The Nomadic Debuts New Single, ‘Grand Mistakes’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Alt-rock act The Nomadic took on the role that mistakes play in our lives in its latest single this week.

The act, founded by Robert Gaylard, debuted the single, ‘Grand Mistakes‘ Friday. The premiere of the song by itself more than four months after Gaylard debuted the song’s video. The song’s musical arrangement is a gentle, flowing composition that is grounded in its piano line. Gaylard’s vocals and performance on guitar build on the appeal generated through that piano line. The whole lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Gaylard talked about the song’s musical arrangement in a prepared statement.

“‘Grand Mistakes’ is, along with ‘Under a Georgia Sky,’ one of the first songs I wrote on piano,” said Gaylard. “I am excited to see what Nomadic fans think of it! It is probably a little different to the singles we have put out so far. And I hope it moves and inspires people in different ways.”

Gaylard also talked about the message in the song’s lyrical theme in the statement.

“It is really a song that captures the essence of the fact that we learn and grow from our greatest mistakes, and also, if we choose to, we can stop family trauma and repeat mistakes from continuing in a vicious cycle,” he said.

Added Gaylard, “This is a song that addresses the theme of conflict, reconciliation and learning from mistakes. for most of my professional life, I have worked in situations of conflict, including Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Israel and Palestine. I have often paused to reflect on the damage such conflict does, not only on those who directly participate, but the trauma that gets passed on, to families from generation to generation. That is, more or less, the theme of Grand Mistakes!”

More information on The Nomadic’s new single is available online along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://thenomadic.band

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TheNomadicBand

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.

Deep Purple’s First Ever Covers Collection Shows In Its Case, ‘Crime’ Does Pay

Courtesy: earMusic

Deep Purple has, over the course of its life, released 21 albums, 45 (yes, 45) live recordings, and earned countless awards while seeing its albums go gold and platinum (some multiple times platinum for that matter).  For all that the band has done over its life, there is one thing that it has not done.  That one thing that the band has not done is release a covers collection.  That is until this week.  The band released its first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime Friday through earMusic.  The 12-song (technically about 16 because of the medley that makes up the record’s finale track) record is an interesting new presentation from the band.  Its interest is due in large part to its featured covers, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performances thereof are of their own interest and will be discussed a little later.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the collection’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the compilation another interesting addition to this year’s field of new covers sets and an equally interesting first ever covers set from Deep Purple.

Deep Purple’s first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime, is a unique new offering from the band, especially considering that it is the first time in the band’s more than 50-year life that it has released a covers set.  The record stands out in part because of its featured songs.  The songs are of note because of their diversity.  The band takes audiences all the way back to 1946 in this collection with a cover of Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five’s hit single, ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ and all the way up to 1973 with a take on Little Feat’s fan favorite song, ‘Dixie Chicken.’  Along the way, there are also covers of songs from the likes of Fleetwood Mac (‘Oh Well’), Jimmy Driftwood (‘The Battle of New Orleans’), and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (‘Jenny Take A Ride’).  Also featured in this collection are covers of Bob Seger’s ‘Lucifer,’ Cream’s ‘White Room,’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Watching The River Flow.’  The song styles are so different from one to the next.  Case in point is ‘The Battle of New Orleans.’  This song was originally considered a country music song.  ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu’ by Huey ‘Piano’ Smith is…well…a boogie woogie type composition.  Little Feat’s ‘Dixie Chicken’ meanwhile is more of a roots rock type work while yet another song, ‘Lucifer’ is more rock oriented.  Simply put, the songs that are featured throughout this record show a wide range of styles and sounds from one to the next.  It makes for its own appeal. 

What’s more some of the songs are more well-known than others and vice versa.  They are not all major hits/standards that so many other acts might cover and have covered.  Case in point is Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well.’  According to research, the song was not a major hit for the band here in the U.S. but fared much better in the U.K. and around the world.  It peaked at #55 in the U.S. and #2 in the U.K.   ‘Dixie Chicken’ is another example of the record’s lesser-known songs.  It was never actually used as a single for the band’s album by the same name, but has been considered a fan favorite among the band’s most devoted audiences.  ‘Jenny Take A Ride,’ on another note, peaked at #10 in the U.S. following its debut in 1965, and #44 in the U.K.  So again what audiences get here in terms of the songs is a collection of compositions that is diverse not only in its sounds and styles, but also in its overall familiarity and popularity among audiences.  That the band clearly put some thought into this aspect of the record is to be highly commended.  The band’s performances thereof are of just as much applause as the songs themselves.

One of the most notable of the performances featured in this record is of ‘Shapes of Things.’  Originally crafted by The Yardbirds in 1966, the song peaked in the U.S. at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.  Meanwhile in the U.K, it peaked even higher at #3 on the country’s Singles Chart.  Deep Purple’s take on the song stays pretty much true to its source material.  The only real notable difference is that instead of the production that was so familiar of bands of that era, Deep Purple instead put its own more familiar stamp on the sound here.  Now, Deep Purple’s cover is longer than the original by more than a minute, clocking in at three minutes, 40 seconds versus the original’s run time of two minutes, 26 seconds.  That is because Deep Purple adds in a guitar solo after the song’s initial break.  By comparison the original song’s break is only momentary and does not feature the solo used here.  Regardless, the solo – which is almost prog in its approach – is a nice touch to the whole.  The keyboard solo added to the mix here also plays into the extended run time, but is also enjoyable in its own right.  Overall, the whole of the cover is just as enjoyable as the original, just with a slightly new identity.

On another note, the band’s performance of Bob Dylan’s ‘Watching The River Flow’ is another example of the importance of the band’s performances here.  Dylan’s original composition is a very distinct 12-bar blues style composition that is driven by its guitar and piano line.  It conjures thoughts of so many vintage Mississippi blues songs through its three minute, 35 second run time.  Deep Purple’s take on the song is slightly shorter, coming in at three minutes, five seconds.  It is much different in its overall presentation, too.  Instead of the 12 bar blues approach that Dylan took on his original work, the band took more of a blues based rock approach, if that makes any sense.  The blues influence is there, in other words, but is more of a supporting role than the main star here.  Instead, the band opted for more of a rock approach here.  The band’s take is different from its source material, needless to say, but is still interesting considering that the band decided not to just copy and paste so to speak.  It is yet another important example of the importance of the band’s performances throughout the collection.

‘Caught in The Act,’ which closes out the record, is yet another example of the noted importance of the band’s performances.  This song is a medley of covers of ‘Going Down,’ ‘Green Onions,’ ‘Hot ‘Lanta,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’.’  Again, the band puts its own unique touch to each song here.  Case in point is the cover of ‘Green Onions.’  Rather than taking the subdued, cool approach used in the original, the band’s take on this song is more akin to something that one might expect from ZZ Top, what with the rich bass and guitar lines.  The covers of ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’’ are just as unique in their approach as they clearly show Deep Purple’s trademark hard rock stamp. Yes, the original compositions are obvious in the mix, but Deep Purple’s trademark keyboards, guitars, etc. really amp up the songs and make them interesting in their own right.  When these covers are all considered along with the other covers examined here and with the rest of the record’s featured performances, the importance of the band’s takes on the featured songs shows its importance just as much as the diversity in the songs themselves.  This is still not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The collection’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

As noted already, the songs that are featured in this collection are diverse throughout the record.  While they re diverse, their sequencing keeps the record’s energy stable from beginning to end.  This is the case even as the songs’ sounds and stylistic approaches change from one to the next.  The up-tempo works move so fluidly and solidly, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement, again, because of that smart sequencing.  It basically doubly keeps things interesting for audiences and brings everything full circle to complete the record’s presentation.  When the appeal that is ensured through the record’s sequencing is considered along with the featured songs and the band’s performances thereof, the whole makes Turning to Crime rare proof that in this case, crime does pay.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.

