Don’t Believe In Ghosts Debuts ‘Living Like This’ Video

Courtesy: Forward Thinking

Indie-rock band Don’t Believe in Ghosts debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Living Like This.’  The band debuted the single by itself Feb. 21.  The features the band members sitting together in a room, their heads replaced by some old school television monitors.  Their heads show up in the monitors.

The song’s musical arrangement presents a sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from acts, such as Fitz & The Tantrums, The Killers and The Hives.  The lyrical content featured throughout the song comes across as a commentary of sorts about the current state of the world, from people’s consumerist nature to the division caused by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and more.

Front man Stephen Nathan talked about the video’s creation in a recent interview.

“This video took on an entirely new life as I was editing it in quarantine,” he said.  As you’ll clearly see when you watch, we put a lot of time and effort into all the details…It was almost eerie how much of it reflected what was coming just weeks after filming.”

‘Living Like This’ is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play.

The song is just the latest from Don’t Believe in Ghosts.  The band debuted it single ‘The Chase’ in May 2019.  Its companion video debuted a month later.  That single and video were preceded by the debut of the band’s single ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ in February 2019 and its companion video the following month.

More information on Don’t Believe In Ghosts’ latest single and video is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.dontbelieveinghosts.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/DBIGhosts

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DBIGhosts

 

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Julien-K’s New LP Among The Year’s Top New Industrial/Electronic Albums

Courtesy: The Label Group

Industrial metal band Julien-K released its latest album this month.  The eight-song record, Harmonic Disruptor is a good introduction to the band for audiences who are unfamiliar with the band’s body of work and an equally positive presentation for the group’s established fan base.  That is due to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical themes.  The album’s opener and title track is one of the songs featured in the album that serves to support the noted statements.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Burn The System’ is another way in which this record proves itself engaging and entertaining for audiences.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Undo Everything,’ the record’s finale, is one more way in which the record proves itself an overall successful new offering from Julien-K.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves itself to be a work that will appeal to any industrial metal and electronic music fan.

Julien-K’s latest full-length studio recording Harmonic Disruptor (the band’s fifth album so far) is a positive return for the band.  It will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as it will those listeners who might be less familiar with the band’s catalog than the aforementioned audiences.  The album’s opener and title track is just one way in which this is proven.  ‘Harmonic Disruptor’ instantly lends itself to works from Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine.  The song likens itself to the noted NIN work through the balance of the heavy guitars and keyboards, and the intense vocal delivery.  What’s important to note here is that while the comparison is easily made, the arrangement here still holds its own unique identity separate from the work that NIN founder Trent Reznor created for Pretty Hate Machine.  In other words, while the comparison is there, the song’s arrangement is not just a copy/paste from that work to Julien-K’s own record, which is good in its own right.  It shows the band’s ability to use another artist’s influence to make its own similar yet standout work of its own.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  The fiery energy in the song’s arrangement works well to help illustrate the message featured in the song’s lyrical content.

This song seems to make a statement about those people who live to make others’ lives miserable.  This is inferred as front man Ryan Shuck sings in the song’s lead verse, “I came looking for a slap in the face/I came looking for a certain disgrace/I came looking for someone to beat on/I came looking for someone to feed on/I wanted something to believe in/I wanna run away/From the games we play/I wanted something to believe in/Take this disease away/I’m the one you can’t deny/The lesion you can’t hide/I’m the past that you despise/The evil in your eyes/Harmonic disruptor/I’m a harmonic disruptor.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Honestly, sometimes I can’t control myself/Some of this has no explanation/If you could hear me try/To explain myself to them/You’d be fried/You’d be sick/You’d be lost.”  Overall, this content seems to infer a story of someone dealing with that inner demon, so to speak; that part of himself/herself that he/her tries to escape.  It seems to be that classic man/woman v. self story to which any listener can relate.  This is, as always, just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is an interpretation that is somewhere close to being correct.  Regardless, that the lyrical content’s presentation will engage listeners and get them talking, which is good in its own right.  Again noting the song’s musical arrangement, when it is considered alongside this seeming story, the whole becomes its own powerful statement for listeners.  It is just one of the record’s most notable works.  ‘Burn The System’ is another key addition to the album.

