Reckless Kelly Debuts New Album’s Latest Single, ‘North American Jackpot’

Courtesy: Thirty Tigers

Reckless Kelly debuted the latest single this week from its forthcoming album American GirlsAmerican Jackpot.

The band debuted the song ‘North American Jackpot‘ Thursday through Taste of Country.  The song’s musical arrangement boasts a modern country music sound that any country music purist will appreciate.

Founding member and vocalist Willy Braun talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview.

“Writing ‘North American Jackpot,’ I kept hitting a wall with the verses and the theme,” he said.  Trouble was, I kept going back to my first idea,a story about my grandparents, which wasn’t really going anywhere, but I couldn’t get away from it.  I thought I’d have to scarp this one till it made sense …the problem was I’d already started writing the rest of the album and was close to being finished, but the title track, ‘North American Jackpot,’ wasn’t close to being completed, and far from the cornerstone it needed to be.  I called Jeff Crosby, songwriter extraordinaire from the Gem State, asking for help.  The next day he sent a nearly perfect verse that got me out of the rut and on the right track.  I wrote a second verse almost immediately and we polished it up in Boise a couple weeks later.  I had my cornerstone.”

The debut of ‘North American Jackpot’ comes almost a month after the band debuted the double album’s lead single, ‘I Only See You With My Eyes Closed.’

The four-minute opus is everything that audiences have come to expect from Reckless Kelly over the years, in terms of its musical and lyrical content.

The band members discussed the song’s creation in a recent interview.

“I wrote the beginnings of a second verse on a long van ride after being woken up by the church bells next door in Nuremberg, Germany, and out of one of those lucid dreams where you don’t really know whether you’re awake or not,” said band founder and front man Willy Braun.”

Braun continued, “I wanted the song to have the same feel as those dreams when you drift from one thing to another, so Cody [Braun, Willy’s brother and Reckless Kelly co-founder] and Charlie Sexton played some spooky ambient stuff on top of Jeff Crosby’s main guitar track and we faded them all in and out to try to get that lucid half-dreaming half-awake effect.  There’s a lot going on, but Jim Scott did an excellent job mixing the track to capture that dreamlike vibe.”

The track listing for American Girls American Jackpot is noted below.

 

 

Track Listing:
American Girls
1. I Only See You With My Eyes Closed
2. American Girls
3. All Over Again (Break Up Blues)
4. Miss Marissa
5. Lonesome On My Own
6. Anyplace That’s Wild
7. Lost Inside The Groove
8. No Dancing In Bristol
9. Don’t Give Up On Love
10. My Home Is Where Your Heart Is
American Jackpot
1. North American Jackpot
2. Thinkin’ ‘Bout You All Night
3. Tom Was A Friend Of Mine
4. 42
5. Mona
6. Another New Year’s Day
7. Grandpa Was A Jack Of All Trades
8. Put On Your Brave Face Mary
9. Company Of Kings
10. Goodbye Colorado
Reckless Kelly will continue its tour in support of American Girls American Jackpot next week in Fort Smith, AK.  The band’s current schedule takes it through Aug. 1 in Joseph, OR and features performances in cities, such as Fort Collins, CO; Austin, TX and Stanley, ID.
The band’s tour schedule is noted below.
Tour Dates:
3/5: TempleLive – Fort Smith, AR
3/6: The Brendon McLarty Memorial Foundation Concert – Oklahoma City, OK
3/7: Revolution Music Room – Little Rock, AR
3/13: House of Blues – Houston, TX
3/14: Cook’s Garage – Lubbock, TX
4/11: Bluebonnet Festival – Burnet, TX
4/17: Fiesta Oyster Bake – San Antonio, TX
4/18: Main Street Arts Festival – Fort Worth, TX
4/20: Larry Joe Taylor’s Music Festival – Stephenville, TX
4/23: Washington’s – Fort Collins, CO
4/24: Stargazers Theatre – Colorado Springs, CO
5/29: Grizzly Rose – Denver, CO
6/4-5: Mountain Village Resort – Stanley, ID
6/6: Washington County Fairgrounds – Cambridge, ID
7/29: McMenamin’s Spanish Ballroom – Tacoma, WA
7/31: Tower Theatre – Bend, OR
8/1: Back Country Bash – Joseph, OR

More information on Reckless Kelly’s new album, tour and more is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://www.recklesskelly.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/recklesskelly96

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/recklesskelly

 

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The Dodies To Perform Live Next Week; Band Debuts Video For New LP’s Lead Single

Independent stoner rock outfit The Dodies will be in the Middle East next week.