Deep Purple’s first ever covers collection, Turning to Crime, is an interesting offering from the band.  It proves itself worth hearing at least once in part because of its featured songs.  The songs are important to the presentation because they are diverse in their styles, sounds and notoriety.  The band’s performances of the songs are just as important to the record because they give the songs unique new presentations while staying mostly true to the original compositions.  That gives audiences even more reason to remain engaged and entertained.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements.  That is because it ensures the songs’ diversity is fully audible while also keeping the record moving fluidly from one song to the next, thus keeping the energy stable throughout.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make the collection an enjoyable new offering from Deep Purple even being its first ever covers set.

Turning To Crime is available now.

More information on Turning To Crime is available online along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.deep-purple.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

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.

‘1221’ Marks Another Success For Singer-Songwriter-Musician Ryan Hamilton

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Independent singer-songwriter Ryan Hamilton made a big splash last year with his album, Nowhere To Go But Everywhere alongside his band, The Harlequin Ghosts.  Now more than a year after the record’s release, Hamilton is scheduled to return Friday with its follow-up, his new solo record, 1221.  With barely more than a month left in the quickly aging year, most critics will agree the 12-song record has shaken up their lists of the year’s top new independent albums.  That is proven from the beginning to end of the 42-minute presentation through its musical and lyrical content alike.  ‘Déjà Vu I Love You’ is a prime example of the strength of that collective content.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Babies’ is another way in which the record’s overall content shows the album’s appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Ready To Love Again,’ is yet another example of how much this record has to offer audiences.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the other two songs noted her and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole shows the record to be unquestionably one more of the year’s top new independent albums.

More than a year after the release of his then latest album, Nowhere To Go But Everywhere (which made its way to this critic’s list of 2020’s top new independent albums), Ryan Hamilton is set to go two for two with his new solo record, 1221.  Composed of singles that he released over the course of 2021, the record is yet another example of Hamilton’s talent as a singer, songwriter, and musician.  This is proven from beginning to end of this nearly 45-minute presentation from early on in its run.  ‘Déjà vu I Love You’ is a prime way in which this is proven.  The song’s appeal comes in part through its musical arrangement, which takes audiences back to the 90s right from its outset.  The combination of Hamilton’s vocals and the song’s instrumentation immediately lends the arrangement to comparison to works from the likes of Weezer, Marcy Playground, and so many other pop rock acts that rose to fame during the mid-90s.  The vocal harmonies and those crated by the bass and guitar are infectious from the song’s opening notes to its end.  The production that went into the song gives the whole, including the work on drums and bass, such a rich presentation.  Again, the whole is certain to completely engage and entertain audiences throughout the song’s three minute-plus run time.  The upbeat energy and positive vibes established through the arrangement work well with the song’s lyrical theme, which is the familiar topic of love found.

The theme of love found is obvious in ‘Déjà Vu I Love You’ right in the song’s title.  It is even more so as Hamilton sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “A slow dance/In the fast lane/The romance/The pleasure and the pain/You put your heart up/But then it fell/Because it feels right/Man, it’s heaven/But it’s how you make a promise/And you keep it/You wanna shout it/But it’s a secret/Hey, you got it wrong, man/But it’s right now/You can’t help it/You’re gonna shout it out loud/Baby, I love you/Baby, I love you/You give me déjà vu/Baby, I love you.”  If that is not proof enough of this song’s theme, then nothing is.  The rest of the song follows similarly in its lyrical theme, so there is really no need to continue from there.  Again, this so excited mood that is exemplified here matches so well with the energy and mood in the song’s arrangement.  When all of this is paired together, it makes the song a clear example of how much the album overall has to offer through its content.  ‘Babies’ is another example of the impact of the album’s content on its appeal.

‘Babies’ is quite opposite of ‘Déjà Vu I Love You’ both musically and lyrically.  Where the prior song is so optimistic and happy, this song’s musical arrangement is more of a folk-pop style composition in its musical arrangement.  In listening to this song’s arrangement, one can’t help but wonder if Hamilton perhaps took some influence from John Lennon and/or The Beatles or maybe even some from Bob Dylan and/or Bruce Springsteen here.  The arrangement has that sort of neo pop-folk approach in its light, contemplative mood and mid-tempo energy.  There is a sense of melancholy here, but it is not so strong that it will bring anyone down.  Rather, it is a contemplative melancholy that matches its lyrical counterpart well in its own right.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Babies’ is a social commentary, despite what its title might infer.  It is a commentary about the state of the world today.  This is made clear right from the song’s outset as Hamilton sings, “Little babies/In bathrooms/Getting high/Little babies/In little cars/Flying by/Geneation X/Generation Y/The world’s so hard sometimes/It makes me cry/And where we are/That’s where we will be/Everything changes as far as I can see/But one thing stays the same/Everybody’s always looking for someone to blame.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Little babies holding whips/Sinking boats and building ships/And bright, blue buildings in the sky/And never wondering/Why/God made it all to be destroyed/Every baby girl and every baby boy/Everything you do is safe/The only thing you’ll ever have is today.”  The added notes of “little babies looking for flags to burn” and everybody being afraid adds even more to that commentary. The fully, straight forward fashion in which Hamilton delivers the commentary avoids any preachy nature while still presenting so much depth.  It makes the song so much more accessible even with the theme being so familiar across the musical universe.  That, considered along with the song’s arrangement, makes for even more accessibility and in turn shows that much more what makes 1221 in whole such an enjoyable presentation.  It is hardly the last of the record’s most notable songs.  ‘Ready To Love Again,’ the record’s closer is yet another of the most notable of the album’s songs.

‘Ready To Love Again’ is notable because as with the other songs examined here, its arrangement does so well to engage and entertain audiences.  The arrangement’s sound and instrumentation does just as well to help translate the mood and wording in the song’s lyrical theme.  As the song’s title infers, this is a song about someone who is apparently coming off of the heartbreak of a breakup.  Everybody who has ever been through a breakup knows the emotional difficulty of opening his/her heart back to love.  The somber tone exhibited by the simplicity of Hamilton’s vocals and the piano here does so well to translate those mixed emotions that one feels when they “might be ready to love again.”  The gentle tone from the cello alongside the piano adds even more emotional depth to the arrangement and translates that mood and mindset that so many people feel in this situation.  Kudos to Hamilton and all involved for their work here.  It made this arrangement so beautiful and powerful in its simplicity.

