The Midnight Special’s Re-Issues Will Have Audiences Singing, Dancing Well Past Midnight

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment have made quite the name for themselves over the course of recent years.  Releases of classic series such as The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, The Dean Martin Show, China Beach, and most recently The Wonder Years have taken a company that for years was the butt of many people’s jokes to a place in the upper echelons of home entertainment companies.  For years, Time Life was known mainly for the not-so-well-known products that it pushed through extended advertisements on television.  Now it has carved out even more of a comfortable place in that upper echelon with the release of The Midnight Special on DVD.  The classic late night live concert series was released in a number of formats last month, resurrecting one more important piece of television and music history.  The show’s six-disc collector’s edition is one of the best of the sets that any fan of classic television and music can add to their own home library.  That is because it is one of the best examples of what made this series so great during its nine-year run on NBC.  It presents ninety-six total performances from bands, artists and groups across the music industry’s spectrum.  The acts that make appearances throughout the set’s six discs are the center of this box set’s enjoyment and success.  Just as important to note is the quality of the footage.  More than four decades have passed since the Midnight Special first debuted in 1972.  In that time, the footage presented in these performances has stood the test of time quite well.  And last but not least worth noting in the set’s success is its companion booklet.  The booklet serves as an episode guide for viewers.  That is the central point of its importance.  It also features personal insight from the series’ creator Burt Sugarman. Sugarman’s retrospection on the series and its importance adds one more layer of appreciation for this series.  Together with the acts that appear on each set and the quality of the footage, all three factors together make The Midnight Train another wonderful release from Time  Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment.

The Midnight Special was one of the most famed and beloved series on television during its day.  Unlike so many other series of the time, acts that came on the series in its heydey actually sang instead of lip synching.  What’s more, unlike American Bandstand, The Midnight Special focused on more than just the big pop acts of its day.  The acts that came to perform on NBC’s live overnight concert series spanned the music world’s ranks.  That is the most important aspect of this recently released classic series.  The acts that performed on The Midnight Special included the likes of John Denver performing alongside Linda Rondstadt and Aerosmith performing alongside Barry White, The Stylistics, and ELO.  It also featured acts the likes of: B.B. King, Frankie Vallie, Sammy Hagar, The O’Jays, BeeGees, and so many other greats that are still remembered today.  Even the show’s host himself, radio host Wolfman Jack was a celebrity in his own right.  Even today, he and those acts noted here are just as beloved as they were decades ago.  In an era when so many musical acts are little more than flash-in-the-pan pop acts and rarely radio worthy rock bands, musicaians and audiences alike need to be reminded of what once made music great and could again–originality and real talent.  That in mind, it makes sense that the list of performers that came on The Midnight Special is the central point of this series’ success whether in its six-disc box set or its other formats.

The list of artists, bands, and groups that graced The Midnight Special’s stage during its nine-year run on NBC is the most important aspect of this series’ recent re-issue.  More than four decades have passed since it first debuted on NBC in 1972.  That makes for plenty of reason to be concerned about the quality of the show’s footage in its transfer from tape to disc.  Luckily for audiences of all ages, painstaking efforts were taken to present the performances as they appeared in their original broadcasts. Those efforts paid off in spades as both the audio and video of each performance have been well-balanced.  Any impurities in the quality of the footage whether in the audio or video are so minute that they are unnoticable.  The end result is a product that for the show’s original audiences will generate a much-welcomed sense of nostalgia.  Both for those same audiences and the show’s much younger audiences, it also serves to show just how far music has come (both in a good and bad way) and how far recording technology has come, too.  So in the end, the quality of the footage in these performances makes Time Life and StarVista’s new re-issue of The Midnight Special even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The efforts taken to transfter The Midnight Special’s master tapes to disc have definitely not been for nothing.  The show looks and sounds just as good as it did in its original run all those years ago in its rencet re-issue.  The acts that appeared on the show (and that are featured on the new six-disc compilation) are just as important to the overall presentation.  Both aspects together more than make the series worth a watch or two in any of its three re-issue formats.  The last aspect of the series’ re-issue (at least in its six-disc compilation format) that makes it a success and so enjoyable is the set’s companion booklet.  The booklet serves primarily as an episode guide, pointing out disc-by-disc and episode-by-episode each artist, band, and group that appears.  That listing even includes the songs performed by said acts.  By itself, the episode listing more than helps the enjoyment of the series’ re-issue.  The added insight from series creator Burt Sugarman adds one more layer of enjoyment to the series’ various presentations.  In terms of the six-disc box set, Sugarman recalls how so few people had faith in the show and how great it felt to prove those naysayers wrong.  That insight along with other comments from Sugarman make for even more interest and enjoyment in watching the performances culled for the show’s different re-issues.  While being the last of the noteworthy factors that make The MIdnight Special so…well…special, it is hardly the least important of the factors that make the series’ sets such a joy.  This aspect, along with the quality production values and the performances culled for the releases, makes The Midnight Special a truly special experience for viewers of all ages.

