Deep Purple Announces North American Summer Tour

Courtesy:  E-A-R Music

Courtesy: E-A-R Music

Deep Purple will make its way back to the U.S. this summer.

Deep Purple released its 19th full length studio album NOW What?! in April 2013. Since then, the band has made its way around the world in support of that album. Now the band’s global tour brings it back to the United States. Deep Purple will kick off the North American leg of its tour Monday, August 4th in Scottsdale, AZ. As the band prepares for its upcoming North American tour, it will release the latest single, ‘All The Time in the World’ to radio stations nationwide. The band’s current schedule of tour dates is listed below.

Deep Purple US / CANADA Dates:

08/04/14    Scottsdale, AZ                  Talking Stick Casino         8:00pm

08/05/14     Ventura, CA                      Ventura County Fair       8:00pm

08/06/14    Costa Mesa, CA               Orange County Fair          8:00pm

08/08/14    Lincoln, CA                       Thunder Valley Casino Amphitheatre          8:00pm

08/09/14    Roseburg, OR                   Douglas County Fair          8:00pm

08/10/14     Snoqualmie, WA             Snoqualmie Casino             8:00pm

08/13/14     Saratoga, CA                     Mountain Winery               8:00pm

08/14/14     Valley Center, CA             Harrah’s Rincon Casino Event Center           8:00pm

08/15/14     Las Vegas, NV                  Fremont St. Downtown    8:00pm

08/16/14     Wendover, NV                   Peppermill Casino Concert Hall           8:00pm

08/20/14    Elgin, IL                             Festival Park                       8:00pm

08/21/14     Windsor, ON                     Caesars Casino                    8:00pm

08/22/14    Rama, ON                          Casino Rama                       8:00pm

08/24/14    Morristown, NJ                  Mayo PAC                            8:00pm

08/25/14     Englewood, NJ                  Bergen PAC                         8:00pm

08/26/14    Westbury, NY                     NYCB Theatre at Westbury           8:00pm

08/29/14    Biloxi, MS                          Hard Rock Casino              8:00pm

08/30/14    Orlando, FL                        Hard Rock Live                    8:00pm

08/31/14     Hollywood, FL                  Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena 8:00PM

More information on Deep Purple’s upcoming North American tour, its latest full length album and all of the latest news from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple and http://www.deeppurple-nowwhat.com. 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.

The Dagger’s CM Debut Is Pure Rock At Its Finest

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The self-titled debut record from The Dagger is a solid first effort for the Stockholm, Sweden-based four-piece. The Dagger isn’t the first band to ever take listeners back to rock’s golden era. But it still has done something special on its debut that other bands of its ilk (E.g. Horisont, The Sword, Gypsyhawk) have not done. What it has done on its first full effort for Century Media Records is crafted an album that exhibits one of the widest swaths of influences to date from any band of its kind. That’s one part of what makes this record one that purist metal heads will appreciate about this album. Also noteworthy about the album is its overall production values. That, too will be discussed shortly. And last but far from least are the lyrical themes that run through the album. All three factors together make The Dagger an album that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much with each listen.

The Dagger’s debut record is a good addition to the library of anyone that is a fan of The Sword, Horisont and Gypsyhawk. Much like those bands, The Dagger takes listeners back to the golden era of rock on its Century Media Records debut. As much as it carries a sound similar to those bands, it actually takes things a step further on its self-titled debut. Instead of focusing primarily on one specific classic rock sound, the members of The Dagger—Jani Kataja (vocals), Fred Estby (drums), David Blomqvist (guitar), and Tobias Cristiansson (bass)—exhibit influences from a rather wide swatch of veteran bands. Those bands include the likes of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and even Deep Purple among others. Such a wide array of influences having been exhibited here, it makes the album one of those rare albums that is actually worth listening through without skipping a single song. That’s truly saying something, especially in an era when audiences seem to be increasingly downloading single tracks from the likes of iTunes instead of purchasing entire albums. Taking this into consideration, it shows that The Dagger’s debut record could very well be one that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. To that extent, it shows great potential for this record.