The performance, scheduled to take place March 5 in Israel, is in support of the duo’s forthcoming album It’s One Hell of a Ride, which is scheduled for release April 24.  Along with its forthcoming performance, the duo debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Boiling Point’ Feb. 21.

The video pits the duo — Yoni Avvitan and Ran Aronson — on a sound stage performing its new song against a video screen that plays a variety of images behind the men.  The song’s musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from The Darkness.  The song’s lyrical content was personal, according to Avvitan.

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

“I wrote the song when I was really depressed and felt nervous about having no sexual interaction with any woman in my early twenties,” he said.  “I felt like I was in some sort of crossroads, like something drastic had to change in my life because I’m about to reach my boiling point.”

Aronson, in talking about the video, said, “We always through ‘Boiling Point’ needed a southern style video, but producing the clip in Israel forced us to be creative.  The result is this self-aware humoristic wacky thing, which we’re way proud of.”

It’s One Hell of a Ride was co-produced by Avvitan, Aronson and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, ex-Guns N’ Roses).

More information on The Dodies’ new single, video, upcoming live performance and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://thedodiesband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thedodiesband

 

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Hannah Williams & The Affirmations Debut ‘Hourglass’ Video

Courtesy: Record Kicks

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations debuted the video for the group’s latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new song ‘Hourglass‘ Friday.  The song is featured in the group’s latest album 50 Foot Woman (2019).  The video presents the band performing its new single — its third from the album — in a studio setting, all in black and white.

The soulful song presents an arrangement that any r&b fan will appreciate just as much as fans of music lovers in general.  The song’s lyrical content, which centers on the all-too-familiar topic of a broken relationship, will connect with any listener.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations debuted the video from the album’s title track/album opener, on Sept. 18.  Its debut was followed Oct 15 with the debut of the video for the album’s second single, ‘I Feel It.’

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations are scheduled to continue touring in support of 50 Foot Woman this spring, with a new leg of dates scheduled to launch March 6 in Girona, Estonia.  The tour is scheduled to run through July 11 in Birmingham, UK and feature performances in cities, such as Margate, UK; Annonay, France and Haarlem, Netherlands.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

 

HANNAH WILLIAMS & THE AFFIRMATIONS ON TOUR!
Mar 06 2020 ES, Girona, Black Music Festival
Mar 26 2020 FR, Romans, La Cordonnerie SMAC
Mar 27 2020 FR, St Germain en Laye, La Clef
Apr 17 2020 FR, Le Teil, La Cave à Jazz
Apr 18 2020 FR, Annonay, La Presqu’île
May 01 2020 NL, Alkmaar, Secret South Festival
May 02 2020 NL, Hengelo, Heartland Festival
May 05 2020 NL, Haarlem, Liberation Fest
May 31 2020 UK, Margate, The Soundcrash Funk & Soul Weekender
Jul 10 2020 UK, Reading, Readipop Festival
Jul 11 2020 UK, Birmingham, Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival

More information on Hannah Williams & The Affirmations’ upcoming tour dates, music and more is available online at:

 

Website: http://hannahsoulwilliams.bandcamp.com

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HWAffirmations

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Afraid Of Ghosts Debuts ‘No Hero’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Afraid of Ghosts debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The independent electro-pop outfit debuted the lyric video for its song ‘No Hero‘ Thursday.  The video’s debut comes roughly three weeks after the band debuted the single. The band also made the song available through various digital platforms this week along with debuting the song’s new lyric video.

The song’s musical arrangement will appeal to fans of acts, such as 21 Pilots, Imagine Dragons and Panic! At The Disco.  The song’s hopeful lyrical content will reach an even wider range of listeners.

According to information presented in a news release distributed about the song, “Everyone has ghosts they run from, and internal struggles that haunt them, and pop newcomers Afraid of Ghosts tell their own story about wrestling with demons.  With a fresh take on electro-pop, the mysterious super group take on love, loss and the darker aspects of the human experience.  The lyrics are heartfelt and raw against an undeniably catchy musical backdrop, but it’s not all gloom and doom; within their story lies a glimmer of hope.”

