Deep Purple Takes The Stage This Morning On The Today Show

Courtesy:  earMUSIC

Courtesy: earMUSIC

Veteran rock band Deep Purple will perform live this morning on NBC’s Today Show.

The band is scheduled to perform at 8AM ET live from Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The band’s performance this morning is in support of its latest livereleases due out this fall. From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) and To The Rising Sun in Tokyo will be released Friday, September 18th via earMUSIC. The playfully titled companion recordings will both be released on in their own standalone triple-disc sets composed of two CDs and a DVD and their own triple-disc LP sets for fans of vinyl. From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) will also be made available on Blu-ray while To The Rising Sun in Tokyo will be made available in its own special 3D Blu-ray platform.

Courtesy:  earMUSIC

Courtesy: earMUSIC

From The Setting Sun…(In Wacken) was recorded at the band’s performance at the 2013 edition of the annual festival. It was filmed using a total of nine HD cameras. To The Rising Sun in Tokyo in April 2014 at Nippon Budokan, Tokyo. It was filmed using a total of twelve HD cameras throughout the venue. The audio mix for both shows was handled by Eike Freese and Alex Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn) in Hamburg, Germany. Roger Glover supervised the mixing process personally.

More information on both recordings is available online along with all of the latest news from Deep Purple at:

 

Website: http://www.deeppurple-nowwhat.com

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

 

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Long Beach 1971 Is One Of 2015’s Top New Live CD Recordings

Courtesy:  earMusic

Courtesy: earMusic

Deep Purple is one of the most well-known and respected names in the rock community. The veteran British blues-rock band has been making music together for some forty-seven years. Given there was a nearly ten-year period in which the band took some time off from 1976 – 1984. But since it reformed in 1984, Deep Purple has been busy churning out new studio and live recordings and touring seemingly nonstop. Over the course of the past two years alone, the band’s deals with Eagle Rock Entertainment and earMusic has resulted in no fewer than six live recordings and one new studio album with at least two more on the way this summer. The most recent of those newly released live recordings, Long Beach 1971, was released late this past May. The recording only consists of four songs–‘Speed King,’ ‘Strange Kind of Woman,’ ‘Child in Time,’ and ‘Mandrake Root,’ While that doesn’t seem like much, those four songs bring the recording’s total run time to over an hour. More specifically, it brings the recording’s total run time to an hour and nineteen minutes, just shy of the ninety minute mark. That extensive run time is just one aspect of what makes Long Beach 1971 another hit for Deep Purple and for the band’s fans. The band’s performance itself makes for even more enjoyment, as audiences will note. That will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least worth noting of Long Beach 1971 is its audio mix. The audio mix of this concert is surprisingly impressive for its time. It sounds completely unlike anything from this era of concert recordings. But it still sounds impressive nonetheless. That is a tribute to those charged with re-mastering the recording for its release on CD. If not for the work of those individuals, neither the show’s set list nor the band’s performance would be of any matter. Thankfully for fans that isn’t the case. Instead, audiences have in this recording a piece that is yet another impressive live recording from Deep Purple and a recording that is one of the year’s best new live recordings on CD.

Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive in a long line of live recordings released by Deep Purple in recent year. It is also one of the year’s best new live recordings on CD. The central way in which it proves this is through its set list. The set list consists of only four songs. On the surface that might not seem like very much. But it is in reality quite a bit. The songs–‘Speed King,’ ‘Strange Kind of Woman,’ ‘Child in Time,’ and ‘Mandrake Root’–in total bring the concert’s total run time to an hour and nineteen minutes with the show’s opener, ‘Speed King,’ being the shortest at eleven minutes and five seconds long. Keeping on that track, audiences will be interested to note that the songs only get longer from there. ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ clocks in at eleven minutes and twelve seconds. ‘Child in Time’ comes in at twenty minutes and twenty-five seconds. ‘Mandrake Root’ closes the show with a total run time in itself at twenty-seven minutes and eighteen seconds. Maybe it is mere coincidence that each of the songs presented here is longer than the last. It could have been wholly intentional, too. Regardless, such a long set with only four songs is impressive in itself especially for that era. The songs are so long because the band doesn’t just perform the songs. Rather the band’s members–Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Ritchie Blackmore, and Roger Glover–let the performances grow naturally. The result is the extensive yet enjoyable performances that audiences get within the course of each of the recording’s songs. It is also tied into another aspect of the recording that makes it just as enjoyable–the band’s actual performance.