The sound crafted by the members of The Dagger on the band’s self-titled debut is the most important factor in the overall enjoyment of this record. The band doesn’t stick to just one influence, even in taking listeners on a trip back in time to the golden age of rock. It exhibits all of its many classic rock influences. Just as important to the album’s success as its sound is the album’s production. The separation that was formed between The Dagger and other “modern classic rock” bands thanks to The Dagger’s extensive background of influences is made even wider thanks to the album’s production values. Painstaking efforts were made to not only bring out the band’s veteran influences, but to make the band’s album sound like it was itself a product of rock’s golden era. From Blomqvist’s powerhouse guitar playing to the almost hollow sound of the drums made popular in the 1960s and 70s to Kataja’s own vocals, and even Cristiansson’s bass work, each part was given special attention. When all four parts came together, those behind the glass exhibited expert talent, crafting an album that sounded like it came right from the era of so many great garage rock style bands. Credit is most definitely to be given in that area. It wonderfully compliments a sound from the band that is already impressive on its own.

The songs that make up The Dagger and the production values that make the album even richer are both integral parts of the album’s success and enjoyment. They are but part of the whole, though. There is still one more factor to consider in the album’s enjoyment. That factor is the variety of lyrical themes that run through the album. As [Fred] Estby noted in an interview with Terrorizer magazine, the influences behind the songs’ lyrical themes come from a number of sources. Those sources include the news, novels, and even lyrics from contemporaries such as Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, and Blue Oyster Cult. That means that unlike so many rock bands out there, The Dagger tries its best to avoid the standard themes of relationships. Rather the themes on this album vary just as widely as the band’s musical influences. It’s a breath of fresh air, considering just how many bands even in today’s world of hard rock and heavy metal base their songs on that standard fare. That factor, alongside the album’s overall sound and production values make this record, once again, one that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much the fiftieth time around as the fifth.

The Dagger will be available in the U.S. Tuesday, July 22nd and June 30th in Europe.  It will be released both domestically and internationally via Century Media Records. The Dagger is currently scheduled to perform live September 18th and 19th in Stockholm Sweden as part of Close-Up Magazine’s Close-Up Baten Festival. Until then, audiences can keep up with the latest news and more from The Dagger through its official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/daggerofficial. 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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Deep Purple’s Latest Live LP An Important Addition To Any Fan’s Library

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eight years ago, Eagle Rock Entertainment released to DVD what has gone on to become one of a handful of iconic performances from legendary British hard rock band Deep Purple. The concert in question was the band’s performance at the 1974 California Jam. Last month, Eagle Rock finally followed up that recording with the DVD’s audio only companion on CD. The DVD half of this recording is probably out of print at the time of this review. So it’s nice to see the classic archived concert’s return. The band only performs seven songs in its set here. But that’s no loss considering how rich each song proves to be. The performance by the band is just as impressive as the set list chosen for the show. And while the audio mix starts out rather muddy, it does get better. This factor is just as important as anything else to note as the alleged history behind the audio mix has its own story. The history behind the audio mix and the audio mix set alongside the band’s performance and its set list serve to make this archived live recording worth at least one listen.

Deep Purple’s set at its 1974 California Jam consisted of only seven songs. That might not seem like much. But the songs included in the set and the set’s near ninety-minute run time make the set list rather impressive to say the least. Over the course of the band’s nearly ninety-minute set, the members of Deep Purple put on what was one of the best performances of the entire California Jam Festival that year. David Coverdale was handling vocal duties for the band at the time of the concert. And he put on a virtual clinic throughout the show, hitting notes that no man should seemingly be able to hit. His ability to those high notes and mid-range notes even puts to shame the likes of Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and even Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), James LaBrie (Dream Theater) and so many other pure singers past and present. Richie Blackmore (guitars) and Ian Paice (drums) both get their moment to shine throughout the show, too. Whether in their solo moments or as part of the whole, Paice and Blackmore prove throughout the show just why they are still among the most respected musicians in their respective fields even today even four decades after that iconic performance was recorded.

