Little Feat’s New Live Record One Big Feat

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.  The London based company has proven time and again in its near two decades in operation why it is more than deserving of that title.  Most recently, live recordings from the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dream Theater, and Sir Paul McCartney have shown just why Eagle Rock is the leader in live recordings.  Now with the release of Little Feat Live in Holland 1976, it continues to maintain that mantle.  This latest release, which hit stores and online outlets this week, is another success from Eagle Rock for a number of reasons.  One of those reasons is the performance itself.  It serves a number of ends in itself.  In direct relation, that Eagle Rock has provided the concert in an economic and ergonomic double-disc CD/DVD bundle makes this an even better release for audiences.  The quality of the sound and video in the presentation rounds out the whole package.  Considering that nearly four decades have passed since this performance was originally recorded, it sounds just as it did in the band’s performance back in 1976.  The efforts of those charged with transferring the recording from its original masters to CD and DVD along with the packaging and the show itself together make this record a definite candidate to be one of the first releases of 2014 to make this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Nearly four decades have passed since Little Feat’s 1976 performance at the famed Pink Pop Festival in Holland.  That festival is still going strong today almost forty-five years after it started.  Countless bands and acts have performed at Pink Pop over the course of that time.  However, it would seem that very few performances from the festival’s storied history have ever been released in their entirety. That being the case, it makes this release all the more important for lovers of music with substance.   It becomes a piece of music history, so to speak. It will take older listeners back to their younger days and the joys of going to a concert truly worth one’s time and money. And for those that have become all too comfortable with today’s constant barrage of flash-in-the-pan artists, bands, and groups, it serves as an example of what was once right with not just rock music, but music in general. It shows that real music could (and still can) be made without down-tuned guitars and indecipherable vocals or any amount of foul language and references to drugs and sex. All it needs is heart as is evident throughout every song on this outstanding concert.

It’s been noted that one of the key impacts of this recording is that it will take more experienced audiences happily back to a day when concerts were nowhere near as expensive as they are today, and were far more worth the time, too. On the other side of the coin, it shows younger audiences what once made music and concerts great and still does today especially in a live setting. Eagle Rock has presented the performance in an affordable and ergonomic package including both the audio and video portion of the band’s performance that anyone can afford. On average, the double-disc set retails for about $20. Such a price for a concert that can be enjoyed time and again instead of just once is quite the bonus. That the concert can be enjoyed both on CD and DVD is even better. And that both are presented in a space saving case makes this so much more worth one’s time and money. This is especially the case being that this concert likely isn’t currently available on vinyl. Maybe the good people at Eagle Rock should look into putting it to vinyl for those that really want the full old school concert experience. Yes, that is a hint for anyone at Eagle Rock that might read this. Getting back on topic, audiences should see quite clearly by now what makes Little Feat Live in Holland yet another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases.

Those that have yet to still see what makes Little Feat Live in Holland another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live releases, will be convinced after hearing and seeing the quality of the recording’s audio and video. Nearly four decades have passed since this concert was originally recorded. Both the audio and video from this recording have stood the test of time quite well. And those charged with transferring both from their original masters onto CD and DVD have obviously taken quite painstaking efforts to present the concert as it should be presented. For that, those individuals are to be highly commended. It’s thanks to their efforts that the ever-growing generation gap in this country will be closed a little more after audiences take the time to take in this latest live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The efforts of those charged with bringing this classic concert back to life sits alongside the recording’s packaging and its collective historical and cultural value to make it effectively one of the year’s definitive best new live recordings.

Little Feat Live in Holland 1976 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Live-Holland-1976-Little-Feat/dp/B00IPL2BCQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1398299812&sr=1-1&keywords=little+feat. More information on Little Feat and its new release is available online at http://www.facebook.com/LittleFeat, http://www.littlefeat.net and http://www.featbase.net. 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.