The performance of Deep Purple’s members in this recording is just as important to note of its enjoyment as the concert’s extensive set list. That is because what audiences get from Deep Purple in this recording isn’t just some band up on stage going through the motions. It is a band that is taking in the moment both together and with its audience. The fact that the band lets each song organically grow from just a performance to a full-blown jam session shows that. Even audiences listening to the concert on their radios or MP3 players will find themselves getting lost in each performance along with the band and those that were there in attendance. Even more impressive is that front man Ian Gillan talks to the audience in between songs, explaining briefly but clearly the story behind each song. Those that might not know the stories behind the songs will definitely enjoy Gillan’s stories. He explains about ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ that it apparently had to do with a prostitute and one of the band’s friends. Believe it or not. In regards to ‘Child in Time,’ he explains that it centers on people that just can’t seem to win in life no matter what. And in regards to the show’s closer ‘Mandrake Root’ he explains that this song came to be after two of the band’s friends got into a certain drink at a party. When audiences listen to the song, it becomes relatively clear what exactly happened (or supposedly happened). Gillan even laughs at a certain point, giving one to think that apparently what it sounds like happened perhaps indeed did happen. It’s a small moment, but it is one more of so many that heightens the enjoyment of the band’s performance. Together with the show’s set list, both elements make relatively clear why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive live Deep Purple set and one of the year’s best new live CDs.

The set list and performance on the part of Deep Purple’s band members in Long Beach 1971 prove clearly in themselves why this recording is yet another impressive addition to the band’s already extensive catalogue of live CDs. They also show just as clearly why it is one of the year’s best new live CDs. Both elements taken into consideration there is just one more element to note in what makes Long Beach 1971 so enjoyable. That final element is the concert’s audio mix. Right off the bat, audiences will note that in comparison to the live recordings churned out today, this recording sounds quite different. The best way for audiences to fully understand this difference is to purchase the recording for themselves. But for lack of better wording, it doesn’t have that spit-shined, auto-tuned sound that today’s live recordings boast. It is more….organic almost. Yet for that sound, it still sounds surprisingly impressive. This is the case even despite having to adjust the volume level between songs so as to hear Gillan’s discussions on the songs. Sure, it would have been nice to not have to constantly make such adjustment from one song to the next. but that’s beside the point. It’s just nice to have that interaction with the audience coupled with a solid stage performance. Getting back on topic, those charged with re-mastering the audio for this recording are to be commended for their efforts. Thanks to their work, that organic sound is still there as is the static that was produced by the recording technology of the day. This seems minor but it is important in its own right. That is because it shows that it is still possible for record companies to produce classic and classic sounding records on CD complete with that nostalgic static sound in place of full vinyl releases. There has been so much talk in recent years about the resurgence of vinyl. The apparent reason that there has been such a resurgence in its popularity is simply the nostalgia factor. The static and organic audio that has been reproduced in Long Beach 1971 proves without a doubt that it is still possible to have that nostalgia without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money on vinyls. Considering this, the nostalgia produced by the audio mix of Long Beach 1971 will make listening to the concert’s set list and the band’s performance all the greater. In turn it will prove yet again why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive live Deep Purple recording and why it is one of this year’s best new live CD recordings overall.

Long Beach 1971 gives Deep Purple fans of all ages plenty to smile about. Its set list, while short in selection, makes for a full and fun concert. The band’s performance of its chosen songs makes the concert even more enjoyable. That is thanks both to the organic nature of the band’s performance and to front man Ian Gillan actually interacting with the audience, sharing the stories behind each of the set’s songs. The expert re-mastering of the concert’s audio leaves it sounding just as it would have on a vinyl release complete with static. It shows that a CD recording live or otherwise can still be just as good as any vinyl release if not better. All three elements together make crystal clear why Long Beach 1971 is yet another impressive release in a long line of live recordings from Deep Purple and why it is also one of this year’s best new live CD recordings. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from E.A.R. Music is available online now at:

Website: http://www.ear-music.net

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

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The Wild Beyond’s Self-Titled Debut Is A Wild-ly Surprising Album

Courtesy: Big Round Music, LLC/Ultramegasound

Courtesy: Big Round Music, LLC/Ultramegasound

Last week, this critic introduced the world to Metal Blade Records’ latest signees Native Construct and noted that the band’s album Quiet World proved in the end to be one of this year’s most unexpected surprises.  Now another band has come along in the form of The Wild Beyond and added its self-titled debut to that list, too.  The album, released via the independent label Big Round Music, LLC, boasts a sound that by itself makes the album an easy candidate for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new independent releases.  It is made up of only five tracks.  And at a total run time of forty-five minutes, it doesn’t seem like that long of a record.  The reality is that what it lacks in time it more than makes up for in substance.  The band proves this with the album’s opener ‘Fire’s Body.’  This eight-minute-plus composition conjures thoughts of Between The Buried and Me thanks to its musical side.  It’s only the beginning of what makes this song so interesting.  The remainder of what makes this song so interesting will be discussed at more length later.  That is because there is that much to say of this opus. The album’s second song, ‘Just One Drop’ adds even more substance to The Wild Beyond because it goes in a completely different direction than that of ‘Fire’s Body.’  It exhibits something of a classic rock influence slightly akin to Deep Purple that is certain to keep listeners’ ears both with its sound and its placement within the context of the album’s body.  The album’s closer, ironically titled ‘Opening’ is the album’s best example of how its substance makes up for its overall run time.  It is the album’s longest work, clocking in at more than twenty minutes.  There are no lyrics to speak of through the entire work.  Again, it is not for those with a short attention span.  For those that are more open to such a work, it is a song that will undoubtedly impress.  Together with ‘Fire’s Body’ and ‘Just One Drop’ all three songs serve collectively show why The Wild Beyond goes beyond anything else out there today, making it at the very least one of the year’s best new independent releases.  That is not to take away from the album’s other two songs, ‘Reflex Driver’ and ‘Wake Up’.  They add their own interest to The Wild Beyond, too.  All things considered, The Wild Beyond proves without a doubt that regardless of whether or not it gets the attention it deserves from the mainstream radio realm, it is still an album that anyone looking for real rock with real substance should hear at least once.

