Entertainment One, AMC To Release ‘Hell On Wheels: The Complete Series’ This Fall

Courtesy: Entertainment One/AMC

Courtesy: Entertainment One/AMC

This fall Entertainment One will release AMC’s hit western serial Hell on Wheels in its entirety in one complete set.

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Series will be released Tuesday, November 1st.  It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray.  The series’ 57 episodes will be spread across 17 discs in the set and total more than 40 hours.

Hell  on Wheels earned three Western Heritage Awards for Outstanding Fictional Drama over the course of its five seasons on AMC.  The new complete series set includes a number of bonus features including: “The Making of Hell on Wheels,” “Inside the Episodes” featurettes, and more.  The bonus material included in the set is noted in whole below.





  • The Making of HELL ON WHEELS
  • “Inside the Episode” Featurettes
  • Character Featurettes
  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Set Tour with Anson Mount


Hell on Wheels: The Complete Series will retail for MSRP of $149.98 on Blu-ray and $119.98 on DVD.  It will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, November 1st.  More information on Hell on Wheels is available online now along with all of the series’ news at:




Website: http://www.amc.com/shows/hell-on-wheels

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hellonwheelsamc




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

Dope Unveils ‘Hold On’ Video

Dope has unveiled its latest music video.

The veteran hard rock oufit released the video for the song ‘Hold On’ today. The song is the official lead single from the band’s upcoming album Blood Money Part 1.  The album will be released Friday, October 28th via Entertainment One.  It can be pre-ordered online now here.

Front man Edsel Dope said of the song and its companion video, which was co-directed by [Edsel] Dope that the two are unlike anything that he has ever crafted.  “This is by far the most personal and vulnerable piece of art that I’ve ever released,” he said.  “Unlike some of Dope’s more theatrically-driven works, ‘Hold On’ is totally uninhibited.  It is a reflection of my own personal story, told through a singular piece of art.  Truthfully, this was a very difficult piece for me to complete at times; but in the end, it has also been a very healing experience.  I hope that the vulnerability and sincerity will resonate with people.”

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The complete track listing for Blood Money Part I is noted below.


  1. Intro: Confessions of a Felon
  2. Blood Money
  3. Shoulda Known Better
  4. Lexipro
  5. Hold On
  6. 1999
  7. Razorblade Butterfly
  8. Drug Music
  9. A New Low
  10. Hypocrite
  11. X-Hale
  12. End of the World
  13. Selfish
  14. Numb
  15. Violet

Dope recently announced an extensive tour in support of its upcoming album that will launch September 13th in San Francisco, California.  It will run through Otober 30th in West Hollywood, California and includes a stop in North Carolina, too.  The tour will feature Dope’s original lineup of Edsel Dope, Acey Slade, Virus, and Racci Shay.  Flaw and Motograter will serve as support acts for the duration of the tour.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

Courtesy: eOne Music

Courtesy: eOne Music

09/13 – San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
09/14 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
09/15 – Vancouver, BC @ The Rickshaw
09/16 – Pasco, WA @ La Tropicana
09/17 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
09/18 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin
09/19 – Idaho Falls, ID @ The Falls Venue
09/20 – Denver, CO @ Herman’s Hideaway
09/21 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Sunshine Studios
09/22 – Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground
09/23 – St Louis, MO @ Firebird
09/24 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Cabooze
09/25 – Des Moines, IA @ Lefty’s
09/26 – Sioux Falls, SD @ Big’s Bar
09/27 – Waterloo, IA @ The Reverb
09/28 – Stevens Point, WI @ Live On Main
09/29 – Chippewa Falls, WI @ Every Buddy’s
09/30 – Battle Creek, MI @ Music Factory
10/01 – Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
10/02 – Madison, WI @ Sonic Boom
10/03 – Toledo, OH @ Realm
10/04 – Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
10/05 – Cleveland, OH @ The Agora
10/06 – Columbus, OH @ Park Street Saloon
10/07 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon Club
10/08 – Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
10/09 – Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall
10/10 – Toronto, ON @ Hard Luck
10/11 – Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
10/12 – Montreal, QC @ Pirahna Bar
10/13 – Amityville, NY @ Revolution
10/14 – Worcester, MA @ Rock N Shock @ Palladium
10/15 – Baltimore, MD @ Fish Head Cantina
10/16 – Fayetteville, NC @ The Rock Shop
10/17 – Atlanta, GA @ Heaven – Masquerade
10/18 – Lake Charles, LA @ The Centerstage
10/19 – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar
10/20 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
10/21 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
10/22 – Merriam, KS @ Aftershock
10/23 – Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
10/24 – Lubbock, TX @ Backstage
10/25 – Gallup, NM @ The Juggernaut
10/26 – Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto
10/27 – San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
10/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ Counts Vamp’d
10/29 – Anaheim, CA @ City National Grove of Anaheim
10/30 – W. Hollywood, CA @ The Whisky