May & Ellis’ Candlelight Concerts Recording Another Huge Hit For Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment and its visual division, Eagle Vision, have been at the front of the line in live recordings in recent years thanks to releasing so many big, bombastic concerts on DVD and Blu-ray. So it goes without saying that Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is quite the departure for Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision. That’s not a bad thing, either. While it features Queen guitarist Brian May alongside one of the most powerful voices in Broadway’s modern history, the references to Queen are kept to a minimum throughout the course of the concert. That is the most important factor in what makes this latest release from Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision so worth the time. Another reason that audiences will appreciate this new recording is its audio and video mix. The high quality video and audio mix (both on the Blu-ray and CD) maintain Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision’s long-held standard of releasing only the best quality concerts to audiences. And making everything complete for this latest recording is its packaging. Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts has been made available to consumers in a double-disc Blu-ray/CD combo pack in a single package. This allows audiences to take in the performance in whole without having to choose which one they would want more. It may be a slightly higher price. But in the long-term, it’s more cost effective for those wanting the full concert experience. All of the factors noted here make Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts yet another huge success from the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is not a Queen concert. That’s not to say that there are no Queen songs featured throughout the course of the set’s CD and Blu-ray. As a matter of fact, some of Queen’s biggest hits including ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’ are part of the performance. But by and large, this performance features covers of other songs, and even a couple original tunes. One of the most powerful of the performance’s moments comes in Ellis’ cover of ‘The Way We Were.’ The song, made popular by singer/actress Barbara Streisand in the 1973 movie by the same name. As Ellis notes before performing her take on the song, it’s more commonly performed with a full orchestral backing, even in the movie’s soundtrack. It gains a whole new identity in this completely stripped down setting. On the other end of the spectrum, May and Ellis presented a stripped down song in ‘The Kissing Me Song’ that absolutely cries out for a full band setting. Any drummers and percussionists out there will agree with this drummer that there is a stunning polyrhythmic drum track just waiting to come out in this piece. One can even hear a tambourine part echoing in the background. Making the song even more interesting is that it is an original piece, instead of a cover. It would be interesting to see if the pair ever re-works the tune for a full band setting. Moving on, there is at least one more high point in this performance in terms of the show’s set list that audiences will appreciate. That last high point is the duo’s take on ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Despite being in a stripped down setting, it is just as enjoyable in this setting as on record. And experiencing the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to the song makes it all the more enjoyable for viewers watching it in their homes. It has just as much energy here as in any other setting. As enjoyable as this moment is, it isn’t the last of the show’s many high points. There are plenty more moments from which audiences will get to choose when they purchase or order the combo pack for themselves.

The set list chosen for this penultimate performance of May and Ellis’ “By Candlelight Tour” is central to the enjoyment of this recording. Those hoping for a stripped down Queen set will be sadly disappointed since it isn’t a Queen set. For those more open-minded, they will deeply appreciate the variety of songs included in the show. The songs would be nothing without the expert work of those behind the cameras and soundboard. Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have maintained a high standard for their live recordings for some time. And this recording is no exception to that rule. The picture and sound are both crystal clear. And the angles used in the camera work expertly capture the emotion of both performers in the rather intimate setting. It adds so much depth to the overall presentation, making it even more worth checking out.

The set list and overall production values of Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts are both pivotal elements to the overall presentation of this recording. Both go hand in hand in making the whole thing worth the time and money. There is still at least one more element worth noting about this set. That aspect is the recording’s packaging itself. Eagle Rock, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records have come together to make the set available to the masses not as separate release, but as one entire package. On the surface, this might drive up the price of the set a bit. But in the long run, it actually saves money and the time trying to decide which is more important. Eagle Rock is actually serving its customers by combining the CD and Blu-ray into a full double-disc set. What’s more, each of the two discs gets its own spot on either side of the Blu-ray’s case. That saves space and in turn, helps to keep the cost of the set down. And that combined with the show’s outstanding production values, and equally outstanding set list makes it one more huge success from the company that more than deserves the title of being the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Candelight-Concerts-Live-Montreux-Blu-ray/dp/B00I60VY56/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396512611&sr=1-1&keywords=brian+may+kerry+ellis. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records 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.

Eagle Rock’s New Doors Documentary A Whole New Look At A Legendary Band

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment has released a number of pieces centered on The Doors in recent year.  Between the likes of Mr. Mojo Risin’ to Live at The Hollywood Bowl to this most recent release, Eagle Rock has painted a fully vivid picture of just what continues to make this band beloved by fans of all ages decades after the band’s final performance. R-Evolution is another special addition to Eagle Rock’s growing catalogue of recordings and documentaries from The Doors for a number of reasons.  The primary reason for its success is that it examines the band from an angle which it has never done so before.  That angle is how the band evolved over time in the public spotlight of television. Audiences get to see the band performing its hits on the likes of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Jonathan Winters Show, and so many others.  These performances offer a whole new glimpse into the band.  Making this latest release even more enjoyable is its compliment of bonus features.  Included with both the DVD and Blu-ray presentation of R-Evolution are: an extra near hour-long documentary as well as a bonus live performance of ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side).  That’s not all that fans get, either from the included bonus.  The real highlight of the bonus features will be discussed at more length later.  The last aspect of Eagle Rock’s latest in its ongoing tribute to The Doors that makes it so worthwhile for fans of this groundbreaking band is that it will be available in both a standard and deluxe edition when it is released later this month.  It’s the last part of what makes this latest release a must have for any true fan of The Doors.