 
The Wild Beyond is a rather aptly titled album even being named after the band that crafted it.  That is because it proves over the course of its five tracks and forty-five minutes that it is a work that goes well beyond anything out there today within the realms of rock and metal.  This applies both in the mainstream radio realm and that of the underground.  Its run time is actually relatively average when compared to other rock and metal albums out there.  Yet a full listen to the album from start to finish reveals that run time to be irrelevant.  That is because of the depth and substance presented in each of the album’s songs. That is proven right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Fire’s Body.’  This eight-plus minute composition conjures instant thoughts of Between The Buried and Me and Trioscapes if only for its musical side.  Its hybrid rock and jazz-fusion sound alone makes it worth the listen.  Front man Max Hodes’ vocal style makes the song all the more interesting as he sounds eerily like Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Farrell in the case of this song.  Speaking of Hodes, his somewhat cryptic lyrics alone make for even more interest in this case.  He sings here, “It’s the hardest way I know/You know I don’t know how/Well it’s not in the knowing/Not knowing it’s not nothing/No, knowing that the mind knows no control/It’s not dressing for success/It’s not striving to be the best/It’s underneath/It’s overhead/The massive glowing if/And now you stand before/The altar of the closing door/Burn it down/Burn yourself away.”  The song’s lead verse is just as cryptic.  Both verses together are certain to generate their own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its completely creative and original musical side, the song in whole proves to be an excellent first impression from the band and in turn an equally smart addition to the band’s debut album.
 
‘Fire’s Body’ shows with its mix of deeply creative and original music, and equally thought-provoking lyrics to be a solid first impression for The Wild Beyond.  It shows just as much to be a smart addition to the band’s debut album.  This is even with its eight-minute plus run time.  Just as welcome to The Wild Beyond is the album’s second track, ‘Just One Drop.’  Unlike the album’s opener, this song takes listeners in a completely different direction.  It boasts more of a classic rock influence, exhibiting hints of Deep Purple, Rush and other equally renowned veteran acts.  Hode’s vocals are just as noteworthy as the song’s musical side here, too.  That is because Hodes has changed gears in this piece.  Whereas he sounded more like Perry Farrell in ‘Fire’s Body,’ he sounds more like the great operatic rock vocalists of days gone by in this piece.  It is a true exhibition of his vocal talents and range.  The song’s lyrical side is again just as interesting with Hodes singing, “Finally/I can see the light/Very strong and bright/It’s mother nature/I see who I really am/Who we really are/It’s all so simple.”  It comes across as a somewhat introspective statement.  Yet set against the song’s musical side, this verse—which opens and closes the song—presents the image of someone that is seeing certain aspects of life with a new clarity and happiness.  Those positive vibes show exactly why ‘Just One Drop’ was chosen to be part of The Wild Beyond.  The talent put on display by Hodes’ fellow musicians throughout the rest of the song’s full-on instrumental sections proves that even more.  Being chosen as part of the album, it makes The Wild Beyond that much more enjoyable and shows just as much that this record definitely lives up to its name.
 
‘Fire’s Body’ and ‘Just One Drop’ are both key examples of the breadth of talent and creativity displayed by The Wild Beyond on its debut self-titled album.  The two songs each exhibit a sound completely opposite of the other that while they show obvious influences from other acts still maintain the band’s own identity at the same time.  There is no denying that each song does its own part to exhibit just why audiences should hear The Wild Beyond.  As integral as they are to the whole of the album the album’s ironically titled closer ‘Opening’ is the strongest example of what makes this record worth the listen by any true rock and metal fan.  ‘Opening’ is not a song for anyone with a short attention span.  It comes in at just over twenty-three minutes long.  And there are no lyrics to speak of.  The extent of the lyrics (if one even wants to call them lyrics) is chanting set against the song’s growing musical storm.  The term “storm” is used because as the song progresses, it reaches a point that some might call little more than one massive cacophony.  But a deeper listen reveals something much deeper.  Drummer Charles Goold’s time keeping through it all is rock solid.  Hodes’ work on guitar and Mark Atkins’ work on bass throughout the song add even more depth.  It is a depth that can only be appreciated when one comes into the song with a clear and fully open mind. That is especially thanks to Hodes’ own work manning the broads on this song.  Hodes balanced each piece of the whole with the utmost care so as to get the fullest possible effect.  It paid off quite well, too as audiences will hear for themselves when they pick up The Wild Beyond.  In hearing it for themselves, such listeners will agree that there is no way this album could have been complete without the song.  For that matter it couldn’t have been completed without the other songs noted here or the remaining pair not mentioned.  Whether for that pair of songs or for the trio noted here, audiences that give The Wild Beyond the chance will agree that the album in whole is one of the most surprising records that the rock and metal communities have seen so far this year. 
 
