Unearth Touring This Fall And Winter

Metal Blade’s own Unearth has made it official.  The band will be on the road this Fall and Winter alongside Born of Osiris in support of its latest album, “Darkness In The Light.”  The bands will be joined by special guests Obey The Brave, The Contortionist, and  Wolves at the Gate on specific dates.  Unearth and Born of Osiris will start their tour October 11th at the Shanghai Music Expo.  The performance is part of the band’s Southeast Asia tour.  That tour will run through October 21st

After it completes the Southeast Asian leg of its tour, Unearth will join up with Born of Osiris and the other aforementioned bands as it makes its way across the United States.  Unearth will start the U.S. leg of its tour on November 1st in Nashua, New Hampshire.  They will perform along with Born of Osiris and Wolves at the Gate.  Obey the Brave and The Contortionist will also join the bill throughout November.  For a complete tour line-up and the latest news from Unearth, go online to http://www.unearth.tv, http://twitter.com/unearthofficial, and http://www.facebook.com/unearthofficial.

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Delta Rae To Perform at Democratic National Convention

Durham, North Carolina’s own Delta Rae has announced that it has been selected to perform at the Democratic national Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina next Thursday, September 6th.  The convention will be at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.  Delta Rae will join music icon James Taylor as one of the convention’s performing acts before President Obama’s nomination acceptance speech.  DNC CEO Steve Kerrigan spoke on Delta Rae being added to the convention’s performer roster.  “Highlighting such amazing talent from North Carolina as part of the entertainment at the convention’s closing event is just one way that convention organizers are working to bring the flavor of North Carolina to all Americans,” he said.  He added, “Whether you’re one of the tens of thousands who received community credentials to attend this historic event in person, or tuning in remotely, you will have a taste of the wonderful region that is home to this year’s convention.”

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Delta Rae member Ian Holljes shared his thoughts on being selected as part of the convention and on President Obama’s accomplishments during his first term in office.  He said, “Watching Barack Obama win election to the presidency in 2008 was one of the most affirming and exciting moments of my life as an American.  I am so thrilled to think what he can accomplish in a second term and I couldn’t be more humbled that Delta Rae’ music will be a part of ushering in that great hope.”  He expressed his support for Obama, saying, “We seem to be at a tipping point for so many important movements.  Marriage equality, women’s rights, and the protection of the middle class among them – and I believe President Obama’s continued leadership is essential to landing on the right side of history on these issues.”

Holljes’ brother–and fellow Delta Rae band member—Eric noted the importance of the youth vote in this year’s election.  He said, “There are currently so many issues being discussed and decisions being made in Washington that are going to drastically affect me and my generation.  I truly hope, as young people, we stand up in this election and let our collective voice be heard.” 

One of the songs on the band’s debut album, “Carry The Fire”, tackles the issue of North Carolina’s gay marriage ban.  ‘Chain on Love’ was a response to Prop 8.  Audiences can check out the video for ‘Chain on Love’ online at http://youtu.be/qnd9ylWsfRA.  Audiences can also check out the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Bottom Of The River’ online at http://youtu.be/bimam2j2gEg.  And to check out a medley of the band’s songs on Warner Sound go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ_JqRcU9YA.

Along with the band’s upcoming performance at the DNC, Delta Rae will also be performing at Mike Dianna’s Grill in Corolla, NC on Saturday, October 13th.  For a full list of the band’s tour dates and all of its latest news, go online to http://deltarae.com, http://www.facebook.com/deltarae, http://twitter.com/deltarae, and on its official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/deltaraeband

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

Spare Change Band Headlining Final Alive At Five Concert

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C.– Summer is winding down.  And as Summer is winding down, so is Morehead City’s annual Alive at Five concert series.  And closing out the annual concert series is the Spare Change Band. 

The Spare Change Band will perform Friday, August 31st from 5pm – 8pm at Katherine Davis Park.  the locally and regionally renowned band covers songs from artists the likes of:  Kenny Chesney, Alicia Keys, LMFAO, Adele, and a bevy of others.  The band is from LaGrange, North Carolina and has been performing together for a decade.  More information on the Spare Change Band is available online at the band’s website, http://www.sparechangemusic.net.

