Audiences In Georgia, Beyond Will Enjoy Hearing Blackberry Smoke’s New Album

Courtesy: 3 Legged Records/Thirty Tigers

More than four years after releasing its hit album Find a Light, southern rock band Blackberry Smoke returned this week with an equally strong new record in Georgia You Hear.  The band’s seventh album, this record is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band, which has been called one of the best of the genre by many audiences and critics.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that are featured throughout the album add a second layer of appeal to the record.  They will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will be addressed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album a successful presentation from beginning to end.

Blackberry Smoke’s seventh full-length studio recording, Georgia You Hear is a record that every listener will want to hear.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  That is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question largely boast the band’s familiar southern rock tones and stylistic approaches.  At the same time though, they also present a subtle variety from one to the next.  The band even goes full-on country at one point – ‘Lonesome for a Livin’ (ft. Jamey Johnson).’  On a side note, rumblings are that Johnson, who is an outstanding artist in his own right, is finally mapping out his possible first new album in years.  One can only hope and pray that it happens.  Getting back on topic, the arrangements here take audiences in a variety of directions, even as they remain within the southern rock genre from one to the next.  Case in point is the arrangement featured in the album’s opener, ‘Live It Down.’  There is something about the arrangement here (including the vocal delivery style of front man Charlie Starr) that makes the composition comparable to works from the likes of The Black Crowes.  That should come as no surprise to the band’s established audiences.  Those audiences know that the band has shown such similarities in its past records, too.  Luckily though, Blackberry Smoke’s members did not just rehash the sounds of those songs here.  Rather, it is its own original work. 

As the album progresses, the noted diversity is just as evident in ‘Old Enough To Know.’  The twang of the steel pedal and the simple percussion against Starr’s bittersweet vocal delivery and guitar performance lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of James Taylor, Bob Dylan, and even Hank Williams, Sr.  This subdued, simple song is a wonderful break point for the record that keeps things just interesting enough to keep audiences engaged.

On yet another note, ‘All Over The Road,’ the album’s penultimate entry, the band mixes its familiar southern rock sounds with a bit of Americana to make for even more evidence of the diversity in the album’s musical content.  The classic Americana element is most evident in the use of the upbeat piano line.  The more southern rock sound at times conjures thoughts of Tom Petty, ZZ Top and even, again, The Black Crowes. The whole makes the song yet another work that audiences will enjoy while also showing even more, the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements, even though the arrangements stay within the confines of the southern rock genre.  The positive impact of the musical arrangements featured in this record is only a part of what makes the record successful.  The lyrical themes featured in the record are just as diverse (and accessible) as the record’s musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes will connect with audiences just as easily as their musical counterparts.  Case in point is the theme featured in ‘Old Scarecrow,’ the album’s closer.  This song’s lyrical theme presents a message of self-assurance and personal identity.  Starr sings here about not caring about “the year’s new model” and states “I might be a little ragged around the edges…I look at these two hands/And I know there’s someone watching over me.”  He adds, “I ain’t never gonna change my ways.”  This is that defiant message noted.  It is that proverbial middle finger to the status quo, telling people that the subject is going to be who he is, trends be damned.  Again, it is a familiar theme that is used across the musical universe.  It is presented in a familiar fashion that will resonate with audiences just as much as in any other case.

‘Hey Delilah’ presents another familiar lyrical theme.  The theme in question is that of a man who is head over heels for a woman.  Apparently in this case, the woman’s name is Delilah.  Starr recalls here how the woman influenced him (or the song’s subject), even describing how she looked and how it drove him crazy.  That against the song’s musical arrangement, whose southern rock style and sound conjures thoughts of Lynyrd Skynyrd, makes for even more enjoyment here.  It makes the song’s lyrical theme that much more accessible, in turn, showing even more why the album’s lyrical themes are so important to its presentation. 