The Wild Beyond is available now on CD and vinyl.  More information on the album, the band’s live schedule and all of the band’s latest tour dates is available online now at:
 
 
 
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Listeners Of All Ages Will Boogie Along With Rock ‘n’ Rainbow’s New Record

Courtesy:  Rainbow Songs, Inc.

Courtesy: Rainbow Songs, Inc.

Kindie-rock band Rock ‘n’ Rainbow has released in its latest album Let’s Boogie an album that is the first real standout children’s album of 2015. The band’s seventeen-track album is one more example of why the world of children’s is just as viable as that of its grown-up counterpart. This is exhibited through the combination of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s lyrical content will entertain younger audiences while its musical content will entertain both children and adults alike. That is because of the band’s display of talent from genre to genre. Whether for the Deep Purple style sound displayed in ‘Faster Scooter Cat,’, the fun, bluesy almost SRV sound of ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues,’ the band’s own take on the famed ‘Time Warp,’ or any of the album’s other tracks, Let’s Boogie more than lives up to its title from start to finish. In fact, the level of talent, creativity, and originality displayed throughout the course of the album’s forty-four minutes leaves one wondering why the band would even think it needs the gimmick of its stage personas. It displays such level of talent, originality, and creativity that it almost feels like that on-stage gimmick actually hurts more than helps. If the band happens to read this review, perhaps it will take this into account in recording its next record. Regardless it can be stated with certainty in listening to this record that it is one that every child and adult alike will enjoy.

Rock ‘n’ Rainbow’s debut album Let’s Boogie is an easy, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums. That is thanks in large part to the band’s display of talent, originality, and creativity throughout the course of the album’s forty-four minute run time. From rock to blues to reggae, funk and almost everything in between, the band runs the gamut musically on this record. There really is no one bad point throughout the record. One of the best examples of what makes the album so enjoyable for audiences of all ages comes early on in the seemingly Deep Purple influenced ‘Faster Scooter Cat.’ The song boasts a sound very similar to that of Deep Purple’s hit song ‘Highway Star’ against the song’s story about a young man joyfully riding his scooter through his neighborhood. The song’s unnamed subject sings in the song’s chorus, “Riding my scooter/I’m flying real high/Kids in the ‘hood are wondering why/Smile on my face/It ain’t going nowhere/I’m riding so fast, babe/I just couldn’t care.” The use of the organ set against Mellow Yellow’s time keeping will take older audiences back in time on a great, nostalgic musical trip. That musical trip in question makes for a great introduction to what is one of the greatest rock bands in the modern history of music for younger audiences that might not otherwise be familiar with what is one of the greatest rock band’s in the modern history of music. It’s just one reason that audiences of all ages will love taking in this record together, too. The band’s bluesy, SRV-influenced ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ is another reason that audiences will appreciate and enjoy this record.

The musical history lesson presented in the band’s Deep Purple-influenced Faster Scooter Cat’ makes its case for audiences of all ages to check out Let’s Boogie. As a matter of fact, that song itself will have audiences of all ages boogeying and singing along with its celebratory sound and lyrics. It’s just one of the many reasons on this album that makes it work the purchase. The bluesy, SRV-influenced ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ makes its own case for picking up this album, too. While the vocals sound nothing like the late, great blues master, the guitar work on the part of Purple Stardust is just as tight as that of SRV. Such a display of talent shows why this song is another of the album’s highest of highs. Mellow Yellow’s time keeping partnered with that guitar work instantly conjures thoughts of Chris Layton’s work. Lyrically, the song is just as interesting because it really could actually double as a blues song. The song’s subject sings about the joy in the simplicity of slapping his knees and stomping his feet, whether in getting off to a slow start in the day or in just waking up from a nap. He closes out by singing about picking up his guitar before going to bed and churning out a tune or two. There are actually blues songs out there crafted by much older artists that sound both musically and lyrically like this one. Taking that into account, it makes this song even more of a wonderful addition to the whole of Let’s Boogie. And together with the likes of the Deep Purple influenced ‘Faster Scooter Cat’ and the album’s other songs, it makes for even more reason for parents to pick up this album and enjoy it with their children.

