Leprous Announces North American Fall 2022 Tour Schedule with Apocalyptica

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous will return to the United States this fall for a new North American live run.

The band announced the schedule for the upcoming tour Monday. The tour, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 6 in Athens, GA , will see the band serving as support for Apocalyptica for its headlining tour. The tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 7 in Sacramento, CA and features performances in cities nationwide, such as Charlotte, NC; Louisville, KY and Tucson, AZ.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

LEPROUS – North American Tour with Apocalyptica & Wheel:
9/6/22 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
9/7/22 Charlotte, NC – Underground
9/8/22 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
9/9/22 Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
9/13/22 Portland, ME – State Theatre 
9/14/22 Long Island, NY – Paramount Theatre
9/15/22 Montclair, NJ – Wellmount Theatre
9/16/22 Philadelphia, PA – TLA
9/17/22 Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
9/18/22 Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
9/20/22 Fort Wayne, IN – Pierres
9/21/22 Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
9/23/22 Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl
9/24/22 Indianapolis, IN – Vogue
9/25/22 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles
9/26/22 Sauget, IL – Pops
9/27/22 Lawrence, KS – Liberty Hall
9/28/22 Denver, CO – Summit
9/30/22 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre
10/1/22 San Diego, CA – Observatory
10/2/22 Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
10/4/22 Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
10/5/22 Ventura, CA – Ventura Theatre
10/6/22 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst

Leprous’ latest North American run, which will follow a European run the winds down Aug. 27 in Poland, is in support of the band’s latest album, Aphelion, which was released in August 2021. The band previously toured North America in support of the album early this year.

Aphelion produced the singles, ‘Nighttime Disguise,’  ‘The Silent Revolution,’  ‘Running Low,’ and ‘Castaway Angels.’

More information on Leprous’ new single, and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.leprous.net

Facebookhttps//www.facebook.com/leprousband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/leprousband

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

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Awake At Last Takes On Social Media, Technology In New Single, Lyric Video

Courtesy: Wake Up! Music Rocks

Rock band Awake At Last premiered its latest single and video this month.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Living Fiction‘ and its companion lyric video June 17. The premieres come more than a month after the band debuted its then latest single,  ‘Bloodline‘ and its companion video.

The musical arrangement featured in the band’s new single presents a distinct aggro rock vibe at certain points in the song. At others though, there is something about the combination of the instrumentation and vocals that makes the sound and style comparable to works from the likes of 12 Stones.

The lyrical theme featured in the band’s new single is a commentary about the role of technology in our lives, according to a statement from front man Vincent Torres. That would account for the also occasional semi-industrial vibe of the song’s arrangement.

“Technology plays a significant role in all of our lives,” Torres said. “‘Living Fiction’ asks the question of whether or not it plays too much of a starring role in our lives. It’s about the data we share, and how as a whole we’ve become more and more addicted to it. When we were writing I noticed how much I had come to rely on technology and social media to have a window to everything when the world had kinda shut down. Technology boomed and I just started noticing patterns and how much they’d become a rhythmic part of my life,” says the band’s vocalist, Vincent Torres.

He added, “I think we captured that energy in the song and it was an absolute pleasure to work with Tim Skold, who went in and added to that rhythm his signature more industrial elements that have made him Iconic. With that blend of energies I think it came out feeling like we are sort of absorbed in the technology rhythm. It’s been amazing getting back to things and seeing how our amazing fan base continues to support and rock with us. I’m Optimistic about the future and it is so good to get back into shows and releases.”

In other news, Awake At Last is in the midst of a tour with Icon For Hire and Sumo Cyco. The remaining dates for the tour, which launched June 16, are noted below.

AWAKE AT LAST Tour Dates:
6/24 Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
6/25 Columbus, OH – Rumba
6/26 Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache
6/28 Joliet, IL – The Forge
6/30 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
7/1 Bloomington, IL – Castle Theater
7/2 Iowa City, IA – Wildwoods
7/3 Des Moines, IA – Leftys Live Music
7/5 Kansas City, MO – BLVD
7/7 Denver, CO – HQ
7/8 Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
7/11 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
7/13 Roseville, CA (Sacramento) – Goldfield Trading Post
7/15 Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
7/17 Albuquerque, NM – Launch Pad
7/19 San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
7/21 Houston, TX – Scout Bar
7/22 Dallas, TX – Amplified Live

9/10 Alton, VA – Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2022

More information on Awake at Last’s new single and video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.awakeatlastrock.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AwakeAtLast

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/awakeatlastrock

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

American Thrills Debuts New Album’s Fourth Single

Courtesy: Wiretap Records

American Thrills is giving audiences yet another preview of its latest album, which the band hopes to release later this year through Wiretap Records.

The band premiered the latest single from the record, whose release date is under consideration, Tuesday in the form of ‘Maybe You Were Right About Me.’ The song is the fourth single behind ‘Ivy League Swing,‘  ‘Misfires,‘ and ‘Alive and Well‘.

