Psychedelic Resurrection Is A Welcome Return From A Cult Favorite Band

Courtesy:  Kayos Productions

Courtesy: Kayos Productions

The Blues Magoos are back! It’s been some four decades since audiences last heard from this cult favorite garage rock band.  And now the wait is over thanks to the release of the band’s new album Psychedelic Resurrection.  The album’s title is slightly deceiving as few of the songs that make up its track listing are necessarily psychedelic per se.  That’s not to say that the songs (both new and re-worked alike) aren’t enjoyable.  That should not be misinterpreted.  They are each interesting works in their own right, though.  And altogether all ten of the songs included on this record make Psychedelic Resurrection a great re-introduction for one of the best of the least-known bands of the 60s. One track on this record that does live up to the album’s title is its closer ‘Tobacco Road.’  This bluesy piece conjures thoughts of both The Doors and Deep Purple believe it or not.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ also presents a little bit of that old school rock sound.  And then there is the equally bluesy ‘Gotta Get Away.’  One can’t help but think about a smoky nightclub in listening to this openly classic rock style piece.  This song is the equivalent of a musical time capsule that has been pried open.  It brings to the 21st century a sound that so many have tried and failed to emulate.  Together with the likes of ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ ‘Gotta Get Away’ serves as more proof of why every rock and roll purist should hear Psychedelic Resurrection at least once.  That is not to discount the other songs on this record.  Every track on this record offers its own enjoyment and value.  And in listening to each of the songs that make up this record, audiences of all ages will agree that The Blues Magoos deserves to be more than the cult favorite that it was so many years ago.  It could well be more than that cult favorite when audiences and programmers nationwide give Psychedelic Resurrection at least one listen.

The Blues Magoos was never one of the biggest names in the music industry.  It was thanks to the band’s one major hit ‘(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet’ in the 1960s.  After that one song, the band never really was able to attain the same level of success earned thanks to that single song.  It has still managed to maintain its place in the rock pantheon, though, remaining one of the rock world’s best known unknown bands.  Confused yet? Ok.  Now thanks to its brand new release Psychedelic Resurrection, the Blues Magoos is set to make a name for itself again.  Thanks to the songs included on this record include both new songs and some revamped pieces, too.  One of the best of the songs included in this record is its closing number ‘Tobacco Road.’  The song’s bluesy sound instantly conjures thoughts of both The Grateful Dead and to a slightly lesser degree Deep Purple.  And while it runs just over five and a half minutes, the richness of the song makes it feel like it runs much longer.  That is meant in the best manner possible.  Front man “Peppy” Castro sings of a young man growing up in a difficult situation against the twelve-bar blues sound established by himself and lead guitarist Dennis LePore. Thielhelm sings of the young man’s upbringing, “I was born/In a dump/Momma died/And my daddy got drunk/They left me here/To die alone/In the middle of Tobacco Road/I grew up in/A rusty shack/All I had/Was what was hanging on my back/Only you know/How low/This place called Tobacco Road.”  Anyone that is a fan of The Doors will be able to catch a similarity to that band’s hit song ‘Roadhouse Blues’ in listening to this composition.  It is slight.  But it is there.  And it’s a nice touch, too.  Even Castro sounds a little like The Doors’ legendary front man Jim Morrison as he sings.  That makes this song even more of a joy for any purist rock and roll purists out there.  There are certain elements in the song that conjure thoughts of Deep Purple, too.  Such combination is certain to make this song a favorite among audiences regardless of their familiarity with The Blues Magoos.  Whether they are hearing the band for the first time or the first time in a long time, it is one of the best moments on this record.  It isn’t the record’s only positive moment, either.

‘Tobacco Road’ proves to be one of the best of Psychedelic Resurrection’s moments thanks to its direct link back to fellow greats of rock’s golden age such as The Doors, Deep Purple, and to a lesser extent The Grateful Dead.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ is another of the best moments from The Blues Magoos’ new album.  Unlike the album’s closer, this song is a much more straight-forward rock tune.  Its straight 4/4 time is driven largely by the band’s original drummer Geoff Daking.  His work on the kit alongside Castro’s vocals and work on the guitar may lead some to make a comparison to The Knack.  The song’s infectious chorus of “I’m still playin’/And you’re still hanging around” alone make this song another fun addition to the album.  Castro’s catchy riffs and Daking’s impeccable time keeping make the song even more enjoyable for audiences. The end result is one more song that given the opportunity will make The Blues Magoos more than just a one-hit wonder this time around.

