Derek Sherinian Debuts Track-By-Track Discussion On New LP

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian showed audiences how his latest album The Phoenix came to life this week.

Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, ex-Dream Theater, Platypus) debuted his new “making of” video Tuesday.  The nearly 25-minute video opens with Sherinian shredding on a massive keyboard setup before eventually moving into an interview with Sherinian and a montage of footage from the album’s recording sessions.

The noted montage is coupled with a series of other interview segments with Sherinian and some of the album’s featured guest stars, such as Billy Sheehan, Simon Phillips, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal.

The video takes audiences trac-by-track through The Phoenix in Sherinian’s own words and those of Phillips.  the pair discusses topics related to the album, such as the influence of Return To Forever and Jimi Hendrix, working with bluesman Joe Bonamassa, and bringing everyone together for the album.

The Phoenix is available now through InsideOut Music.  The album has produced the singles ‘Them Changes,’ ‘Dragonfly,’ and ‘Empyrean Sky.’

It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

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

 

Joe Bonamassa Featured In New Episode Of ‘GibsonTV’; Bonamassa To Hold Live Stream Concert Sept. 20

Courtesy: Prime PR Group

Bluesman Joe Bonamassa is keeping himself in the headlines.

The famed blues singer/songwriter/guitarist appeared this week on GibsonTV’s series The Collection.  Bonamassa’s appearance featured him discussing his collection of vintage guitars.  This latest episode is streaming here.

Audiences can watch even more episodes of The Collection by subscribing to GibsonTV.

Said GibsonTV host Mark Agnesi of Bonamassa and his collection,

“Joe’s commitment to preserving the history of these instruments and sharing their stories is a testament to his love for everything about the guitar.  His passion is contagious, and he is an amazing ambassador for the instrument.”

Bonamassa’s appearance on GibsonTV is just one way in which he is keeping his name in the headlines.  He is scheduled to hold a live stream concert at 4 p.m. ET on Sept. 20 in support of his newly released album Royal Tea.  The ticketed event will stream live from the famed Ryman Auditorium.

Tickets are available here.  A portion of proceeds from ticket sales for the concert will benefit the Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation for Bonamassa’s Fueling Musicians Program.  The program helps assist musicians who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on Redemption is available online now along with all of Joe Bonamassa’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.jbonamassa.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/JoeBonamassa

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BONAMASSA

 

 

 

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.

Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves’ Debut LP Gives Great Hope For the Band’s Future

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Singer-songwriter Nick Perri is joining southern rock band Blackberry Smoke for a series of live dates next week.  The live dates, set to run from Sept. 10-15, are all drive-in concerts that will take Perri and his fellow musicians — Brian Weaver (bass), and Zil Fessler (drums) — from Virginia up to Massachusetts.  They are in support of Sun Via, the recently released album from Perri and his larger backing back, The Underground Thieves.  Released independently by the band Aug. 14, the 10-song record will find appeal among a wide range of listeners through its musical and lyrical content, each of which will be discussed here.  While each noted element is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation, its production and mixing is just as important to the noted overall picture.  It will also be noted later.  All three items are important in their own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Sun Via one of the most surprisingly interesting albums released in the rock community so far this year.

