Eagle Rock Goes Two For Two With Stones, Clapton Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eric Clapton has been making music for the better part of his life, going all the way back to his teen years.  That is a very long time.  Throughout the course of his career as a musician, he has played with some of the biggest acts and names in the business.  But as audiences learn in his new tour documentary Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric Clapton may be eyeing slowing down or even retirement in whole as he nears his seventieth birthday.  It is sad news that one of the greatest talents to ever pick up a guitar may be putting it down in the not too distant future.  But when that day does come, at least audiences will have a whole room’s worth of music that he has recorded over the course of his career.  They will also have plenty of live recordings to look back on including this latest one, which was released just this week.  Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric was released this week via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It was released alongside another archived live recording from Eagle Rock in the form of From The Vault—The Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum Live in 1981.  Clapton’s new live recording is one that his fans new and old alike will appreciate for a number of reasons, first of which being the overall presentation.  The overall presentation is one part documentary and one part live concert.  The balance between the two elements is something truly important to note.  Keeping on that line of thought, the documentary element and the live element both make the overall presentation will impact audiences in the best way possible.  Last but not least of all are the collective production values of the presentation’s live element.  It is just as impressive as any full live recording that Eagle Rock Entertainment has previously released. The end result of these factors together is a work that is not just some space filler for fans.  It is a work that expertly presents what could be the beginning of the end for one of the greatest names and talents in music’s modern history.  If it is indeed the beginning of the end, this this is a wonderful way to remember a great musician and his equally great career.  It proves in the end to be one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is still to this day, the leader in live recordings.

Tour documentaries are releases used far too often by record labels and those on their rosters.  More often than not, tour documentaries are little more than pieces used for the purpose of fulfilling contractual obligations (I.E. space fillers).  It’s pretty obvious with the recordings in question when they are used as nothing but space fillers.  They are slapdash productions with guerilla style filming and little snippets of songs tossed in for good measure.  The end result is more often than not rather disappointing and hardly worth consumers’ hard-earned money.  Luckily for Eric Clapton’s fans, Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric is anything but another of that mass of space fillers.  Rather it is the polar opposite of those space fillers.  It expertly balances Clapton’s live performances from his tour of Asia and the Middle East with personal interview segments to make a whole that will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish.  Rather than just throwing in a bunch of concert snippets alongside the tour documentary, audiences are presented with a grand total of twelve full live performances from different points of his tour earlier this year.  The recording’s final two songs are also full songs, used almost as a form of encore of sorts for audiences.  On the documentary side, audiences get short glimpses into his travels across Asia and the Middle East.  Interviews with Clapton himself, his family, and his fellow musicians make up the majority of the documentary side of the presentation.  Both they and the songs in the presentation’s live side are collectively the next part of what makes this new recording another welcome addition to any Clapton fan’s personal collection.

The balance of the live and documentary element in Eric Clapton’s new “docu-concert” is the cornerstone of the presentation’s overall success and enjoyment.  Both elements were expertly balanced from start to finish.  And both were just as expertly recorded.  It’s more proof even here why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings. This company releases nothing but the best possible product for audiences even in a setting such as this.  It’s not the only way in which the presentation here shines.  Both elements by themselves offer their own enjoyment for audiences.  On the side of the live performances, audiences are offered no fewer than a dozen great songs plus two “encore” performances.  Among those great songs is the likes of: ‘Layla,’ ‘Before You Accuse Me,’ ‘Wonderful Tonight,’ and one of his greatest of hits, ‘Cocaine’ among many others.  Audiences will love how many of the performances naturally progress from performances to full on jam sessions.  While they are separate segments, the end result of those performances makes themjust as enjoyable as a full concert in one single setting.

The performances selected for Eric Clapton’s new “docu-concert” recording are by themselves more than enough reason for audiences to check out the presentation contained here.  They aren’t just snippets shot by some amateur.  Rather they are full, professionally recorded performances.  On the presentation’s documentary side, interviews with Clapton’s family, fellow musicians and with Clapton himself add quite a bit of insight into Clapton, his career past and present, and especially his potential future plans.  Audiences will be moved at the appreciation that everybody has for Clapton both as a musician and as a person; so much so that it is sure to move some to both tears and laughter more than once throughout the course of the presentation.  It’s one more way that the overall presentation proves to be a welcome addition to any Clapton fan’s personal collection.