The musical arrangement featured in the new song is a familiar pop punk style composition. At times it lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Newfound Glory and at others to works from the likes of Sum 41. Still at others, there is a seeming influence of Jimmy Eat World.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the song’s debut. The lyrics provided with the song seem to hint at the song being an introspective look by one person at how some people change and how others don’t and how some people live up to certain expectations but not always in a good way. That is just this critic’s interpretation.

In other news, American Thrills is scheduled to perform at this year’s Fest 20. The festival is scheduled to take place Oct. 28-30 in Gainesville, FL.

More information on American Thrills’ new single, album, and tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AmericanThrills

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AmThrillsBand

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Pasquale Grasso’s New Covers Compilation Will Find Enjoyment Among Most Jazz Fans

Courtesy: Sony Music Entertainment

Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk are three of the most well-known and respected figures in the history of jazz.  That goes without saying.  Their music has been covered countless times by just as many acts throughout the decades, and now jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso has added his name to that list with his new compilation record, Be-Bop!  Released Friday through Sony Music Entertainment, the 10-song set is an interesting new take on the trio’s works what with the re-imagined, guitar-based takes on the songs.  One of the most notable of the covers is that of Charlie Parker’s timeless classic ‘Ornithology.’  Coming late in the album’s 43-minute run time, the song will be examined shortly. Thelonious Monk’s ‘Ruby, My Dear,’ which comes early in the collection, is another of the notable additions to the record.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Groovin’ High,’ which closes the compilation, is one more notable addition to the set.  It was originally recorded by Parker and Gillespie together.  It will also be examined later.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the set’s featured works, the whole makes the compilation a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.

Be-Bop!, the new covers compilation from jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso, is a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.  Each of the covers featured throughout the record does its own share to support the noted statement.  Among the most notable of the covers is that of Parker’s ‘Ornithology.’  Grasso takes on Parker’s lead through his performance on the guitar.  The piano line that compliments the saxophone and horns in the original is absent here, but the arrangement still works relatively well as Grasso works his way through the song.  Drummer Keith Balla’s steady time keeping on the hi-hat and snare is a welcome less-is-more approach here.  Meanwhile bassist Ari Roland’s low-end does well to take the place of the piano line and compliment Grasso’s performance at the same time.  The whole is a unique update on a song that originally is quite lively.  Grasso and company’s rendition is lively in its own right, but yet so much more relaxed at the same time.  It is well worth hearing and just one of the songs that makes this compilation overall worth hearing.  The trio’s take of Monk’s ‘Ruby, My Dear’ is another notable cover.

Just as Grasso and company really pull things back in their take of ‘Ruby, My Dear.’  The original song, both as performed solo by Monk and with the Thelonious Monk Quartet – which featured John Coltrane on saxophone, Wilbur Ware on bass, and Shadow Wilson on drums – was reserved in its own right.  Monk’s solo performance features just him on the piano gliding along in an almost bluesy approach and sound.  The quartet’s rendition of the song is more romantic in its sound and approach but still reserved in its own right.  Grasso and company lean their rendition more in the vein of Monk’s solo performance with Grasso leading the way gently through his guitar performance.  Balla’s subtle, gentle performance on the snare and hi-hat pairs with Grasso’s performance to enrich the performance even more.  The subtlety of Roland’s performance on the bass, both as he provides the backing and as he starts to shine late in the song in his semi-solo, adds its own nice touch to the arrangement.  The overall approach taken here by the trio gives the song so much depth and warmth even in its simplicity and shows even more why this compilation is worth hearing.  It is not the last of the songs that serve that purpose either. 

‘Groovin’ High,’ which closes the record, is one more example of what makes the set worth hearing.  The original composition was performed by Gillespie and Parker and is quite energetic.  Grasso, Balla and Roland bring the song their own energy to the song while still staying true to the source material.  There is no denying that at times, Grasso’s performance gives the song something of an easy listening bend at times, but he manages thankfully to keep that to a minimum, instead managing to bring out more of the swing approach of the original in the long run.  The result here is a song that despite being led by a guitar line, is still an engaging and entertaining presentation in its own right.  When it is considered alongside the other covers examined here and with the rest of the record’s covers, the whole makes this set a presentation that most jazz fans will find successful.

Be-Bop!, the new covers set from jazz guitarist Pasquale Grasso, is an interesting collection of covers of songs from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk.  The songs each take a unique jazz guitar-led approach to the famed musicians’ works.  Each stays as true as possible to the source material while also giving the works slightly new identities.  The songs examined here do well to support that statement.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes Be-Bop! A presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.

Be-Bop! is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Pasquale Grasso’s latest news at:

Website: https://pasqualegrasso.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grassopasquale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paskbud88

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Paul Winter Consort’s New Live Recording Is A Unique Addition To 2022’s New Live CDs Field

Courtesy: Earth Music Productions, LLC

Paul Winter Consort released its new live recording, Concert in the Barn Friday through Earth Music Productions.  Hardly the group’s first live performance, this concert is one of many captured during the pandemic, meaning it is more of an in-studio live concert of sorts than in person.  The 17-song set is an intriguing presentation that audiences will find worth hearing at least once.  That is due in part to its unique set list, which will be examined shortly.  The liner notes featured in the record’s companion booklet are also of note in examining the recording.  They will be examined a little later.  The recording’s production puts the finishing touch to the whole and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make the recording in whole an interesting addition to this year’s field of new live CDs.

