Experience Hendrix, Legacy Announce New Hendrix Live Recording

Courtesy:  Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Officials with Experience Hendrix, LLC and Legacy Recordings announced Tuesday that the companies will release one of the last live performances of Jimi Hendrix’s career next month.

Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight will be released on Tuesday, June 17th on DVD and Blu-ray. The recording captures what would be his last full performance before his death eighteen days later on September 18th, 1970. His last live performance before his death was an impromptu set at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho less than a month later. The concert presented on Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight documents Hendrix’s headlining performance at the hugely revered festival on August 31st 1970. Hendrix performed to an audience of 600,000 at the festival. It was the largest audience before which he had ever performed. It was also the first time that his new band, rounded out by bassist Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell, had played together in the UK.

The concert’s presentation on both DVD and Blu-ray will contain the same features including new footage of ‘Hey Joe’ that was not part of the concert recording’s original release. There is also a bonus interview with director Murray Lerner, reproductions of the original Isle of Wight Festival tickets, festival posters and even a copy of Hendrix’s own hand-written directions to the festival. The recording features both a stereo sound mix and ad 5.1 audio surround sound track mixed by Eddie Kramer. Eddie Kramer was Jimi Hendrix’s original recording engineer. The complete track listing for Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight is noted below.

TRACKLIST

  1.      Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live At The Isle Of Wight (Main Film) (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  2.      Introduction (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  3.      God Save The Queen (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  4.      Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  5.      Spanish Castle Magic (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  6.      All Along The Watchtower (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  7.      Machine Gun (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  8.      Lover Man (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  9.      Freedom (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  10.  Red House (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  11.  Dolly Dagger (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  12.  Foxey Lady (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  13.  Message To Love (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  14.  Ezy Ryder (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  15.  Purple Haze (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  16.  Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  17.  In From The Storm (Live At The Isle Of Wight)
  18.  Credits (Live At The Isle Of Wight)

Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight will be available Tuesday, June 17th. It can be pre-ordered online now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JGD0TGC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00JGD0TGC&linkCode=as2&tag=legacy_recordings-20&linkId=ZIHQ4HIRI22HXDGE. More information on this and other Jimi Hendrix recordings is available online at http://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix and http://www.jimihendrix.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.

Allman Brothers Band Celebrates 45th Anniversary With Live Shows, New Live Releases

MSO PR

MSO PR

2014 marks a major milestone for the Allman Brothers Band.  This year marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the band’s formation.  In celebration of the anniversary, the band will release new live CD and DVD recordings for its fans.  It also has announced the schedule for its annual stint at the Beacon Theater.  It all begins next month with the release of the new two-CD set, Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 and the new live DVD, Live at Great Woods.  This recording was originally recorded in 1991.  The band will also release via its own label, Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, another live DVD titled Boston Common 8/17/71.  Topping it all off, the band is set to return to its original home base of Florida this Spring for the annual Wanee Festival.

Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 presents the band’s first time ever performing such an extended run at the famed theatre.  The band performed ten shows at the Beacon Theatre in 1992.  Only two of those ten shows were ever taped.  Very little material from those recordings has ever been made publicly available for fans up until now.  The double-discset will be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings on Tuesday, February 18th.  Epic/Legacy Recordings is a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

The upcoming double-CD live release is just half of the band’s celebratory releases.  The band will release alongside Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 a new live DVD titled Live at Great Woods.  The recording, which was originally filmed in September 1991, presents the band performing in front of nearly twenty-thousand fans at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Massachusetts.  The new re-issue of the concert recording marks the first time that it has ever been released on DVD.  It features for fans the band’s original long-form video version of the performance.  There are no interviews spliced into the recording here.  It will also be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings.

Finishing of the band’s list of celebratory live recordings will be the release of Boston Common 8/17/71.  John Lynskey—publisher of the ABB’s magazine, Hittin’ The Note—explains the recording and the band’s relationship with the people of Boston in the recording’s liner notes.  Boston Common 8/17/71 is also scheduled for a February release.  No official date has been confirmed yet.

“1971 was a watershed year for the Allman Brothers Band – they recorded their seminal live album, At Fillmore East, in March, and continued to tour relentlessly. By this point, their performances had reached a level of musicianship and intensity that other groups could only dream of. At Fillmore East was released in July to massive critical acclaim, and a month later, they rolled back into Boston to once again jam in the Common, playing two shows on August 17th. Boston Common 8/17/71 manages to capture the loose and engaging early set, with the band clearly enjoying themselves – Berry [Oakley]’s stage banter is particularly engaging as he comments on the group’s relationship with Boston and their friendship with the J. Geils Band. As for the music, Duane’s slide guitar is blistering on ‘Statesboro Blues’ and ‘Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’’; his interplay with Dickey [Betts] on ‘You Don’t Love Me’ is a complex masterpiece, and their dual melody line on ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ is flawless. Gregg’s vocal work is stellar throughout, and his growl on ‘Trouble No More’ clearly justifies his reputation as one of the best blues singers of all time. Berry, Butch and Jaimoe lay down a rhythm foundation that is a mile wide – the thumping bass line and syncopated drum patterns turn the ‘Whipping Post’ finale into a musical maelstrom.”

Following the release of its upcoming live CD and DVDs, the band will continue celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary with its annual stay at the famed Beacon Theatre and a return engagement at the annual Wanee Festival in Live Oaks, Florida.  2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Wanee Festival.  The band’s performances at the Beacon Theatre mark its only live performances in the metro NYC region this year.  The complete schedule of performances dates is listed below.

