TesseracT Joining Gojira For Upcoming North American Tour

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records/eOne

TesseracT is returning to the U.S. this fall.

The U.K.-based progressive metal band has announced that it will serve as support for Gojira on its upcoming U.S. tour.  The tour is in support of Gojira’s upcoming album Magma, due out Friday June 17th via Roadrunner Records.  As TesseracT front man Dan Tomkins noted in a recent interview, the tour will be the band’s last in support of Polaris, its latest full-length studio recording.  Polaris was released September 18th, 2015.  He also discussed touring with Gojira, noting, “We are thrilled to announce that we will be back in the U.S. and Canada throughout September and October.”  He went on to say, “This will be the final tour of the ‘Polaris’ cycle and we couldn’t think of a better way to do it! This will be our first support tour in a long time and we are very excited to be touring with such a groundbreaking and unique band; it will be an honour to share the stage with them. Gojira have a great and loyal fanbase and we look forward to presenting our live show to them and of course for our own dedicated fans and friends. We will again be running our VIP meet and greets, which are always so much fun, so we hope to shake hands and chat with even more new faces this time around!”

This fall’s upcoming North American tour will mark the first time since last year’s run with The Contortionist, Erra, and Skyharbor.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming live dates go on sale this Friday, May 6th.  They can be purchased online here at each venue’s ticket office.  Special bundle packs can be purchased online here.  Full album streams of Polaris are currently available online now via YouTube at the band’s official website.  Audiences can also view the video for the song ‘Survival’ online via Kscope’s official YouTube channel now.

More information on TesseracT’s upcoming tour is available now online along with the band’s latest news, links to purchase Polaris and more at:

 

Website: http://www.tesseractband.uk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

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The Kingdom Of Zydeco Is One Of 2016’s Top new DVD/Blu-Ray Re-issues

Courtesy: MVD Visual/Mug Shot PRoductions

Courtesy: MVD Visual/Mug Shot PRoductions

Documentarian Robert Mugge’s recently re-issued presentation The Kingdom of Zydeco is an intriguing glance into the realm of the genre which is noted in its title.  The roughly hour-plus documentary is a stark contrast to his more recent zydeco documentary Zydeco Crossroads.  But that is not necessarily a bad thing.  As a matter of fact its story, in comparison to that of Zydeco Crossroads proves itself to be its own hugely important part of the program’s whole.  Its central story (so to speak) is just one of its key elements.  The archived performance footage that is used to tell the program’s story is another important element that should be noted.  The program’s bonus material rounds out its presentation, connecting everything together.  More specifically one of the bonuses in particular ties everything together.  That is not to discount the other material included as bonuses.  It is just that the one item in particular ties itself to the program’s central story and its footage more so than the other featured bonuses.  That aside, the combination of the bonus material, the program’s central story, and its featured performances, makes this presentation in whole one that–together with Zydeco Crossroads—a whole that music lovers and fans of zydeco alike should experience at least once.

MVD Visual’s recently re-issued presentation of The Kingdom of Zydeco is a presentation that, together with Zydeco Crossroads, should be experienced at least once by both music lovers and zydeco fans alike.  The main reason for this is the story at the heart of the roughly hour-plus program. In comparison to the story at the heart of its counterpart the story at the center of The Kingdom of Zydeco isn’t really a story in the purest sense.  What it really is, is a glance into the genre that is zydeco.  At the heart of it all is a competition between the “old guard” and the “new guard.”  The “old guard” is represented by Boozoo Chavis.  The “new guard” is represented by Beau Jocque.  Viewers get to see in their musical battle two totally different styles of zydeco music—the pure, old school (Chavis) and the newer, more heterogeneous style (Jocque).  The difference in the two styles is quite clear when one pays close attention to both.  To that end, it could be said that Mugge (MUG-EE) presenting both sides (and in turn both styles) of the “battle” serves as a good starting point in discussions on the roots of zydeco music and its evolution over time.  There are also interviews with both men that are included with the presentation.  Hearing the passion in Chavis’ voice about the music juxtaposed by Jocque’s more laid back persona makes for even more discussion believe it not.  That is because that contrast could generate just as much discussion among audiences about the mindset of the performers then and now.  One could ask do today’s zydeco players have the fire that Chavis clearly had or could they be more laid back yet still have that passion?  Regardless, seeing the love that those in the “Kingdom of Zydeco” have for the music and its performers, viewers will see that “new school” or “old school,” zydeco is the musical lifeblood of so many.  Understanding this, audiences will gain a certain appreciation for the “story” at the center of The Kingdom of Zydeco.    It shows that while not necessarily a conventional story, it is one that serves as a good starting point on any lesson(s) about the genre and its rich history.  It is just one part of what makes this documentary worth the watch.  The noted performances by Chavis and Jocque are just as important to the program as its “story.”