‘Burn The System’ boasts a sound and stylistic approach that shows Julien-K’s links back to Orgy through its keyboards, guitars and electronic drums.  The slurring from note to note in the keyboard line is a trademark of Orgy’ sound.  It’s something of an 80s new-wave-influenced sound that Orgy made its own in its albums. The use of the specific vocal delivery style adds even more impact to the arrangement, as does the use of the electronics (including the electronic drums, which add their own effects to the arrangement).  As with ‘Harmonic Disruptor,’ the influence of the aforementioned band is here, considering all the noted elements, but at the same time, the song still boasts its own unique identity separate from its influence.  That makes the song stand out well if only on its musical merits.  For all of the positive impact that the song’s musical arrangement has on its whole, that impact is just part of what is notable here.  The song’s lyrical content is just as notable as its musical arrangement.

Shuck sings in the song’s lead verse, “From first to last/The art of the abandoned son/When everyone knows your name/When everyone knows your name/Who are you to anyone/I know you lost control/Couldn’t see your face/Tried to save your soul/But you couldn’t remain/You had to throw it away/Didn’t you, didn’t you/You had to spit on our faith/Couldn’t you, couldn’t you/Burn the system down, burn the system down/Throw it away/You had to burn the system down.”  Shuck continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m falling apart/I don’t know where I’ve been/Or who I should have told/About lies that we’ve lived/I nearly lost control/As I saw your name/I couldn’t let you go/I couldn’t make you stay/Why did you throw it away/Make my pain decay/You burn the system down.”  This is deep in its own right.  The mention of “the art of the abandoned son” is unavoidable throughout the rest of the song, as it sure seems to play into the rest of the song’s lyrical content.  There is that mention of “throwing it away” and “spitting on your faith.”  The mentions in the song’s second verse, of the subject seemingly feeling emotionally lost would seem to infer that the song has to do with perhaps a parent leaving the family when the child(ren) was/were young, and the emotional impact of that departure.  Once again, this is this critic’s interpretation and may be incorrect.  Hopefully it is close to being correct.  If in fact what is discussed here is correct, then together, with the song’s musical arrangement, it makes the song in whole a work that will find appeal among certain audiences.  When it is considered along with the musical and lyrical content featured in ‘Harmonic Disruptor,’ the two songs show even more clearly why this LP is a strong return for the band.  While ‘Harmonic Disruptor’ and ‘Burn The System’ are important in their own ways to the whole of Harmonic Disruptor, they are just two of the songs that show why the record is such a strong return for the band.  ‘Undo Everything,’ the record’s finale, is one more way in which the album shows its strength.

‘Undo Everything’ is notable in part due to its musical arrangement, which lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Orgy, as well.  That is shown through the steady 2/4 beat on the drums, the fuzzed vocals and the style in which the keyboards and guitars were used throughout the song.  The stylistic approach here is trademark Orgy.  Figuring that Shuck and fellow Julien-K member Amir Derakh are both former members of Orgy, that should come as no surprise.  The song’s arrangement, in itself is just part of what will generate engagement and entertainment in the song. Its lyrical content adds its own share of interest.

Shuck sings in the song’s lead verse, “Undo everything/Rip it from the seam/The scarlet stains from the teeth/Allows me to breath/Rip a hole in the sky/Closer to my divide/The stars are marble and gold/The future bends at the fold/Undo everything/Free me from this skin/Hold me up to the sun/Make me free from sin/Fill this void in my heart/It rips the night apart/The clouds are darker than grey/My soul washes away.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Allowing me to catch my breath again/Only to suffer at your fingertips/Undo everything that you live for/Undo everything that you die for/Breaking the silence/Creating the violence/Undo everything/Salivate in my dreams/the cost is cleaner than most/When you hide from this ghost/The water flows from the ground/With every waking sound/The ending feels so divine/When I pay for my crimes.”  It goes without saying that this is some pretty heavy content.  It doesn’t come across nearly as cut and dry as the lyrical content featured in the record’s other songs.  It comes across as a person handling some sort of inner turmoil once again.  That is inferred through the notes of wanting to be “free from this skin” and held “up to the sun.”  It could be inferred here and throughout the song, that maybe, the song’s subject is internally addressing the impact of having the weight of certain things on his/her soul.  Right or wrong, the fact that this song can lead to such inference and generate discussion (which it certainly will) among listeners shows the importance of the song’s lyrical content.  Keeping all of this in mind, the energy in the song’s musical arrangement makes for a good accompaniment (as well as the accompaniment itself) to this content.  All things considered here, this song is yet another example of why this record will appeal to industrial and electronic music fans.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album becomes a work that the noted audiences will find appealing with each listen.