As noted, the lyrical theme that accompanies the musical arrangement in ‘Ready To Love Again’ is in fact about that very topic, being at that point of being cautiously ready to give love a chance again.  He translates that moment so well here lyrically, too as he sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Built a big wall/One that won’t fall/I hope you’re real strong/Good luck getting’ through here/I’ve got a big heart/It’s covered in big scars/We’ve all got our reasons/And sad stories to tell/I think I might be ready/Think I might be ready to love again/I think I might be ready/Think I might be ready to love again.  He continues in the song’s second verse, “No more small talk/Let’s go for a long walk/Take my hand/And hold on tight/Broken hearted/But just getting started/I know you’ve got questions/And to tell you the truth/I think I might be ready/Think I might be ready to love again/I think I might be ready/Think I might be ready to love again.”  The cautious optimism that Hamilton’s subject expresses here will connect with any listener.  The manner in which he delivered that optimism through the song’s lyrical presentation is just so moving, along with the song’s musical arrangement.  When the two items are joined, they show even more clearly at this point why this song stands out among the album’s entries.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of 1221 becomes a work that is a complete joy and success from start to end.  It is a presentation that as with its predecessor, is among the best of the year’s new independent albums.

Ryan Hamilton’s new, forthcoming album 1221 is another strong new offering from the singer-songwriter-musician.   It has much to offer audiences both in its musical and lyrical content.  The songs examined here do well to support the noted statements.  They openly exemplify the accessibility of that content and the entertainment that said accessibility generates, too.  The same applies to the record’s other songs, too.  All things considered, the content examined here and that which makes up the rest of this album makes the record another successful offering from Hamilton that is among the best of this year’s new independent albums.

1221 is scheduled for release Friday through Wicked Cool Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Ryan Hamilton’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://ryanhamiltonmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/RyanHamiltonandTheHarlequinGhosts

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TheRyanHamilton

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.

Roots Rock, Country, Americana Fans Will Find Mitchel Evan’s New Album Appealing

Courtesy: INgrooves/The Label Group

Independent singer-songwriter Mitchel Evan’s new self-titled album is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new albums in the realm of country music, folk and Americana.  Released March 24, the 12-song record will appeal widely to fans of the noted genres.  That is due in part to the recording’s featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements work with that content to add more appeal to the album.  It will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the record’s songs puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Evan’s new album.  All things considered, the album proves to be a presentation that is worth hearing occasionally. 

Mitchel Evan’s new self-titled album is a work that fans of Americana, neo-folk and country will find an interesting addition to this year’s field of new albums within said genres.  That is proven in part through the album’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question span all three genres, which are very closely related to begin with but are still diverse in their own right.  Speaking specifically, the arrangements featured in this 46-minute presentation will appeal to fans of Evan’s more well-known counterparts, such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young.  Additionally, one can also make some comparisons to works from Goo Goo Dolls.  Yes, that seems like quite the jarring contrast for the other noted but it is there.  Right from the album’s outset, ‘As Far As You Know,’ the album gives listeners something of a bluesy, southern rock vibe that itself is comparable to works from Goo Goo Dolls.  ‘Bandaid,’ which comes early in the album, is another of those works that so easily lends itself to comparisons to works from Goo Goo Dolls.  That is evidenced through the song’s collective string arrangement, guitar line, and vocals.  Much the same can be said of the arrangement featured in ‘Cancel out the Noise.’ 

Things change dramatically in terms of the arrangements as the album progresses to ‘Gotta Be A Way,’ the album’s midpoint.  The twang of the slide guitar, Evan’s own vocal delivery and the backing female vocals give this song a distinct vintage country music vibe.  The warmth in the arrangement and its sound lend themselves to visions of the old country honky tonk club of days gone by.  It is so completely unlike the other songs already examined here, and in the process manages to show Evan’s ability and talent even in this genre. 

‘Kansas City’ continues to exhibit the noted country music influence in its arrangement.  What is interesting here is that Evan’s vocal delivery style and sound here lend themselves to comparisons to those of Bob Dylan.  That in itself makes for even more interest, considering that Dylan has done some works during his career that have shown some country music leanings.  To that end, it is one more way in which the record’s musical arrangements show their importance.  That diversity and depth is clearly there.

The Bruce Springsteen comparison comes even later in the album’s run in the form of ‘Leeches’ and ‘Let Me Down Easy.’  It is not an immediately obvious comparison.  A close listen however, makes the comparison clearer.  Between these arrangements, the others notes throughout the record and the remaining works, the whole of the album’s  featured arrangements offer much to appreciate in their diversity and accessibility.  Keeping that in mind, the arrangements make for reason in themselves for audiences to hear Mitchel Evan’s new self-titled album.  They are just part of what makes the album worth consideration, too.  The record’s lyrical content makes for even more reason for audiences to hear the album.

The lyrical content featured in Mitchel Evan’s new album is important to note because for the most part, it follows one overarching theme, that of relationships.  Starting again right from the album’s opener, that theme is inferred.  Evan sings in the song’s chorus, “I was good to you/As far as you know.”  It is a short, simple line, but speaks volumes.  This is someone who is addressing another, pointing out that he tried to make a relationship work.  In the chorus’ refrain, he changes things, stating, “You were good to me,” adding “I was the good guy/But I lost the fight.”  He even asks in the song’s lead verse, “What have we done this time…Did I lose your attention or just my mind?”  This is but a sampling of the song’s lyrical content, but is enough to infer that as noted, it is a song takes on the familiar topic of a broken relationship.  The vulnerability that is displayed through his use of words is impacting to say the least.  When it is considered with the vulnerability expressed through the song’s musical arrangement, it proves to be even deeper and accessible.  It is just one example of how that largely overarching theme makes for its own appeal.  ‘Cancel Out the Noise’ is another example of the effect of the album’s lyrical content.

Evan debuted ‘Cancel Out the Noise’ in February.  He openly said during an interview about the song that it is also focused on the noted lyrical theme.

“It came to me when I was falling for someone new,” he said. “I was living in Colorado at the time, but I actually started writing the song in Richmond while I was home for a week visiting my family. This song actually first appeared on my 2018 EP, The Little Horse Tapes. I had only been single for a short while after coming out of a long-term relationship and I was hesitant to enter another. The song is about being pulled into love with your heels dug into the dirt.”  There is no need to go through lyrics here to support one’s argument.  Evan has made it clear here that once again, he has offered audiences a song whose lyrical content focuses on the noted topic of relationships.  It is yet another example of how that recurring, accessible theme plays into the album’s presentation.  ‘Lonesome Love,’ which comes late in the album, needs little to no examination.  The very title itself of that song pretty much explains its theme.

