The Dixie Dregs Announce Reunion, Tour

Courtesy: MSO PR

The Dixie Dregs are back.

Four decades after calling it quits, the original Dixie Dregs lineup of Steve Morse (guitar), Andy West (bass), Allen Sloan (violin), Steve Davidowski (keyboards) and Rod Morgenstein (drums) has reunited and will hit the road together in February for a nationwide tour. The announcement came Thursday.

The band’s “Dawn of The Dregs” tour currently consists of 25 dates and is expected to see more dates added over time. the tour is currently scheduled to launch Feb. 28 in Clearwater, Fla and run through April 25 in Dallas, TX with performances in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and a number of other major American cities. Tickets are available now here.

West said in a recent interview that the band’s decision to reunite and tour together again came from requests by the band’s more seasoned fans and its newer audiences alike.

“This tour is the result of overwhelming requests we’ve received from a loyal audience of diehard “Dregheads,” and new fans who have never seen us perform live, but discovered the band for the first time through Steve’s membership in Deep Purple, or Rod as the drummer for Winger,” West said. “We can’t wait to play for them all.”

The Dixie Dregs’ upcoming “Dawn of the Dregs” current tour schedule is noted below.

Catch DIXIE DREGS on the road in the following cities with more to be announced:
DATE                         CITY                                       VENUE
Wed    2/28                Clearwater, FL                      Capitol Theatre
Thu     3/1                   Ponte Vedra Beach, FL      Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
Fri       3/2                   Augusta, GA                         Bell Auditorium
Sat      3/3                   Atlanta, GA                            Center Stage
Mon    3/5                   Charleston, SC                    Charleston Music Hall
Tue     3/6                   Durham, NC                         Carolina Theater
Wed    3/7                   Washington, DC                  Lincoln Theater
Thu     3/8                   Wilmington, DE                    The Grand Opera House
Fri       3/9                   Collingswood, NJ                Scottish Rite Auditorium
Sat      3/10                Newton, NJ                           Newton Theater
Wed    3/14                Ridgefield, CT                      Ridgefield Playhouse
Thu     3/15                Huntington, NY                    The Paramount
Fri       3/16                New York, NY                       Town Hall
Sat      3/17                Woodstock, NY                     Bearsville Theater
Mon    3/19                Boston, MA                           Wilbur Theater
Wed    3/21                Albany, NY                            The Egg
Thu     3/22                Pittsburgh, PA                      Carnegie Music Hall
Fri       3/23                Cleveland, OH                      Kent Stage
Sat      3/24                Chicago, IL                            The Vic Theater
Wed    4/11                Milwaukee, WI                      Pabst Theater
Sat      4/14                Boulder, CO                          Boulder Theatre
Fri       4/20                San Juan Capistrano, CA  The Coach House
Sat      4/21                Agoura Hills, CA                  The Canyon Club
Sun    4/22                Phoenix, AZ                          Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Wed    4/25                Dallas, TX                              House of Blues

More information on the band’s tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.dixiedregs.com

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

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.

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PBS Asks Are There “Killer Volcanoes” Around The World Today In New ‘NOVA’ Episode

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution/PBS

With the recent news of a volcano in Bali threatening the nation, a lot of talk has come about the impact that volcanoes have not only locally and regionally, but worldwide. Next month, Public Media Distribution will release a new episode of NOVA that examines the global impact of volcanoes in the form of NOVA: Killer Volcanoes.

NOVA: Killer Volcanoes will be released Tuesday, Dec. 19 the hour-long episode follows a group of researchers as they search for a “mega-eruption” believed to have turned the world deadly cold. The discovery of a mass grave in London containing some 4,000 men, women and children is where the story starts. Initially, the researchers think the remains were of plague victims, but further research disproved that theory.

The researchers’ investigation leads to the revelation that their deaths may have in fact been related to global impacts of an unidentified volcano’s “mega-eruption” within the time frame of their deaths. Their digging (both literal and figurative) led them to find that the eruption blew ash and sulfuric acid into the air, which then spread from Greenland to the Antarctic, turning much of the planet cold and leading to death around the globe from famine and other related causes.