More information on Afraid of Ghosts’ new single is available online along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Afraid_OFGhosts

 

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Etherius Debuts ‘The Rivers Of Sand And Blood’ Video

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Metal outfit Etherius debuted the lead single from its new album this week.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘The Rivers of Sand And Blood’ Friday through Metal Injection.  The video places the band in a large junkyard as it performs its new instrumental track.  The song is taken from the band’s forthcoming album ChaosOrderRenewal, which is scheduled for release April 17.

Etherius guitarist Jay Tarantino talked about the video’s treatment in the interview with Metal Injection.

“The idea for ‘The Rivers of Sand and Blood’ video was to create a visual that was fast-paced and chaotic to match the intensity of the music,” he said.  “Tom Flynn, who has worked with Lamb of God, Ice-T and Buckcherry among others, shot and directed it.  He did an amazing job capturing the energy we were going for.  It was also a lot of fun to smash a bunch of equipment with a sledgehammmer.  The engines and heavy machinery featured in the shots really emphasize the industrial ambient sounds going on throughout the song.”

 

 

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

ChaosOrderRenewal. was co-produced by Tarantino, Etherius drummer Zaki Ali and guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi.  Chris Clancy (Mutiny Within) mixed and mastered the record.  Along with co-producing the album, Vivaldi also makes a guest appearance on the song ‘Unity in Darkness.’

The track listing for ChaosOrder. Renewal. is noted below.

 

 

Chaos. Order. Renewal. Track listing:
1. Rise of Sirius
2. The Rivers of Sand and Blood
3. The Omnipotent
4. Pyramid of Mirrors
5. Unity in Darkness (feat. Angel Vivaldi)
6. The Eye of Ra
7. Bringer of Light

Tarantino spoke highly of the album during his interview with Metal Injection.

ChaosOrder. Renewal. has something for everyone,” he said.  “Whether you like metal or not, or whether or not you are a musician, the music has elements that anyone can appreciate.  It’s more aggressive than our previous release, but there is still plenty of melody.  We cut out the filler and get right to the point on every song.  These songs were meant to be played live, which you can see and hear for yourself on our U.S. tour.”

Etherius is scheduled to launch a tour in support of its new LP March 15 in Amityville, NY at a benefit concert to raise funds for people battling cancer.  Following that performance, the band will take time off to rest and recharge before launching a full-on tour April 9 in Denver, CO.  The tour is scheduled to run through April 29 in Seattle, WA.  It features performances in cities, such as Asheville, NC; Lakewood, OH and Clifton, NJ.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

ETHERIUS tour dates:
4/9 – Denver, CA @ Marquis Theater
4/10 – Des Moines, IA @ Lefty’s Live Music
4/11 – Iowa City, IA @ Wildwood
4/12 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies
4/13 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary
4/14 – Lakewood, OH @ Phantasy Concert Club
4/15 – Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz
4/16 – Providence, RI @ Alchemy
4/17 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Kingsland
4/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge
4/19 – Asheville, NC @ The Motlight
4/21 – Ft. Worth, TX @ Tomcats West
4/22 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
4/23 – El Paso, TX @ Rockhouse Bar & Grill
4/24 – Mesa, AZ @ Club Red
4/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ Dive Bar
4/26 – West Hollywood, CA @ Whiskey-A-Go-Go
4/27 – Oakland, CA @ Metro Opera House
4/28 – Portland, OR @ Star Theater
4/29 – Seattle, WA @ Club Sur

More information about Etherius’ upcoming album and tour is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.etherius.bigcartel.com

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

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Beautiful Mistake Debuts ‘East of Eden’ Video

Courtesy: Wiretap Records/Disconnect Disconnect Records

The beautiful Mistake debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘East of Eden‘ Wednesday.  The video, directed by Andy Lara features a man, played by Nathan Armstrong, out in a remote desert setting, seemingly searching for something along the way as he goes from one empty, dilapidated house to another.  It is not entirely clear what the man is searching for, though it seems that he is reliving the same scenario time and again.

The song’s musical content will appeal to fans of Underoath. Its lyrical content will generate its own share of interest.

‘East of Eden’ is featured on the band’s forthcoming EP You’re Not BrokenI Am along with the EP’s lead single ‘Memento Mori.’  The video for that song debuted Jan. 31.

You’re Not BrokenI Am is scheduled for release March 27 through Wiretap Records (USA) and Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK/EU).

The Beautiful Mistake is scheduled to perform live at the annual Furnace Fest in support of its new EP this fall at the annual Furnace Fest Sept. 18-20 in Birmingham, AL.