The balance of Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric’s documentary element and concert element alone makes the “docu-concert” quite enjoyable in its own right.  The very material that makes up each of the two elements adds even more enjoyment to the overall presentation.  The last but hardly last aspect of the presentation that audiences will appreciate is the audio and video mix of the presentation’s concert element.  It has already been noted before that one reason Eagle Rock Entertainment has maintained the mantle of being the leader in live recordings for so long is the value it puts on quality production values in its recordings.  This recording is no different.  Even with the performances coming from various portions of Clapton’s tour of Asia and the Middle East, the production values never waver from one performance to the next.  It is the finishing touch on a recording that is not just a concert recording or just another space filler tour documentary.  It is the best of both worlds with the best possible presentation.  The end product is a presentation that every fan of Eric Clapton will enjoy and one more work that shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the Leader in Live Recordings.

Eric Clapton: Planes, Trains, and Eric is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  It is available both in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

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Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release New Eric Clapton Tour Documentary

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Eric Clapton’s new tour documentary this fall.

Planes, Trains, And Eric will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, November 4th.  The film documents Clapton’s 2014 tour through the Middle East and Japan.  It features both documentation of his tour and thirteen full-length performances.  There are also interviews with Clapton and his band mates during rehearsal, soundcheck and even in the course of travelling from venue to venue.  On board for the ride on Clapton’s 2014 tour were: Paul Carrack (Hammond organ & vocals), Nathan East (bass/vocals), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Michelle Jordan (backing vocals), Shar White (backing vocals), and legendary drummer Steve Gadd (drums).  The complete listing of songs performed in this documentary is noted below.

TRACK LISTING:

1) Tell The Truth

2) Pretending

3) Crossroads

4) Driftin’

5) I Shot The Sherriff

6) Little Queen Of Spades

7) Layla

8) Wonderful Tonight

9) Key To The Highway

10) Before You Accuse Me

11) Tears In Heaven

12) Cocaine

13) Hoochie Coochie Man

14) High Time (Credits – Audio Only)

 

The documentary will retail for SRP of $19.98 on Blu-ray and $14.98 on DVD.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eagle-rock.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  More news and updates from Eric Clapton is available online at http://ericclapton.com, http://www.myspace.com/ericclapton, and http://www.facebook.com/ericclapton.  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.

Cason’s Latest LP Has Plenty Of “Heart”

Courtesy:  Plowboy Records

Courtesy: Plowboy Records

Singer/Songwriter Buzz Cason has spent some six decades making music. He started his career by starting the very first rock and roll band in Nashville, Tennessee. He has founded his own recording studio where greats such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and The Doobie Brothers have recorded hit songs among many other major names. He has also spent much of his career making his own music. He has continued making his own music up to this year. As a matter of fact, Cason released his latest record, Troubadour Heart earlier this year. The album is quite aptly titled considering Cason’s storied career. And for those audiences that might not be so familiar with Cason’s body of work, Troubadour Heart serves as quite the first impression, too. The album exhibits quite the number of influences. The laid back bluesy ‘Goin’ Back To Alabama’ presents an influence from the likes of Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, and Robert Johnson. This applies both musically and lyrically. And then there’s the southern rock styling of ‘Something I Can Dance To.’ This song shows Cason’s Nashville roots and his rock leanings at the same time. Troubadour Heart’s penultimate tune ‘Cowboys & Indians’ exhibits more of Cason’s southern rock influences. Audiences more familiar with the history of modern rock will hear tinges of Eagles and even George Thorogood to a slightly lesser extent. There are also hints of The Grateful Dead and Dire Straits peppered throughout the course of Cason’s latest release. All of these influences together make Troubadour Heart one of 2014’s more interesting new records.