Morehead City’s annual Alive at Five Summer Concert Series is presented by R.A. Jeffreys and Bud Light.  Floyd’s 1921 Restaurant and Catering also serve as sponsors alongside Twice The Ice and Potash Corp. of Aurora.  It is hosted by the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association (DMCRA).  More information on the DMCRA and its annual events, go online to http://www.downtownmoreheadcity.com.

Sin & Bones One Of 2012’s Best Hard Rock And Metal Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Fozzy is one of the biggest names in rock music today.  The brainchild of guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) and WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, the band started out as a Spinal Tap style novelty act in 2000 when it released its self titled debut.  That album and the one to follow were largely collections of cover songs that the band had recorded.  But then in 2005, the band started to show that it meant to be taken more seriously with the release of “All That Remains.”  That was the band’s first full length album of its own material.  Needless to say it was a little bit of a bumpy ride.  But with the release of “Chasing The Grail” five years later, the band showed just how much it had matured as a serious hard rock act.  And now, two years after the release of “Chasing The Grail”, Fozzy has shown on its third full length album of original material why its members are collectively living up to the reputation of being huge rock stars.

“Sin & Bones” opens with the song, ‘Spider in My Mouth.’  It starts out with a really spooky sounding take on the kids’ song about the spider and the waterspout before blasting into an all out assault from the whole band.  That assault leads into a more melodic chorus section that’s a direct opposite to the verses.  That balance of the heavy and soft makes for a solid re-introduction to the world of Fozzy on this album.  The band keeps the adrenaline flowing after ‘Spider in My Mouth’, giving audiences just enough time to collect themselves before launching into the album’s lead single, ‘Sandpaper.’  ‘Sandpaper’ comes across as a metaphorical statement about facing adversity and rough “sandpaper” style situations.  Jericho sings about facing things that might otherwise scare a person.  He notes, “Something happens when you scare all the monsters away.”  That line alone is a telling statement.  Add in Jericho’s powerhouse vocals, and listeners understand why this was the chosen lead single for “Sin & Bones.”

‘Spider in My Mouth’ and ‘Sandpaper’ are an excellent start to “Sin & Bones.”  They’re just part of the total package that makes this album a great metal record.  The album’s third track, ‘Blood Happens’ is destined to become a fan favorite.  This is a song that will have every true blooded hard rocking, heavy metal head banger putting his or her horns in the air.  The crushing guitar and drums of Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere mixed with the vocal tag teaming of Jericho and Ward make it one more of the album’s best moments.

“Sin & Bones” has plenty more high energy moments that any Fozzy fan will love such as in the almost Warrant style ‘She’s My Addiction’, the edgier ‘Dark Passenger’, and ‘Shine Forever.’  The album also has a softer moment in ‘Inside My Head.’  They all combine to give fans more than their fair share of great songs from which to choose.  All combined, the songs on “Sin & Bones” make this record one of the best hard rock and metal records of 2012.  Fozzy is officially out on tour now on the Rockstar Uproar Festival in support of its new album.  Fans in North Carolina will get to see the band live Tuesday, September 11th at the Time Warner cable Pavilion.  For all other tour dates and the latest news from Fozzy, fans can go online to http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://www.myspace.com/fozzytour, http://www.chrisjericho.com, http://www.thedukeofmetal.com, and http://www.centurymedia.com.

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Saving Abel’s New LP Another Radio Friendly Rock Record

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Saving Abel’s new record, “Bringing Down The Giant” is a solid readymade radio friendly rock record.  The sound of the band’s new album is exactly what fans have come to expect of the band.  It’s much the same as the band’s previous two albums, stylistically speaking.  It starts off really heavy before slowly getting a little softer and more poppy with each song. 

The album’s opener/title track is the heaviest track on the album, musically speaking.  Coming from a lyrical avenue, the song is empowering.  Front man Jared Weeks sings of facing a bully type figure.  He sings in this song, “Too many lies built up inside/you’re bound to fall/standing face to face you’re not so big after all/Take a bow/You had your shot/at looking down while you’re on top/so now your glory days are gone, gone, gone/Yeah I’m bringing down the giant.”  It’s an empowering song that encourages people to stand up and not let certain types of people try to look down on them and push them down. 