Deep Purple spent nearly ninety-minutes wowing audiences in attendance with the band’s fan friendly set list. The band’s members, as already noted, more than exhibit their talents time and again throughout the course of the concert. By direct connection, the band’s overall performance impresses, too. The band keeps the energy up throughout the course of the show, keeping the audience at a fever pitch from start to finish. Even on the slightly more reserved, bluesy ‘Mistreated’ The band somehow maintains a certain level of power. It actually rivals any blues-rock based song performed by fellow Brit-rockers The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Audiences will hear and feel that energy for themselves when they check out this live recording, too.

Both the performance by the members of Deep Purple at this concert and the band’s set list hold equal importance to the overall enjoyment of this latest live DP release from Eagle Rock Entertainment. There is still one more factor to consider in the recording’s overall enjoyment to investigate. That final factor is the concert’s audio mix. There is no getting around the fact that the concert’s audio mix starts out rather muddy. Guitarist Richie Blackmore overpowers David Coverdale’s vocals rather blatantly throughout ‘Burn’ and even ‘Might Just Take Your Life.’ But it does get better as the near ninety-minute concert progresses. In defense of Eagle Rock Entertainment, there is a story that alleges Blackmore went to the individual running the audio board for the band’s performance and essentially told him to put more emphasis on his [Blackmore’s] part than on anyone else. There’s no telling if there is any truth to this story. But if there is, it would most definitely explain why the audio mix sounds so messy early on. Luckily, that muddiness doesn’t last too long. It gets better as the concert progresses. Audiences can hear the different parts level out more as the show progresses. And because the audio mix does clear up and balance out, it makes the show much easier on the ears (as if the set list and performance together aren’t already easy on the ears to begin with).   That ease on listeners’ ears alongside the set list and performance by the band all come together to make this recording one worth at least one watch by both classic rock fans and fans of Deep Purple.

Deep Purple: Live in California ’74 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Cal-Jam-1974-Deep-Purple/dp/B00IAR2DG4/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1400702990&sr=1-2&keywords=deep+purple+California+Jam. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.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.

Every Record Store Day Shopper Should Check Out The Sugar Free Allstars’ New Special Release

Courtesy:  Wiser Music

Courtesy: Wiser Music

Chris “Boom” Wiser and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin (a.k.a. The Sugar Free Allstars) will release a special new two-song vinyl in celebration of Record Store Day. Saturday, April 19th the duo will release Vinyl45. Side A consists of the duo’s song ‘My Daddy’s Record Collection.’ The vinyl’s B-side is the song ‘Banana Pudding.’ Both songs are great reasons in themselves for parents to pick up this record for their children. Even more reason for parents to pick up this special new release is the record’s wild artwork. If that’s not enough, the very fact that it is a vinyl is reason enough, too. All things considered, Vinyl45 is a great listen for listeners of all ages. And now it can be owned on Record Store Day, 2014.

The primary song featured on The Sugar Free Allstars’ special new Record Store Day vinyl is the song ‘My Daddy’s Record Collection.’ The song is a fitting feature for the duo. That’s because Record Store Day itself is a celebration of music’s early days. Most records released on Record Store Day are released on vinyl. ‘My Daddy’s Record Collection’ is also a celebration of that format. The lyric video for the song, which can be viewed online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OvW6EEWK1A even presents a turntable playing Vinyl45 right at the center of so much modern technology and vinyl record sleeves. It is a very telling statement in such a small space. The song’s lyrics make that statement all the stronger. Wiser and Martin sing fondly of the golden days of records and the joys of hearing music on vinyl in this song. They sing about pulling out a father’s record collection, dropping the needle on the records, and just taking in the music. They even address the advancements that have been made in terms of ways to listen to music today versus the special joy that comes from hearing music on vinyl. Even the song’s musical side harkens back to the golden days of music. The song’s funky beat set against what sounds like perhaps a classic Wurlitzer organ makes the song sound even more organic like something right out of the days of Booker T, Deep Purple and so many other of The Sugar Free Allstars’ influences. It is a wonderful song that listeners of every age will appreciate.