Troubadour Heart is one of this year’s more interesting records. That’s because of the range of influences exhibited throughout the course of the album’s fifteen total tracks. One prime example of this comes in the laid back bluesy ‘Goin’ Back To Alabama.’ The song—the album’s only blues-influenced piece—conjures thoughts of Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, and even Robert Johnson thanks both to its music and lyrics. Cason sings of a subject reminiscing of his younger days in Alabama. He sings, “When my world/Comes unraveled/I know it’s time/For me to travel/Going ‘round the bend/Gettin’ in that Dixieland.” He goes on in the song’s chorus to sing in semi-celebratory fashion about going back to Alabama. The most interesting aspect of this song is that not only does it exhibit classic blues influence, but that guest singer Dan Penn actually sounds just like Eric Clapton. If one were to hear this song without knowing that it was Penn backing Cason here, one would swear that one was hearing Eric Clapton. The similarity between the pair’s vocals is incredible. That and the song’s easygoing lyrics and music show just why ‘Going’ to Alabama’ is such a solid example of what makes Troubadour Heart such an interesting listen.

‘Goin’ Back To Alabama’ is an excellent example of the diversity of Cason’s talent on his latest record. It is just one example of that talent, too. Another equally impressive example of that diversity is in the more up-tempo southern rock tinged song ‘Something I Can Dance To.’ It clearly reflects Cason’s early days growing up in Nashville with its sound. That up-tempo sound and the song’s lyrics—which are slightly sexually charged in their own right—make this song a perfect fit for so many country-western style bars and clubs. The energy exuded by this piece will have listeners up and dancing in no time regardless of whether or not there’s a formal dance floor.

‘Cowboys & Indians’ is the penultimate track included in Troubadour Heart’s fifteen total tracks. It is also one more fitting example of the diversity of music presented on this record. This song presents a pretty obvious country-western influence as Cason sings about a Romeo and Juliet style story. Cason’s story here presents the love story of a Native American woman falling in love with a seemingly White male. Despite the fact that one’s parents doesn’t approve of the other, the couple doesn’t let that stop them. They end up happily ever after and having their own family together. It’s a fun story and an equally fun final blast from Cason before he gently closes out the album with the aptly titled beachy tune ‘Pacific Blue.’ That final song is a fitting closer as it is one more song showing the pure vastness of Cason’s talent and influences. Having taken in this song and those mentioned before it, listeners will agree once more that Troubadour Heart is without a doubt one of the year’s most intriguing records.

Troubadour Heart is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HGTNKAK/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1RG9YQMJV0C4KG1XBKVB&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846. His new album can also be purchased at any of his upcoming live shows. Cason is scheduled to perform live Wednesday, Jun e18th in Okoboji, IA. He also has a pair of shows scheduled in Nashville and one in Lincolnton, North Carolina. That concert is scheduled for Saturday, August 16th. Audiences can get a complete list of Buzz Cason’s live events and news online at http://www.facebook.com/buzzcasonmusic, http://www.buzzcason.com, and http://twitter.com/buzzcason. 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.

Allman Brothers Band Announces Dates For Annual NYC Residency

MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

The Allman Brothers Band is coming back to New York.  The band is returning to the Beacon Theatre for its annual March residency beginning March 1st.  The band will hold ten performances at the Beacon Theatre from March 1st – 16th.  This year’s annual residency marks its twenty-third year of performing at the famed theatre. The band has sold out its shows some two-hundred and ten times since it started performing at the theatre in 1989.  Founding member Gregg Allman discussed the upcoming annual stint.  “Yes, it’s that time”, he said.  “The Beacon run is always magical.  The room sounds great, lots of familiar faces and the band really stretches out.  After Macon, New York is really our second home.  There’s just something about it, and our fans know it.”

Tickets for the band’s Beacon Theatre performances go on sale beginning next Friday, January 11th at 10am ET.  They can be purchased at http://www.ticketmaster.com and http://www.beacontheatre.com.  They can also be ordered by phone toll free at 1-800-744-3000.  Fans in New York can also purchase them in person at the Beacon Theatre box office beginning next Saturday, January 12th.

 Along with its annual stay at the Beacon Theatre, the band has also been invited by fellow music vet Eric Clapton to perform at his annual “Crossroads” benefit show on March 12th and 13th.  Those performances will be at New York’s equally famed Madison Square Gardens.  The band will also headline a pair of dates at the annual Wanee Festival on April 19th and 20th in Live Oak, FL.  To check out the full listing of The Allman Brothers Band performance dates, fans can go online to http://www.allmanbrothersband.com, http://hittinthenote.com, and http://www.waneefestival.com

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Yardbirds Leave A Lasting Impression With Making Tracks

Courtesy:  MVD Visual

Courtesy: MVD Visual

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

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

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

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

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