Evan asks in this  song, ‘Oh my lonesome love/Where do you hide/Show me where you hide” in the song’s chorus.”  This after already stating in the song’s lead verse, “When I finally show up/You’ll already be on your way home.”  There is even a mention of facing the music later in the song.  Considering all of this and the rest of the record’s content, the whole makes the song in whole clearly another lyrical presentation that centers on a relationship.  When it, the other songs noted here, and the rest of the album’s songs are considered together, the whole makes clear that there is one primary lyrical theme featured in this record that is accessible to any listener.  That familiarity and accessibility collectively make the album that much more appealing.  It still is not the last of the album’s most important elements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Mitchel Evan’s new album is so important to address because of the subtleties in the shifts in its energies.  For the most part, the album’s energies are relatively reserved throughout.  However there are some variances within the songs and from one to the next.  Those shifts are so subtle that one cannot help but remain engaged and entertained.  Case in point is ‘Lonesome Love.’  It has some very clear reserved energy, but at the same time, just as much energy balanced against that element.  The bigger picture here and throughout the album is that its sequencing ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the arrangements and their lyrical accompaniments.  That is because of the amount of time and thought put into the subtle changes in the songs’ energies.  All things considered, the record proves to be a record that deserves to be heard at least once.

Mitchel Evan’s new self-titled album, released last month, is a work that will appeal widely to listeners.  That is proven in part through the record’s featured musical arrangements.  By and large, the record’s musical arrangements will appeal to fans of the realms of roots rock, Americana and country.  Though there is a little rock influence to keep things interesting.  The album’s overarching lyrical theme centering on relationships and romance will appeal to fans of those all too familiar topics.  The record’s sequencing balances its more reserved energies and its higher tempo moments, adding even more appeal to the whole.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, the album proves itself to be a presentation that the noted audiences  will agree is worth hearing at least once.  Mitchel Evan is available now.

More information on Mitchel Evans’ new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.mitchelevanmusic.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/mitchelevanmusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/mitchelevanmuse

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.

Yep Roc Records’ New Benefit Record Can And Likely Will Succeed In Its Aim

Courtesy: Yep Roc Records

Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC has hosted countless acts over the course of its 50 years in business, but its future is now in doubt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Its closure meant the cancellation of its entire concert schedule, leading to trouble paying the rent and basic overhead costs.  In response, many of the North Carolina bands that have gone on to national (and even global) fame since their days performing at Cat’s Cradle have come together for a benefit compilation meant to raise money for the famed venue.  The compilation, Cover ChargeNC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle, was released Friday through Yep Roc Records.  The 25-song collection is a widely appealing presentation that will connect just as much with fans of Americana and southern rock as it will to those with an appreciation of pop music.  That is proven through the acts and songs featured throughout the compilation.  This will be addressed shortly.  The performances of the noted songs by the featured North Carolina acts adds to the record’s appeal.  They will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this compilation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle a work whose own music is sure to help keep the music alive at its beneficiary club.

Yep Roc Records’ new benefit record Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is sure to benefit the famed local music venue, an greatly at that.  That is proven in part through the acts and songs that are featured in the 25-song presentation.  They range from a cover of The Go-Gos’ Can’t Stop The World’ by Superchunk, to an updated take of Buffalo Springfield’s timeless protest song ‘For What It’s Worth’ by Faith Jones, to a cover of Paul McCartney’s ‘Every Night’ by Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team and so much more, the compilation runs the gamut on genres and acts.  There is even a cover of Madonna’s ‘Dress You Up’ next to Beck’s ‘Think I’m In Love’ along with a pair of Neil Young covers to add to the presentation.  Again, what listeners get here is an extensive list of covers of songs from a wide range of well-known acts.  The covers in question are unique takes on the noted songs by acts that are well-known in their own right and others who are building their reputations quite well.  That aspect alone makes for its own reason for audiences to take in this record.  It is just one of the aspects that makes the compilation worth hearing.  The acts’ performances of the respective covers add their own hare of interest and appeal to the record.

The performances in question are of note because while they largely stay true to their source material, they give the songs their own unique updates.  Case in point is the noted update on Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth.’  The original song is well-known by audiences of all ages.  It is a very subdued composition.  That reserved nature and feeling was used intentionally so as to heathen the feeling of the song’s subject as he/she looked around at everything happening in the world at the time.  Faith Jones’ update is less subdued and reserved than its source material.  It is not more energetic than said song.  It is however, still impacting in its own right.  The use of the pedal to give it a sort of funk vibe plays into its infectious nature.  The addition of the slide guitar alongside that element gives the song a bit of a country vibe.  Those two elements serve well to play into the song’s bigger message of unity, what with the genres begin so different yet coming together.  The overall energy level through the arrangement plays alongside the music to help translate the emotion in the continued message of that need for unity and hope even with everything going down.  The whole is a work that is one of the compilation’s highest points.  It is just one of the ways in which the record’s featured performances prove important to its presentation.  Mandolin Orange’s take of Bob Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather’ is another way in which the performances stand out.

Bob Dylan’s original song is a timeless song of lost love in its own right.  To say that it is a deeply emotional work is a powerful statement in its own right, what with Dylan’s minimalist approach to the song musically and lyrically.  It is just Dylan by himself singing and strumming his guitar.  Mandolin Orange takes that deeply emotional impact and builds on it.  The duo – Andrew Marlin and Emily Franz – offer audiences a composition here, that is even more reserved than Dylan’s original work.  The guitar work is noticeably slower in the act’s take on the song than in Dylan’s original.  What is so important to note though, is that even with the increased emotional approach, the duo doesn’t let itself go over the top.  Rather, the pair, with its violin and guitar, make it just as powerful as Dylan did with his work if not more so.  It would have been so easy for Marlin and Franz to go over the top, but that never once happens.  The result is, again, a work that pays wonderful tribute to its source material while introducing successfully, for a whole new generation of listeners.  It is yet another way in which the compilation’s performances prove important to its whole.  Chatham County Line’s over of Beck’s ‘Think I’m in Love’ is one more example of what makes the record worth hearing.

Beck’s original song ‘Think I’m In Love’ is a stark contrast to that of Chatham County Line’s cover of said song and vice versa.  Beck’s work is a funky, upbeat composition that exudes well, a person’s thought of, well, being in love.  That is the case even with the subtleties in its guitar line and beat.  CCL’s take on the song meanwhile, is even lighter than its source material.  The light, bluegrass approach that the group uses is an approach for which the band has come to be known throughout its life.  The subdued use of the mandolin and percussion alongside the vocals gives the song a whole new identity here that is certain to engage listeners in its own right.  Together with the other noted performances and those not directly addressed, the performances in whole give audiences just as much engagement as the featured songs and acts.  Even with all of this in mind, there is still one more item to address in examining the compilation, its sequencing.

The sequencing of Cover Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is important to address because of the impact that this aesthetic element has on the record’s general effect.  As the genre styles change from one to the next, the album also manages to keep its overall energy stable throughout.  The crests and troughs are places at all of the right places from one to the next.  Case in point is the first handful of the record’s featured songs.  The record’s energy starts high in its opener, Superchunk’s cover of The Go-Gos’ ‘Can’t Stop The World.’  From there, the energy pulls back immediately in Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ cover of Cigarettes After Sex’ ‘Apocalypse.’  The energy gradually builds back over the course of the next two songs before pulling back again in the Steep Canyon Rangers’ cover of Neil Young’s ‘Unknown Legend.’  The album pulls back even more in its energy immediately after in Skylar Gudasz and Erich Bachmann’s cover of The Everly Brothers’ timeless hit ‘All I Have To Do is Dream.’  This song stays true to its source material, but at the same time, is much slower than the original in terms of its tempo.  The noted rise and fall happens again over the course of the next two songs before quickly shifting gears again in The Love Language’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s song ‘Everything Changes.’  The rises and falls in the album’s energy continue throughout the record from there, with each happening at the right places and rates of change.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s sequencing clearly proves pivotal in its own way to the whole of its presentation.  When it is considered along with the record’s featured songs and acts, and performances, the whole of the compilation becomes a work that holds its own against it counterparts in this year’s already vast sea of covers compilations.

