The Wizards of Winter’s New LP Is An Enjoyable Musical Gift For Classic Rock, Holiday Lovers Alike

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

The countdown to Christmas is officially on, and in anticipation of its return, The Wizards of Winter has released its new holiday-themed album The Christmas Dream.  Released Friday through BMI, the 10-song, 44-minute record is a gift in itself for fans of the band and those whole enjoy the holiday season.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  It is also thanks to the album’s lyrical content, which will be addressed a little later.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item does its own part to make the album an enjoyable addition to any holiday lover’s music library.  All things considered, they make the album a work that audiences will enjoy every Christmas season.

The Christmas Dream is a positive new offering from The Wizards of Winter, and a presentation that will appeal to fans of WOW just as much as lovers of the holiday season and its musical offerings.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements are in part, familiar compositions to which the band’s longtime fans have come to expect from the group.  Along with featuring its own familiar sound, the album also features more comparisons to works from fellow holiday band Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  That should come as no surprise, either, considering that some of the band’s members are also directly associated with TSO.  One could even argue that there is even a hint of a Mannheim Steamroller influence incorporated into the album’s arrangements, with its keyboard and flute lines.  The album’s lead single ‘Handel’s Torch’ combines the noted influences through its heavy guitar riffs and the use of the flute.  ‘The Four Kings’ is a direct link back to TSO’s works with its bluesy arrangement that almost exactly mirrors the arrangement in that band’s song, ‘The Three Kings (What Really Happened.’  Lyrically, the two songs are a little different, but stylistically, there is a quite close similarity in the two arrangements.  The arrangement at the heart of the album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the influences from the aforementioned holiday bands.  Again that is due to the combination of the guitars and more traditional musical elements.  What’s more, the song’s title may be ‘Christmas Dream,’ but it actually presents a full-on rock take on the beloved song ‘All Of My Favorite Things.’  That is crossed with the group’s take on the equally beloved song ‘Carol of the Bells,’ with the end result being one of the album’s strongest compositions.  It is just one of the album’s most notable compositions, too.  The old school power metal approach of ‘Polar Eve,’ the orchestral vibe of ‘The Happy Song’ and ‘Secrets of the Snow Globe’ offer their own notoriety, too.  Between those arrangements, the others noted here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that is well worth the listen if only for its musical elements.  It musical elements are not its only notable elements, of course.  Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical elements.

The lyrical content featured in this record is notable because while it does take listeners on a new ride through some old holiday songs, there are also some more original works featured in the record.  Among the more familiar holiday tunes featured in the record are the aforementioned ‘My Favorite Things’ and also ‘Jingle Bells,’ Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and ‘The First Noel.’  Those songs are given a new life in each of their presentations through the already discussed arrangements that form the album’s foundation.  The noted familiar song choices are complimented by more original works, such as ‘The Secrets of the Snowglobe,’ ‘In Plain Sight’ and the stirring, emotional finale that is ‘A Toast To Time (Farewell).’  The combination of the traditional holiday songs and the band’s original works – and their original new arrangements – strengthen the album even more, and shows that much more, why The Christmas Dream is its own dream come true for fans of WOW and lovers of the holiday season in general.  They are just a pair of the album’s most notable elements.  Keeping in mind the importance of that whole, the album’s sequencing is just as important to examine as its overall content.

The Christmas Dream’s sequencing is important to note because of its impact on the album’s general effect.  As already noted, this record features a mix of original content and new takes on a handful of traditional holiday songs.  The record never sticks too long to one or the other.  It opens with one of the band’s original works before changing things up both stylistically and in general with ‘Handel’s Torch.’  The song’s arrangement takes the power rock sound featured in the album’s opener and steps it up slightly while also presenting the band’s own fresh take on Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and at least one other traditional holiday song.  ‘Gonna Snow’ keeps the album’s energy stable with another 80s hair metal style arrangement that also gives a new take on ‘Jingle Bells’ while giving listeners something new at the same time.  Again, here listeners get that mixing of old and new, this time in one, keeping the album engaging and entertaining.  ‘The Polar Eve’ is slightly slower than the album’s first three works, but is still heavy in its own right while also giving listeners something original from the band once more.  ‘Midnight Noel’ is another example of the band taking a traditional holiday tune and giving it a new life (though there is the very close similarity to works from TSO) here.  The variances in styles and old and new holiday songs continue from this point, and still manage to keep listeners engaged and entertained right to the album’s finale without fail.  By the record’s end, listeners are left fulfilled and agreeing that this album is its own special musical gift from The Wizards of Winter to listeners everywhere.

The Wizards of Winter’s new album The Christmas Dream is a positive new album from the classic rock collective, which is made up of members of Blue Oyster Cult, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ted Nugent’s backing band.  It is a piece that gives audiences another welcome option away from all of the standard holiday musical fare that hits stores every year.  That is due in part to its arrangements, which bring together the influences of the members’ own bands.  The varied musical choices in general, which are new takes on traditional holiday tunes and new original works, add even more interest to the album’s presentation.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the album’s whole.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of its presentation.  All things considered, they make the album in whole, its own enjoyable gift for the band’s fans and lovers of the holiday season alike.  The band will launch a tour in support of the record in November.  Its schedule is noted below.

