‘Sobering Times’ Succeeds Through Its Musical Diversity, Lyrical Duality

Courtesy: Kayos Records

Veteran singer-songwriter Ricky Byrd has made quite the name for himself throughout his professional life.  He has worked with some of the most well-known and respected artists and acts in the music industry, not the least of which being Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.  He also has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Ian Hunter (Deep Purple), Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elvis Costello, and so many other well-respected figures in the music industry.  During his extensive stint as a member of The Blackhearts, Byrd battled drug and alcohol addiction, eventually leading to him getting clean in sober in 1987.  That battle and recovery led him to take on the topic in 2017 in his third album Clean Getaway.  Now more than three years after its release, Byrd is addressing the issue again in his latest album Sobering Times.  Scheduled for release Friday, the 12-song record is a strong companion piece and follow-up to Sobering Times.  That is due to its musical and lyrical content, which clearly build on the foundation formed in Clean Getaway.  ‘I Come Back Stronger,’ which comes just ahead of the album’s midpoint, is one way in which the album shows how that musical and lyrical content makes this record such a strong presentation.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Ain’t Gonna Live Like That’ is another way in which the album’s combined musical and lyrical content come together to engage and entertain audiences.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Together’ is one more way in which the album’s overall content shines.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of this record, the album in whole becomes one of those rare records that is worth hearing start to end without stopping.

Ricky Byrd’s fourth full-length studio recording Sobering Times is a positive new offering from the veteran singer-songwriter-guitarist.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content.  ‘I Come Back Stronger’ is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  That is proven in part through the song’s musical arrangement.  The arrangement is a gentle, acoustic work that lends itself partially to thoughts of works from Bruce Springsteen.  At the same time, there is also a touch of country music incorporated into the song.  The way that the song slowly builds from its early bars through the first half to its climax and progresses to its confident second half serves well to translate the message and emotion in the song’s lyrical content.  Speaking of that lyrical content, it is engaging in its own right.

As noted, the songs featured in Byrd’s new album focus on the topic of addition, just as with the album’s predecessor.  While the song’s lyrical theme centers on the matter of overcoming addiction, it is also about taking on the issues that come with overcoming addiction.  Interestingly enough in this case, this song’s lyrical content could just as easily be about facing life’s difficulties, not just because of the battle to overcome addiction.  To that end, the song’s lyrical content adds to its impact.  The manner in which Byrd delivers his message here also adds to the impact.  Byrd sings in the song’s lead verse, “Life is a lesson we all live and learn/All the ups and the downs/And the roadblocks that get in the way/Trying to find myself/I got bruised and hurt/But I survived it all/And it made me the person I am today/Every time I fall/I come back stronger/I was broken once/But not any longer.”  The energy in the arrangement as the song reaches that climax in the chorus and the intensity with which Byrd states, “I come back stronger” is a defining moment for the song.  The impact in the message remains as strong as ever from there as Byrd enters the song’s second verse.  He sings in this verse, “When life hands you keys/That just won’t open up any doors/And you’re stuck in a rut/Feeling desperate/Down to the core/It’s the faith you find along the way/That always gets you through/I face my fears a thousand times/Every time I do/I come back stronger.”  Looking back at all of this, the message and story presented in this song is a powerful presentation of why the song is such an important addition to Byrd’s new album.  It is just one of the songs that shows what makes Byrd’s new album such a success.  ‘Ain’t’ Gonna Live Like That’ is another notable way in which the album shows its strength.

‘Ain’t Gonna Live Like That’ adds to the presentation of Sobering Times because its musical arrangement stands apart from those of the album’s other works.  This time Byrd offers audiences a powerful 12-bar blues work in the style of John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  The addition of the gospel style choral accompaniment to the arrangement adds eve more to the song’s impact, as does the light, subtle addition of the piano line at points.  The whole is a presentation that any true music lover will appreciate and that shows in its own way, the diversity in the album’s musical presentation.  The song’s lyrical content, will appeal to blues fans just as much as the musical arrangement.  That is especially the case considering that much blues lyrical content in fact centers on the matter of dealing with a matter such as addiction and the negative influences in life, just like this song.

The lyrical content featured in this song comes from the vantage point of someone who has been down the troubled road and has learned from the experiences of that journey.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “lady or the tiger/What’s behind the door/I know one just might kill me/But I just got to get some more/The Devil’s dealin’ aces/’Cause he knows just what you need/To keep you in the alley/Beggin’ bargains on your knees/But I ain’t gonna live that/No more, no more/Hell is living for the need and the score”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Workin’ hard ain’t nothin’/Just fixin’ for a hit/Crawlin’ from the consequences/Swearin’ this is it/Lie beges a lie/And truth is layin’ low/My bull****’s thick with every trick/To get me where I got to go/But I ain’t gonna live like that/No more, no more/Hell is living for the need and the score/But I ain’t gonna live like that no more.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Comin’ to it’s 5 p.m./I woke up three times today…Cold, tired and need some strength to get me off the ground/I pray you help me turn this down/And turn ths life around/’Cause I ain’t gonna live like that/No more, no more/Hell is livin’ for the need and the score/And I ain’t gonna live like that/No more, no more.”  Again, the topic of fighting drug addiction is nothing new to the blues, so to have such a familiar topic coupled with an equally familiar musical style makes for even more enjoyment.  Taking that into consideration, the song becomes that much clearer an example of what makes Sobering Times an enjoyable record.  It is just one more of the songs that shows why this record deserves attention.  ‘Together’ does its own share to show the album’s appeal, too.