‘Morningside’ is yet another example of the variety and impact of the album’s lyrical content.  In this case, the band presents in very unique fashion, what comes across as a message about making it through life’s difficult times.  That is inferred as Starr sings in the song’s chorus about “waiting for the morningside” and that “nothing’s ever over…the light is shining on somebody all the time/I’m not stumbling in the darkness/I’m just waiting for the morningside.”  If in fact that is what Starr and company are trying to translate, then they are to be commended for this, again, unique translation.  To that end, it proves one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content overall just as important as the record’s musical arrangements.  When all of this and the rest of the album’s lyrical content is considered along with all of the album’s musical content, that whole gives listeners every reason to take in this new offering from Blackberry Smoke.  Even with that in mind, it is just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing presented in You Hear Goergia is important to note because a close listen reveals a clear, intentional approach to this aspect.  The album starts off in up-tempo fashion in ‘Live It Down.’  From there, the album’s energy gradually pulls back in each song until it reaches its most subdued point in ‘Lonesome for a Livin’ (ft. Jamey Johnson).’  From there, the record’s second half changes things up a little more to keep things interesting.  ‘All Rise again (ft. Warren Haynes)’ immediately picks things back up to start off the record’s second half.  ‘Old Enough to Know’ then just as starkly changes things again as it pulls way back before giving way to the gritty ‘Morningside.’  That arrangement gives way to even more energy as it transitions to ‘All Over The Road,’ giving audiences one more dose of high energy.  From there, the band closes out the album on a relaxed but still confident note in ‘Old Scarecrow.’  Looking back through all of this, it should be clear that the band and all involved had a clear plan in sequencing the songs.  That plan paid off as it ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the album’s content by itself.  When this is considered along with the album’s content, the whole makes this record just as successful as any of the band’s existing albums.

Blackberry Smoke’s brand new album You Hear Georgia is a successful new offering from the band that has become known as one of the leaders of the southern rock realm over its life.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements are mostly southern rock songs that still show subtle variations from one to the next in their influences, sounds and styles.  A close listen to the album proves that true.  As if that is not enough, the band even goes full country in at least one song.  The lyrical content featured alongside the album’s musical arrangements is important to the record’s appeal, too.  That is because it is familiar in terms of the presented themes.  The manner in which the familiar themes are presented makes them just as accessible as the album’s musical arrangements.  The sequencing of all of that content rounds out the album’s most important elements.  It brings everything together and ensures in itself, audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make You Hear Georgia a record that audiences in Georgia and beyond will enjoy hearing.  You Hear Georgia is available now through 3 Legged Records/Thirty Tigers.

More information on the album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.blackberrysmoke.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/BlackberrySmoke

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/blackberrysmoke

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

The Lancasters Presents Its Own Message Of Hope In New Single, Video

Independent rock band The Lancasters debuted its latest single this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Goodnight’ and its video Monday. The single is streaming now on all digital platforms. The premiere of the new song and video comes more than a month after the band premiered its then latest single, ‘Scallywag‘ and its video.

Courtesy: Rivertale Productions/Fuzzy Cracklins Records/Epidemic Records

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Goodnight’ is a departure from that featured in ‘Scallywag.’ Unlike ‘Scallywag,’ whose musical arrangement presents influences from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, ‘Goodnight’ is more of a DIY, garage rock type composition.

According to comments featured in a prepared statement from the band, the lyrical theme featured in ‘Goodnight’ is meant to deliver a message of hope and love.

“This is a hymn about two souls far apart and the forces that keep them together despite everything; their true desire and love create the strongest bond that holds them together and in balance…,” the statement reads.  “It’s a melancholic message of hope: the darker the night gets, the more the light will shine when we see the dawn rise.”

More information on The Lancasters’ new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://thelancastersband.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/thelancastersband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

The Lancasters Takes On Scammers In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Rivertale Productions/Fuzzy Cracklins Records/Epidemic Records

Independent rock band The Lancasters debuted its latest single last week, along with its companion video.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Scallywag‘ and its companion video April 5. The musical arrangement featured in The Lancasters’ new single bears a notable classic rock vibe in the vein of Lynyrd Skynyrd. That is evidenced through the use of the distorted slide guitar, the rich sound of the drums and equally steady bass line. One could just as easily make a comparison (albeit slight) to works from Led Zeppelin.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement takes on scammers who use television and other media to take people’s money.

Front man Dave (his last name was not provided in the news release announcing the single and video’s premiere) talked about the song’s lyrical theme.

“I have to say that I really enjoy it when I find people chatting about stars and cosmic flows that bring some kind of energy,” he said. “But what I enjoy the most is to sabotage these s****y fake beliefs from the inside”

Dave’s band mates Steve and Fred (their last names also were not provided in the noted press release) expanded on those statements.

“It’s kind of a personal revenge, we can’t stand these pricks and the lies they spread on TV,” they said. “All that glitters is not gold, sometimes it’s just plastic garbage.”

The video for ‘Scallywag’ illustrates and translates the band members’ statements. It features the trio as a group of fake psychics trying to scam viewers as the song plays over the silly visuals.