The non-traditional story that lies at the center of The Kingdom of Zydeco is in itself an important part of this recently re-issued documentary.  That is because while non-traditional, it does serve as a good starting point for any lesson(s) on zydeco music and its rich history.  For all of the importance that it presents it is just one part of what makes this program worth experiencing.  The performances that are presented within the program are just as important to the program as the program’s central “story.”  The performances are of central figures Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocque.  It has been noted already but is worth noting again that between the pair there are clearly noticeable differences in their styles.  Chavis’ sound is decidedly pure in its instrumentation and arrangement.  While Chavis’ band does include guitar and bass, the band’s musical arrangements do not make them the key instruments.  Rather they are centered more on the accordion and washboard.  In the same vein, the arrangements in question much purer than those of the more modern zydeco sound.  The funk and rock elements that are so prevalent in today’s zydeco are nowhere to be found in the older music made so famous by Chavis and his counterparts.  Instead it is more of the creole-rooted sound.  Jocque’s sound on the other hand exhibits more of those funk and rock (I.E. more modern) influences.  It tends to make the guitars and drums more the stars of the music than the accordion and washboard.  Regardless of audiences’ thoughts on both styles the presentation of both styles adds even more to that introduction of zydeco’s history.  It deepens even more the discussion on the changes through which the genre has gone over the time since its formation.  Not only that, but the performances themselves can be considered important because of their archival value.  They are pieces of musical history that had otherwise laid unseen for decades.  If not for the footage, those discussions on zydeco’s evolution might not have even happened.  Keeping this in mind, the performances that are featured over the course of this program prove to be indeed important in their own right to the overall presentation of The Kingdom of Zydeco.  Even with their importance in mind, they still are not the last of the program’s most notable elements.  The material that has been included in the recording as bonus material is just as important to the program as the program’s “story” and its featured performances.

Both the “story” at the center of Kingdom of Zydeco and its featured performances are important in their own right to the program’s overall presentation.  That is because of the historical value that they present.  While both elements are undeniably important to the documentary, they are not its only important elements.  The material that has been included this time as bonus material is just important to the program as its story and performances.  The “Introduction To The Kingdom with Robert Mugge” is the most important of the program’s bonuses.  It only runs ten minutes. But in the course of that time viewers are presented with quite a bit of important information about the program.  Viewers learn how the competition between Jocque and Chavis ended up at a masonic temple (hint: the suggestion came from the performers).  Viewers also learn that the very creation of this program stemmed from other documentaries that Mugge had worked on.  The documentaries in question centered on Alligator Records and another label.  And just as notable is Mugge’s own discussion on what held up the original release of Kingdom of Zydeco.  That discussion is truly interesting.  These are just a few of the topics covered over the course of the program’s bonus “Introduction.”  There is far more for audiences to take in over the short course of its ten-minute run time.  The very amount of information, and clarity in its delivery over that time makes this feature the most important of the program’s bonuses.  “Iguanas in the House” is another of the program’s bonus features.  It presents a full performance by a zydeco group called The Iguanas spliced with interviews with the band’s members.  The band’s members discuss how they came to join the band, their love for zydeco and more in their interviews.  It runs twenty-seven minutes.  And just as with the program’s bonus “introduction” it will keep viewers just as entertained and engaged.  “A Royal Title” is the last of the program’s bonus features.  This short three-minute segment focuses on the late great Boozoo Chavis and features an interview with Chavis that was lifted from the program’s main feature.  It’s short.  But it exhibits Chavis’ deep love and respect for zydeco and will in turn have audiences once again discussing who is the real king of zydeco.  No matter one’s opinion on this topic, viewers will all agree that its inclusion in the program, that of the program’s “introduction,” and bonus performance by The Iguanas all come together to prove once and for all why this program’s bonus material is so important to its overall presentation.  And the bonus material, together with the program’s central “story” and performances joins together to make the program in whole one that—together with Zydeco Crossroads—every music lover and zydeco fan alike should experience.  It proves just as much to be in whole one of 2016’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