More information on Dopes upcoming tour, album, and video is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:




Website: http://dopearmy.com

Facebook: http://www.facebok.com/Dopetheband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/dopetheband




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

Audiences Of All Ages Will “Believe” In Panton’s New Album Re-Issue

Courtesy: eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Diana Panton is one of the most respected and accomplished performers in the jazz community today. One look at the singer’s bio shows that. She has released six critically acclaimed full-length albums, been nominated for two JUNO awards, won two Silver Disc Awards in Japan, 7 HMAS and has been tapped to play some of the world’s top jazz festivals among so much more. Needless to say the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based vocalist has done and earned quite a bit in her career so far. And last year she added yet another proverbial feather in her cap when she released her first-ever children’s album I Believe in Little Things. The album, originally released on September 25th, 2015 in Canada, will be re-issued this spring (March 18th to be exact) in the United States via eOne Records. The fourteen-song collection earned its own acclaim overseas in its initial release. And it would be no surprise for it to earn even more accolades upon its release domestically. That is especially the case considering that while it is being marketed as a children’s album it really isn’t just an album for children. That is because its featured songs are in fact songs lifted from movies, not just children’s standards. The catch is that the songs and the movies from which they were lifted are all family friendly. Yet young audiences today likely are far more unfamiliar with the songs or said movies than their parents. Considering that, it becomes just as enjoyable for adults as it is for younger viewers. It will generate a sense of nostalgia in older listeners and serves as a starting point for younger listeners to learn about the beloved songs and movies from which they were lifted. Keeping all of this in mind, it is safe to say that while most American audiences likely don’t know Diana Panton’s name or body of work, her new album could very well be the album that makes her more of a household name here in the states.

I Believe in Little Things, Diana Panton’s first-ever children’s album, is an interesting collection of songs. That is because considering its featured compositions it doesn’t necessarily come across as being solely for younger audiences. The compositions in question are songs lifted from a handful of classic family friendly movies. Those movies include but are not limited to: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971), The Muppet Movie (1970), and Pinocchio (1940) just to name a few. Also featured in this album are songs from Alice in Wonderland (1951), and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). There are even songs lifted from the beloved children’s series Sesame Street and Jim Henson’s other family favorite series The Muppet Show. So not only does Panton touch on timeless movies but on timeless television series, too. On the surface this doesn’t seem like much. But on a deeper level the link between the songs, movies, and TV series serves as a starting point in a history lesson that will hopefully get younger listeners into said classics versus what is begin offered to them today. What’s more the songs themselves also serve as a starting point in a lesson about the importance of jazz in young listeners’ musical upbringing. Older audiences could start with the featured songs and go back in time from there, exhibiting some of the jazz tunes that have made (and continue to make) jazz such a great and important genre. It would have been nice to have had the movies and TV series listed in the album’s companion booklet. If anything can be said negative of the album’s overall presentation that is it. Even with that having been noted it isn’t so overwhelming that it overly detracts from the album’s presentation. Keeping that in mind, each element noted here is important in its own right in terms of exhibiting what makes I Believe in Little Things an impressive new recording from Diana Panton. Collectively they show clearly why this recording is an offering that could help establish her in the American musical community. They are, together, just one way in which this is shown. Her approach to each of the album’s featured songs is just as important as the songs and the movies and TV series from which they were lifted.