The Midnight Special is available online now.  Its eleven-disc and sixteen disc sets can be ordered online direct from Time Life’s online store at http://timelife.com/products/the-midnight-special-collector-s-edition.  The six-disc collector’s edition can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Special-6DVD-Amaray/dp/B00L9OPJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1414009549&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Midnight+Special.  More information on this and other releases from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimeLifeUS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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Aerosmith Announces Joint Summer Tour With Slash Ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Aerosmith will hit the road this Summer with Slash.

The two acts will hit the road this Summer for the “Let Rock Rule” tour beginning July 10th in New York. Slash will be joined by Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators for the tour, which is being exclusively promoted by Live Nation.  Slash and his band mates–Myles Kennedy (vocals), Brent Fitz (drums), Todd Kerns (bass), and Frank Sidoris (bass)–aer touring in support of the band’s as-yet untitled third full length studio release.  That album is currently due in stores September 2014.  Tickets for the tour will go on sale this Saturday, April 12th through the Live Nation mobile app and online at http://www.livenation.com.  American Express Card members and Citi card members will have access to tickets before anyone else tomorrow, April 10th at 10am local time through a special pre-sale.  Citi card members can purchase tickets through Citi’s Private Pass Program.  Information on that is available online at http://www.citiprivatepass.com.  The U.S. leg of the tour will follow Aerosmith’s overseas tour, which kicks off Wednesday, May 14th in Istanbul, Turkey. Both tour schedules are available below.

DATE CITY VENUE
Thu 7/10 Wantagh, NY Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
Sun 7/13 Kitchener, ON, Canada McLennan Park
Wed 7/16 Mansfield, MA Xfinity Center
Sat 7/19 Cadott, WI Rock Fest
Tue 7/22 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
**Fri 7/25 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
**Wed 7/30 Inglewood, CA The Forum
Sat 8/2 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Fri 8/8 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena At Harveys
Wed 8/13 Concord, CA Sleep Train Pavilion
Sat 8/16 George, WA The Gorge Amphitheatre
Tue 8/19 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Fri 8/22 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Mon 8/25 The Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Thu 8/28 Atlanta, GA Phillips Arena
Sun 8/31 Atlantic City, NJ Boardwalk Hall
Wed 9/3 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
Sat 9/6 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Tue 9/9 Clarkston, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Fri 9/12 Sydney, NS, Canada Open Hearth Park

“**” are tour dates going on sale Saturday, April 12

AEROSMITH’s overseas summer tour dates are as follows:

DATE CITY VENUE
Wed 5/14 Istanbul, Turkey ITU Stadium
Sat 5/17 Sofia, Bulgaria Lokomotiv Stadium
Wed 5/21 Vilnius, Lithuania Siemens Arena
Sat 5/24 Moscow, Russia Luzhniki Grand Sports Arena
Tue 5/27 St. Petersburg, Russia SKK Arena
Fri 5/30 Helsinki, Finland Hartwall Arena
Sun 6/1 Stockholm, Sweden Tele2 Arena
Wed 6/4 Kristiansand, Norway Odderøya Amphitheatre
Fri 6/6 Horsens, Denmark CASA Arena Horsens
Mon 6/9 Berlin, Germany O2 World
Thu 6/12 Lodz, Poland Atlas Arena
Sun 6/15 Derby, United Kingdom Donington Park
Wed 6/18 Oberhausen, Germany Konig – Pilsener Arena
Sat 6/21 Clisson, France Hellfest Grounds
Wed 6/25 Milan, Italy Fiera De Milano
Sat 6/28 Clapham, United Kingdom Clapham Common
Wed 7/2 Kiev, Ukraine National Sportkomplex