‘Banana Pudding,’ the vinyl’s B-side is just as funky as ‘My Daddy’s Record Collection.’ Even more interesting, the song is in fact about banana pudding. Yet again, audiences have one more example of the originality that makes children’s records so fun for any critic to review. Who would have ever thought a song about one of the tastiest dessert dishes ever created could be the basis for a song? For that matter, who would have ever thought that it would be as entertaining as it is? Wiser actually sings about making banana pudding and the joy of getting to eat the creation. It’s so upbeat and poppy that it will have listeners salivating like Pavlov’s dogs, wanting to run out and make their own banana pudding. That’s how infectious this song proves to be. It’s one more wonderful reason to check out the Sugar Free Allstars’ new Record Store Day vinyl.

The two songs contained on The Sugar Free Allstars’ new Record Store Day release are two great reasons to check out this record. If they aren’t enough for listeners, the disc’s wild artwork will grab listeners just as much. The disc looks like it’s been tie-dyed. It perfectly reflects the songs on the disc. That throwback design will instantly put listeners in a retro state of mind, thus setting the stage for the musical fun that is to come on the disc. Audiences will be able to see that wild retro disc design and hear the equally fun retro style songs on Vinyl 45 when they get out to their local indie record store April 19th. And fans in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma will even get to see Wiser and Martin performing live at Guestroom Records when the duo performs there in celebration of their new release. Needless to say whether or not one gets to see The Sugar Free Allstars, any parent out there should give this vinyl a chance. It will take them back to a better time. It will also take their children back to a better day, and give them their own joy in listening to music in its purest form. The record will be available in limited quantities. So it will be available on a first come first serve basis. Parents should make sure they pick up their copy early.

More information on the Sugar Free Allstars is available online at http://www.facebook.com/SugarFreeAllStars, http://www.sugarfreeallstars.com and http://twitter.com/sfas. 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.

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ronnie-James-Dio-This-Your/dp/B00IACUO8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396440364&sr=1-1&keywords=dio+this+is+your+life and can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ronnie-james-dio-this-is-your/id829325064.

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio and http://www.ronniejamesdio.com. 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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Now What?! Re-Issue A Must Have For Any Purist Deep Purple Fan

Courtesy:  E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: E.A.R. Music

Deep Purple is one of modern music’s most beloved and respected bands. The UK based band has been making music for some forty-five years. In that time, the band’s members—Its current lineup consists of Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar), and Don Airey (keyboards)—have crafted no fewer than eighteen albums. Considering all of the band’s lineup changes and side projects through the years, the very fact that the band has churned out nearly twenty albums is quite the statement of its staying power. Last year, Deep Purple’s most current lineup released album number nineteen in the form of Now What?! That album was met by critics and audiences alike with largely positive reviews. Fans that enjoyed that album—the band’s first in eight years—will enjoy just as much its newly expanded re-issue, which is available now.

Now What?! Gold Edition gives audiences more than its share to applaud. Those that haven’t picked up this recent re-issue first because it presents Now What?! in its entirety.  It also includes a second bonus track versus the single bonus track included in the album’s original release.  The re-issue’s added bonus track, titled ‘First Sign of Madness’ is a fun, up-tempo piano driven rocker that is certain to impress every listener.  Front man Ian Gillan sings against keyboardist Don Airey’s almost manic performance, “Somebody tell me why I’m talkin’ to myself/Haven’t listened to a word I say/Nor does anyone else/Somebody asked me/If I have any doubt/Well maybe yes/Maybe no/It’s something to think about.”  Airey’s work on the keys gives the song a light, not so serious vibe.  And Roger Glover’s low end set alongside the equally driving drumming of Ian Paice completes the song.  It all gels, making this a fitting closer to the album.  It isn’t the only impressive piece that the band includes on this album.  Audiences will also enjoy the funky, sexually charged song that is ‘Bodyline.’