Yep Roc Records’ new covers compilation Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is a positive offering from the independent label.  It is a work that is certain to make plenty of noise as it helps save a venue that has helped Cat’s Cradle create its own noise over the years.  That is due in part to the songs and acts that are featured throughout the collection.  Regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the acts, this aspect is certain to generate its own share of engagement and entertainment among audiences.  The performances of the featured covers will generate its own interest for the collection, as has been noted.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  All three noted elements are key in their own way to the whole of this collection.  All things considered they make Charge: NC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle a presentation that is sure to help keep the music coming at Cat’s Cradle thanks to its own music.  The collection is available now.

The track listing for Cover ChargeNC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is noted below.

Cover Charge Track Listing:

  1. Superchunk – “Can’t Stop the World” (The Go-Go’s)
  2. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – “Apocalypse” (Cigarettes After Sex)
  3. Hiss Golden Messenger and Jonathan Wilson – “Travellin’ in Style” (Free)
  4. The dB’s – “I’m on an Island” (The Kinks)
  5. Steep Canyon Rangers – “Unknown Legend” (Neil Young)
  6. Eric Bachmann & Skylar Gudasz – “All I Have to Do is Dream” (The Everly Brothers)
  7. The Connells – “Keep Your Distance” (Richard Thompson)
  8. Mandolin Orange – “Boots of Spanish Leather” (Bob Dylan)
  9. The Love Language – “Everything Flows” (Teenage Fanclub)
  10. Dex Romweber (feat. Jennifer Curtis) – “A Face in the Crowd” (Andy Griffith)\
  11. Tift Merritt – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”  (Kris Kristofferson)
  12. The Old Ceremony – “Alone Again Or” (Love)
  13. Mayflies USA – “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” (The Smiths)
  14. The Mountain Goats – “The Longest Winter” (Paradise Lost)
  15. Faith Jones – “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield)
  16. Mipso – “Long Distance Love” (Little Feat)
  17. Terry Anderson and The Olympic-Ass Kickin Team – “Every Night” (Paul McCartney)
  18. Florence Dore – “Somewhere Down the Line” (Marshall Crenshaw)
  19. Southern Culture on the Skids – “Let’s Work Together” (Canned Heat)
  20. Iron & Wine – “Piss Diary” (Kingsbury Manx)
  21. Mount Moriah – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” (Neil Young)
  22. Sam Melo of Rainbow Kitten Surprise – “Stars” (Janis Ian)
  23. Don Dixon & Marti Jones – “Respoken” (The Lovin Spoonful)
  24. Chatham County Line – “Think I’m in Love” (Beck)
  25. The Veldt – “Dress You Up” (Madonna)

More information on Cover ChargeNC Artists Go Under Cover To Benefit Cat’s Cradle is available at https://www.facebook.com/CoverChargeMusic.

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.

Sara Lovell’s New LP Will Have A Long Life In Any Family’s Music Library

Courtesy: Unbreakable Chord Music

Family entertainer Sara Lovell is doing her part to try and make bedtime a little less stressful for parents and their children with her new album Night Life.  The record is another successful offering from Lovell, who has spent a good part of her professional career crafting music for audiences of all ages.  That is proven in part through the record’s diverse musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical themes add their own share of interest to the record’s presentation and will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Night Life.  All things considered, they make Night Life an album that is certain to have a long life in any family’s music library.

Night Life is another successful offering from Sara Lovell.  It is a work that listeners of all ages will enjoy in part due to its musical arrangements.  The arrangements featured throughout the album’s 44-minute run time take listeners in a variety of directions.  The album’s opener and lead single ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Sleep’ boasts a certain pop rock vibe while its follow-up, which is also the album’s title track, takes audiences back to the 80s with its old school R&B approach.  ‘Leave The Monkey’ gives listeners a touch of late 80s/early 90s hip-hop sensibility that couples with a light pop vibe.  That’s just the first three songs in this album.  ‘Rocket,’ the album’s fourth track, is a light, piano-driven piece that lends itself to comparisons to so many modern pop acts.  ‘I Don’t Sleep in a Bed,’ which serves as the album’s midway point, gives listeners a bit of a folk touch.  The use of the guitar, piano and harmonica collectively create a sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.  Yet again, here is an example of that continued diversity in the album’s musical arrangements.  ‘Bed Oh Bed,’ which comes late in the record’s run, takes listeners into the worlds of bluegrass and Americana.  ‘How The Jungle Sleeps’ presents a certain edgy and funky sound that is unlike anything in any of the album’s other works, once more presenting more variety for listeners.  It is just one more way in which the record’s musical arrangements prove their importance to the record’s overall presentation.  They never stick too long to just one style of music, nor do they just stick to just one style of music.  They offer something for a wide range of audiences.  To that end, it is clear that the musical arrangements that make up the body of Night Life are undeniably important to this album and form a solid foundation to its presentation.  They are just one part of what makes this record a success.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements play their own key part to the record’s presentation.

The lyrical themes that are featured throughout Night Life are all interconnected by the theme of sleep, but are all presented in unique fashions, adding even more interest to the album.  The album’s opener is straight forward in its theme.  It is delivered from the standpoint of a young child who does not want to go to bed.  Every parent (including this parent) can relate to this song, as so many children are just like this child; overly energetic, defiant, etc.  It’s ironic that Lovell counters this in the album’s finale with ‘Lullaby For Grownups.’  That song tells children “When the grownups are feeling all worn out/It’s time for quiet/It’s not the time to shout/They need a story that can take them far away/They need a melody/A close on their day/Just like you/They need sweet dreams/Just like you/They need a kiss/They need a hug/Just like you/They need to sleep/And just like you/They need to know that they are loved.”  The irony here is in the arrangement, because it is this gentle, gliding melody.  As upbeat as the album’s opener is, it would have seemed more natural to give this song more of a bouncy, comical approach than the schmaltzy heartstring puller that is used.  That aside, the two songs still work together lyrically.  ‘I Don’t Sleep in A Bed’ is another way in which the lyrical diversity of this record shines through.  Lovell opens the song with a child singing about sleeping next to his/her dog instead of in bed because of the friendship between the two.  As it progresses, Lovell clearly sings about a child’s happy dreams, of “flying above the clouds.”  There is even a line that celebrates “sleeping in a tent” in a child’s backyard.  On a completely different and lighter note, Lovell takes audiences into the jungle (or the zoo) in ‘Leave The Monkey.’  The song examines wildlife life at night.  She sings about “arguing pelicans” and trumpeting elephants” at one point, even singing lightly about “the party being too loud.”  It’s such a fun moment for this album and just one more in which the album’s  central lyrical theme but unique approach to that theme works so well from beginning to end.  Together with the record’s musical arrangements, the overall content presented in this record leaves no doubt as to why it is such a successful work.  As much as they do to make the album so entertaining and engaging, they are not the record’s only key points.  Its sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