NOVA: Killer Volcanoes is a timely program considering the potentially impending eruption in Bali and the constant watch at one of America’s most well-known parks and at volcanoes around the world. It will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store. More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

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Les Paul 2006 Tribute Concert Comes Up Short In Its Attempt To Honor A Legend

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group/MVDVisual

Les Paul is an American Master. Period. For decades, Paul has been known as “one of the music industry’s greatest minds, having created one of the industry’s most well-known and respected guitar lines. He also was responsible for recording tech that has become the standard across the board. On June 18, 2006, a concert was held — fittingly — at the Gibson Amphitheatre to pay tribute to Les Paul and his legacy. Originally aired on AXS TV this past June, the concert was released on DVD early this past September via MVD Entertainment Group. While it is an enjoyable experience overall, it is not a perfect recording. The concert itself , which features some very well-known Les Paul devotees, sits at the center of the recording and is both a positive and a negative in the program’s overall presentation. Another notable negative to the presentation here is a total lack of a program guide. That will be discussed later. The segmentation of the concert and interview segments is its own positive to this presentation. Each element is, in its own right, important to the recording’s whole. All things considered, A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood proves to be an unsuspectingly entertaining program.

MVD Entertainment’s recently released A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood, is a program that, while entertaining, leaves something to be desired in the end. That is due in part to its set list. Coming in at 93 minutes, the concert’s lineup features performances from some very well-known and respected guitarists including Joe Satriani, Slash (Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit), Steve Lukather (Toto) Neal Schonn (Journey), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band), Buddy Guy and others. Even famed front man Edgar Winter (The Edgar Winter Group) came along for the ride along with Joe Perry (Aerosmith). Many of the songs performed throughout the concert are covers, though Satriani did perform a pair of his own works in the form of ‘Satch Boogie’ and ‘House Full of Bullets.’ The covers included takes on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition,’ Willie Dixon’s ‘Hoochie Coochie Man,’ which was first made famous by Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter And’s ‘Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo’ among others. Between these and other songs featured throughout the concert, and the artists tapped to perform them, audiences get in the performance, a dual music history lesson for all intents and purpose. They see veteran performers taking on some equally well-known songs, some of which are their own and some of which are covers. Considering all of this, the very setup for the concert serves as a positive for this recording. At the same time, being that the concert is only 93 minutes long and considering Les Paul’s legacy, it is surprising that more stars were not tapped for the concert. That lack of more performers (and in turn songs) actually detracts from the recording to a certain point, leaving audiences wanting more, but not in a good way. This sadly is not the recording’s only negative. The lack of a program guide hurts the recording’s presentation to a point, too.

Audiences will note in examining the recording’s packaging that nowhere inside or outside the box is a program guide to be found. It is listed on the program’s main menu, but nowhere else. As has been noted so many times before about similar products, it would be nice to have that piece of the proverbial puzzle as it serves not only as a guide, but as a marketing tool that can serve to increase potential viewers’ chances of purchasing the program. By not having that guide included either in physical or printed form, MVD Entertainment Group has only hurt itself here. It really is a critical piece of the whole, even as much as it might not seem like it is. It is in reality, its own companion to the actual concert, which ties in a handful of interview segments with the featured artists. That segmentation, by the way, rounds out the recording’s most important elements.

Segmenting the concert footage in this recording with the companion interview footage was truly a smart move here considering how little actual performance footage was actually included in its presentation. Without the interview segments, the program’s run time might have only run about half of that 93-minute run time, ultimately making it a failure. Luckily, those behind the program knew well enough to add in the interview footage, which itself adds its own insight to the program while also breaking up the concert and keeping audiences engaged. Audiences will be interested to learn through the interview segments that Les Paul was the person responsible for initially developing the 8-track recording machine (I.E. multi-track recording). Audiences also learn through Slash’s interview segment how much his appreciation for Paul grew as he himself grew. Joe Satriani also offers a funny anecdotes about being pranked by Les Paul at one point in his segment. Theirs are not the only interesting interview segments. Edgar Winters adds his own interesting thoughts in his interview, too. All things considered here, the segmentation of the program’s concert and interview segment proves a critical part of its overall presentation. When it is coupled with the recording’s very concert footage, the two elements make A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood worth at least one watch.