More information on The Lancasters’ new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://thelancastersband.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelancastersband

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Eagle Rock, UMe’s New Lynyrd Skynyrd Live Recording Is A Must For The Band’s Fans, Even With Its One Concern

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/UMe

When Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut live recording, One More from the Road in September 1976, no one knew that it would go on to be the only live recording from the band (at the time) featuring the group’s original lineup.  More than a year after the recording’s release, on Oct. 20, 1977, a plane crash claimed the lives of then front man Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (who was Steve Gaines’ sister).  The crash happened during the band’s tour in support of One More from The Road and ironically, only days after the band released what would be its fifth album, Street Survivors.  After the tragedy of that incident, more than a decade would pass before the band reformed with a new lineup and album.  More than three decades would pass before any other live recording featuring the band’s original lineup would see  the light of day in 2009’s Authorized Bootleg: Lynyrd Skynyrd Live: Cardiff   Capitol Theater and Authorized Bootleg: Live at WinterlandSan Francisco Mar 07, 1976.  Every live recording that followed (and those in between) have all featured the band’s post crash lineup.  Now Friday, Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe will release another rare fully official recording featuring the band’s original lineup in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76.  The concert captured in this rare recording took place Aug. 21, 1976 at the Knebworth as part of the day-long festival headlined by none other than The Rolling Stones.  This is an important piece of information about the concert.  It plays directly into the recording’s presentation and will be discussed later.  The most important of the recording’s elements is its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  For all that this concert offers audiences to appreciate, it is an imperfect presentation.  That is due to one key limitation, which will be discussed a little later.  Even keeping that one negative in mind, it is not enough to make the recording a failure.  Keeping this in mind, the recording proves for the most part, to be a work that most Lynyrd Synyrd fans will appreciate.

Very few official recordings featuring live performances of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original lineup have ever seen the light of day over the decades.  In all, only three of those recordings have ever been released.  That is saying a lot.  Now Friday, what will be only the fourth ever live recording featuring the band’s original lineup will be released in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76.  This 11-song recording is a mostly successful presentation, too.  Part of the recording’s success comes through its set list.  The set list pulls from all of its then four studio recordings, and even from its debut live recording, One More from the Road.  What is truly interesting to note is just how balanced the set list is.  The band’s 1973 debut album Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd receives three nods as does its follow-up, Second HelpingThat record’s follow-up, 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy, was represented with two songs while the band’s then latest album, 1976’s Gimme Back My Bullets is represented by one song.  One More from the Road got two nods here.  Simply put, it is easy to say that this rare live recording’s set list was at the time, career-defining.  Adding to the interest here is that research into the band’s tour in support of One More from the Road, compared to this concert’s set list, mostly lines up.  Comparisons show that the majority of the songs most commonly played by the band during its tour at the time are featured here.  There is some variance between the band’s average set list from the tour and this concert’s set list, but for the most part, audiences got the set list presented in most of the band’s shows.  To that end, the set list featured in this presented concert forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation.  Now,  for all that the concert’s set list does to establish appeal for the overall presentation, the recording does suffer from one negative.  That negative comes from the limitation of the availability of the authorized Lynyrd Skynyrd biography, If I Leave Here Tomorrow.  The last time this documentary was released was in 2018.  The 97-minute documentary recounts Ronnie Van Zant’s upbringing, how that played into his song writing, and the band members’ relationships.  It is itself a rarity, being that it is so difficult to find at any of America’s major retailers.  In the case of its presentation here, it is made available as part of the recording’s Blu-ray/CD platform, but not its separate DVD/CD platform.  Who made such a decision and why is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, that limitation means that audiences who want to watch the documentary will either have to buy the Blu-ray player and HDMI cable, and Blu-ray/CD package (if they do not already own said product) or just try to find it streaming online.  It really is a disservice to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fans that the documentary would be so limited in its availability.  Of course in defense of Eagle Rock and UMe, maybe not everyone is such a devotee and some people care more about the concert.  To that end, that limited availability is not enough to make this recording a failure.  Regardless, again, it is still a concern that audiences cannot ignore.

Going back to the topic of the concert and those audiences who perhaps prefer that more than the documentary, they and all other audiences receive in the concert, quite the presentation. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s performance here is considered by critics and fans alike to be a defining moment for the band.  That is even considering that it was hardly the band’s first ever performance outside the United States.  The band played Europe well before the tour that included its Knebworth show.  There really is something special in this performance.  The band keeps the energy high throughout the course of the 66-minute (one hour, six minutes) concert, wasting little time between songs with any amount of talking.  Rather, the band allowed its performance to talk.  In all honesty, the performance moves so fluidly that audiences are left feeling like it has reached its midpoint and even finale before they realize it.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion possible.  It means that the band uses its songs and performances to make audiences completely forget about the time and just enjoy the show.