The first aspect of R-Evolution that audiences will appreciate is the fact that it presents the band in a fashion like never before.  Eagle Rock has shown the band from a personal level in Mr. Mojo Risin’.  It has shown the band in its natural live setting in Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  Now, fans of this groundbreaking band see the band grow through the use of television in this release.  Knowing the band’s reputation—and especially that of its equally legendary front man Jim Morrison—it’s kind of odd to see Morrison and his band mates dressed so prim and proper early on in its performance on Shebang.  Here was a band that was the antithesis of bands like The Beatles dressed almost like John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  The change in the band is obvious as the years pass.  It’s especially interesting to see the remaining band members perform in the post-Morrison years.  It’s something that audiences can only appreciate by seeing for themselves.  It should be noted on the side that there is some brief nudity in the main presentation.  So viewers should use their discretion in viewing it.

The performances themselves that have been culled for this musical documentary are of course the foundation of its success.  They aren’t however the only part of its success.  Making this latest release even more of a joy for fans of The Doors is the extensive bonus features included as part of the whole.  Audiences are treated to a bonus live performance of ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)’ as part of the collective bonuses.  Also included as a bonus is a near hour-long documentary on The Doors titled ‘Break Through The Lens.’  This documentary adds more depth to the songs and performances included in the main feature. It also serves to expand on the Doors documentaries already released by Eagle Rock Entertainment in recent years.  As nice as these additions are, the real gem of R-Evolution’s bonuses is the picture-in-picture commentary. The option of having PIP allows viewers to take in the main feature all while taking in the remaining Doors members’ thoughts on the recordings.  It knocks down two obstacles at one time.  For that addition, those behind R-Evolution are to be highly commended.

Those behind R-Evolution are to be commended for making available PIP commentary.  They are just as worthy of praise for the last factor in this presentation’s success.  That factor is the availability of R-Evolution in both standard edition and deluxe edition.  R-Evolution has been made available both in standard edition and expanded deluxe edition on both Blu-ray and DVD.  The deluxe edition comes complete with a bonus forty-page booklet loaded with trivia on the band, photos, lyrics and so much more.  This collection of extras is well worth the extra cost for any true blooded Doors fan.  Regardless of whether one picks up the standard or deluxe edition of R-Evolution, there is no denying that this upcoming musical documentary is quite the way for Eagle Rock Entertainment to kick off 2014.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment 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 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.

“Concerto” Documentary A Fitting Tribute To Lord’s Memory

Courtesy:   Eagle  Rock Entertainment/Thompson Music/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Thompson Music/E.A.R. Music

When Metallica recorded its now fan favorite live album S&M with the San Francisco Symphony, that recording was lauded by fans and critics alike. The praise showered on the band was fully justified. It was considered by some to be a groundbreaking performance because it was the coming together of two entirely separate musical worlds. What many people might not know is that S&M was not in fact the first time that the two worlds have come together. Former Deep Purple member Jon Lord crafted and performed his now famous Concerto for Group and Orchestra almost forty-five years ago in 1969. That performance was truly groundbreaking. Sadly, cancer claimed Lord in July of 2012. Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment though, Lord’s opus finally saw the light of day that same year. And now again thanks to Eagle Rock, audiences are taken even deeper into Lord’s majestic and magical composition thanks to a new documentary on that record. There is a lot to like about this recently released documentary. The documentary’s behind-the-scenes main feature is the main portion of what audiences will appreciate in this release.  Audiences are provided a history of Lord’s original performance of his opus in order to set up the more recent recording session.  As part of the recording process, viewers will also get to hear from some big names that helped bring the recording to life. Audiences will also appreciate that not only are they taken behind the scenes of the recording’s birth, but they are also provided with two opportunities to hear the recording in the new Blu-ray presentation.  It is included both as a bonus feature on the Blu-ray itself, and as its own separate CD as even more of a bonus.  All of this taken into consideration makes the documentary on Jon Lord’s Concert for Group & Orchestra quite the interesting work.

Far too many record labels in today’s music industry add “making of documentaries” to their new albums and try to pawn them off on fans as something special.  The problem is that so few of those “documentaries” in question are really worth the extra money shelled out by hard working audiences.  Jon Lord: Concerto for Group& is not one of those releases.  This documentary gives audiences a full history of the former Deep Purple member’s iconic song, from its very first ever performance in 1969 at the famed Royal Albert Hall to its first non-live recording in 2012.  Audiences see just how much work went into putting his composition to record.  It’s a fitting tribute to the musician, who sadly lost his battle with cancer just last year.  From the initial setup to the recording of each part and everything in-between, viewers will see that this isn’t just another one of those albums where each part was recorded separately in different studios.  This understanding will generate a whole new appreciation for the song and everything that went into actually doing a “studio” recording of it.  This applies to listeners that are both more familiar with Lord’s work and those that might be less so.