Concert in the Barn, the new live recording from Paul Winter Consort, is a presentation that many audiences will find intriguing.  Recorded in a barn on Winter’s property in June 2021 (this is explained in the liner notes, which again will be discussed a little later), the concert features a set list that is unique to say the very least.  It is so unique that only a small handful of its songs were pulled from any of Winter’s albums, solo and otherwise.  Henrique Eisenmann, who is one of Winter’s fellow musicians in this performance, composed many of the songs here while others are covers, including those of legendary classical composer J.S. Bach.  There is even a song from a music student who reached out to Winter some time ago as part of the concert.  Simply put, what audiences get in this recording a set list that is eclectic to say the very least.  Making for even more interest here is the background provided about the songs provided in the recording’s liner notes.  While all of this is interesting, it also goes without saying that using so many varied songs instead of songs from Winter’s solo catalog and that of the Paul Winter Consort is a head scratcher.  That is not to say that not reaching into those catalogs was a bad thing.  It is just interesting to note that Winter decided to go the route that he did in this presentation.

The set list featured in this live studio performance is just part of what makes Concert in the Barn interesting.  The background on the concert provided through the recording’s liner notes makes for its own interest.  The liner notes were penned by Winter and his fellow musicians.  Winter points out in the provided information that the performance that is featured in the recording was in fact recorded in his home studio in a barn that is located on his property.  To that end, it can be said that this recording is a live studio performance.  What’s more, he points out that the concert was originally intended to be performed in a much larger venue, a church.  The whole story in that case will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  Interestingly, regardless of venue, no audience would have been in attendance.  He discusses that, too.  As audiences make their way through the record, they get background from Winter and company on each of the concert’s songs.  In the case of ‘Sarabande’ for instance, audiences learn from Eisenmann that the Sarabande is a 16th century dance whose roots are Spanish.  Eisenmann points out in his brief discussion that the classical arrangement is updated here for the group’s presented performance.  In the case of ‘DNA’ audiences learn that this song was sent to him by then college student Jeff Boratko years ago.  That song led him to eventually become a member of the group, and now that song is featured here.  The story shared about this song is interesting and makes for a nice feel-good story, too.  In the discussion about ‘The Well-Tempered Wood Thrush,’ audiences get an in-depth discussion on how a bird singing in his neighborhood led to the song’s creation.  It is not a short story but is so entertaining and engaging.  The mention of Bach’s influence on the song makes for even more interest.  When this item is considered with all of the other background examined here and with the rest of the background provided, the whole makes the liner notes just as important to the album’s presentation as the record’s primary content, its music.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the recording’s presentation is important in that it is responsible for the general effect.  Considering that this whole thing was recorded in Winter’s own home studio it goes without saying that plenty of time and effort went into balancing each song’s audio.  The acoustics of the studio were clearly taken into full account in the production.  That is because while this is a “concert” it sounds exactly like a full studio recording.  Each musician’s performance is so controlled alongside the others, each balancing the other expertly in each arrangement.  The end result is a sound that will keep listeners fully engaged in each song.  In turn, that engagement will lead to plenty of appreciation for each performer’s abilities and talents.  That appreciation, paired with the engagement ensured through the recording’s set list and background in the liner notes, makes the recording overall worth hearing at least once.

Concert in the Barn, the new live recording from Paul Winter Consort, is a unique addition to this year’s field of new live recordings.  Its interest is due in part to its set list, which leans more on covers and other material than any of Winter’s own solo material or even his work under the Paul Winter Consort name.  All of that material is in itself well worth hearing and is sure to keep audiences engaged in its own right.  The background provided on the songs and concert in the recording’s liner notes makes for its own appeal.  When all of this material is considered along with the recording’s production, the whole of that material makes the recording in whole a unique addition to this year’s field of new live recordings. 

Concert in the Barn is available now through Earth Music Productions, LLC.  More information on the recording is available along with all of Paul Winter Consort’s latest news at”

Website: https://www.paulwinter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paulwintermusic.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could Will Leave Any Listener With A Positive Feeling With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Bumblin Bee

Family music entertainment act Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could released its latest album, That Friday Feeling Friday through Bumblin Bee.  The 12-song record came more than three years after the release of the group’s then latest record, Under The Big Umbrella.  This latest release is another successful offering from the collective, too.  That is due in part to its featured musical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content is also of note and will be examined a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album another welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