‘Bringing Down The Giant’ is not only the album’s heaviest song, but it’s also one of the LP’s best songs.  The combination of the empowering lyrics and heavy music will make it easily a fan favorite and an arena anthem.  Another song that fans are bound to love is the seemingly social commentary loaded, ‘You Make Me Sick.’  Weeks speaks of the deception of politicians, TV news broadcasters, and all the fake celebrities that are out there.  He sings, “Here comes mister cool thinks he’s lookin’ real fine/all dressed in black tattoos he found online/getting real loose in his daddy’s Cadillac/still livin’ with his mom in a three room shack…look at all these little girls/looking for their dreams/livin’ off these socialites/whose life ain’t what they seem/you make me sick.”  It goes on in similar fashion, eventually going after television news broadcasters and politicians.  Again, it’s a topic to which every listener can relate.  That relateability mixed with a great southern rock sound make this another of the standout tracks on “Bringing Down The Giant.”

Saving Abel tackles bully types on its new album.  And as noted, it also has some social commentary.  For those who want something a little different, there’s a nice anti-love song that any young man out there will love in ‘New Loser.’  Weeks sings in this song of a woman who obviously used him and threw him away.  The thing is, rather than being sad about it, Weeks writes the song from that empowered vantage point.  He writes about the woman in question, “Break away break free/It used to be me to carry all the drama around/It’s only been a pack or two/since I let you/And I can’t believe what I found/Cause it’s just like you to find someone who/Follows your around/What he don’t know she’s gonna kill him slow/Add another to the body count/Who’s the new loser?”  This song in no uncertain terms says to the female figure, “I’m glad you’re gone and I’m better off on my own.”  Of course female audiences could just as easily turn the roles around.  So again, it’s a song to which every listener can relate, making it one more hit from this LP.

The songs noted here are just a small sampling of what Saving Abel has to offer on its new album.  “Bringing Down The Giant” has even more to offer audiences looking for an album with some substance musically and lyrically.  The album is out in stores now.  And the band is currently touring in support of the album.  It will be playing the Madison Theater in Covington, Kentucky tonight.  That show will be followed by a stop at the Elbo Room Lounge in Rhinelander, Wisconsin on Thursday.  Fans can get a full tour rundown and all the latest news from the band online when they go to http://www.savingabel.com, http://www.facebook.com/savingabel, http://twitter.com/#!/savingabel, http://www.myspace.com/savingabel, and the band’s official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/savingabel

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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.

Barn Burner Hits The Road This Winter With Gallows

Metal Blade’s very own Barn Burner has officially announced that it will hit the road this Winter with Gallows.  The bands will kick off their tour on Friday, November 2nd at the Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland.  Barn Burner recently wrapped a tour with Skeletonwitch in support of its 2011 Metal Blade release, “Bangers II:  Scum of the Earth.”  This tour will take Barn Burner and Gallows mainly across Canada, with stops around the Northeast, Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest along the way.

Guitarist/vocalist Kevin Keegan offered his thoughts on the upcoming tour, saying,  “Our relentless tour war path continues as we shackle ourselves to another month worth of gigs with the fierce rippers, Gallows. We shall provide the heavy metal appetizer to their punk rock main course; she’ll be a feast fit for kings and scum bags alike!”

More information on Barn Burner’s tour and all of the band’s latest news is available online at http://www.facebook.com/theinfamousbarnburner, http://twitter.com/BARNBURNERMTL, and http://www.myspace.com/theinfamousbarnburner.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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.

Knotfest Performance Times Announced

Organizers behind the first annual Knotfest concert festival have announced the performance times for the two day festival.  Slipknot will headline the festival both days.  The band will take the stage at 9:30pm this Friday and play until 11pm.  Saturday night, the band will take to the stage at 10:20 and will play until midnight.  Lamb of God headlines the second stage both nights.  The band, who was previously uncertain for the festival until very recently, will start its performance Friday night at 8:25pm.  It will take the second stage at 9:15pm Saturday night.

Prong and Dillinger Escape Plan will share main stage duties, with Prong opening the main stage Friday afternoon at 3:55pm.  Dillinger Escape Plan opens the main stage Saturday afternoon at 4:30. 

