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

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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.

Owl Singalong Will Have Listeners Of All Ages Singing Along

Courtesy:  Rounder Records

Courtesy: Rounder Records

Veteran children’s entertainer Raffi is one of the most prolific names in the world of children’s music.  That is because over the course of his decades-long career he has made music time and again that both entertains and educates listeners of all ages, each time giving listeners something different and original.  His new album Owl Singalong is no different in that aspect.  The sixteen-track, thirty-seven minute album presents a variety of different musical styles coupled with just as many different lyrical topics for an experience that will keep listeners of all ages engaged from beginning to end.  The sequencing of the songs is just as important as the songs’ makeup.  Together with their makeup, all three elements make this record an offering that in the end proves just as important in home as it is in any early childhood educator’s classroom.  Such importance makes valid the argument that Owl Singalong is 2016’s first great album for children.

Raffi’s latest full-length studio recording Owl Singalong is 2016’s first great album for children.  The main reason for that is the musical content presented across the course of the sixteen-song record.  From the album’s dixieland rag style  opener/title track to the reggae-infused ‘Green Dream’ to the Latin-tinged ‘Somos El Barco’ right to the album’s closer, the African standard ‘Abiyoyo,’ Raffi presents listeners with quite the variety of musical stylings.  And these are just a few examples of how many different musical styles are presented across this album.  Raffi’s take on the standard ‘See The Moon’ conjures thoughts of days long gone when men would wear pinstripe suits and serenade ladies.  This is especially the case as Raffi sings an gently strums a ukulele.  There’s even a nice blues-infused tune in the form of ‘Who Hoo Could I Be.’  If the blues sound isn’t enough, there are also brief moments in this song in which Raffi tries to impersonate Bob Dylan (believe it or not).  Older listeners that are fans of Dylan’s work will appreciate that.  But they will have to listen closely to catch those subtle moments.  The subtle manner in which he included said impersonation makes the song’s musical content all the more enjoyable.  ‘Garden Song,’ which comes later in the album’s run is just as impressive with its light country/Americana sound fleshed out by the use of a guitar, ukulele and fiddle as its foundation.  For those wanting something a little more traditional in the way of standard children’s songs, that sound is included here, too in the form of ‘Dog On The Bus,’ ‘I’m Not Small,’ and ‘You May Be A Triangle.’  Whether one prefers that more standard sound or any of the various sounds presented across this record, listeners in whole will agree that the inclusion of so many different sounds forms a solid foundation for Owl Singalong and gives listeners of all ages plenty of reason to hear this latest offering from one of the greatest names in children’s music.  Of course the variety of sounds presented throughout the record is just one reason that audiences will enjoy it.  The lyrical content presented throughout the record is just as important to its presentation as the musical content.

The musical presented over the course of Owl Singalong’s almost forty-minute run time is key to the album’s presentation.  That is because much as with his previous albums, Raffi doesn’t stick to just one style of music at any point here.  Rather he switches things up from one song to the next from the album’s opener to its end.  The musical variety isn’t the only variety that keeps Owl Singalong interesting.  Raffi presents just as much variety in the songs’ lyrical content throughout.  The album’s opener/title track sees Raffi singing about (you guessed it) an owl singing in the bright light of a full moon.  That simple, fun topic coupled with the song’s equally light musical content makes it in whole a great start to this record.  ‘I’m Not Small’ and ‘You May Be A Triangle’ both present wonderful messages about self-confidence in their own special way.  ‘Green Dream’ with its reggae-infused sound, teaches the importance of caring for the planet.  It’s a fitting combination of music and lyrics.  ‘Who Hoo Could I Be’ is another good example of the importance of the lyrical content within the album’s featured songs.  It is just a fun song that asks “Who could I be?”  The seeming point of the question is the answer that “it doesn’t matter who or what I am.  I just want to sing this song to make you smile.”  And put a smile on listeners’ faces it definitely will do.  It’s just a fun, bluesy piece meant to get listeners’ toes tapping and let them know in no uncertain terms that is meant to make listeners feel good.  It is hardly the last song that could be cited as an example of what makes Owl Singalong’s lyrical content so important to the record’s overall presentation.  ‘Abiyoyo,’’Somos El Barco,’ and ‘Dans La Foret Lointaine’ could each be cited as examples of the importance of the album’s lyrical content, too.  All things considered, the lyrical content presented throughout the course of Owl Singalong’s near forty-minute run time proves in the end to be just as important as the album’s musical content.  The two elements together form a solid foundation for the album on which the album’s final important element rests.  That final element is the album’s sequencing.