That Friday Feeling, the latest album from Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could – the group’s sixth album and Rymer’s 10th overall – is a presentation that the whole family will find enjoyable.  Audiences’ engagement and entertainment in the album is due in part to its featured musical content.  From beginning to end, the arrangements vary just enough throughout.  Right from the record’s outset, its title track, audiences get an arrangement that easily lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Sister Hazel.  That is evidenced through Rymer’s vocal delivery and how it pairs with the use of the piano line and guitar.  The steady-mid-tempo kept throughout along with the layered choral effect add even more to that sense.  ‘Cheer You Up,’ which immediately follows, immediately creates thoughts of works from John Fogerty.  From there, the group goes into a more tropical direction a la Jimmy Buffett in ‘Babies of Summer.’  ‘Don’t Worry About That Now,’ which comes later in the record’s run, gives audiences a country style approach that keeps things just as interesting with a distinct Tom Petty-esque sound and style.  The bluegrass styling of ‘Seven Hours of Sun,’ which comes even later in the album’s 42-minute run, lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show.  ‘Yes We Can Can,’ continues the change, taking the record in a distinct soulful gospel direction as Rymer and company sing about unity.  This will be discussed a little later.  ‘Gonna Sleep Well Tonight’ continues to keep things changing, giving audiences a fun, upbeat rockabilly arrangement.  It continues to show the diversity in the record’s musical side and just why the record’s musical content is so important to its presentation.  From one song to the next, audiences continue to get something different throughout the record, musically speaking.  That variance forms a solid foundation for the album on which the equally diverse lyrical content rests.

The lyrical content featured throughout the album is just as diverse as the record’s musical content throughout.  As noted already, the lyrical theme promoting unity in ‘Yes We Can Can’ is just one of the many themes that Rymer and company present throughout the album.  Rymer reminds audiences here that, people can come together and need to unite.  He clearly says we need to “iron out our problems as sisters and brothers” and “learn to love one another.”  This is a familiar theme from the family music realm and is just as welcome as ever here.  On another note, Rymer and company talk to parents in another way in ‘Don’t Worry About That Now.’  In this case, the song serves as a reminder to parents that it is okay for them to be tired and put things off every now and then.  “When we wake tomorrow morning/We’ll put it all back in its place/For just this once/Don’t worry about that now,” he sings in the song’s chorus.  He reminds people that messes happen and to just take it all in stride.  It is a message that every parent (and child) will appreciate.  Moving back up the track listing a little bit more, the early entry that is ‘Cheer You Up’ is yet another example of the variance presented throughout the album.  In the case of this song, it is a simple straight forward song about a person who is trying to help make another person’s day better in the simplest of ways, by singing a song, telling a joke, making a silly face, etc.  It is a happy theme that when coupled with the song’s infectious vintage rock style arrangement gains even more impact.  When it is considered along with the other themes examined here and with the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, the whole of the record’s diverse lyrical themes make for even more engagement and entertainment for audiences of all ages.

As much as the album’s overall lyrical and musical content does to make this record so enjoyable, the album’s sequencing rounds out its most important items.  As has been noted here, the overall content is diverse.  That diversity is taken into full account with the sequencing.  Throughout the course of the album, the content changes on both sides constantly keeping things interesting musically and lyrically.  At the same time, the album’s energy remains relatively stable throughout even as the arrangements change from one to the next.  In other words, it is clear that plenty of thought and consideration was given to all of the content in assembling the record’s body.  That consideration results in a sequencing that creates a positive general effort for the album.  When that general effect is considered along with the album’s content, the whole makes the album overall a successful new effort from Rymer and his fellow musicians that is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

That Friday Feeling, the latest album from family entertainment act Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, is an enjoyable new offering from the group.  Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important because of their variety.  There is plenty of content that harkens back to works from so many respected veteran rock acts, such as John Fogerty, Tom Petty, and even Bruce Springsteen.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content are just as diverse as that content.  From the serious, socially conscious to the more lighthearted, the themes will resonate with audiences of all ages.  The sequencing takes everything noted into full account and in doing so creates a positive general effect in its own right, completing the album’s overall picture.  Each item examined is important in its own right to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the album a presentation that is sure to give any listener a happy feeling.

That Friday Feeling is available through Bumblin Bee.  More information on the album is available along with all of Bray Rymer and the Little Band That Could’s latest news at:

Website: https://bradyrymer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bradyrymer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bradyrymer

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

‘Tremonti Sings Sinatra’ Shows Mark Tremonti Has A Future In Jazz Just As Much As Rock

Courtesy: PFA Media

Frank Sinatra and Mark Tremonti are about as opposite of one another as two artists can get in terms of the musical universe.  Sinatra made his name in the jazz and film community and remains one of the most revered figures in the musical universe today.  Tremonti on the other hand has gained fame through his work with Creed, Alter Bridge and his eponymously named band, so when it was recently announced that Tremonti was going to release a compilation of Sinatra covers, it went without saying that there was plenty of surprise from members of both genre’ communities.  Released May 27 the 14-song record is quite the surprise in the best way possible.  Right from the record’s outset, audiences think they are hearing Sinatra as Tremonti sings so smoothly in the cover of ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin.’  That performance will be discussed shortly.  ‘My Way,’ which everyone knows was among Sinatra’s least favorite songs in the long run, is another notable addition to the record and will be discussed a little later.  ‘In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ is yet another key addition to this set.  It will also be examined later.  When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the content featured throughout the collection, the whole makes this record arguably the single best covers collection of this year so far.