Along the course of the documentary, viewers get to hear from some of the biggest names in the rock world that took part in the recording process.  Those names include greats such as Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and blues/rock guitar great Joe Bonamassa among so many others.  The respect shared between them and Lord is obvious through their shared commentary and by the seriousness with which they approached their respective roles in the overall composition.

The overall presentation of the documentary here is exceptional to say the least.  From the composition’s history to its first official studio recording, so much information is shared on its importance.  As impressive as the main feature is, Eagle Rock didn’t stop there.  Eagle Rock has included as a bonus for fans, the complete Concerto for Group & Orchestra both on its own CD and as a bonus feature on the primary Blu-ray disc.  And it’s not all that is included as a bonus, either.  Eagle Rock has exceeded expectations once again with this documentary’s bonus material.  Also included as bonus material is are interviews with Paul Mann and Marco de Groeji.  Mann conducted the orchestra assembled for the new recording of Concerto for Group & Orchestra.  The insight that he shares is something special.  That’s because of his understanding of and appreciation for the worlds of both rock and classical, as well as for Lord himself.  His interview and that with others involved with the record’s production more than live up to the title of bonus features. Together with the documentary’s main feature, they collectively make this release one that transcends genres.  It’s one that fans of both classical and rock will enjoy. It is available now in stores and online.   More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New Tribute Concert Shows Garcia’s Lasting Legacy

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

2013 has been another banner year for Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The leader in Love Recordings has run the gamut once more this year, releasing live recordings after live recording that audiences of every age will appreciate.  Among some of the year’s best from Eagle Rock are: The Rolling Stones’ Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live, Caro Emerald: In Concert, and Miles Davis’ Live 1991 Montreux set just to name a few.  Now as the days become shorter and the year winds down, Eagle Rock has shown that it still has no plans of slowing down with its release of Move Me Brightly.  This live recording is truly a concert film in every sense.  It’s one that any and every classic rock fan will appreciate.  Classic rock fans will appreciate this recording first and foremost because it is a celebration of Jerry Garcia and his music.  It is a visual and musical tribute to a music legend.  The thing is that it isn’t Garcia.  Rather it is a collection of his fellow musicians paying homage to him and his music.  The lineup of artists included in this recording is one more reason for music lovers to check it out.  And unlike so many of the recordings released by Eagle Rock this year, it isn’t a massive arena show.  It is a much more intimate performance.  Along with the performance are short vignettes from Garcia’s fellow musicians expressing in their own words what Jerry Garcia and his music means to them personally.  Their thoughts are enlightening and moving.  The thoughts of said musicians works in conjunction with the performance itself and the list of performers to make Move Me Brightly yet another impressive live recording from Eagle Rock.  It collectively makes this a recording that any classic rock fan will want to watch at least once.

Former Grateful Dead front man and music legend Jerry Garcia would have been seventy-one years young this past August if he were still with us.  Sadly, almost two decades have passed since he left us.  Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, Garcia’s legions around the world can still celebrate his memory and music thanks to the new live recording, Move Me Brightly.  This isn’t like so many of the live recordings released by Eagle Rock so far this year.  It is a much more intimate performance recorded at Bob Weir’s TRI Studio.  That intimacy of the venue sets the tone for the concert contained on the show’s Blu-ray and DVD presentation.  The recording’s run time totals just over three hours counting the bonus performances.  Over the course of that time, fans are presented with a total of sixteen songs.  It all opens with a performance of ‘Cumberland Blues’ and proceeds into so many other greats including: ‘Shakedown Street’, ‘Days Between’, ‘U.S. Blues’ and quite a few more fan favorites.  ‘Days Between’ is one of the most moving of the recording’s moments.  That is because it comes after a recollection of the day that Jerry Garcia died.  The song’s somber, subdued sounds take on a whole new meaning, having taken in the moving story shared by just one of Garcia’s fellow musicians.  The gentle strains of a piano set against Bob Weir’s strained singing will bring a tear to any pure blooded Garcia fan’s eye.  It is but one of so many incredible moments shared in this recording.  Of course fans and audiences will find their own favorite moment(s) when they purchase or order this new live recording for themselves.

