Blackberry Smoke Holds All The Roses Among So Many Other Albums With Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Rounder Records

Courtesy: Rounder Records

Atlanta, Georgia has been known for decades as one of America’s major hotbeds for musical talent. Much like Austin, Seattle, and Los Angeles it has produced some of the biggest names in the industry over the years. Those names come from nearly every genre of the music world. They include the likes of: Sevendust, Stuck Mojo, Collective Soul, Zac Brown Band, Black Crowes, and so many others. The list goes on and on. It could take days or even weeks to name them all. For the case of this review, the focus is set on the Southern Rock Band Blackberry Smoke. For roughly fifteen years now, the members of Blackberry Smoke–Charlie Starr (vocals/guitar), Richard Turner (bass/vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar/vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards)–have been making music and touring. Of those roughly fifteen years together, Blackberry Smoke has released three full-length albums, the most recent of which–The Whippoorwill–was released on Zac Brown Band’s own Southern Ground Records in 2012. This past February, the band released its fourth full length album titled Holding All The Roses. The album was released via Rounder Records. For those that might not be so familiar with the band’s body of work, Holding All The Roses serves as a good introduction to the band. And it is just as enjoyable for those that are more familiar with its work up to this point. The sound spread across the album’s dozen tracks shows influences from some of the greatest southern rock bands of the 20th Century including: The Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Crowes, Doobie Brothers, and others of that ilk. While the influence of said bands is there from start to finish on this record, Blackberry Smoke still maintains its own identity in each song. That is evident right from the album’s opener ‘Let Me Help You (Find The Door).’ The same can be said of the album’s title track and the somewhat sexually charged ‘Rock and Roll Again.’ These three works in themselves more than exemplify what makes Holding All The Roses such a joy. By themselves they are just a minute fraction of what makes it such an enjoyable record, too. There are nine other tracks from which audiences will find their own favorite(s) on this record. Those songs, coupled with the trio noted here, prove Holding All The Roses in the end to be one of the best new rock and country records of 2015.

Blackberry Smoke’s fourth full length album Holding All The Roses is one of this year’s best new rock and country records. There are some issues here and there throughout the record in terms of its production values. But they are not enough to make HATR unworthy of being heard. From the album’s opener to its end, the songs that make up this album make it one of those rare records that audiences will actually want to listen to without skipping even one song. That is evident right from the album’s opener ‘Let Me Help You (Find The Door).’ On the song’s musical side, audiences will hear a clear influence from famed classic rock band Black Crowes throughout the song. It could even be argued that the song’s bridge, which features quite the guitar solo, bears a rather noticeable Lynyrd Skynyrd influence. Lyrically, it offers audiences just as much of a punch with front man Charlie Starr seemingly addressing certain types who simply don’t want to change their ways. Whether it be those musical acts that refuse to change and those that push said albums or the sheep that give in to everything that is fed to them whether in terms of music, politics, etc.–as front man Charlie Starr sings about in both the song’s first and second verse– it is a clear statement that hits quite a few chords, no pun intended. One could even argue that it even indirectly addresses those audiences that expected this album to be just like the band’s previous released. As Starr sings in the song’s opening verse, “Why’s it got to be the same damn thing/Same damn song and everybody wants to sing/Same sons of b****** still riggin’ the game/They sell the same old faces with brand new names/No matter if I’m wrong or right/I ain’t losin’ sleep tonight/I’ve heard it all before/I can’t take it anymore/If that’s all you got/Let me help you find the door.” The song’s second verse seems to address those sheep that believe everything that is fed to them, from music to news, to politics and more with Starr singing, “Here we go diggin’ the same damn ditch/Just line ’em up/Can’t tell you which one’s which/Standin’ in the back with a s***-eating grin/They were buyin’ it once/I bet they’ll buy it again.” Starr hits on so many subjects with so few words in this song. And he hits the nail right on the head, too. It’s a sharp, yet in an odd way, slightly lighthearted indictment of said subjects that ironically will in fact have Blackberry Smoke’s own fans singing along. One can only hope that in singing along, the band’s own fans will catch the message being presented by Starr and his band mates here rather than just taking the song for its musical side. Those that take both the song’s musical and lyrical side into full consideration will agree just how important it is both in itself and to the album in whole.