The Kingdom of Zydeco is one of 2016’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.  It is also a program that should be experienced at least once by music lovers and fans of zydeco at least once.  That is especially the case when it is put alongside Mugge’s latest documentary Zydeco Crossroads.  This is thanks in part to the history presented in its central “story” of sorts and the performances that come along with that story.  The material that is included with the program as bonus material adds its own amount of interest to the program.  Each element is important to the program in its own right.  Altogether they make the Kingdom of Zydeco a program that is just as valuable in the classroom as the living room.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via MVD Visual’s online store at http://mvdb2b.com/s/TheKingdomOfZydeco/MVD7500D.  More information on this and other titles from MVD Visual is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.mvdvisual.com

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

 

 

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Cubs, Pirates Face Off In Key NL Central Matchup Tonight On MNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Pittsburgh Pirates took 2 of 3 against the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend, winning 4 – 1 and 5 – 1 Friday and Saturday respectively.  But the Reds got a bit of revenge Sunday night, taking the last of the teams’ 3-game series 6 – 5 in extra innings.  Now after that tough loss the Pirates look to regroup as they are set to face yet another NL Central foe this week in the form of the Chicago Cubs.  The teams face off this week in a 3-game series that begins tonight.  And ESPN will have full coverage of the series’ opener in this week’s edition of Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA.

Tonight’s game (and the series in whole) will have major implications for both teams even this early in the season.  That is because there’s more than just NL pride on the line.  The team’s cross city rivals, the White Sox, currently sit at 18 – 8 on the season so far.  The Cubs on the other hand are 17 – 6 so far on the season.  In the NL ranks, the Cubs are currently trying to hold off the second place Washington Nationals (17 – 7).  A win tonight (and wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Cubs pad their lead over the Nats.  It would also help the Cubs in their rivalry with the White Sox.  On the other side of the ball, a win in tonight’s series opener (combined with wins Tuesday and Wednesday) would help the Pirates as they battle with the Phillies and the Cubs for position.

Gerrit Cole is currently expected to start for the Pirates tonight.  He is 2- 2 so far on the season.  His last time on the mound was six days ago on April 26th against Colorado.  The Pirates routed the Rockies in that game 9 – 4 with Cole pitching six innings.  Cole didn’t have the greatest game, allowing 4 runs and 2 earned runs on 8 hits, and 1 home run.  He walked 2 and struck out 3.  This was all against 27 total batters.  Thanks to good fielding on Pittsburgh’s side and just as many problems for Colorado’s bullpen, the Pirates were able to pull off the win.

Starting for the Cubs tonight will be Jason Hammel.  Hammel is currently 3 – 0 on the season.  He has had plenty of time to rest and prepare for tonight’s game.  That’s because his last time on the mound was seven days ago against the Reds.  The Cubs blanked the Reds in that game 9 – 0.  Hammel was credited with the win having pitched 6 innings.  He was in top form in the game, too, allowing 0 runs on only 3 hits.  He walked only 2 of the 23 batters that he faced and struck out 7 while allowing 0 home runs and 0 earned runs.  Red pitcher Alfredo Simon meanwhile struggled mightily in the game, pitching only 2.2 innings before being pulled.  In that short time, he allowed 8 runs, 8 earned runs, and 2 home runs on 10 hits.  He walked only 1 of the 18 batters that he faced and struck out only 3.  So needless to say that Hammel will be on his A-game tonight.