The primary concert feature included in Move Me Brightly is the most important part of the overall recording contained on this new DVD and Blu-ray.  Adding to the overall enjoyment factor is the concert’s lineup of performers.  As already noted, this isn’t just another Jerry Garcia recording or even Grateful Dead recording.  It is a tribute concert that pays respect to the memory and music of a great man.  Bob Weir is there, obviously.  Phish’s own Phil Lesh is, too along with Donna Jean Godchaux among so many others.  There are so many names from music’s past and present (and even from different rock subgenres) that it would be impossible to name them all.  But that so many different artists of so many ages and background came together in one intimate setting just goes to show the impact that Garcia and his music had and continues to have to this day.  That is a bold and wholly justified statement.  And it’s just one more reason for Dead Heads the world over to check out this recording.

Jerry Garcia’s music has had a lasting influence on the music world as a whole to this very day.  That is crystal clear by the collection of artists joined together in this recording to pay respect to his life and work.  If the amalgam of artists joined together for this concert isn’t enough for fans, then maybe the bonus interview segments will help fans make their decision on this recording.  Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction), John Doe (X), and Carlos Santana are all interviewed and asked to share their thoughts on what Jerry Garcia and his music means to them today.  They may not be performing on stage.  But their thoughts are heartfelt, thoughtful and loving.  His own former manager from the Jerry Garcia Band days even jokes warmly about keeping one of Jerry’s picks with him to this day.  He joke that he keeps it because when he finally meets Jerry again, he knows that’ll be the very first thing that Jerry asks for.  It could almost be argued to be a playful eulogistic sort of statement.  And it’s just one of so many great thoughts and memories shared by his friends and family in those vignettes.  Together with the set list, the venue, and the performers tapped to perform his songs, Move Me Brightly easily becomes a recording that every Dead Head and classic rock fan will want to see at least once.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other live recordings from Eagle Rock is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.comEagleRockEnt.  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.

Sweet Summer Sun Is A Sweet Treat For Any Rolling Stones Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has done it yet again.  Somehow some way, Eagle Rock Entertainment has raised the bar yet again for live recordings.  Eagle Rock has raised the bar yet again with its new live Rolling Stones recording, Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live.  This concert recording is one for the ages.  And it’s one for viewers of all ages.  As viewers will see, the audience in attendance numbered more than one hundred thousand, according to the notes in the recording’s bonus booklet.  That hundred thousand plus number was comprised of fans from every background and every age.  This is a big statement, and it’s just one part of what makes this recording an absolute must have for any Rolling Stones fan.  The show’s cinematography has been a point of contention among viewers.  The reality of the cinematography is that there is nothing wrong with this aspect at all.  As a matter of fact, it is another part of the whole that makes this presentation such a joy to watch.  The bonus booklet included with the recording is the final touch to the package.  It is an excellent companion to the video presentation, as audiences will see in watching what is a concert film in every sense.  It provides an in-depth backstory on the band’s history at Hyde Park, as well as highlights of the show contained in the current recording.  Together with the cinematography and the concert itself, it makes for one of the best live concert recordings overall in a very long time.

The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park performance from its “50 and Counting” tour is one for the ages and one for all ages.  Viewers that purchase this recording will see that among the one hundred thousand plus in attendance were concert goers of all ages.  There were people in their forties, fifties, and potentially older.  There were people in their twenties and thirties, too.  At one point, viewers will even see a young man that could not have been more than perhaps thirteen years old.  How many bands today can command an audience of over one hundred thousand?  How many can say that they command an audiences of such size and of such a wide age range at the same time?  This speaks loudly to just how popular and respected Mick Jagger and company are, even half a century after they first broke through and hit it big.  The songs and the performance of the band only make this hit even harder.  The audience in attendance was treated to rather wide array of songs from throughout the band’s career, starting fittingly with “Start Me Up.”  “Honky Tonk Women”, “Midnight Rambler”, and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” are all there too along with plenty more songs to which even home audiences will find themselves ancing and singing.  The ironic thing of this show is that the band closes out the main concert feature with a performance of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  It’s pretty obvious that the band got plenty of satisfaction, as did the audience in attendance.  The same can be said of those that watch the concert both on DVD and Blu-ray.

The band’s performance and the vast size and age range of the audience at the Stones’ Hyde Park concert is in itself a big statement.  Making that statement even bolder is the concert’s cinematography.  There are those that have criticized this recording for its cinematography.  The biggest complaints are that the shots are too quick and that there aren’t enough close up shots of the band.  But those that complain obviously haven’t taken the full extent of the cinematography into account.  It’s that same cinematography that captures the full immensity of the audience in attendance.  The aerial angles used throughout the concert show the contrast of that massive crowd against the band on stage.  Those shots taken from behind the band are just as powerful.  They drive home the sheer size of the audience.  It makes even more incredible the fact that the band could command such an immense audience.  And then there are the “crowd shots.”  These shots are taken more from the angle of the crowd.  The shots taken from higher up show the massive size of the stage setup.  The wider the angle of those shots, the more it hits home to viewers just how large the stage set really was.