Machine Head, Deftones, Serj Tankian, Gojira, Cannibal Corpse and others will also be on hand.  To get a full rundown of performance times, fans can go online to http://www.knotfest.com.  Fans can also get all the latest from Slipknot online at http://www.slipknot1.com.  Tickets and VIP packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/KNOTFEST-tickets/artist/1741056 and http://vipnation.com/programs/knotfest-2012.  Hotel accommodations can be made at http://knotfest.com/aug-17.  More information on camping options is available at http://www.tempotickets.com/knotfestcamping.

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The Outlaws Have Plenty Of Reason To Be “Proud” Of Their New LP

Courtesy: Rocket Science Ventures

The Outlaws is coming!  Get it?  It’s a movie reference for those who might not have known.  The movie in question is The Three Stooges’ 1965 movie by the same name.  Of course that movie was anything but good, thanks to one Curly Joe DeRita.  It isn’t the focus of today’s review.  The Outlaws in question getting the focus today is the Tampa Bay, Florida based Southern Rock band.  The Outlaws has been making music for four decades.  This band has been there through thick and thin during the entire course of its career.  And next month, The Outlaws will release its eleventh full length studio album, titled, “It’s About Pride.”

“It’s About Pride” is a fitting title for the band’s new album as it’s an album of which the band’s fans new and old will be proud.  The album opens strongly with the song, ‘Tomorrow’s Another Night.’  It’s a straight forward country rock style song with a hopeful chorus that in its own way outlines everything that this band has been through in its career.  The band sings in the chorus, “Tomorrow’s another night/Maybe the light will shine on me/I’ll take what I’m given/And I’ll hold on tight/Win or lose/it’s gonna be alright/But tomorrow’s another night.”  The song drives, musically speaking, through its entire four and a half minute run time, keeping listeners’ ears the whole time.  The multi-guitar “attack” and guitar solos add their own flare to the song, too.

The band follows up ‘Tomorrow’s Another Night’ with an equally driving song in ‘Hidin’ Out in Tennessee.’  It’s basically another song about life on the road for a band.  This type of song is nothing new to the music business.  It crosses the border from rock to country.  But rather than taking the Bon Jovi or Kid Rock route, The Outlaws take a more positive outlook here, singing, “Nobody knows where an outlaw goes/and they d*** sure don’t wanna be found/If you’re lookin’ for me/I’ll be hiding out in Tennessee.”  The song breaks down into a mini jam session from the last chorus that will get any pure blood country fan on his or her feet.  It’s a great way to finish off this song and segue into the next.

That next song is the album’s title track.  And it’s bound to be one of the album’s biggest hits.  For that matter it could very well become one of the band’s biggest hits in its entire four decade long career.  Front man Henry Paul sings of the band’s roots, and its pride in those roots.  As noted in the band’s bio, this song tells the story of how the band has endured so much and has still come back for more.  As with ‘Hidin’ Out In Tennessee’, the multi-guitar attack adds its own touch.  The music in general really catches the vibe of the song’s lyrics, too.  It helps to convey the band’s early history and everything that it has faced to get where it is today.   

The album’s opening trio of tracks is a great way to start off what is a great return for a band that’s been away for quite some time.  They are only part of the overall success of the album, though.  Fans will also enjoy the George Thorogood style ‘Born To Be Bad’ and the Neil Young/Lynyrd Skynyrd styled ‘Trouble Rides A Fast Horse.’  Fans of fellow southern rock acts such as the Eagles and Tom Petty will like ‘Trail of Tears’ and ‘Right Where I Belong.’  ‘Trail of Tears’ is a touching story of what happened to the Native American community as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  Whether these songs or any others, fans will all have more than their share of favorite songs.  They all combine to make for an album that any fan of southern rock and/or country will enjoy.

“It’s About Pride” hits stores Tuesday, September 25th via Rocket Science Ventures.  While fans wait for the album’s release, they can see them live on tour.  The band will be in Vernal, Utah next Friday, August 17th for the annual Country Explosion.  To see more tour dates and keep up with all the latest from The Outlaws, fans can check them out online at http://www.outlawsmusic.com, http://www.facebook.com/outlawsmusic, http://twitter.com/outlawsmusic, and on the band’s official YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/outlawsmusic.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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.