 

More information on Aerosmith, and Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators is available online at http://www.aerosmith.com, http://www.aeroforceone.com, http://www.facebook.com/aerosmith, http://twitter.com/Aerosmith, http://twitter.com/IamStevenT, http://www.facebook.com/steventyler, http://slashonline.com, http://twitter.com/Slash, and http://www.facebook.com/Slash. 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.

Jenkins’ Latest Compilation LP A Wonderful Tool For Teachers

Courtesy:  Smithsonian Folkways

Courtesy: Smithsonian Folkways

Mick Jagger and his band mates in The Rolling Stones have been entertaining audiences for over half a century.  Aerosmith has been going near as long.  And others are right up in those same leagues, too.  But none of those artists and bands in question can say that they’re at the level of one Ella Jenkins.  “The First Lady of Children’s Music” as she is affectionately known by her fellow artists is ninety-years old.  And now at ninety-years old, Jenkins has a new “hits” compilation of sorts set to be released.  123s and ABCs will be released next Tuesday, January 28th.  The compilation collects pieces that Jenkins has included in previous recordings.  The recordings in question are more proof of what makes children’s recordings in question so interesting and enjoyable to review.  Simply put, none of the pieces included on this record are anything like anything recorded by any other children’s entertainer to date.

The songs culled for 123s and ABCs are unlike anything recorded by any other children’s entertainer to date.  That is an especially powerful statement considering that the tracks presented here are pulled from Jenkins’ previous recordings.  While she does directly speak to young listeners at times, she seems to spend more time talking to children with whom she recorded the respective pieces.  This focus less on listeners makes 123s and ABCs more a tool for teachers of young listeners.  Some might see this as a bad think.  But in reality, it takes nothing away from this compilation.  It helps give preschool and kindergarten teachers plenty of ideas for their own students in many cases.  One of the best examples of this is in Jenkins’ teaching of the numbers one through ten in both Spanish and Swahili.

In the cases of ‘Counting from One to Ten in Spanish’ and ‘Counting in Swahili’, Jenkins is teaching a group of young children already in attendance how to count to ten in both languages.  She uses a call and response format in order to keep the terms fresh in her listeners’ minds.  This is quite a smart teaching method.  Teachers could easily adapt the prior of the pair for their own classrooms and use it as the beginning of a more extended lesson on basic Spanish.  Considering the push for students to learn foreign languages, what better time to get students started than in their most pivotal developmental years?  In the case of ‘Counting in Swahili’, even adults will enjoy this short lesson.  That is because far fewer Americans have knowledge of even basic Swahili than do those with basic knowledge and comprehension of Spanish.  Keeping this in mind, ‘Counting in Swahili’ could be a wonderful chance for parents and their children to learn together.  It could also be just as effective a tool for a basic cultural lesson about native speakers of Swahili.  It serves to make this compilation all the more enjoyable for teachers, students, and children in general.

‘Counting in Swahili’ is a hugely effective song for teachers.  As noted, it can serve as a basic introduction to a rarely taught foreign language.  It also could serve as a window to a much more in-depth cultural lesson for younger listeners and students.  Much the same can be noted of ‘The Rabbi Teaches ABCs/English ABC Song.’  This hybrid piece opens with violist Arnold Radel performing a traditional Jewish composition.  He follows this by explaining how children learned their ABCs in Yiddish in the cold winter months, no source of heat in their homes save for a fire in the stoves in their kitchens.  This vivid description alone makes Radel’s performance even more hard hitting.  One can actually close one’s eyes, and see this scene, Radel’s music as a bed.  Whether one has any comprehension of Yiddish or not, this song could be a great stepping stone for those that might end up developing an interest in the language or even the culture of those that speak the language.  It’s one more example of the kind of material that makes 123s and ABCs such an interesting compilation of songs.  Teachers and parents are offered plenty more ingenious ideas how to teach young listeners the basics throughout the course of the compilation’s sixteen total songs.  123s and ABCs can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8RREL6/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1AQT2M8K05BB6QZ3MD0D&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846.  More information on Jenkins and her releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ella.jenkins.sfw and http://www.ellajenkins.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.