Audiences will note that, as already noted, Night Life opens on an upbeat note in ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Bed.’  The energy in that composition changes direction, but still stays stable in the record’s title song.  The same can be said of ‘Leave The Monkey.’  The record’s energy becomes reserved as the record progresses into ‘Rocket.’  It pulls back even more as the album enters ‘Sleepwalkers.’  That gradual decline in the album’s energy through its first half reaches its trough in that song, giving way to something more upbeat and light in ‘Scooter and Skeeter,’ which serves as part of the record’s midway point.  No, this critic does not know if that title is a reference to the characters from the beloved Saturday morning cartoon series Muppet Babies.  That more upbeat sense only lasts but so long, though, immediately after giving way to the much more reserved sound and sense of ‘I Don’t Sleep in a Bed.’  That reserved nature carries through into ‘Little Bug’ and actually becomes slightly more reserved as a matter of fact.  Things gradually pick up slightly from there in ‘Bed Oh Bed,’ ‘Wear Yourself Out,’ and ‘Rock-a-bye My Baby.’  ‘How The Jungle Sleeps’ slightly reduces the record’s energy before giving way fully in the album’s closer, ‘Lullaby for Grownups.’  Looking back through the course of the 13-song record, it becomes clear that the subtleties in the rise and fall of the album’s energies in its compositions is actually quite powerful.  It does just enough to keep listeners engaged and entertained in its own right.  That, together with the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes, makes the album in whole without doubt, another positive effort from Sara Lovell.

Sara Lovell’s latest album Night Life is another impressive offering from the veteran family entertainer.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements, which are diverse.  That diversity ensures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment throughout the course of the album.  The record’s lyrical theme of night and sleep is conveyed in 13 different unique fashions throughout the course of its 44-minute run time.  That adds even more interest to the album’s presentation.  The album’s sequencing does its own important part to the whole of its presentation, too, keeping the energies in each song stable from the album’s opener to its end.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Night Life.  All things considered, they make Night Life that will definitely have long life (yes, that awful pun was intended) in any family’s music library.  It is available now.  More information on the album is available online along with all of Lovell’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://saralovell.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/saralovellmusic

 

 

 

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Time Life To Re-Issue ‘The Wonder Years: The Complete Series’ This Summer

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

There is good news for fans of ABC’s classic family drama The Wonder Years.

Time Life Entertainment has announced that it will re-issue the series in a complete series box set next month.  It is currently slated to be released Tuesday, August 23rd and will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  The new re-issue will feature all 115 episodes of the six-season series spread across 22 discs and 12 hours of new bonus material.  Those bonus features include: highlights from the cast’s first reunion in 16 years, a farewell set tour, Exclusive interviews and more.  It also features all of the songs originally used in the series’ 5 year, six season run including: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, and many others.  The series’ soundtrack in total comes to 300 songs.

Over the course of its six seasons on the air, The Wonder Years was one of television’s most popular series.  It earned a spot on Neilsen’s Top 30 in four of those seasons.  It earned an Emmy® for “Best Comedy Series,” and at age 13 lead actor Fred Savage became the youngest actor ever nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor For A Comedy Series.”  The series would eventually go on to earn a total of 24 awards and be nominate for 70 more.  Those nominations and wins included: Emmy® Awards, A Golden Globe®, and in 1989 a Peabody® Award for pushing the boundaries of the sitcom format and using what were then new methods of storytelling.  Even after the show ended its run, its impact was still being felt.  In 1997 “My Father’s Office” was ranked #29 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.  The series’ pilot episode was ranked #43 on that same list.

The Wonder Years: The Complete Series will be released in stores and online on Tuesday, August 23rd via Time Life Entertainment.  It will retail for MSRP of $119.95.  More information on this and other titles from Time Life Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

 

 

 

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Detour Is A Musical Side Trip That Any Of Costello’s Fans Will Want To Take

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

“The most prodigious writer of fine songs in British history.”  That is the title given to veteran performer Elvis Costello last year by a writer with the British newspaper The Independent following Costello’s 2015 tour.  It is quite the title considering the number of outstanding acts that have come from Great Britain and the United Kingdom.  Those acts include the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Richard Thompson, and so many others.  And that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Regardless of whether or not audiences agree with the honor bestowed upon Costello by that writer, one thing on which audiences can agree about Costello is that he is quite the accomplished musician and showman.  Now thanks to the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment audiences that haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Costello perform live will get to see just what makes him such a prolific performer and musician in his new live recording Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall Featuring Larkin Poe.  The recording presents one of the performances included in Costello’s 2015 “Detour Tour.”  Costello’s performance here is in itself proof of why he is one of the most prodigious performers in the industry today.  It will be discussed shortly.  The concert’s extensive set list also shows what makes him so respected.  It features a total of twenty-seven songs composed over the course of his more than four decades of making music.  The show’s production values help to show what makes Costello such a prolific performer and his shows fan favorites.  Each element is important in its own right in showing what makes Elvis Costello such a respected musician and performer.  They also serve to show here what makes his live shows so impressive.  Altogether they make this snapshot of Elvis Costello’s live shows a welcome addition to any of his fans’ music libraries.

Detour: Live at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall featuring Larkin Poe is a welcome addition to any of his fans’ personal music libraries.  That is because whether or not fans have had the pleasure of seeing him live, it serves as a good snapshot of what makes the veteran musician and performer one of the industry’s most prodigious and respected figures.  That is shown primarily through his stage presence throughout the concert.  For the most part audiences get in this concert Costello performing by himself.  There are no other guitars, drums or anything.  It is just him, his guitar, and the audience.  Throughout the course of the concert there is a certain sense of intimacy for lack of better wording because of that one-on-one approach.  He takes time not only to sing a number of his most well-known hits but also to share some stories and jokes with the audience along the way. He also shares the stage with fellow musician Larkin Poe on a handful of songs. Some of the songs in question were pieces on which the pair collaborated for the “New Basement Tapes” 2014 project Lost on the River. Those performances are just as organic and real as those by Costello by himself. The pair shows that the chemistry developed in the recording of that album was very real and was also still very much there in their performance here. It’s the kind of performance overall that will put a smile on any viewer’s face as said audiences tap their toes in time. His time on stage with Poe along with his own time on stage alone shows why he is such a prolific performer and why that performance makes this recording in whole so impressive for Costello’s fans. It is just one of the ways in which both are exhibited here. The concert’s set list does just as much in that respect.