DATE

CITY

VENUE

Fri

3/7

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/8

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/11

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/12

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/14

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/15

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/18

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/19

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/21

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/22

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

4/11

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

Sat

4/12

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

 

Tickets for the band’s Beacon Theatre shows go on sale this Friday, January 10th at 10am. They can be purchased online via the official Ticketmaster website, http://www.ticketmaster.com and the official Beacon Theatre website, http://www.beacontheatre.com.  They can also be purchased via phone at 1-800-745-3000.  Any unsold tickets will be sold at the venue box office beginning this Sunday, January 12th at the Beacon Theatre box office.  Tickets for American Express card holders are available now and can be purchased through this Thursday, January 9th at 10pm.

More information on the Allman Brothers Band, its releases, concerts and more is available online at http://www.allmanbrothersband.com, http://www.hittinthenote.com, http://www.waneefestival.com, and http://www.facebook.com/allmanbrothersband.  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.

In Dreams Re-Issue Makes Dreams Come True For Orbison’s Fans

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

Almost twenty-five years have passed since music legend Roy Orbison passed away from a fatal heart attack.  Orbison died on December 6th, 1988.  Only the year before his passing, his hits collection, In Dreams: Greatest Hits was release to the masses.  As the anniversary of Orbison’s passing nears, Legacy Recordings has re-issued that compilation of Orbison’s hits for a whole new generation.

When most audiences are asked if they know of any songs written by Orbison, the most common answer is his song, ‘Oh, Pretty Woman.’  But as this compilation reveals, Orbison wrote far more songs than the one.  In fact ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’ wasn’t Orbison’s song alone.  Fans of this song will learn in the compilation’s liner notes that he wrote the song alongside Joe Melson.  Listeners will learn that it wasn’t the only song which the pair wrote together, either.  They also co-wrote other hits such as: ‘Only The Lonely’, ‘Blue Angel’, and I’m Hurtin’’ just to name a few.  So what does all this have to do with anyone?  It has everything to do with everything.  So much of today’s music is being downloaded rather than bought.  Simply downloading music without any liner notes takes away from the overall music experience provided by the physical object.  Liner notes, especially in the case of this re-issue, serve to make the whole package something of a lesson in music history.  And this compilation’s liner notes are proof of that.  Listeners that buy the physical CD in store or order it will learn that along with his own hits, also included in this collection are his take on hits written by Claude De Metrius, and Wade Moore and Dick Penner.  Trivia such as this is inconsequential to most audiences.  But to those that are more interested in a song’s history, having this knowledge as a starting point makes an album’s liner notes that much more important to the overall presentation.

The liner notes included with In Dreams: Greatest Hits are just a part of what makes the entire presentation worth checking out.  The songs themselves are just as much the star here as the liner notes.  One of the most notable of the compilation’s songs is its opener, ‘Only The Lonely.’  This song was one of so many co-written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson.  Orbison’s control over his voice as he sings, “That’s the chance you’ve gotta take/If you’re lonely/A heartbreak/Only the lonely” is incredible.  It takes real talent and skill for a male to be able to hit a note as high as he does in this last line.  And he exhibited both in this moment.  Much the same can be said of his talent in ‘Blue Angel.’  Yet again, he hits those high notes.  And he handles them expertly, without cracking even the slightest.  The notes that he hits, most male vocalists today would be terrified to even attempt.  To that extent, this and other songs such as ‘I’m Hurtin’ make this compilation all the more interesting for any oldies fan and fan of Roy Orbison’s music.

The songs co-written by Orbison and Joe Melson comprise most of this compilation.  Audiences will note that the songs in question all seem to have a recurring semi-doo wop vibe about them.  By contrast, songs such as ‘Working for the Man’ and ‘Claudette’ are quite different from the songs that Orbison wrote with Melson.  Both ‘Working for the Man’ and ‘Claudette’ were written by Orbison alone.  The prior of the pair is in simple terms, a working man’s song.  It’s the type of thing one might expect to hear on the jukebox of a blue collar bar.  Claudette on the other hand boasts almost something of a driving country western vibe with its guitar riffs and harmonica.  One typically wouldn’t connect Roy Orbison to country western.  So it makes for an interesting departure from the softer 1950s style material that makes up most of this record.

In the same vein as ‘Claudette’ are Orbison’s take on Claude De Metrius’ up-tempo blues opus, ‘Mean Woman Blues’ and Dick Penner’s ‘Ooby Dooby.’  This is about as far as Orbison could go from the sound that largely defined him.  It’s a great change of pace for fans.  That’s because it serves even more to exemplify the limits of Orbison’s talents.  They show just how far Orbison might have been able to go had he not had that fatal heart attack.  Sadly though, he did.  Thanks to Legacy Recordings though, a whole new generation has these and so many other songs keeping his talents and memory alive with this record.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other Legacy Recordings releases is available online at http://www.LegacyRecordings.com and http://www.facebook.com/LegacyRecordings.  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.

Priest’s New Live Release One Of 2013’s Top Live Recordings

Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Legacy Recordings

Judas Priest’s latest live release is a must have for any true hardcore fan of this legendary metal act.  The closing show of what is said to be the band’s last live tour spans the band’s forty year career together.  The good news is that while this show marked the end of the band’s last tour, fans still allegedly have another new album for which they will be waiting after the release of this recording.  So much could be said of this latest live recording that fans will appreciate.  Right off the bat, fans with surround sound home theater systems will appreciate it more than anyone else.  And then of course, there is also the quality of the footage.  Home viewers will especially enjoy the overhead shots of drummer Scott Travis and the multiple angle shots of the band’s multi-guitar attack from Richie Faulkner, Glenn Tipton and bassist Ian Hill.   The talent of this group of old dogs is just as worthy of discussion as the audio and video quality of the recording.  So is the set list for the band’s career defining show.  When the trio come together for its classic multi-guitar stage stance, it will take fans of old school metal shows back even more, adding that much more to what is an incredible live show all the way around.