Buxter Hoot’n Celebrates New EP Release With Only Live Show Of 2012

Courtesy: Randex PR

Indie rock act Buxter Hoot’n will hold its only live show of 2012 next Friday, August 17th.  The show will be at San Francisco’s Cafe DuNord on 2170 Market St. in San Francisco at 9:30pm PST.  Anyone in the San Francisco area that night can get in for $10.  The band will be joined by Fox & Woman, Quuinn Deveuax, Kelly Mcfarling and others.  The show is being held in celebration of the release of the band’s new EP, “NA NA NA.”  The new EP will be released nationwide on September 4th.

Anyone who wants more information on next Friday’s show can go online to Cafe DuNord’s website, http://www.cafedunord.com.  More information on buxter Hoot’n is available online at http://www.buxterhootn.com, http://www.facebook.com/buxterhootn, http://twitter.com/buxterhootn, and on its officialy Youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/buxterhootn11

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

Sedaka’s Live Show Is A Simple, Beautiful Set

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

Neil Sedaka’s newly released live CD, “The Show Goes On:  Live at the Royal Albert Hall” is musical simplicity at its finest.  This companion CD to the musical legend’s DVD release of the same performance has been six years in the making.  Being that this performance has already been released via DVD, and now on CD, it makes one wonder if it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue.  Until then, at least audiences have this wonderful audio record of a performance that is simple.  The simplicity of the performance makes the show fun and makes his classic hits that much more beautiful. 

Sedaka’s performance was simply him and his piano.  There was no band.  There was no pyro.  Nothing.  It’s proof positive that the old k.i.s.s. formula does work.  His vocals, and his ability on the keys, shows why he is just as respected as fellow pianist/vocalists Billy Joel and Elton John, if not even more so.  The show’s opener, ‘The Other Side of Me’ is a beautiful, gentle piece that shows Sedaka’s control of both his vocal instrument and his piano.  The dynamic contrasts throughout the piece make it flow with such ease.  The emotions of the song are perfectly expressed through those dynamic contrasts.  It pulls the audience right in.  And the airiness of the sound thanks to the size of the Royal Albert Hall makes the emotion of the song echo throughout the building.  That in itself gives the song that much more power.

Another wonderful moment from this recorded performance comes in the classic, ‘Love Will Keep Us Together.’  Sedaka explains to the audience in attendance how he came to write the classic song.  His interaction with the audience as it collectively claps to the music exhibits a chemistry between everyone involved that makes the song that much more enjoyable.  Listeners won’t be able to hold back the laughs as he talks about he writes songs, from developing a melody to experimenting with vocals and more.  His lighthearted delivery makes this such a fun song.  Of course, the song itself is just as fun as his interaction with the audience as he performs.

“The Show Goes On:  Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is loaded with great moments for any Neil Sedaka fan.  The set list is comprised of twenty-one total songs.  So it would be impossible to touch on each and every one.  But there is at least one more memorable moment in this performance.  Being that it is such a classic, what Neil Sedaka show would be complete without the one and only ‘Calendar Girl.’  Sedaka shows why the piano is considered a percussion instrument in many circles.  The way that he plays it is what really gives the song its identity, believe it or not.  His vocals match that style, too.  It combines to make just one more of what proves to be a great listen for any oldies fan.

Some people have commented on the “airy-ness” of the performance’s audio.  Given, the Royal Albert Hall isn’t a small building.  But that “airy-ness” is part of what makes this show so spectacular.  This show is just Neil and a piano.  The manner in which his vocals and his music echo throughout the hall add so much to the show’s simplicity.  It’s one more bonus to what is a great show simply from the set list.  But keeping that in mind, one can only hope that it will eventually see a blu-ray re-issue.  Audiences will appreciate the concert that much more seeing the dichotomy of how simple Sedaka’s stage set was versus the size of the hall.  That visual image alone makes it all that much more powerful.  Until then, audiences at least have this new audio recording of Sedaka’s show.  “The Show Goes On:  Live At The Royal Albert Hall” is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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 all the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.