The songs featured in I Believe in Little Things are in their own right hugely important to the compilation’s overall presentation. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion on the histories of both jazz and music in film for younger listeners. The movies from which they were lifted are by connection just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs. That is because they serve as a starting point in a discussion for audiences of all ages about film and television history. While both noted elements play their own integral role in the overall presentation of Panton’s new album they are both by themselves and collectively just a couple of important portions of the album’s presentation. Panton’s approach to the songs is just as important to the album’s presentation as the songs and their links to their associated movies. Listeners will note that her approach to the songs is very soft and gentle. The best comparison that can be made is to the vocal style of Norah Jones and Diana Krall. Panton sticks to this vocal style from beginning to end of the nearly fifty-five minute record (its total run time—or TRT—is fifty-four minutes and forty-seven minutes as noted on the back of the album’s case). The thing is that even though she sticks to that one vocal style and her band mates maintain the same sort of gentle, relaxed musical approach it never gets old at any point. There are artists and acts out there whose albums get real old real fast because they don’t deviate at any point. But for some reason that isn’t the case with Panton and her band mates here. That being the case it’s one more important element in the overall presentation of I Believe in Little Things. It still isn’t the last notable element in the album’s presentation either. While it might not seem like much to note, the album’s track listing is just as pivotal to its presentation as its other noted elements.

The songs that are featured in Diana Panton’s new children’s album and the approach taken to each song both in regards to her own approach and that of her band mates are both equally important to the album’s overall presentation. Even as important as they are to the album’s presentation they still are not the album’s only important elements. The track listing included with the album is just as important as the album’s content. Here is the reason why: The track listing is printed clearly on the rear exterior of the album’s packaging. Each song is listed clearly with its respective run time. On the bottom right after the final song is the album’s TRT. Having the specific run times with the songs and the album’s TRT can be very helpful for parents with younger children. The specific run times can help parents and educators determine which songs will best potentially hold those young listeners’ attention since every child’s attention span is different from the other. They aren’t left to guess the lengths of the different songs. Any parent and/or educator out there will agree just how stressful it can be to keep young minds engaged in any manner. In regards to the album’s TRT, parents and educators can use it to help time nap time for children regardless of setting. To that extent the display of the album’s track listing and run time on both levels proves to be just as important to the album’s presentation as its featured songs and the approach taken by all involved. And together with the noted elements they come together to make I Believe in Little Things an album in which listeners of all ages will believe.

I Believe in Little Things is an album in which listeners of all ages will believe after hearing its collection of classic movie and TV themes. That is thanks in large part to the songs and the movies and TV shows to which they are connected. The songs and their related movies and TV series are more than just entertainment for audiences. They serve just as much as a starting point for lessons and discussions on music history and that of television and movies. To that extent it serves as an album that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. They are also a way to get younger audiences interested in the golden era of music, movies, and television. The stylistic approach taken to the album both from Panton and her band mates is just as important to note of the album’s presentation. Even with the group’s approach staying largely the same from beginning to end it keeps audiences fully engaged. That is a testament to the group’s work. That is especially the case when their work is compared to such an approach taken by other acts with their respective albums. The album’s track listing both in regards to its song listing and run times (both separate and overall) rounds out the album’s presentation. The run times help parents and educators determine which songs will best keep young minds engaged when considering their attention spans. The overall run time listing can help parents and educators alike in terms of using the album for little ones’ nap times. Any parent and/or educator will agree that this is extremely important. Keeping that in mind, it is just as important to the album as any of the album’s content. All things considered I Believe in Little Things proves in the end to be an album in which listeners of all ages will believe. It will be released domestically Friday, March 18th in stores and online.

Diana Panton is currently performing live in support of I Believe in Little Things. She will be live at University Club in Toronto, Ontario on February 26th. She also has a handful of dates currently scheduled for March, May, and August. Her current schedule of live dates is noted below.


Diana Panton Performance Highlights – February – August 2016

Feb. 14 – McMichael Art Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario

Feb. 26 – University Club, Toronto, Ontario

March 3 & 5 – MMM Live Lab, Hamilton, Ontario

May 28 – Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario

Aug. 1 – 12 – Tour in Asia

Aug. 16 – 21 – Woody Point Festival, Gros Morne, Newfoundland


More information on her current tour is available online now along with more information on I Believe in Little Things and all of Panton’s latest news at:


Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5


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.