One big part of what makes that full immersion happen is the collective performance of drummer Artemis Pyle, guitarists Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Steve Gaines, and bassist Leon Wilkerson.  The quartet’s talent is on full display throughout the show.  The manic energy from the group throughout is so powerful as it pulls in audiences.  Meanwhile, Van Zant’s own eclectic performance made for its own interest.  His general lack of real emotion and motion throughout the show made for quite the contrast to the power in his vocals.  Those moments in which he just stands there on stage as his band mates play their solos immerses audiences even more.  That is because it makes audiences want to know what is going on in his mind.  That mystery in itself makes for so much interest in his performance.

The audience’s reaction to this overall performance will engage and entertain home viewers just as much as the band’s performance.  Some of those in attendance at the concert were decked out in Rolling Stones apparel – The Rolling Stones headlined the Knebworth show, but most critics agree Lynyrd Skynyrd even outperformed them, which speaks volumes — dancing just as energetically in time with the music.  It clearly shows the band’s popularity at that early point in its life.  Even in the more contemplative opening minutes of ‘Freebird’ audiences remained just as engaged, the camera at times showing the almost intense focus and attention from the audience as the band performed.  At yet other points, the cameras capture a Confederate flag waving in the air as the band performed.  This was not a flag that the band had in the crowd, either.  It was brought by the audience.  As a reminder, this was a show in England.  It made the moment one of the weirdest moments in live music history, even as simple as it was.  Yet at the same time, it shows the reach of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s appeal at that point in time. Between the interest that it creates and that generated through the rest of the audience reaction and through the band’s performance, the whole of that interaction makes clear why the actual recording featured in this package proves so important and enjoyable.  When the appeal generated through the interaction between the band and audience is considered along with the recording’s equally rich set list, those elements make this recording a presentation that will appeal to any Lynyrd Synyrd fan.  That is even with the one negative concerning the documentary’s limited availability in mind.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe’s forthcoming presentation of Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 is a presentation that audiences will agree is a mostly successful presentation, especially being such a rare presentation.  The recording’s success comes in part from its set list.  The show’s set list is a presentation in itself that was at the time of the concert, career-defining.  It pulled from all of the band’s studio recordings at the time and from its debut live recording.  That live recording and this latest are technically the only two fully official live recordings featuring the band’s original lineup.  Two “official bootlegs” were released in 2009 by Geffen Records, but are again, “bootlegs,” so considering this along with the career-defining set list in this recording, the set list gains even more importance.  While the set list is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation, the limitation on the availability of the companion authorized documentary detracts from the recording’s appeal to a point.  Luckily its negative impact is not enough to make the recording a failure, though it cannot be ignored, regardless. Moving on from there, the band’s performance and the audience’s reaction to that performance pairs with the set list to make the recording all the more enjoyable.  That performance leaves no doubt about critics’ statements that the band outplayed The Rolling Stones, who were stars in their own right at that point.  All things considered here, Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 proves itself a presentation that is for the most part, a successful new offering from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagle Rock Entertainment, and UMe.

Pre-orders for Live at Knebworth ’76 are open. A trailer for the concert is streaming here.

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Websitehttps://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Announces Release Date, Specs For New Lynyrd Skynyrd Live Recording

Lynyrd Skynyrd has a new live recording on the way.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The band is scheduled to release its new recording, Live at Knebworth ’76 on April 9 on DVD/CD combo pack, Blu-ray/CD combo pack, limited edition 2LP/DVD combo pack, and digital. The recording, which will release through Eagle Rock Entertainment, was originally recorded Aug. 21, 1976 at a day-long festival at Knebworth. The concert featured the band’s lineup of: Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Steve Gaines, Leon Wilkerson, Artimus Pyle, Billy Powell, and The Honkettes.

The concert’s set list featured performances of songs, such as ‘Gimme Three Steps,’ ‘Free Bird, and ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ The concert’s set list is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

  1. ‘Workin’ for MCA’
  2. ‘I Ain’t The One’
  3. ‘Saturday Night Special’
  4. ‘Searching’
  5. ‘Whiskey Rock-A-Roller’
  6. ‘Travelin’ Man’
  7. ‘Gimme Three Steps’
  8. ‘Call Me The Breeze’
  9. ‘T for Texas’
  10. ‘Sweet Home Alabama’
  11. ‘Free Bird’

Pre-orders for Live at Knebworth ’76 are open. A trailer for the concert is streaming here.

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:

Websitehttps://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://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.