‘Let Me Help You (Find The Door) is a solid opener for Blackberry Smoke’s latest full-length record. Its statement urging people and bands who refuse to change to go away is sharp yet witty at the same time. And it ironically will have the band’s own fans singing along every time. One can only hope that said fans will catch the message embedded within the song and take it to heart in catching it. Those fans that do catch the message in question, coupled with the song’s infectious musical side will agree that it is just one part of the whole that makes HATR one of this year’s best new rock and country records. The album’s title track is just as important to the whole of the record. Much like the album’s opener, it boasts its own classic rock influences yet still continues to maintain the band’s own identity, too. The song’s driving, 2/4 tempo will instantly have audiences dancing and clapping along. Having hooked audiences with it musical side, Starr and company–Richard Turner (bass, vocals), Brit Turner (drums), Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Still (keyboards) make just as powerful a statement with the song’s lyrical side. Starr sings in the song’s first verse about a subject overcoming all of his or her odds and coming out on top, fittingly “holding all the roses” just as a winner would. Starr Sings, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost/I don’t think it’s even gonna be close/Your rabbit’s foot and your four-leaf clover/Throw them all away and start all over/Here I am see me coming around/Swinging out wide with the hammer down/There I go watch me leave you behind/Holding all the roses on the other side.” The subject here is addressing those that called the odds against him or her, proving all those people wrong as he or she holds the proverbial roses of a winner. Speaking of those odds, Starr goes on to sing of overcoming the odds as he sings, “The odds against me were 20 to 1/Carry that weight like it weighs a ton/Ain’t no luck in a gasoline rainbow/Come on, drop that rag/Away we go.” He comes across as saying his subject is using the weight of those odds as motivation to keep pushing on to the very end. Such lyrics are words that will reach so many listeners and potentially have quite the impact. It will leave listeners saying if Starr’s subject can press on against all odds then so can the band’s fans. The song’s driving musical side added to the mix, the song in whole shows once more exactly why it is one more enjoyable and equally important part of the whole that leaves Holding All The Roses in fact holding all the roses on any critic’s list come year’s end.

For all of the seriousness of HATR’s opener and its title track, Blackberry Smoke isn’t all work and no play on its new album. It also boasts some fun moments, too. One example of that lies in the song ‘Rock and Roll Again.’ The song’s musical side shows obvious influence from The Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers Band and others of that ilk yet once again maintain’s Blackberry Smoke’s own identity along the way. Lyrically, it will put just as much of a smile on listeners’ faces as the music alone. Starr sings about a woman who definitely gets the subject going in all the right ways so to speak. He writes of said woman, “She knows me well and never fails/She knows just how to put the wind back in my sails/She’s got the key to set me free/It’s just so easy to see/The way she makes me rock and roll again/Put the dirty in my mind again/Ain’t nothin’ to it/But she pulls me back in/My baby made me rock and roll again/Yes, she made me rock and roll again.” The rest of the song goes on in much the same fashion, lyrically speaking, with Starr noting of that same woman putting a swagger back in the subject’s step, and gets him moving. The song’s musical side boasts its own swagger, which perfectly complements Starr’s lyrics. Both sides of the song taken into full consideration, they show that Blackberry Smoke can be just as fun as it can be serious. Because of this, it proves to be one more example of what makes HATR such an enjoyable work for every rock and country fan. Taken into consideration with the likes of the album’s title track, its opener, and those pieces not noted here, it proves to be one more piece of an album that again, holds all of its own roses among the masses so far this year.

Blackberry Smoke is currently touring in support of HATR. It is in the last leg of the North American leg of its tour, which wraps up May 24th in Monteagle, Tennessee. The band will take a few days off to rest and recharge after before heading overseas for the European leg of its tour, which kicks off May 29th in Munchen, Germany. After finishing off that leg, the band will return stateside again on June 19th in Alpharetta, Georgia. Fans will be able to pick up HATR at any of the band’s upcoming live dates. In hearing the band live and on its new album, audiences that haven’t yet heard the band’s music will agree, too that HATR more than deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock and country albums come December. Fans can check out Blackberry Smoke’s latest tour dates online now, along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://blackberrysmoke.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/blackberrysmoke

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.

Ayreon Turning Classic Album Into New Live Stage Production

Courtesy:  InsideOut Music

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Eleven years after it was originally released on CD, prog-rock band Ayreon will bring its concept record The Human Equation to life.