The cinematography and the overall immensity of the show truly make Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live a once in a lifetime concert in every sense of the term.  There’s still something else to consider that puts this latest live recording over the top.  That last aspect is the recording’s bonus booklet.  The booklet that comes with the recording gives viewers an in-depth look at the band’s history at Hyde Park.  It includes a full rundown of the concert contained on the new presentation’s disc.  That introduction helps to set up the recording in question.  There is also a handful of pictures peppered throughout the booklet that were taken during the newer of the band’s Hyde Park performances.  The history and the pictures make the booklet an invaluable addition to the overall presentation of this new release.  It is one more part of the whole that makes this release an absolute must have for any Rolling Stones fan.  The DVD, Blu-ray, and CD presentation of Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live are all available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Green’s New Live BD Shows He Still Has His Own “Voice”

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

CeeLo Green has become one of the most famous figures in the entertainment industry ever since joining the judges’ panel on NBC’s hit singing competition show, The Voice. As entertaining as he is on that show, many might not know or recall that before joining the ranks of The Voice, Green was a music star first. Now thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, audiences that might have forgotten this will be reminded of his own singing talent and stage presence with the new live Blu-ray, Loberace: Live in Vegas. Green is a vocal powerhouse throughout the hour-plus performance. It’s just one aspect of the show that audiences will appreciate in taking the time to watch the whole thing. There are also some surprises throughout the show including Green’s own attempts at comedy and even a surprise guest appearance or two. Audiences also get a bonus with this new recording in a first person “interview” with Green.

CeeLo Green spends most of his time these days mentoring young hopeful singers how to better themselves in hopes of earning a lucrative record deal.  But as he shows in his new live recording, he has his own talent and stage presence.  Whether he’s belting out ‘Crazy’ or ‘Fool For You’, or getting the crowd worked up with his take on ‘Don’t Cha’ Green shows the extent of his talents relatively well throughout the show.  Green covers songs from across his career throughout the performance, even going all the way back to his days with Goodie Mob.  He shows in going so far back that he isn’t the least bit rusty.  He owns the stage when he breaks into his medley of Goodie Mob hits and even more recent songs.  At one point, he even rises above the stage on a hydraulic platform made up to look like a pulpit, lightning flashing on the big screen behind him as he sings.  Despite his stature, this one moment alone makes him appear larger than life.  It’s one of the show’s most memorable moments.  His performance alone is quite the eye opener.  But it’s not all that will keep audiences engaged throughout the show.  CeeLo brought along some special guests for his show that will have some audiences cheering.

Green’s own performance recorded in this presentation is of course the main point of interest for viewers.  But his isn’t the only performance of which audiences will take note.  Also included in the performance are surprise appearances by Boy George and some other rather familiar faces, too.  ON a side note, Green jokes in the recording’s bonus “interview” segment that he believes it was George and not an imitator on stage.  He’s obviously joking around here, knowing full well that it was in fact the real Boy George.  But this light hearted moment is one of plenty more that audiences will find make the bonus “interview” a nice bonus to the overall presentation.  Getting back on topic,   George makes his appearance early in the concert to perform a handful of his hits, including: ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’, ‘It’s a Miracle’, and ‘Karma Chameleon.’  Many of CeeLo’s fans might be just as surprised to discover that Green openly praises George, stating that George was a big influence on him as a musician.  Later in the show, Green is joined by a rather well known artist for a performance of ‘Le Freak (Freak Out).  The surprise guest appearance here and in the Goodie Mob Medley will have any viewer on their feet and dancing.

The surprise guest appearances and Green’s own performance together make Green’s Vegas show quite the interesting experience to say the least.  It should be noted here that the performance overall is not appropriate for younger viewers.  So parents of younger children would do well to not have it on around them.  Getting back on track, there’s one last aspect of the overall presentation to examine here.  That aspect is the bonus “interview” segment.  Green shares his thoughts on the show, and having Boy George and others do special guest appearances among other topics.  He goes into a little bit of depth about how he came to decide on the setup for his show.  He notes how his decision on the set was the result of this generation being the ADD generation, and how he had to find a way to keep audiences’ attention.  He definitely does just that.  He shares his thoughts on much more.  But audiences will have to find out for themselves what he covers in his “interview” when they pick up this new Blu-ray recording for themselves.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Stan Getz Live Is A Tribute To The Legacies Of Both Getz And Nobs

