Alice Cooper Debuts ‘Don’t Give Up’ Video

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Alice Cooper is doing his part to help audiences get through the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cooper debuted the video for his new inspirational song ‘Don’t Give Up‘ Friday.  The video, which is essentially a lyric video, features pictures of audiences from around the world holding signs that make up the song’s lyrics.  Those pictures are incorporated into a digital globe, at the center of which is Cooper, performing his new single.

The song’s musical arrangement is a mid-tempo work.  The guitar line presents a sound that illustrates the emotional strain and stress that people are feeling right now.  Cooper meanwhile uses a matter of fact spoken word approach in the verses to deliver his message.  The singing used in the song’s chorus is meant to emphasize that despite all the emotional difficulties we all feel, there is hope.

Cooper elaborated on the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“It’s a song about what we’ve all been going through right now and about keeping our heads up and fighting back together,” he said. ” And whatever you do — Don’t Give Up!”

‘Don’t Give Up’ was produced by Bob Ezrin.  A limited edition 7″ picture disc of the song will be available Aug. 14 through earMUSIC.  Pre-orders are open now.

More information on Alice Cooper’s new song is available along with all of Cooper’s latest news at:






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Merry Metal Christmas: Wizards Of Winter Celebrate Christmas Hard Rock Style At Roanoke Rapids Theatre

Copyright: Philip Sayblack

Wizards of Winter gave audiences an early Christmas gift Saturday night with a performance at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre.

The world-renowned holiday hard rock super group performed at the theater as part of its tour in support of its latest album “The Christmas Dream.” The band released the album — its third overall — independently Sept. 27.

Copies of “The Christmas Dream” were available for sale in the lobby throughout the evening. Band founder and keyboardist Scott Kelly informed the audience during the show that any active duty military personnel in attendance would receive copies of the album for free while proceeds from the sales of other copies would benefit the Wounded Warrior project. The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity and veterans service organization that helps military service members transition from military service life to civilian life.


Copyright: Philip Sayblack

The amped up sounds of the season echoed through the theater’s main hall over the course of more than two hours, as the band performed its own take on songs, such as ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘The First Noel’ and ‘We Three Kings.’ The songs were taken from the band’s new album. Announcer Tony Gaynor came in between songs to help the band take the audience on their musical journey to the North Pole and beyond aboard the “Arctic Flyer.”

The nearly three hour show featured two separate sets, each one full of holiday-themed songs, lots of lights and holiday cheer. Band founder and keyboardist Scott Kelly even took a moment to offer his own inspiring words to the audience during a break in the show’s second set.

“If you pay it forward, good things can happen.”

Kelly recently spoke with Phil’s Picks ahead of the band’s decision to play at the theater. He said the venue’s size played into the band’s decision to perform at the facility.

“The Wizards have only performed in North Carolina once before,” he said. “Despite the large number of venues in the State, few are the right size for a band like ours. They are either arenas or smaller. The RRT provides the exact mix that works best for our show. Intimate, yet large enough to allow us to do our whole production.”


Copyright: Philip Sayblack

The performance hall inside the Roanoke Rapids Theatre was packed with people clapping their hands and tapping their feet along with the music throughout the night. Among the dozens who attended was Roanoke Rapids couple Betsy and Neil Rumford. The couple said before the concert, they moved to town last year from Richmond, Virginia, adding they are glad the city and county have the theater.

“It is really important for this theater to be here,” Betsy said. “It draws a lot of people. We’ve got friends in Richmond who came down recently just to see the Elvis show.”

Neil expanded on her comments.

“This theater being here helps to promote the city and the county,” he said. “It promotes community. It really puts the city and the county on the map. It really makes me think of the theater in Branson, Missouri because of its layout.”

Roanoke Rapids Theatre Security Officer Joel Motley had similar sentiments to those of the Rumfords as he talked about the theater before the concert.

“I love seeing everyone here,” he said. “The citizens of Halifax and Northampton counties need somewhere to go, and the theater gives them that place to go. We are growing here at this theater, and it feels good to know that.”


Copyright: Philip Sayblack

While the first set of Saturday night’s concert focused mainly on Wizards of Winter’s latest album, the second set presented a more diverse lineup of songs. The band, whose members have performed and recorded with other famous acts, such as Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, performed two songs from TSO in the Wizards’ own style, as well as some of its own older songs. The set also featured a powerful rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ that saw the concert hall fill with lights from the audience’s cell phones.