Christopher Shayne’s New EP Will Appeal Widely To Southern, Country Rock Fans

Courtesy: Carry On Music

Independent rocker Christopher Shayne is helping southern rock fans start off the new year on a good note.  The up-and-coming singer-songwriter is giving the noted audiences reason to be happy as 2021 opens with his new forthcoming EP Ten High.  Scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music, the seven-song record offers audiences something to like in its musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the EP’s musical arrangement offers its own appeal for listeners, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the noted content rounds out the record’s most important elements, bringing everything together, completing the EP’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Ten High.  All things considered, they make Christopher Shayne’s new EP a record that guarantees its appeal to its target audiences.

Christopher Shayne’s forthcoming EP Ten High is a presentation that is certain to appeal to Shayne’s specifically targeted audiences from start to end of its 24-inute run time.  That is proven in part through the record’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question all present a distinct southern rock approach and sound.  While each arrangement displays the same kind of approach and sound, the arrangements in whole do at least give audiences something unique from one song to the next.  Case in point is a comparison between maybe ‘Any Given Sunday’ to the album’s title track.  ’10 High’ gives audiences plenty of the noted southern rock sensibility at points throughout the song.  At the same time, the verses in this song present a clear AC/DC style influence.  The contrast of those two styles gives audiences something interesting in itself.  Meanwhile ‘Any Given Sunday’ presents more of a southern/country rock style approach.  Shayne’s own unique composition adds subtle influences from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and maybe Josh Turner.  Again, the influence is so subtle, but it is noticeable through a close listen.  When that whole is compared to the whole of the EP’s title track, it leads to more appreciation for the record’s musical arrangement. 

On another level, ‘Jus Get Drunk,’ which closes out the EP immediately lends itself to comparison to work that Zakk Wylde has composed with his side project Pride & Glory in terms of its acoustic approach and distinct southern rock sound.  Shayne’s vocal delivery style is even right up there with that of Wylde and other powerhouse vocalists.  By comparison, ‘Give A Damn’ is arguably the EP’s most intense arrangement.  It is yet another full-on composition, but there is so much fire and vim in this work.  It is comparable to works from virtually any southern rock outfit out there today.  The subtle addition of the banjo in the song’s opening bars adds its own unique touch to the whole of the song, too.  When one examines this song in comparison not only to ‘Just Get Drunk,’ but also to the rest of the EP’s arrangements, its power becomes even more evident.  What’s more, when all of the songs are considered together, the whole of that content makes for reason in itself for southern rock fans to take in this record.  That foundation is strengthened even more through the EP’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content that is presented in Ten High is just as accessible for listeners as the EP’s musical content.  The record’s opener and closer are both pretty clear in their content.  They center on drinking.  What is interesting to note is that where ‘Pour The Bottle’ presents a man who is having no regrets about just drinking his troubles away and tells the bartender, “I ain’t finished yet/Pour the bottle/I won’t have any regrets.  He even goes on in the song’s second verse to sing about drowning himself “in alcohol.”  So again, this is someone who is just giving that proverbial middle finger to the world, including obviously a woman that has wronged him.  ‘Jut Get Drunk,’ by comparison is the opposite end of that emotion.  This song is that person sitting at the bar, having gotten drunk, he talks about not feeling the same without some whisky and that he’d “rather just get drunk/’Cause I need a little time/To sort what’s in my mind/Just one more and I’ll be fine.”  So again, here are two songs that lyrically tell their own story.  The contrast in those two sides will ensure listeners’ engagement in itself. 

On another hand, ‘Getaway Babe’ changes directions but keeps listeners engaged with its lyrical content.  This song’s lyrical theme is that familiar topic of a man who is crazy for a woman.  He tells her to “come get gone with me” in the song’s chorus, while adding plenty of praise in the verses.  That familiarity and the song’s catchy musical arrangement pair to make the song in whole yet another standout addition to Ten High.  When it is considered along with the equally engaging story presented in ‘Just Get Drunk’ and ‘Pour The Bottle’ and the rest of the EP’s lyrical content, the whole of that content makes for plenty for audiences to enjoy lyrically, too.  The appeal that the EP’s lyrical content provides audiences is just one more part of what makes the EP stand out.  The sequencing of the content puts its own ouch to the record.  The sequencing of the record’s musical and lyrical content puts the finishing touch to its presentation.

The sequencing of Ten High’s overall content brings everything together in this record, to complete the EP’s presentation.  As has already been noted, the EP’s opener and closer certainly seem to work hand in hand even if not intentionally.  That book-ending, generated through the sequencing is sure to present its own appeal.  Along the way, the sequencing changes things up, going from the seeming celebratory title track to the equally familiar topic of a man who is crazy for a woman in ‘Getaway Baby’ to the slightly introspective ‘Any Given Sunday’ and ‘Burn Me Down.’  The rather rowdy ‘Give A Damn’ changes things up even more before the EP closes out in the almost rueful ‘Just Get Drunk.’  The whole of the noted lyrical content ensures in itself shows that plenty of thought was put into the sequencing of this side of the EP.  Just as much thought was put into the sequencing of the EP in regards to its arrangements and their energies.

