ZZ Top, Gregg Allman Announce Summer/Fall 2016 Tour

Courtesy:  Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

ZZ Top and Gregg Allman will tour together this summer and fall.

The veteran rockers announced this week that they will launch a tour Tuesday, August 16th in Huber Heights, Ohio.  The tour will be split up into three distinct legs with the first leg taking the acts through the Midwest.  That leg runs through Sunday, August 21st.  The second leg of the tour—its longest—will take them throughout the northeast.  It runs from Tuesday, August 23rd to Sunday, September 4th.  The tour’s third leg brings the acts to New Mexico on September 24th and then to Colorado on the 25th before heading to California and Nevada for the remainder of the tour’s closing leg.  ZZ Top will be performing some dates on the tour alone.  Those dates are noted along with the rest of the tour’s dates below.

 

ZZ Top/Gregg Allman tour dates

Aug-16           Huber Heights, OH              Rose Music Center

Aug-17           Clarkston, MI                       DTE Entergy Music Theatre

Aug-19           Anderson, IN                        Hoosier Park Racing & Casino*

Aug-20           Fort McCoy, WI                    Ft. McCoy Army Base

Aug-21           Springfield, IL                       Illinois State Fairgrounds

Aug-23           Darien Center, NY                Darien Lake PAC

Aug-24           Albany, NY                           Times Union Center

Aug-26           Atlantic City, NJ                    Event Center @ Borgata

Aug-27           Essex Junction, VT              Champlain Valley

Aug-28           Boston, MA                           Blue Hills Bank Pavillion

Aug-30           Hyannis, MA                         Cape Cod Melody Tent*

Aug-31           Hartford, CT                          Xfinity Theatre

Sep-1             Holmdel, NJ                          PNC Bank Arts Center

Sep-3             Syracuse, NY                        Lakeview Amphitheater

Sep-4             Portland, ME                         Maine State Pier*

Sep-24           Albuquerque, NM                  Sandia Casino

Sep-25           Morrison, CO                         Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Sep-29           San Luis Obispo, CA             Avila Beach Concerts*

Sep-30           Murphys, CA                         Ironstone Amphitheatre

Oct-1              Saratoga, CA                        The Mountain Winery

Oct-2              Saratoga, CA                        The Mountain Winery

Oct-4              San Diego, CA                      Humphrey’s*

Oct-6              Los Angeles, CA                   Greek Theatre

Oct-7              Las Vegas, NV                     The Pearl

Oct-8              Rancho Mirage, CA             Agua Caliente Casino*

 

*ZZ Top only

 

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The Allman Brothers Band To Release New Live DVD

MSO PR

MSO PR

The Allman Brothers Band will release a special live DVD this Spring.

The band’s new live DVD 40 will be released Tuesday, April 30th via EOne Entertainment. The concert was recorded March 26th, 2009. That day was the fortieth anniversary of the first performance of the band’s original lineup. It was on March 26th, 1969 that the band’s original lineup—Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe Oakley, and Berry Oakley—performed together in Macon, Georgia.

In related news, the current lineup of The Allman Brothers Band will be back on stage, performing live this weekend. The band will perform live in Live Oak, Florida this Saturday, April 11th at the 10th annual Wanee Festival. The band’s previous four performances at the Beacon Theatre had to be postponed as singer Gregg Allman had recently been suffering from bronchitis. Allman spoke to reporters concerning the progress of his recovery, stating that he felt he was almost back to full strength and was optimistic about the band’s upcoming live performances. “I feel almost 100% following my bout with Bronchitis,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the Allman Brothers Band fans at the Wanee Festival April 10-12, as well as I cannot wait for my first trip to Australia with my solo band to meet my down under fans.”

The band’s most current live schedule is listed below.

DATE

CITY VENUE
Fri 4/11 Live Oak, FL Wanee Music Festival
Sat 4/12 Live Oak, FL Wanee Music Festival
Thu-Sun 6/5-6/8 Hunter Mountain, NY Mountain Jam
Thu-Sun 8/14-8/17 Scranton, PA Peach Music Festival
Thu-Sun 9/4-9/7 Arrington, VA Lockn’ Music Festival

 

More information on The Allman Brothers Band, its upcoming live DVD, performances and more is available online at http://allmanbrothersband.com, http://www.hittinthenote.com, http://www.waneefestival.com, and http://www.facebook.com/allmanbrothersband. 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.

Allman Brothers Band Celebrates 45th Anniversary With Live Shows, New Live Releases

MSO PR

MSO PR

2014 marks a major milestone for the Allman Brothers Band.  This year marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the band’s formation.  In celebration of the anniversary, the band will release new live CD and DVD recordings for its fans.  It also has announced the schedule for its annual stint at the Beacon Theater.  It all begins next month with the release of the new two-CD set, Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 and the new live DVD, Live at Great Woods.  This recording was originally recorded in 1991.  The band will also release via its own label, Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, another live DVD titled Boston Common 8/17/71.  Topping it all off, the band is set to return to its original home base of Florida this Spring for the annual Wanee Festival.

Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 presents the band’s first time ever performing such an extended run at the famed theatre.  The band performed ten shows at the Beacon Theatre in 1992.  Only two of those ten shows were ever taped.  Very little material from those recordings has ever been made publicly available for fans up until now.  The double-discset will be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings on Tuesday, February 18th.  Epic/Legacy Recordings is a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

The upcoming double-CD live release is just half of the band’s celebratory releases.  The band will release alongside Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 a new live DVD titled Live at Great Woods.  The recording, which was originally filmed in September 1991, presents the band performing in front of nearly twenty-thousand fans at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Massachusetts.  The new re-issue of the concert recording marks the first time that it has ever been released on DVD.  It features for fans the band’s original long-form video version of the performance.  There are no interviews spliced into the recording here.  It will also be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings.

Finishing of the band’s list of celebratory live recordings will be the release of Boston Common 8/17/71.  John Lynskey—publisher of the ABB’s magazine, Hittin’ The Note—explains the recording and the band’s relationship with the people of Boston in the recording’s liner notes.  Boston Common 8/17/71 is also scheduled for a February release.  No official date has been confirmed yet.

“1971 was a watershed year for the Allman Brothers Band – they recorded their seminal live album, At Fillmore East, in March, and continued to tour relentlessly. By this point, their performances had reached a level of musicianship and intensity that other groups could only dream of. At Fillmore East was released in July to massive critical acclaim, and a month later, they rolled back into Boston to once again jam in the Common, playing two shows on August 17th. Boston Common 8/17/71 manages to capture the loose and engaging early set, with the band clearly enjoying themselves – Berry [Oakley]’s stage banter is particularly engaging as he comments on the group’s relationship with Boston and their friendship with the J. Geils Band. As for the music, Duane’s slide guitar is blistering on ‘Statesboro Blues’ and ‘Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’’; his interplay with Dickey [Betts] on ‘You Don’t Love Me’ is a complex masterpiece, and their dual melody line on ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ is flawless. Gregg’s vocal work is stellar throughout, and his growl on ‘Trouble No More’ clearly justifies his reputation as one of the best blues singers of all time. Berry, Butch and Jaimoe lay down a rhythm foundation that is a mile wide – the thumping bass line and syncopated drum patterns turn the ‘Whipping Post’ finale into a musical maelstrom.”

Following the release of its upcoming live CD and DVDs, the band will continue celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary with its annual stay at the famed Beacon Theatre and a return engagement at the annual Wanee Festival in Live Oaks, Florida.  2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Wanee Festival.  The band’s performances at the Beacon Theatre mark its only live performances in the metro NYC region this year.  The complete schedule of performances dates is listed below.

DATE

CITY

VENUE

Fri

3/7

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/8

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/11

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/12

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/14

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/15

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/18

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/19

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/21

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/22

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

4/11

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

Sat

4/12

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

 

Tickets for the band’s Beacon Theatre shows go on sale this Friday, January 10th at 10am. They can be purchased online via the official Ticketmaster website, http://www.ticketmaster.com and the official Beacon Theatre website, http://www.beacontheatre.com.  They can also be purchased via phone at 1-800-745-3000.  Any unsold tickets will be sold at the venue box office beginning this Sunday, January 12th at the Beacon Theatre box office.  Tickets for American Express card holders are available now and can be purchased through this Thursday, January 9th at 10pm.

More information on the Allman Brothers Band, its releases, concerts and more is available online at http://www.allmanbrothersband.com, http://www.hittinthenote.com, http://www.waneefestival.com, and http://www.facebook.com/allmanbrothersband.  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.

Love For Levon Could Be The Year’s Best Live Recording

Courtesy:  Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Courtesy: Time Life Entertainment/StarVista

Drummer Levon Helm was no ordinary drummer.  He was a musician.  He was a musician among musicians and a musician of the people.  When he finally lost his battle with throat cancer in 2012, the world knew that it had lost not just a man but a legend.  It was Helm that made Midnight Rambles so famous.  And it was those concerts and Helms’ own music that made him the beloved figure that he is today even though he remains only in spirit.  Now thanks to Time Life and StarVista, fans of Helm and his music get to experience one of the greatest tributes to his legacy in the newly released concert, Love For Levon: A Benefit To Save The Barn.

Love For Levon: A Benefit To Save The Barn was released this past March.  It was released in five different formats: Double-Disc CD, Double-Disc CD/Double-Disc DVD, Double-Disc CD/Double-Disc Blu-ray, Double-Disc DVD, and Double Disc Blu-ray.  Regardless of whether audiences pick up the solo DVD or Blu-ray sets or the deluxe sets including both the CD and DVD or CD and Blu-ray, they will be getting in this concert what is among the year’s best live recordings.  It is more than deserving of that honor first and foremost because of the variety of options from which audiences can choose in experiencing this concert.  It is also more than deserving of the honor of being on the list of the year’s top live recordings thanks to its production values.  The all-star line-up and equally extensive set list adds even more reason to praise the performance.  The packaging for the deluxe sets is another interesting addition to the overall presentation that is worthy of note, too.  All assembled together, it makes this recording one that any fan of Americana and music lover in general will find entertaining each time they turn it on.