Elvis Costello’s performance both by himself and with Larkin Poe in his new recording collectively show in their own clear way why he is such a prolific performer. They also serve to show just one way in which his ability to entertain audiences makes the recording in whole so impressive for his fans. Of course there is more to note here than just his stage presence. The show’s extensive set list also serves to show what makes him such a prolific artist/performer and in turn another way in which the recording in whole exhibits this. The set list consists of twenty-seven total songs. And not all of those songs featured in this concert are taken from his own works. As already noted, Larkin Poe makes a special appearance to perform some of the songs that the pair collaborated on for the Bob Dylan “tribute” album Lost on the River. She also shares time on stage with him on the likes of ‘Blame It On Cain,’ ‘That’s Not The Part Of Him You’re Leaving,’ and ‘A Good Year For The Roses’ just to name a few. Speaking of those songs, audiences will note that while not all of the songs featured in this performance come from Costello’s own albums, a fair share do. They include the noted compositions as well as ‘Accidents Will Happen,’ ‘Shipbuilding,’ ’45,’ ‘Red Shoes’ and a number of other classics. It would have been interesting to see Costello try to represent every one of his albums. But that would have extended his performance well past its roughly two hour mark. Of course real diehard fans would likely not complain. What is presented is worth the mention, though. He makes a valid attempt to cover as much of his career as possible with songs lifted from no fewer than a dozen of his albums. National Ransom, which he released in 2010, gets the most representation with three songs. His 1977 debut album My Aim Is True received four mentions in this concert. Get Happy (1980) and When I Was Cruel (2002) each get two nods. Also represented here are songs from Armed Forces (1979), Trust (1981), Almost Blue (1981), Punch The Clock (1983), Goodbye Cruel World (1984), King of America (1986), Spike (1989), and The Delivery Man (2004). His 2006 collaboration with Allen Toussaint The River in Reverse is represented, too in the song ‘Ascension Day.’ Again, not every one of Costello’s albums is represented in this recording. But it is safe to say that a relatively healthy offering of his albums is featured here. That being the case, the fact that he would make such a concerted effort to focus on so much of his catalogue shows yet again why he is indeed one of the industry’s most prolific performers. By connection the extensive set list serves to show why the recording in whole exemplifies what makes him so prolific.

The performance put on by Elvis Costello in his latest live recording is in itself proof of why he is one of the music industry’s most prolific performers. The set list contained in the concert recording exhibits this even more. Both also show why the recording is a good example in itself of why he is so respected. The show’s production values round out the ways in which the recording proves not only why he is so respected but why the recording is such a good example of why he is held to such a high standard. The show is a very intimate presentation. And those behind the cameras and mics do their own applause-worthy job of capturing the essence of a live Elvis Costello show and of who Costello is, too. The Philharmonic Hall isn’t the biggest venue out there. But it is large enough yet small enough at the same time to make for an intimate get together of performer and fan. The camera crew and director did an excellent job of keeping a clear and clean line in each shot that also didn’t intrude on the experience for the audiences. Thanks to the work of those behind the show’s audio both in concert and in post-production, the warmth and emotion of Costello’s vocals come through with so much power and clarity. Said individuals are to be applauded just as much as those behind the cameras. Their combined efforts result in a show that expertly captures a performer who seems like no other. He comes across as being completely genuine especially in this case. Keeping that in mind, it completes the recording and shows once more exactly why Costello is such a revered figure in the music industry and why the recording serves as such a clear example of why he is so acclaimed. Together with the show’s set list and Costello’s performance, it can be said of the recording in whole that it is one that just as with a turn on a detour, fans won’t want to miss this new live recording.

Elvis Costello’s new live recording is a presentation that none of his fans will want to miss, just as with a turn in a detour. That is because through Costello’s own performance and set list, he exhibits true professionalism and love for his fans. The work put in to recording the performance serves to expertly capture that professionalism and love for his fans. Each element is important in its own right in showing why Elvis Costello is one of the most prodigious and prolific performers not just from the UK but in the music industry in whole. Altogether, they prove this recording to be a clear example of why he deserving of such titles. They combine to make this recording a piece that none of his fans will want to miss. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now along with all of the latest news from Eagle Rock Entertainment at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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Charles Lloyd Touring In Support Of His Latest LP

Courtesy:  Blue Note Records

Courtesy: Blue Note Records

Veteran sax player Charles Lloyd hit the road once again this week.

The seventy-seven year old musician, who will turn 78 next month, embarked on his latest tour this past Friday, February 12th. He performed live at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is scheduled to perform next at the Portland Jazz Festival in Portland, Oregon Friday, February 19th and then at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, Canada on February 20th. After that performance, Lloyd will take some time off in March to recharge before heading out again beginning April 21st in San Francisco, California. The tour is in support of Lloyd’s latest full-length studio recording I Long To See You, which was released via Blue Note Records on January 15th. Lloyd’s current schedule of dates is noted below.

CHARLES LLOYD – TOUR DATES
Feb. 19 – Portland Jazz Festival – Portland, OR
Feb. 20 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, Canada
Apr. 21-24 – Lines Ballet – San Francisco, CA
Apr. 29 – Kennedy Center – New York, NY

I Long To See You includes a reading of Bob Dylan’s anti-war composition ‘Masters of War’ and a performance of ‘Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream’ by country legend Willie Nelson. While the combination of a jazz sax player and country singer may seem odd to some, Nelson released an album of jazz standards in 1978. Lloyd noted in an interview about that album in discussing inviting Nelson to perform on his latest album. “When I was living in Big Sur, a friend gave me a copy of Stardust,” Lloyd says of Nelson’s 1978 album of jazz standards,” he said. “I recognized a synchronicity between us in his choice of songs. Willie is a very soulful, independent outsider who loves the Zone. He has been paving the Freedom Trail for many years now, and we follow in his wake. I was incredibly honored that he accepted the invitation to sing on ‘Strangest Dream.’”

Along with the aforementioned songs, Lloyd’s new album also includes a new take on Billy Preston’s ‘You Are So Beautiful.’ The song was first made popular by singer Joe Cocker in 1974. Norah Jones adds her vocals to the song here. In explaining having Jones lend her talents to the song Lloyd noted that he had had her in mind for a long time for the song. “During my concerts, I sometimes play it as an encore,” he said. “For a long time in my mind’s ear I could hear Norah’s warmth caressing the lyrics. She became an extraordinary, beautiful sixth instrument in the rendition of the song.”

While Lloyd’s new album features a number of covers there are also some originals. One of those originals is the sixteen-minute opus ‘Barche Lamsel.’ If that is not enough for audiences there is also a re-working of Lloyd’s classic hits ‘Sombrero Sam,’ which was originally presented in Lloyd’s 1966 album Dream Weaver, and ‘La Llorona,’ which was originally presented in Lloyd’s 2009 album Mirror. The complete track listing for I Long To See You is noted below.

The track listing for I Long To See You is as follows:

1. Masters Of War (Bob Dylan)
2. Of Course, Of Course (Charles Lloyd)
3. La Llorona (Traditional)
4. Shenandoah (Traditional)
5. Sombrero Sam (Lloyd)
6. All My Trials (Traditional)
7. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream feat. Willie Nelson (Ed McCurdy)
8. Abide With Me (Traditional)
9. You Are So Beautiful feat. Norah Jones (Billy Preston & Bruce Fisher)
10. Barche Lamsel (Lloyd)

More information on I Long To See You is available online now along with all of Charles Lloyd’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.charleslloyd.com

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

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.