As the show ended, announcer Tony Gaynor told the audience the he hoped the theater officials will make the band’s performance an annual event. Gaynor’s statement brought applause and cheers from the entire audience. From there, some made their way to the building’s lobby, waiting for a free meet-and-greet with the band while others made their way back to their vehicles to make their return home.

Phil Campbell Debuts ‘Straight Up’ Lyric Video; New LP Available Now

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell released his latest album Friday, and in celebration, also released the lyric video for the album’s latest single.

Campbell debuted the single for his new single ‘Straight Up‘ Friday.  The song, featured on his new album Old Lions Still Roar, features vocals by legendary Judas Priest front man Rob Halford alongside Campbell’s solid, driving guitar work.  The video presents the song’s lyrics, which seem to make a statement of wanting a person to just be honest with another person, are presented on a large weaponized machine.

Campbell discussed bringing Halford on-board for the song in a recent interview, offering high praise for him in the process.

“‘The Metal’ God Rob Halford has always been an artist I admire,” he said.  “His distinctive vocals and stage presence have rocked millions of fans all over the world, so I count myself blessed to have written a rockin’ song together with him.”

‘Straight Up’ is just the latest song that Old Lions Still Roar has spawned.  Most recently, Campbell debuted the video for ‘These Old Boots‘ — which features guest appearances by Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Mick Mars (Motley Crue) and Chris Fehn (ex-Slipknot) — ‘Swing It [ft. Alice Cooper]‘ led the way for the album.

Campbell also released a series of in-studio discussions on topics, such as the album’s mixing, how the album came together and the matter of the album’s singles.  The links to those discussions is noted below.

Trailer #1 – About “These Old Boots”:
Trailer #2 – How The Album Came Together:
Trailer #3 – Mixing The Album:
Trailer #4 – About “Swing It”:

Old Lions Still Roar is available now.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

Old Lions Still Roar tracklist
01. Rocking Chair feat. Leon Stanford
02. Straight Up feat. Rob Halford
03. Faith In Fire feat. Ben Ward
04. Swing It feat. Alice Cooper
05. Left For Dead feat. Nev MacDonald
06. Walk The Talk feat. Danko Jones & Nick Oliveri
07. These Old Boots feat. Dee Snider
08. Dancing Dogs (Love Survives) feat. Whitfield Crane
09. Dead Roses feat. Benji Webbe
10. Tears From A Glass Eye feat. Joe Satriani

Campbell is in the midst of a tour in support of his new album along with his band mates “The Bastard Sons.”  The group’s tour schedule is noted below.


»Old Lions Still Tour«

29.10. UK Stoke – The Sugarmill
30.10. UK Glasgow – Classic Grand
01.11. UK Manchester – Rebellion *SOLD OUT*
02.11. UK London – The Dome
03.11. UK Norwich – Epic Studios
04.11. UK Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
06.11. UK Southampton – Engine Rooms
07.11. UK Wolverhampton – KK’s Steel Mill
08.11. UK Exeter – Phoenix
09.11. UK Cardiff – Tramshed

29.11. D Cologne – Gebäude 9
30.11. D Hamburg – Logo *SOLD OUT*
01.12. D Berlin – Bi Nuu
02.12. D Nuremberg – Hirsch
04.12. D Dresden – Beatpol
05.12. D Munich – Backstage (Halle)
06.12. D Frankfurt – Das Bett
07.12. D Oberhausen – Nikolaut Winterfestival*
*PCATBS only

29. – 31.05. D  Gelsenkirchen – Rock Hard Festival (MOTÖRHEAD Set)
29. – 31.05. UK Lincolnshire – Call Of The Wild
02./03.10. D Geiselwind – Monster Festival

More information on Old Lions Still Roar is available online now along with all of Campbell and company’s latest news at:






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Eagle Rock’s Mingus Montreux Show Shines In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Going to live shows is neither easy nor inexpensive nowadays.  Between the collective cost of tickets — which is itself oftentimes bank-breaking — transportation, food, potential lodging and souvenirs, and of course planning around work and family schedules, getting out to live shows is not easy for anyone.

Those barriers make the availability of live recordings something critical for audiences everywhere, regardless of genre.  To that end, live CDs deserve their own consideration just as much as studio recordings, each year.  Keeping that in mind, Phil’s Picks has developed once again a list of the year’s Top 10 new live CDs.