‘Together’ takes audiences back to the 1960s with its Beatles-esque arrangement, complete with scratchy vocals, steady floor tom beat and snare, and vocal melodies.  At the same time, the song features its own bluesy influence alongside that classic rock sound.  The whole is a unique musical presentation that once again, shows the diversity in this album’s musical content.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical positive lyrical content adds even more interest to the song.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Together’ is clear.  It delivers and promotes a message of unity for audiences. That is made clear right from the song’s outset as Byrd sings, “Have you ever found yourself  desperate for salvation/Prayin’ in the dark/For the light to guide you away/Searchin’ for answers/That just lead to more questions/You might need a little help…I used to keep my pain well-hidden/As far as you know/I’m fine as fine can be/I never let the world know/I was hurtin’/That kind of thinking was almost the death of me/We’re in this together/No need to go it alone/A helping hand when you can’t get there on your own/A body needs somebody/We can always use a friend/A little bit of loving/When the ice is getting’ thin.”  The message is made just as clear in the song’s second verse as Byrd sings, “You might think you’re the only one feeling what you’re feeling/There’s a whole lot of people out there hitting that same wall/Crawling from the wreckage/But going back for seconds/You run that…til you just can’t run anymore/I learned the hard way/ There’s strength in numbers/’Cause I tried to win a war all by myself/Side-by-sde and shoulder to shoulder/We’ll beat that devil right back to hell/We’re in this together/ No need to go it alone/A helping hand when you can’t get there on your own/A body needs somebody/We can always use a friend/A little bit of loving/When the ice is getting’ thin.”  This is a message that America and the world needs right now more than ever.  Sure it applies, again, with the matter of fighting addiction, but it also works in addressing the current state of the nation and world.  To that end, that duality in this message strengthens the song’s lyrical presentation even more.  When this is considered along with the strength created through the duality in the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album’s lyrical content proves that much more critical to its presentation.  When the lyrical content is considered with the diverse musical content featured throughout the album, that whole makes completely clear why Sobering Times is a record that every music lover will appreciate.  In turn, it becomes one more of this year’s top new overall albums.

Ricky Byrd’s latest album Sobering Times is a powerful new presentation from the veteran singer-songwriter-musician.  That is proven in part through the record’s diverse musical content.  That content will appeal to fans of the blues, classic rock and rock in general.  The album’s lyrical themes present their own importance through their duality.  On one hand, they address battles with addiction and the recovered from said concern.  On the other hand, they can just as easily be related to life in general.  All of the songs addressed here serve to support the noted statements.  When they are considered along with all of the album’s other songs, the whole of that content unites to make the album in whole a strong new offering from Byrd that is also one more of this year’s top new albums overall and top new rock albums.  Sobering Times is scheduled for release Friday through Kayos Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Byrd’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.RickyByrd.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ricky.byrd1

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Byrdman20

 

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.

Ace Frehley’s New Record Is The Exception To The Rule About Covers Compilations

Courtesy: eOne

Covers collections are a dime a dozen.  From one genre within the bigger musical universe to the next, they are overly abundant offerings.  There is no denying that in the bigger picture of things, covers collections are little more than space fillers used by acts for the purpose of fulfilling contractual obligations between new albums.  Many of those albums are that and little more.  However, every now and then at least one rarity rises above the rest to do at least a little more, and actually show some value.  Ace Frehley’s latest covers compilation is one of those rarities.  Released Friday through eOne, the 12-song record stands out in part because of its featured covers.  This will be discussed shortly.  The performances of the songs play their own part in the album’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The production that went into the record rounds out its most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each noted item is important in its own right to the whole of the collection.  All things considered, they make Frehley’s latest space filler a work that will appeal to plenty of classic rock fans.

Ace Frehley’s latest covers compilation, released Friday through eOne, is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new space fillers.  That is because unlike its counterparts, it actually proves itself to actually be worth at least some value.  That is due in part to the record’s featured songs.  While there are some notable works featured in the record from some very well-known bands, there are also some lesser-known deep cuts from those bands, too.  Mountain’s ‘Never in my Life’ is an example of one of those deep cuts.  The band is well-known, and while Climbing!, the album in which the song is featured, is considered a hit for Mountain, the song itself was never considered to be one of the album’s biggest hits.  ‘I’m Down,’ which was a b-side to The Beatles’ hit song ‘Help!,’ is another example of Frehley including a lesser-known work from a big name band in this record.  Cream’s ‘Politician’ is yet another example of the noted lesser-known songs featuring in this record.  While the album in which the song is featured – Wheels of Fire – is the world’s first platinum-selling double album, the song was never used as a single.  To that end, it is more of a deep cut.

On the other end of the spectrum, works, such as The Rolling Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s ‘Manic Depression’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’’ (whose lyrics Frehley changes slightly here when he sings, “we’re space ace truckin’) are examples of the more well-known works featured in the album.  Between these songs and the lesser-known pieces is in reality a little bit of a rock music history lesson.  Audiences get to learn about some big name bands (I.E. The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin) and those who were more mid-level (Mountain, Paul Revere & The Raiders) while also getting a starting point on discussions on the acts and their catalogs.  What’s more, being that those lesser-known works are rarely if ever played on corporate terrestrial radio and are just as rarely presented in other acts’ covers compilations, their inclusion adds to their importance.  Keeping all of this in mind, the compilation’s featured songs actually prove at least some value to its presentation.

While the songs featured in Frehley’s new covers set present at least some value, the performances of said songs plays just as much importance if not more.  That is because while Frehley and his fellow musicians do stay at least somewhat true to their source material throughout the record, they  also give the songs a new updated sound.  Case in point is the group’s performance of The Rolling Stones’ hit song ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash.’  The Rolling Stones’ original composition is energetic in its own right, and the band’s live performances of the song step things up in the song even more.  Frehley and company’s version here however really amps things up.  Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards’ guitars are replaced in this case by that of Frehley and guitar goddess Lita Ford.  The duo also takes on Mick Jagger’s vocals jointly and definitely take things collectively in a whole new direction.  It should be noted that Ford does drop some f-bombs here, so some listener discretion is advised.  Honestly, its disappointing that Ford would work blue here since the original song did not need any foul language in order to be enjoyable.  Charlie Watts’ steady, subtle time keeping has even been replaced by an equally heavy drum line here.  Simply put, the performance in whole does stay true to the source material in terms of sound, but in terms of style it is a completely different song.  So that is certain to generate its own share of interest and discussion among listeners.