Nick Perri and the Underground Thieves’ debut album Sun Via is an intriguing first offering from the band.  That is meant in a positive fashion.  The interest in the record stems in part from its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question display a variety of influences.  Case in point is the record’s finale ‘White Noise.’  The wall of sound approach in this song’s arrangement combines influences from the likes of Oasis and Pink Floyd while also adding in a touch of David Bowie influence to add even more depth to the whole.  While the influences are noticeable, audiences will be glad to know that Perri and company used those influences to make their own unique song here rather than just rip off any specific songs from said acts.  The whole makes this arrangement a powerful exit for the album and just one example of what makes the album’s arrangements so important to its whole.  ‘Fall’ also boasts a bit of that Pink Floyd influence, just in a different sense.  Moving on, ‘Feeling Good,’ the album’s opener, takes a distinctly different approach in its arrangement.  Right from the song’s opening notes, its arrangement lends itself to comparisons to works from blues rock great Joe Bonamassa.  At the same time, listeners can also make comparisons here to works from the likes of The Black Keys and Royal Blood.  That comparison can be made through the use of the (Hammond?) organ, the fuzzed effect in the guitar and the percussion alongside the bass line.  The whole creates a sound that is so infectious and memorable.    It’s just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements prove so important to its presentation.  That is because it shows again, the diversity in the record’s musical side.  The album also presents a classic rock influence in the form of ‘I Want You.’  This song is a ballad that white original and unique in its own presentation, clearly shows the noted influence.  There is also a more modern pop rock influence exhibited in this record in the form of ‘I Want You,’ and ‘Daughters & Sons.’  There are other songs that show the aforementioned Pink Floyd influence along with all of this.  Simply put, the musical arrangements that are featured throughout Sun Via give listeners plenty of reason in themselves, to hear this record.  They arrangements are just a portion of what makes Sun Via stand out.  Its lyrical themes are just as valuable to its whole as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Sun Via are wholly familiar to any listener.  Case in point is the theme featured in ‘I Want You.’  Perri sings at one point, “Baby, please come home/Baby, I want you.”  Little else needs noting to know the song’s lyrical theme.  This is someone trying to get the woman he loves to come back after the pair has obviously had some form of falling out.  In this case, the song’s subject is not using the familiar “oh, woe is me” mindset in trying to get his woman back, but rather, trying at this point, to be hopeful that he can convince her to return.  It’s just one phase of such a situation.  It will connect with any listener.

‘Daughters & Sons’ presents its own unique introspective lyrical theme.  The song opens with Perri singing, “I see the writing on the wall/They say the futility of it all/Why do the evil get it all/While the good one die youg/Leaving daughters and sons.”  From there he sings, “Are you aware/Of the little things that you do/That you do/To make people love you/Are you aware of the little things that you say/Turning the blue skies to gray/But I see/The writing on the wall/Facing he futility of it all/Why do the evil get it all/While the good ones die young/Leaving daughters and sons?”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Do you care about the people you leave/Yeah, the people like you and me…Do you care…about the feeling we lost here at home?”  This really comes across as a subtle commentary of sorts that reminds people to keep in mind who and what is important in life while we are here.  It’s hardly the first time that such a seeming message has been delivered in any genre.  That aside, it is a message that is always welcome and that will resonate with listeners.  Keeping that in mind, it is just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to its presentation.  ‘Everybody Wants One’ I another way in which the album’s lyrical theme show their importance to the record.

The song comes across – at least to a point – as being about concerns surrounding consumerism.  This is inferred as Perri sings in the song’s lead verse, “They got something gonna blow your mind/It doesn’t all look how it shines, yeah…Gonna make you feel good/Everybody wants one/Don’t let it get away/Everybody wants one/Tokyo to L.A./Everybody wants one/You don’t wanna hesitate.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “You know, it’s gonna put ‘em all to shame/Everybody’s gonna have one soon/You know what I’m looking at, you.”  Again, this would seem to hint at a commentary about how companies sell things to people and how people fall for the companies’ marketing, making them believe that they just have to have the next big, cool item.  It’s another familiar topic, and is just as relevant today as ever.  It’s one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves its value.  When it is considered along with the other themes noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, the whole makes even more clear why the album’s lyrical content is as important as its musical arrangements.  The lyrical and musical content featured in the record go a long way toward making it a strong new effort, and are just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  Its production and mixing adds to its appeal, too.