Both ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ are great additions to The Blues Magoos’ new record.  They serve as only a tiny cross section of the album’s enjoyable whole, though.  ‘Gotta Get Away’ is perhaps one of the best additions of all to this record.  The reason for that is the seeming musical bridge between music’s golden era and its more modern era.  Castro sounds a little bit like fellow veteran vocalist Elvis Costello in this song, while the song’s musical side bears resemblance to the likes of Neil Young during the verses.  The song’s chorus sections sound are throwbacks to the golden era of rock.  As with the previously noted songs Daking’s drumming and Castro’s guitar work serves as the song’s backbone.  It is one of those musical hybrids that absolutely must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated.   Audiences that give this song a chance and any of the others included in this album will agree that while The Blues Magoos was little more than a cult favorite way back in the 1960s, it could be far more than that today thanks to this album.  Given the chance by audiences and programmers alike, Psychedelic Resurrection will prove that despite the comments of the likes of Gene Simmons, rock is not dead, but alive and well.

Psychedelic Resurrection is available now in stores and online.  In celebration of the album’s release, The Blues Magoos will perform live tomorrow, October 16th at The Bowery Electric in New York City.  Audiences can also pick up the band’s album at that concert, too tomorrow.  More information on Psychedelic Resurrection and all of the latest updates and live dates from The Blues Magoos is available online at:

Website: http://www.thebluesmagoos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blues-Magoos-Psychedelic-Resurrection/136384816418734

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Michael C. Ford Releases Details Of Upcoming Album

Courtesy:  Hen House Studios

Courtesy: Hen House Studios

Michael C. Ford will release his latest work this Summer.

Ford will release Look Each Other In The Ears June 10th. The record, featuring accompaniments from The Doors’ Robby Krieger, John Densmore and the late Ray Manzarek, mixes the jazz-rock improv styling of Frank Zappa with the poetic yet socially conscious lyrics of the 1960s. It is the latest in a long string of releases from Ford that dates all the way back to his 1986 debut audio release Language Commando. That album garnered Ford a Grammy nomination in the “Spoken Word” category. It should be noted that many of the pieces recorded with the Doors members were recorded before the 2013 passing of Ray Manzarek. It is also the last recording ever made with what were then the remaining members of The Doors.

Ford’s new album runs the gamut, lyrically speaking. He noted in a recent interview how the current state of the nation led to the creation of many of the record’s works. “America has been transformed into, for all practical purposes, a non-existent attention span,” he said. “We don’t talk to each other on the phone anymore: we text message. We don’t drop a tone arm onto a turntable and watch a needle groove across tracks anymore: we stick iPods in our ears. I believe this recorded document is designed to inspire an audience of potential listeners to really turn the pages of their personal nostalgic notepads. My compositions of verbal art, certainly never forgetting the significance of all accompanying crafty instrumentals and the vast lyrical choral vocal contributions, create this maze of voices that I like to think of as movies for your ears.”

 

The track listing for Look Each Other In The Ears is listed below.

 

LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EARS track listing:

–For Openers (Lost Jazz Bars in Four-Time)

–A Simple Ode (To Frank O’Hara)

–Waterfalls (Look Each Other In The Ears)

–I Don’t Wanna Go (Said The Suicide)

–Mars Is America (Anytime At All)

–Sleeping Underwater

–Making Out (With Westwood Village)

–(Autobiography of) An American Bomb

–Wartime Carol (Bringing The War Back Home)

–Whatever Happened To The Orangegroves, Grandma

–Float Of Drive (Triple Bypass)

 

More information on Look Each Other In The Eye and more from Michael C. Ford is available online at http://www.michaelcford.com and http://henhousestudios.com/michael-c-ford-look-each-other-in-the-ears. 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.