The group’s take on The Animals’ ‘We Gotta Get Outta Here’ is another example of the importance of the performances of the featured songs here.  The Animals’ original rendition of the song was grounded in its bass line and vocals.  In the case of Frehley and company’s take on the song, Frehley takes on the bass line, using the guitar instead for that famous line.  Between that, the semi-operatic vocal delivery and the bombastic drumming, the whole of the song takes on a distinctly 80s hair metal vibe that echoe the sounds of KISS (no surprise there) instead of presenting the song in its more subdued original presentation.  At the same time, considering that the song’s lyrical content focuses on a relationship matter and “needing to get out of this place,” the song’s energy in this presentation does seem to work in its own right.  To that end, it is sure to generate its own share of interest and engagement.

On another hand, the performance of The Beatles’ I’m Down’ stays almost true stylistically to its source material.  Yes, it’s amped up compared to the original, but compared to let’s say The Beatles’ performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, this performance actually echoes that performance relatively well, even despite being so amped up.  As a matter of fact, this performance is actually a step up from the Beatles’ original song.  That is not to say that The Beatles’ original is bad by any means.  That should not be misconstrued.  Rather, Frehley and company took a song that was great to begin with and stepped it up, improving upon it even more.  Between this performance, the others noted here and the rest of the collection’s performances, it can be said that the performances pose their own importance to the record’s presentation just as much as the songs themselves.  The performances are just one more part of what makes the collection worth hearing, too.  Its production rounds out its most important elements.

The production of Origins Volume 2 is important to note for the very reason that has already been raised in examining the performance of the record’s featured songs:  the performances take the original songs from decades ago and really amp them up.  This is important because in so many of the songs, there is a lot more going on than in these works than the originals.  In other words, there is more need to balance all of the elements to ensure each song presents the fullest performance.  Those behind the record’s production are to be applauded for their efforts, too.  For all that is going on in each song, the guitars, bass, vocals, and drums are quite well balanced.  The energy is transmitted just as well because of that expert work that went into balancing each element within each song.  The end result is an album that works just as well for its aesthetics as for its content.  When this is considered along with the record’s content and the performances therein, the result is a covers collection that while it is a covers set, actually proves itself worth hearing at least once if not more.

Ace Frehley’s new covers compilation Origins Volume 2 is an interesting follow-up to his 2016 set Origins Volume 1.  That is due in part to its featured songs.  The songs are a balance of well-known works and deep cuts.  They and the bands that performed them can actually serve as a starting point on discussions about rock’s modern history.  That is actually a positive in its own right.  The performances of the featured songs is important to this record because they stay true to their source material in terms of sound, but stylistically, they clearly show Frehley’s own influence, what with the overly bombastic nature of each performance.  That is certain to generate its own share of discussion among audiences.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  That is because it ensures for all of the elements going on in each song, those elements are well-balanced, making the record just as worth hearing for this aesthetic element as for its content.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the compilation a presentation that is the exception to the rule for covers compilations.  It is available now.  More information on the set is available along with all of Ace Frehley’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.acefrehley.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officialacefrehley

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Ace_Frehley

 

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If ‘Whoosh!’ Is Deep Purple’s Last Album, Then It Sends The Band Out At The Top Of Its Game

Courtesy: earMUSIC

More than fifty years ago, Deep Purple started on a road that would eventually make it one of the most popular and revered acts in the music business.  This Friday, the end of that road will start coming into view when the band releases its 21st and possibly last album, Whoosh!  If in fact the album is the band’s last, then it is a presentation of the band going out on top.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  Its lyrical themes play into its presentation just as much as its musical arrangements.  They will be discussed a little later.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Whoosh! one of this year’s top new rock albums without question.

Deep Purple’s forthcoming new album Whoosh! is an unquestioned success for the veteran rock band.  From beginning to end, the 51-minute album offers audiences plenty to appreciate, beginning with its musical arrangements.  The arrangements by and large present a sound and approach that is classic Deep Purple.  At the same time, the album also shows the band moving in a new direction, giving hope that maybe, just maybe this album does not mark the beginning of the end for the band.  Of the album’s vintage style works, one of the most notable is ‘The Long Way Round,’ which comes late in the album’s nearly hour-long run.  Guitarist Steve Morse and bassist Roger Glover form the foundation for the song’s arrangement while keyboardist Don Airey, drummer Ian Paice and front man Ian Gillan add their own touches to the song.  Between Morse’s straight forward riffs Paice’s equally simple, straight forward drumming, Airey’s approach on the keys and Gillan’s expertly honed vocals, the whole sounds like a work that would fit on any of the band’s existing records.  Much the same can be said of the bluesy arrangement at the center of ‘No Need To Shout.’  This song’s arrangement is another direct throwback to Deep Purple’s catalog in so many ways.  ‘Dancing in my Sleep’ meanwhile is more of a modern work that mixes some prog elements with its traditional rock side.  The best explanation that can be made is that it has a bit of a bluesy, prog-fusion sound in its arrangement that stands out from most of the band’s existing body of work.  It holds its own so well alongside the rest of the album’s songs and in turn proves its own worth in the bigger picture of the album’s musical content.  When all of this content is considered along with the rest of the album’s musical content, the whole of said content makes this aspect clearly a key aspect to Whoosh!  It is just one of the album’s most important elements.  The record’s lyrical content adds its own share of appeal to its presentation.