The production and mixing that went into Sun Via’s presentation is important to note because of the general effect that it has on the record.  Some of the songs, such as ‘White Noise,’ ‘Daughters & Sons,’ and ‘Fall’ have so much going on in such different ways.  From the dynamic changes to the balance of the instruments to even the smaller aesthetic elements, such as electronics and ambient aspects, everything within the songs is balanced so well within each song.  The result is a group of songs whose arrangements are distinct from one another, but ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment because of that balance and overall composition.  Much the same can be said of ‘Feeling Good’ and so many of the album’s other entries.  The sharpness of the guitar in ‘Feeling Good’ and its slight echo effect makes for a great effect here.  That the drums and bass are so well-balanced with the guitar and vocals adds to the song’s positive impact.  The whole is such a strong offering and yet another example of the impact of the album’s production and mixing.  Between the production and mixing here, that of the other noted songs and the rest of the album’s entries, the production and mixing in whole proves why it is just as important to this album as the album’s content.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album in whole leaves no doubt why it is such a strong debut for Nick Perri and the Underground Thieves.  The noted elements join to make the album one of the year’s more surprisingly interesting new rock and independent albums.

Sun Via is quite the intriguing first outing from Nick Perri and the Underground Thieves.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements.  From blues rock to some prog influences, to, even modern pop rock, and even some neo-folk and more, the record’s musical arrangements display a wide range of styles.  This ensures a wide appeal in itself.  The album’s lyrical themes are familiar and delivered in unique fashion from one to the next.  The record’s production and mixing ensure its aesthetic appeal is complete, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make Sun Via a truly unique presentation that is well worth hearing and that shows great promise for the group’s future.  Sun Via is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://nickperrimusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/nickperrimusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/nickperri

 

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

Derek Sherinian Debuts Video For ‘Them Changes’ Cover

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian debuted the video for his latest single this week.

Sherinian debuted the video for his cover of the Buddy Miles classic ‘Them Changes‘ Sept. 4.  The song is the latest single from Sherinian’s forthcoming album The Phoenix, which is scheduled for release Sept. 18 through InsideOut Music.  It follows the debut of the album’s singles ‘Dragonfly,’ and ‘Empyrean Sky.’

The video for the group’s cover of ‘Them Changes’ features a guest appearance by famed blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa.  The black-and-white-shot video features, Sherinian, Bonamassa and their fellow musicians in studio recording the song.

Sherinian and company’s rendition of the song largely stays true to its source material.  The most noticeable difference in the rendition is the exclusion of the horns that are used in the original song.  Miles’ original is also more of a funk-style song while Sherinian and company took a decidedly more blues-based sound, with Bonamassa shredding the solos a la Jimi Hendrix.  The addition of Sherinian’s keyboard work and drummer Simon Phillips’ time keeping adds a bit of a Deep Purple vibe to the song.

Pre-orders for The Phoenix are open now.  Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

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

 

Derek Sherinian Debuts ‘Dragonfly’ Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian debuted the video for his latest single this week.

Sherinian debuted the video for his new single ‘Dragonfly‘ Friday.  The song is the second single from his forthcoming solo album The Phoenix while its video is the album’s first.  The album is scheduled for release Sept. 18 through InsideOut music.

The debut of ‘Dragonfly’ comes less than a month after Sherinian debuted ‘Empyrean Sky,’ the album’s lead single.  The arrangement at the center of ‘Dragonfly presents a distinct freeform style approach.  The controlled chaos of Sherinian’s performance on the piano couples with drummer Simon Phillips’ steady time keeping and bassist Ernest Tibbs’ low end to make the song a jazz fusion style arrangement that will appeal to fans of Trioscapes.

The arrangement at the center of ‘Empyrean Sky,’ by comparison is more of a distinct prog-metal work that is grounded in Sherinian’s keyboard work, guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s work on guitar and ‘Phillips’ once again steady time keeping.

Along with handling drums throughout the record, Phillips also also co-produced and co-wrote the album with Sherinian.  He shared his own thoughts on the record.

Pre-orders for The Phoenix are open now.  Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

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

 

Derek Sherinian Debuts New LP’s Lead Single

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian debuted the lead single from his new album The Phoenix this week.

Sherinian debuted his new single ‘Empyrean Sky‘ Friday.  The full-on instrumental track is anchored by Sherinian’s keyboard work, drummer Simon Philipps’ time keeping and Jimmy Johnson’s bass line.  Armen Ra’s performance on the theremin adds its own touch to the composition, too, as does guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s performance along with the group.