The band will join the likes of Andrew W.K., Hot Water Music and Norma Jean at the festival.

Ticket information and more for the Furnace Festival is available online at:

 

Websitehttp://furnacefest2020.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/furnacefest2020

 

The last time audiences heard from The Beautiful Mistake was in 2004.  The band released its album this Is Who You Are that year.  The album was released through The Militia Group.  Prior to its release, the band released its debut album Light A MatchFor I Deserve To Burn in 2002.  Along with those two albums, the band also released two EPs.

More information on The Beautiful Mistake’s upcoming EP, its upcoming performance at Furnace Fest and more is available online now at:

 

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Thebeautifulmistakeofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TBMistakeBand

 

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Slave Revolt Debuts ‘Organic Robot’ Video

Courtesy: The Label Group/INgrooves

Independent hard rock band Slave Revolt is streaming its new video now.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Organic Robot‘ Feb. 21.  The video, which crosses footage of the band performing its new single in what looks like a run down, graffiti-laden building with footage of mechanical parts running.  The musical arrangement echoes influences from Fear Factory, but the lyrical content is not explained in the press release distributed about the video’s debut.

‘Organic Robot’ is available to stream and download here.

The debuted of the ‘Organic Robot’ video comes two months after the band debuted the lyric video for its then latest single, ‘Open The Heavens.’

More information on both singles is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.slaverevoltrock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SlaveRevoltRock

 

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There’s No Mystery Why ‘NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives’ Is Worth Watching

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/WGBH

Counterfeiting is big business.  From people making fake money to knockoffs of various clothing and apparel items to even fake paintings and more, counterfeiters work hard to separate people from their money and cheat them in the process.  For all of the counterfeited items that are out there, one might never expect someone to go as far as to counterfeit some of the most significant artifacts in history, but sadly, even that happens.  In the new episode of its new hit science-based series NOVA, Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives PBS examines the counterfeiting of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and how the fakes are found.  This story is the most important of the episode in its recent home release, and will be discussed shortly.  The firsthand explanations of how the fakes are created and uncovered adds even more interest to the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The overall content featured in the DVD makes its average price point such that audiences will not mind paying.  When this is considered along with all of the content, the whole of this episode of NOVA proves to be a presentation that leaves no mystery as to its appeal.

NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives is a presentation whose appeal is wide to say the least.  That is proven through a variety of clues, just one of which being its primary content.  That content, its story, goes a long way toward making it well worth the watch.  The story takes audiences in to the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls’ discovery and the eventual trend of people capitalizing on the importance of the scrolls.  Audiences will be surprised to learn the lengths to which counterfeiters have gone and will go to trick people.  Just as interesting to learn through the interviews is that apparently there’s a code among some overseas in terms of identifying the counterfeiters.  It truly is disturbing to see that there are those who are willing to protect counterfeiters.  As the story progresses, audiences discover the reach of the fakes and how easy it is for counterfeiters to get away with their crimes, and the lengths to which experts will go to uncover those fakes.  The story in whole will appeal not only to biblical experts and theologians, but to fans of crime dramas.  Those behind the episode should be applauded as it would have been so easy for them to go over the top with this and make it something that it was not.  Luckily, that did not happen here, and in turn, it ensured audiences would remain engaged throughout from start to end.

While the formatting of NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives and the story itself do a lot to make this episode of NOVA worth the watch, those collective elements are just one part of what makes the program so interesting.  The firsthand displays of how the counterfeit fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are identified will keep viewers engaged and entertained, too.  The segments showing how the writing on the parchments is so closely scrutinized are enlightening to say the very least.  Listening to the investigation into the writing and something as minute as the salt crystals on the parchments shows the painstaking lengths to which counterfeiters will go to trick people.  It really is a good starting point in discussions on how forensic science works.  The reaction by the victims and the investigator to the revelation of which fragments are fake adds even more interest to this aspect of the episodes.  The further investigation into how a burned scroll was “brought back to life” adds even more interest to the presentation.  Seeing how technology can be used to virtually unravel and read parchment that is otherwise destroyed shows how far technology has advanced for this and other purposes.  That display alone is eye-opening and will assuredly keep viewers engaged.  Keeping in mind the engaging and entertaining primary and secondary content featured in this documentary, it makes the presentation’s average price point such that audiences will not mind paying that price.

