Boxcino Tournament Semifinals Take Center Stage Tonight On FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The semifinal matchups in this year’s “Boxcino 2014” tournament take center stage tonight on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra.

This Friday night on Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates, the Middleweights will take to the ring in the Boxcino 2014 tournament sponsored by 1800 Tequila. The card for the semifinal round is promoted by Banner Promotions. Tonight’s broadcast will air live at 9pm ET on television on ESPN2 and online via ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. It will come live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York.  The broadcast will be aired via tape delay on ESPN Deportes at 10:30pm ET.

Todd Grisham will fill in for Joe Tessitore tonight at ringside. He will be joined by Tessitore’s regular ringside partner, Teddy Atlas. The pair will have the call for ESPN2. Doug Kezirian will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news while Grisham fills in for Tessitore. Delvin Rodriguez and Pablo Viruega will be ringside for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+. Leopoldo Gonzales and Claudia Trejos will be in studio and Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews for both broadcasts.

Tonight’s semifinal round of the Boxcino tournament will feature Vitalii Kopylenko (22 – 0, 12 KOs) and Willie Monroe, Jr. (16 – 1, 6 KOs) in one of the night’s bouts. In the night’s other fight, Raymond Gatica (16 – 5, 13 KOs) will face off against undefeated Brandon Adams (13 – 0, 9 KOs). Monroe comes into tonight’s bout on the heels of a six-round unanimous decision victory over Donatas Bondas (Bondorovas) in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. Kopylenko made his way into tonight’s semifinal bout courtesy of a second-round TKO win over Cerreso fort in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

Adams advanced to tonight’s card after a fourth round TKO over Daniel Edouard in the tournament’s quarterfinal round. Gatica made his way to the semis after a fourth round TKO win over Sena Agbeko in the quarters. The remaining schedule for the Boxcino tournament is available below.

Upcoming ESPN Boxing Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Thu, Apr 24

 

9 p.m.

 

Josesito López (31-6, 18 KOs) vs. Aron Martínez (19-2-1, 4 KOs)—10 rounds, Jr. Welterweights Agua Caliente Casino, Palm Springs, Calif. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

 

Thu, May 1

 

9 p.m.

 

Roberto García (34-3, 22 KOs) vs. Victor Manuel Cayo (32-4, 23 KOs)—10 rounds, Welterweights
Hialeah Park Race Track, Hialeah, Fla.

 

ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

 

Sat, May 10 8 p.m. WBC World Heavyweight Championship: Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) vs. Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs)—12 rounds USC Galen Center,
Los Angeles
ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

More information on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf, http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF, http://twitter.com/espnboxeo, and http://twitter.com/espnboxing. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For NYPD Blue: Season Six

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory will release the sixth season of the hit crime drama NYPD Blue this Summer.

NYPD Blue Season Six will be released on June 24th, 2014. Season Six of the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning series will be released in a six-disc DVD set containing all twenty-two episodes from the series’ sixth season. The series’ sixth season sees the addition of actor Rick Schroder to the show’s cast. Schroder plays the part of detective Danny Sorenson. Sorenson is Sipowicz’s (Dennis Franz) new partner this season. But he isn’t fully trusted by everybody in the department. That is thanks to his questionable methods. His arrival is just one of a number of major events that arise in Season Six.

The arrival of a new detective on the force and the major events that flush out Season Six are just part of what makes it one of the show’s more talked about seasons. This season also sees a who’s who of guest stars throughout its episodes. Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Iron Man, Crash), Daniel Benzali (General Hospital), Mos Def (The Italian Job, Dexter, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Kevin Dillon (Entourage), and Emile Hirsch (Twice Born, Into The Wild, Milk) all make appearances.

NYPD Blue Season Six can be pre-ordered now via Shout! Factory’s online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nypd-blue-season-six. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wicked Blood As Solid As Any Big Name Action Flick

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

EOne’s new thriller Wicked Blood is worth a watch for anyone that is a fan of AMC’s fan favorite series Breaking Bad. The movie, which runs just over an hour and a half is an action packed thriller that despite being an indie flick, will definitely keep audiences on the edge of their seats from start to finish. The movie, which stars Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Haunter, Little Miss Sunshine), centers on Breslin’s character of Hannah Lee Baker. Hannah and her sister Amber (Alexa Pena Vega) are living alone after having lost both of their parents at a young age. Their uncle Donny (Lew Temple) is the only member of their family that they can trust, despite being running his own drug business. In her attempt to support herself, she ends up getting caught up in the seedy underworld of drug dealing. It all leads up to a finale that no one would have seen coming. Writer/Director Mark Young has crafted a script for this movie that is the first of the factors that makes it worth at least one watch for any fan of the action/thriller genre. The story’s pacing plays directly into the script. Being that the movie comes in below the standard two-hour mark that most major features reach, the story’s pacing is quite impressive. And the acting on the part of the entire cast makes the story all the richer. All three factors noted here work together to make Wicked Blood an underrated action movie worth at least one watch.