Ben Rudnick And Friends’ New Record Is A Fun Ride Through The Musical Universe

Courtesy:  Bartlett Ave Records

Courtesy: Bartlett Ave Records

Kindie rock artist Ben Rudnick is no stranger to the world of children’s music. Over the course of his roughly fifteen years making music for the whole family, he has released no fewer than ten total recordings. The latest of those recordings, the thirteen-track album Love Is A Superpower, was released in 2012. Now three years removed from that recording, Rudnick and company (Ben Rudnick and Friends as they are more properly called) have re-issued the group’s ’09 album A Frog Named Sam in a manner of speaking. The difference here is that this “re-issue” isn’t necessarily a re-issue in the traditional sense of the term. That is because it doesn’t just re-hash that album. Rather it lifts from each of Rudnick’s previous LPs to form what is in essence a ten track album that also includes five reprisals for a total of fifteen tracks. The end result is a collection of songs that Rudnick and company have playfully dubbed A Frog Named Sam: A Musical For Children. It can be safely assumed that such a title was playful in nature since there doesn’t seem to be any actual “movie” or presentation to which this collection of previously released songs is connected from Rudnick and company. That aside, the compilation in whole is a recording that listeners of all ages will enjoy and appreciate. The central reason for that is the lyrical makeup of the record’s featured songs. The topics presented in each of the featured songs vary from one to the next and each is equally positive and important. This will be discussed at more length shortly. Just as important to note of Rudnick’s new record is the equally varied musical makeup of each song. There is just as much variance in the songs’ musical content as there is in their lyrical content. Last but hardly least of note here is the record’s sequencing. As previously noted, the ten tracks that make up the body of this record are separated out by a series of short vignettes that reprise the introductory line from the album’s title track. If Rudnick and company should actually make a whole movie of sorts to connect to this album then those segments will work pretty well in their own right. In this setting, though they serve a different yet equally useful purpose. Together with the songs’ musical and lyrical content, those short segments round out the record and make it one that will in fact leave listeners hoping Rudnick and friends actually do make a “movie” to connect to this record.

Ben Rudnick and friends’ “new” record A Frog Named Sam: A Musical For Children is an interesting new collection of songs for the veteran children’s entertainer and his fellow musicians. That is because the record is neither new nor even a traditional re-issue. Rather it presents a number of the group’s previously recorded songs in this setting for what is essentially a compilation record. Even with that being the case it is still a good introduction for those that might not be familiar with Runick’s work. That is thanks first and foremost to the lyrical content presented in each of the record’s featured songs. From a pro-literacy piece in ‘Reading a Book’ to the uplifting ‘When Something’s Got You Terribly Blue’ to the equally uplifting ‘Love Is A Superpower’ Rudnick and his fellow musicians offer plenty of reason to smile throughout this record. The latter pair of songs are both uplifting just in different ways. The first touts the benefits of having a good friend while the latter of the pair presents the power of love in every form. If those positive messages aren’t enough for fans, then the silly culinary-based song ‘Macaroni an Cheese’ and the upbeat ‘Race Car’ definitely will be. The same goes for the album’s closer ‘Coney Island Crazy.’ For those that have never had the pleasure of making the trip to one of America’s greatest theme parks, Rudnick and company paint a wonderfully vibrant picture of a trip to the park with their lyrics. The same goes for the picture painted in ‘Race Car.’ Those that have never watched a race (whether it be NASCAR, Verizon Indycar Series, F1, or other) will want to see or even attend their first race after hearing this piece. That is especially thanks to the song’s musical content. Speaking of musical content, the musical makeup of ‘Race Car’ and the record’s other songs are another reason that this new compilation is such a good introduction to Rudnick’s music.

The lyrical content presented in Ben Rudnick and Friends’ new compilation is collectively plenty of reason for audiences to check out this record. The lyrical content presented throughout the record runs the gamut, ranging from mildly serious topics such as literacy and friendship to the absolutely silly as in ‘Race Car’ and ‘Macaroni and Cheese.’ While the lyrical content proves important in its own right to the record’s enjoyment, the record’s collective musical content is just as important to its overall presentation. That is because it is just as varied as the album’s lyrical content. The album’s opener is a semi-psychadelic piece that takes listeners back to the days of Frank Zappa and others. ‘Coney Island Crazy’ will impress listeners of all ages with its Chuck Berry-influenced guitar riffs. ‘Macaroni and Cheese’ is just as intriguing with its mix of old school disco and funk sounds in its main body. There’s even a touch of a reggae influence coupled with country/bluegrass at another point in the song. Needless to say the whole of those sounds will definitely keep listeners’ ears from start to finish. Speaking of that country/bluegrass mix, there is also a healthy serving of bluegrass, country, and even folk spread across the record in the Bob Dylan-esque ‘When Something’s Got You Terribly Blue,’ ‘Reading A Book,’ ‘My Horse,’ ‘I Got A New Friend,’ and ‘Race Car.’ There’s even a throwback to the 1960s and ’70s to a point in ‘The Adventure Song.’ Considering the amount of variety in the songs’ musical content there is plenty for audiences to appreciate in this element of the recording, too. Together with the variety of lyrical topics presented throughout the record, both elements work together to make this a compilation that will take listeners of all ages on a fun musical adventure from start to finish.

The musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of Ben Rudnick and Friends’ new compilation make it a record that will take listeners of all ages on a wonderful musical adventure from start to finish. Of course for all of the importance of those elements, there is still one more key element to note in this record. That last element is the collective vignettes that serve as occasional separators. There are only four of these vignettes throughout the course of the record’s thirty-two minute run time. But they still help to break up the record and keep listeners engaged. That is because they are placed with some seeming strategy throughout the record. If there were actually a movie of sorts which connected to this compilation, it would be interesting to see what the vignettes’ companion video would look like in each scene. Even without that visual aid though, it can be said that they help listeners collect themselves at specific points and in turn remain engaged right to the compilation’s up-tempo closer. In keeping listeners so well engaged, listeners will in turn agree that the reprisals are in fact just as important as the record’s overall musical and lyrical content even despite each one’s short length. Each gives just enough time for listeners to collect themselves before the next song (and set of songs) gets under way. It is just one more way in which this record proves itself an enjoyable ride through the musical universe for listeners of all ages. Together with the record’s overall musical and lyrical content, all three elements prove it to be not just an enjoyable ride through the musical universe but also one of 2015’s most intriguing children’s recordings.

Ben Rudnick and Friends’ latest full length recording is an enjoyable ride through the musical universe. It is also one of 2015’s most intriguing children’s records, as audiences will learn on that ride. Over the course of that ride, listeners of all ages are exposed to a number of lyrical topics, all of which the whole family will enjoy. The same can be said of the record’s musical makeup. Considering this and the reprisals that break up the album the ride in whole proves even more to be one that listeners of all ages will enjoy with every listen. It is available now. More information on A Frog Named Sam: A Musical For Children is available online now along with all of Ben Rudnick and Friends’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.benrudnick.com

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

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