THE WIZARDS OF WINTER 2019 Holiday Tour Dates:
11/13 – Key West, FL @ Key West Theatre
11/14 – Melbourne, FL @ Melbourne Auditorium
11/15 – Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/16 – Stuart, FL @ Lyric Theater
11/21 – Pueblo, CO @ Pueblo Memorial Hall
11/22 – Alto, NM @ Spencer Theatre
11/23 – Gilbert, AZ @ Higley PAC
11/24 – Wickenburg, AZ @ Del E. Webb PAC
11/29 – Patchogue, NY @ Patchogue Theatre
11/30 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Paramount Theatre
12/1 – Englewood, NJ @ Bergen PAC
12/5 – Angola, IN @ T. Furth PAC
12/6 – Pontiac, MI @ Flagstar Strand Theatre
12/7 – Johnson Creek, WI @ Gobbler Theatre
12/8 – St. Charles, IL @ Arcada Theatre
12/12 – Wisconsin Rapids, WI @ Wisconsin Rapids PAC
12/13 – Harris, MI @ Island Resort Casino
12/14 – Harris, MI @ Island Resort Casino
12/15 – Wabash, IN @ Honeywell Theatre
12/17 – Canton, OH @ Canton Palace
12/19 – Derry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall
12/20 – Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penns Peak
12/21 – Roanoke Rapids, NC @ Roanoke Rapids Theatre
+More dates TBA!

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

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thewizardsofwinter.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wizardsofwinter

 

 

 

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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:

 

 

Website: http://therockcarnival.com

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheRockCarnival

 

 

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

Carmine Appice Announces New Summer Fan Camp

Carmine Appice Metal Fan Camp Logo

Veteran musician Carmine Appice is one of the rock world’s most well known drummers.  He has played with the likes of Vanilla Fudge and Cactus among many others.  Now this famed drummer is offering fans the chance to meet him and some of his equally famous musicians thanks to Carmine Appice’s Rockaholics Metal Fan Camp. 

Carmine Appice’s Metal Fan Camp is scheduled to run August 26th – 30th at Full Moon Resort in the heart of the “Forever Wild” Catskill Forest Preserve.  The preserve is just one hour west of Woodstock, New York.  Appice will be joined at the camp by fellow famed musicians, singer/guitarist Eric Bloom (Blue Oyster Cult), drummer James Kottak (Scorpions), guitarist Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), and famed shredder Michael Angelo Baito.  The quartet will serve as “camp counselors” during the course of the fan camp.  While at the camp, fans will take in special performances by the “counselors” and take part in Q&A sessions.  The camp will even include an in person event taken from Appice’s YouTube series, “Cooking With Carmen” called “Carmine Cookoff.” Fans can check out “Cooking With Carmen” segments online at http://www.youtube.com//watch?v=EnKu5E_L4y8.  Each night will end with special jam sessions by the camp’s celebrity counselors.

The fan camp offers a number of pricing options based on available accommodations.  Packages are available online now at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmine-Appices-Rockaholics-Metal-Fan-Camp/129297793910467.  Packages start at $795.  They include lodging, access to all gourmet meals, performances, and camp activities.  Fans who take part in the camp will get to take in all of this and more.  The more includes: a spring-fed swimming pool, a number of hiking trails through the Catskill Mountains, an on-site access to the Esopus Creek.  Fans can keep up with the latest details on Carmine Appice’s Metal Fan Camp on its official website and Facebook page, http://carmineappicefancamp.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmine-Appices-Rockaholics-Metal-Fan-camp/129297793910467

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

Kansas, others added to Rock Legends II Cruise

Kansas has joined up for next year’s Rock Legends Cruise II.  The band will join the likes of:  Foreigner, Molly Hatchet, Blue Oyster Cult, and a whole lot more on board the cruise.  Kansas isn’t the only new addition to the cruise.  Atlanta Rhythm Section, Melvin Seals & JGB, Citizens Band Radio, and The Blue Lords have also been announced as new additions.

Anyone interested in booking passage on the cruise can do so now for as low as $649 (plus taxes, gratuities, and port fees).  The cruise will leave Ft. Lauderdaule Thursday, January 10th and return to port Monday, January 14th.  It will make a stop in Labadee Haiti Jaunary 12th as part of the weekend trip.  The seabound rock fest will take part on board Royal Caribbean’sLiberty of The Seas.  The ship boasts:  on-board surfing, boxing ring, full size volleyball/basketball court, gourmet restaurants, and all the amenities attendees could want.

All proceeds from the cruise will go to benefit the native American Heritage Association.  More information on the cruise is available at http://www.rocklegendscruise.com and by ohone at 1-888-666-1499.  More information on the Native American Heritage Association is available at http://www.naha-inc.org.