Both ‘Faster Scooter Cat’ and ‘Early Morning Knee-Slapping Blues’ are great additions to the whole of Let’s Boogie in their own special way. Younger audiences will enjoy the songs’ lyrics while both children and grown-ups alike will enjoy the songs’ musical side. The music in question in both songs is especially important to note in that it serves collectively as a great way to introduce young listeners to some of the greatest music of the 20th Century. This is even more (and surprisingly) evident in the band’s cover of the song ‘Time Warp.’ The song,made largely famous from the cult classic movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show is perhaps the biggest surprise of all on this album. Nobody would have expected a children’s act to cover a song from a movie that is hardly for children. But adults that are familiar with the movie will love this piece even as short as it is. It may even have older audiences that are familiar with the movie dancing and singing along just like audiences do every Halloween in theaters across the country. It’s just one more reason that this band, while considered a kindie-rock band, will entertain grown-ups just as much as it will younger listeners. And as entertaining as it and the previously noted songs prove to be, they are just a fraction of the ways in which Let’s Boogie will have audiences of all ages boogeying along from start to finish.

All three of the songs noted here each play their own part in making Let’s Boogie one of the most surprisingly entertaining children’s albums of 2015 so far. As entertaining as they are, they are just a fraction of what makes this album so enjoyable for audiences of all ages. From the funky grooves of ‘The Freeze’ and ‘Five Senses,’ to the more laid back reggae influenced sound of ‘That Is The Right Hand,’ to the semi-punk influenced sound of ‘I Can’t Fly’ or any of the album’s other songs, this record offers audiences of all ages plenty of enjoyment from start to finish. The end result of all of those varied sounds and lyrical topics is a record that is an easy, early candidate for any critic’s year-ender list of the year’s best new children’s albums and potentially a candidate for a Grammy-nominated children’s album in 2016. the album will be available Tuesday, March 17th in stores and online. The band will perform live Saturday, March 7th ahead of the album’s release in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Parents and children can get more information on that show and any other upcoming live events as well as the latest updates from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/RocknRainbow. 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.

Eagle Rock’s Reputation Holds True, Strong With Its New Deep Purple Archived Live Recording

Courtesy:   Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Deep Purple are set to release the band’s latest live recording today.  Deep PurpleWith Orchestra Live in Verona is not the band’s first archived live recording released this year via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  It is however the best of the band’s live recordings released this year.  The performance, recorded three years ago, is highlighted by a set list that focuses largely on its older, more well-known songs.  The concert is also not the first time that Deep Purple has performed live with an orchestra.  The band also performed live with an orchestra when it performed at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2011.  The two performances being recorded in the same year, were likely part of the same tour.  That fact is in itself another major positive to this brand new archived release.  As if these two factors are not enough for audiences, the audio and video mix collectively make the concert even more enjoyable for audiences.  Audiences will be hugely impressed at the camera work in this show and the balance of the band and its backing orchestra.  That factor along with everything already noted makes this latest live recording from Deep Purple even more enjoyable for audiences.  And that is not to discount the concert’s bonus liner notes, either.  The liner notes included in the recording add even more insight into the concert while noting all the parties involved.  Whether for its companion booklet, its outstanding audio and video mix, or even the set list included in this recording, all of the work that went into bringing this concert to audiences paid off.  That’s because it collectively makes Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings today.

Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona is a wonderful addition to the home collection of any Deep Purple fan.  It is another example of why Eagle Rock more than deservedly still maintains the label of the leader in live recordings.    The central reason for this is the concert’s set list.  Audiences will note that this concert, much as the band’s 2011 show in Montreux, focuses primarily on the band’s older material, going all the way back to its 1968 debut record Shades of Deep Purple.  The band’s landmark 1972 album Machine Head is very well represented in this recording, too.  Almost all of the songs from that album are included in this concert, including the rare b-side When A Blind Man CriesFireball is well represented as is Perfect Strangers and other.  The most recent work included in this performance is the band’s 2005 album Rapture of the Deep.  While not every one of the band’s albums are featured in this near two hour performance, the band does choose a relatively large swath of material for its audiences.  And it is that relatively wide array of songs from the band’s catalogue that sets the tone for this recording.  The tone in question is a positive one made even more positive when considering that this concert would appear to be one more from the band’s 2011 tour, which also included a recording of the band’s performance that year at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.

The set list that makes up Deep Purple’s latest live recording is especially impressive as it covers largely the band’s older material instead of its more recent songs.  That set list is much the set list included in the band’s other 2011 Eagle Rock Entertainment recording from its performance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  Simply put, audiences that don’t already own the recording of the band’s performance from that year’s Montreux Jazz Festival won’t be left out in this recording.  Odds are that this concert was part of the band’s larger tour that just so happened to include a show at Montreux.  This factor makes this recording even more a plus for any Deep Purple fans out there.  It shows that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s people were really thinking about the band’s fans.  It’s just one more way that Eagle Rock maintains the mantle of the industry’s leader in live recordings and one more reason that Deep Purple’s fans will appreciate this latest recording.