Tremonti Sings Sinatra, the new Frank Sinatra covers collection from rocker Mark Tremonti (yes, a rocker covering a bunch of jazz standards) is one of the biggest and best surprises of the year so far.  That is the case even with the recording being a covers set.  It is a presentation that proves if Tremonti ever decides to call it a career on the rock side of the musical universe, he would easily have a future in the jazz side.  His cover of Sinatra’s hit single, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin,’ which opens the collection, is just one of the songs that serves so well to make that clear.  Right from the opening strains, audiences would swear they are hearing Sinatra himself as Tremonti starts singing.  The pleasant surprise is instantaneous.  The low end from the saxophone line and the accents from the muted horns and the gentle work of the brushes on the snare are a near mirror musical image of Sinatra’s original hit.  Even the gradual buildup exhibited in the source material is here in Tremonti and company’s cover.  The whole makes the song a wonderful start to this compilation and just one of the fully engaging and entertaining additions to the album.  Tremonti and company’s take on ‘My Way’ is another notable addition to the collection.

The cover of ‘My Way’ stands out because it is so much unlike the rendition made so famous by Sinatra and others.  In place of the overly schmaltzy semi-orchestral version that everyone knows from Sinatra, Tremonti opts instead for the simplicity of an acoustic guitar and piano line as he sings the famous lyrics.  Even as the arrangement here reaches its peaks, Tremonti avoids the over-the-top trappings of the source material, instead opting to keep the approach minimalist.  That reserved approach actually gives the song even more emotional impact because it gives the song a whole new identity that is still so endearing.  It is just one more of the songs that stands out in the presentation.  Tremonti and company’s cover of ‘In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ is yet another notable addition to the whole.

‘In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ stands out because again, Tremonti and company have taken a different path than that in the source material.  At the same time, it is still as engaging and entertaining as its source material.  Tremonti’s rendition replaces the strings in Sinatra’s version with a grouping of saxophones and low brass, giving the song a whole new warmth while still staying true to the source material.  The big band ballroom approach that the group takes here gives the song a whole new mood that audiences will still enjoy.  When it is considered along with the other covers examined here and with the rest of the covers featured throughout the record, the whole makes Tremonti Sings Sinatra a record that even being a covers set, a fully engaging and enjoyable presentation for fans of Tremonti, Sinatra, and jazz in general.

Tremonti Sings Sinatra, guitarist Mark Tremonti’s new collection of Frank Sinatra covers, is a unique addition to this year’s field of new covers sets.  It stands out in the very fact that it is a jazz collection assembled and recorded by a figure from the rock community.  Some of the covers are close renditions from their source material while others are unique updates on the originals.  Each offers listeners its own presentation that is enjoyable in its own right.  All things considered the songs featured in this recording make it the best of this year’s new covers sets and one of the biggest and best surprises so far.

Tremonti Sings Sinatra is available now. More information on the collection is available along with all of Tremonti’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://marktremonti.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MarkTremonti

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marktremonti

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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 Beatles And India’ Is A Mostly Successful New Look At A Pivotal Point In The Beatles’ History

Courtesy: Silva Screen Productions/Renoir Pictures

It goes without saying that The Beatles is considering by many critics and audiences alike to be one of the most important bands in the history of modern music.  The band’s music has and continues to transcend generations since its original release from one album to the next.  Memorabilia surrounding the band still commands high prices among audiences to this day, and to this day, movies and documentaries are still being made about the band.  The most recent of the documentaries to center on The Beatles is the 2021 feature, The Beatles and India.  Having made its theatrical debut in 2021, it is scheduled for home release June 21 on Blu-ray and DVD.  No surprise to anyone, this documentary will appeal primarily to established fans of The Beatles, though more casual audiences will find it worth watching at least once.  The doc’s appeal comes primarily through its main feature, which will be discussed shortly.  While the main feature is a positive to the documentary’s presentation, the whole is not perfect.  There is something of an issue with the audio mix, though it is not enough to doom the documentary.  This will be examined a little later.  The concern with the audio is a bridge of sorts between the documentary’s main feature and bonus content.  Speaking of the bonus content, it is also an item that audiences will find a positive, so it will also be examined later.  When it is considered along with the documentary’s main feature, the two items collectively make the overall presentation a mostly successful offering for any fan of The Beatles.

The Beatles and India, the new documentary centered on the one and only Beatles, is a unique new look at what many considered to be a pivotal part of the band’s history, its journey to Rishikesh, India in 1968.  The story of that journey is interesting in that it is revealed here that it was really because of the band’s then guitarist George Harrison, that The Beatles even went to India in the first place.  As is pointed out, Harrison made the pilgrimage to India because he was more interested in Indian music and culture than his band mates. He apparently convinced his then band mates to make the journey to India, too.  The story from there gets even more interesting.  It gets more interesting as it is revealed that as much as has ever been said and written about the band’s time in India, apparently three quarters of the band did not stay very long.  Ringo and his wife left only a couple of weeks after making the trip.  Paul and his wife stayed less than six weeks.  Even after everything, it was George who largely remained.