‘Bodyline’ is a great addition to What Now?!  As Gillan explains in the album’s liner notes, the influence of the song was the silhouette of a woman he saw on the classic TV show Tales of the Unexpected.  He explained that the silhouette of what appeared to be a naked woman dancing in the flames was used in the show’s opening sequence.  He adds that this was when he was much younger.  That would explain the song’s swing and its energy.  Every male in his youth goes through that stage of puberty where his hormones are raging uncontrollably.  And that is essentially what is being described here.  Gillan sings in the song, “I’ve been watching you dancin’ all night long/Your legs go on forever/Exquisite synchronicity/But they never stay together/My head is spinning keeping focus on my whirling dervish/I don’t know who you are/But I’m enslaved and at your service/It’s your bodyline.”  What makes this even more interesting is that while the silhouette of a woman on TV was the influence behind such a verse, that same sexual energy makes this song just as much a hit in the clubs.

The songs included on the primary release of Now What?! are a big part of what made that release so enjoyable.  Now with its re-issue a new aspect has been added to the album that makes it even more album.  That aspect—a dual pronged aspect—is the newly included What Now?! Live Tapes.  The bonus disc and its companion booklet take Deep Purple fans out on the road with the band.  Whether the band has ever come to a fan’s town or not, this bonus live recording is a wonderful addition to the overall presentation.

The songs culled for this recording were recorded throughout the band’s 2013 “Now What?! World Tour.”  They do an impressive job of representing the band’s history.  And the audio mix of the recordings is just as impressive.  It would have been so easy to simply put together a slapdash recording and call it a bonus disc.  E.A.R. Music and the band’s members had more respect than that for the band’s legacy and its fans.  The audio is crystal clear on each song.  Add that to the fact that the song selection is such an impressive cross section of the band’s catalog and it makes this disc even more of a bonus for fans.  Speaking of that cross section, it would have been just as easy for those charged with the recording’s production to simple toss in each song and make them separate.  But they didn’t do that, either.  The transitions from song to song are clear and solid.  If one didn’t know that each song came from a different point on the band’s tour, one would have no idea that that was the fact.  The solid transitions between songs make this grouping of recordings feel like the entire show was recorded at one single venue.  Again, this is a minor issue on the surface.  On a deeper level though, it is quite the important piece to the overall recording’s presentation.  Those charged with assembling the recording and presenting it are well deserving of praise for their work.  Just as deserving of praise are those charged with assembling the companion booklet that comes with the bonus live recording compilation.

The companion booklet that comes with the bonus live recording compilation is the finishing touch to Deep Purple’s What Now?! Gold Edition.  For starters, it provides more than just the standard, stale liner notes.  It actually makes a person want to find out the whole presentation’s “W”’s (The who, what, when, where).  It also provides audiences with some personal insight from the band on each of the album’s eleven primary tracks.  Also included is a collage of albums featuring the band on the covers, as well as full color photos of the band on tour.  Some of those photos were also included in the main album’s companion booklet, but weren’t in color.  So seeing those same photos in full color brings them to life. And they make the experience all the richer.  Together with the bonus live recording compilation and the original album, the bonus companion booklet is the final touch on a rare worthwhile re-issue from any band across the board.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/What-Gold-Edition-Deep-Purple/dp/B00F9K3VSO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1385497926&sr=8-3&keywords=deep+purple.  More information on this new release, news from the band and more is available online at http://www.deep-purple.com and http://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple.  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.

Thorogood & Company Put On A Real Rock Party In Their First Ever Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds formed a new landmark business partnership a year or so ago.  The partnership in question allowed Eagle Rock distribution rights for a number of new and archived shows that were recorded at what is one of music’s most revered festivals.  And the recordings in question have been nothing short of impressive.  From the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Etta James to newer acts such as The Raconteurs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has seen some of the industry’s top names take its storied stages.  Now, one more piece of the legendary festival’s history has been released to the masses in the form of George Thorogood & The Destroyers Live at Montreux 2013.  The concert, which was recorded this past July, marked the first time that Thorogood and his band mates—Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (guitar/vocals), and Buddy Leach (saxophone)–had ever performed at the venue.  And Thorogood himself makes note of his excitement at getting to finally perform at Montreux after more than two decades.  That excitement pored over throughout the band’s entire performance, too.  It’s one of the key factors of this recording that makes it so fun to take in.  The band’s set list is another reason that fans will enjoy this recording.  Thorogood and his band mates hit on every one of their major hit songs.  There is even a tribute to Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure.  If that isn’t enough for fans, the combination of the recording’s bonus interview and companion booklet will push the recording over the top.  They, along with the set list and the band’s performance, make this recording one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.