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

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

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

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

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

Those behind R-Evolution are to be commended for making available PIP commentary.  They are just as worthy of praise for the last factor in this presentation’s success.  That factor is the availability of R-Evolution in both standard edition and deluxe edition.  R-Evolution has been made available both in standard edition and expanded deluxe edition on both Blu-ray and DVD.  The deluxe edition comes complete with a bonus forty-page booklet loaded with trivia on the band, photos, lyrics and so much more.  This collection of extras is well worth the extra cost for any true blooded Doors fan.  Regardless of whether one picks up the standard or deluxe edition of R-Evolution, there is no denying that this upcoming musical documentary is quite the way for Eagle Rock Entertainment to kick off 2014.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Hidden Masters’ Debut LP Takes Psych-pop To A Whole New World

Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records

The 1960s and 70s were two of the most important decades in the history of modern music.  Those twenty years saw some of the music world’s most influential and prolific artists and bands rise to fame.  Among those artists and bands were the likes of The Doors, Crosby Stills and Nash, Country Joe McDonald, and so many others.  Decades later, those artists and their music remain some of the most important and influential around.  One of the most recent examples of that influence lies in Glasgow, Scotland’s three piece known as Hidden Masters.  The band’s new album, Of This and Other Worlds is one of those albums that any true fan of rocks’ golden era will appreciate.  The songs on this new release openly exhibit the influence of the likes of The Doors, CSN, and others.  One of the most interesting of the album’s offerings is the song, ‘Last Days of the Sun.’ This song stands out among the album’s other tracks because of its two completely contrasting sounds.   At first it comes across as another of the band’s classic psychadelic style pieces.  But the song’s final moments sound more modern, with a sort of garage punk rock vibe.  Audiences will especially appreciate the almost Blue Oyster Cult style use of the cowbell (we need. More. Cowbell.) in this song.  That set against the song’s rather interesting lyrics, and audiences get a song that must be heard to be believed.  Lyrically speaking, ‘Last Days of the Sun’ is just as interesting as it is musically.  Front man David Addison sings as the song opens, “Tell me do you think it’s gonna rain/I sense something/But I just can’t name/The birds complaining too…”  Simply put, the combination of the lyrics and music together make this one of the album’s most intriguing tracks that must be heard.  It will grow on listeners more with each listen.

‘Last Days of the Sun’ is certain to make listeners pay very close attention to the song.  There is so much going on to take away from the song.  If that song isn’t enough for listeners, drummer John Nichol’s work behind the kit will impress on ‘There Are More Things.’  Nichols’ drives the song with his drumming right from the song’s outset.  The trio’s harmonies in the song’s chorus and its almost rockabilly meets hippy music feel only serve to make it even more interesting.  Its seemingly contemplative lyrics about all the things that man doesn’t know weirdly work with the music.  The two elements together give the song a certain mysterious vibe.  They are a good fit together.  And they make this one of those infectious songs that will get stuck in any listener’s head with ease, given the chance.

The energy exuded by the band in ‘There Are More Things’ is maintained even after that song ends and the band launches into the album’s next song.  The song in question is ‘Nobody Knows That We’re Here.’  What makes this song such an interesting addition to the album is that Addison’s part here is reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Painted Black.’  Some might argue here that that’s a little bit of a stretch.  But those that know the song will agree that the Rolling Stones influence is there even if it is purely coincidental.  The addition of Alasdair Mitchell’s keyboard part helps to set the song apart from that influence and turn the song into its own creation.  Together with the once again somewhat cryptic  lyrics sung by Addison, it makes for one more song that listeners will grow to enjoy more with each listen.

The songs noted in this article are just a small sampling of what Hidden Masters has to offer on its new album.  There are seven more songs from which to choose.  Each listener will find his or her favorite song(s) throughout the album’s ten tracks.  It is available now and can be ordered direct from the Rise Above Records online store at http://www.riseaboverecords.com/store/hidden-masters-of-this-and-other-worlds/.  More information on Hidden masters is available online at http://www.facebook.com/hiddenmastersmusic.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock To Premiere Doors Live Online

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment recently released one of the most iconic performances ever records from The Doors in Live From The Bowl ’68.  Now, fans of the Doors are getting a chance to see this classic performance online next week.  The performance will be streamed online at Facebook courtesy of digital streaming service, Qello.  Along with the streaming performance, Doors member Ray Manzarek will take part in a live online Q&A session after the performance is finished.  It will be hosted by Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres.