What more can be said of the sequencing of the EP in regards to its musical arrangements and their energy than it ensures the energy stays high.  The only time when the EP really pulls back is in its closer.  Other than that moment, ‘Burn Me Down’ is the only other point that presents any pull back in the record’s energy.  That pull back is noted in the song’s opening bars.  It only lasts that short time, too.  From those opening bars, things waste little time picking back up.  Overall, the sequencing of Ten High in regards to its energy ensures that aspect keeps listeners remain engaged just as much as that of the lyrical content.  It barely lets up at least until the EP’s finale.  To that end, it will keep listeners fully engaged and entertained.  Keeping this in mind, when this final touch is put to the EP, it brings everything together and completes the record’s presentation.  The result of that completion is that the record will appeal strongly to Christopher Shayne’s target audiences.

Christopher Shayne’s forthcoming EP Ten High is a record of which southern rock and country rock fans will think highly.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements.  The arrangement in question boast some very clear southern and country rock vibes while also making sure the arrangements do not just copycat one another.  There are subtle changes in each song that show a wide range of influences.  That alone helps the EP’s appeal.  The lyrical content that accompanies the EP’s musical arrangements adds its own touch to the EP’s presentation.  That is because the topics presented in the lyrical themes are accessible.  They are familiar topics for any listeners.  The sequencing of that musical and lyrical content brings everything together, completing its presentation.  Each item noted here does its own important part to make Christopher Shayne’s new EP appealing.  All things considered, the EP proves a work that will appeal equally to any southern and country rock fan.  Ten High is scheduled for release Friday through Carry On Music.  More information on the EP is available along with all of Christopher Shayne’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/christophershaynemusic.

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

Marcus King’s Solo Debut Is Almost As Good As Gold

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Singer-songwriter Marcus is one of the next big names in the music industry.  Only 23 years-old, King has done more in his life so far than most people his age.  A fourth-generation musician – his grandfather was a country music guitarist and father an active musician — he started performing at the tender age of 11.  He has recorded and performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry by the time he became an adult, and has released three full-length studio recordings with The Marcus King Band – Soul Insight, The Marcus King Band and Carolina Confessions.  Late last month, he released his solo debut record, El Dorado.  The 12-song album has been met largely with praise from audiences and critics alike, and justifiably so, too.  The record boasts easily accessible lyrical content centered on the matters of life and love. The LP’s musical content offers just as much to appreciate.  The combination of those elements makes for lots for listeners to like.  ‘Too Much Whiskey’ is just one of the songs that serves to show how that combined content positively impacts the album.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘The Well,’ the album’s lead single is another example of the power of the album’s combined musical and lyrical content.  It will be discussed a little later.  The same cane be said of the slow blues composition ‘Wildflowers & Wine.’  When these songs are considered along with the likes of ‘Turn It Up,’ ‘Say You Will’ and the subdued ‘Love Song,’ as well as the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves a positive debut for King that while maybe not solid gold is still solid in its own right.

Marcus King’s solo debut album El Dorado is a solid start for the singer-songwriter, who has accomplished so much so early in his still young life.  Its combined lyrical and musical content gives audiences plenty to appreciate, despite some questionable sequencing.  This is proven in part late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Too Much Whiskey.’  The song’s musical arrangement is an old school country music composition that shows clearly, the influence of King’s grandfather, who was himself a country music guitarist.  The arrangement easily lends itself to comparisons to the best works of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, just to name a couple of key similarities.  It boasts that infectious, old school honky tonk sounds that made country music during the 1970s and 80s.  That arrangement alone was enough to make this song one of El Dorado’s best offerings, if not its best work.  Of course it is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  As noted already, its lyrical content adds its own share of enjoyment to the work’s whole.