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Claude Nobs started what is today one of the most respected festivals in the music world over forty five years ago when he founded the Montreux Jazz Festival.  Little did he know at the time that it would grow to be what it has become today.  It has grown from hosting the world’s best jazz artists and groups to being the venue that every band and artist across the spectrum dreams of playing.  It has indeed hosted some of the best of the best and some of the best to be, as is evidenced through the deal made between Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The deal between the two companies has garnered some of the best live recordings to date.  It has also helped Eagle Rock maintain its place at the front of the class in terms of live recordings.  And it has continued to do so with the release of a recording that is a classic Montreux performance in every form of the word.  The recording in question is of the late great sax player Stan Getz.  The recording in question is taken from Getz’s very first ever performance at Montreux in 1972.  He is joined by two other very highly respected jazz artists in keyboardists Chick Corea and drummer Tony Williams.  Along with bassist Stanley Clarke, the quartet’s performance stands as a true tribute the legacy of not only the Montreux Jazz Festival, but to its now dearly departed founder, Claude Nobs.  Mr. Nobs would have been proud to see this recording finally see the light of day.  And so will true jazz lovers, too.

True lovers of jazz will appreciate this recording for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons is the backstory provided by Corea himself in the DVD’s bonus booklet.  Corea states in the bonus liner notes that the quartet seen in this recording was also the group that ended up going out on tour with Getz prior to the show in 1971.  According to Corea, Getz was planning to go out on the road in ’71, but had no band with which to tour.  After making some contacts, the group presented here is the group that toured together.  It’s obvious that during that tour, a bond had formed between the band members.  Getz pulls back time and again throughout the roughly hour long set, allowing his band mates to get their time in the spotlight and then some.  It was his quiet way of telling the audiences that the show wasn’t about him.  It was about everyone on stage.  Again, this is echoed through the sentiments shared in the DVDs bonus booklet.  Corea shares so much insight on how he came to be friends with Getz and on how the group grew as friends and individuals.  So few people take the time to read liner notes, etc. on DVDs, Blu-rays, and CDs.  But this is one of those examples of why those booklets and liner notes aren’t always just wasted ink.  It helps to make this show more than just a recording.  Because of those liner notes, it becomes a fully immersive musical experience and equally important historical document of sorts.

The bonus booklet included with Stan Getz: Live at Montreux 1972 is but one part of what makes this live recording so enjoyable is the performance of the band.  As Corea noted in the bonus booklet, the band seen in this recording is the same band that toured with Getz the previous year.  What’s so amazing about the performance is that while the band had already played a handful of shows through 1971, just watching the band’s members perform together here one would think that they were playing together for the first time.  There was so much energy among the entire group in every song.  Williams’ drumming was completely off the charts.  It goes without saying that his playing is something to which EVERY drummer today should aspire.  The precision yet seeming controlled chaos of what he did is awe inspiring, even today.  And Getz’s own performance on the likes of ‘La Fiesta’ is just as incredible.  He proved that he was just as talented playing rather up-tempo pieces as he was playing slower pieces, like ‘Lush Life’ and the show’s opener, ‘Captain Marvel.’  The way that his fingers moved on ‘La Fiesta’, one would expect them to get tangled among themselves.  And his breath control, handling such long strains is incredible.  That set against his chops on the set’s slower songs proves why he is still so revered among jazz artists and musicians overall even today.  Corea exhibits his own talent throughout the show.  Again, it is something audiences must see for themselves to fully appreciate.  And appreciate it they will when they pick up this performance both on DVD and CD.  That’s right.  It’s available not only on DVD, but CD, too.  This is another positive to the recording’s overall presentation.

Stan Getz: Live at Montreux 1972 is a stunning tribute both to the legacy of Stan Getz and his band mates, and to the festival’s late founder, Claude Nobs.  The DVD presentation alone is outstanding for a variety of reasons.  Two of those reasons are already listed off here.  It is put over the top thanks to the inclusion of a solely CD recording as well.  This is hardly the first time that Eagle Rock has included a CD recording as an option for its live recordings.  As a matter of fact, Eagle Rock has done so with pretty much every live recording that it has released to date.  So why is this performance so important on both DVD and CD?  It is important because it completes the documentation of this classic performance and solidifies even more both the talents of the musicians presented here and the legacy of the Montreux Jazz Festival.  The performance is available now on both DVD and CD.  More information on this and other Montreux Jazz Festival recordings 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lady A’s “Live On This Winter’s Night” Is Enjoyable For Any Winter’s Night