Adding to the interest for tonight’s game (and this week’s series) is that while Pittsburgh and Chicago are evenly matched in their home records—Pittsburgh is 7 – 4 at home so far this season to Chicago’s 7 – 3—the visiting Cubs are 10 – 3 on the road so far to Pittsburgh’s 8 – 6 road record.  Chicago is 7 – 3 in its last 10 games while Pittsburgh is 8 – 2 in its last 10.  So when all of the numbers are added up, they show tonight’s game to be full of fireworks for both sides.  The same can be said of Tuesday and Wednesday’s games, too.

Dave Flemming will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Dallas Braden and Eduardo Perez for additional commentary.  ESPN Deportes will simulcast the game for the network’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Yanks, BoSox Close Out Weekend Series Tonight On SNB

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The Yankees and Red Sox go under the lights live on ESPN once again tonight as they wrap their latest series.

The Red Sox look to finish off the Yankees tonight as they close out their latest series against their long-time rivals live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell.  The Red Sox already already took the first two games in the teams’ weekend series 4 – 2, 8 – 0 Friday and Saturday respectively.  Nathan Eovaldi is expected to get the start for the Yankees tonight.  Eovaldi’s last time on the mound was April 25th against the Rangers.  He was impressive in that game, facing 24 batters and striking out 6 over the course of 7.2 innings.  He also kept the Rangers’ bats relatively quiet over that time, allowing only 2 hits but not one run, no home runs, and only 2 walks.

On the other side of the ball David Price is expected to take the mound for the Red Sox.  Price has been perfect for Boston so far this season going 3 – 0 in his starts so far.  His last time on the mound was April 26th against Atlanta.  Price struck out 14 of 33 batters over 8 innings allowing only 2 runs and 2 earned runs on 6 hits.  He walked only 2 of those 33 batters and kept the ball well inside the park, allowing 0 home runs.

Dan Shulman will be in the booth for tonight’s game.  He will be joined by analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza for additional commentary.  Reporter Buster Olney will be on the field with all of the latest in-game news, interviews and more throughout the game.  The game will be simulcast live on ESPN Deportes for ESPN and the MLB’s Spanish-speaking audiences.  And those that won’t be near a TV during the game can also still catch it live as it will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio and online via WatchESPN.

Before the first pitch is thrown, Karl Ravech, Dallas Braden, and Tim Kurkjian will preview the night’s game while analyzing the weekend’s previous games live on Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown.  The trio will be live on site in Boston with all of the latest on tonight’s game and a recap of the weekend’s games.  Broadcast begins at 7pm ET on ESPN.

More information on tonight’s game is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

 

 

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BBTN

 

 

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The Reverend Shawn Amos Premieres New Video; Announces New Live Dates

The Reverend Shawn Amos unveiled a new music video last week.  He also announced a new handful of live dates in support of his latest album The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You.

The Reverend Shawn Amos debuted the video for his song ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home)’ last week.  The song is taken from his latest full-length studio recording The Reverend Shawn Amos Loves You, which was released late last year.  Audiences can see the video online now via Amos’ official YouTube channel.  The video uses some interesting imagery to drive home song’s lyrical theme.  This should be kept in mind in watching the video.

 

Courtesy:  Put Together Records

Courtesy: Put Together Records

 

‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (When I Get Home)’ and its companion video are just the latest from Amos, who is in fact a fully ordained minister.  ‘Bright Lights, Big City,’ the album’s lead single, was premiered via Yahoo Music.  ‘Days of Depression,’ which features backing vocals from the world famous Blind Boys of Alabama, premiered online at Relix.  And ‘Brand New Man’ made its debut online at PureVolume.