MVD Entertainment Group’s recent home release of AXS TV’s Les Paul tribute concert A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood is an entertaining recording worth at least one watch. The lineup, which featured a number of well-known artists performing some equally well-known songs, played into this in a big way, both to the pro and con. The lack of any program guide hurt the program’s presentation in its home release, too, sadly. Luckily, the program’s overall presentation, which mixed the concert footage with interview footage, makes up at least to a point for the issues raised by the concert’s short run time and lack of program guide. It helps establish the program’s relatively short 93-minute run time. As noted already, each element is important in its own right to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make A Tribute To Les Paul: Live From Universal Studios Hollywood a concert that while not necessarily one of the year’s most memorable recordings, worth at least one watch. It is available now and can be ordered online via MVD Entertainment Group’s online store. More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

Website: http://mvdentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

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Ellefson Coffee Company Announces Another Year-End Celebration

Courtesy: Ellefson Coffee Company/O’Donnell Media Group

Ellefson Coffee Company has announced a special new holiday event to celebrate its new retail outlets.

The company will hold a special event Dec. 16 at Maverick Coffee in Scottsdale, AZ to celebrate the company’s expansion into that and a number of other stores nationwide. The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature a number of events including a meet and greet with Dave Ellefson, the company’s founder, and acoustic performances from EMP Label Group acts Doll Skin and Co-Op, featuring Dash Cooper and a holiday toy driveto benefit AZ Helping Hands.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the event that he was looking forward to the celebration.

“Maverick is a terrific cafe that I frequent when I’m home in Scottsdale,” Ellefson said. “I’m thrilled to have Ellefson Coffee Company as part of their offerings. I look forward to seeing you all ther efor a final, year-end celebration with two of our hometown EMP Label group artists!”

Ellefson partnered with Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain early this year at the Rock N’ Roll Ribs in Coconut Creek, Fla — another ECC outlet — for another of ECC’s events. Along with that store, others that currently carry Ellefson Coffee Company’s various blends are: Rock N’ Roll Land in Green Bay, WI; Kat’s Hog Heaven in Jackson, MN and the What’s Up Lounge in Makato, MN.

More information on Ellefson Coffee Company’s latest events, news and more is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.Ellefsoncoffeeco.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ellefsoncoffeeco

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsoncoffee

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Combat Records To Rise Again

Courtesy: Combat Records/EMP Label Group/O’Donnell Media Group

Combat Records is coming back.

EMP Label Group head Dave Ellefson announced this week that the label, which was one of the seminal punk and thrash labels from the 1980s, has been resurrected and will be part of the EMP Label Group family. The one-time powerhouse label shuttered its doors in the mid-2000s after its catalogue was absorbed by Sony Music.

The label’s official re-launch will happen in 2018, with its first release being British hard rock act Raven’s next, as yet untitled album. It will also re-issue a number of classic thrash and metal albums from various acts once it officially opens as well as a new compilation piece from Helstar and new recordings from Dead By Wednesday and 80s progressive thrash outfit Wrath.

Ellefson said in a recent interview about the label’s re-launch that he was optimistic about its new life.

“Today is a really exciting day, as after over a year, it was finally announced that we will be re-launching the legendary Combat Records as a new label through EMP Label Group,” Ellefson said. “We are so excited and honored to be able to revive such an iconic brand that was so instrumental to my history. Even though we signed to Capitol after Killing is My Business, Combat’s logo was on all the Megadeth releases through Countdown to Extinction, and it was and is one of the most iconic metal labels of all time, even being home to some of the other artists who would end up on the EMP roster, like Helstar. The same independent spirit that drove Combat in those early days, is truly the same spirit that drives what we do with EMP, and we are honored to launch another amazing conduit to support new and established metal artists, with great respect to the legacy of the past.”

Ellefson added with Combat’s resurrection, it will only handle new material because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on nre releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

Combat Records will be distributed through EMP Label Group via Amped Distribution domestically and via SPV in Europe.

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now at:

Website: http://www.combatrecs.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/combatrecs

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Machine Head Announces New Album, Tour Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Machine Head is set to open the new year with quite a bang.

The band announced this week that it will release its new album Catharsis on Friday, Jan. 26 via Nuclear Blast Records. The 15-song album will be the band’s ninth full-length studio recording, and will be released in a standard single-disc platform as well as a 2-disc CD/DVD combo pack that includes a 21-song live recording as a bonus. Audiences can hear Catharsis‘ lead single ‘Beyond The Pale’ now here.

The bonus concert was originally recorded in 2015 at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California. It lifts heavily from Machine Head’s most recent records (The Blackening, Unto The Locust and Bloodstone & Diamonds), but also includes songs taken from each of the band’s five other albums, and includes hits such as ‘Davidian,’ ‘The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears,’ ‘Now We Die’ and others. Audiences can see the band’s performance of ‘Now We Die’ online now here.