The Power Of Three Has Potential Staying “Power”

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

2014 is only a week or so old.  Despite the infancy of the year, things are already picking up within the music industry.  If the many lists of the year’s most anticipated albums are any indication, there is a lot to look forward to this year.  That’s especially the case in the world of rock and metal.  Albums from Slipknot, Tool, Earth Crisis, Corrosion of Conformity, Foo Fighters, Mastadon, Black Label Society, and so many others are already making purist rockers and metal heads the world over excited about the months to come.  Now, yet another performer has added his name that already extensive list of bands and artists whose albums are highly anticipated this year.  The performer in question is Monte Pittman.  Pittman will release his new album The Power of Three.

The Power of Three is quite the interesting listen for those that might be unfamiliar with his body of work.  While Pittman has had the honor of recording and touring with veteran New York based metal band Prong, he is most well-known for his work with none other than Madonna and former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert.  He has also recorded with former Spice Girl Melanie C. on her 2003 album Reason.  Considering that he has spent more time recording and touring with pop artists, Pittman’s new record, which will be released via Metal Blade Records on January 21st, will shock audiences.  That’s because it is anything but a pop record.  Rather, he and his band mates—Kane Richotte (drums) and Max Whipple (bass)—have crafted a ten-track record that is an early contender for a slot on this critic’s list of the year’s best hard rock records.  The album’s second song, ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ is a pummeling song that hints at influences from the likes of thrash pioneers Pantera.  This is the case at least in terms of the song’s musical side.  Pittman’s guitar work, alongside Kane Richotte’s solid drumming, make this an excellent first impression from Pittman and company.  Pittman shreds with the best of them.  And his vocal style may even lead some to compare it to that of Fireball Ministry front man James A. Rota III.  Whipple adds just enough low-end to bring everything together in this song.

Just as interesting to take in on this record is the album’s opener and lead single, ‘A Dark Horse.’  What makes the song so interesting is that there almost seems to be an old school Black Sabbath influence mixed into the song’s more prominent modern metal sound throughout its bridge and verses.  One wouldn’t think the two sounds would gel.  Low and behold, they work quite well together.  As a matter of fact, there’s no doubt that Pittman and company will have listeners putting their horns high with pride.  Yet again, all three members of the band work together here to make a song that will leave listeners breathless by the end of its near five-and-a-half-minute run time. And as with the album’s other songs, the production is just as solid as the music itself.  Not one member of the three-man organization overpowers the other at any one point throughout the song.

For all of the heavier material that comprises this record’s body, Pittman also proves that he can hold back even if only a little bit.  That’s evident in the almost Alice in Chains style ‘Everything’s Undone.’  Even more intriguing about the song is that the setup in the song’s opening moments may even conjure thoughts of Aerosmith’s ‘Back in The Saddle Again.’  It’s only momentary.  But it’s there.  On its lyrical side, it comes across as being rooted in the standard relationship issues that make up so many songs.  He sings, “Driving faster/getting closer/But I feel farther from you/Here we go again/Who’s to blame/Am I gonna get closure from you/Now you’re gone/Is there something I’ve done wrong…Now everything’s undone.”  It’s pretty obvious that Pittman is delving into a personal realm here.  The catch is that unlike so many songs that are rooted in relationship issues, this one takes that lesser travelled road, opting for a less “oh, woe is me” vibe and more for something with energy about it.  This is the case even in the song’s chorus. The song as a whole is just one more that makes this upcoming album well worth the listen and a definite early contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock/metal albums.  Fans will get to hear even more music from Pittman and his band mates when they perform February 22nd at Los Angeles’ famed Whisky A Go Go.  Tickets for that show can be purchased via Pittman’s official website, http://montepittman.com. Fans can keep up with the latest addition to Pittman’s tour schedule and all of his latest news online at http://montepittman.com, http://www.facebook.com/MontePittman, http://www.myspace.com/montepittman, and http://twitter.com/montepittman.  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.