The very first thing that audiences catch from Epitaph is the audio quality of this recording.  Those with surround sound home theater systems will love the full-on live concert effect that they will experience.  Even those without home theater systems will still get quite the experience when they go into their television’s settings and set the audio to match the recording.  Those with digital televisions should easily be able to simply hit a button on their remote to adjust the sound accordingly.  Once the sound is set, one need only sit back and enjoy the show, or even get up and move with the performance whose footage was caught just as expertly as its audio.

The footage recorded for this performance was maintained just as expertly as its audio.  Whether on DVD or Blu-ray, the footage is crystal clear.  Even those watching it on DVD on a Blu-ray player and HDTV can still see just how clear the picture is.  Combined with the audio quality, audiences get a recording that is easily one of the best live recordings of 2013 for these reasons alone.  Staying on the footage though, audiences get more than just a crystal clear recording.  They get a show whose cinematography makes seeing this iconic show at home just as enjoyable as seeing it live, if not more so.  Sometimes the cameras get some rather impressive wide angle shots.  At other times, the cameras are right up there with Faulkner, Tipton and Hill.  In some songs, the camera angles switch back and forth with a ferocity that equals that of the music, fully highlighting the intensity of said songs.  If that doesn’t impress audiences, it’s anyone’s guess what will. 

The intensity of the songs culled for this set is something else that should definitely be noted that makes it so impressive.  While the collective age of the band’s members is pretty high, these old dogs have shown that they have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.  From front man Rob Halford’s still solid, soaring pipes to the musicianship of his band mates, the band proves here that a band doesn’t need to have lots of special effects and other goodies to make a show memorable.  Though, there were laser lights and pyro peppered throughout the course of the show.  That aside, the band’s members showed collectively with their musicianship why Judas Priest is still one of the most revered and respected bands in hard rock.  Whether for guitarist Richie Faulkner’s solos, Halford’s incredible vocal talent and or drummer Scott Travis’ timekeeping, every member of this group of veteran rock band brought something to the table that ultimately make this show one of the best in the band’s catalogue of live releases.  On a side note, audiences will especially appreciate how Halford commands the stage in a fashion similar to that of equally revered front man Freddie Mercury when he has the audience sing back to him.  This brief moment is a direct mirror of Mercury.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion, too.  It goes to show the command that Halford has over the audience and why he remains one of the greatest front men in not just hard rock but in the rock community as a whole.  It is just one more aspect of so many that could be discussed that makes Epitaph one of the year’s best live recordings.

The quality of the footage from this recording and the talent of the band’s members do so much to make Epitaph a great show for any hardcore Priest fan.  It’s just as impressive for anyone wanting an overview of the band’s music.  That is thanks to the career-spanning set list.  The band’s performance spans nearly two and a half hours and twenty three songs.  Among some of the favorites included that fans will enjoy are: ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Judas Rising’, ‘Turbo Lover’, ‘The Sentinel’, and of course, ‘Breaking The Law.’  This is just part of what fans can expect out of this recording.  Fans will all have their own favorite.  And considering that there are eighteen other songs included here, fans have more than their share from which to choose a favorite or favorites.  That extensive set list set alongside the show’s equally impressive recording quality and the band’s energy makes Epitaph a show that will prove to be one of the year’s best live releases.  It’s one of those releases that will be just as enjoyable the first time around and the fiftieth.  It will be available May 28th on Blu-ray and DVD.

While Priest fans wait to pick up their copy of this must have live release, they can keep up with the latest from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest and the band’s official website, http://www.JudasPriest.com. Fans can even check out a trailer for the upcoming release on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7W6NJs_HRw.  Fans can also check out more material from the band on its own YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/JudasPriest

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.

Dust’s Re-Issue A Welcome Re-Introduction To The Rock World

Courtesy:  Sony Legacy/Legacy Recordings/Kama Sutra Records

Courtesy: Sony Legacy/Legacy Recordings/Kama Sutra Records

New York based hard rock trio Dust will finally see its albums Hard Attack and Dust re-issued later this month thanks to Legacy Recordings and Kama Sutra Records.  While the trio only released two records in its time together, the records became the forebear to records from the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and others of its era.  But again, thanks to the aforementioned record labels, this band’s music can once again be enjoyed by fans of true guitar driven rock and roll.

Both of the band’s albums have been culled on a single disc with a total of seventeen tracks between the two.  Audiences will be taken aback right from the opening moments of Hard Attack.  Drummer Marc Bell—who would later go on to become Marky Ramone of Ramones fame—plays just as bombastically and solidly as the late great John Bonham on the album’s opener, ‘Pull Away/So Many Times.’  Vocalist/guitarist Richie Wise is equally solid in his duties providing some rather impressive guitar licks.  And bassist Kenny Aaronson maintains the song’s low end without missing a beat throughout the dual song’s roughly five minute run time.  That same energy and solid musicianship is carried into the album’s second track, ‘Walk in the Soft Rain.’  This song is just as impressive as anything released by the band’s counterparts across the pond during what is easily rock music’s greatest era.  So with any luck, this song will prove to be just one of so many that will open a whole new generation’s ears to one of the best bands that they’ve never heard.