The lyrical themes that are featured in Whoosh! are largely social commentaries.  Case in point is the song ‘Drop The Weapon.’  It comes across as a commentary about the level of violence that is happening in the world today.  As Gillan sings in the song’s lead verse, “Everybody’s shouting/Working up a sweat/Steppin’ on the lines/You know what happens next/More trouble/Than anyone can use/It’s a predetermined thing/You lose your right to choose/No way to turn it around/You’ve got no more time to calm yourself down/Once you push the button,  man/It’s comin’ to a head/Pretty soon, babe/You’ll be a long time dead/Little brother, I’m telling you now/Your pride can take a hit/Little brother/Take a breath/Cool off, man/Forget about it/Drop the weapon/Kick it away/Drop your gun the other way/Drop the weapon/Live another day/Drop you blade/Listen to what I say.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Who you trying to impress…You just a small kid/Now you’re reputation got a minor stain/It’ll be washed away by tomorrow’s rain.”  From there, Gillan makes note of “streets of violence”, again making clear the statement here.  This is a reaction to the violence that has ravaged America and the world.  It is a heavy topic to take on, but the band has done an impressive job of handling it here.  It’s just one way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so pivotal to its presentation.  ‘Nothing At All’ is another key example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

‘Nothing At All’ comes across as a statement about what has happened to the planet in general and how humans have impacted the Earth.  In fact Gillan made mention of that in a recent interview, noting that the song is a reaction to the lack of concern that humans are showing for the planet.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m talking to myself again/Waving to a passing friend I’ve known since I don’t know when/Just a few of us walk arm in arm/It’s innocent and charming/The children seem to be getting alarmed/Don’t worry kids/It’s nothing at all/When I hear about the doom and gloom that’s around the corner and coming soon/I take a sip of mother’s ruin and sit with my back to the wall/It’s nothing at all/And the old lady smiled/It’s nothing at all/And she blew all the leaves off my tree.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “And the junk that sails our seven seas/Is very nearly up to my knees/But the platitudes and pleasantries/Keep saying it’s nothing at all/I’ll deal with it on another day/If I close my eyes it’ll go away/So bottoms up, boys, and what do you say/Really it’s nothing at all.”  Gillan’s commentary is proven without doubt here.  It is a sharp, yet playful indictment of the indifference that so much of the world seems to have taken in regards to the direction that things have taken and that they are taking around the world.  It’s a theme that is certain to resonate with listeners, and just one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  ‘Man Alive’ is one more example of that importance.

‘Man Alive’ is a somewhat post apocalyptic song, and makes its own statement.  Gillan talked about the song’s theme in an interview with Billboard, noting that it asks the questions, “what is the use of one man?”  The song uses the noted post apocalyptic setting in which that one man is the only living human on Earth to raise the question.  It really is a deep concept.  Gillan sings in the song’s lead verse, “All creatures great and small/Graze on blood red soil/And grass that grows on city streets/It’s been a quiet town/Since the juice went down/Now something’s washed up/On the beach/A man alive.”  From there, the story is told about how mankind was erased from the planet.  The song’s video adds in imagery of a nuclear power plant, garbage, and chemicals being pumped into the air to help illustrate and translate that bigger message of what one person can do.  This song is, overall, a lyrical discussion on being more aware of everything happening and taking the time to make a difference in any way possible.  It goes hand in hand with so much other lyrical content featured in this album. It is just as engaging as that noted other content.  When all of the album’s lyrical content is featured together, it leaves zero doubt as to the role that it plays in the bigger picture of Whoosh!  It all proves to be just as important to the album’s presentation as the record’s musical arrangements.  The two elements together more than make the album worth hearing.  Of course they are not the album’s only important elements.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Whoosh! is critical to its presentation because it does just as much to keep audiences engaged and entertained as the album’s content.  The album’s sequencing ensures its energy remains relatively stable from start to end.  There are some stylistic changes here and there, such as in ‘Nothing At All,’ ‘Step By Step,’ and ‘Man Alive’ that help to break up the album and keep things interesting.  ‘Man Alive’ is especially interesting because it has higher energy moments and more reserved moments all within its five minute, 36 second run.  Keeping it in mind along with the songs that are more up-tempo throughout the album, the whole of the album’s energy rises and falls at all of the right points.  What’s more, it keeps the album’s lyrical themes changing up from one to the next, making for even more interest.  Keeping this in mind along with the importance of this album’s overall content, the whole of it all makes Whoosh! a powerful new offering from one of rock’s most respected (and rightfully so) acts.  If it is indeed the band’s finale, then it is a fond farewell for the band.

Deep Purple’s 21st and potentially last album Whoosh! is a welcome return for the band.  There is rumor that this could be the band’s final album.  If indeed that is the case, it shows the band is going out at the top of its game.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements, which present audiences with familiar musical approaches but unique arrangements in their own right.  The album’s lyrical themes presents some through provoking lyrical themes, adding even more to the album’s appeal.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, making for an aesthetic appeal just as much as appeal for content.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make Whoosh! one of the best of this year’s new rock albums.  The album is scheduled for release Friday through earMUSIC.

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

 

Websitehttp://www.deep-purple.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

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.

Fore Announces New Album Release Date, Specs; Debuts New LP’s Fifth Single

Courtesy: Infecting Cells PR

Punk rock super group Fore announced more details about its forthcoming album this week.

The band revealed the title, cover art, release date and track listing for its new album Tuesday.  The band — Christian “Speesy” Giesler (ex-Kreator), Jermaine Kling (Venom Prison, Masscare, The Absence), Taylor Nordberg (Masscare, The Absence) and Brian Stephenson (Old James, Skull Fist) — announced its debut album will be titled Hombres and its release date is scheduled for Aug. 7.

The album’s cover art features the band’s members against Mount Rushmore a la Deep Purple’s cover art for its landmark 1970 album Deep Purple in Rock.  the album’s title could be argued to be a tribute of sorts to ZZ Top.

Nordberg talked about the album’s forthcoming release in a recent interview.

“I’m beyond excited to release this album, said Nordberg.  “It has been a blast creating it with such talented and easy-to-work-with musicians, and it’s a great feeling to do it all in-house, without any help from any management or label. You may be wondering about the album cover. Well we always wanted to collaborate with our buds in ZZ Top and Deep Purple but our schedules never lined up so we figured this was the next best thing.”