Aerosmith Proves It Can Still Rock On New Live DVD & Blu-ray

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rock for the Rising Sun, the latest live release from veteran rock band Aerosmith is a nice addition to the library of any fan of this Boston based rock band.  The concert film follows the band’s journey through Japan on the heels of some of the worst disasters that have ever beset any nation.  Having seen a tsunami that wiped out much of the country and the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant all in one year, the people of Japan needed something to bring joy back to their country.  Enter Aerosmith.  The band brought its music to the people of Japan, proving once again that music truly is the universal language.

This latest release from one of rock’s most well-known and revered bands is an interesting live chronicle of the band on the road.  It’s interesting to note that while the performances were primarily a show of support for the Japanese people, the concerts served a secondary purpose for the band.  The recording’s accompanying liner notes state that before heading to Japan, an injury to front man Steven Tyler had suffered an injury during the band’s run of shows in Latin America.  This led to at least one date being postponed so as to allow Tyler to recover.  The notes go on to state that Tyler’s injury meant the risk of postponing more than just the one date.  But being the legendary band that Aerosmith is, its members—Tyler included—soldiered on and played the previously held off date and even went on to Japan.  This is a bold statement about the band’s dedication to its fans.  And with the performances presented in this recording, audiences will see that dedication first hand.  They will also see a respect for the people of Japan as the band spends time away from the stage during its tour.  It makes this a tour documentary that any open-minded Aerosmith fan will appreciate.

There are those that have complained about how this concert documentary was assembled.  Yes it is an assemblage of performances culled from the band’s tour.  But there’s nothing wrong with that.  Rather than forcing audiences to buy one performance or another, director Casey Patrick Tebo and Eagle Rock Entertainment have culled the best of the Japan tour for a full concert experience.  The additional off-stage segments help complete the experience.  It shows the band in full drive on stage and during its more relaxed moments.  This isn’t the first “rockumentary” to ever be assembled in this fashion.  Keeping this in mind, it negates the argument of those that would complain about the overall manner in which the film was assembled.  Anyone that is open-minded enough about this will appreciate the full effect of the on-stage and off-stage moments. 

The concert footage recorded across the band’s tour of Japan is a telling statement.  Here is a band whose members are all in their fifties or older.  So they aren’t able to move around the stage like bands whose members are much younger.  But as the old adage states and as the band shows, “age is just a number.”  The band still rocked out plenty of hits both past and present during its performances.  Fans will enjoy the mix of songs such as ‘Mama Kin’, ‘Sweet Emotion’ and ‘Toys in the Attic’ next to more recent hits such as ‘Boogie Man’, ‘No More No More’ and ‘S.O.S. (Too Bad).’  While it wouldn’t necessarily be considered a career-spanning set of songs, the set list included in this recording covers a relatively impressive swath of the band’s catalogue.  It goes all the way back to the band’s earliest hit, ‘Walk This Way.’  This is just one aspect of the recording that fans will appreciate.

The set list included in the performances culled during the band’s tour of Japan present a good portion of Aerosmith’s catalogue.  But what is a performance without the proper recording of the songs.  That is another of the positives to this recording.  The audio and video quality of the performances is right on par with other recent live recordings released by Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision.  The use of the black and white adds its own element of nostalgia to the whole experience, especially as the band visits the site of the dropping of the A-Bomb.  The emotion on the faces of the band members is so telling.  Viewers can really tell that seeing the sight exactly as it was on that fateful day moved the band.  By comparison, just as much enjoyment and energy is visible during the band’s time on stage.  That same enjoyment translates with ease to home viewers.  And it makes each performance and the entire recording that much more enjoyable.  Rock for the Rising Sun is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online at http://www.aeroforceone.com/shop.cfm/pk/category/ac/detail/cid/313127/prodid/1653310.  After fans order the new DVD and Blu-ray, they can keep up with all of the latest news and more from Aerosmith online at http://www.facebook.com/aerosmith and http://www.aerosmith.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

