with a third season of Modern Rock Orchestra (MRO) which premiered to sold-out Montana venues in 2021. This year’s MRO performance, titled “Power and Beauty” is coming exclusively to Billings, with a show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Babcock Theatre.
Ferguson, who was born in Scotland and is based in Red Lodge and Arizona, has built a loyal following with his original instrumental rock music. He’s has been compared to guitarists Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani, who paved the way for the instrumental rock genre.
His recently released sixth studio album – Windswept Isle– hit no. 1 on the Roots Music Report Progressive Rock Chart.
Adding orchestral arrangements and a full string section of prominent local symphony players to a live rock band has created a modern, yet deeply traditional sound that continues to attract larger audiences. The show adds a live horn section to the orchestra along with a huge video wall featuring compelling imagery throughout the show. It also has a new, distinct theme this year: “Power and Beauty.”
“I love the idea of Power and Beauty as the show title, as it captures the essence of a lot of my music … and even says something about the mysteries and unavoidable dichotomies of life,” says Ferguson. Through soaring orchestral rock and moving imagery, the show will explore age-old themes such as Darkness and Struggle, Goodness and Perseverance, Love and Longing and Faith and Hope.
In an interview with Shoutout Arizona, Ferguson noted that he’s “landed in a very specialized music niche — guitar-driven melodic, instrumental rock — and I’ve often toyed with trying to write more commercially appealing music, but it just isn’t who I am. I think being true to yourself and writing what moves you as an artist is critical. That’s where the beauty comes from.”
He promises MRO 2023 will be “inspirational and captivating for audiences, regardless of their musical taste or age.”