Soul Asylum Signs With eOne Music For Its Eleventh Full-Length Album

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Veteran rock act Soul Asylum returns next spring with its latest full-length studio recording.

The members of Soul Asylum announced this week that the band has signed with Entertainment One (eOne) to release its next album, which will be titled Change of Fortune.  The band’s eleventh full-length studio recording, it will be the band’s debut album for Entertainment One and its first since 2012’s Delayed Reaction.  It is currently slated for release on Friday, March 18th, 2016.  While the band will have the backing of Entertainment One for its new album, it is also giving its fans the chance to play a role in the album’s creation, too.  Fans can help make the album a reality through the band’s PledgeMusic campaign.  There are a number of pledge levels that include different rewards with each pledge level including but not limited to: a signed copy of the album, an advance copy of the album once it’s done, Grave Dancers Union T-Shirt, and much more.  All of the details on the different pledge levels and rewards is available online now at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum.

Chuck Oliner, eOne Music’s Director of Marketing and Promotions, shared his thoughts on the band’s signing saying, ”We are thrilled to be working with such a great trailblazing band as Soul Asylum.” He also gave a small hint in regards to the timeline for everything noting that the album’s first single is expected sometime early in the new year. “We wait to lead off 2016 with the first single from their new album Change of Fortune,” he said. Loyal Soul Asylum fans will be blown away with the new album, and new fans will understand why we are all so excited they are back.   Welcome back Soul Asylum, and get ready to see Dave, Michael, Winston and Justin on tour in 2016.

More information on Change of Fortune is available online along with all of the latest news from Soul Asylum at:

Website: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum

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


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

Phil’s Picks Celebrates The Holidays Again With Annual Holiday Giveaway

It’s time once again, everybody.  The holiday season is officially upon us.  And that means that it is time once again for the annual Phil’s Picks holiday giveaway.  Each Friday in December I will be giving away a prize to one lucky reader from the list below.  Here’s the catch:  YOU the reader get to choose the prize instead of me.  I’m going to sweeten the deal for you, the loyal Phil’s Picks fans this year, too.  I am going to bundle together the standalone season sets of Hey Dude, and The Wild Thornberrys.  This is just the current list.  There’s a chance I could throw in even more prizes as the month goes on.  So if you want a chance to win a prize for yourself or someone you know, make sure that you get your name in now!  Good luck and spread the word!


1. The Aviator (Blu-ray + DVD)

2. Believe Me (Blu-ray)

3. Blancanieves (DVD)

4. Born Yesterday (Blu-ray)

5. The Duellists (DVD)

6. Dying of the Light (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

7. Grizzly Adams (DVD)

8. Jimmy P. (DVD)

9. Liberal Arts (Blu-ray)

10. Life’s A Breeze (Blu-ray)

11. Match (DVD)

12. May in the Summer (Blu-ray)

13. Perfect Understanding (Blu-ray)

14. Premature (DVD)

15. Robot Jox (Blu-ray)

16. Ships (DVD)

17. Shout At The Devil (Blu-ray)

18. Speak No Evil (DVD + Digital)

19. Spike Island (DVD)

20. The Sweeney (DVD)

21. Tooken (DVD)

22. The Voices (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

23. While We’re Young (Blu-ray + Digital HD)


1. Beetleborgs Metallix: Season Two Volume Two (DVD)

2. Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season (DVD)

3. The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

4. CPO Sharkey: Season 1 (DVD)

5. CPO Sharkey: Season 2 (DVD)

6. Cook’s Country: Season Five (PBS DVD)

7. Fireball XL5: The Complete Series (DVD)

8. Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray + Digital HD)