In anticipation of the album’s upcoming release, Fore has debuted another new single from the 11-song record in the form of ‘Diagnosis.’  The song, which is the album’s opener, is the album’s fifth single.  Previously, the band released the singles ‘Pet,’ ‘Song For A Friend,’ ‘What’s Right For You’ and ‘Today We Rise (No Tomorrow)’ through its official Bandcamp page.

The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

“Hombres” track listing:

Diagnosis

What’s Right For You

Churchill Quote

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Song For A Friend

Movement

World Won’t Wait

Find A Way

All Comes Crashing

Knocked Down

Today We Rise (No Tomorrow)

 

Nordberg and Kling are mixing and mastering Fore’s debut album at their own Smoke & Mirrors Productions in Spring Hill, Fla.

More information on Fore’s forthcoming album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://forepunk.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/FOREpunk

 

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 Debuts New LP’s Third Single

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Deep Purple debuted the latest single from its forthcoming album this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Nothing At All‘ Friday.  The song is the third song from the band’s forthcoming album Whoosh!, which is scheduled for release Aug. 7 through earMUSIC.  It comes more than three months after the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Throw My Bones‘ and more than two months after the band debuted the video for the album’s second single ‘Man Alive.’

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Nothing At All’ is pure classic Deep Purple, complete with keyboards, guitars and simple yet effective time keeping.  It will take listeners back to Deep Purple’s infancy in the best way possible.

The song’s lyrical theme come across as a social statement about what has happened to the world and how mankind has impacted the planet.

Whoosh! is scheduled for release Aug. 7 on limited edition CD/DVD mediabook combo pack, standard CD and digital.  Pre-orders are open now.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

 

Track list:
1.) Throw My Bones
2.) Drop The Weapon
3.) We’re All The Same In The Dark
4.) Nothing At All
5.) No Need To Shout
6.) Step By Step
7.) What The What
8.) The Long Way Around
9.) The Power Of The Moon
10.) Remission Possible
11.) Man Alive
12.) And The Address
13.) Dancing In My Sleep

Vinyl Side Split:

Side A: Throw My Bones / Drop The Weapon / We’re All The Same In The Dark / Nothing At All
Side B: No Need To Shout / Step By Step / What The What
Side C: The Long Way Round / The Power Of The Moon / Remission Possible / Man Alive
Side D: And The Address / Dancing In My Sleep

The band’s 21st (yes, 21st) album, it is also the third produced by Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd).  The first of the trio, Now What?! (2013) reached #1 in five European nations and reached Top 10 status in 15 nations globally.  The second Deep Purple album produced by Ezrin, inFinite (2017), reached #1 in Germany and Switzerland, and earned Top 5 status in 11 European nations.  It charted at #105 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 chart.

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

 

Websitehttp://www.deep-purple.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

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Dio Cancer Fund Marks Famed Front Man’s 78th Birthday With Special Video Presentation

Courtesy: Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund will mark what would have been the late, great rocker’s 78th birthday today.

The anniversary will be commemorated with a new video.  The video features a compilation of interviews with celebrity guests at past Dio Cancer Fund events, including this year’s 10th annual gala.  Among those featured in the video are fellow rockers, such as Rob Halford, Dave Grohl, and Glenn Hughes.

Highlights from this year’s event were compiled into a separate video that is streaming here.  Merchandise from the gala, such as posters, t-shirts, and programs is available to buy here.

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  It was founded following Dio’s death in 2010 from gastric cancer.  In the now decade since its foundation, the fund has raised more than $2 million to fight gastric cancer.

In its early years, the RJD Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund committed funds to specific gastric cancer research at M.D. Cancer Center in Houston, where Dio was treated over the last six months of his life.  In the years since, the fund has also provided research funding to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN through the fund’s partnership with the T.J. Martell Foundation.  The partnership was established to research blood tests to detect gastric and esophageal cancers.

The partnership and research led to the acquisition of a multi-million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Donations to the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund can be made online here.

Over the course of his professional career, Ronnie James Dio fronted Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Heaven & Hell, and even his own band.

More information on the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is available along with the organization’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.diocancerfund.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DioCancerFund

 

All of the latest RJD news is available at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://ronniejamesdio.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

 

 

 

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Niji Entertainment’s Re-Issue Of Dio’s ‘Master Of The Moon’ Is One More Strong Tribute To Dio’s Legacy

Courtesy: Niji Entertainment

Niji Entertainment’s new re-issue of Dio’s final album Master of the Moon is a fitting tribute to the band and to the legacy of its namesake founder, Ronnie James Dio.  Re-issued Feb. 21, the album’s latest presentation will appeal just as much to the most devoted Dio fans as its counterparts – Angry Machines, Killing The Dragon and Magia – which were re-issued alongside this recording.  Just as with those noted albums, the primary reason for that appeal is the re-issue’s bonus content, which will be discussed shortly.  The production of the bonus live content plays its own important role in the presentation of this re-issue and will be discussed a little later. The presentation of the primary album content couples with the secondary content and its production and mixing to make the album’s presentation whole.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of the re-issue.  All things considered, they make Niji Entertainment’s new re-issue of Master of the Moon one more work that the most devoted fans of Dio will appreciate.  Together with the company’s other re-issues, it makes the group in whole a welcome addition to not just any truly devoted Dio fan’s music library, but that of any hard rock purist.