This year has been an interesting one for live CDs.  Some notable live CDs were featured as part of bigger bundles (E.G. The Rolling Stones’ San Jose ’99 and Voodoo Lounge ’94 shows) while others, such as Alice Cooper’s A Paranormal Night @ The Olympia Paris and Marty Friedman’s One Bad M.F. Live were standalone offerings.

Some were standout offerings for all of the best reasons.  Others had some problems to note.  Keeping all of this in mind, this year’s crop of live CDs deserves just as much attention as the vast sea of studio recordings released throughout the year.

Topping this year’s list is yet another live CD from the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of Charles Mingus’ classic 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival show.  This recording presents Mingus at one of his finest moments, and why his live performances were — and still are today — such powerful presentations.

Coming in second in this year’s list is the new Jimi Hendrix live CD, Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  This CD was released as part of the bigger Electric Ladyland box set, and stands out so strongly because of its set list, Hendrix and company’s performance and the production values.

Third place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live CDs goes to veteran viking metal outfit Amon Amarth.  The 30-song set list spans two nights and quite an expansive portion of the band’s catalog.  That set list is directly mirrored on its DVD and BD presentation, and sounds just as good.  Though because of the intensity of the show, it is still better appreciated being seen and heard and not just heard.  That’s not to say the CD presentation is bad, but audiences will agree that hearing it makes for far more appreciation for the concerts’ DVD and BD presentations.

Also featured in this year’s list of top new live CDs are those noted new offerings from Marty Friedman, Alice Cooper and The Rolling Stones alongside new offerings from Opeth, Devin Townsend and John 5 to name just a few more titles.  As always, this critic’s list features 10 of the year’s top new offerings plus five honorable mentions, which follow, for a total count of 15.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 new Live CDs.


  1. Charles Mingus — Live at Montreux 1975
  2. Jimi Hendrix — Live at the Hollywood BowlAug. 14, 1968
  3. Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
  4. Devin Townsend Project — Ocean MachineLive at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
  5. Opeth — Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  6. The Rolling Stones — No SecuritySan Jose ’99
  7. The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
  8. John Mclaughlin & The 4th Dimension and Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip — Live in San Francisco
  9. Marty Friedman — One Bad M.F. Live
  10. Accept — Symphonic TerrorLive at Wacken 2017
  11. Alice Cooper — A Paranormal Night at The Olympia Paris
  12. Fates Warning — Live Over Europe
  13. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow — Memories in Rock II
  14. John 5 and The Creatures — It’s Alive
  15. Overkill — Live in Overhausen

Alice Cooper Announces New Live Recording, Live Dates

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Veteran rocker Alice Cooper has a new live recording on the way this summer.

Cooper is scheduled to release A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris August 31 via earMUSIC.  Originally recorded December 7, 2017 at the world renowned Olympia the 90-minute concert recording will be available on 2CD digipack, 2LP Gatefold, and digital platforms.  The 2LP Gatefold will be available in separate white and red pressings.

A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris features an 18-song set list including older material as well as some of his more recent works including, but not limited to: ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy,’ ‘School’s Out,’ ‘Paranoiac Personality’ and others.  The recording’s full set list is noted below.


1. Brutal Planet
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Under My Wheels
4. Department of Youth
5. Pain
6. Billion Dollar Babies
7. The World Needs Guts
8. Woman of Mass Distraction
9. Poison
10. Halo of Flies

1. Feed My Frankenstein
2. Cold Ethyl
3. Only Women Bleed
4. Paranoiac Personality
5. Ballad of Dwight Fry
6. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
7. I’m Eighteen
8. School’s Out


1. Brutal Planet
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Under My Wheels
4. Department of Youth
5. Pain
6. Billion Dollar Babies

1. The World Needs Guts
2. Woman of Mass Distraction
3. Poison
4. Halo of Flies

1. Feed My Frankenstein
2. Cold Ethyl
3. Only Women Bleed
4. Paranoiac Personality

1. Ballad of Dwight Fry
2. Killer/I Love the Dead themes
3. I’m Eighteen
4. School’s Out

Courtesy: earMUSIC

The concert featured in this recording was the final of a tour in support of Cooper’s most recent full-length studio recording Paranormal, which was released in July 2017.  The album was Cooper’s first studio recording in six years at the time.  The 10-song record was produced by Bob Ezra and released as both a standard and double-disc edition with eight bonus tracks. it features guest appearances from the likes of Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Larry Mullen, Jr. (U2), Roger Glover (Deep Purple) and Cooper’s original band mates, Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Micheal Bruce.  Paranormal is available now in stores and online via Amazon and iTunes, and is also streaming via Spotify.

