Satriani Leaves Listeners Asking “What Happens Next?” In The Best Way With His New LP

Courtesy Epic Records

Guitar great Joe Satriani has done seemingly everything that can be done by an artist of his caliber and experience. He has built quite the successful solo career. He has served as a member of the famed rock band Deep Purple and as the rock super group Chicken Foot as well as so much more. Considering how much Satriani has done and how much success he has had throughout the course of his decades-long career, one is left asking after each of his releases, “what happens next?” Thus we get the title of his latest album, What Happens Next. Released Jan. 12 via Epic Records, this 16th full-length studio recording from the virtuoso guitarist is everything that audiences have come to expect from Satriani. That is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the album’s 51-minute run time. That growth is exhibited both in the songs that throw back to Satriani’s established albums and to those that show his continued abilities. That growth is just one part of what makes this album stand out Its sequencing plays its own important part in the album’s overall presentation, too. This element will be discussed later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. When it is set alongside the record’s sequencing and clear growth exhibited within the songs’ arrangements, the whole of the elements noted here makes this record a work that will leave listeners asking once again, “What happens next?” in the very best way.

Joe Satriani’s latest full-length studio recording What Happens Next is easily one of this year’s top new rock records. The 12-song record shows yet again over the course of its 51-minute run time why Satriani remains today one of rock’s elite musicians. This is due to the continued growth exhibited throughout the course of the album’s run. Right from the outset, fans familiar with Satriani’s body of work are transported to his 2004 album Is There Love In Space? in ‘Energy.’ the aptly titled song is a straight-forward, up-tempo piece that harkens back to ‘Hands In The Air,’ the third of the album’s offerings. What’s really interesting to note here is that while the songs bear a stylistic similarity in their sounds and energies, it’s obvious that Satriani didn’t just rehash that earlier song. This completely contradicts the statements of so many who have claimed that this album is more of the same from Satriani. One could argue that the album’s second song, ‘Catbot’ also throws back to some of his older works, too. Even with that comparison possible, one has to admit that the song’s arrangement, with its fuzz effect on the guitar bears more similarity to recent works from Royal Blood than anything that Satriani has composed before. The album’s third song, ‘Thunder High on the Mountain’ presents a run that would make Zakk Wylde and Tom Morello proud. It’s the kind of run that Satriani has not composed before, but instantly conjures thoughts of his aforementioned counterparts. Again, it shows that continued growth that has been mentioned so many times already. That display of growth doesn’t end here, either. Rather it continues on throughout the rest of the album. ‘Cherry Blossoms,’ with its contrasting “A” and “B” sections also takes listeners back in time, conjuring thoughts of perhaps works from Satriani’s 1998 album Crystal Planet while also changing things up considerably. The changes come in the form of the string arrangements in the “A” sections and the more reserved guitar line in the “B” section. The song gets even more lively in its bridge, with Satriani just letting go. ‘Headrush,’ with its uptemp guitar lick instantly conjures thoughts of ‘Satch Boogie,’ from Satriani’s 1987 album Surfing With The Alien. Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes’ walking bass line in this song adds a nice bluesy touch that helps in its own way the growth, as does Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith with his polyrhythmic patterns. It’s yet another way in which this record reaches back in time while also looking clearly forward. As if that wasn’t example enough, ‘Super Funky Badass’ reaches back to Satriani’s ’06 record Super Colossal thanks to its arrangement. Yet again though, as much as it bears similarities to songs from that record, it also establishes its own identity, thanks again to its arrangement. There is some material here that is slightly more intense than the music on Super Colossal. That contrast and comparison once more proves that this record is in fact not just more of the same from Satriani. It shows that while yes, there are some similarities between songs here and his established works, there is just as much new to appreciate from start to finish. Much the same could be argued of every one of the other songs not noted here. That being the case, when those songs are joined with the works directly discussed here, the arrangements featured here form a solid foundation for the record’s presentation. They are not the album’s only important collective element either. Its sequencing is important to discuss, too.