Niji Entertainment’s re-issue of Dio’s 2004 album Master of the Moon is yet another positive offering for the band’s most devoted fans and for any rock purist.  That is due in large part to the bonus content featured with the re-issue.  The bonus content in question is a group of four live recordings captured during Dio’s tour in support of Master of the Moon as well as one studio song – ‘Prisoner of Paradise.’  The latter of the material is important to note in that previously, it was available only in the album’s Japanese release.  So, to have that song finally available for audiences in the U.S. and elsewhere is something in itself that is certain to appeal to those noted audiences.  Two of the four live songs featured in the bonus CD – ‘Heaven & Hell’ and ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ – are featured in Niji Entertainment’s re-issues of Angry Machines and Killing the Dragon, but audiences should once more remember that even with that in mind, the performances themselves are different from one another, because each was captured at a different point in the life of Dio.  The other two songs – ‘Rock and Roll Children’ and ‘The Eyes’ – are not featured on any of the other three Dio re-issues.  ‘The Eyes’ is one of the songs from Master of the Moon, so not only do audiences get a studio performance of said song here, but a live performance to boot.  ‘Rock and Roll Children’ is featured in Dio’s 1985 album Scared Heart.  ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ is from Dio’s debut 1983 album Holy Diver.  ‘Heaven and Hell’ is a work that Dio recorded with the members of Black Sabbath.  All of this is important to note because while maybe not illustrative of Dio’s catalog up to the point of Master of the Moon, the cuts featured in the bonus disc still give audiences a clear picture of the band’s catalog regardless.  What’s more, having that material in a live setting serves even more of a bonus for audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why the bonus material featured with Niji Entertainment’s Master of the Moon re-issue is so important to its presentation.  The production and mixing that went into the live cuts adds even more engagement and enjoyment to that material.

The production and mixing that went into the re-issue’s bonus live content creates a largely engaging and entertaining experience for audiences.  The keyboards, guitars, drums and vocals are well-balanced in the band’s performance of ‘Rainbow in the Dark.’  Much the same can be said of the presentation of ‘Rock and Roll Children.’  Audiences get the best seat in the house in this performance.  It is easily the most well produced and mixed of the bonus live performances.  The only one of the performances that stands out for the wrong reason is the band’s performance of ‘Heaven and Hell.’  That performance sounds, sadly, like it was a bootleg in every sense of the word.  Its audio was questionable in terms of its quality.  Why that is the case is anyone’s guess.  Luckily though it is, again, the only negative presentation of the re-issue’s bonus live performances.  The bonus Japanese bonus track ‘Prisoner of Paradise’ proves to be its own engaging and enjoyable power metal style studio track that is just as well-produced and mixed as its live counterparts.  All things considered here, the quality of the presented bonus content builds on the foundation formed by said content and makes the bonus content that much more important to the whole of the album’s re-issue.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus content is just a portion of what makes the re-issue of Master of the Moon another positive presentation from Niji Entertainment.  The album’s primary content rounds out its most important elements.

The primary content featured in Master of the Moon is so important to discuss because stylistically, it is such a change of pace for Ronnie James Dio and his fellow musicians.  There are a number of slower, sludge rock style arrangements throughout this album than are present in past Dio albums.  That is not to say that all of the album’s entries present that sound, but the majority do take that approach.  ‘Death By Love,’ which comes late in the album’s 46-minute run, is a bit more up-tempo than its counterparts.  Lyrically, it seems to deal in that all-too-familiar topic of a woman’s power over a man.  ‘One More for the Road,’ the album’s opener, is another of the album’s rare up-tempo works.  This work really takes listeners back to Dio’s early days a la Dream Evil and Sacred Heart.  ‘Master of the Moon’ is another of those slower, sludge rock works, but it also boasts a lyrical theme that is familiar in its mystical theme.  Between all of this and everything else featured in Master of the Moon, the whole of the album offers audiences just as much to appreciate as the bonus content that comes with the album’s re-issue.  Sure, the album is a stylistic change for Dio as a band, but it is a change of pace that works.  Considering this and the impact of the already discussed bonus content, the whole of Master of the Moon becomes a fitting tribute to Ronnie James Dio that hard rock purists will appreciate just as much as Dio’s most devoted fans.  When it is considered with the new re-issues of Magica, Angry Machines and Killing the Dragon, they collectively become a fitting tribute to the never-ending legacy of Ronnie James Dio.

Niji Entertainment’s new re-issue of Master of the Moon is a work that hard rock purists and Dio’s most devoted fan base will appreciate.  That is due in large part to the bonus content that is featured in the album’s re-issue.  The production and mixing of that material adds to its own appeal.  The presentation that is Master of the Moon’s primary content adds even more engagement and enjoyment to the album’s re-issue.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue.  All things considered, they make Master of the Moon’s re-issue another positive offering for audiences.  When it is considered along with the re-issues of Magica, Killing the Dragon and Angry Machines, they collectively become a strong statement about RJD and a fitting tribute to his legacy and that of his fellow musicians.  All four albums are available now.  More information on these albums is available online along with all of the latest RJD news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://ronniejamesdio.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

 

 

 

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Niji Entertainment’s Re-Issue of Dio’s ‘Killing The Dragon’ Cannot Be Killed

Courtesy: Niji Entertainment

Dio’s classic album Killing the Dragon has officially been resurrected again.  The album, originally released in 2002 through Spitfire Records and again in 2007 with Niji Entertainment’s re-issue of Dio’s 2000 album Magica, was re-issued Feb. 21 through Niji Entertainment, which is owned by Ronnie James Dio’s wife.  The latest re-issue marks  at least the second time that Killing the Dragon has been re-issued.  Its latest release is marked most notably by the inclusion by a handful of live performances that will be discussed shortly. While the bonus content featured with the re-issue does a lot to make this presentation appealing, it is just part of the recording’s positive.  The production and mixing that went into each of the lives tracks is worth noting, too.  It will be addressed a little later. The concept at the center of the album itself is yet another key to the whole of the presentation and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important to the whole of the re-issue’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Killing The Dragon another work that the most devoted Dio fans will appreciate.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Dio’s Killing The Dragon is another pleasing presentation for the band’s most devoted fans.  That is due in no small part to the bonus content that is featured with this re-issue.  The bonus content in question is a group of live performances that was captured during Dio’s 2002-03 “Killing The Dragon Tour.”  The collection is short, featuring six songs at a total of 25 minutes.  While the collection is brief, it should be pointed that that this material was also not featured in the 2007 re-issue of Killing The Dragon.  That re-issue, in fact, was a companion release to Niji Entertainment’s re-issue of another of Dio’s albums, Magica.  Also, of the six bonus live recordings featured here, two of the featured songs – ‘Holy Diver,’ Rock and Roll’ – are repeated here from any of the other three new Dio re-issues.  The only of the re-issues that features the songs is Angry Machines. ‘Heaven & Hell’ is featured on that recording and as a bonus live performance on the new re-issue of Master of the Moon. The thing is that while the songs are repeated, the performances are not repeated.  The performances were captured during different tours, meaning the performances themselves are different despite the songs being the same.  The other three bonus live recordings featured with this re-issue ‘I Speed at Night,’ ‘Killing The Dragon’ and ‘Stand Up And Shout’ come from different points in Ronnie James Dio’s career.  ‘Killing the Dragon’ obviously comes from Killing The Dragon.  ‘Stand Up and Shout’ is taken from Dio’s very first album Holy Diver.  ‘I Speed At Night’ Dio’s 1984 album The Last in Line.  Here is what is important to note here:  When comparing this collective content to that of Dio’s other latest re-issues, that cross section, brief as it may be, makes even richer the overall picture of RJD’s life and career.  To that point, this bonus content – again as brief as it may be – proves in the immediate picture to be valuable, but in the bigger picture, far more valuable.  To that end, this bonus live content gives audiences, actually, a whole lot to appreciate.