The set list included in Deep Purple’s new live recording goes a long way toward making this latest recording enjoyable for audiences.  The fact that it directly mirrors the band’s 2011 performance from Montreux, which was released that same year, is even more of a bonus for audiences.  As difficult as it may be to find the band’s Montreux performance, this recording can now take the place of that performance.  That makes this recording even more enjoyable and a bonus for fans in and of itself.  It still isn’t all that makes the recording such a great addition to any Deep Purple fan’s collection.  The audio and video mix that went into the recording is one more of so many positives that makes the recording enjoyable.  David Richards’ work balancing the levels throughout the show paid off in spades.  The orchestra—the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt—blends right in with the band to the point that it sounds like the orchestra isn’t even there.  That is a true sign of expertise.  Richards and his crew compensated for the venue’s acoustics just as expertly.  Being a venue of its size, it had to have been a challenge for Richards and company to keep the band and orchestra from overpowering one another and to keep the sound from overpowering the group in whole, washing out everything.  The end result is a performance from all involved that proves once again why Eagle Rock is the leader in live recordings.  Eagle Rock releases nothing but the finest especially in terms of the concert’s most important elements (I.E. audio and video).  The audio in this case is no different.  The same can be said of director Chris Cowey, editor Kyle Smart’s work, and that of the entire camera crew responsible for capturing the concert on camera.  The camera angles used throughout the show take audiences right up on stage with the band and out into the audiences. There are wonderful sweeping pans that show the sheer immensity of the venue.  Kyle Smart’s post-production work reveals the expert work of Cowey and his camera crew just as well.  All involved make the final product just as enjoyable as if audiences were there in person.

The audio and video mixes that make up Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona were handled with the utmost expertise from all involved.  Together with the concert’s set list and the fact that it serves as a companion to the band’s 2011 performance at Montreux, all three factors together show why this recording is another wonderful addition to the home library of any Deep Purple fan.  Collectively, they show why Eagle Rock remains today the leader in live recordings.  It releases what are only the best possible recordings from one to the next, from the shows’ set lists to their production values.  Even something as minute as the recording’s companion booklet plays its own part in the overall presentation and its success.  The companion booklet included here adds even more enjoyment to the recordings as it offers extra insight into the concert from the vantage point of writer Malcom Dome.  Dome writes of the 12,000 people in attendance and how the band and orchestra worked so well together on its tour that year among much more.  While brief, it adds its own element of enjoyment to the whole; an element that along with the set list and production values makes Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona another hugely successful recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

Deep Purple: With Orchestra Live in Verona is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

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

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

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Psychedelic Resurrection Is A Welcome Return From A Cult Favorite Band

Courtesy:  Kayos Productions

Courtesy: Kayos Productions

The Blues Magoos are back! It’s been some four decades since audiences last heard from this cult favorite garage rock band.  And now the wait is over thanks to the release of the band’s new album Psychedelic Resurrection.  The album’s title is slightly deceiving as few of the songs that make up its track listing are necessarily psychedelic per se.  That’s not to say that the songs (both new and re-worked alike) aren’t enjoyable.  That should not be misinterpreted.  They are each interesting works in their own right, though.  And altogether all ten of the songs included on this record make Psychedelic Resurrection a great re-introduction for one of the best of the least-known bands of the 60s. One track on this record that does live up to the album’s title is its closer ‘Tobacco Road.’  This bluesy piece conjures thoughts of both The Doors and Deep Purple believe it or not.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ also presents a little bit of that old school rock sound.  And then there is the equally bluesy ‘Gotta Get Away.’  One can’t help but think about a smoky nightclub in listening to this openly classic rock style piece.  This song is the equivalent of a musical time capsule that has been pried open.  It brings to the 21st century a sound that so many have tried and failed to emulate.  Together with the likes of ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ ‘Gotta Get Away’ serves as more proof of why every rock and roll purist should hear Psychedelic Resurrection at least once.  That is not to discount the other songs on this record.  Every track on this record offers its own enjoyment and value.  And in listening to each of the songs that make up this record, audiences of all ages will agree that The Blues Magoos deserves to be more than the cult favorite that it was so many years ago.  It could well be more than that cult favorite when audiences and programmers nationwide give Psychedelic Resurrection at least one listen.