Hard Attack offers listeners quite the experience, especially for those who are new to the band’s sound.  It offers quite a few tracks that will opener said listeners’ ears to a whole and much needed breath of fresh air in an environment overly filled with bands whose music is dominated by down tuned, crunching guitars and cookie monster growls.  If the music on Hard Attack isn’t enough, then maybe the band’s complete seven track debut self-titled record will win over new listeners.  One of this record’s best tracks is its second song, ‘Chasin’ Ladies.’  This pure blues-infused rock song will impress any true rock and roll reveler.  The up-tempo guitars and hard driving drumming mixed with Aaronson’s base work make this great party music and equally great driving music, especially with the warmer weather right around the corner.  And the audio effect used on Wise’s vocals on this song adds another interesting touch.  This critic doesn’t know the exact term for the effect in question.  But it’s something of an echo effect.  It’s one more interesting element to the song that makes it the highlight of the album.

Just as impressive as ‘Chasin’ Ladies’ is ‘Love Me Hard.’  It’s just as hard driving as the aforementioned song.  What’s more, listeners will love how Wise mixes in a touch of flamenco style guitar work into the song’s otherwise hard rocking sound.  Even had that flamenco flourish not been added in, this song still would have exemplified everything that was and still is today, right with real guitar driven rock and roll.  Hopefully with the release of this dual album disc, other audiences of all ages will realize this too about this song and others on this re-issue.  And while Dust may have been long broken up, hopefully this release will help re-introduce a whole new generation not just to Dust, but to what seems to be an increasingly lost art.  The only thing that would make this record any better is a vinyl release for nostalgic types such as this critic.  The dual album disc will be released April 16th via Sony Legacy and Kama Sutra Records.

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

Official Record Store Day Poster Released

Courtesy:  Experience Hendrix, Inc./Merlis for Hire

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, Inc./Merlis for Hire

The official poster for the 2013 Record Store Day—Saturday, April 20th–has been released.  The poster in question features legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix in record store.  The original photo was taken by photographer Ira Rosen just before the release of Hendrix’s famed album, Are You Experienced.  It just so happened that Hendrix was a fan of record stores and was spending the morning of that photo shopping around for some of the day’s latest releases. 

Hendrix’s sister Janie—the head of Experience Hendrix, Inc.—spoke on the use of the photograph.  Here is what she had to say regarding her brother being used to promote Record Store Day.  “It’s entirely appropriate that an image of Jimi Hendrix is on the official Record Store Day poster.  He was an avid music fan and record collector himself and, of course, his recordings are among the most enduring and cherished of all time.  Jimi’s musical legacy and influence grow with every passing year, so in a sense, he makes Record Store Day last much, much longer than 24 hours.”

The poster featuring Hendrix will be printed in very limited quantity.  Only 5,000 copies of the poster will be printed.  The 24” x 36” poster will be printed on heavy paper and gratis to fans who take part in Record Store Day at record stores across the country.  Fans interested in getting their hands on a poster should contact their local record store ahead of time to get details on whether their store will carry copies of the poster.

As an added bonus to the poster, Experience Hendrix, Inc. will also make available in celebration of Record Store Day a 7” vinyl single featuring the original mono mixes of ‘Hey Joe’ and ‘Stone Free.’  Neither of these mixes has been available since their original 1966 release. 

The upcoming celebration of Jimi Hendrix’s life and legacy comes fresh on the heels of the release of the new Hendrix album, People, Hell & Angels, which will be released Tuesday, March 5th.  Record Store Day is held on the third Saturday of April each year.  This year marks the sixth consecutive year that music fans will celebrate Record Store Day.

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.

New Hendrix LP Is One Of 2013’s Best New Releases

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

Legacy Recordings and Experience Hendrix, Inc. have released in the new Jimi Hendrix album, People, Hell & Angels what is one of the best albums of 2013. This latest release from the vaults represents Hendrix in a never before heard manner. Audiences will best understand and appreciate this record by listening to its twelve total tracks for themselves. Whether one is a devotee of Hendrix’s work or not, most people know songs such as ‘Hey Joe’, ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ and his take on Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower.’ But few people have heard Hendrix as they will on this new release; even the most devoted of fans.

People, Hell & Angels represents Hendrix at a pivotal point in his career. Having made music with The Jimi Hendrix Experience for so long, Hendrix wanted to do something outside of his comfort zone. And this compilation of songs is the result. The album opens with a nice up-tempo piece in ‘Earth Blues.’ The fuzz effect that Hendrix uses in his guitar with this song is true retro. And his vocals are just as strong. One can easily close one’s eyes and see people dancing to this, bodies moving in time throughout its near four-minute run time. What’s really interesting about this song is its stripped down sound.  Compared the music that Hendrix had previously written in his career, this is quite a different sound.  It’s more of a funk style work.  And lyrically, one can only be led to believe that Hendrix was writing about a woman here.  And even as old as it is, it sounds like something that could have been included in the repertoire of so many of today’s garage rock bands.  Yet again, it’s proof of how far ahead of his time Hendrix was.

Just as impressive as the album’s opener is the take on this record of his song, ‘Hear My Train a Comin’.’  This song is without a doubt one of the highlights of this new album.  It exhibits not just Jimi’s talents as a guitarist but as a musician.  This song is pure blues at its best.  His musicianship here is equivalent to that of fellow blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan if not greater.  And while the song clocks in at less than six minutes, the guitar breaks throughout the song give Hendrix the opportunity to really shine along with his band mates Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, with whom he would later go on to record the landmark album, Band of Gypsys.  Noting that, it’s just one hint of the greatness that was to come.