Both the musical and lyrical content presented in the body of Owl Singalong are equally important in their own right to the album’s overall presentation.  While both elements are of the utmost importance to the album both by themselves and together, they are not the album’s only important elements.  The album’s sequencing is just as important to its whole as its musical and lyrical content.  The album opens with the Dixieland rag styling of the album’s opener and leads into a trio of children’s standards in the next three tracks.  From there, Raffi takes listeners back to the 1920s thanks to the musical presentation of ‘See The Moon’ and then down to the Caribbean in ‘Green Dream.’  That is just the first six tracks that make up the body of Owl Singalong.  He then switches gears once more from there, going back to the more light hearted children’s fare in ‘Every Day’ and ‘Dog on The Bus’ before presenting more material for older audiences in ‘Somos El Barco.’  This sort of back and forth continues through the rest of the album’s seven remaining tracks.  When it’s all said and done, listeners will agree that the sequencing of Owl Singalong’s sixteen total tracks is the finishing touch to a foundation already made strong through songs that will entertain and educate at the same time. They will agree that all three elements taken into collective consideration, they make Owl Singalong yet another impressive new collection of songs from a legendary artist in his own right and one that is also the first great children’s album of 2016.

Owl Singalong, Raffi’s latest full-length studio recording, is an impressive new collection of songs from a figure that is one of the most preeminent artists in the realm of children’s music. It is also the first great children’s album of 2016. That is made clear through the collective musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of the album’s sixteen songs and thirty-seven minute run time. The songs both entertain and educate listeners of all ages from beginning to end through both factors. The album’s sequencing takes those songs and puts them in an order that assures listeners’ maintained engagement. Each element is important by itself to the overall listening experience in this record. Altogether, they make Owl Singalong–again–yet another enjoyable work from one of the most respected names in the realm of children’s music, and a record that is 2016’s first great children’s album. Owl Singalong will be available in stores and online on Friday, January 15th. Parents can pre-order it online now at http://www.childhonouring.org/. More information on this and other titles from Raffi is available along with Raffi’s latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.childhonouring.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Raffi.Cavoukian

 

 

 

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Live In Hyde Park Is A Must Have For Every ELO Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Next month, ELO, now known as Jeff Lyne’s ELO will release its fourteenth full-length studio recording. The album, Alone in the Universe, will be released on Friday, November 13th via Columbia Records. That is just under a month away at the time of this review’s posting. The announcement of the album’s impending release was made just last month, a day before the release of the group’s new live recording Live in Hyde Park. Released on September 11th, Live in Hyde Park is a good addition to any ELO fan’s personal music library. The main reason that it proves to be such a worthwhile addition to fans’ collections is its set list. It should be noted right up front that the recording’s U.S. presentation allegedly is lacking the group’s performance of ‘Roll Over Beethoven,’ which was the band’s cover of Chuck Berry’s classic hit. Even if it is indeed lacking that one encore performance, the lack of that performance, at least in this critic’s own view, does not take away anything from the positive impact of the show’s overall set list. That will be discussed shortly. Another positive to the recording is of course Lynne’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians. That presence makes for just as much enjoyment as the show’s set list and gives fans even more reason to add this recording to their personal ELO collections and music libraries in whole. Last but hardly least worth noting of the recording is its bonus material. The bonus interview with Lynne is quite insightful in its own right while the “bio” “Mr. Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne and ELO adds even more insight into the importance of this legendary act. The two bonuses come together to round out the recording’s overall viewing experience and show once and for all why fans will both enjoy and appreciate once they add it to their own personal ELO collections and music libraries in whole.