InsideOut Music announced today that Ayreon will present “The Human Equation Theater Experience” this fall. The once-in-a-lifetime theater production will be presented Tuesday, September 8th – Thursday, September 20th at the nieuwe Luxor theater. It is being presented by the production company Shadow Freaks, which is led by Aryeon founder Arjen Athony Lucassen’s former manager Yvette Boertje. The original list of vocalists tapped to perform on The Human Equation will also be part of the album’s live theaterproduction. That list includes: James LaBrie, Devon Graves, Heather Findlay, Eric Clayton, Marcela Bovio, Magnus Ekwall, Irene Jansen, Wudstik, Anneke van Giersbergen and Mike Mills.

Along with the record’s original cast of vocalists, the theater production will also feature Ed Warby, Johan van Stratum, Jeroen Goossens, Ben Mathot and Maaike Peterse, Marcel Coenen, Freek Gielen, Erik van Ittersum and Ruben Wijga. Joost van den Broek will serve as music director and arranger. The production will also feature performances from The Epic Rock Choir, which was assembled especially for the show.

Originally, “The Human Equation Theater Experience” was going to run only three dates. But those dates sold out so fast that a fourth performance on the afternoon of the 19th was added. At the time of this posting, tickets for that fourth showing were still available and could be purchased online at http://www.thetheaterequation.com/. More information on the show, including its full cast and more is available at this same website as well as via Facebook and Twitter at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theaterequation

The story behind The Human Equation follows a comatose man battling his emotions within his own mind as he lays in his hospital bed. He also encounters memories both good and bad along the way that lead to some powerful revelations and hope-filled desires. At the story’s end, the man is left to choose: Does he wake up and live or does he die?

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.

The Bots Confirmed For Summer Tour With Deftones, Incubus, Death From Above 1979

Photo Credit: Elijah Dominique

Photo Credit: Elijah Dominique

The Bots announced over the weekend that it will join Deftones and Incubus on the road this summer.

Fresh on the heels of its own US tour with Australia’s The Preatures, the duo announced over the weekend that it will join Death From Above as a support act for Incubus and Deftones on their upcoming U.S. tour. The tour kicks off July 22nd in Clarkston, MI and runs through August 30th in San Diego, California. In also includes a stop in North Carolina on August 9th. before that though, the duo is set to perform live May 30th at the Sweetlife Festival in Columbia, Maryland. The upcoming performances are all in support of The Bots’ latest full-length studio effort Pink Palms, which was released October 14th, 2014. The complete schedule for The Bots’ upcoming tour with Deftones, Incubus and Death From Above 1979 is noted below:

THE BOTS U.S. TOUR DATES

05/30    Sweetlife Festival    Columbia, MD

With Incubus, Deftones, and Death From Above 1979

07/22 DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI*

07/23 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL#

07/25 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH

08/04 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ

08/05 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY

08/07 Xfinity Center Mansfield, MA*

08/08 Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ

08/09 PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC

08/12 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood Atlanta, GA

08/13 MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre Tampa, FL

08/14 Coral Sky Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL

08/16 Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square New Orleans, LA***

08/17 Austin360 Amphitheater Austin, TX

08/19 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Houston, TX**

08/20 Gexa Energy Pavilion Dallas, TX**

08/24 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO*

08/26 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA

08/30 Sleep Train Amphitheatre San Diego, CA^

* on sale April 25

** on sale May 1

*** on Sale May 8

# Death From Above 1979 not appearing

^ The Bots not appearing

Audiences can check out the video for its latest single ‘Blinded’ now online via Vevo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ7K1IO_k_c. Audiences can also check out a performance of ‘Blinded’ on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers by clicking the picture below.

Courtesy:  BBGun Press

Courtesy: BBGun Press

More information on The Bots’ upcoming tour dates is available online now along with the duo’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.thebotsband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thebotsband

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thebotsla

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.

Slayer Confirms New Album Complete, Coming This Year; Announces Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

It has been four long years since the members of Slayer last released any new material. But that long wait is about to come to an end.

Four years after the release of its Grammy-nominated record World Painted Blood and two years removed from the passing of Jeff Hanneman, the current members of Slayer–Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums)–have announced that the band will release its twelfth full-length studio release later this year via the band’s own label through Nuclear Blast Records. No title or official release date have yet been confirmed for the album. However, it is known that famed producer Terry Date (Miss May I, Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera) manned the boards for the record. And guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) will handle guitar duties alongside King. The record marks the first time that Date has ever worked with the band. It is also the first time since the release of the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All that Bostaph has recorded with his band mates. Audiences will be just as interested to note that there is at least one song penned by Hanneman included on the band’s upcoming record.