The composition in whole lends itself to comparisons to work (both classic and modern) from the likes of Kansas and to works from Emerson Lake & Palmer.  It is a slight departure from the work that he has done with other acts with which he has recorded and performed.  That gives the song even more of its own identity.

Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Platypus, Black Country Communion) is scheduled to release his new album Sept. 18 through InsideOut Music.  It will mark the first time since 2011 that he has released a solo album, that most recent album being Oceana.

Sherinian talked about his forthcoming album in a recent interview.

“I truly feel that this is my best solo record to date,” he said. “[Drummer] Simon [Philipps] and I put a lot of energy into the writing, and I am grateful to all of the great players that contributed to this recording.”

“It is always an amazing experience to be able to work with Simon,” added Sherinian. “He’s been a hero of mine for ages, ever since I heard him playing on albums with Jeff Beck and Michael Schenker.  And he is such an invaluable part of the way this new record has come out.”

Along with handling drums throughout the record, Philipps also also co-produced and co-wrote the album with Sherinian.  He shared his own thoughts on the record.

Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

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

Derek Sherinian Announces New LP Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Keyboardist Derek Sherinian will tentatively release his new solo album this fall.

Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Platypus, Black Country Communion) is scheduled to release his new album The Phoenix Sept. 18 through InsideOut Music.  It will mark the first time since 2011 that he has released a solo album, that most recent album being Oceana.

Sherinian talked about his forthcoming album in a recent interview.

“I truly feel that this is my best solo record to date,” he said. “[Drummer] Simon [Philipps] and I put a lot of energy into the writing, and I am grateful to all of the great players that contributed to this recording.”

“It is always an amazing experience to be able to work with Simon,” added Sherinian. “He’s been a hero of mine for ages, ever since I heard him playing on albums with Jeff Beck and Michael Schenker.  And he is such an invaluable part of the way this new record has come out.”

Along with handling drums throughout the record, Philipps also also co-produced and co-wrote the album with Sherinian.  He shared his own thoughts on the record.

Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

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

Verve’s New Coltrane LP Is The Cream Of 2018’s New Albums Crop

Courtesy: Verve RecordsVer

From the mainstream to the underground, from the worlds of jazz and blues to the worlds of pop and rock, audiophiles have been given quite a bit this year to appreciate.  Up-and-coming blues-rock band The Record Company and veteran jazz outfit Yellowjackets joined World Music act Yiddish Glory to prove to be some of this year’s best new music.

Experience Hendrix, LLC’s new Jimi Hendrix album Both Sides of the Sun, composer Klaus Schultz and veteran performers Elvis Costello & The Imposters also provided some memorable new music along with Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ry Cooder and Femi Kuti.

Considering how many top notch records were released this year, developing this year’s list was not easy by any means.  The acts noted previously all turned out some very impressive offerings.

After much analysis and consideration, this critic has placed atop the year’s top new albums list is the long-lost album from John Coltrane, Both Directions At Once.  The record stands out as a shining beacon that music lovers across the board should hear at least once, regardless of their familiarity with Coltrane and his body of work.

Second in this year’s list is taken by Yiddish Glory’s new album The Lost Songs of WWII.  Listeners learn some very important history about Jewish music, culture and history through this album that should be in so many listeners’ libraries.

Third place in this year’s list goes to composer Klaus Schultz and his new album Silhouettes.  The otherworldly compositions featured in this record are stunning in their presentation.  They conjure thoughts of some of Nine Inch Nails master mind Trent Reznor’s most powerful instrumental works crossed with just a touch of John Williams sensibility.  It really is a powerful presentation that crosses genres and deserves so much attention.