Us Weekly Exclusive: Irwin, Radziwill Split

Courtesy:  Us Weekly Magazine

Courtesy: Us Weekly Magazine

Aerosmith keyboardist Russ Irwin and author/TV personality Carol Radziwill have split.  According to an exclusive with Us Weekly magazine, the pair made a quiet split in late 2012.  Radziwill, who is known for her stint on The Real Housewives of New York City released a statement regarding the pair’s parting “Russ and I have decided to call it quits,” the 49 year-old star told Us Weekly.  She went on to joke about her newly single status, saying, “I haven’t celebrated Valentine’s Day since the fifth grade when the boy I had a crush on gave me a valentine, only to find out later that he gave one to the entire class, including the boys,” she told magazine staff in an interview.

Radziwill isn’t letting single life slow her down.  Having already published the book, What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love, she is currently putting the final touches on her new novel, The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating.  The new book is currently slated for release this July.  Meanwhile, Irwin released his latest solo record, Get Me Home early last year.  It featured guest spots from his band mates in Aerosmith.    

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Yardbirds Leave A Lasting Impression With Making Tracks

Courtesy:  MVD Visual

Courtesy: MVD Visual

When one thinks of the famed band, The Yardbirds, the names that instantly come to mind are:  Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  While this latest lineup of the iconic band may not boast those names, its new live release, Making Tracks shows that the band is still one of rock’s elite.  Original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty are still on board.  For its latest tour, the pair has brought on Ben King, Andy Mitchell, and Dave Smale.  And if the current lineup’s new release shows anything, it shows that this band’s torch is burning as bright as ever as it has been passed to a new generation of musicians.

Making Tracks is one of the absolute must see releases of the year for anyone who has any interest in classic rock or simply great music in general.  The band’s blues rock based sound throughout the double disc presentation encompasses where music has been and where it is still going.  It’s really a sound that transcends generations.  Audiences are offered so many great songs in this new release.  Among some of the band’s finest songs are the likes of the classic ‘Heartfelt Soul’, ‘For Your Love’ and the equally well known, ‘Train Kept Rolling.’  Most audiences might recognize this song for fellow classic rockers Aerosmith’s take on the song.  Who did this song better will be left up to audiences.  But there’s no denying that this incarnation of the Yardbirds smoked this song.  It’s one of those songs that translate quite well even on the small screen.  Even home audiences will find themselves singing along and tapping their feet to this piece.

The main concert alone makes this new release from one of rock’s most respected bands worth the watch.  The set’s second disc adds to the overall enjoyment with its in depth tour documentary.  It documents the work that goes into prepping for each of the tour’s shows and the rigors of life on the road in general.  There are also personal interviews with each of the new members of the band.  Audiences will raise their eyebrows as they learn from original member Chris Dreja that the rumor of him almost becoming the bassist for fellow legendary rockers Led Zeppelin was just that.  It was a rumor and nothing more.  He notes in his interview that he never had interest in any band other than the Yardbirds.  There is also the revelation that Dreja and McCarty never lost touch in all the time since the original Yardbirds band members went their separate ways.  That in itself is such a huge statement.

The band’s documentary adds so much extra enjoyment to this new release.  The band doesn’t leave things with the documentary, though.  What live release would be complete without an encore?  Also included to finish things off are bonus songs from the Jim McCarty band and even a pair of others.  One of the most interesting of the songs from the Jim McCarty band is the Edgar Allen Poe poem turned song, ‘Dream Within a Dream.’  This was first recorded by the Yardbirds’ original lineup.  It’s just one more wonderful part of the whole that is the new Yardbirds live release, Making TracksMaking Tracks is available in stores and online now.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.