Along with the upcoming release of A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris, Alice Cooper also has more live dates coming up in support of Paranormal.  His latest live schedule launches August 3 in West Allis, Wisconsin and is scheduled to run through October 24. It includes scheduled performances in Cincinnati, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; Charlotte, North Carolina and a number of other cities across North America.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

8/3 — West Allis, WI — Wisconsin State Fair
8/5 — Sioux Falls, SD — Washington Pavilion
8/6 — Kansas City, MO — Kauffman Center for The Performing Arts
8/8 — Colorado Springs, CO — Pike’s Peak Center
8/10 — Las Vegas, NV — The Pearl at the Palms Hotel + Casino*
8/11 — Temecula, CA —  Pechanga Resort + Casino
8/12 — Los Angeles, CA — Greek Theatre*
8/14 — San Jose, CA — City National Civic
8/15 — Jackson, CA — Jackson Rancheria Casino
8/16 — Reno, NV — Grand Sierra Resort + Casino
8/18 — Bonner, MT — Kettlehouse Amphitheater
8/19 — Everett, WA — Angel of the Winds Arena
8/20 — Vancouver, BC — Queen Elizabeth Theatre
8/22 — Calgary, AB — Southern Jubilee Auditorium
8/23 — Edmonton, AB — Northern Jubilee Auditorium
8/25 — Saskatoon, SK — SaskTel Centre
8/26 — Estevan, SK — Affinity Place
8/28 — Winnipeg, MB — Burton Cummings Theatre
8/29 — Thunder Bay, ON — Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
8/30 — St. Paul, MN — Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
9/1 — Ft. Wayne, IN — Foellinger Theatre
9/2 — Huber Heights, OH — Rose Music Center at The Heights
9/4 — Cincinnati, OH — Taft Theatre
9/6 — New York, NY — Beacon Theatre
9/7 — York, PA — York Fair
9/8 — Atlantic City, NJ — Tropicana Atlantic City
10/4 — Albany, NY — Palace Theater
10/9  — Charlotte, NC — Ovens Auditorium
10/10 — Atlanta, GA — Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
10/12 — Chattanooga, TN — Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
10/13 — Biloxi, MS — Beau Rivage
10/14 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hill Lawn
10/16 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
10/17 — Park City, KS — Hartman Arena
10/19 — Memphis, TN — Orpheum Theater
10/20 — St. Louis, MO — Peabody Opera House
10/21 — Cedar Rapids, IA — Paramount Theater
10/23 — Des Moines, IA — Des Moines Civic Center
10/24 — Rockford, IL — Coronado Performing Arts Center
*Featuring Ace Frehley

More information on A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris is available online now along with all of Alice Cooper’s latest news and more at:






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Co-Op Announces Release Date, Specs For Its Self-Titled Debut LP; Tour With Flaw To Launch March 27

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

Alice Cooper’s son is carrying on the family business.

Dash Cooper and has band mates in Co-Op — Jeremy Tabor (guitar), Justin Swartzentruber (bass) and Nick Spann (drums) — will release their self-titled debut album June 15 via EMP Label Group.  Along with the album’s release date, the band has also announced a spring tour with Flaw in support of Co-Op.  That tour launches March 27 in Springfield, MO and runs through April 21 in Tucson, AZ.  The tour’s current scheduled is noted below.


Tour Dates:

CO-OP (Supporting Flaw)


27 Springfield, MO – Front of House Lounge

28 St Louis, MO – Firebird *

29 Joliet, IL – The Forge

30 South Bend, IN – Cheers

31 Chesterfield, MI – Diesel


3 Waterloo, IA – Spicolis

4 Harrisburg, SD – Phoenix Lounge

5 Minneapolis, MN – Studio B

6 Eau Claire, WI – The Playhouse

7 Janesville, WI – The Back Bar

9 Wichita, KS – The Elbow Room *

15 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Bike Week *

21 Tucson, AZ – The Rock *

*CO-OP date. No FLAW.