The Blues Magoos was never one of the biggest names in the music industry.  It was thanks to the band’s one major hit ‘(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet’ in the 1960s.  After that one song, the band never really was able to attain the same level of success earned thanks to that single song.  It has still managed to maintain its place in the rock pantheon, though, remaining one of the rock world’s best known unknown bands.  Confused yet? Ok.  Now thanks to its brand new release Psychedelic Resurrection, the Blues Magoos is set to make a name for itself again.  Thanks to the songs included on this record include both new songs and some revamped pieces, too.  One of the best of the songs included in this record is its closing number ‘Tobacco Road.’  The song’s bluesy sound instantly conjures thoughts of both The Grateful Dead and to a slightly lesser degree Deep Purple.  And while it runs just over five and a half minutes, the richness of the song makes it feel like it runs much longer.  That is meant in the best manner possible.  Front man “Peppy” Castro sings of a young man growing up in a difficult situation against the twelve-bar blues sound established by himself and lead guitarist Dennis LePore. Thielhelm sings of the young man’s upbringing, “I was born/In a dump/Momma died/And my daddy got drunk/They left me here/To die alone/In the middle of Tobacco Road/I grew up in/A rusty shack/All I had/Was what was hanging on my back/Only you know/How low/This place called Tobacco Road.”  Anyone that is a fan of The Doors will be able to catch a similarity to that band’s hit song ‘Roadhouse Blues’ in listening to this composition.  It is slight.  But it is there.  And it’s a nice touch, too.  Even Castro sounds a little like The Doors’ legendary front man Jim Morrison as he sings.  That makes this song even more of a joy for any purist rock and roll purists out there.  There are certain elements in the song that conjure thoughts of Deep Purple, too.  Such combination is certain to make this song a favorite among audiences regardless of their familiarity with The Blues Magoos.  Whether they are hearing the band for the first time or the first time in a long time, it is one of the best moments on this record.  It isn’t the record’s only positive moment, either.

‘Tobacco Road’ proves to be one of the best of Psychedelic Resurrection’s moments thanks to its direct link back to fellow greats of rock’s golden age such as The Doors, Deep Purple, and to a lesser extent The Grateful Dead.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ is another of the best moments from The Blues Magoos’ new album.  Unlike the album’s closer, this song is a much more straight-forward rock tune.  Its straight 4/4 time is driven largely by the band’s original drummer Geoff Daking.  His work on the kit alongside Castro’s vocals and work on the guitar may lead some to make a comparison to The Knack.  The song’s infectious chorus of “I’m still playin’/And you’re still hanging around” alone make this song another fun addition to the album.  Castro’s catchy riffs and Daking’s impeccable time keeping make the song even more enjoyable for audiences. The end result is one more song that given the opportunity will make The Blues Magoos more than just a one-hit wonder this time around.

Both ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ are great additions to The Blues Magoos’ new record.  They serve as only a tiny cross section of the album’s enjoyable whole, though.  ‘Gotta Get Away’ is perhaps one of the best additions of all to this record.  The reason for that is the seeming musical bridge between music’s golden era and its more modern era.  Castro sounds a little bit like fellow veteran vocalist Elvis Costello in this song, while the song’s musical side bears resemblance to the likes of Neil Young during the verses.  The song’s chorus sections sound are throwbacks to the golden era of rock.  As with the previously noted songs Daking’s drumming and Castro’s guitar work serves as the song’s backbone.  It is one of those musical hybrids that absolutely must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated.   Audiences that give this song a chance and any of the others included in this album will agree that while The Blues Magoos was little more than a cult favorite way back in the 1960s, it could be far more than that today thanks to this album.  Given the chance by audiences and programmers alike, Psychedelic Resurrection will prove that despite the comments of the likes of Gene Simmons, rock is not dead, but alive and well.

Psychedelic Resurrection is available now in stores and online.  In celebration of the album’s release, The Blues Magoos will perform live tomorrow, October 16th at The Bowery Electric in New York City.  Audiences can also pick up the band’s album at that concert, too tomorrow.  More information on Psychedelic Resurrection and all of the latest updates and live dates from The Blues Magoos is available online at:

Website: http://www.thebluesmagoos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blues-Magoos-Psychedelic-Resurrection/136384816418734

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Celebrating Jon Lord Pays Proper Homage To One Of The Music World’s Great Minds And Musicians

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

The music world lost one of its greatest figures two years ago when Deep Purple keyboardist and founding member Jon Lord passed away.  Lord may be gone but his legacy as a member of one of rock’s greatest bands lives on today thanks to songs such ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Soldier of Fortune,’ ‘Burn’ and so many others.  His legacy as a composer lives on to as he crafted his own modern classical works including the now famous ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’ among others.  Earlier this year, Lord’s former Deep Purple band mates and his fellow musicians came together to celebrate his rich legacy at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall at the annual Sunflower Jam.  And now fans of Deep Purple and of Jon Lord alike get to experience that celebration for themselves thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group in the form of the triple-disc CD set Celebrating Jon LordCelebrating Jon Lord is a wonderful tribute to one of the great musical minds of the modern era.  The primary reason that it is such a wonderful tribute in its CD form is that the celebrations of Lord’s contributions to the rock world and the classical world are separated into two stand-alone collections.  Another reason that audiences will enjoy this collection is its collective set list.  And last worth noting is the audio mix on this recording in whole.  All three factors together make Celebrating Jon Lord a wonderful celebration of a great man and a great musical mind and one more welcome addition to the library of any Deep Purple fan or classic rock fan in general.