Nuclear Blast America General Manager Gerardo Martinez had nothing but good things to say of the upcoming album, saying essentially that it is some of the band’s best work to date. “Tom’s vocals are probably the best I’ve heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal,” he said. Fans have already gotten to sneak peeks of Slayer’s upcoming album, the most recent being the Record Store Day release of the song ‘When The Stillness Comes.’ That song was released in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies s worldwide. It was released on a special seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusively for Record Store Day but can be heard online now via Rolling Stone at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/hear-slayers-eerie-new-crusher-when-the-stillness-comes-20150416. The other sneak peek came in the form of the song ‘Implode.’ ‘Implode’ was offered as a free download last year following Slayer’s studio sessions last March. Audiences can hear the song now for free online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0gVs_UcxKY.

In anticipation of its new album, the members of Slayer have also announced that the band will embark on an extensive tour including dates on a number of major summer festival tours and its own “An Evening With…” Slayer-only dates. The band’s current confirmed tour schedule is listed below. It all begins this Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Confirmed Slayer tour dates:

APRIL
24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*

MAY
1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*

JUNE
13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal

(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA

JULY
1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX

AUGUST
1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

* “An Evening with…” headline dates

More dates are likely to be announced. When those dates are announced, they will be posted online along with all of the latest news on the band’s album at:

Website: http://www.slayer.net

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

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

Tales From Wisconsin Is One Of Teenage Bottlerocket’s Best Records Yet

Courtesy:  Rise Records

Courtesy: Rise Records

Teenage Bottlerocket is one of the best punk rock bands that audiences have never heard. For almost fifteen years, this Laramie, Wyoming-based band has been making its own brand of punk rock and building its audience base. All the while, it has remained just under the mainstream radar. This is actually a good thing. That is because it has kept the band from becoming just another cookie cutter pop punk rock band a la Sum 41, Blink 182, Newfound Glory, etc. Remaining just under that mainstream radar has allowed the band to continue crafting its own brand of music more akin to its counterparts in The Lillingtons, Bowling For Soup, and others of that ilk, all the while building its legions of fans around the world. The band’s latest album Tales From Wisconsin is proof of that. It is a fourteen track, thirty-five minute record that is just as certain to have listeners singing along happily just as much as any of the band’s previous releases. This has already been proven thanks to the album’s lead single, the light-hearted ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You),’ and its follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve.’ Both songs clearly show that nearly fifteen years after it first formed and roughly thirteen years after the release of its debut album Another Way, Teenage Bottlerocket has not lost a single step. The album’s gentle, acoustic closer ‘First Time’ shows this just as much. What’s more, it shows a certain growth from the members of Teenage Bottlerocket. Sure, the comparison to Dropkick Murphys and Green Day are inescapable here. But considering TBR’s body of work up to this point, it shows a turning point for the band and just as with the album’s first two singles shows yet again why this album is one more success from what is one of the punk realm’s best kept secrets.

TBR’s new album Tales From Wisconsin comes some thirteen years after the release of its debut record Another Way. One would think that considering how long TBR has been making music together, it would have broken through into the mainstream a long time ago when MTV and VH1 were still airing music videos and when they, along with the nation’s mainstream radio stations, were thirsting for the next big name in punk rock. Interestingly enough that never happened. Yet considering what those outlets did to the reputation of punk rock, maybe it’s a good thing that TBR never did break through. It allowed TBR to continue making its own music rather than give in to some A&R rep and other label exec along the way. Because it has manage to avoid those trappings, the band has manage to craft an album in Tales From Wisconsin–its sixth full-length studio effort–that is just as enjoyable as any of its previous recordings. That is evident early on in the record courtesy of its lead single ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You).’ This fully tongue-in-cheek song pays homage to veteran hard rock/metal act Metallica all while presenting a story of a man who has met a woman who is just as much a fan of the band as him. The song’s standard, melodic punk sound will itself have audiences on their feet, dancing in time as Brandon Carlisle keeps time alongside brother Ray Carlisle and fellow guitarist Kody Templeman. The song’s lyrical side is just as apt to put a smile on audiences faces as Templeman makes reference after reference to Metallica’s body of work throughout the song, singing, “That guy was such a d*******/When we were sticking up for Jason Newstead/That’s when you said you loved …And Justice For All/I didn’t make up with the creeps that night/they were looking for a fight/I was totally right on/The frayed ends of sanity/The shortest straw has been pulled for me/I’ll probably fade to black someday/Unless you hit the lights and escape with me.” The references to Metallica’s extensive catalogue don’t stop here. There is also a reference to ‘The Unforgiven’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ The song’s very title is itself a reference to ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ Such playful use of references coupled with the standard theme of a love found make this one of the most original compositions of its kind to be churned out by a musical act in any genre. Such originality makes clear why this song was chosen as the lead single for TFW. It also makes clear by itself what makes TFW one more wonderful release from one of the rock world’s best kept secrets. Audiences can check out the song’s lyric video online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdRrN4xQ8zk.

‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You) is one of the most original compositions about a relationship that has ever been crafted by any act in any of the music world’s many genres. The playful references to Metallica’s biggest hits as the basis for the song’s story coupled with the song’s catchy hooks and chorus makes it obvious why the song was chosen as TFW’s lead single. It also stands as just one clear example of why TBR remains today one of the best kept secrets in both the world of punk and rock in general. The song’s follow-up ‘They Call Me Steve’ shows just as clearly how much TBR has to offer on its latest release. The song’s musical side boasts even more infectious hooks and choruses throughout its two-minute, twenty-one second run time. Looking at the song from a lyrical standpoint, it is just as intriguing as Templeman sings, “I knocked down a tree with my bare hands/And I’ve been to all four corners of this land/I killed a giant spider with an iron sword/And I ran ten miles being chased by a zombie horde/They call me Steve/I’ll do anything you want me to/They call me Steve/I’ll dig a hole to Hell and back for you.” If not for the song’s companion video, which can be viewed online now, the song alone would definitely have had audiences talking. The song’s companion video is a Minecraft themed creation that perfectly complements the song’s lyrical content. It’s a love story in a video game world. The video can be viewed online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqLAkjRyiJU. In viewing the video, audiences will agree that it perfectly illustrates the story presented in the song and in turn makes the song even more enjoyable than it is on its own musical merits. The combination of the song’s musical and lyrical sides, and its companion video makes clear once again why TBR remains one of the best names in the punk realm and one of rock’s best kept secrets. Alongside ‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You),’ it shows even more clearly whyTFW is such an enjoyable record.

‘Nothing Else Matters (Without You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve’ are both clear examples of what makes TFW such an enjoyable record both for fans that are new to the band’s material and to those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. As much enjoyment as those songs offer audiences, there is one more song on this record that stands out even more than them as one of the album’s highest of points. That song is the album’s string-laden acoustic closer ‘First Time.’ Both musically and lyrically it presents the band’s much more rarely exhibited softer side. The comparison to Green Day and Dropkick Murphys among others is inescapable here because of that combination of music and lyrics. But being one of those truly rare times that the band has gotten to display its softer side, it makes this moment something special. It shows the band a little more willing to grow and show a more mature side from the band in comparison to what audiences have become accustomed to hearing. There is almost a certain desperation in Templeman’s voice as he sings I’m falling apart with a broken heart for the first time/I’m starting to doubt what this feeling’s about/For the first time/I stare at the wall/I’m beginning to fall…For the first time/spinning out of control/With nowhere left to go.” It’s not the standard oh, woe is me sort of delivery musically or lyrically that audiences have become all too familiar with from so many punk and emo bands. It has its own identity. Because of that, it proves yet again what makes TFW just as enjoyable as TBR’s previous records and why this veteran punk rock band remains today one of the best kept secrets of the rock world in whole. Together with ‘Nothing Else Matters (When I’m With You)’ and ‘They Call Me Steve,’ all three songs together exhibit why this record is just as enjoyable for first time listeners and for those that are more familiar with the band’s body of work. That is not to discount the other dozen tracks that make up this record, either. Each of those tracks not noted here makes its own argument in favor of TFW, too. The whole of those tracks and those more fully noted here show clearly why every punk rock fan should hear this record regardless of their familiarity with TBR.

TBR is currently out on tour in support of its new album. It will wrap up the U.S. leg of its tour this Sunday, April 19th in Denver, Colorado before taking a few days off to recharge and prep for the European leg of its tour. That leg kicks off next Thursday, April 24th in Lindau, Germany. Fans will be able to pick up TFW at either of those shows or any of its upcoming shows, too. Fans that can’t make it to the band’s shows can also pick up TFWin stores and online. Fans can check out TBR’s latest tour dates and get more information on TFW, and where they can purchase it online now at:

Website: http://www.teenagebottlerocket.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/teenbottlerock

Instagram: http://instagram.com/teenagebottlerocket

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.

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators Releasing New Live Recording This Summer

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is bringing home Slash and his friends Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators this summer.