Julien-K’s latest full-length studio recording Harmonic Disruptor is a work that will engage and entertain industrial and electronic music fans from beginning to end.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content, as is evidenced here.  From beginning to end, the album offers something to engage and entertain listeners and get listeners talking long after the album’s final note plays.  Keeping all of this in mind, Harmonic Disruptor proves itself a presentation that will appeal to Julien-K’s established fan base as well as those who are less familiar with the band’s catalog.  More information on the album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.julienk.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JulienK

 

 

 

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Deveraux Debuts ‘I Want To Spend The End Times With You’ Video

Courtesy: Sensory Recordings

Goth-rock band Deveraux is scheduled to release its new EP This Isn’t Going To End Well this summer, and in anticipation, debuted the video for the record’s lead single this week through ghostcultmag.com..

The band, which is the solo project of Paul Whiley (Marilyn Manson, Razor Candy), debuted the video for its new single ‘I Want To Spend The End Times With You’ initially premiered the video April 23 through its official YouTube channel.  The song and video were recorded recently during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.  Each portion of the song and video was recorded by each member of the band and by all involved in the video’s creation, according to Wiley.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘I Want To Spend The End Times With You’ is a guitar-driven work that boasts a subtle blues-based influence in that line.  The guitar line is accompanied by the subtle addition of a piano part that repeats throughout the song, adding a slightly eerie touch to the song’s sound and feel.  Singer Krsy Fox (Knee High Fox) makes a guest appearance in the song, adding her talents to the whole.

While the song’s musical arrangement presents a sound that will appeal to goth-rock fans, the composition’s lyrical theme is far less foreboding, as Wiley discussed in a recent interview.

“When the quarantine started, I wrote this song,” he said.  “The lyrics were inspired by the thought of lovers spending every waking moment with each other and compromising for the other.”

‘I Want To Spend The End Times With You’ is available to download now through Apple Music and Sensory Recordings’ official website.  More information on Deveraux is available through its official Bandcamp page.

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Andy Jenkins Debuts New Single, ‘Far Away From Here’

Courtesy: Spacebomb Records

Independent singer-songwriter Andy Jenkins debuted his latest single this week.

Jenkins debuted his new song ‘Far Away From Here‘ Tuesday.  The easygoing arrangement, whose foundation is formed through its subtle guitar, piano and vocals, is a work that will appeal to fans of similar acts, such as Ben Harper and Jack Johnson.  Audiences will find the song’s lyrical theme just as familiar in its own right as its musical arrangement.

Jenkins discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“‘Far Away From Here’ is a song about the after images of love, remembering those free and easy times, heightened emotions and lengthening shadows,” he said.  “It also describes the realization — after love is gone — of feeling pretty alright.  I pictured someone at the end of a long day of traveling, who realized they felt good for the first time in a while.  ‘I don’t mind the way I felt today, far away from here.’  What’s the saying?  Distance makes the heart grow.”

Additionally, Jenkins talked about the song’s creation during his interview.

“We tracked last summer to tape at Spacebomb Studios with four of my favorite musicians:  Pinson Chanselle, Cameron Ralston, Alan Good Parker and Jacob Ungerleider,” he said.  “I produced a song of my own for the first time.  Erin Rae recorded vocals in Nashville.  her last record, Putting on Airs, was a personal revelation, beautifully crafted, cutting and calm.  I feel lucky that she is singing on this track.”

Rae appears as a guest performer on Jenkins’ new track, singing alongside him throughout the song.

‘Far Away From Here’ is available to stream and download through various platforms here.

Jenkins’ new single is his first new music since the release of his EP The Garden Opens last year.  He released his debut album Sweet Bunch in 2018.  That record was received with praise from the likes of Mojo magazine, Uncut and Stereogum.

More information on Andy Jenkins’ new single is available online along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://andyjenkins.ltd

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/andyjenkins.ltd

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_andy_jenkins

 

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.

Musical Arrangements, Sequencing Save Lovebites’ Latest LP

Courtesy: JPU Records

Up-and-coming power metal outfit Lovebites released its latest album to American audiences this month.  The album, Electric Pentagram, is a presentation that boasts strong musical arrangements and positive sequencing, both of which will be addressed in this review.  For all of the positives that this 12-song record offers, it does suffer from one negative – its vocals.  This will be discussed a little later.  While the issue posed by the album’s vocals pose an unavoidable problem, the musical arrangements and sequencing make up at least slightly for the problems posed by the vocals.  Keeping that in mind, Electric Pentagram is not a total failure of a record, but is worth maybe an occasional listen at best.

