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.

PBS Celebrates Four Decades Of ACL With Special Anniversary Concert

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ Austin City Limits hit a major milestone this year.  The network’s hit music series celebrated forty-years with PBS.  In celebration, PBS is releasing a special DVD celebrating the long-running series next month.

PBS will release Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years on Tuesday, December 2nd.  Austin City Limits’ four-decade long run on PBS is especially important to both the network and to music lovers alike.  In the four decades that Austin City Limits has been on PBS, it remains the only TV series to be awarded the Medal of Arts.  Also in that time, MTV’s Unplugged and VH1’s Storytellers have gone by the wayside.  And even CMT’s on Crossroads series has failed to maintain the stability and reputation of ACL.  Throughout its now forty-years on television, ACL has seen and continues to see some of the industry’s biggest names take to the stage.  Those names include the likes of Elvis Costello, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, and so many others.  Many more names are sure to be added to that list as there appears to be no end to this landmark series.

In honor of the series’ fortieth anniversary, many of those same big names have come on board for this celebratory concert.  Bonnie Raitt joins Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark, Jr and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes for a performance of the Sam & Dave classic ‘Wrap It Up’ to open the concert.  Howard returns later in the show alongside Gary Clark, Jr. for a special performance.  Willie Nelson, the red-headed stranger himself, joins Emmylou Harris for a performance of Nelson’s ‘Crazy.’  Singer/actor Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow team up for a performance of Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee.  Foo Fighters even make an appearance to perform Roky Erickson’s ‘Two-Headed Dog.’  That performance was recorded at the original ACL television studio especially for the concert.  Actor Jeff Bridges hosts the night’s festivities.  He also performs a special rendition of ‘What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do’ from the late singer-songwriter Stephen Bruton.  Bruton was a big influence on Bridges’ Oscar-winning role in the movie ‘Crazy Heart.’  As if all of this isn’t enough, Joe Ely and fellow local legend Robert Earl Keen make an appearance.  Blues legend Buddy Guy rounds out the show with a performance of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’  And finishing off the whole thing is a star-studded tribute to Buddy Holly and the one and only Stevie Ray Vaughan.  A who’s who of guitarists performs Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ and SRV’s ‘Texas Flood’ for the night’s biggest finish.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years was taped live at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater and the show’s original studio, Austin PBS affiliate KLRU’s Studio 6A.  The complete list of performers is: Alabama Shakes, Doyle Bramhall II, Jeff Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Double Trouble, Joe Ely, Mike Farris, Foo Fighters, Grupo Fantasma, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jimmie Vaughan.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years will be available Tuesday, December 2nd.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99.  It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=50214636&cp=&sr=1&kw=austin+city+limits&origkw=Austin+City+Limits&parentPage=search.  More information on Austin City Limits is available online at

Website: http://acltv.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/acltv

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