The remainder of this year’s list features new albums from the likes of Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Femi Kuti and The Record Company just to name a few acts.  As always, the list’s top 10 titles are the best while the five that follow are honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 Albums of the Year.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. John Coltrane — Both Directions At Once
  2. Yiddish Glory — The Lost Songs of WWII
  3. Klaus Shultz — Silhouettes
  4. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite — No Mercy in this Land
  5. The Jamie Lawrence Sextet — New York Suite
  6. Jimi Hendrix — Both Sides of the Sky
  7. Femi Kuti — One PeopleOne World
  8. Ry Cooder — Prodigal Son
  9. Yellowjackets — Raising Our Voice
  10. The Record Company — All Of this Life
  11. Billy Gibbons — The Big Bad Blues
  12. Elvis Costello & The Imposters — Look Now
  13. Onyx Collective — Lower East Suite Part Three
  14. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats — Tearing at the Seams
  15. Joe Bonamassa — Redemption

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.

 

Coltrane’s “Lost Album” Is The Best Find Of 2018’s Jazz, Blues Offerings

Courtesy: Verve Records

Jazz and the blues are among the great genres of music to ever grace the world’s airwaves.  From the days of the “chitlin circuit” that featured so many of the greatest blues musicians of all time, to the fusions sounds of Weather Report, Yellowjackets and others to the more modern jazz and blues of Joe Bonamassa and The Jamie Lawrence Sextet, both genres have produced an infinite number of timeless, influential albums and songs.

That is why as with past years, Phil’s Picks is featuring again, a list of the year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  The two genres are being combined as they are invariably connected to one another.  It has not made crafting this year’s list any easier than in year’s past.  Keeping that in mind, there are no bad albums here.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list is the long lost studio recording from John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once.  Up until this year, the recording had been long thought lost to time, and its “resurrection” of sorts this year is welcome.  The arrangements show a unique side of the famed saxophonist and his fellow musicians featured throughout.

Second Place in this years list goes to Yellowjackets’ new album Raising Our Voice.  This record is everything that the jazz outfit’s fans have come to expect with a little something extra thanks to the record’s guest vocalist.

Third Place belongs this year to The Jamie Lawrence Sextet and its debut album New York Suite.  The record’s arrangements throw back to some very interesting influences while also using those influences to generate an identity of their own in the process.

Also featured in this year’s list are new releases from the likes of Joe Bonamassa, The James Hunter Six, The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite just to name a handful of other acts.

As always, the list features 15 total acts and titles.  The first 10 records are the Top 10, while the five that follow are honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS

  1. John Coltrane — Both Directions at Once
  2. Yellowjackets — Raising Our Voice
  3. The Jamie Lawrence Sextet — New York Suite
  4. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite — No Mercy in This Land
  5. Ry Cooder — The Prodigal Son
  6. Onyx Collective — Lower East Suite Part Three
  7. The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band — Poor Until Payday
  8. Joe Bonamassa — Redemption
  9. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa — Black Coffee
  10. James Hunter Six — Whatever It Takes
  11. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall — Love Is Here To Stay
  12. Gary Moore — Blues & Beyond
  13. Brian Bromberg — Thicker Than Water
  14. Kamaal Williams — The Return
  15. Victor Wainright & The Train — Victor Wainright & The Train

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.

Bonamassa’s Successful Growth Continues On His Latest LP

Courtesy: J & R Adventures

Blues great Joe Bonamassa is set to release his thirteenth full-length studio recording September 21 — a little more than two months at the time of this posting.  Redemption, his third consecutive album of all-original album (which also comes a little more than two years after he released his second consecutive album of all original songs – there’s a little something for all of the numerologists out there) is another successful offering from Bonamassa.  What’s really interesting here is that considering that meteorological fall starts September 23 – two days after Redemption is set to be released.  Keeping that in mind, it makes Redemption the last great album of this summer and the first great album of the fall music season.  Even more, it is a record that every one of Bonamassa’s fans will appreciate.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in the up-tempo opener ‘Evil Mama.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another of the works that proves why listeners of all ages will appreciate this album.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is yet more proof of why blues fans of all ages will appreciate this record.  It will also be discussed later.  Between this trio of songs and the rest of the album’s entries – all of which offer their own positives – the album in whole proves to be a record whose appreciation will also lead listeners to agree that it is among the absolute elite of this year’s blues field and – in this critic’s ears – overall albums.