Lovebites’ latest album Electric Pentagram is a presentation that is worth at least an occasional listen, but sadly only that at best.  Part of the reason that it is worth that occasional listen is its musical arrangements.  The musical arrangements that make up the body of the 70-minute record ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment in their own right.  From beginning to right, the record’s arrangements are easily comparable to the best works of Dragonforce, Angra and Gamma Ray.  From one song to the next, the guitars shred so precisely and soar just as powerfully.  ‘Set The World On Fire’ is just one of the songs through which this statement is supported.  The timekeeping is machine gun fast, yet so precise from beginning to end of the nearly six-minute song.  The guitars and bass are just as precise and powerful throughout the song.  It could be argued that collectively, the instrumental portions of this song make it one of the album’s best works.  That is especially the case considering that the song is nearly six minutes long yet leaves listeners feeling so fulfilled.  Much the same can be said of ‘Thunder Vengeance’ as was noted of ‘Set The World on Fire’ in terms of its instrumentation.  The shredding guitars present a classic thrash metal sound that, in combination with the song’s power metal elements, makes for a fully engaging experience for metal purists.  The rapid fire drumming and the low-end from the bass adds its own share of interest to the song, too.  The precision of all involved makes the song a strong start for the record.  Its only problem is its vocals, which will be addressed a little later.  ‘When Destinies Align’ is yet another example of why this record’s musical arrangements are so important to its whole.  The guitars and the drums here create such a powerful sonic picture for listeners.  The picture generated is something that can so easily be seen in one’s mind as being performed on stage.  One could see the cameras panning just as fast as the guitars and drums while the shot transitions would be just as precise, fully capturing the song’s energy.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable arrangements.  When it is considered along with the other arrangements noted here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the musical whole of this record makes it a truly supercharged power metal offering (yes, that awful pun was intended) that audiences will appreciate.  For all that the record’s arrangements for its presentation, the vocals detract from that impact just as much.

The vocal presentations that are exhibited throughout Electric Pentagram is important to address because of how over the top it is throughout so much of the album.  Right from the album’s outset in ‘Thunder Vengeance,’ the vocals are just too much over the top in their operative presentation.  What’s more, the vocals here are so overdone that it certainly sounds like there are some very noticeable sour notes throughout.  Add those sour notes to the way too strong push in the vocal power, and audiences get a song that is more detriment than boon to the song (and album).  Things get a little better in ‘Holy War’ and ‘Golden Destination’ as the vocals seem to come under control.  However as the album makes its way into ‘Raise Some Hell,’ that problem with the vocals becomes noticeable again.  The vocals just seem to forced and over the top here, with way too much vibrato in nearly every note.  It seems a minor thing, but the over use of even something like vibrato can be too much.  The problems continue into ‘Today is the Day’ with that over use of the vibrato becoming an issue again.  It gets to the point that it is used so much that it just becomes annoying.  Things don’t get much better as the band makes its way into ‘When Destinies Align.’  The vocal delivery here couples with the musical arrangement to make the song sound like one of those songs that one might hear in some late 80s anime flick.  Yes, this critic went there.  Things make a slight turn for the better in ‘A Frozen Serenade,’ the album’s seventh track.  There is a bit more balance and control in this song between the vocals and the instruments, but it is only a slight bit more balance and control at best.  There are some moments here that are over the top.  The vocals become balanced again in ‘Dancing with the Devil,’ but immediately become problematic again right after that song in ‘Signs of Deliverance’ with even more anime music sounding vocals and music.  The problems continue as the album nears its end in ‘Set The World on Fire,’ ‘The Unbroken’ and ‘Swan Song.’  Simply put, for all of the rare moments when the vocals and instruments do balance out, there are even more moments in which the vocals seem so over the top that they sound and feel way too operatic and honestly, theatrical.  Again, the impact is not so much that it makes the album not worth hearing, but it is such that one cannot ignore the issue.  Luckily, even as problematic as the album’s vocals are to the whole of the record, they do not make the album unworthy of hearing.  The album’s sequencing keeps the sound and energy stable enough throughout that it makes the album that much more worth hearing.