The average price point of NOVA: Dead Sea Scross Detectives is $19.49.  That price was obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers did not have the DVD listed at the time of this review’s posting.  The only listings that exceed that average are at Books-A-Million, at $24.99 and PBS’ store, $19.99.  PBS’ store listing barely breaks that cap, too.  The most commonly-listed and least expensive pricing is $17.99.  It is listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy.  Simply put, the pricing for this DVD is affordable and worth the price at that considering its content.  It doesn’t even reach the 420 mark for the most part.  To that end, audiences will find this aspect just as appealing as the content featured within the DVD.  All things considered, consumers and audiences will agree that through investigation, it becomes clear that NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives proves to be an enjoyable new episode of one of PBS’ best series.

NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives is one more example of why PBS’ hit science-based series is such a popular program.  That is proven in part through the program’s primary content, it’s story, which focuses on the lengths to which some people will go to create fakes of anything.  The secondary content, showing the work put into stopping counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and people in general adds even more interest to the program.  The whole of the primary and secondary content makes the DVD’s average price point relatively affordable and welcome for audiences and consumers.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives anything but a mystery in terms of its appeal.  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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Blues Fans, Music Lovers Alike Will Enjoy WMN’s Latest Addition To Its “Rough Guide…” Compilation Series

Courtesy: Worl Music Network

World Music Network is taking audiences back in time again with another compilation of timeless music from a bygone era.  The company released its new compilation, The Rough Guide to the Roots Of The Blues Friday.  The 25-song collection of classic blues tunes is an enjoyable presentation that blues aficionados and music lovers alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the songs featured in the record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The actual presentation of the songs adds to the record’s appeal.  It will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important items and will also be addressed.  Each noted item is key in its own way to the whole of this compilation.  All things considered, they make The Rough Guide to the Roots of The Blues another positive addition to World Music Network’s ongoing series of historical musical collections.

World Music Network’s new blues compilation The Rough Guide to The Rough Guide to the Roots of The Blues is an enjoyable presentation that blues aficionados and music lovers alike will appreciate.  It is not the first blues compilation that the company has ever released.  Its most recent blues compilation The Rough Guide to Blues Women was released just last year.  Much like that compilation – and every “Rough Guide” compilation that the company has released – the songs that make up the body of the record form its foundation.  Jimmie Rodgers’ timeless ‘Blue Yodel No. 1’ takes listeners back to 1927 (the year it was recorded) while Cow Cow Davenport’s equally timeless ‘Cow Cow Blues’ goes even farther back, — two years more  to be exact – to 1925.  Bessie Smith’s ‘St. Louis Blues’ keeps listeners in 1925 while Scrapper Blackwell’s ‘Kokomo Blues’ is also here.  It was recorded in 1928.  Also from that same era is Weaver and Beasley’s ‘Bottleneck Blues,’ which was recorded in 1928.  Simply put, the songs themselves serve as a musical history lesson of the blues from its earliest days.  On a side note, PBS’ recent documentary Country Music noted ‘Blue Yodel No. 1’ was also part of the rots of country music.  The thing is that blues and country are very closely linked, so it could be seen why that song is considered blues just as much as it is country.

Staying on the topic of styles, the songs that are featured in this compilation are so important because they do represent just one style of the blues.  Blackwell’s musical style is considered to be a pure example of early Chicago and Piedmont blues.  In the case of ‘Kokomo Blues,’ audiences are treated to his more Piedmont blues style, with that distinct finger picking that relies on the alternating thumb bass pattern.  By contrast, Blind Blake’s ‘West Coast Blues,’ with its more upbeat style is a prime example of ragtime style blues, with its syncopated rhythms.  Here again is another distinct style of blues to which audiences are introduced thanks to this recording. Hambone Willie Newbern’s 1929 hit ‘Roll and Tumble Blues’ offers audiences yet another distinct blues style – delta blues – through the use of his slide guitar performance.  Newbern’s very vocal performance adds even more to that Delta blues style richness.  It’s just one more example of the varied blues styles featured throughout the recording.  Together with the consideration of the songs themselves – the very diversity of the artists and the era from which the songs were culled – what audiences get here is a virtual musical history lesson on the blues from this recording.  That in itself makes the compilation a worthwhile addition to any home and classroom setting.  It is just one part of what makes the collection stand out.  The very presentation of the songs plays its own key part to the whole of the recording.