King sings in his trademark gritty style in the song’s lead verse, “To much of that old whiskey river/Leaves a young man feeling old/That old love you still remember/Cuts you deep down in your soul.  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Lost that girl down in New Orleans/Chasing some old voodoo dream/Levee broke on Whiskey River/Got me trying to swim upstream.”  As he reaches the song’s final verse, King sings, “Shotgun Willie on the stereo/Words are speaking right to my heart/If I keep reaching for that bottle/It’s gonna tear my world apart.  He adds in the song’s chorus, “Getting tired of going crazy/Headed back to Tennessee/I gotta crawl on out of this river/’Fore it drowns me in the sea.”  Quite simply, this is a song about someone dealing with alcohol addiction.  The thing is that it is presented lyrically in a fashion that is classic country in every way.  That taken into consideration alongside the song’s musical content, which is equally infectious  classic country, makes the song in whole the record’s most standout offering and just one of the clear examples of what makes El Dorado such a strong new offering from Marcus King.

It goes without saying that ‘Too Much Whiskey’ is a key addition to Marcus King’s debut album, as has been noted.  It is just one of the songs featured in this recording that makes the album so appealing.  ‘The Well,’ the LP’s lead single is another way in which El Dorado proves itself a musical treasure in its own right.  This song’s musical arrangement is a distinct change of pace from that of ‘Too Much Whiskey.’  This arrangement boasts more of a straight forward blues-based rock sound than any country music influences.  This is important to note in that it is another way in which they record’s musical diversity is displayed.  There are hints here of influences from Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band just to name a few acts with similar sounds.  The dual-layered guitar approach forms the arrangement’s foundation while the drums couple with the bass and King’s vocals to flesh out the arrangement even more.  The end result of those lines combined, is an arrangement that is just as enjoyable in its own right as that at the center of ‘Too Much Whiskey.’

The musical arrangement at the heart of ‘The Well’ goes a long way toward making the song appealing to listeners.  When it couples with the song’s lyrical content, the two together make even more appealing to said audiences.  King sings in the song’s lead verse, “When I was just a youngin’/Bouncin’ on my mama’s knee/Said, “Son, there’s only one thing that sets your soul free/There wasn’t no sleep until the work was done.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Papa was a-preachin’/’Bout the fires of hell/If you want a drink of water/Got to go to the well/The Cornerstone Chuch tried to curse my soul/But the good Lord gave me that rock and roll.”  He adds in the song’s third and finale verse, “Let the spirit pull me under/To the bottom of the well/You wanna live forever/But you can never tell/So, one for the money/Two, another show/Three for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”  What audiences get here is what comes across as a story about perhaps King’s upbringing and perhaps a commentary about his division from established religion.  It’s a unique approach, to say the least, if in fact that is what is happening here. Keeping that in mind, when it is considered alongside a musical arrangement that is fiery (no pun intended), but not in the fashion that one might think from a song that seemingly takes on the establishment of religion, the whole of the song becomes a work that stands uniquely among others of its ilk.  That whole becomes a work that shows again why this album is such an important addition to King’s catalog.  It is just one more of the album’s important additions.  ‘Wildflowers & Wine’ is yet another example of what makes El Dorado one of the year’s early most notable albums.

‘Wildflowers & Wine’ stands out as its musical arrangement boasts its own unique musical arrangement.  This time, King and his fellow musicians opt for a distinct, direct bluesy arrangement that lends itself easily to some of the best works of Mavis Staples and BB King.  The gentle, subtle keyboards couple with King’s vocal delivery and the equally subtle percussion element and bass to make the whole a work that takes listeners back to a greater era of music.  The effect there is such a positive impact that if only for this element, the song becomes another favorite for listeners.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Wildflowers & Wine’ does more than its share to make the song a key addition to El Dorado, and is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content, which comes across as a love song of sorts, adds to its appeal.  The song’s subject sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wildflowers and wine/An old scratchy record plays in the background of our lives/We’re still here dancing after all this time/Wildflowers and wine.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I walk through the fields of evergreen/A golden sun like I’ve never seen/I picked them one at a time/Wildflowers and wine.”  He adds in the song’s chorus, “No, I can’t help it/Feeling the way I do/I know you feel it/Feel it the same way, too/No I can’t help it/You’re all I need tonight/You know I mean it/When I look/Look in your eyes.”  Again, this is a love song.  Fittingly, Valentine’s Day is almost here, so this would make for a fitting mood-setter for any lovers out there as the big day nears.  When these deeply emotional lyrics are set alongside the song’s gentle melody, the whole becomes a powerful work in its subtlety and simplicity.  When the song in whole is considered along with the other songs discussed here, the likes of ‘Turn It Up,’ ‘Say You Will,’ the subdued ‘Love Song,’ and the rest of the album’s entries, the album in whole proves to be a strong solo debut for King.