The sequencing of Electric Pentagram is key to the record because it takes into account the emotion and energy exhibited in the album’s arrangements.  The record starts off strong an with plenty of fire in ‘Thunder Vengeance.’  This full-on thrash opus is a strong start for the record, even despite the severely troubling vocals.  The  record’s energy is maintained as it progresses into ‘Holy War,’ with more hard-driving guitars and time keeping.  The band doesn’t truly let up from there until the very early bars of ‘Today Is The Day.’  That respite is very short-lived, with the band wasting little time launching back into its full on aural assault as the song progresses.  As the album enters its second half, the band does give listeners another slight break in ‘Frozen Serenade.’  There is a certain energy here, but it is not the full on power metal and thrash approach that makes up the bulk of the record’s first half.  To that end, the album does let up, allowing listeners to relax a bit, but at the same time, that pull back is only slight at best.  Of course the band doesn’t keep the album’s energy pulled back for too long, as it picks things right back up in ‘Dancing With The Devil.’  What is interesting here is that while the arrangement at this song’s core is not that thrash/power metal hybrid from the first half, but it still does increase the album’s energy from its predecessor.  The band does gradually return to that point as the album makes its way into ‘Signs of Deliverance’ and continues right into the album’s finale, ‘Swan Song.’  Simply put, the sequencing utilized in Electric Pentagram keeps the record (and listeners) electrified.  That is because the album’s arrangements and their energies are kept solid throughout.  Even when the record’s energy does pull back, it’s just long enough to listeners to collect themselves in preparation for that next crest, so to speak.  In other words, plenty of time and thought was put into the album’s sequencing, and it paid off.  Together with the arrangements themselves, the album proves to be a presentation that hard rock and metal purists will agree is worth at least one listen, even despite the problems raised through the issue of the record’s vocals.

Lovebites’ third full-length studio recording Electric Pentagram is a work that will get listeners charged up in their own right as they listen through the 70-minute presentation.  That is thanks in part to the arrangements, which feature some impressive power metal and even thrash arrangements throughout the record.  The sequencing of those songs adds even more engagement and enjoyment to the record’s whole.  The only downside to the whole of the album is the presentation of the vocal delivery throughout.  Given, there are some good points, but there are just as many moments in which they are either uncontrolled or simply way too theatrical and operatic in their presentation.  That imbalanced presentation does detract from the album’s overall presentation, but does not make the album something that is not worth hearing.  Even with this matter in mind, the album is still a work that any hard rock and metal purist will welcome hearing at least once.  Electric Pentagram is available now.  More information on the album is available online along with the band’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://lovebites.jp

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lovebites_jp

 

 

 

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Alexandra Kay Debuts New Single, ‘Dive Bar Dreamer’

Courtesy: Kore PR

Country musician and reality TV star Alexandra Kay released her latest single this month.

Kay released her new single ‘Dive Bar Dreamer’ April 3.  The song is availabel to stream and download through various platforms here.  The song’s musical arrangement is a flowing ballad that is founded in its subtle guitar work, its drums and Kay’s own vocal delivery.  The song’s lyrical content is autobiographical, according to Kay, who shared the story behind the song in a video that she posted to her official YouTube channel.

Kay stressed in her video, that the song is meant to inspire listeners not to give up on anything in life, saying in part, “This song is not just for songwriters.  This song is for everybody.  If you have a dream.  If you have something that you’re reaching for that’s bigger than what you ever could have imagined, if you want more out of your life, if you keep getting knocked down, picking yourself back up, getting knocked back down again, picking yourself back up, this song is for you.  It’s about you.  It’s about your life.”

Alexandra Kay has risen to fame as a contestant on NBC’s singing competition The Voice as well as one of the stars of the Netflix series Westside.

More information on Alexandra Kay’s new single is available online along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.alexandrakayofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexandrakaymusic1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_alexandrakay

 

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.

Eagle Rock Entertainment, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Team Up To Help People Affected By COVID-19

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation

Eagle Rock Entertainment and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation have partnered for a new fundraising effort

The organizations have teamed up to present the new documentary Up From The StreetsNew Orleans — The City of Music.  “Tickets” to watch the documentary are available at a price of $12 each, and can be purchased from viewers’ local theaters to watch the documentary in the comfort of their own homes.  Proceeds from the “ticket” sales will go to benefit the fund, which assists musicians who live and work in New Orleans who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tickets are available here.  More than 50 theaters nationwide are taking part in the effort.  Ticket orders are good for seven days.  Viewers will have three days to finish the documentary once they have started watching.

Up From The StreetsNew Orleans — The City of Music originally debuted in October at the 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival.  It examines the city’s musical roots.  Oscar-nominated and six-time Grammy Award-winning trumpet player Terence Blanchard serves as the documentary’s host.  The program features archived footage from performances and interviews conducted by artists, such as Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and Alen Toussaint among others to help tell the story of the city’s musical history.  Michael Murphy directed and produced the presentation.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell.  The agency has created the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund to assist musicians and residents in New Orleans who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

More information about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and its latest effort is available online at:

 

Website: http://jazzandheritage.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jazznheritage

 

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.