The presentation of the songs is important because it plays into the never-ending discussion on whether one prefers vinyl or CD.  A close listen to this single-disc collection shows the original works were transferred to CD without a single bit of loss.  That beloved sound of static is there from start to finish while not a single bit of any arrangement is missing.  This is important to note in that it shows that despite what so many people and companies want people to think, there is still very much a place for CDs as well as vinyl and digital.  In other words, the sound quality of the recordings featured here is just as impressive as the songs and their intrinsic value.  That full sound presentation, which transports listeners back to that beautiful, bygone era enhances the listening experience for listeners that much more.  When this is considered along with the songs and the history that they teach, these elements collectively make this compilation that much more of a positive for any music lover just as much as any blues aficionado.  It shows that CDs will never be replaced, as their audio is just as good as any vinyl that any hipster wants to take in.

The songs featured in The Rough Guide to the Roots of The Blues and the history that they teach couples strongly with their presentation to make this record another positive offering from World Music Network.  As much as they do to help the recording, they are not its only key elements.  The recording’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  As already noted, the compilation features a variety of blues styles throughout its 76-minute body.  Those styles vary from one song to the next.  That in itself shows that those behind the compilation’s creation wanted to ensure at least in this aspect, that listeners were kept engaged and entertained.  The song’s tempos – and by connection their energies – vary just as much as the styles.  Case in point is the first trio of songs, ‘When The Levee Breaks,’ ‘Kokomo Blues’ and ‘Stack O’Lee Blues.’  ‘Stack O’Lee Blues’ will come as very familiar to many audiences.  It was the work that would eventually become ‘Frankie and Johnny,’ which itself would be reworked many times throughout the years.  Getting back on the subject at hand, the first two songs featured in this trio are mid-tempo works, but are themselves very different from one another in terms of styles.  As the record reaches ‘Stack O’Lee Blues,’ the energy and emotion changes very noticeably.  From there, things pick back up slightly with ‘West Coast Blues.’  That energy is maintained in ‘Fishing Blues.’  That song, too, will be very familiar to many audiences.  Things change distinctly again after that work, as the record progresses into Memphis Jug Band’s ‘Stealin’, Stealin’.’  The song is a good, mid-tempo work that does a positive job of illustrating the subject’s own thoughts on the things that he is doing even though he knows those things are wrong.  From there, the record pulls back once again in ‘Victoria Spivey’s T.B. Blues.’  The mournful nature of her vocal delivery joins with the equally bluesy guitar and piano run to make the whole another nice transition point for the record in whole.  The ups and downs in the record’s energies and tempos continues solidly from that point right to the record’s end.  Throughout the process, audiences’ engagement and entertainment is ensured without any doubt.  It is obvious in considering this that a lot of time and thought was put into the compilation’s sequencing, not just the songs and their value.  The compilation’s organizers wanted to make sure that every base was covered with this offering, and they succeeded in doing so.  The fact that the compilation’s organizers paid so much attention to this and other aspects of the recording results in a presentation that is another welcome piece for any classroom, and home setting.

The Rough Guide to the Roots of The Blues is a work that, like its predecessors, will be appreciated equally by educators and general audiences alike.  That is proven in part through the songs that make up the body of the recording.  They make the recording a rich history lesson on the blues that any blues aficionado and music lover alike will welcome.  The sound quality in the recordings is important in its own right to the whole of the recording.  That is because it shows it is possible to transfer vintage recordings to CD without a single bit off loss.  This is important to note in that it shows the CD is still very much a viable form of audio presentation, despite what many companies and consumers want people to think.  The sequencing of this record rounds out its most important elements.  It does its own share to ensure listeners remain engaged and entertained throughout the record’s hour-plus run time.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of the compilation.  All things considered, they make this another of this year’s best new offerings in the jazz and blues category.  More information on this another other titles from World Music Network is available online at;

 

 

 

Website: http://www.worldmusic.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WMN_UK

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

JLCO’s Performance Of Duke Ellington Orchestra’s ‘Black, Brown & Beige’ Is Jazz Gold

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records

Blue Engine Records has been on a roll this year.  Two months into the still young year, the label has already released two more new live recordings from the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, continuing the ongoing series of recordings that it released last year.  That trend will continue next month when the label releases its latest JLCO recording Black, Brown & Beige.  Scheduled for release March 6, the nine-song recording is an important new release, as it presents the timeless recording from Duke Ellington and his orchestra, live in its entirety.  That presentation is just one of the items that makes the recording such an important new presentation from JLCO, and will be addressed shortly.  The orchestra’s performance of the recording adds even more engagement and entertainment to the recording’s presentation.  It will be addressed a little later.  The recording’s production and mixing rounds out its most important elements.  When it is considered along with the recording’s presentation and the group’s performance thereof, the whole of the recording proves to be one of this year’s best and most important live recordings.