The sequencing at the heart of What Happens Next is important to its whole because of the general effect that it creates through the song’s energies. The album starts off rather upbeat, as has already been noted. Even with the momentary reservation in energy in ‘Thunder High on The Mountain,’ that decline is only momentary. The same can be said of the energy in the album’s fourth track, ‘Cherry Blossoms.’ The song’s energy feels slightly reserved at times, but even in that reservation, it doesn’t necessarily slow down per se. It’s something that must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated. It’s just a nice solid balanced up and down of energies within the very context of the one song. That balance is just as evident in ‘Righteous.’ As the album enters its midpoint in ‘Smooth Soul,’ the album does markedly slow down, but it’s in a good way. That pullback gives listeners just enough time to breath before Satriani launches into the much more up-tempo ‘Headrush,’ which again is another throwback composition that shows a certain growth from the professor. The album’s energies vary even more as the album makes its way through its second half from contemplative to playful to gentle and reserved to close things out. Simply put, from one song to the next, the album’s energies remain stable without fault. That being the case, it shows plenty of thought was put into the album’s sequencing, proving once and for all why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole. It is not the last of the album’s important elements, either. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production at the center of What Happens Next is important to discuss because of the general effect that it has on the album’s overall presentation. Just as the album’s energy is balanced from start to finish in this record, ensuring listeners’ maintained engagement, so are each of the trio’s parts in each song. Satriani, Hughes and Smith each shine throughout the record thanks to producer Mike Fraser’s work. This should come as no surprise considering that Fraser has worked with Satriani for so many years. The pair’s friendship and understanding of one another comes across clearly throughout this record as not only Satch gets plenty of time, but he also gladly gives up the spotlight so many times in favor of teamwork from his fellow musicians. Because each member of the group gets his own time to shine (and plenty of it at that), the end result is a record that sounds great and new from beginning to end even with its comparisons to its predecessors. When this is considered alongside the expertly balanced energies exhibited throughout the record’s sequencing and the impressive and enjoyable arrangements at the heart of each song, the whole of those elements shows without doubt why this record will indeed leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best way possible.

Joe Satriani’s 16th full-length studio recording What Happens Next is, while maybe not one of his landmark offerings, still an enjoyable record that is certain to leave listeners asking “What happens next?” in the best possible way. That statement is proven in part through 12 musical arrangements that take listeners through Satriani’s past, present and even future. The sequencing of those songs strengthens the record even more thanks to the balance of energy from one song to the next. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation. Each element is important in its own right, as has been pointed out. All things considered, this record is another impressive and enjoyable offering from one of the true masters. It is a work that once more will leave listeners asking “what happens next?” in all of the best ways possible. More information on What Happens Next is available online now along with all of Satriani’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.satriani.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chickenfootjoe

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, E.A.R. Music To Release New Archived Deep Purple Concert

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/E.A.R. Music

Eagle Rock Entertainment and E.A.R. Music will release another archived live Deep Purple this summer.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and E.A.R. Music will release Deep Purple: Graz 1975 on Tuesday, September 23rd. The recording, which is part of Deep Purple’s “(Overseas) Live Series,” was recorded at the Liebenauer ice rink. The rink is located just outside of the city of Graz, Austria. Graz is the second-largest city in Austria just behind Vienna. The concert features the classic MK III lineup of Richie Blackmore (guitar), David Coverdale (vocals), Glenn Hughes (bass/vocals), Jon Lord (keyboards), and Ian Paice (drums). He show was dubbed by the local press as being the “rock event of the year” at the time of the event.

The band’s eight-song performance opens with a rousing performance of its hit song ‘Burn.’ The show’s set list consists largely of songs from the band’s earlier days in which Ian Gillan handled vocal duties and Roger Glover played bass. It includes iconic songs such as ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Space Truckin.’ After the band’s performance in Graz, it would go on to perform only two more shows together before guitarist Richie Blackmore would leave the band. He would later go on to form the equally iconic rock band Rainbow. American guitarist Tommy Bolin took over guitar duties after Blackmore’s departure from the band.

Deep Purple: Graz 1975 has never before been released in its entirety in any form. Its release later this month will mark the first time ever that the recording has been released in its entirety. It will be available on CD, two-disc gatefold LP, and digital audio. The show’s set list is noted below.

Track Listing:

  1. Burn
  2. Stormbringer
  3. The Gypsy
  4. Lady Double Dealer
  5. Mistreated
  6. Smoke On The Water
  7. You Fool No One
  8. Space Truckin’

 

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews. More information on this and other releases from E.A.R. Music is available online at http://ear-music.net and http://www.facebook.com/earmusicofficial. 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.

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ronnie-James-Dio-This-Your/dp/B00IACUO8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396440364&sr=1-1&keywords=dio+this+is+your+life and can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ronnie-james-dio-this-is-your/id829325064.