Just as interesting to learn in watching this documentary is that apparently the band became pawns of a sort to a number of parties during and after their trip to India, including the very man who had become their spiritual leader of sorts during their time in India.  The story of how that relationship started and ended is surprising to say the very least.  It sounds in the bigger picture, like something that came right out of a movie.  Along with that, the band also became pawns of a sort to another individual back in the United States when they returned from India.  That story pairs with the story of the band’s relationship with the Maharishi to make quite the interesting overall tale.  When the examination of the band’s relationships with others and even each other during and after their trip to India is considered along with the overarching story of Harrison’s role in the whole thing, the overall presentation makes for a story that will keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout the documentary’s 96-minute run time.

While the overall main feature gives audiences reason to watch the documentary, its audio causes some concern.  The concern comes from the realization that the main feature runs surprisingly low.  Audiences will have to turn up the volume on their TVs quite a bit in order to be able to fully hear everything.  This is important to note because by comparison, the audio in the documentary’s bonus content was recorded at quite a high volume.  So in going straight from the main feature to the bonus content, audiences will have to immediately turn down the volume before starting the bonus content.  Otherwise, audiences will find the unpleasant surprise of having extremely loud audio in the bonus content.  Why and how this stark difference in audio levels is anyone’s guess.  It is not enough to doom the documentary, but it certainly negatively impacts the presentation’s aesthetics.

Speaking of the documentary’s bonus content, it will give the noted targeted audiences more reason to watch.  The extensive interview with author Ajoy Bose, whose book Across The Universe – The Beatles In India is the basis for the documentary, is the most notable of the bonuses.  Bose talks about a variety of topics during his interview, including finding the people who were interviewed for the documentary, the long-term influence of India’s culture and music on the band in regards to not just its music but its members, and the research that he did for his book and for the documentary.  His insights in regards to each item will again appeal to plenty of audiences, especially the most devoted fans of The Beatles.  The secondary bonus examining the compound where John, Paul, George, and Ringo stayed during their time in India offers its own interest.  Many will likely take issue with this, but in listening to the narration while observing the map, the whole compound looks and sounds like something that would be used by a cult.  That is sure to generate plenty of its own discussion among audiences and in turn shows why this item is important in its own way to the whole of the bonus content.  When it and the extensive discussions from Bose are considered together, they make clear why the documentary’s bonus content is just as important to the overall presentation as its main feature.  When that secondary and primary content are considered together, they make the documentary in whole a mostly successful presentation.

The Beatles and India, the latest documentary centered in The Beatles, is a presentation that most audiences will find intriguing.  Its interest comes in large part through its main feature.  The main feature focuses on the band’s much talked about journey to India in 1968.  Audiences will find interesting here that despite all the legend that has been made about that trip, it apparently did not go quite as smoothly as many have made it to be.  While the main feature gives audiences reason to watch, the seeming issues with the audio between the main feature and bonus content detracts from the enjoyment to a point.  The main feature was apparently recorded at a low volume while the bonus content was recorded at a much higher volume.  That difference in volume will require audiences to adjust the volume between the two items.  It is not enough to doom the documentary, but certainly does detract from the overall enjoyment.  Speaking of the bonus content, it proves itself worth watching, too.  That is because of the background that is offered on the documentary’s creation and on the band’s time in India through the two main features here.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the documentary’s home presentation.  All things considered, they make the documentary a mostly successful presentation that most audiences will agree is worth watching at least once.

The documentary’s soundtrack was released in March through Silva Screen Records. The doc’s DVD presentation is expected to retail for MSRP of $19.95 and its Blu-ray presentation for MSRP of $24.95. Each can be ordered here.

More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group is available online at:

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

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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 Rolling Stones Offer Audiences One More Of 2022’s Top New Live Recordings In ‘Licked Live In NYC’

Courtesy: Mercury Studios

The Rolling Stones has another new live recording out this week.  It comes in the form of Licked Live in NYC.  The recording is another wonderfully enjoyable presentation for any fan of The Rolling Stones.  That is due in part to its featured set list which will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that accompanies the recording makes for its own engagement and entertainment.  It will be discussed a little later.  The companion booklet rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined a little later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the recording another presentation that is sure to appeal to any rock purist and fan of The Rolling Stones.

Licked Live In NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is another thoroughly impressive presentation from the band and from Mercury Studios.  It is a work that will appeal to any fan of what is in this critic’s mind, the best rock and roll band in the world.  The recording’s success comes in part through its featured set list.  The set list is largely composed of so many familiar songs from The Rolling Stones.  ‘Gimme Shelter,’ ‘Tumbling Dice,’ ‘and Honky Tonk Woman’ are all there.  The latter of the group features a guest appearance by Sheryl Crow.  Also included in the set list are the likes of ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),’ ‘Angie’ and ‘Street Fighting Man.’  At the same time though, the set list also pulls in what many might consider some deep cuts.  They come in the form of  ‘Happy,’ ‘If You Can’t Rock Me,’ ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Monkey Man,’ Thru and Thru’ and Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.’    The latter of that group of songs was performed by guitarist Keith Richards.  ‘Don’t Stop’ is a single featured in the band’s compilation record, 40 Licks.  ‘Monkey Man’ takes audiences back to 1969 and the band’s beloved album, Let It Bleed while ‘Thru and Thru’ is lifted from the band’s 1994 album, Voodoo Lounge.  On a side note, Mercury Studios has released a live Rolling Stones performance previously that was part of a tour in support of Voodoo Lounge in the form of Voodoo Lounge Uncut.  That recording was released in 2018.  Getting back on topic, ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ is lifted from the band’s hit 1971 album, Sticky Fingers but has rarely been featured on any of the band’s live recordings.  So it is its own treat for audiences.  ‘Happy’ reaches back to 1972 and the band’s album, Exile on Main Street while ‘If You Can’t Rock Me’ comes from the band’s 1974 album, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Simply put, what audiences get from this concert’s set list is a fair balance of familiar songs and some that are less familiar in a live setting from the band.  They also pull from a relatively healthy swath of some of the band’s most well-known and beloved albums.  In other words, audiences get the best of both worlds in more ways than one here.  To that end, the set list forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation.