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Christmas is just around the corner once again.  And that means that the annual crop of holiday CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays will start appearing on store shelves everywhere very soon if they haven’t started doing so already.  It means that there will be lots of choices for those looking to get into the holiday spirit.  Decisions, decisions.  Those that are perhaps scratching their heads about what music to pick up to bring the holiday spirit into their homes might consider Lady Antebellum’s new holiday Blu-ray, This Winter’s Night.  The new blu-ray is the companion piece to the band’s new holiday CD by the same name.  And it is certain to warm any listener’s home and heart this holiday season when they watch it whether by themselves or with those they love.  The trio’s performance was recorded at Nashville, Tennessee’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.  The venue itself was stunning.  And set against the band’s more quaint stage setup, it made for quite the overall effect on the overall presentation.  Speaking of the overall presentation, the trio’s chosen set list is also an important part of the show’s overall presentation.  And it most certainly impresses for those looking for the season’s more familiar sounds.  Add in the bonus music video and acoustic performances, and audiences get in This Winter’s Night, a full holiday performance that will be a favorite this and every holiday season.

Those charged with developing the setting for This Winter’s Night did quite the job with their responsibilities.  Those individuals made the stage setup at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center look just as cozy as that of NBC’s annual holiday show at Rockefeller Center.  The difference is that because it was indoors, it was only done on a smaller scale.  Ironically, it was that smaller scale presentation that made the show feel so much more intimate even for home audiences.  The use of the faux trees, the lighting, and the mid-size string ensemble together established the intended intimate feeling.  This is made even more impressive as it is set against the Schermerhorn’s openness.  And the set list chosen by Lady Antebellum for the show only served to heighten that feeling even more.

The set list chosen for This Winter’s Night is comprised largely of standards that any listener will recognize and enjoy.  There are also a couple of original songs written by the trio in the form of ‘This Christmas’ and the performance’s title song.  Audiences will enjoy these two songs just as much as the standards included in the performance.  Among the performances highlights are the trio’s performances of ‘Silent Night’, A Holly Jolly Christmas’, and the updated take on Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas.’  ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’ opens the concert, which comes in at just under an hour.  It’s a fun mid-tempo take on the original that’s certain to get any viewer dancing along at home.  The same can be said of the updated take on ‘Blue Christmas.’  This is a key moment in the performance because instead of going with the much more melancholy vibe established by the original song, the group went with a more upbeat almost swing style feeling for their take on it.  This gives the song a whole new meaning.  And the group’s take on ‘Silent Night’ to close the concert is certain to leave not a single dry eye among viewers.  This is one of the most beautiful and powerful songs among the canon of holiday songs.  The band does it full justice with its take on the song.  And having the audience in attendance singing at the song’s end without the string ensemble or the band makes it all the more impactful.  These are just a few examples of what this recording has to offer.  There are plenty of others to which audiences will lean.  But audiences will have to find out for themselves which songs they like most when they pick up this new release on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as CD.

The set list and the overall setup of the show on This Winter’s Night work in tandem to make it a memorable show for audiences.  This is regardless of whether one is a hardcore fan of Lady Antebellum or is just a fan of the holiday standards.  They play the primary role in this recording’s overall success.  There is still one piece of the overall presentation that must be examined, however.  That final piece is the presentation’s bonus features.  Audiences that watch through the main concert will notice short vignettes between songs.  Some of those vignettes introduce the song to be performed next.  Audiences get the full songs in question as part of the bonus features.  They are full acoustic, almost music video style performances of said songs.  The bonus acoustic performances included are: ‘Blue Christmas’, ‘The First Noel’, ‘Silent Night (Lord of my life)’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, and ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas.’  The last of t hose songs in question also has its own whimsical music video included as a bonus feature, too.  Audiences will love seeing the young boy in the vide trying to get a kiss from Lady Antebellum’s own Hillary Scott.  The end result will have anyone laughing.  As even more bonus, audiences are also treated to a behind-the-scenes and “Making of” featurette on the music video.  These additions are the finishing touch to what is a holiday presentation sure to warm any home and heart this holiday season.  It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.

Lady Antebellum is currently touring in support of both its new holiday release and its most recent full length studio release, Golden.  The band will perform at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS this Friday, November 8th.  The band will also make a stop at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina next January.  The band is scheduled to perform at the PNC Arena on Friday, January 10th at 7pm.  It also has a performance scheduled for Saturday, April 26th at Charlotte, NC’s Time Warner Cable Arena. Audiences and fans can get the most current list of the band’s tour dates, news, and more online at http://www.facebook.com/ladyantebellum and http://www.ladyantebellum.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 Phi’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.