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio and http://www.ronniejamesdio.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Draiman, Device Far From Being Disturbed

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

David Draiman is one of the most well known vocalists in the rock community today.  His animalistic sounding growls and seemingly Maynard James Keenan inspired vocal style make his a voice that is instantly noticeable when listeners hear it.  The problem is that just as Keenan’s side project, A Perfect Circle, was instantly compared to Tool because of Keenan’s iconic vocal style, so has Draiman’s new side project, Device, been compared to Disturbed.  While the first pair of tracks on Device’s self-titled debut do bear some semblance to material recorded by Disturbed, that similarity begins to fade early on.  The album’s third song, ‘Vilify’ has more of a pure rock sound.  Right from its opening verse, it impresses just as much lyrically as musically.  Draiman sings defiantly as the song opens, “As you vilify/Every single move that I make/And try to bind me/In your insanity/You’ll come to know/That you never had control/from the onset/Go find another lapdog, f***er.”  The defiance doesn’t stop here.  The verbal assault against those who would run their mouths seemingly just to run their mouths runs nonstop through the song with full on intensity that is sure to get the blood and body flowing.

If there was still any question of comparison to Disturbed even in ‘Vilify’, then those comparisons will be erased even more in the album’s very next song, ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’ Some might cringe at this, but it almost comes across as a ballad style piece, especially with the addition of vocalist Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) give it even more of that sense.  And if that’s not proof enough, one need only look at the song’s lyrical content as argument for that comparison.  Lyrically speaking, it comes across as a song of lost love.  Draiman and Hale sing here, “I know I’ve been so hard to you/I know I’ve told you lies/If I could have just one more wish/I’d wipe the cobwebs from my eyes.”  This one song isn’t reason for anyone to worry, as it’s the only time through the course of the album’s ten tracks that the album’s intensity drops off. 

The intensity built early on in Device’s self-titled debut picks back up not long after ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’  What’s more, as the intensity rebuilds through the album’s second half so does the separation of Device from Disturbed.  It all starts on ‘Out of Line.’  This socio-political piece offers a solid mix of electronics and heavy, foot-stomping, head banging guitar breaks that would make any metal purist proud.  And the inclusion of Serj Tankian’s (System of a Down) equally distinct vocal style adds even more musical flavor to this song.  One can’t ignore the addition of Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) on this track, either.  The mix of music, star power, and lyrical heaviness makes it just one more of so many tracks from which listeners will be able to choose as a favorite.  The intensity and separation from the band members’ primary bands builds even more in ‘Opinion.’  The guest guitar work of Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) is surprisingly unlike what Morello has recorded with his other side projects.  And it definitely helps to maintain this song’s identity from anything even remotely related to Disturbed.  It is one of those pieces that has to be heard to fully understand this.

If the guest appearances from Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, and Serj Tankian aren’t enough to convince listeners as to the identity of Device, then perhaps ‘War of Lies’ and the album’s closer, ‘Through It All’ will do the job.  The heavy bass and vocals from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) mixed with Draiman’s vocals make this one of the album’s more surprisingly interesting songs.  That’s because of the fact that the song starts off very slow and deliberate.  But a little more than halfway through the song, it picks up, and carries the listener up to the song’s final fading moments.  Those moments are just subtle enough to allow listeners to catch their breath after the musical rollercoaster on which they have just taken a ride.  And having caught their breath, any listener that went into this album thinking it would be just another Disturbed record will have seen that that belief was in fact completely wrong.  While it might have started out with some similarity to Disturbed, that similarity is soon erased, and a new band with a sound that bears only the slightest closeness to the prior arises.  It definitely turns out to be a record that any fan of Disturbed and any hard rock fan in general will want to check out at least once.   

Device is currently touring in support of its self-titled debut.  Among some of its more notable scheduled concert dates are performances at the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival on April 28th in Jacksonville Florida, the Carolina Rebellion Festival in Rockingham, North Carolina on May 4th, and the famed Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 19th.  The band has even more dates that audiences can find out about when they “Like” Device on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Devicetheband.  Audiences will also find a link to download the band’s album via iTunes on the Facebook page.  That link is http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes for those that may not be able to get to the band’s FB page.

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.