9. The Hee-Haw Collection (DVD)

10. Hey Dude: Season 3 (DVD)

11. Hey Dude: Season 4 (DVD)

12. Hey Dude: The FInal Season (DVD)

13. I Spy: The Complete Series (DVD)

14. Joe 90: The Complete Series (DVD)

15. Mister Ed: The Final Season (DVD)

16. Mr. Warmth: Don Rickles–The Ultimate Collection (DVD)

17. The Red Skelton Show: The Lost Episodes (DVD)

18. The Red Skelton Show: The Early Years: 1951 – 1955 (DVD)

19. Sapphire And Steel: The Complete Series (DVD)

20. Secret Agent (AKA Danger Man): The Complete Series (DVD)

21. Stingray: The Complete Series (DVD)

22. The Wild Thornberrys: The Complete Series (DVD)

23. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 2 Part 2 (DVD)

24. The Wild thornberrys: Season 2 Part 3 (DVD)

25. The Wild Thornberrys: Season 3 (DVD)


Black Veil Brides (Blu-ray)

Ceelo Green: Loberace–Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

Concert For Ronnie Montrose (DVD)

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 (2 CD)

Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Live in Hyde Park (DVD)

Jon Lord: Concerto For Group and Orchestra (Blu-ray)

Lord of the Dance (DVD)

Marillion: A Sunday Night Above The Rain (2 CD)

Ministry: Enjoy The Quiet–Live at Wacken 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Ministry: Last Tangle In Paris–Live 2012 (DVD/2 CD)

Neil Sedaka: The Show Goes On–Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray)

Peter Gabriel: Live Blood (2 CD)

The Richard Thompson Band: Live at Celtic Connections (Blu-ray)

Saga: Spin It Again!–Live in Munich (2 CD)

Shania Twain: Still The One–Live in Las Vegas (Blu-ray)

Simply Red: Live at Montreux 2003 (Blu-ray)

1. After Newtown: Guns in America (PBS DVD)

2. The Booker (DVD)

3. Heaven Adores You: A Documentary Film About The Life & Music Of Elliott Smith (Blu-ray)

4. How To Survive A Plague (DVD)

5. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued (Blu-ray)

6. Produced By George Martin (DVD)

7. Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis? (DVD)


1. Don Rickles: TV Specials Volume 1

2. Highlights of the 2012 Masters Tournament (DVD)

3. Power Rangers: Trickster Treat (DVD)

4. Ruby’s Studio: The Friendship Show (DVD)

5. Transformers Prime: Ultimte Decepticons (DVD)


1. All Time Low–“Dirty Work”

2. Anders & Kendall–“Wild Chorus”

3. Beatallica–“Abbey Load”

4. The Blues Magoos–“Psychedelic Resurrection”

5. Bob Schneider–“A Perfect Day”

6. Breathe Carolina–“Hell Is What You Make It”

7. Buzz Cason–“Troubadour Heart”

8. Buzz Cason–“Record Machine”

9. The Dangerous Summer–“War Paint”

10. Daniel Guaqueta–“Saying Is Only Saying So Much” (EP)

11. Darkest Hour–“The Human Romance”

12. Derek Sherinian–“Black Utopia”

13. Device–“Device” (Clean)

14. Divided By Friday–“Prove It”

15. Empresarios–“The Vibes”

16. Eternal Voyager–“The Battle of Eternity”

17. Francesca Blanchard–“Deux Visions”

18. Glasscloud–“The Royal Thousand”

19. High on Fire–“Snakes for the Divine”

20. James Durbin–“Memories of a Beautiful Disaster”

21. Janus–“Nox Aeris”

22. Jefferson Grizzard–Learning How To Lie (X4)

23. Joe Gruschecky–“Somewhere East of Eden”

24. Kittie–“I’ve Failed You”

25. Laura Wilde–“Sold My Woul”

26. Limp Bizkit–“Three Dollar Bill Y’all”

27. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made”