Along with the release of his latest single, Amos also announced a new group of select live dates.  The performances are specifically in California.  They include performances in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma, California.  The full schedule of dates is noted below.

Tour Dates:
4/29 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective
5/06 – Los Angeles, CA – Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Jazz Grill
5/14 – Los Angeles, CA – TEDxEchoPark
5/20 –  Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective
6/03 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/04 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/09 – Las Vegas, NV – Palazzo / Venetian
6/10 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills
6/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Mr. C Beverly Hills

6/17 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Boathouse Collective

8/11 – Santa Rosa, CA – Krush Backyard Concert
8/12 – Petaluma, CA – The Big Easy

 

Amos, who is the son of Famous Amos Cookies’ magnate Wally “Famous” Amos (of Famous Amos cookies) and nightclub singer Shirl-ee May Ellis, has been very busy making the media rounds in publicizing his album along with his live dates and single releases.  He was a guest on NPR’s Weekend Edition recently.  During his interview with host Karen Grisby, Amos discussed his upbringing and its impact on his music.  That interview can be heard here now.  He was also recently a musical guest on Good Day New York, ABC News, and Classicalite.  More information on Amos’ upcoming appearances, live dates, music, and more is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.shawnamos.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShawnAmos

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Paul Knakk Premieres Debut EP’s Lead Single

There’s a new rising star in the country music world.  His name is Paul Knackk.  And this summer Knakk will make his first impact with his debut EP Rebel With A Cause.  In anticipation of its release Knakk has premiered the EP’s lead single online.

Paul Knakk debuted ‘Boots,’ the lead single from his debut EP Rebel With A Cause this week.  The song premiered online via National Country Review.

 

Courtesy: National Country Review

Courtesy: National Country Review

 

Along with the premiere of his new single, Knakk also has an extensive live schedule that takes him throughout his home state of Pennsylvania and other parts of New England including performances this weekend, next week and well beyond.  Audiences can check out Knakk’s full live schedule now, and keep up with all of his latest news and updates on Rebel With A Cause at:

 

 

Website: http://paulknakk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/paulknakk

 

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Robinson’s ‘Through A Crooked Sun’ Is A Straight Hit