Re-Machined More Than Just A Tribute Record

Courtesy:  Eagle Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Famed British hard rock band Deep Purple is set to drop its new album next month.  The album, titled Now What?! will be released in the United State Tuesday, April 30th.  While fans wait for the release of this highly anticipated album, they have another recent release to tide them over in the form of the tribute album, Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head.  It may be a tribute album, but it is still a great album for both new and long-time fans of Deep Purple.

The new honorary compilation hit stores in late 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary of the landmark album’s original release.  It features all seven tracks from Deep Purple’s original iconic album plus a pair of bonuses.  One of those bonuses comes in the form of Metallica’s cover of ‘When A Blind Man Cries.’  As Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich notes in the compilation’s liner notes, “I have a list of songs in my head that Metallica should play before we either break up or die, and Deep Purple’s ‘When A Blind man Cries’ is one of those songs.”  The song in question is a bonus in that it actually never made the record.  Again, the liner notes shed light on this.  The notes, written by Classic Rock Magazine’s Mark Blake note that the song in question was originally a B-side to the song, ‘Never Before’ but has become a fan favorite throughout the years.  So it only made sense to have it included on this tribute record.  And it’s just one of the pieces that make this album a must not just for any Deep Purple fan but for any hard rocker, period.

‘When A Blind Man Cries’ is just one part of what makes Re-Machined such an impressive album of covers.  Going back to Ulrich, he and Metallica constitute just one of the acts brought together to record this album who openly tout Deep Purple as an influence in their own career as musicians.  Blake writes of Iron Maiden’s front man Bruce Dickinson (whose band also covers a track on the disc) that he [Dickinson] was also a “serious Purple aficionado.”  He quotes Dickinson as saying, “I cut my teeth as a kid on Deep Purple.  It’s what I grew up with.  It’s what got me out of bed in the mornings.”  Now if that isn’t a tribute in itself to the importance of Deep Purple in the music world, it’s anyone’s guess what is.  Dickinson and company ended up recording ‘Space Truckin’’ for the record, which is an absolutely outstanding piece both originally and as a cover here.  The way that it drives (no pun intended), it will have fans pumping their fists and singing along loud and proud. 

If Iron Maiden’s ‘Space Truckin’’ isn’t enough to convince fans of this compilation’s importance, then maybe the album’s opener will.  Carlos Santana (yes, that Carlos Santana) joins Papa Roach front man Jacoby Shaddix for a cover of what is arguably the band’s most famous song of all time, ‘Smoke on the Water.’  What’s really interesting about this cover is that while it is a cover, it doesn’t feel or sound like one.  Far too often, bands and artists try to take classic songs and update them.  That’s not the case here.  Shaddix and Santana have taken the classic and made it their own while still paying homage to the original.  It makes perfect sense as to why the album would open with this cover in hearing Santana’s guitar chops and the solid vocals of Shaddix.  It also serves one more purpose that at a passing glance is missed.  But in really thinking about the generational mix presented here, one sees the purer purpose of using it as the compilation’s opener.

On the surface, having a bunch of bands and artists resurrect one of rock’s most important and iconic albums is a great thing.  Having the album resurrected by a collection of rock’s greatest names past and present is even greater.  What this does is it makes it more than just a tribute album.  It makes the album a music history lesson in and of itself.  As evidenced in the opening number, young audiences will be pulled in by the inclusion of Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix.  Older audiences will be pulled in from both the fact that it’s Deep Purple and that fellow veteran musician Carlos Santana is on the track.  Also because of the inclusion of Santana, those same younger audiences will potentially be introduced to the music of not just one great classic act, but two in both Deep Purple and Carlos Santana, thus preserving both acts’ legacies for a whole new generation.  The same could be said of the inclusion of Chickenfoot’s live cover of ‘Highway Star’ and Black Label Society’s cover of ‘Pictures of Home.’ 

It should be clear by everything noted here that Re-Machined is more than just a tribute to a band.  It’s a tribute, yes.  But it’s also a tribute to everything that was and still is right with rock and roll.  It’s a musical love letter to real rock and an excellent way to get a whole new generation of hard rockers and metal heads into what is without a doubt, one of mainstream rock’s greatest bands.  The album is available now in stores and online.  Audiences can get more information on this album, the band’s upcoming new full length studio release and its tour dates online at http://www.deeppurple2013 and http://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

To keep up with more from Deep Purple and all 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.

Device Announce New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Device, the new hard rock act featuring Disturbed front man David Draiman, will hit the road for a new series of U.S. tour dates.  The band will kick of a new tour beginning April 10th in Mobile, Alabama.  The band’s tour includes stops at a number of big name Spring festivals.  Nonpoint and Gemini Syndrome will be along as supporting acts on select dates.