Hendrix fans will appreciate the original take of ‘Hear My Train A Comin’ as it’s without a doubt one of the true highpoints of this album.  Though, it isn’t the album’s only high point.  As already noted, People, Hell & Angels shows Hendrix in a way never heard before.  And nowhere is this more evident than in the absolutely funky ‘Let Me Move You.’  Presented in this song is Hendrix playing alongside a saxophonist by the name of Lonnie Youngblood.  The relationship between Hendrix and Youngblood went way back, even before Jimi had been discovered by Chas Chandler in March 1969.  Jimi’s guitar styling here, Youngblood’s musicianship, and the vocals (supposedly by Youngblood, too) combine for a work that will leave any listener breathless and sweaty from dancing to its infectious grooves.  If ‘Hear my Train A Comin’’ is a high point to this new release, then ‘Let me Move You’ is the definitive high point of this LP.

‘Let Me Move You’ is the high point of People, Hell & Angels.  But even after its near seven-minute run ends, the enjoyment doesn’t end.  The second half of this album offers its own share of enjoyment.  A prime example of that is the instrumental ‘Easy Blues.’  This hard to find song was originally recorded for the long out of print 1981 album, Nine to the Universe.  After the raw energy of ‘Let me Move You’ and ‘Izabella’, this song makes for a great way for listeners to catch their breath while still enjoying some outstanding improve musicianship not only on the part of Jimi, but fellow band mates at the time, Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell and then second guitarist Larry Lee.  It’s just one more example of the greatness of this music legend and his band mates throughout his career.  Of course it isn’t the end of things, either.  The album still offers no less than five more tracks for listeners to enjoy and select from as their favorite on an album that is one of the year’s best.  People, Hell & Angels will be available in stores and online Tuesday, March 5th.  Audiences will be able to order it online via Legacy Recordings’ online store at http://www.legacyrecordings.com/a/#/home/

To keep up with the all of the latest news surrounding every new Jimi Hendrix release, fans can online to the official Hendrix website and Facebook page at http://www.jimihendrix.com and http://www.facebook.com/TheJimiHendrixExperience

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.

West Of Memphis Soundtrack A Good Counterpart To Documentary

Courtesy:  Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Legacy Recordings

Sony Pictures Classic recently released a new documentary titled West of Memphis in very limited release.  The documentary—produced by famed director Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)—focuses on the investigation into the 1993 killing of three eight-year old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas and the controversial trial that would follow.  Three men—Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley—were arrested and charged with the murders.  The three now grown men were teenagers at the time.  Over the course of the men’s incarceration, increasing amounts of evidence began to seemingly point to the men possibly being innocent of the crime.  Support for the men grew increasingly over time.  Much of that support came from the music community.  Now in coordination with the documentary’s release, Sony Pictures Classic and Legacy Recordings have partnered to release music from many of the artists who have supported the cause of proving the men’s innocence in the form of a soundtrack to the documentary.

The documentary’s soundtrack opens solidly with Henry Rollins reading a letter written by Damien Echols, one of the three men charged in the case.  His solemn reading backed by the music of Nick Cave expertly sets the mood of what is to come even for those who haven’t had the opportunity to see the documentary.  Echols’ words echo through the speakers, exhibiting exactly what Echols was thinking and feeling.  Cave’s musical backing makes this moment all the more emotional.  As Echols’ final words are spoken, the solemn mood is maintained in the soundtrack’s next piece, ‘Mother.’  Natalie Maines’ delivery as she sings, “Mother do you think they’ll like this song/Mother do you think they’ll try to break my balls/Mother should I build a wall/Mother should I run for president/Mother should I trust the government/Mother will they put me in the firing line?” is absolutely haunting.  Her response on behalf of the figure’s mother is just as powerful and moving.  The lyrics and music combine to make this one of the outright best pieces on this brand new soundtrack.  Lucinda Williams follows with an equally powerful song in ‘Joy.’  It’s powerful, but in a different manner.  The dark, bluesy sound backing Williams’ singing, “I’m gonna go to West Memphis and look for my joy” is something that simply must be heard to be fully understood.  It’s just one of so many songs that listeners will enjoy in this compilation.

Just as powerful and moving as the soundtrack’s opening tracks is The White Buffalo’s performance of ‘House of Pain.’  The song is sung from the perspective of a young boy whose father is anything but in the picture.  The young boy eventually grows up still without his father, still feeling the pain.  He sings, “wasn’t I worth the time/A boy needs his daddy like a dance to mime/And all the time/I looked up to you/I paced my room a million times/And all I ever got was one big lie/The same old lie/How could you?”  Put in the right context, this brings full circle the letter read by Henry Rollins as the soundtrack opens.  Echols mentions having a son in his death row letter.  Considering this, one can only imagine this being used in the context of perhaps exemplifying the mix of emotions felt by Echols’ son during his son’s incarceration.  It is without a doubt one of the most powerful songs on the soundtrack.  It’s a song that as with Lucinda Williams’ take of ‘Joy’ must simply be heard to be believed.  As impressive as it is, listeners are given other amazing songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, and Citizen Cope just to name a few.  The soundtrack to West of Memphis is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online direct via the Voices for Justice online store at http://www.myplaydirect.com/west-of-memphis?cid=lg:zel&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=voicesforjusticemusic.com&utm_content=west%20of%20memphis%20d2c%20promote&utm_campaign=west%20of%20memphis%20d2c%20promote.

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McDermott Discusses Upcoming Hendrix LP

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Legacy Recordings will release the brand new Jimi Hendrix rarities album, People, Hell and Angels on Tuesday, March 5th.  The anticipation is building over this upcoming compilation of previously unreleased songs.  Now thanks to musicradar.com writer Joe Bosso, audiences are able to get a glimpse into each song on the new LP.  Bosso—who previously served as editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine and ex VP of A&R at Island Records–sat down with the album’s co-producer John McDermott and let him discuss the story behind each track in depth.  The following is what McDermott had to say about each song.  It comes courtesy of Mr. Bosso.