The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra’s forthcoming live performance of the Duke Ellington Orchestra’s timeless record Black, Brown & Beige is an important new offering from the group and from its label, Blue Engine Records.  That is due in part to its very presentation.  The presentation is so important because since Ellington and company originally debuted the performance in 1943 at Carnegie Hall, it rarely was performed live from that point on.  According to information presented about that history, after performing it at Carnegie Hall and at Rye High School in Westchester County, NY, Ellington and his orchestra never performed the opus in whole again.  Allegedly, Ellington said the reason for that was that he felt it was too long and that “too few people are familiar with the story” behind the recording.  The story in question behind the song is what is meant to be a unique African-American history.  Called by Marsalis, a recording that “sits alone in the history of Jazz,” few if any full presentations of this landmark composition have ever seen the light of day from Ellington and any other act.  To that end, having the 48-minute performance presented in whole for the first time in a very long time makes this recording quite valuable in itself.  It is just one part of what makes this presentation of Black, Brown & Beige so important and impressive.  The orchestra’s performance of the composition is key in its own right.

The orchestra’s performance of Brown, Black & Beige is important because it is that performance that does such a good job of helping to tell the story that Ellington originally intended to tell with the expansive work.  Brianna Thomas’ vocals on ‘Blues Theme Mauve,’ for instance goes such a long way toward exhibiting the life of the African-American during the early portion of the 20th century.  Her vocal delivery presents such pain that translates so well.  The third movement of the composition opens with the fully-energetic ‘Various Themes’ that shows in itself the changes that African-Americans were going through as America grew and changed.  The contrast of the song’s energetic opening and its more subdued second movement – those subtle horn and piano lines – does so much to show that change.  By comparison, the melancholy of ‘Come Sunday’ early on in the opus’ first movement evokes its own share of emotion, especially as it presents a very brief show of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’  Violinist Eli Bishop’s performance adds to this work to add even more impact to the song and overall performance.  It’s just one more way in which the overall performance proves so pivotal to the whole of this presentation.  When that performance in whole is considered along with the record’s very presentation, that whole goes a long way to show why the recording is such a welcome addition to any jazz aficionado’s music library.  They are not the only key elements to examine, either.  The record’s production and mixing round out its most important elements.

The production and mixing that went into Black, Brown & Beige is so important to note because without that work, the end product would not even be worth consideration.  Considering that this is another live recording from JLCO, that work becomes even more important to note.  That is because the sound balance between the musicians and their impact within the given venue – in this case, the Rose Theater – has to be considered even more than sound balance in a studio setting.  Those behind the production and mixing are to be commended for their work just as much here as in JLCO’s previously released live recordings.  The horns and percussion are expertly balanced with one another, as are the woodwinds with the rest of the orchestra.  When Thomas’ vocals are added in during the very subtle ‘Blues Theme Mauve,’ her tone resonates so richly with the rest of the orchestra.  The drums that open the recording in ‘Work Song’ are just as controlled in their presentation against the rest of the orchestra, as another example of the payoff of the production and mixing.  That example, considered with the other examples noted here and so much more, it becomes clear that the time and effort that went into the recording’s production paid off and then some.  Keeping this in mind as one examines the record’s presentation and the group’s performance of said presentation, the whole of Black, Brown & Beige proves to be jazz gold.

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis’ latest live recording Black, Brown & Beige is another enjoyable offering from the organization.  That is due in part to the fact that Ellington and his orchestra’s timeless work has so rarely been presented in full either in studio or in live setting.  This presentation is one of the very rare moments in which it has been presented in full since its 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall.  That alone makes it an important recording.  The performance of the opus by the collective fully pays tribute to the original composition and those who performed said work.  The production and mixing that went into creating the final product puts the finishing touch to the recording.  Each item noted here makes the recording well worth owning by any jazz aficionado.  All things considered, they make Black, Brown & Beige jazz gold.  It will be available March 6 through Blue Engine Records.  More information on this and other titles from Blue Engine Records is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://jazz.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blueenginejazz

 

 

 

More information on JLCO is available along with all of its latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://jazz.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jazzdotorg

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.