Audiences curious to get a taste of Co-Op’s sound can do so on the band’s Facebook page.  More information on Co-Op’s debut album and its upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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The Rock Carnival Returns This Summer

Courtesy:  Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

Courtesy: Stan Levinstone Presents/Game Loud

The Rock Carnival is officially returning.

The Rock Carnival, the Northeast’s only classic carnival + Rock ‘N Roll experience returns this year for its second year.  And headlining this year’s festival is none other than one of the great legends of rock, Alice Cooper.  The second annual Rock Carnival will be held Friday, September 30th – Sunday, October 2nd.  It is produced by Stan Levinstone Presents and Game Loud.  It will take place at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood New Jersey.  It is the home of the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball team.  The team is a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.  This year marks the first time that it will take place at FirstEnergy Park.  General Admission tickets for single day and weekend access are available now along with Reserved Seat Weekend passes VIP packages, and Skybox Meet and Greets.  The General admission passes and Reserved Seat Weekend Passes can be purchased online here now.  The VIP and Skybox packages are available here.

While Alice Cooper will headline this year’s festival he will not be the only big name on the bill.  Also on this year’s bill are the likes of: Kyng, Overkill, Texas Hippie Coalition, Jackyl, Ace Frehley, Clutch, Blue Oyster Cult, Zakk Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Fuel and many others. Twisted Sister will also be on hand for the festival in its final tri-state appearance.  The performance is part of the band’s official farewell tour.  Performances will take place across a number of stages including two side-by-side main stages.

Along with the major acts scheduled to perform, a special “Classic” Friday night celebration has been added to this year’s festivities.  The celebration will feature performances by a number of cover bands including: Voyage (Journey tribute band), Almost Queen (Queen tribute band), and Zakk Zabbath.  Zac Sabbath’s lineup features Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society Ozzy Osbourne) on vocals and guitar, Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) on bass, and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on drums.

More information on the second annual Rock Carnival will be announced in the weeks to come.  Audiences can keep up with all of those updates online now at:









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Phil’s Picks Celebrating The Raskins’ New Album, Tour With Special Giveaway

Courtesy: Miral Records

Courtesy: Miral Records

The Phil’s Picks blog is proud to announce a special giveaway this week. As any classic rock fan knows, the men of Motley Crue are currently out on tour on what is said to be the band’s farewell tour. If it is indeed that last go-round for one of rock’s biggest bands, then what better way for one of rock’s next big names to get its start? New York-based independent rock duo The Raskins is touring as support on the Crue’s tour along with none other than Alice Cooper. In celebration of The Raskins’ debut and its tour with Motley Crue, Phil’s Picks is giving away three free signed copies of The Raskins’ debut self-titled record.

Fans can enter now simply by going to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and hitting the “Like” button and then writing on the page’s timeline, saying they want to be entered for a chance at one of the three remaining copies available for giveaway. Fans can also check out a review of The Raskins’ self-titled debut record from Phil’s Picks right now at the Phil’s Picks blog.

Fans can always keep up with the latest tour updates, news and more from The Raskins on the band’s official Facebook Page and official website. Audiences can also keep up with the latest from the band on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and blog.

The Raskins Could Be Another Of The Next Big Names In Mainstream Rock

Courtesy: Miral Records

Courtesy: Miral Records

The new self-titled album from rock duo The Raskins is a near perfect debut from brothers Logan and Roger Raskin. The sound delivered by the duo—and the studio musicians who were employed to help record the album—is a largely straight forward rock sound tinged lightly with a little punk at the same time. It hints at other bands the likes of The Exies and others of that ilk. The mix of Roger Raskin’s driving guitar riffs and his brother Logan’s equally thoughtful lyrics makes this record quite the interesting experience. That’s obvious right off the top with the album’s opener ‘We Had It All.’ The seemingly socially conscious ‘Need Another Hero’ is just as solid without being too preachy in its lyrical content. And the almost poppy, celebratory ‘On The Radio’ comes across as echoing the feeling that the brothers might have felt in first hearing themselves….well….on the radio. These songs are only a few examples of what makes The Raskins’ new self-titled album one that anyone looking for good pure rock and roll will appreciate.