Joe Bonamassa’s latest full-length studio recording Redemption is some of the best work to date from the veteran blues guitarist.  It is a record that blues fans across the board will appreciate and agree is among the year’s top new blues and jazz records and even overall albums.  This is proven right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Evil Mama.’  The song instantly conjures thoughts of Led Zeppelin thanks to the very familiar drum line that opens the song.  It’s a direct throwback to John Bonham’s drum line from Led Zeppelin’s timeless classic ‘Rock and Roll.’  What’s really interesting here is that the noted tribute is uber short, as the arrangement moves here from Zeppelin to a more pure blues style arrangement complete with horns, choral style backing vocals and subtle guitar and bass line.  The juxtaposition of that Zeppelin tribute and the bluesy body of the song is, at first, a little uncomfortable because of the distinct contrast in styles, but with each listen, it’s an arrangement that grows on listeners.  Keeping that in mind, it might have made a little more sense, in considering the album’s sequencing to have made the album’s title track its opener and switched that with ‘Evil Mama.’  Either way, it doesn’t make the song that bad.  It just means the song might have done better with a different placement.  Of course, the song’s musical arrangement is only one part of its whole.  Its lyrical content plays into its whole, too.

In regards to the song’s lyrical theme, Bonamassa leaves little to the imagination as to the song’s topic right from its very title.  He sings of that troubling woman in this song, “Oh, mama/Sneakin’ up on me in the black of night/Oh, mama/Turn my back just when you twist the knife/Oh, mama/I see trouble brewing in your eyes/Oh, mama/I won’t ever let you in my life/Oh, you wreck me/With your lies and your greed/No, that ain’t nothing/Nothing that I need/Why would you think/I would ever wanna/waste my time on you, Evil mama.”  This is pretty cut and dry, and is only the song’s lead verse, too.  The rest of the song continues in similar fashion, lyrically with Bonamassa singing about knowing “where you been” to that woman, and not wanting to play that proverbial, emotional shell game with her in the song’s second verse.  This is a timeless blues topic, and when it is coupled in this fashion with the song’s catchy, mid-tempo musical arrangement, makes the song a positive addition to Redemption, proving in part why blues fans of all ages will appreciate this album.  The deeply moving ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds’ proves just as much how much audiences have to appreciate in this record.

Joe Bonamassa said of his work on ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds,’ that it is his best work to date in regards to song writing.  It is a work unlike almost anything that he has ever composed, and a risk that definitely paid off.  The slow, almost brooding, waltz-time arrangement uses a less-is-more approach, from the guitar to bass to drums for a general effect that wastes no time tugging at listeners’ heart strings.  The song’s lyrical content goes just as deep in its emotional impact, as is evidenced in the song’s lead verse.  Bonamassa sings here, “Yeah, it’s a put-on/Pretend you don’t know/The self-inflicted wounds/You did it on your own/You were first to draw the knife/And last to throw the stone…Take mercy on my self-inflicted wounds.”  This line is just so heart-wrenching, and it doesn’t get any less moving, either.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “You never get away holding back those tears/Try not to cry…I’m trying to explain…Trying to own all these pain/these self-inflicted wounds/I did ‘em on my own/I was first to draw the knife/Last to throw the stone/Your trust in me/I will abuse/Oh take mercy on my/Self-inflicted wounds/I’m looking for redemption…I’m praying for forgiveness…there’s none to be found.”  If this doesn’t move listeners to tear up even slightly, then said listeners are either way too hard-hearted or simply are not human.  Here listeners have someone who seems to be at the end of that proverbial rope, and is just feeling so much emotional pain.  It goes without saying that it is certain to generate its share of discussion while also adding even more appreciation for the album in whole.  The addition of the song’s somewhat Pink Floyd-esque bridge and finale add even more interest to the song.  All things considered here, this song stands out not only as one of this record’s most notable entries, but also one of the album’s most important entries, showing again why the album in whole is something that listeners will want to hear.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  The classic blues style ‘I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters’ is yet another of the album’s most notable songs.