While the bonus live recordings featured in this re-issue of Killing The Dragon does a lot to make the presentation appealing, it is just one of the positives of this presentation. The production and mixing that went into each performance makes each performance engaging and entertaining.  Everything that has already been noted of the bonus live material by this critic in the reviews of Niji Entertainment’s other new Dio re-issues applies here, too.  Each element of each performance is expertly balanced throughout each performance.  The sound levels in whole are at just the right volume to the point that listeners will rarely have to adjust the volumes whether on their computers, smart phones, CD players or even stereos.  In other words, the sound balance was handled with expertise in every aspect of that element.  Keeping that in mind, the content and its aesthetics go a long way toward generating plenty of engagement and entertainment for audiences in this bonus material.  It makes the bonus content, again brief as it may be, still valuable in itself and in the bigger picture of Niji Entertainment’s latest Dio re-issues.  Again, it is only part of what makes this re-issue so important to the whole of this album’s re-issue.  The lyrical concept at the center of Killing The Dragon proves invaluable in its own right.

The lyrical theme at the center of Killing the Dragon focuses on the dangers of technological advancements, according to Dio himself in an interview about the album.  He pointed out in the noted interview, that the songs that make up the body of the album are focused on the damage that technology will pose to the world.  Of course he was not the first person to ever make such statement.  Even in 2002, it was a familiar theme, considering that Isaac Asimov warned the world about the dangers of technology decades ago, as did the late physicist Steven Hawking and famed industrial metal outfit Fear Factory in every one of its albums.  Even other bands have addressed the matter before in records that preceded Killing The Dragon.  That aside, it is as relevant today as it was almost two decades ago.  He even went so far as to point out in the noted interview, that one part of the album was a warning against humans becoming essentially slaves to technology.  That is exactly what has become of society.  Just look at how humans have become so dependent on social media in order to emotionally and physiologically survive on a daily basis.  Keeping that in mind, that underlying lyrical concept in the album (and the album’s musical content) does more than its share to make the album engaging and entertaining.  When this is considered alongside the value in the re-issue’s bonus content, the whole of the re-issue proves to be one more work that the most devoted Dio fans will appreciate.

Niji Entertainment’s latest re-issue of Dio’s Killing The Dragon is another welcome addition to the music library of any of the band’s most devoted fans.  That is, as noted here, due in large part to the bonus content featured with the album’s re-issue.  Both by itself and along with the bonus live recordings in the company’s other Dio re-issues, it presents its own share of engagement and entertainment value.  The production and mixing that went into that bonus live material proves important in its own right.  The primary content in this album joins with the previously unreleased bonus live content to make the whole even more enjoyable for the noted audiences.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Killing the Dragon.  All things considered, they make this re-issue one more offering that is certain to appeal to Dio’s most devoted audiences.  More information on this and Niji Entertainment’s other new Dio re-issues is available online along with all of the latest Dio news at:

 

 

Website: http://ronniejamesdio.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialRJDio

 

 

 

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

Deep Purple Debuts ‘Throw My Bones’ Video

Courtesy: earMusic

Deep Purple will release its new album Whoosh! June 12. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single this week.

The band debuted the video for the song ‘Throw My Bones‘ Friday.  The video features the space suit-clad figure from the album cover making his way through London and other areas of the world as the band performs the song in the background.

The song’s musical arrangement is a steady, mid-tempo composition with a hint of a blues-rock sound at its base.  The song’s lyrical theme is, according to information in a news release distributed Friday, meant to present a social commentary about looking at the bigger picture of the world and everything going on, and taking action.  The visualization is used to illustrate that message.

‘Throw My Bones’ is available to stream and download here.

Whoosh! is Deep Purple’s 21st full-length studio recording.  The forthcoming album will come more than three years after the release of the band’s most recent album, Infinite, which was released April 7, 2017 through Edel.  Whoosh! will be released through earMusic.

Whoosh! will be available as a limited edition CD/DVD Mediabook (which features a 1-hour-long discussion between Roger Glover and Bob Ezrin and full performance by the band at the 2017 Hellfest), 2LP/DVD edition, standard CD and digital.

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

 

Website: http://www.deep-purple.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_DeepPurple

 

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.

 

 

‘Memories In Rock II’ Is A Welcome “Sequel” To Its 2017 Predecessor

Courtesy: Minstrel Hall Music

Minstrel Hall Music has another archived concert on the way this spring from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Memories in Rock II is currently scheduled to be released Friday, April 6 on separate 2CD/DVD combo pack, vinyl and digital platforms. The 18-song set (technically 21 songs) pulls performances from the band’s 2017 UK performances.  As an added bonus, it also includes the band’s first studio recording since 1996.  That extensive collection of songs forms a solid foundation for the recording.  it will be discussed shortly.  Just as important to the recording’s presentation as the extensive set list is the bonus DVD that is included with the audio recording.  It will be discussed a little later, as it strengthens that foundation formed by the set list even more.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out the most important of its elements.  Each element is important in its own way, as will be pointed out here.  All things considered, they make Memories in Rock II a live recording that will have no problem sticking in listeners’ memories.