28. Marillion–“Sounds That Can’t Be Made (Special Edition)

29. Matt Skiba and the Sekrets–“Babylon”

30. Permanent Ability–“Bring It On”

31. Rebelution–“Count Me In”

32. Red Hot Chili Peppers–“Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

33. Roy Orbison–“Greatest Hits”

34. Saving Abel–“Bringing Down The Giant”

35. Shahidah Omar–“Freedom”

36. Something Unto Nothing–“Something Unto Nothing”

37. Tempt–“Under My Skin” (EP)

38. There For Tomorrow–“The Verge”

39. Throwdown–“Deathless”

40. Throwdown–“Intolerance”

41. Tim Chaisson–“The Other Side”

42. Uh Huh Her–“Future Souls”

43. Unbreakable–“Knock Out”

44. The Wild Beyond–“The Wild Beyond”

45. The Winery Dogs–The Winery Dogs (Special Edition)

46. Yellowcard–“When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes”


Simplicity And Originality Make Dirt Road’s End One Of 2015’s Best New Albums

Courtesy:  ArenA /eOne

Courtesy: ArenA /eOne

Sugarcane Jane is one of the music industry’s best kep secrets today. The duo–Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee–released its first album in 2009. Six years later, it has already released its fourth full-length studio effort in the form of Dirt Road’s End. It is safe to say that in listening to its ten total tracks, Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall. One could just as easily place it on the list of the year’s best new country albums, too. But even that would be unfair. That is because it exhibits more than just country elements. There are also elements of folk, bluegrass, and even the blues throughout the record’s thirty-seven minute run time. The combination of those elements conjures thoughts of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty just to name a couple of artists. The record’s opener ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ displays the record’s blues influences. ‘San Andreas’ comes early in the album’s sequencing. It exhibits the record’s more folksy influences. And then there is ‘Not Another Truck Song’ in which Crawford and Lee put on display their country roots. These are just a few songs that exhibit Sugarcane Jane’s various influences on its new record. Each of the album’s seven remaining tracks could just as easily be used as examples of why it is so enjoyable. Whether for those songs or the pieces more directly noted here, there is no doubt in listening to each of the album’s compositions why it is one of this year’s best new records overall.

Sugarcane Jane’s new album comes in at only thirty-seven minutes long. Considering that it is composed of ten tracks that really is not very long. Even having barely topped the half-hour mark, Crawford and Lee offer their audiences so much throughout the course of that time. Both through the album’s various musical stylings and its original lyrical content, Dirt Road’s End shows great depth from beginning to end. It exhibits this right off the top in its opener ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane.’ Musically speaking it shows its own depth thanks to its hybrid bluesy/country sound. The sound in particular is classic blues and country right down to the harmonica, dual harmony, and twang from its dual guitar approach. It’s a sound that is sadly very difficult to find among today’s blues and country acts. So to hear that sound here is refreshing to say the very least. Lyrically speaking Crawford and Lee have crafted a song that is just as classic. The duo sings about its roots through the course of the song’s barely five-minute run time; 5:09 to be exact. The pair sings, “I’ll follow my dreams to the land of the crow/All the way to the music row/I fell in love when I heard her sing/I’ll pack my bag and my old six-string/Headed south in an all-out run/To the arms of a woman and her daughter and her son/Built this house at the dirt road’s end/That’s just how this story begins/With no regret to the past I claim/Started a band called Sugarcane Jane.” Crawford and Lee go on to sing about everything that has happened since the they formed their act. The story in question will keep listeners engaged and even singing along thanks to its simple, infectious chorus of “She sang la-la la la la/La-la la la la la la la/La-la la la la” set against the twang of the pair’s guitar work. Listeners will even find themselves singing along happily with Crawford and Lee as they tell the rest of their story in the rest of the song’s body. In doing so, listeners will agree yet again that even in the case of just this one song, Dirt Road’s End exhibits so much depth and substance even in its simplicity; so much so that it shows itself to be a clear example of why this record is one of the best new albums of the year.

‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ is a clear example of why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall thanks to its simplicity. The simplicity of its lyrical content along with its equally simple yet catchy musical content makes it just one of so many hits included in the record. It’s just one example of what makes Dirt Road’s End such a hit, too. ‘San Andreas’ is another clear example of what makes it such a hit. Considering the song’s lyrical content, in which Crawford sings about life on the San Andreas fault line, one would think that this song would have a little more heaviness about it in terms of its musical content. But that is not the case. It is in fact a gentle tune that conjures thoughts of Bob Dylan’s greatest works thanks to Crawford’s vocal delivery and the song’s use of harmonica, banjo and guitar. For those wondering, Crawford sings the praises of life along the infamous fault line singing, “Life along the San Andreas/Is beautiful throughout the year/The weather she remains a constant sixty-five/And they say if God had a home/She’d be livin’ there/Standin’ on the cliffs above the ocean/The view along the one will take your breath/To turn aorund and see the golden, rolling hills/Where the eagles and the redwoods make their nest/Though sometimes she may get angry/Break a dish/Shake a tree/Crack the road/It’s a small price to pay/For heaven on Earth/San Andreas/San Andreas fault line.” Crawford goes on to sing about the rest of the sights along the fault line that make it not so bad including the small town of Pescadero, its people, and plant life. Yet again Crawford and Lee have crafted a song that is so simple both musically and lyrically. What’s more the duo has crafted here yet another song that is entirely original lyrically speaking in comparison to anything else that is out there today from acts of any genre. That simple yet original lyrical content coupled with the song’s equally simple musical approach serves even more to show why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall.

‘San Andreas’ and ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ are both clear examples of why Dirt Road’s End is one of this year’s best new albums overall. They both serve as clear examples thanks to their simple musical and lyrical approach, and for their original lyrical content. They are just a couple examples of what makes Dirt Road’s End such a standout album. ‘Not Another Truck Song’ also exemplifies the album’s positives. The positives in question are the same as those in the prior noted songs–its musical and lyrical simplicity, and its lyrical originality. Musically speaking, ‘Not Another Truck Song’ is a simple, old school country song. There is no other way to put it. There is a guitar, a banjo, and a two-part harmony from Crawford and Lee. The lyrics are just as simple and original. That is evident as the duo sings, “This is not another truck song/Or some hard time outta luck song/This is a love song for you/Who needs another old truck song/I have to listen to them all day long/There’s only one thing we can do/Let’s let the top down/Head on outta town…Forget the radio/I’ll hum a song I know/A song to make you feel alright.” The duo goes on to playfully poke fun at all of the stereotypical classic country songs that have been crafted over the years. The very fact that Crawford and Lee would use a classic country musical approach as the backing for this piece makes it even more enjoyable and proves even more the song’s originality. It’s one more example of what makes Dirt Road’s End another one of this year’s best new albums overall.

‘Not Another Truck Song,’ ‘San Andreas,’ and ‘Ballad of Sugarcane Jane’ are all excellent examples of what makes Dirt Road’s End one of this year’s best new albums. All three songs serve as such clear examples of why this record succeeds because of their musical and lyrical simplicity, and the originality of their lyrical content. The simplicity and originality exhibited in these three songs is just as prevalent through the other seven songs that make up the rest of the album’s ten-track body. Whether for those songs or for the ones more directly noted here, all ten songs presented in Dirt Road’s End show clearly what makes it one of this year’s best overall albums. They show clearly why it will remain a favorite among fans for years to come, too. Dirt Road’s End is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at any of the band’s upcoming tour dates. More information on those dates is available online now along with all of the latest news from Sugarcane Jane at:

Website: http://www.sugarcanejane.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sugarcanejane

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.

Fifteen Years Removed, Crowbar’s Equilibrium Still Hits As Hard As Ever

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Fifteen years ago Crowbar released what has since gone on to be one of the band’s most pivotal albums when it released Equilibrium. The album, which was released originally via Spitfire Records, was officially re-issued late las tmonth via Entertainment One in all of it’s heavy glory. For anyone that is perhaps unfamiliar to Crowbar’s body of work, Equilibrium proves to be a good starting point with its heavy southern sludge/doomcore sound and thought provoking lyrics. It does so right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and again in the equally pummeling ‘Command of Myself.’ These two tracks are but a couple examples of why Equilibrium remains such an important part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The more punk oriented sound of ‘Uncovering’ and its associated lyrical content is one more example of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record should either one not already own it. By themselves, each of the songs noted here show three different reasons that Equilibrium remains one of Crowbar’s most pivotal albums to date. Collectively and alongside the albums other seven songs, the whole of Equilibrium proves to be just as enjoyable for Crowbar’s fans today as it was fifteen years ago in its original release.