Fans can get in on the whole thing for a price of $4.99.  Ticket price includes access to Live at The Bowl ’68 for one month, access to the live Q&A, access to The Doors’ box set, and a free 30-day all-access pass to Qello’s entire library of HD concerts and documentaries available on up to five devices.  Current Quello All-Access subscribers get all of the noted features free.

Tickets to the Facebook digital premiers of The Doors’ Live at The Bowl ’68 are available online at http://apps.facebook.com/thedoorslive.  Those who purchase tickets to the digital premiere can post questions to the live Q&A now.

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.

New Doors Blu-ray A Beautifully Re-Mastered Performance

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

The year is winding down once more.  The weather is getting cooler.  And that means that the concert tours that are currently going on have gone indoors.  So what is a person to do until the warm weather and the annual Summer tour season returns?  How about another new release from Eagle Rock Entertainment?  In its latest release, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released one more iconic concert from what was, is, and always will be one of rock’s most iconic bands.  That band is The Doors.

The Doors: Live at The Bowl ’68 is one of the most important performances from the storied career of this psychedelic band.  As audiences will note in the bonus featurette included in this new release, “Echoes From The Bowl”, this famed concert venue started out as a place for whole families to go.  It started out not as a venue for mainstream music, but for classical and other forms of performances.  But it goes on to note that as music tastes changed, so did the Bowl’s performance lineups.  And one of those changes was in the form of Jim Morrison and company.  Probably no one would have seen that one coming, including the band itself.  Even the remaining band members note in this feature that they themselves were in awe of being at the famed Hollywood Bowl.  But as audiences will see in watching this re-mastered performance, the band was a massive hit as the entire venue was packed with fans.  And those fans showed their appreciation for the band’s performance, too.  The audience’s reaction to the band’s performance translates quite well for home audiences. 

The audience’s reaction to the band’s performance translates very well to home viewers.  The reaction aside, the band’s performance itself also translates quite well to home viewers.  Part of the reason that the performance and the audience’s reaction to it translated so well was perhaps the re-mastering of this performance.  Those who have HDTV’s and Blu-ray players will be amazed at the clarity of the picture and the sound.  Considering that this performance was originally recorded in 1968, it’s amazing simply to think that the footage stood the test of time so well.  Add in how it was…well…masterfully re-mastered (ba-dump-bump-bump), and audiences get a recording that will leave them in awe.  It’s one more piece of evidence in the argument for getting an HDTV and/or Blu-ray player this holiday season.  For those that already have either one or both, then this new Blu-ray release will make an excellent gift idea for the classic rock fan in anybody’s home.

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.

Music Festival to celebrate The Doors

The annual Sunset Strip Music Festival will celebrate the music of The Doors at this year’s festival.  The weekend long festival will run from Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 18th.  It will be held at the world famous Sunset Strip. 

The whole thing will kick off with a performance by an all-star band that will honor the Doors August 16th.  The festival will close on Sunday, August 18th with an all day Street Fest, headlined by none other than Marilyn Manson.  Also on hand to peform will be Steve Aoki, Bad Religion, The Offspring, Black Label Society, De La Soul, and lots more.

The Whisky A Go-Go will join fellow legendary music clubs, The Roxy Theatre and Key Club in hosting full ineups of performances from over fifty bands during the day.  Tickets for the event are available now.  They can be purchased online at http://Ticketweb.com/SSMF.  Anyone looking to travel to the festival by air can also get a discount on plane tickets to Los Angeles on Virgin America by going to http://www.virginamerica.com/vx/booking/ssmf.html?cid=PRO_338.  The flights must be booked for days between August 13th and 21st to obtain the discount.

A portion of ticket sales for this year’s festival will go to benefit the Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in pasdena, California.  The center has been in operation since 1969.  For more information on the Impact Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, go online to http://www.impacthouse.com.  More information on the Sunset Strip Music Festival is available online at http://www.sunsetstripmusicfestival.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sunsetstripmusicfestival and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/SSMF.  

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest entertainment news at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.