Live at Hyde Park, the new live recording from Jeff Lynne’s ELO is a good addition to any ELO fan’s personal music library and ELO collection. It proves first and foremost through its set list. While not a completely career-spanning performance for Lynne and company, the sixteen song set list touches on a rather healthy sampling of the band’s body of work even going all the way back to the band’s 1971 debut record The Electric Light Orchestra. Its 1977 album Out Of The Blue appears to be the most well-represented of the albums represented in this concert. Of the album’s sixteen songs, no fewer than three are taken from that album while The Electric Light Orchestra, On The Third Day, Eldorado, and Face The Music are each represented by one song. A New World Record is represented twice over, while Discovery, the Xanadu soundtrack, and Secret Messages each boast a single track. That still leaves four songs that audiences both familiar with ELO’s body of work and those not so familiar work to find for themselves. In finding themselves, audiences will agree that once again, while the sentiment that the set list featured in this concert recording, while not necessarily career-spanning, is still a solid representation of ELO’s body of work. On another note, there are those that have complained about the U.S. presentation of Live at Hyde Park not including the encore performance of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ at he very end of the recording. Given, that track is not there. There is no denying this. But considering that it is just one song, it still takes away very little if anything from the overall viewing experience of this recording. To that extent, the set list presented in Live in Hyde Park proves in the end to still be just as important to the recording’s viewing experience as any of the recording’s key talking points.

The set list featured in this recording is within itself plenty of reason for ELO fans to add it to their personal collections and music libraries in whole. That is even with the alleged omission of one song in the recording’s U.S. release. Lynne’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians is just as important as the songs themselves. It goes without saying that the group’s stage presence makes for its own share of enjoyment. Lynne exudes a certain confidence for lack of better wording as he makes his way from one song to the next in the show’s set. It proves that a performer doesn’t necessarily have to run around stage and do all kinds of antics in order to be entertaining. All a performer needs is that confidence and the love of being on stage, entertaining the masses in order to be entertaining. That is what makes his stage presence so solid throughout the show. He commands the stage just by being there and doing so little other than deliver the songs. Lynne’s fellow musicians–many of whom are members of the BBC Orchestra, as Lynne directly notes–show just as much confidence throughout the concert. They also show just how much they enjoy performing with Lynne and his band. It shows through the energy and concentration put into each song’s performance and through their facial gestures. Audiences can see smiles on the faces of the BBC Orchestra members’ faces throughout, showing just how much they enjoyed being a part of the show. The enjoyment leads back to the energy put into each performance from start to finish. In turn it makes the overall stage presence of the group in whole–including Lynne and his band–that much more powerful and important to the whole of Live in Hyde Park. Together with the show’s set list and its sequencing, both elements together go a long way toward making this recording such an enjoyable experience for any long-time ELO fan. For all of their importance to the recording’s overall viewing experience they are not all that make the recording so enjoyable. The bonus interview with Jeff Lynne and the “bio” Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO round out the recording. The two bonuses together not only paint a rich picture of Jeff Lynne and his importance to the music industry, but on the legacy that he has created throughout his professional career.

The performance that lies at the center of Live in Hyde Park is in itself the most important element of the recording. It is after all the central focus point of the recording. However, the bonus material that is included with the recording proves just as important to the whole of the recording as the concert. That is because the bonus material paints such a rich, vivid picture of who Jeff Lynne is and why he is today one of the most important figures in the music industry. The one-on-one interview with Lynne paints its own picture, showing perhaps why Lynne is such a stickler for detail in terms of composing songs. He notes in his interview that despite being essentially a manual laborer, his father had a deep love and respect for classical music. And classical music requires a deep love for and attention to the music. Any lover of classical music will agree with that. Perhaps growing up in a household filled with such beautiful music led to his own attention to detail in composing his songs. He perhaps gained the same love for his music and attention to detail in composing his songs through his musical upbringing, in other words. Lynne also shares a funny anecdote about ELO opening for Deep Purple in the band’s first major tour and his surprise at how well it went down considering the stark contrast of sounds between the two acts. That anecdote will have viewers laughing just as Lynne himself. It’s just another example of what makes his interview so enjoyable for audiences, regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Lynne’s body of work and his contributions to the music industry. Speaking of those contributions to the music world, the bonus “bio/documentary” Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO offers even more insight into the importance of his contributions to the music industry.

Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO takes the foundation established in Lynne’s bonus one-on-one interview and builds even more on it. It does so by going into even more depth about his own achievements and contributions over the course of his professional career. It isn’t just some short, ten-minute presentation unlike so many other career retrospectives out there that call themselves bonuses on other acts’ recordings. Rather, it is a deep, extensive presentation that will keep viewers just as engaged as the presentation’s central concert recording. Viewers will learn that Lynne started his professional musical career early on in life and that his mom couldn’t even believe that he was making money as a musician. It’s another great light-hearted moment for audiences and fans alike. He also echoes his father’s love of classical music as an influence behind his love of music and his own method in composing his music. There are insights from the likes of Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and even the widows of George Harrison and Roy Orbison that paint such a deeply vivid picture of a musical genius. Even the most well-versed ELO fan might be surprised to learn through this documentary that Lynne was actually at least partially responsible for Tom Petty’s hit song ‘Free Falling,’ some of George Harrison’s most beloved compositions, and even one of The Beatles’ records post John Lennon’s passing. There is also an in-depth history presented by Petty, Lynne, and both Roy Orbison and George Harrison’s widows about The Traveling Wilburys included as part of the documentary. For those that might not know, Lynne was a member of The Traveling Wilburys alongside Orbison, Petty, Harrison, and Bob Dylan. It was a supergroup before supergroups became a thing. That part of Lynne’s story alone makes the “bio” well worth the watch. And it is hardly all that makes the documentary such an important presentation. There is so much more that long-time fans and audiences in general will appreciate throughout the program. Together with Lynne’s sit-down interview, Live in Hyde Park’s main feature concert, and Lynne’s performance alongside his fellow musician throughout the show, Live at Hyde Park in whole proves to be a recording that every ELO fan should have in their own home DVD library. Period.

Live In Hyde Park is a recording that every ELO fan should have in his or her own home DVD library. Whether for its set list, the performance of Lynne and his fellow musicians throughout the concert, or for the recording’s bonus material, there is so much to enjoy about this recording. It presents a band and a performer that remain today among the most influential and important names in the music industry. Each noted element is important to the whole of the presentation in its own right. Collectively, they make Live in Hyde Park a must have for any ELO fan and potentially one more of this year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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Audiences Of All Musical Tastes Will Enjoy Enjoy Eagle Rock Entertainment’s New Dylan Documentary

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting new presentation. Regardless of whether audiences are fans of Bob Dylan and his body of work or fans of the artists recruited to resurrect Dylan’s “long lost” there is plenty for audiences of all ages and tastes to like throughout the program beginning fittingly with its virtual music history lesson. The program’s very presentation style is another element of the documentary that audiences will appreciate. Despite essentially being a standard “making of” feature, it doesn’t come across like so many other guerilla style making of peices thrown together by so many other acts just to sell records. And then of course there is the bonus material. In the case of this Blu-ray, the bonus material lives up to its name as it brings the whole presentation full circle. It doesn’t present the finished product of each song rehearsed in the main feature. But it does give audiences a look at the finished product of half of the noted songs. And that’s only the beginning of what makes the bonus material a true bonus. That will be discussed later. Taking into consideration everything noted here, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued proves itself a music documentary well worth the watch by audiences of any musical taste.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new music documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is an interesting work that audiences of any musical taste should see. It should be noted right off the top that it is not a piece that audiences of any age should see. that is because there is some language older audiences might find questionable for some younger viewers. There is also one scene from some vintage 1960s film that shows a topless woman dancing with a group of other people. None of this seems to be noted anywhere on the documentariy’s casing. So it would be irresponsible if this critic didn’t note these issues right off the bat. Having gotten that out of the way, this program is still one that older audiences of any musical taste will want to see. The central reason for that is that it is within itself a virtual music history lesson. The lesson is centered on a group of previously “undiscovered” writings from none other than legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Audiences get a glimpse into where the writings came from, how they originally came into being so many decades ago and even their original intent. Some of this information is provided by Dylan himself even though the only time that Dylan actually appears on camera is in vintage footage of Dylan with his band mates collected for the documentary. Audiences will be surprised to learn that many of the writings if not all of them were never even intended for mass consumtion by fans. Audiences will be just as interested to learn why Dylan and company opted to record the original songs literally in the basement of a house instead of the sterility of a studio as they watch. That little factoid is in itself quite enlightening. there is even more information thrown out throughout the program that audiences will find interesting. So that will be left to viewers to discover for themselves. That information coupled with the information noted here shows clearly to be a history lesson that intended or not serves as one of the most important elements of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued in its enjoyment. It is only part of the program that makes it a joy for fans. The documentary’s overall shooting and presentation style make for their own enjoyment in this case, too.