Crowbar’s 2000 full length release Equilibrium is one of the most important albums that the band has released to date among its now ten total albums. The main reason for this is the way in which the album mixes together the sound of its older albums with the occasional more punk vibes. Those punk vibes were present in the band’s previous albums. But even in those albums they were not so evident. They are much clearer here. And the band’s heavier side seems even heavier here, too. That heavier side grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ Listening to this song, one coul almost make a comparison to legendary thrash metal band Pantera thanks to the work of guitarist Sammy Pierre Duet, drummer Sid Montz and then bassist Todd Strange. Front man Kirk Windstein’s vocal delivery remains as much of a powerhouse as ever as he screams, “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learned to take my time/You may not understand/The things that burn my mind/Before I’m gone/Conquer it all/Hope still not gone/Conquer it.” Windstein’s powerhouse delivery partner with the song’s defiant yet hopeful lyrics to paint a vivid picturefor listeners. Add in the song’s title and listeners get the image of someone that has faced great odds but refuses to give up no matter what. The line “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learne to take my time” could easily be interpreted as Windstein saying he stands atop all that mankind has made miserable, or simply all that man has in fact ruine or destroyed rather than letting himself become part of those ruins. It is really a positive message despite its forceful delivery. The forceful delivery actually adds to the song’s “oomph” for lack of better wording. The delivery of the lyrics presents a feeling of determination. And that sense of determination coupled with the song’s powerhouse music makes the song in whole that much more powerful and that much wiser a way to open this record.

‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ proves, in considering Equilibrium’s body in whole, to be the right choice for this album’s opener. That is because of the song’s pummeling southern sludge/doom sound and its equally powerful yet positive lyrics. ‘Command of Myself’ presents much the same mix of heaviness and heavy yet positive lyrics. While it has that same heaviness as the album’s opener, audiences will especially appreciate that it still boasts a sound different from that of ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ The band’s trademark southern sludge metal sound takes on a new life here. Its slower pace matches its lyrics, too as Windstein sings, “I’ve been pushing so hard/I’ve been pushing so many years/Still that fire will always burn/Count on me until I die.” Windstein continues on in the same positive direction with the rest of the song’s lyrical content. The song’s closing line sees Windstein screaming, “To myself I’m always true/My reflection I see with pride.” The positive message presented in these words are made even more impactful when set against the song’s slower, yet still pounding musical side. When both elements are set against the rest of Equilibrium’s songs, they show even more why ‘Command of Myself’ is such an important addition to this record. In turn the song, when partnered with the album’s opener, shows even more the importance of Equilibrium as part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The songs together are fleeting moments of light among some very emotionally deep opuses. They show that even in the face of so many emotionally difficult situations, it is possible to be optimistic. Speaking of those emotionally difficult situations, one of the most interesting of the most interesting of those emotionally difficult scenarios presented across Equilibrium is the punk-influenced ‘Uncovering.’

‘Uncovering’ is one of the most intriguing of the album’s deeply emotional moments. It stands out among Equilibrium’s other deeply emotional songs because much like the album’s opener, it presents the subject overcoming a very tough emotional situation. As Windstein writes here, “Left me all alone/Pushed me until I explode/I’ve got to find a way/Thought I could count on you/My faith will pull me through again.” The overall message that is presente here is positive. Windstein is saying there has to be a way, and reminds himself that he will get through it. He goes on to write, “Feel myself burning inside/Finally realized no more compromise/Now I can break away.” He is saying again that he is not going to let himself be held down. The song’s heavy, punk-influenced sound set alongside such determined lyrics, makes it yet another key example of what makes Equilibrium a record that any Crowbar fan should have in their collection.

‘Uncovering’ proves in its own way why Crowbar’s newly re-issued album Equilibrium is one that any Crowbar fan should add to their library if they don’t already have this record in their collection. It’s only one of the songs that make this argument, too. Both the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and ‘Command of Myself’ add to that argument, too. The same could be said of the album’s other tracks not noted here. All things considered, the whole of Equilibrium proves in its new re-issue that fifteen years after its original release, it is an album that any of this stalwart band’s fans will appreciate whether they are fans new or old. Equilibrium is available now in stores and online. Crowbar will hit the road beginning next month in support of Equilibrium alongside Battlecross and Lord Dying. The tour kicks off May 28th in Shreveport, LA. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. 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.