Writer/director Mark Young’s script for Wicked Blood is the central point of the success for this independent action flick. On the surface, the concept of an innocent lead character being wrapped up in the seedy world of drug dealing is not exactly anything new. However, Young breaks from the norm with his script. Instead of following the standard formula for such movies, Young adds in an element that could be argued to be a coming-of-age story of sorts for Hannah. Audiences see Hannah go from this fragile, frustrated young woman in a decidedly broken family structure to a more self-confident and determined woman as the story progresses. This is especially noticeable in her reaction to her sister Amber being beaten and left for dead by an assailant who will not be named here. He shows growth in Hannah, too when she enacts a certain plan early on that becomes the crux of the story. It shows growth in that her plan is quite brilliant and just as brave. Young makes this part of the story even more interesting because he actually leaves viewers to believe one thing about what Hannah is doing, only to reveal surprisingly that the opposite was the reality. It is just one of the secrets that makes Young’s script all the better. For that matter, it’s just one of the many aspects of the script that makes the story work.

The various elements used throughout the course of Young’s script are key to the enjoyment of Wicked Blood. In direct connection, the story’s pacing serves to make the movie better. The movie’s run time just does top the ninety-minute mark. That’s actually just below the standard for most major motion pictures. Though there are some rare majors that somehow manage to beat the two-hour mark. Their problem though, is that in doing so, they tend to cram too much into too short a time. This story is the exact opposite. It actually manages to balance everything together at a solid pace in that span of time. In simple terms, audiences won’t be left feeling mentally or visually winded. Young spends just enough time within each scene to keep the story from feeling rushed. That ultimately helps audiences to keep up with everything going on. In the same vein, the scene transitions help with the story’s pacing, too. Audiences aren’t presented with open transitions from one scene to the next. The story actually begins and ends each scene solidly enough that when one scene transitions to the next, audiences aren’t left questioning what had just happened or what is going to happen in the scene to come. This story element makes watching Wicked Blood even easier for viewers and more enjoyable.

The pacing and scene transitions utilized throughout Wicked Blood are both important parts of the whole that makes this movie work. The acting on the part of the movie’s cast is just as important as the aforementioned aspects to its success. The cast is made up of some relatively well-known figures. So it’s no wonder that each member of the cast is so believable in his or her respective role. Breslin leads the cast as Hannah. Her presentation of Hannah’s personal growth is both powerful and eye opening, especially in seeing what she is willing to do to Bobby. There is a certain fire in Hannah’s eyes and in her voice at that particular moment that really makes her somewhat frightening. It shows that while she may be growing as a person, it shows the depths to which she is willing to sink, too. On the opposite side of the coin, so to speak, audiences have Hannah’s uncle Donny, played by Lew Temple. Temple’s depiction of Donny makes him such a sympathetic character. Here is a man that is a drug user and knows it. Yet he doesn’t want his nieces to get embroiled in what he has been doing for so many years. He shows that he genuinely cares about both of them despite being a drug addict. He’s an imperfect character with a heart of gold. That contradiction of personalities and Temple’s depiction of Donny makes a person believe that there is some good in him. It makes audiences really want to root for Donny. Co-stars James Purefoy and Sean Bean hold their own throughout the story, too. But it is really Breslin and Temple that lead the cast. It is their acting that is the *ahem* glue–audiences that have seen the movie will get that bad pun—that holds everything else together. It is the finishing touch on a movie that proves once more that indie flicks can be just as enjoyable as their major motion picture counterparts regardless of genre. It is the final piece that proves this underrated indie action flick is worth at least one watch.