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new live recording Celebrating Jon Lord is not the first feature to focus on the late founding member of Deep Purple.  The leader in live recordings, Eagle Rock released Jon Lord: Concerto for Group and Orchestra on both CD and DVD last year in separate packages.  The recording focused primarily on what is considered one of his greatest non-rock compositions.  Celebrating Jon Lord does not include this work on either half of the recording.  While it doesn’t include that composition, Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer presents even more of Lord’s non-rock compositions.  It stands alone from the other half of the concert recorded earlier this spring, “Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend.  This separation of the show into two packages is the central point of the concert’s CD presentation.  Audiences that want to hear only Lord’s work with Deep Purple can pick up the second half of the performance Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend.  Those that prefer hearing Lord’s personal non-rock compositions can pick up Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer .  Sure, it’s a little problematic for those wanting the full concert experience on CD as it means having to purchase both sets.  But it’s money well-spent regardless.  And now that the concert has been released onto a companion Blu-ray, those same audiences can see the entire concert in one single package in place of having to purchase both CDs if they don’t want to have to pay that much for two separate sets. Regardless, both of the CDs offer their own share of enjoyment from start to finish.

The separation of the Sunflower Jam concert celebrating the legacy of Jon Lord is among the most important factors in the success of this triple-disc live recording.  Just as important of note is the recording’s overall set list.  On the rock side, audiences are treated to a number of classic Deep Purple tunes which Lord helped bring to life.   Some of the best of those classics include the bluesy ‘I’m Gonna Stop Drinking,’ the full-on rocker that is ‘Burn’ and the much easier-going almost funk-style ‘Things Get Better.’  On the classical side, anyone that has any familiarity with the world of classical music will most certainly appreciate that collection’s first two songs.  ‘Fantasia,’ which opens the classical portion of the concert, bears very clear influence from Aaron Copland and to a lesser extent, Eric Osterling.  And its Indian-influenced opening measures aside, ‘Durham Awakes’ feels like something that came right out of the Broadway rendition of author Arthur Laurents’ book West Side Story with its complex, multi-part arrangement.  It’s the type of thing that would make Leonard Bernstein proud if he were alive today to hear it.  It’s one more example of what makes the collective set list of these two collections such a joy.  There are plenty of other songs from which listeners will find their favorite(s).  Simply put, there is not one back performance throughout the concert regardless of which side of the show one prefers.  Altogether, it’s one more reason that fans of Deep Purple and of classical music and classic rock alike will enjoy this recording in whole.

The separation of Celebrating Jon Lord into two separate halves and the set list of each half of the concert together make this recording a true joy for any Deep Purple fan and any fan of classical music and classic rock.  Neither of these factors would mean anything on the recording’s CD packaging however without one all-important aspect.  That aspect is the recording’s audio mix.  It is noted in the booklet included with Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend that Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson and Lord’s former Deep Purple band mate Glenn Hughes actually “endangered the Albert Hall Architecture with ultra-passionate and furiously energetic versions of two Mark 3 Deep Purple classics, ‘You Keep On Moving’ and ‘Burn.’  That’s saying something, especially considering Albert Hall’s massive size from ceiling to floor and stage to doors.  Luckily, as powerful as Dickinson and Hughes were on these pieces, those charged with balancing the levels handled their duties expertly.  Though, that power does still show through at least to a certain extent whether in a car or on a radio.  That in itself is a tribute to the work of said individuals.  Much the same can be said of their work balancing the levels when powerhouse singer Steve Balsamo took the stage to perform on Lord’s composition ‘All Those Years Ago.’  Balsamo exhibits such control over his instrument.  He soars when it’s time to really hit those key moments.  He holds back just enough in the more reserved moments, too.  The audio engineers make those moments come out even more with their work here.  They exhibit just as much talent and expertise throughout the remainder of the concert.  Audiences will hear that expertise for themselves when they pick up either or both of these recordings for themselves.  The concert’s high quality audio mix, coupled with the show’s set list and its separation into two halves, leads to one more live recording that adds to Eagle Rock’s reputation as the leader in live recordings. It also adds even more to the reputation of Deep Purple and Jon Lord as one of the music world’s best bands and best musical minds.  Altogether, it proves Celebrating Jon Lord to be a wonderful celebration that any true music lover will appreciate.

Celebrating Jon Lord is a wonderful musical celebration of a wonderful musical mind.  The separation of the concert’s audio side into two halves lets audiences choose which half they prefer more should they prefer one half of the show to another.  The set list itself proves that both sides of the concert are well worth the purchase in its audio side.  The work of the concert’s audio engineers balancing the concert’s audio levels is nothing short of expert.  All three factors together make the audio portion of Celebrating Jon Lord a welcome addition to the library of any Deep Purple fan and lover of music in whole.  That is not to discount the booklets that come with each half of the concert.  The booklets that come with the CDs offer their own additional insight and enjoyment to the experience, making it even more worth hearing.  Those wanting to hear the concert’s audio side can pick up either collection now or both as they are available in stores and online.  The CDs’ companion Blu-ray presentation is also available now.  More information on these releases and others from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

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

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

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.