The very first thing to note about Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save The Barn is the variety of platforms on which it is available.  It is available in two deluxe packages that include both a double-disc CD portion and double-disc video portion.  Those that have HDTVs and Blu-ray players are offered the set with a double-Blu-ray video portion.  Those with DVD players are offered the deluxe package that includes the video recording on DVD along with the double-disc CD accompaniment.  There are also the stand alone DVD and Blu-ray sets as well as a stand-alone double-disc CD set from which audiences can choose.  This vast amount of options may not seem like much to some.  But the reality is that it plays a much bigger role in the overall presentation of this set than some might believe.  Depending on one’s budget or perhaps access to one format or another, Time Life Entertainment has given audiences as many possibilities as possible to be able to enjoy this performance.  Generally when it comes to live recordings, it seems the standard is to present the recording either on one format or another and leave it at that.  Time Life Entertainment has done the exact opposite.  It has offered this iconic performance in every format possible, save for digital.  Though, that will likely come.  For this alone, the people at Time Life Entertainment are to be highly commended.

The multi-format packaging for Love For Levon (as it will be simply known from here on out) is a major positive to the overall positive outlook on this concert.  Moving forward, one must also take into account its production values in determining its success or failure.  Obviously, the good people at Time Life Entertainment maintained the mantra that failure is not an option even with the recording’s production values.  The audio and video were expertly mixed.  Audiences will notice this both on the DVD and Blu-ray presentations as well as on the CD presentation.  This is a factor that is just as important as the number of formats from which audiences to have choose in experiencing the concert.  It is just as important because without proper mixing, there is no reason to buy the recording on any platform.  There are live recordings out there that leave audiences wondering what those behind the boards and cameras were thinking and were they awake at their posts.  Obviously, those behind the board s and cameras were well awake at this concert.  It looks and sounds excellent all the way around.  Even the lighting on stage itself was just right.  When blues great Mavis Staples takes the stage to sing ‘Move Along Train’ every note from Ms. Staples and the backing musicians is crystal clear. This expert mixing is handled throughout the near three-hour long concert.

Having taken into account the production values of Love for Levon, the next logical step is to take a slightly broader examination in looking at the show’s set list and its equally vast array of performers.  These too, are boons to this recording.  Mavis Staples is just one of the many superstars that made appearances for the benefit.  Also on hand were the likes of: Jakob Dylan, John Mayer, Roger Waters, Eric Church, My Morning Jacket, Dierks Bentley, Ray LaMontagne, and a whole who’s who of music past and present.  That so many artists from so many different corners of the music world came together for this performance shows the impact that Levon Helm had in his life and still has even though he remains only in spirit.  While the conglomeration of artists was in itself quite impressive, one must agree that the performance’s set list was just as incredible.  The bluesy feel of ‘Trouble in Mind’ and ‘Move Along Train’ is just a pair of the highlights from the performance.  ‘Little Birds’ and ‘Listening to Levon’ are just impressive in their more subdued, emotional tones.  These are just a handful of the songs that audiences will enjoy throughout the course of what is one of the year’s must have live recordings.  During the concert, the performers and their songs will send audiences on an emotional and musical journey that they will not forget.  It is a journey that after it’s over, audiences know they will want to take again.

So much work went into bringing Love for Levon to the masses.  The performances in this recording are outstanding, as are the performers and the songs.  The show’s production values are well above par.  And that Time Life Entertainment and StarVista have given audiences so many options from which to choose in deciding on how to best take in the concert sweetens the deal even more.  There is one final piece to the puzzle that makes this recording one of the year’s best live recordings, if not the best of the year.  That piece of the puzzle is the packaging.  This critic had the honor of receiving a screener of the deluxe double-disc CD/double-disc DVD set for review.  The packaging for this deluxe is impressive in its own right.  All four discs in the set are placed into their own mini-sleeve so to speak within the larger package that also includes a bonus booklet.  The bonus booklet includes very moving tributes written by Charles McCardell and Keith Wortman.  Wortman writes so eloquently of Helm in his addition to the included booklet, “In this age of artificially constructed music, Levon was the genuine article…in how he played, sang, and carried himself.”  He goes on to include a quote by Bruce Springsteen about Helm that is just as touching.  McCardell adds his own touch, expressing the joyous air that filled the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ, where the tribute concert was held.  His writing that, “From the energy generated in the building, it’s hard to tell who was more excited—the audience or the performers.”  Home audiences will see exactly what McCardell means when they watch this concert.  That single note echoes everything that has already been noted here.  And it can all be experienced now.  The concert is available now.  It can be ordered direct online via the Time Life Entertainment website at http://timelife.com/products/love-for-levon or via Amazon.

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.