‘I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters’ immediately throws back to blues legends such as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and other similar acts thanks to its light, 12-bar blues style arrangement.  That arrangement is only one part of what makes the song so notable.  Its lyrical theme adds to its interest.  The song’s lyrical theme is just as much of a throwback to the blues’ golden age as its musical arrangement as Bonamassa sings, “I can see the future/But that was yesterday/So my bag of tarot cards/And now I can’t see my fate/I’ve got some mind over what matters/And I’m deep down…She took a cabby/So I gotta hitch a ride/Left me in the dark/With daggers in my side/I’ve got some mind over what matters/But I’m still deep down in a hole”  He goes on in similar fashion throughout the rest of the song, even singing later in the song, “Might think I’m a bad man/’Cause I made her cry/But you ain’t lived with her/And seen the other side/I tried to get to the bottom of why I made her hurt/I maybe didn’t know, but I got here…I got my Jesus/In my heart/I went to church, and boy, I did my part/I’ve got some mind over what matters, but I’m deep down in a hole.”  He keeps going on about that woman even more, singing about trying to do right by her, but those efforts just not being enough.  It, again, conjures thoughts of so many similar style blues works that have come before, and in turn creates a deep appreciation for this song.  That appreciation, coupled with the appreciation for the previously discussed songs shows even more clearly why this record is such a strong new effort from Joe Bonamassa, and one that blues fans everywhere will appreciate.  Of course, it still is not the last of the record’s most notable entries.  The gentle, moving ‘Stronger Now in Broken Pieces’ will move listeners just as much as ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds,’ only in different fashion.  It’s just this critic’s own take, but in this critic’s ears, it seems the song’s musical arrangement bears some slight comparison to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Words Can’t Bring Me Down’ thanks to the subtlety of the bells added to the arrangement.  ‘Love Is A Gamble,’ the album’s closer instantly conjures thoughts of the one and only B.B. King while ‘the Ghost of Macon Jones’ – another break from style for Bonamassa on this album – will garner its own interest.  Country music star Jamey Johnson joins Bonamassa on guest vocals for the song.  ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ is one of those songs that one associates with a dimly lit night club back in the golden age of the blues.  King Bee Shakedown is another break from style for Bonamassa here.  It could rival the best works of the Brian Setzer Orchestra.  Considering all of these songs, the others not noted here, and those more directly discussed here, the whole of this record proves to be a brave new effort from Joe Bonamassa, and one that ultimately proves to be a work that blues fans across the board will enjoy.

Joe Bonamassa’s forthcoming album Redemption is one of the most surprising and enjoyable works that the veteran bluesman has crafted to date.  That is because while it boasts some familiarity for listeners in its dozen total songs, it also takes a number of risks – risks that ultimately pay off, too.  The album’s opener, ‘Evil Mama’ presents some of that familiarity in its modern style blues arrangement and classic lyrical theme of a woman who is just trouble for a man.  ‘I’ve Got Some Mind Over What Matters’ presents just as much familiarity with an arrangement that goes back to the golden age of the blues and an equally timeless lyrical theme – again about a woman who has done a man wrong.  The risk came – at least in part – in the form of the deeply touching and moving ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds.  This powerful opus tugs at one’s heartstrings with the subtleties of its arrangement and the cry for help from someone who is in such a bad head space.  Other risks, which also pay off, include the country/blues hybrid style of ‘the Ghost of Macon Jones’ and ‘Deep In The Blues Again,’ which also boasts its own sort of country/blues hybrid sound.  The rest of the album offers plenty of familiarity, which listeners are certain to appreciate just as much as the risks, which (again) add their own interest to the album.  All things considered, the album proves from start to end, to be a strong new effort from Joe Bonamassa that proves easily to be one of the year’s best new blues records and potentially one of the year’s top new albums overall.  More information on Redemption is available online now along with all of Joe Bonamassa’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.jbonamassa.com

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