The overall shooting style and manner of presentation in Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued make for just as much reason for audiences to check out the program as its virtual music history lesson. “Making of documentaries” are all too commonplace in today’s music industry. The problem with all of the “documentaries” is that few prove to be memorable in any form or fashion. More often than not they are throwaway extras used to convince audiences to purchase already overpriced albums that are themselves forgettable. They are typically shot in guerilla, home-video style and presented as such, too. Thankfully none of this applies to Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. What audiences get in this program is a piece that fully lives up to the title of music documentary. It is an expertly shot and edited program that ties together music’s past and present and will in turn keep audiences engaged from beginning to end. There are no fast moving pans or tilts from the camera crew. And the music being rehearsed makes the presentation emotionally moving and powerful both as the recruited artists–who are themselves some of the music world’s biggest names today–work together and by themselves. There are no jump cuts. And while some special effects are used, they are used sparingly throughout, making the presentation all the more worth the watch.

Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued more than lives up to the title of music documentary. It is the total antithesis of the largely forgettable throwaway pieces out there that masquerade as making of documentaries. This includes the standalone pieces and the ones that are thrown in with albums that are themselves largely forgettable. It stands out from those presentations thanks in large part to its professional production values and its virtual music history lesson. Both elements play their own important part in the success and enjoyment of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. As important as each element proves in the long run, there is one more element to note that brings the presentation full circle. That element is the documentary’s collective bonus material. The bonus material in this case is a presentation of some of the songs featured in the main feature in their entirety. While not all twelve of the featured songs are included as bonus material. No fewer than half of the songs are featured, though. Having gone through the rehersals and creative process presented in the program’s main feature, the half dozen songs featured as bonus material are essentially a reward for audiences that watched the creative process that led to the songs. Again, while not all twelve songs presented in the main feature are included with the bonus material, the half dozen that are featured bring the presentation in whole full circle.

The full song “performances” featured in the bonus features of Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued are themselves bonus for audiences. They are bonuses in large part because they finally let audiences hear at least some of the presented songs in their identity. That isn’t the only reason that they are bonuses, though. They are bonuses also because of the fact that each song features one of the recruited artists leading the given songs in his or her own style. Because each of the recruited artists gets to lead at least one song included in the bonus features, not one of the noted songs sounds like the other. Each comopsition has a sound and style completely separate from the others. It shows each artist’s own musical roots and influences thus deepening the program in whole even more. It is within itself a bonus of the bonus material and one more reason that audiences will want to watch Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued.

Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued is one of the more interesting music documentaries that has been released so far this year. For that matter, it is one of the only presentations released so far this year that rightfully deserves to be called a documentary. That is thanks in large part to its virtual music history lesson. Whether or not the history lesson was intended, it is there. The program’s production values set it apart from all of thoe throwaway pieces that try to pretend to be documentaries, too. And the bonus material rewards audiences that stayed and watched Bob Dylan’s “long lost” slowly come to life in more than one way. All three elements together show why audiences of all musical tastes, if not ages, will want to watch this documentary. Together, they show that while Eagle Rock is known largely as the leader in live recordings, it holds its own in the world of music documentaries, too. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 26th. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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The Yardbirds Announce Makeup Dates, Welcome New Member

Courtesy:  Kayos Productions

Courtesy: Kayos Productions

The Yardbirds will fly again this fall!

Yardbirds founding member and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jim McCarty announced today that the band will hit the road this fall and make up a string of North American dates that had to be postponed earlier this year. Along with those make-up dates, the band—with McCarty , bassist Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Billy Idol, Brian Setzer, Mick Taylor), guitarist/singer John Idan, and Myke Scavone (Ram & The Doughboys) on blues harp, vocals, and percussion—will also play additional dates later this fall. Those dates have not yet been confirmed. Though, they will confirmed at a later date. It has also been announced that fellow founding member Chris Dreja will be unable to make the upcoming dates but will be with the band in mind and spirit. Longtime David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick will join the band on its upcoming tour as well.

The band’s currently confirmed tour dates are listed below.

Tour Dates:

October

30                                           Infinity Hall                      Norfolk CT

31                                           Musicfest Café                  Bethlehem PA

 

November

01                                           Newton Theatre                  Newton NJ

02                                           BB King’s                             NYC

06                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Phoenix AZ

07                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Lake Tahoe NV

10                                           Harrah’s Casino                 Loughlin NV

 

The Yardbirds’ fans can keep up with all of the latest updates to the band’s tour schedule and get all of the latest news from the band online at:

 

Website: http://www.theyardbirds.com

 

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.