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Veteran musician/performer Rich Robinson will release his latest album this summer.  The album, Flux, will be his fourth full length studio recording and eighth overall recording.  It will be released Friday, June 24th in stores and online.  While audiences wait for its release, Robinson has given them more than a little something to pass the time in the form of four re-issues.  Robinson teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment this year to re-issue four of his previous recordings.  Two of those recordings—Paper and Llama Blues—were released this past February.  The other two—Woodstock Sessions Vol. 3 and Through a Crooked Sun—were released earlier this month.  Each of the recordings stands out in its own special way and in turn serves as its own welcome introduction to Robinson the solo artist versus Robinson the former Black Crowes member.  This is just as evident in Robinson’s 2011 album Through A Crooked Sun as in his other recent re-issues.  Robinson even notes in the liner notes of the album’s new re-issue that it shows a completely different side of him than what he was able to show as a member of Black Crowes.  That is clear right from the album’s opener ‘Gone Away.’  The song, driven largely by drummer Joe Magistro’s four-on-the-floor, exhibits a number of influences.  That will be discussed shortly.  ‘Hey Fear’ is another of the album’s offerings that stands out in this album.  Its reserved sound and equally introspective lyrics team up to make it one of the album’s most poignant and powerful moments.  The southern ground sound of ‘Falling Again’ makes that song stand out in its own way, too.  What listeners will note about each of these songs is just how much each song stands out from the other in terms of Robinson and company’s stylistic approach to each composition.  That applies just as much in the album’s other compositions as with the pieces noted here.  All things considered Eagle Rock Entertainment’s re-issue of Rich Robinson’s Through A Crooked Sun is not only a great listen for Robinson’s fans and fans of Black Crowes but also another good addition to any critic’s list of the year’s top new CD re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s re-issue of Rich Robinson’s 2011 album Through A Crooked Sun is not the only of his records to be re-issued lately.  As a matter of fact it is the fourth of his recordings to be re-issued in recent months.  It is just as welcome as those other re-issues in any of his fans’ music libraries.  Not only that but it is also yet another of this year’s top new CD re-issues.  The reason being that the album in whole does in fact reflect a side of Robinson that was rarely ever heard in his work with Black Crowes.  That is evident right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Gone Away.’  This song is a clear example of what makes Through A Crooked Sun stand out in large part due to its musical arrangement.  It could just be this critic’s own take but at least to this critic it hints at a Beatles influence circa Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with its guitar line and solid, driving four-on-the-floor drum line.  At the same time one could also argue that that same sound hints at an influence from the likes of Phish and Widespread Panic.  Its lyrical content makes it just as intriguing.  Robinson sings here, “I fell the distance of the deepest canyon/It took me years to climb back to the top/And now I see the plains right in front of me/I hope to take it all the way to the sea.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “It seems like everything’s gone away now.”  This statement seems to be in regards to what the song’s subject sees as he traverses the once familiar landscape.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “ I feel the comet coming/To take us to a new world/Like a child/Walk a cliff at noon/With new ways unlike this world’s never seen/I hope to last to see it viewed pristine.”  Now, if that is indeed the proper interpretation of the verse without lyrics to go by, then it is just as thought-provoking as the song’s opening verse.  And again he proceeds to repeat the song’s chorus again, noting that everything familiar has gone away.  Again that response to the song’s verse comes across as a commentary of how much things have changed in the world.  Except in this case the reference comes across as being more of a social commentary than just in general.  That is, again, just this critic’s own take on Robinson’s lyrical content here.  The song’s final verse is just as likely to catch listeners’ ears and get them thinking.  Together with the song’s other lyrical content and its musical content, the whole of the composition shows why it is one of the album’s most notable offerings.  It is not the only piece that stands out on this record.  ‘Hey Fear’ stands out just as much.

‘Gone Away’ is an interesting addition to Rich Robinson’s first full-length solo studio recording.  It is not the only notable offering. ‘Hey Fear’ is another of the album’s most notable inclusions.  As with ‘Gone Away’ this song is worth noting because of its own musical and lyrical content.  In regards to its musical content, said content is so notable because it is the polar opposite of that in the album’s opener.  Whereas that song had a more classic rock-oriented sound, this piece boasts more of a folksy, Americana sort of sound.  That’s just the tip of the song’s proverbial musical iceberg.  A close listen reveals elements within the song’s instrumentation that stand out in each part.  For instance, the drums here don’t sound nearly as open as in ‘Gone Away.’  That is the case even as the song builds into its final minutes.  They cut through in those final minutes.  But they never have that more airy sound that is evident in the album’s opener.  Just as interesting to note here is the prominence of the song’s bass line.  There are sections within the song in which Robinson’s bass line (Robinson covers both the guitar and bass line in this song)presents its own surprise melody.  It’s subtle, too;  so subtle in fact that it will take listeners a few times to fully realize what they are hearing.  When they do, they will most assuredly appreciate its balance with the rest of the song’s instrumentation.  Even the manner in which the song gradually builds from its acoustic to its more bombastic electric side stands out.  Whether through these elements or any of the others within the song’s musical content, it can be said of the song’s musical content in whole that it does more than its part in making this song stand out.  The song’s musical arrangement and instrumentation is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as notable.  In regards to its lyrical content Robinson sings here of overcoming the fear that so easily cripples so many people, possibly including himself.  That is clear as he sings, “Hey there, fear/You’re always in tow/Never too far behind/Your presence is always known/Will you live to carry on/Living underneath my wing/Will you finally move along/Watch the distance come between/Hey fear/Hey fear/Time to finally move along/Watching distance grow between.”  This is the song’s subject (or Robinson himself) addressing the fears that have crippled himself (or herself) and saying in no uncertain terms that he/she will not let it control him/her anymore.  The victory over that fear is illustrated especially well as Robinson, [Joe] Magistro, and [Steve] Molitz build the song to the wide open, bombastic sound presented in its ending minutes.  It’s one more way in which this song stands out.  Together with the song’s musical content, both elements combine to make it one more of the album’s most notable inclusions because it is also one of the album’s most emotionally powerful and engaging opuses.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable tracks.  ‘Falling Again’ is another piece that proves the overall importance of this album.