George Thorogood has been making music and performing for over four decades.  So it comes as quite the surprise that 2013 marked the first time that he and his band mates played the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The festival, which started out mainly as a venue for the top names in jazz and blues, has grown each year to incorporate bands and artists from across the musical spectrum.  Thorogood and his band mates obviously held no ill will toward festival organizers when they took the stage at the festival.  Thorogood makes no bones concerning his excitement at finally being invited to perform at Montreux.  His positive energy isn’t confined to just that one moment, either.  From the high energy opener that is ‘Rock Party’ to hits like ‘I Drink Alone’, ‘Bad to the Bone’, and ‘Madison Blues’, the band exudes so much energy and excitement.  The audience in attendance feeds off of every bit of that excitement, too.  The mutual sharing of excitement and energy can be felt even by viewers watching this recording from the comfort of their own living rooms or bedrooms.  Home viewers may even find themselves feeding off of that excitement, dancing around and playing air guitar, etc.  That shows just how much fun Thorogood and company make their performance for all of their audiences.  Home viewers will discover this for themselves when they order or purchase the recording for themselves on DVD and Blu-ray.

The positive energy and excitement exuded by Thorogood and company is key to the overall enjoyment of this recording.  Whether one is seeing the concert for the first time or reliving the concert again, everybody can agree that the band’s stage performance alone is enough reason to take in this concert.  Just as important to the overall enjoyment of this concert recording is the set list chosen for the performance.  Fans won’t be disappointed at the set list chosen for the concert.  The veteran rockers included all of their fan favorites over the course of the near ninety-minute set.  From the likes of ‘I Drink Alone’ to the band’s now famous cover of John Lee Hooker’s ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ to the Johnny Cash tribute in ‘Cocaine Blues’, the band leaves little if anything on the table.  Audiences will especially appreciate that in the tribute to the late country singer, Thorogood actually seems to channel him.  He actually sounds like Cash, vocally speaking, at points in the song.  The same can be said of his guitar work, too.  It is just one of so many high points offered throughout the course of the concert.  And it’s just one more part of what makes the recording as a whole so enjoyable for audiences of all ages.  It’s not the last, either.  The bonus interview and companion booklet included in with the DVD and Blu-ray put the finishing touch on this recording.

The songs chosen for this concert and the band’s performance collectively make up the most important and impressive part of this latest recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  There is still one part of the overall presentation of this recording that puts it over the top.  That last part ifs the collective bonus interview and companion booklet.  The show’s bonus sit-down with Thorogood shows that the persona presented on stage was as real as it comes.  Audiences get even more insight into his excitement over playing Montreux at long last.  And through the show’s companion booklet, audiences get a brief history of Thorogood’s career leading up to his performance at Montreux.  Audiences will be interested to learn that along with George Thorogood and The Destroyers, ZZ Top was at Montreux this year, as were Prince, Sting, Ben Harper, Deep Purple, Leonard Cohen, and so many others.  It’s just a tiny piece of the whole history that audiences will enjoy learning in reading through the included literature.  And together with everything already mentioned, that history and the bonus interview make this presentation complete.  It all collectively makes this latest release one more huge success from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-At-Montreux-2013-Blu-ray/dp/B00FFLBXJQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1387537259&sr=1-1&keywords=george+thorogood+%26+the+destroyers+live+at+montreux+2013.  More information on this and other concerts in Eagle Rock’s ongoing Montreux series of concerts is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.