Device’s upcoming tour is in support of its upcoming self-titled debut album.  The album is expected to be released April 9th, 2013 on Warner Brothers Records.  Draiman is the front man of this latest hard rock super group.  He is joined by Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Virus (guitarist of Dope and Rock of Ages).  The trio worked with former Filter member Geno Lenardo.  The band has already earned some big honors even before its debut album drops.  It has earned a Gold God nomination for “Best New Talent” from Revolver magazine.  And Artist Direct said of the band’s sound, “Welcome to the 22nd Century of rock.”  The band has already released the first single from its album.  That song is titled, ‘Vilify.’  The video for that single is available online now at YouTube.  It can be viewed now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K1q1pw04Bs.  The album can be pre-ordered online through iTunes at http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes.

Device features guest appearances from Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Glenn Huges (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion), M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), and Lizzy Hale  (Halestorm).

For a full rundown of tour dates and to get all the latest news from Device, go online to http://www.facebook.com/devicetheband and http://twitter.com/devicetheband

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.

Deep Purple Live Is 2013’s First Great Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/earMusic

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/earMusic

Eagle Rock Entertainment has picked up 2013 where it left off 2013.  It starts off the New Year as the continuing leader in live recordings.  The label has started off the year with another live release from the one and only Deep Purple.  Audiences will remember that the label released Deep Purple’s 1999 concert from Australia last year.  This time, audiences are taken even farther back in time with a recording of the band’s 1975 performance in Paris.

Everybody knows that Paris is known as the “City of Love.”  But when Deep Purple came through in 1975, it became the “City of Rock and Roll.”  This landmark concert recorded April 17th, 1975 at the Palais de Sports in Paris would be the last time that the band’s guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would perform live with the band before leaving to form Rainbow.  The entire show starts off with a blazing performance of the band’s classic ‘Burn.’  Singer David Blackmore’s vocals were above par here and throughout the entire set.  And the rest of the band barely lets up either as the band launches into the set’s second song, ‘Stormbringer.’  This hard rocker is one more example of everything that was once great with rock and roll.  And now that Eagle Rock Entertainment and earMusic have unearthed it and the other songs that comprise this classic concert, a whole new generation of audiences can learn what true great rock and roll is all about especially in live form.

The enjoyment doesn’t end with ‘Stormbringer.’  The guitar solos and the impromptu jam session of ‘The Gypsy’ is another great moment from this classic live recording.  It’s one more example of everything that was once right with rock and roll.  The jam session that the band breaks into here is one of those moments in which audiences can simply close their eyes and really experience the song as if they are really there.  The band continues to impress after the incredible experience of ‘The Gypsy’ with the harder edged style of ‘Lady Double Dealer.’  Again [Ritchie] Blackmore shines here.  One can only wonder in listening to this song (and the recording’s other pieces) what it would have sounded like had Blackmore ever teamed up with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.  Blackmore shows here and throughout the recording that he’s as good as Page if not better.  One can’t deny drummer Ian Paice’s expert timekeeping throughout this song and the rest of the record, either.  Considering that, one can’t help but wonder what a side by side bill with both Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin at that time would have been like.  It never hurts to dream, right?

So much more could be said of this landmark performance.  But that would take too much time and too much space.  It goes without saying that this entire concert experience will take DP’s more experienced audiences back to a better time.  And for those who might be new to the music of Deep Purple, this makes for an equally impressive first impression.  It serves as an excellent intro to the band’s history and everything that made (and makes) it great.  The music makes for a great live experience from beginning to end.  But the music would have been nothing without the concert’s expert audio mix.  In considering that this concert recording is nearly four decades old, the fact that recording equipment in 1975 could so expertly capture the recording is amazing in itself.  That the recording has stood the test of time for so many decades and re-mastered to sound just like a listener was there today makes this recording that much more impressive.  To make the recording even more impressive, Eagle Rock and earMusic have also included an interview David Coverdale, Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes with this new release.  The twenty-minute plus interview has the band members discussing how the band originally met and formed, the genesis of its songs and much more.  This is an original interview with the band members from.  It is not something new.  Bonus feature or not, it makes the record that much more worth the money.   This along with the equally impressive set list and audio mix makes this new live release the first great live release of 2013.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online at http://www.eagle-rock.com

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