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators: Live at the Roxy 9/25/14 on Tuesday, June 16th. The concert recording documents the groups’ performance at the famed club following the release of its second collaboration World on Fire early last year. The show’s set list features some of the biggest hits from Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver, and from Slash’s own solo recordings including: “Ghost,” “Back From Cali,” “World On Fire,” “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Anastasia,” “Paradise City,” “Slither,” “Nightrain,” and many more. The complete set list for Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators: Live at the Roxy 9/25/14 is noted below:

DVD / BLU-RAY TRACK LISTING

1) Ghost

2) Nightrain

3) Back From Cali

4) You Could Be Mine

5) Rocket Queen

6) Bent To Fly

7) Starlight

8) You’re A Lie

9) World On Fire

10) Anastasia

11) Sweet Child O’ Mine

12) Slither

13) Paradise City

Bonus Tracks:

(1) Stone Blind

(2) You’re Crazy

(3) Wicked Stone

(4) 30 Years To Life

3LP / 2CD TRACK LISTING

1) Ghost

2) Nightrain

3) Halo

4) Back From Cali

5) Stone Blind

6) You Could Be Mine

7) Doctor Alibi

8) You’re Crazy

9) Wicked Stone

10) 30 Years To Life

11) Rocket Queen

12) Bent To Fly

13) Starlight

14) You’re A Lie

15) World On Fire

16) Anastasia

17) Sweet Child O’ Mine

18) Slither

19) Paradise City

Fans can check out the group’s performance of ‘Bent To Fly’ from the recording online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0ctImlIThY. Fans can get more information on this recording online now along with all of the latest news from Slash at:

 

Website: http://www.slashonline.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/slash

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, 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.

Aerosmith Announces Dates For Its Blue Army Tour 2015

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Aerosmith is hitting the road again this summer.

The members of the legendary rock band Aerosmith announced today that the band will embark on the “Blue Army Tour 2015″ beginning Saturday, June 13th at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The band’s tour currently consists of sixteen dates that take the band across North America. There are dates in California, Wyoming, Texas, and even Canada throughout the “Blue Army Tour 2015.” Guitarist Joe Perry, in meeting with the press, discussed the meaning behind the name “Blue Army Tour” saying essentially that it is a reference to the band’s fans saying, “”The name Blue Army came from the fact that ‘everyone’ in our audience from the 70’s were wearing blue denim and it looked like a sea of blue, thus The Blue Army.” As audiences will note, the “Blue Army Tour 2015″ winds down with a special performance at the 2015 Pro Football Hall Of Fame Enshrinement Festival. The festival is held on the eve of the annual NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony. Aerosmith’s current schedule for the “Blue Army Tour 2015″ is listed below:

AEROSMITH’s 2015 summer tour dates are as follows:

DATE CITY VENUE

Sat 6/13 Glendale, AZ Gila River Arena

Wed 6/24 Evansville, IN The Ford Center

Sat 6/27 Durant, OK Choctaw Casino Event Center

Tue 6/30 Hidalgo, TX State Farm Arena

Fri 7/3 Stateline, NV Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys

Tue 7/7 Santa Barbara, CA Santa Barbara Bowl

Fri 7/10 Salinas, CA Salinas Sports Complex

Mon 7/13 Kelowna, BC Prospera Place

Thu 7/16 Victoria, BC Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Sun 7/19 Fort McMurray, AB Shell Place at MacDonald Park

Wed 7/22 Cheyenne, WY Cheyenne Frontier Days

Sat 7/25 Minot, ND North Dakota State Fair

Tue 7/28 Ridgefield, WA Amphitheater Northwest

Sat 8/1 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena

Tue 8/4 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena

Fri 8/7 Canton, OH Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

Fans that won’t get the chance to see Aerosmith live need not worry as the band is scheduled to release its new live DVD Aerosmith Rocks Donington 2014 via Eagle Rock Entertainment later this year. The DVD’s release date is currently TBA. The performance, which features nineteen of the band’s biggest hits, was recorded live at the Donington Park in Leicestershire, UK in June 2014 as part of the band’s Let Rock Rule experience. The songs included in the upcoming recording include the likes of: ‘Love in an Elevator,’ ‘Janie’s Got a Gun, ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing,’ ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady,’ ‘Walk This Way,’ ‘Dream On,’ ‘Sweet Emotion,’ and eleven others. More information on Aerosmith Rocks Donington and other titles available from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

More information on the “Blue Army Tour 2015″ is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.aerosmith.com

http://www.aeroforceone.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Aerosmith

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.