Logan and Roger Raskin have crafted an impressive record in their new self-titled album. There are plenty of catchy hooks and choruses throughout the record and equally interesting lyrics from song to song. The combination of the album’s musical and lyrical together makes this a record that is just as enjoyable as any release from any major name rock band out there today. That is evident right off the top in the album’s opener ‘We Had It All.’ This song comes across as being thematically about determination and overcoming life’s difficult situations. This includes bad relationships. That interpretation comes as Logan Raskin sings, “We had it all/Struck me down/You crossed the line/Can’t wipe the tears I’ve cried/Same old song/For years I’ve tried/Don’t hold me back.” It becomes even clearer as he sings, “Chase down a dream/My hopes not ending/I’ve never seen that place before/This fairy tale has left me turning/Can’t crucify me/Wanting more.” That is Logan essentially saying, no matter what, he (or the subject of the song) will not give up. Said figure wants more out of life. It’s truly a positive message. Add in Roger Raskins’ forward driving guitar line and the song is made even more solid. Roger’s driving guitar line expertly matches that lyrical theme with a sound that is positive yet still slightly emotional. Listeners will hear that as his guitar line is more in a minor key. The up-tempo vibe of the song overall drives that interpretation home even more. Listeners will agree in listening to his song that Logan’s hopeful lyrics and Roger’s guitar work together make it especially clear why this song was chosen as the duo’s first impression for listeners. It was most definitely the right choice.

‘We Had It All’ was the correct choice to open The Raskins’ new self-titled record. And the dup doesn’t let up from there. The album’s second song is just as thought provoking. The song lyrically comes across as a somewhat socially conscious piece. Logan sings in this song, “The city streets not safe at night/Close the doors and lock them tight/Buried safe inside/Till help arrives.” He and his brother go on from here to sing in the song’s chorus, “We all need another hero/One who fights for right and wrong/Who can see the light of reason/And may own a crystal ball.” Roger yet again displays expert talent as his guitar line echoes the almost desperate commentary crafted by his brother. The urgency in his guitar line drives home Logan’s message as Logan sings, “Too scared to walk outside alone/How we cry for thee unknown/Who might save us all/With nowhere left to turn.” On the serious side of things, this seeming commentary on the current state of America does quite the job of sending out the SOS in question. On another level, with all the superhero movies and TV series out there, this would make a perfect theme song for any of them, including those that are still in production. This makes this song that much more valuable to The Raskins’ new album. That’s because it helps the album in whole that much more enjoyable.

Those that might still not be convinced by the pair of songs already noted here need look no further than the poppy and celebratory ‘On The Radio.’ It should come as no coincidence that this song comes at the halfway point in The Raskins’ new record. Looking at the song from a lyrical vantage point, Logan and Roger have crafted here a song that seems to echo the feeling that one feels (or that perhaps they felt) at hearing their music on the radio for the first time. Bands, artists, and groups are always asked in interviews how they reacted the first time that they heard themselves on the radio. The general response is one explaining a sense of excitement. But how often have any artists, bands, or groups actually crafted a song about that initial feeling? The Raskins seem to have done that here. Logan sings in this song, “Working long days/For a dream that you can’t see/So I keep it inside of me/Living so hard/I wanna leave those days behind/Playing downtown with my band/All that I face/Another raw deal/And another damn heartbreak/Feelin’ knocked out/I’m gonna lose my mind/They say I’m on the radio tonight.” As the song breaks into its chorus, the real sense of elation that musicians must feel is truly expressed as Logan and Roger sing together, “Wha Oh Wha Oh I’m on the radio/Screaming out loud with my head out the window/Wha Oh I’m on the radio tonight/I’m on the radio.” There is a sort of explosive, positive energy that explodes from both Logan and Roger. And it translates expertly even on record. It would be no surprise if this piece translates just as well in a live setting. Regardless of live or on record, listeners will all agree that this is one of the absolute highest of high points on this record. It isn’t the only of those highest of points, either. Every song on this record is worthy of its own praise. Whether it be one noted here or not, every song has its own positives. All together, the songs that comprise The Raskins’ self-titled record make the album one that anyone looking for good, pure rock and roll will appreciate.