On 5 March, Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings releases People, Hell And Angels, a new collection of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings culled from sessions between early 1968 and late ’69, which saw the guitarist assuming the producer role and experimenting with different groups of musicians outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio.

“It’s a really exciting and interesting album,” says John McDermott, who co-produced the set with Eddie Kramer and Janie Hendrix. “The idea on Valleys Of Neptune was to show the end of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, and with People, Hell And Angels, we moved the timeline up some. We looked at the remaining material, and the idea was to fill in the portrait as best we could.”

The recordings on People, Hell And Angels feature the first-ever studio session by the Band Of Gypsys, along with the group that Hendrix assembled for Woodstock, and also it showcases collaborations with old friends and new friends. “He was widening the net,” says McDermott. “Once the Experience were no longer going to be an effective recording unit, he got Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, as well as additional percussion and Larry Lee on additional guitar. And there’s a track where his friend Stephen Stills bass. There’s experimentation, but it’s not in a loose, unformed way; Jimi was working with really compelling song structures, and he was playing great, too.”

During this period, Hendrix worked at various facilities – New York’s Record Plant, Hit Factory and Sound Center, along with the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – and with the exception of the track Somewhere, everything was recorded 16-track onto two-inch tape. “They were mainly Scotch tapes, and they were great shape,” says McDermott. “Jimi was fortunate in that he was working at a time before tape got thinner. We didn’t have to do any baking to the recordings. Everything held up beautifully.”

Hendrix’s last official album with the Experience was 1968’s Electric Ladyland, and the tracks on People, Hell And Angels offer fascinating insights as to the musical direction he was entertaining on his planned double album First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. “Jimi was working with friends who shared a common language with him,” says McDermott. “To be able to say to people who knew Elmore James, ‘I want to get an entirely different beat to this. I want to take this somewhere new. Here’s where we’re going’ – that was exciting for him. Everybody fell right in and tore into the music.

“What’s fascinating about Jimi is that one week of his felt like a year for other artists. There was so much creativity and so many possibilities. He was really looking to challenge himself. When he had an idea, he chased it fearlessly.”

Earth Blues

 

     “This harks back to that first May 1969 session. It was one of the songs that Jimi showcased to Buddy and Billy. While they didn’t get it then, they certainly had an interesting handle on it. When things geared up in December of that year for 

      the Band Of Gypsys shows, this is one of the tracks that was not only in the set, but Jimi recorded it in the studio, as well.

 

“What’s really interesting about this one is that, unlike the version now on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and previously on Rainbow Bridge, it shows off the stripped-down funk, without the Ronettes and a lot of the extra guitar things that were overdubbed by Jimi later. It’s a separate take entirely, and he’s got the drum break in it, which is really cool. It’s a different approach.

“There was a shared understanding between Billy and Buddy, and that made it really easy for Jimi to work with them. As great as Noel became as a bassist, I just think that the camaraderie that Jimi and Billy had was special. They worked on material before they got into the studio in ways that Jimi and Noel never did. They got together in hotel rooms or in Jimi’s apartment – they enjoyed playing together. By ’68, ’69, Jimi’s relationship with Noel was more professional.”

Somewhere

“It’s really Jimi and Buddy Miles, and then Stephen Stills joins them on bass, and it starts to come together. It’s a great track with something of a strange history: It was part of the Crash Landing album, but a different take of the song was used on that. To us, this is the version that has all the right pieces. It’s got the original instrumentation and none of the posthumous overdubbing.

“It’s surprising to me that Somewhere was never considered for Electric Ladyland. I don’t know whether that was because Jimi recorded it without Chas Chandler being there to supervise it – that could have been an issue. Like My Friend, it’s a really interesting look at Jimi when he was just starting to step outside the original three-man band.

“Stephen Stills was good friends with Jimi, and he was friends with Buddy, as well, so it was a great mix of personalities. Stephen acquitted himself well on the bass. I think this track was really about Jimi taking advantage of the skills his friends had and tapping into that. Today, it’s nothing to invite your friends to the studio and have them play on a track – people do it all the time, guest starring on cuts and all that. Back then, it didn’t happen so much. The Beatles, The Stones – with rare exceptions, they always kept the core.”

 

Hear My Train A Comin’

 

“One of the highlights of the record. It’s Jimi sharing a common language with Billy and Buddy. All three of them did the chitlin’ circuit together. Both this song and Bleeding Heart were right in everybody’s wheelhouse.

“Jimi’s first love was the blues, but unlike his contemporaries – Clapton or Beck or some others – who were covering blues songs that they had heard on records, he was writing new, original blues and taking it to the next level. That’s what this is – a phenomenal take on a song that he had really tried to get right with the Experience, but hadn’t been able to do it to his liking.

“Billy and Buddy understood how to set the tempo. If you listen to this recording, they play it the same way as they did on the Live At The Fillmore East album. They knew intuitively that the song should have a great, menacing groove; it shouldn’t be old-school, old-tempo, four-bar stuff. They wanted it to have a totally different feel, and that’s what makes it exciting.”

 

Bleeding Heart

“The Elmore James song. Jimi loved Elmore, of course, and he tried this one many different ways: as a 12-bar, slow, extended version with the Experience; as a version that’s on Valleys Of Neptune with Billy Cox and the Cherry People, which is really cool – a totally different vibe. He worked with it a lot.

“What’s so cool about this track is that, prior to cutting it again, he told Buddy and Billy, ‘I want to drive a whole different beat.’ Again, it’s Jimi reinterpreting the blues. Yes, there’s homage there, but he’s putting his imprint on it. He had a way about him in that, when he did a cover, be it All Along The Watchtower, Sgt. Pepper or Like A Rolling Stone, it became a Jimi Hendrix tune. This is a fresh take.” 