Wicked Blood is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HI9QDKM/ref=s9_simh_gw_p74_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=04QPHQ5JBMNES46GMXYX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846. More information on this and other releases from Entertainment One is available online at http://us.eonefilms.com/home. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory’s Latest MST3K Box Set Even More Fun For Movie Buffs

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory has done it again. The company that has brought audiences of all ages so many great classic TV series and movies has released yet another hit in Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXIX. The cult favorite TV series continues to show in its latest four-disc box set, why it remains such a beloved series even today. It shows this first through the skits that accompany the movies chosen to fill out this set. The movies in question are another reason that audiences will appreciate this latest collection of episodes. And the bonus material included in the set rounds out the set, making it complete. There is much more that could be discussed as to what makes this box set so great. The jokes and pop culture references made throughout each movie evidence this. Those jokes and references combine with the bonus features, selected movies, and skits to make Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXIX one of the potentially best box sets of the year.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXIX is potentially one of the best new box sets of 2014. One of the reasons for this label is the skits included in each of the set’s four episodes. Audiences get to see Mike and his robot pals deal with Pearl as she unsuccessfully tries to host her own ball as part of The Pumaman. And both Pearl and Mike have to deal with a trio of “superbeings” that think Pearl and Mike to be “as amoebas” to them in the skit accompanying The Thing That Wouldn’t Die. Joel has to deal with his boss at the Gizmonic Institute in Untamed Youth and Hercules and the Captive Women. The skits themselves are so cheesy. Much the same can be said of the acting on the part of all involved. And that it’s meant to be so cheesy makes it all so much more entertaining. Long-time fans of this cult favorite series will find themselves laughing hysterically at each skit as if it was the first time that they had seen them. Those that might be seeing the skits in each episode will find themselves laughing just as hard after scratching their heads in totally confused yet entertained disbelief.

The skits used to introduce each film in this set are worth more than their share of riotous laughter. One can’t help but wonder where the writers—who also served as the show’s cast—came up with the ideas for them. One can’t help but compare the skits to really bad drug trips. Regardless, they are hilarious. Just as hilarious as the skits, are the movies chosen for each episode. This box set includes Hercules and the Captive Women, Untamed Youth, The Thing That Wouldn’t Die, and The Pumaman. The Pumaman is easily the most entertaining the movies included in this set. It presents a professor named Tony Farms, played by Walter G. Alton, Jr., who starts out just an ordinary scientist and becomes The Pumaman after being located by the descendant of an ancient alien race named Vadinho. Vadinho gives Professor Farms a belt that turns him into the superhero Pumaman. Given, the movie was crafted and released in 1980. But even for the day, the movie’s production values and writing were horrendous. Thus it earned the distinction of being added to MST3K’s schedule. Alton notes in the movie’s bonus interview that he was genuinely not happy with the biting commentary on the movie on the part of Mike and his robot pals. But there’s no denying that as serious as the cast and crew took themselves in making the movie, the end result was anything but a movie that could have been taken seriously.

The movies included in MST3K Volume XXIX are just as important as those included in the series’ previously released box sets not just for their entertainment value, but for their historical value, too.   Those audiences that are more interested in the history of the movie industry will appreciate seeing one more example in this set, of how far the movie industry has come since its earliest days. It’s astonishing to see just how much things have changed since the days of these movies. It’s just as interesting to note how little has changed in that time, too. For that reason, this latest volume of MST3K is made even more enjoyable for audiences.

The skits and the movies featured in MST3K Volume XXIX together make this latest volume just as entertaining as the series’ previous box sets. The bonus material included in each episode puts the finishing touch on the set. Audiences that watch The Thing That Wouldn’t Die get an extra bit of Hollywood history when they watch the bonus feature, “The Movie That Couldn’t Die.” Audiences learn through this feature that the censors still had quite a bit of pull even back then. It’s noted that a particular flashback scene involving the antagonist being beheaded originally involved a priest damning the figure. Apparently, the censors didn’t like the thought of a priest condemning the antagonist. So his character was changed to that of a random man. And as noted previously, actor Walton G. Alton, Jr. expressed his displeasure with the zingers tossed at The Pumanman because he and his cast mates had taken the creation of that movie so seriously. It’s one more item that makes the viewing experience of the movie all the more enjoyable and richer. The same can be said of the interview with actress Mamie Van Doren in Untamed Youth. These bonus features are the final pieces of MST3K Volume XXIX that make the box set whole. Together with the skits and the movies themselves, they make this set one that fans new and old will love to watch over and over again. It is just as great an introduction to the series for new fans as it is a continuation for the show’s more seasoned fans.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXIX is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/mystery-science-theater-3000-volume-xxix. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Langhorne Slim Announces Special Record Store Day Release, Upcoming Tour

Courtesy:  Ramseur Records

Courtesy: Ramseur Records

Langhorne Slim and The Law will release a special two-song 7” vinyl in celebration of Record Store Day.