‘Gone Away’ and ‘Hey Fear’ are both important inclusions to Through A Crooked Sun in their own right.  One mixes elements of rock’s golden era with a more modern classic sound and crosses it with some rather insightful lyrics.  The other offers its own insightful lyrics and matches said lyrics with some notably powerful musical content.  The two songs together form their own solid foundation for the re-issue of Rich Robinson’s debut solo record.  As important as they are to this record they are not its only notable compositions.  ‘Falling Again’ is just as important to the album as the noted songs and those not noted here.  It stands out because once again it presents Robinson’s broad musical talents and influences.  This song is pure southern rock with elements of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and others of that ilk in terms of its musical content.  That sound, which differs from anything else on this record is only pat of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its music.  Robinson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I hear you falling again/And you’re brining me down/But that’s not where I’m going/There’s no one around you this time/But you haven’t noticed yet/When you do/Will you speak softly/It’s time that I’m rollin’/No bringin’ me down/The news I’ve been hearin’/It’s all over town/Tales of a sad man/Who doesn’t know he’s out/Spend his time a’ reelin’/In a world of doubt.”  This, again, is only this critic’s interpretation of this song.  But it comes across as if Robinson is commenting on all of the world’s negativity both in the things people say every day to one another and to the news in today’s 24/7 news cycle.  He comes across as saying he’s so tired of it and doesn’t want to fall down with all of that negativity.  If indeed that is the case then it’s a deep statement made in a very small amount of space.  To that extent, Richardson deserves a round of applause.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Back when you told me a lie/Do you realize/You were lookin’ straight in the mirror/Far be it from me to explain/What you’re doing now/Go on and on forever.”  From here he returns to the song’s chorus.   That second verse seems rather self explanatory.  It is a commentary about people lying to themselves when they attempt to lie to others.  An again, the song’s chorus drives home the message of the song’s subject trying to get away from all of that because it is only serving to make a person’s world fall down around him/her.  It is yet another topic to which any listener can relate.  And Robinson’s gentle delivery of these lines—believe it or not—actually heightens the impact of the song’s lyrical subject matter that much more.  Keeping this in mind the combination of that vocal delivery, the song’s thoughtful lyrics, and its equally enjoyable musical foundation makes clear why this song stands out as one more of the album’s most notable compositions.  When the song is set against the other pieces noted here, and the pieces not noted, the record in whole shows with full clarity just why it is another welcome addition to the personal music libraries of Robinson’s fans and also why it is one more of this year’s top new CD re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new re-issue of Rich Robinson’s debut solo album Through A Crooked Sun is not the only one of his records to be re-issued this year.  It is however, one of the year’s top new CD re-issues along with the other three records that have been re-issued from his catalogue.  From its wide variety of musical styles to its equally broad spectrum of lyrical themes, it offers plenty for audiences to appreciate regardless of their familiarity with Robinson’s solo work.  Altogether, the mix of the album’s musical and lyrical content makes this record one more great addition to the home music library of any of Robinson’s fans and an equally enjoyable listen for fans while they wait for his next new album, which is, again due out this summer.  Richardson will hit the road in May in support of all of these albums.  His upcoming tour begins May 12th in Dallas, TX and also includes a performance in North Carolina on June 30th.  That performance will be at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC alongside Bad Company and Joe Walsh.  Robinson’s complete, current tour schedule is available online now along with more information on his new re-issues, his upcoming album Flux and all of his latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.richrobinson.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/richsrobinson

 

 

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