Resting firmly on that foundation is the band’s performance of the set list.  The band’s performance, which took place on stage at Madison Square Garden Jan. 18, 2003, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood, Keith Richards, and the now late great Charlie Watts, as well as their fellow musicians and performers.  Jagger’s swagger is just as energetic and prevalent as ever throughout the concert.  Even his interaction with his fellow performers, including the backing singers, is just so real.  Watts’ energy is on full display as he keeps the beat in each song while Wood and Richards bring their own familiar yet unique energy to each performance.  Late great saxophonist Bobby Keys’ solo work and backing work throughout the show even added its own great touch to the whole.  The energy that he and everybody else brough from the whole unit is fully engaging and entertaining.  It makes the overall group’s performance just as immersive and enjoyable as ever.  There really is no one bad thing to say about the band’s performance at any point in the concert.  To that end, the set list and band’s performance thereof collectively make for so much enjoyment in this concert.  They are just a portion of what makes the recording so enjoyable, too.  The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds even more to the overall experience.

The bonus content comes in the form of a n extensive documentary about the band’s tour, a group of “studio rehearsal performances” and some live extras.  The extra live content comes in the form of live clips of ‘Star Star,’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ and ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You.’  Between those songs, the full “rehearsal” performances of ‘Well Well’ and Extreme Western Grip’ brings the recording’s full song list to 26 songs.  So in other words, audiences not only get some extra performances, which are engaging and entertaining in their own right, but audiences also get in these performances some more enjoyable live performances, some in studio and some on stage.  It’s the best of both worlds, so to speak. 

The bonus documentary that comes with the presentation is important in its own right because it really makes audiences the proverbial fly on the wall.  Audiences get to watch as the band members plan the tour from which the featured concert was included.  From planning the stage show to rehearsing together to even Jagger preparing his vocals and dancing skills.  Yes, he even trains in regards to the dancing that he does on stage.  Audiences will be pleasantly surprised to watch him train for that aspect.  It shows just how seriously the band members take the preparations for its shows.  At the same time, in listening to the band members talk about working together and to see them interacting with fans, family, and friends, audiences gain even more appreciation for the band.  That is because of how easygoing the band members appear throughout the show.  That easygoing nature shows through just as much on stage, so in essence, audiences get a definite vibe of what you see is what you get from the band.  It really shows that this veteran band, even at that point in its career, did not seem to have the ego of so many bands out there today, veteran and otherwise.  Between that and the appreciation that audiences will have watching the band prepare for the tour, the documentary presents its own engagement and entertainment.  When the enjoyment generated through the documentary is paired with that generated through the bonus performances, the overall bonus content more than makes for reason to take in this concert.  That bonus content is just one more part of what makes Licked Live In NYC so enjoyable.  The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet rounds out the most important of its elements.

The liner notes featured in the companion booklet were penned by journalist/broadcaster Paul Sexton.  Sexton outlines the show in his notes, giving audiences a preview of the concert before audiences even take in the show.  It is a thorough description highlighting many of the extensive number of high points throughout the concert.  He also cites guitarist Ron Wood  as saying that the band rehearsed no less than 120 (yes, 120) songs in preparation for the tour.  That tidbit, while minimal, is still powerful.  It adds even more to the documentary, showing even more just how seriously the band took its preparations for the tour.  That the band had that many songs to rehearse is in itself shocking and in a good way.  It makes for even more appreciation for the band and the overall presentation here.  AS if that is not enough, there are comments from Richards and from Watts about how the band came to decide on the venues for the concert.  Their insights are deep as they talk about the constraints of performing at larger venues and at theaters and smaller venues.  All of these discussions and the previous that Sexton offers audiences makes for its own engagement and value to the recording, too.  When that engagement and value is paired with the impact of the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, and with the bonus content featured here, the whole makes Licked Live in NYC yet another fully successful live offering from a group that is one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world if not the best.