Let Me Move You

 

“Jimi was reaching back to old friends, including Lonnie Youngblood, and he had this idea to take what they used to do, when Jimi was a sideman for Lonnie, and bring it into the future. He was able to be free not only with his guitar part but with the tone and the attack, as well. None of that stuff had to be muted like it was going to be a little R&B recording; instead, it was a Jimi Hendrix recording.

“Given that, I think everybody stepped up. It’s a very exciting, energetic cut. Jimi put everything he had into it. If you compare it to some of the things he had done with Lonnie three years earlier, it’s like night and day.

“Guitar players should take note of him comping the changes. He really understood the value of rhythm guitar; that you really have to connect to an arrangement and bring something to it, not just for a 16-bar solo but throughout the song. He’s all over it.

“It’s really cool to hear Jimi play off Lonnie’s saxophone, and what’s especially interesting is to hear how he can add but not trample.”

Izabella

 

“What I love about this version of Izabella is that it showcases the promise of the Woodstock band. I think what Jimi saw in that, and having somebody like Larry Lee, whom he had played with on the chitlin’ circuit, was adding that rhythm guitar and connecting with it. The band had played this song two weeks earlier at Woodstock, and it came off very well. Jimi wanted to cut it in the studio while it was still fresh.

“The solo is just fantastic – absolutely scorching. Eddie Kramer and I heard it in ’95 when we were going through the tape library, and we said, ‘You know what? When the time comes, there will be a place for that.’ It’s amazing.”

Easy Blues

“Easy Blues is a favorite. There was an edited version that came out as part of Nine To The Universe, and we’ve had a lot of requests for the extended track. It really fits here because it’s from the same sessions, and it’s the same instrumentation, the same players. Contextually, we felt that this was the place to showcase the longer extract.

“It’s right in Mitch’s pocket – he plays very, very well on this. The additional percussion, the ability for everybody to add to what Jimi was doing instead of him having to carry the weight all the time – there’s a lot here, and you can hear why Jimi felt that this band had a lot of potential. It’s a shame that it wasn’t able to grow into something, but cuts like this sound great.”

Crash Landing

 

“Obviously, it was a part of the Crash Landing album. We just felt that anything that had been tinkered with should be heard in its original form. This is what Jimi was actually doing with the players, and it’s really good. There was never any need for any of that overdubbing that had gone on in ’75.

“Anybody who hears this will recognize it as a precursor of Freedom, but it still stands on its own. Jimi’s playing is great, the time signatures are unique, and Billy Cox, in one of his first sessions, is terrific. You can kind of get a sense for some of the things Billy would be doing going forward. He cemented the bottom in a way that Noel didn’t.

“There is a keyboard player on the track – somebody’s on B3 – but we don’t know who it was. They cut it all live. The session was tough for Jimi because he was struggling to get the guy to play what he wanted. A more sympathetic player like Steve Winwood might have been able to take it our further, but this is what Jimi had on this particular day.”

Inside Out

 

“A cool track. It starts to show the concept of Jimi no longer having to work with the three-man band. Actually, it’s him looking at a really unusual way of recording, where he and Mitch would work without a bass player. Jimi would overdub the bass.

“When you listen to a track as complex as this, that’s almost hard to believe. Mitch wasn’t a straight-ahead kind of drummer like Buddy Miles. While he played in time, he would certainly add a lot of amazing accents and techniques. Yet Jimi was able to pull everything off, and as a bass player he was fabulous.

“He and Eddie Kramer worked on that great Leslie guitar sound. Ezy Rider was such an important riff in his head – he doesn’t yet have it quite together, but here he’s blending it with kind of what he did with Tax Free, and that’s what makes it so interesting.”

Hey Gypsy Boy

 

“The precursor of Hey Baby from the Rising Sun album. Again, it’s one of Jimi’s first recordings with Buddy Miles. It shows the direction moving out of the Experience, and it would be a key part of Jimi’s set throughout 1970 and, of course, as the great version that’s on First Rays.”

Mojo Man

 

“A very cool track. It was cut at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, which was the hottest R&B studio at the time, but Jimi, just by making his additions, turned it into something that those guys never could have put together. His whole approach elevates it beyond what was then contemporary R&B.

“The groove of the Fame track – James Booker on piano – is fantastic. There was some amazing talent in the room. But what Jimi brought to it really speaks to what he could do, not only as a guitar player but as a producer, as well.”

Villanova Junction Blues

 

“The Woodstock version with Band Of Gypsys is so ingrained in people’s minds, but here is Jimi at the very front of it, kind of saying, ‘OK, I’ve got something really great, but I have to develop it.’

“We thought it was a sweet way to bring the record to a close. Like a lot of great songs in the library, it’s one that held a lot of promise, but of course, he wasn’t able to finish it.”

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RATM’s Anniversary Box Set A Great Gift To Band’s Fans

Courtesy:  Epic Records/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Epic Records/Legacy Recordings

Twenty years ago, one of the biggest bands in modern music history first broke through with its self-titled debut release.  That debut album completely changed the face of music at the time.  The band in question was none other than Rage Against The Machine.  While RATM may not have been the originators of the rap/rock genre, its musical styling wasn’t what made it such an influential band.  It was the fire lit under an entire generation by the band’s sound mixed with its unapologetic political stance.  The band united a generation, telling in no uncertain terms, to “take the power back.”  And the masses began to do just that in listening to the band’s debut.  The band’s message still resonates true with that generation today and even a whole new generation.  In celebration of that continued impact, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings have released the band’s debut album in a box set complete with the band’s original demo, and a handful of extra live performances never before released and other bonuses.