The full track and set listing for the album and concert are noted below.

CATHARSIS TRACK LISTING:
1. Volatile
2. Catharsis
3. Beyond the Pale
4. California Bleeding
5. Triple Beam
6. Kaleidoscope
7. Bastards
8. Hope Begets Hope
9. Screaming At the Sun
10. Behind a Mask
11. Heavy Lies the Crown
12. Psychotic
13. Grind You Down
14. Razorblade Smile
15. Eulogy

CATHARSIS SPECIAL EDITION BONUS DVD TRACK LISTING:
Filmed live at The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, 2015
1. Imperium
2. Beautiful Mourning
3. Now We Die
4. Bite The Bullet
5. Locust
6. From This Day
7. Ten Ton Hammer
8. This Is The End
9. Beneath The Silt
10. The Blood, The Sweat, The Tears
11. Darkness Within
12. Bulldozer
13. Killers & Kings
14. Davidian
15. Descend The Shades Of Night
16. Now I Lay Thee Down
17. Take My Scars
18. Aesthetics Of Hate
19. Game Over
20. Old
21.  Halo

Pre-orders for Catharsis are open now.

Catharsis’ release is not the only announcement that Machine Head made this week. The band also announced a tour in support of Catharsis. The tour is scheduled to launch Jan. 25 in Phoenix, AZ and run through March 7 in Seattle, WA. It will also include performances in Detroit, MI; Atlanta, GA; Montreal, Quebec, Canada and other cities. The tour’s full itinerary is noted below.

MACHINE HEAD ON TOUR:
1/25 — Phoenix, AZ —  Nile Theater
1/27 — Albuquerque, NM —  Sunshine Theater
1/29 — San Antonio, TX —  Aztec Theater
1/30 — Dallas, TX —  Gas Moneky Live!
1/31 — Houston,TX —  HOB
2/2 — Birmingham, AL —  Saturn
2/3 —Pensacola, FL —  Vinyl MH
2/5 — Orlando, FL —  Plaza Live
2/6 — Atlanta, GA —  Centerstage
2/8 — Philadelphia, PA —  Theatre of Living Arts
2/9 — New York, NY —  Playstation
2/10 — Boston, MA —  Paradise Rock Club
2/11 — Montreal, QC —  Club Soda
2/13 — Toronto, ON —  Danforth MH
2/14 — Buffalo, NY —  Town Ballroom
2/15 — Pittsburgh, PA —  Stage AE
2/16 — Cleveland, OH —  Agora
2/17 — Detroit, MI —  Majestic
2/20 — Des Moines, IA —  Woolys
2/21 — Madison, WI —  Majestic
2/22 — Minneapolis, MN —  First Avenue
2/23 — Chicago, IL —  Concord MH
2/24 — Saint Louis, MO —  Pops
2/27 — Denver, CO —  Summit MH
3/1 — Las Vegas, NV —  HOB
3/2 — Los Angeles, CA —  Fonda
3/3 — Oakland, CA —  The Fox Theater
3/5 — Portland, OR —  Roseland
3/6 — Vancouver, BC —  Commodore
3/7 — Seattle, WA —  Showbox Market

More information on Machine Head’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.MachineHead1.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MfnH

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.

‘2017 World Series’ Doc Is An Excellent Companion Piece To The ‘2017 World Series Collector’s Edition’ Set