Licked Live in NYC, the latest live recording from The Rolling Stones, is an impressive new offering from the group that rock purists and fans of The Rolling Stones alike will find appealing.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured set list and the band’s performance thereof.  The set list gives audiences plenty of familiar content while also bringing some deep cuts that have rarely appeared in any of the band’s existing live recordings.  That best of both worlds approach and the enjoyment of the songs themselves makes for so much enjoyment.  The band’s performance of each song makes for its own engagement and entertainment.  That is because even being 40 years into its life at the time of the concert, it shows the band was still at the very top of its game.  That includes the core group’s backing performers.  The bonus content that accompanies the concert adds to the overall enjoyment.  That is because it gives audiences even more live content, both on stage and in studio.  The documentary that is also used as bonus content will keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right.  That is because it shows the time and effort that the band put into preparing for its 40th anniversary tour.  The liner notes crafted by Paul Sexton do well to compliment the documentary while also previewing the concert through his own descriptions.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make Licked Live in NYC one more of the year’s top new live recordings.

Licked Live in NYC is available now. More information on Licked Live in NYC is available along with all of its latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.rollingstones.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/therollingstones

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/RollingStones

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Websitehttps://mercurystudios.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MercuryStudiosCo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mercurystudios

To keep up with the latest news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Jenn Cleary’s Sophomore LP Will Make Audiences Of All Ages Happy Every Day

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer Jenn Cleary is scheduled to release her sophomore album, Happy Day June 17 independently.  Set for release a little more than a year after the release of her debut album, All Together Now, the 10-song record is a presentation that will make audiences happy every day.  That is due in part to the album’s musical body, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own interest to the record’s presentation and will be examined a little later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album a successful second offering from Jenn Cleary.

Happy Day, the second new album from Jenn Cleary, is a positive new presentation from the family music entertainer. The record’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  Speaking more specifically, the diversity in the arrangements is what makes them so important.  The album opens with a mid-tempo kindie rock composition in the album’s title track but then quickly changes things up immediately after in ‘Magical Music Train.’  The bluesy harmonica line and the guitar line give the arrangement in this case an identity totally separate from that of the album’s opener.  The addition of what sounds like a Hammond B3 organ to the mix adds even more to the engaging and entertaining blues approach here and ensures even more, older audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  ‘Plant A Garden’ changes things yet again, taking listeners on a zydeco ride.  Cleary and her fellow musicians take another hard right yet again in the very next song, ‘I Like Candy,’ this time in a more country western direction.  ‘Take A Walk in the Woods,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, keeps the changes coming, this time offering audiences a semi-country rock approach. From there to the record’s end, the sounds and styles continue changing just as much all the way through.  By the record’s end audiences will agree that the varied arrangements presented throughout the album’s body make for reason enough to hear this presentation.

As much as the album’s musical arrangements do to appeal to audiences, it is just part of what makes the record worth hearing.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements add their own share of interest to the presentation.  From the serious to the silly, Cleary presents themes that will resonate with audiences of all ages.  What’s more she does this in a way that makes them accessible to just as many audiences.  Case in point is the light, flowing ‘Turtle Time.’  The song is a reminder to audiences of all ages that we all need time to slow down after being so overly exposed to the now, now, now nature of the world today. That nonstop energy of the workday and school day.  She even notes in her song that parents need that turtle time just as much as children. 

On a separate note, a song, such as ‘I Like Candy’ promotes proper dental health and proper eating habits all in one.  She sings from the vantage point of a child who loves all kinds of candy but ends up paying for it in the end at a dentist appointment.  The dentist goes so far as to tell the child to cut back on sweets and try to eat healthier.

On yet another note, a song, such as ‘Fly, Seagull, Fly,’ which comes across as a sort of neo-folk style composition, is a celebration of the simple things in life.  The song’s subject is out on the beach, watching a seagull flying casually up in the blue sky.  The seagull is a representation of those simple things that we should all take into account daily and appreciate.  It really is a unique way to approach such a deeper concept that will connect with a wide range of audiences.  It is yet another example of what makes the album’s lyrical themes so important to its presentation.  When it and the other themes pointed out here are considered along with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no doubt as to the noted importance.  It is just one more part of what makes the album appealing.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Throughout the course of the album’s run, the sequencing creates a fully immersive and positive general effect.  This is the case even as the sounds and styles of the songs change from one to the next.  Other than the record’s finale, ‘It’s Time To Go To Sleep,’ the only other point at which the album’s energy pulls back (and fittingly so) is ‘Turtle Time.’  The relaxed sense of the arrangement does well to help translate the message of needing that time to slow down and just relax.  To that end, the stability of the album’s musical content even amidst its constantly changing sounds and styles, the sequencing ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment in its own right.  When the success thereof is considered along with the impact of the album’s overall content, the whole makes Happy Day a successful sophomore offering from Jenn Cleary.

Happy Day, the new album from Jenn Cleary, is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The record’s musical arrangements stand out because of their variety.  From one to the next, Cleary offers audiences something different throughout the album.  That in itself is reason enough for audiences to hear the album.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content are just as varied.  They range from the serious to the silly.  What’s more they are delivered in a fashion that makes them accessible to audiences of any age.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It ensures the album’s energy remains stable throughout its run even as the sounds and styles change.  The result is a positive general effect that is just as important as the album’s content.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album a presentation that will make the whole family happy every day.

Happy Day is scheduled for release June 17. More information on the album is available along with all of Cleary’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://jenncleary.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/JennClearyMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/jenncleary

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.