When fans first open the new Rage Against The Machine XX Deluxe Box set, they are greeted with a large picture book featuring pictures from the band’s career.  It opens with an introduction by fellow music veteran and Public Enemy front man Chuck D.  Chuck notes of the band in his intro, “Over the past 20 years, I’ve often called them the greatest band on Earth because of their ability to stand out musically, lyrically, and philosophically.  Nobody comes close to sounding like THEM.  Their lethal combination of many things considered NON-rock makes them the best rock band period.  Sonically distinct, a cocktail bomb sum of its parts.”  That’s a pretty bold statement coming from one of music’s other biggest and equally most controversial individuals.  And it’s an entirely grounded statement, too.  When RATM first broke through in 1992 with its self-titled debut, the music industry had just broken away from the hair metal movement of the 80’s, and was just opening the era of the Seattle “grunge” sound.  The world of pop music was moving away from 80’s nu-wave and into the more bubble-gum sound that is so prevalent today.  Enter Rage Against The Machine.  As Chuck D. notes, there was nothing like this California based quartet out there at the time.  And as he notes late in his intro, music hasn’t been the same since.

The additional liner notes by Chuck D. in this new box set’s mega picture booklet are just one piece of the whole that makes it a nice idea for any long-time fan of RATM.  After going through the liner notes and photos included in the booklet, fans get to really get into the box set.  First off after the booklet is a rather large double-sided fold out poster with two images of the band.  If a person were to want, one could easily put the poster under double glass and perhaps hang it in a way that would show both sides.  Otherwise, it still makes for a nice bonus to the entire set. 

Moving the poster aside, audiences finally get into the real heart of the set.  The real heart of this set comes in two smaller boxes inside the larger.  The first of those two boxes is one containing a pair of CD’s and a pair of DVD’s.  The first of the two CD’s is the band’s original 1992 debut album.  Whether fans already own the original album or not, this re-issue offers listeners a few bonuses in the form of a trio of bonus live tracks.  The first of the bonus live tracks is a live track taken from the band’s original single release of ‘Bombtrack.’  This piece opens with an introduction by front man Zack de la Rocha.  He explains the basis of the song being centered on AIM member Leonard Peltier.  Long time fans will recognize his name as his ongoing case is also the center of the video for the band’s equally well known song, ‘Freedom.’  ‘Bombtrack’ is followed with a live take of another of the band’s megahits, ‘Bullet in the Head.’  No introduction here.  The band simply launches right into the song.  A live, extended take of ‘Take The Power Back’ closes out this new re-issue of the band’s debut.  It’s a fitting closer, too as it reminds audiences of exactly what RATM stood for then and the impact that it still has on audiences today, despite having only released three albums in its time together.  If the bonus live tracks on the new re-issue aren’t enough for fans, then the inclusion of a full, double-sided 180g vinyl copy of the album might be.  It doesn’t have the bonus tracks.  But for anyone that is nostalgic for vinyl, this inclusion makes for yet another bonus to the set.

The second CD included in the band’s new anniversary set is a full run of the band’s original demo tape.  The tape was originally recorded in 1991.  Before its inclusion in this set, the only way that audiences could get their hands on it was at the band’s live shows.  Now fans can hear early takes on the songs that would make RATM the band that it is today.  Audiences will note that while some of the songs on the demo were included on the eventual full length debut, others weren’t so lucky.  But at least one of the songs on this release managed to find its way onto the soundtrack of the 1994 Brand Lee breakout movie, The Crow.  That song is ‘Darkness of Greed.’  Along with that song, fans are also treated to the rare gems: ‘The Narrows’, ‘Auto Logic’, and ‘Mindset’s a Threat.’

Fans get a load of treats from the band’s original demo tape now on CD.  As an added bonus fans will also get to not only hear them, but also see them as the band’s first ever live recording is also included on DVD.  That performance was its performance on October 23rd, 1991 on the campus of Cal State Northridge. The video is somewhat rough.  But that’s because it was obviously originally recorded via VHS.  Nonetheless, having this added live experience makes this set all the more worth it for any true RATM fan.  It’s a real added bonus in that in comparison to where the band started, it’s amazing that the band would go so quickly from a college campus to playing major venues the world over.  Those massive venues included the likes of: Pink Pop, Rock Am, Reading Festival and its now iconic 2010 performance at Finsbury Park in London, England.  The performance was a thank you to fans who had helped the band’s single, ‘Killing in the Name’ reach number one over the winner of the U.K.’s X-factor the year before.  The turnout is absolutely incredible.  And the recorded performance is just as amazing.  Both the video and audio mix are above par.  Both help to translate the energy of both the audience and band to home viewers.  Yet again, it’s one more incredible piece that makes this set so much more powerful.   

A lot of thought and work went into assembling the final product that is RATM’s twentieth anniversary deluxe box set.  It includes the band’s original album both on CD and vinyl.  It also includes the band’s original demo tape that would lead to its landmark debut, as well as loads of live material on CD and DVD.  And let fans not forget about the included oversized photo book and double sided poster.  By the time fans have gone through this set, one of two things will happen.  It will leave fans hoping for the day that RATM returns in force with a brand new album or it will leave fans feeling fully satisfied at having a rather large piece of the band’s legacy.  Both reactions are great reactions to have as this deluxe box set is equally great for any of the band’s legions.  It’s available now in stores and online and makes for a very good gift for the RATM fan in anyone’s house.  It can be ordered online direct from the band’s official website, http://www.ratm.com/rage20/.  Fans can also get all the latest info from the band on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.comRATM.

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