Courtesy: Major League Baseball/Shout! Factory

The Houston Astros’ run to the 2017 World Series Championship is an historic part of Major League Baseball’s history. When the city that the team calls home was inundated by flood waters from Hurricane Harvey, the team became a beacon of hope for its residents. The team took that mantle and literally ran with it, giving its all from one game to the next, eventually finishing the regular season with 101 wins before advancing steadily but surely through the post season and on to the World Series Championship. Now thanks to Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory, baseball fans nationwide can relive the Astros’ unlikely season, from the devastation of Harvey this summer to the final out of the World Series’ seventh game in the new 2017 World Series documentary. That story is told through the doc’s bonus material and its roughly 90-minute main feature, both of which are key elements of the doc’s presentation. The doc’s availability on DVD, Blu-ray and digital on one platform is also key in that it allows viewers to take in the story in all three platforms through just one setting. Each element is important in its own right to this forthcoming documentary, which is currently set to be released Tuesday, Dec. 5. All things considered, they make this documentary a solid companion piece for the 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition: Houston Astros.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory’s upcoming 2017 World Series documentary is a solid companion piece to the companies’ also soon-to-be-released 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition: Houston Astros. That is due in no small part to the story told through the pairing of the doc’s bonus material and its main feature. The main feature, which runs roughly 90 minutes, takes audiences through the entirety of the 2017 World Series, one game at a time, while also acknowledging the motivation that the Astros had to play so hard. It is told through the words of the men who took to the field on both sides of the ball game-by-game and through footage recorded during each game. That footage includes pre-game warmups by both teams. The frank words from the players does plenty to enhance the series’ importance because it lets audiences know firsthand what they must have been feeling in each game. The original broadcast audio from both teams’ radio networks adds even more emotion to the story. While there is some extraneous narration from Morgan Spector, his verbiage is kept to a minimum, making the experience all the more enjoyable. That minimization allows the teams and announcers to tell the story, again making for plenty of enjoyment. That enjoyment more than ensures viewers’ maintained engagement from beginning to end. Of course the story told through the doc’s main feature is only one way in which the story told here proves so solid. The story told through the bonus material also plays into that strength.

The bonus material included in the 2017 World Series documentary includes two short yet impacting segments — “Houston Strong” and “How They Got There” — that tell the story of the Astros’ motivation to play hard for Houston and the impact of that drive. The prior tells the story in short but concise fashion, the story of Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston and of the Astros’ desire to be there for the city’s people. The latter tells the story of how the team’s efforts got it through its highs and even the lows of mid-season injuries, eventually giving way to the acquisition of Justin Verlander and the return to form for the Astros. The whole thing culminates with the Astros’ ALCS win over the Yankees. Given, it’s an extremely brief mention, but is there nonetheless. The bonus “Clenching Moments” and “Regular Season Highlights” reels add to the story told through the two main bonuses, making for even more engagement and entertainment for audiences. When all of this additional bonus material is set alongside the doc’s main feature, the end result is, for all intents and purposes, an in-depth story of how the Astros went from starting over from 2016’s struggles to taking on the mantle of Houston’s guiding light (so to speak) to Major League Baseball Champions. It is a story that every baseball fan will appreciate regardless of team loyalty, and is just one more reason that the doc in whole proves such a solid companion to the 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition: Houston Astros. The availability of the program on three separate platforms in one single setting puts the finishing touch on the program’s presentation.

Major League Baseball Productions and Shout! Factory have made it possible for audiences to enjoy the 2017 World Series documentary on DVD, Blu-ray and digital platforms in one single combo pack. That’s nothing new for the companies’ World Series documentaries. What is really great for audiences is that they have made it possible for audiences to enjoy the program on all three platforms in one single setting, rather than forcing them to choose between platforms. The average price point of $22.78 ($23 and change with tax) gives audiences all three platforms in one, allowing them to enjoy the program at home and on the go. For those wanting just one platform, the program is also being made available on standalone DVD at an aver age price point of $20.22. That’s not a bad price point, and is cheaper on the surface than the price point for the 3-platform combo pack. However in a 24/7 digital world, the slightly more expensive combo pack that includes a digital download code makes more sense. Not only that but it also allows audiences to watch the program on any platform or even lend one of the discs to family and/or friends without worry. Keeping that in mind, the availability of this documentary on both multi-platform setting and a single platform setting shows how much thought was put even into this aspect of its presentation. MLB Productions and Shout! Factory are to be commended just as much for this as for the product presented through the program’s central and bonus content. When all of this is considered along with the story told through the noted content, the result is a presentation that is just as enjoyable to take in as the actual World Series and that expertly completes the presentation of this year’s Fall Classic.

MLB Productions and Shout! Factory’s upcoming 2017 World Series documentary program is a solid companion piece for the companies 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition: Houston Astros. It takes the presentation in that program and builds on it by giving audiences an even deeper look into the World Series from the mouths of the men who took the field. It also takes audiences through the Astros’ regular and post season with separate highlights reels. Those reels, while short, come together in whole to paint a relatively full picture of Houston’s road to the World Series. The availability of that full story on three platforms in one setting (DVD/BD/digital combo pack) strengthens the program’s presentation even more. Each element is clearly important in its own right to the presentation’s whole. All things considered, they make the 2017 World Series documentary a solid companion piece for the 2017 World Series Collector’s Edition: Houston Astros and certainly another program that every baseball fan will appreciate regardless of team loyalty. It will be available Dec. 5 and can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.