The Raskins’ new self-titled record is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at the band’s live shows. The band is currently getting ready to hit the road with Saving Abel. The band will perform with Saving Abel on three dates beginning next Friday, June 27th at the famed Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan. Beginning Wednesday, July 2nd, The Raskins will hit the road with Motley Crue and Alice Cooper on Motley Crue’s farewell tour. That tour makes it way to the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 19th. The Raskins’ complete tour listing is available online now at and Audiences can go to either site to keep up with the duo’s latest news, too. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Armoury Records Gives Sherinian’s Latest Solo Effort A Proper Re-Issue

Courtesy:  Armoury Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Armoury Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Every year, consumers see any number of albums re-issued from a variety of artists, groups, and bands. The reasons for those re-issues are as varied as the re-issues themselves. It goes without saying that among that annual mass of music, some of it is worth the purchase, while some of it is not as worthwhile. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian saw all of his solo releases re-issued this week. Those albums are among the re-issues that are worth purchasing. This is especially the case for those that are long-time fans of his music. Sherinian proved throughout each of his solo releases that he was just as good on his own as he was with any of the bands and artists with whom he had already worked over the course of his career. One of the best examples of that talent is his 2009 release, Molecular Heinosity.

Molecular Heinosityis the fifth and most recent of Sherinian’s solo releases. As with his previous four solo releases, this record is largely an instrumental release. The sole song on this album that includes any lyrics is one of two pieces he recorded with long-time friend and Black Label Society front man Zakk Wylde. The song in question is ‘So Far Gone.’ Audiences will also be interested to note that Brian Tichy joins Sherinian on this track. Tichy has also played drums for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, and Zakk WYlde on Wylde’s 199 release Pride& Glory. Most recently, Tichy played with the hard rock supergroup Something Unto Nothing. So it goes without saying that there is a certain level of familiarity between the trio. And it shows in this song, too. The trio–along with fellow musicians Tina Guo (cello) and Tony Franklin (fretless bass)–come together to make this one of the album’s best pieces. Wylde proves once again on this song why he is one of the most revered guitarists in the music business. And Tichy’s timekeeping is rock solid despite the various time signature changes throughout the song. Sherinian’s work on the keys is not to be ignored, either. Whether by himself, partnered with Tina Guo’s performance on cello or even the semi-call and response with Wylde in the song’s bridge, Sherinian shows time and again in this song why he is such a sought after musician even after so many decades in the business. This isn’t the only point at which he exhibits such talent on this record. Another of the album’s high points comes in the album’s second track, titled ‘Ascension.’

‘Ascension’ is one of this album’s high points especially in that it boasts something of a similarity to the music he wrote with his former band mates in Dream Theater. To be even more precise, it sounds stylistically like the music that he wrote with his now ex-band mates for the band’s 1997 album Falling Into Infinity.  What is most interesting of all in this song is just how much is going on within the context of the song’s near three-minute run time.  That’s right.  This song comes in at less than three minutes in length.  To be more exact, it clocks in at two minutes and fifteen seconds.  That’s pretty short.  Yet, the way that it gradually builds, from start to finish makes it so interesting.  Making it even more interesting is what would appear to be Sherinian mimicking a guitar part with his keyboard in this song.  If that is indeed the case, he is to be even more highly commended.  That’s because that part could easily pass as a guitar.  And it shows even more his understanding of and appreciation for his instrument.  The song’s musical effect overall shows his knowledge of music and his talent just as much.  All of that together makes this song all the more enjoyable.

The songs that comprise Molecular Heinosity each have their own musical identity.  Collectively, they make the entire album one that any fan of Sherinian will enjoy.  Now that it has been re-issued courtesy of Armoury Records, the music is just part of the album’s success.  Just as important to this re-issue is the new companion booklet.  Most people don’t pay too much attention to the liner notes that come with albums in their physical form.  But as audiences will see in the album’s new liner notes, there’s plenty to take in.  This album for instance gives listeners a bio of sorts on Sherinian and his career.  It goes all the way back to his days playing with Alice Cooper and Billy Idol as well as a little surprise background on his departure from Dream Theater.  This critic was surprised to learn that he didn’t leave Dream Theater, but was in fact let go from the band.    Along with the semi-career bio, Armoury Records also included background notes from Sherinian on a handful of songs.  That background info gives extra insight into said songs.  It’s too bad that more bands, artists, and musicians don’t do this.  It’s one more reason that the physical object will never be fully replaced by the digital.  Little things like background notes on songs as art of the liner notes serve to enhance one’s listening experience.  And this album is no exception to that rule.  The bonus liner notes and bio included in this new re-issue are wonderful compliments to the album’s music.  Together, they make the whole product again, one that any fan of Derek Sherinian will want to add to their library especially if they do not already own this record.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from Derek Sherinian’s official website at  More information on this and other releases from Derek Sherinian is available online at  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at