“Animal” will be released this Saturday, April 19th as part of the nation’s annual Record Store Day. The vinyl will be limited to only 1000 copies and will only be available for the day. It will retail for SRP of $6.98. Audiences that pick up the special vinyl will also receive with it, a download card with a link to a site where the song can be downloaded digitally and a link to a music video for the song. The video for ‘Animal’ was filmed while the band was on tour. The link to both the video and song download are available exclusively with purchase of the vinyl.

‘Animal’ was originally written for use in a 30-second Converse X Foot Locker advertising spot called “Made To Make A Scene.” The vinyl’s B-side is a new, previously unreleased song called ‘Space Girl.’ The band describes the song, written by Slim, as “”an improvised, psychedelic excursion recorded in a backyard in Texas.”

Slim explained in an interview that it was an indie record store in his home state of New Jersey and others across America today that helped shape his love of music today. And because they continue to be so influential today, the band wanted to give back to those shops by including its own piece to Record Store Day. “Thank goodness for independent record stores,” Slim said. “It was Princeton Record Exchange in NJ that saved me from the music shops in the mall when I was a kid.  And countless others around the country and world that have fed and nurtured my love and passion for music as a fan and provided me the ability to get my own stuff out there as an artist.  A thousand thank yous to all the indie record shops and may you live on forever!!”

Those not lucky enough to get their hands on a copy of Slim’s special new Record Store Day release can still catch the band live on tour. Langhorne Slim and The Law is set to hit the road next month along with The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell, and Deer Tick. The band’s tour schedule also includes some headlining dates. The band’s current tour schedule is available below. It includes a pair of dates in North Carolina, the first being at the famed Filmore in Charlotte and the second being at The Orange Peel in Asheville.

MAY

9   Alabama Theatre, Birmingham, AL  (with Jason Isbell)

10   Fillmore, Charlotte, NC  (with Deer Tick)

11   Shaky Knees Music Festival, Atlanta, GA

13   The Social, Orlando, Fl  (with Deer Tick)

14   Crowbar, Ybor City, FL  (with Deer Tick)

16   The Pour House, Charleston, SC  (with Deer Tick)

17   The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC  (with Deer Tick)

18   Haw River Ballroom, Saxapahaw, NC  (with Deer Tick)

20, 21  The Black Cat, Washington, D.C.  (with Deer Tick)

JUNE

14   White Snake River State Park, Indianapolis, IN (with The Avett Brothers)

15   District Square, Kalamazoo, MI  (headline)

17   Space, Evanston, IL  (headline)

19   The Ready Room, St. Louis, MO  (headline)

20   Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS  (with The Avett Brothers)

21   Cox Business Center, Tulsa, OK  (with The Avett Brothers)

JULY

5, 6   Ottawa Blues Festival, Ottawa, ON, CANADA

9-13    Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg, MB  CANADA

31   Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT

AUGUST

1-3   Gathering of the Vibes

29-31  Campfire Outdoor Adventure & Music Festival, Lakewood, PA

 

More information on Langhorne Slim and The Law is available online at http://www.langhorneslim.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Langhorne-Slim/220789179696, and http://twitter.com/langehorneslim. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

EOne’s New Bella Sara DVD A Good Fit For Any Young Female Viewer

Courtesy:  Entertainment One/Foxfield Entertainment/The Bella Sara Company

Courtesy: Entertainment One/Foxfield Entertainment/The Bella Sara Company

Entertainment One released the latest adventure of Bella Sara last week. Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings is one more enjoyable watch for the young female audiences at whom it is aimed. That is the case first and foremost because unlike previous Bella Sara DVDs, this presentation is actually a full feature length presentation. Another reason that its intended audiences will appreciate this latest release in the Bella Sara series is its general writing. And lastly, the general content puts the final touch on this release. All these factors together make Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings a presentation that any young female viewer will enjoy.

The first aspect of Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings that its intended audiences will appreciate this presentation is a full-length piece. Previous releases in the Bella Sara series were presented in shorter form. So this presentation is the first in the ongoing series of releases that could consider itself a full length feature. While it is an independent release, it could easily compete with the likes of the full length straight to DVD Barbie features that are currently out there. That being the case, that factor alone would make it a good fit for any young female viewer’s slumber party, birthday party or other social event.

That Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings is presented as a full length feature is a good thing for this release in comparison to previous releases in the series. Just as important to the overall enjoyment for the feature’s viewers is its combined general writing and content. The story is simple enough for any viewer to follow. Presented here is what is essentially a coming-of-age story of sorts. Young teen Emma finds herself and literally her voice after discovering a secret that had been long-held by her mother through most of Emma’s youth. It is made obvious that Emma’s mother had died at the start of the story. It isn’t noted how she died. And that is in all honesty beside the point. Her mother being out of the picture actually helps to serve as a catalyst to the story’s progression. So in the long run, it is actually a good thing that the cause of her mother’s death wasn’t explained. Along her journey into the world that is North of North, Emma has to take on the evil Ivenna and her henchman who want to take over the land by taking away all of the “horse magic.” It’s through her own personal journey of self-discovery and realization that Emma is able to defeat Ivenna and save North of North. The general progression of the story is just as simple as the story itself. So that should help to keep young viewers fully engaged in the feature from start to finish.

The simple storyline contained in this new release from Entertainment One will definitely keep the feature’s intended audiences engaged throughout the course of tis roughly hour and fifteen-minute run time. In the same vein, one would be remiss to not mention the feature’s general content. The story is obviously fantasy based. And it centers on horses. This is a double whammy for all involved. The Bella Sara Company, Foxfield Entertainment and Entertainment One have collectively taken two items about which so many younger female viewers crazy and combined them into one. Add in the short musical numbers to the mix (and the overall writing) and viewers get a near complete package. All of this material packaged into what is a relatively full length presentation makes everything complete. It all combines to make Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings a feature that any young female viewer will enjoy whether by herself, with friends or even with her mother.

Bella Sara: Emma’s Wings is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HNTOYF8/ref=s9_simh_gw_p74_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1V0JEAXF18XKCR96GP00&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Avi’s ‘Night Light” Is a Bright Musical Light

Courtesy:  Little Monster Records

Courtesy: Little Monster Records

Singer Zee Avi’s latest album Night Light is available today. The third album from the Malaysian born singer, it is also the first family album that she has ever released. It goes without saying that her first venture into that realm has produced what is one of the most intriguing records of the year in the realm of family and children’s music. The nine-track disc is comprised primarily of covers from some of the most well-known names in the music industry, including: Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and Bobby McFerrin. There is also a cover of the famed ‘Rainbow Connection’ from Jim Henson’s original Muppet Movie that any Muppets fan will enjoy. And audiences will agree that her cover of the Louis Armstrong hit ‘Dream A Little Dream’ is absolutely beautiful, even if they aren’t fans of jazz. It all closes with a medley of well-known children’s songs aptly titled ‘Nightlight Medley.’ It’s a fitting closer for the album that will leave a smile on the face of any listener young and old alike. Having been left with that smile, listeners will agree that Night Light is an album that any family should hear at least once this year.

Night Light opens with what can best be described as the most intriguing cover of Bobby McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ that this critic has ever heard. Avi’s take on the song gives it a decidedly different identity than McFerrin’s original tune. She incorporates what sounds like a tabla and a rather interesting bass instrument. The combination of the two instruments set against Avi’s almost siren-like singing sets her take on McFerrin’s song completely apart from any other cover of the song currently out there. Even as she sings, listeners will note that Avi doesn’t simply try to cover McFerrin’s original work. Rather she actually makes it her own without completely losing the original altogether. It definitely is something that must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated.

Avi’s cover of ‘Don’t Worry, He Happy’ is definitely original. That goes without saying. On the other side of the proverbial coin, she sticks more to the original work when in her cover of ‘Dream a Little Dream’ The song, originally made famous by jazz legend Louis Armstrong, is made even more interesting with what sounds like a ukulele. Even with the combination of Avi’s gentle vocals and ukulele in the place of Armstrong’s famed trumpet and gravelly voice, the song is still as wonderful as ever. The true irony of Avi’s vocal style here is its similarity to that of Billie Holiday. Some might call it a stretch. But a close side by side comparison reveals the similarity. It is slight. But once listeners hear it, they will agree as to Avi’s high level of talent, being compared to such a great.

The album’s closer, ‘Nightlight Medley’ offers listeners a pair of classic children’s tunes. It is is the perfect closer for listeners. It starts with Avi’s rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’ She starts off by singing it in English before proceeding to sing the song in her native tongue. There’s something special about hearing this song known around the world in a language completely unknown to most listeners. From ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, Avi moves on to ‘Four and Twenty Black Birds Baked in a Pie.’ She gives even this song its own twist as she sings. As with the other covers included in this album, it is one that absolutely must be heard in order to understand and appreciate the new life and identity that Avi has given the song.

Night Light is available in stores and online now. It can be ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J566VDA/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=03S45350NRFN0W5ATJBW&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846. Audiences can keep up with the latest from Zee Avi after ordering her CD online at http://www.facebook.com/zeeavi and http://www.zeeavi.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.