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’s new live recording Memories in Rock II, the follow-up to 2016’s Memories in Rockwhich documented a trio of European Rainbow shows from 2016, is a nice follow-up to that recording.  That is despite it missing one item in its presentation.  That item is part of what also makes the recording enjoyable, its set list.  The recording’s 18 (technically 21) song set list will appeal to fans of Blackmore’s work with Rainbow and Deep Purple.  Over the course of its 136-minute (2-hour, 16-minute) run time, the set list features 11 classic Rainbow songs on which Blackmore took part recording as well as eight Deep Purple songs and one more recent work from Blackmore’s Night — ‘Carry On Jon.’  The whole thing opens with the band’s own take on the classic Wizard of Oz tune ‘Over The Rainbow,’ originally composed by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg.  What’s interesting about the Rainbow song selection is that it is pulled from five of Rainbow’s eight total albums.  Blackmore took part on each of those albums.  Of course, since he wanted to reach fans of his work with Deep Purple, there was no way to feature work from those other three Rainbow records.  Keeping that in mind, being that the set list features only three more Rainbow songs than Deep Purple songs, it is clear a lot of thought was put into reaching as many fans as possible.  The same can be said about the set list’s sequence.  Throughout the course of the concert, Blackmore and company keep things interesting, switching back and forth between Rainbow and Deep Purple throughout rather than staying on one or the other too long.  this insures listeners’ engagement even more.  The one downside to the whole thing is that the concert here is limited entirely to CD.  Memories in Rock, its predecessor, which chronicled Rainbow’s 2016 European shows, was presented on separate CD and CD/DVD/BD platform.  Of course Live in Birmingham, a partner recording to Memories in Rock was presented only on CD.  To that end, while not having a DVD or BD presentation here takes away at least a little from the presentation, it can’t be criticized too badly.  It just would have been nice to have that option.  Keeping that in mind, one might ask what is on the DVD that is included in this presentation.  What is included on the DVD is a series of interviews with Blackmore, his band mates and even some of those behind the scenes.  It’s another of the recording’s strong points.

Blackmore’s interview is the longest of the interviews included in the bonus DVD, clocking in at a little more than half an hour.  Ronnie Romero gets his own roughly 10-minute interview while Blackmore’s wife Candice Night and fellow back-up singer Lady Lynn get their own moment in the limelight.  The topics covered throughout the collective interviews is just as diverse as the recording’s set list.  Blackmore talks about the difference between playing Deep Purple and Rainbow songs and those from Blackmore’s Night.  His mention of having to keep his fingernails trimmed for the latter  and of course his mentality on stage is interesting to say the least.  His very frank response to whether or not he wants to play with his former Deep Purple band mates is just as interesting.  Rather than ramble on aimlessly, he raises the issue of management and money being obstacles, but that he would like to play at least once so that fans would know the past is the past.  It is its own interesting discussion.  His light-hearted discussion on his wife’s role in Ronnie Romero’s inclusion in the band will put a smile on anyone’s face.  Speaking of Romero, audiences will enjoy his discussions, too.  He shares, through his discussions, a brief look at his professional resume while also discussing his love for Deep Purple and Rainbow.  Drummer David Keith’s interview, while not overly long, offers its own interest for his fellow drummers.  He openly admits that coming into Rainbow, his knowledge was more to that of Neil Peart (Rush) and others.  Obviously he settled in nicely to his position with Rainbow.  Between these discussions, the talks by Rainbow’s tour manager (yes, even the tour manager), and everyone else involved, audiences get plenty of extra insight and entertainment through the featured interviews.  When that insight and entertainment is set against the recording’s set list, the two elements together show even more clearly why this recording is another enjoyable offering from Rainbow.  It still is not the last of the elements to prove this, either.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out the most important of the recording’s elements.

The companion booklet that comes with Memories in Rock II is its own integral addition to this recording because of the back story that it offers on the band’s 2017 concerts.  That history is presented by Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos, a member of the Deep Purple Appreciation Society, Greece. Panagiotopoulos directly mentions the band’s 2016 European shows in his liner notes while also noting that the lineup presented in this recording is the longest-running Rainbow lineup since the release of the band’s debut album way back in 1975.  He even touches on the set list featured here, noting that this set list came about most likely due to discontent from audiences that the band’s 2016 shows were weighed down by Deep Purple songs.  This is an interesting nugget of information considering that this set list features eight Deep Purple Songs to 11 Rainbow classics.  Basically put, there is still a solid Deep Purple presence here, but there is even more Rainbow presence, and the two are ultimately well-balanced from start to finish.  These notes and others included in the booklet’s liner notes do plenty to add to the recording’s enjoyment.  When they are collectively set alongside the recording’s set list and the bonus interviews, the whole will keep audiences engaged and entertained for hours both literally and figuratively speaking.  That being the case, it proves in whole to be a work that will stay in audiences’ minds for a long time.

Memories in Rock II, the follow-up to Rainbow’s 2017 recording Memories in Rock, is another nice addition to Rainbow’s overall body of work and another enjoyable live recording from the veteran rock band.  It is a work that is certain to stay in audiences’ minds for a long time.  As noted here, that is due in part to the recording’s well-balanced, extensive set list.  The recording’s bonus DVD, loaded with almost two hours of insightful and entertaining interview footage adds to its enjoyment.  The information provided in the liner notes of the companion booklet put the finishing touch to the recording.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, they make Memories in Rock II potentially one of this year’s top new live recordings overall.  It will be available Friday, April 6 via Minstrel Hall Music.  More information on Memories in Rock II is available online now along with all of Ritchie Blackmore’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.ritchieblackmore.com

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

 

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