While the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of El Dorado does a lot to make the album a positive new offering from Marcus King, the album is not without at least one negative – its sequencing.  Being that slower, more reserved songs outnumber the album’s more upbeat works, there is a lot of that music here.  The problem with that is that in examining the album’s sequencing, the album spends a lot more time focused on that slower, more reserved music than its more infectious, energetic work.  It would have made more sense to have spaced the album’s slower, reserved music out more than was done here instead of just sequencing those songs one after another for such a long time.  Sadly though, that didn’t happen here.  To that end, it is a concern that cannot and should not be ignored.  Even with that in mind, it is not enough to make the album “unlistenable.”  It is just something that hopefully King and those behind the boards will take into consideration when and if he releases another solo effort.  Even with this in mind, El Dorado still proves in the long run to be a positive new offering from Marcus King that deserves at least one listen.  It is available now.

Marcus King is in the midst of a tour in support of El Dorado.  King is scheduled to perform life Feb. 6 in Sacramento, CA as part of the tour. More information on El Dorado is available online now along with all of Marcus King’s tour dates, latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://marcuskingband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Marcuskingband

 

 

 

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

Foghat Shows Real Rock and Roll Is Still Alive And Well On Its New LP

Courtesy:  Foghat Records

Courtesy: Foghat Records

2016 has been quite the year for the rock community.  Over the nearly eight months that have already pass, the rock community has seen a number of impressive new releases with plenty more on the way.  Those impressive releases have come from both independent acts such as Buffalo Summer, Love and a .38, and Resurrection Kings and from more well-known acts the likes of Santana, Rich Robinson, and the focus of today’s review, Foghat.  The veteran rock band released its latest album Under The Influence late last month.  The album, the band’s seventeenth full-length studio recording, is also one of the year’s top new rock records so far.  From beginning to end, this twelve-song record presents everything that is right with rock.  That includes both the musical arrangements that form the foundation of each song and their lyrical content.  One of the songs that best exemplifies this is ‘The Upside of Lonely.’  It is the antithesis of the breakup song.  ‘Knock It Off’ exemplifies it just as much.  Much the same can be said of ‘Hot Mama.’  Each song shows in its own way what makes Under The Influence everything right about rock.  Those songs join with the album’s other nine offerings to make the album in whole, one of 2016s top new rock records so far and one of the year’s top new albums overall, too.

Being considered “under the influence” is typically considered a bad thing.  It means that someone has in his or system something that he or she shouldn’t have.  However in the case of Foghat’s new album, being “under the influence” of the band’s music is a good thing.  It is in fact a very good thing.  That is because over the course of its twelve total songs, the only high that listeners will get is a musical high.  That is because this record exhibits over that span everything that is right with rock and roll today.  It proves that true blue-collar rock and roll is still alive and well.  This is exhibited clearly in the form of ‘The Upside of Lonely.’  The playful, blues-infused tune is the complete antithesis of the breakup song.  Charlie Huhn’s bluesy licks and Scott Holt’s vocal delivery couple with Craig MacGregor’s bass line to form a solid foundation for the song.  Their work conjures thoughts of an upscale jazz and blues club.  Drummer Roger Earl’s equally solid timekeeping strengthens that foundation even more.  The combination of these elements instantly makes the arrangement in whole infectious and a favorite among the album’s overall arrangements.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important.  Lyrically speaking, the song is the total antithesis of the breakup song.  Holt sings here about all the positives of being alone versus being in a relationship.  He sings, “The good thing about you being gone/I can watch the game all day long/I can stretch my legs out in the bed/Extra pillows underneath my head/Don’t know why nobody told me about the upside of lonely/I got a lot more room for all my stuff/And I only have to wash one cup/I can stay up late and play my guitar/And the groceries go twice as far/Don’t know why nobody told me about the upside of lonely/You girlfriends ain’t ringin’ the phone off the wall/And I never have to hear from my mothering-law/I ain’t cut the grass since the middle of June/I smoke a big cigar in my living room/I don’t know why nobody told me about the upside of lonely.”  What man won’t smile and pump his first in the air in agreement with this sentiment?  Listeners should keep in mind that Holt sings these lines with his tongue planted firmly in cheek.  There’s not a single hint of animosity as he sings these lines or the lines that follow.  Keeping that in mind, the song’s Stevie Ray Vaughan style musical arrangement and its playful lyrical content couple here to make this song a clear example of why Foghat’s new album its own collective example of all that is right with rock and roll today and why the album is also one of the year’s top new rock and overall records.  It is just one of the album’s key compositions, too.  ‘Knock It off’ also serves to help UTI (as it will henceforth be known) stand out in whole.

‘Upside of Lonely’ is a clear example of what makes UTI stand out among its counterparts in the rock community this year.  That is due to its bluesy, Stevie Ray Vaughan style musical arrangement and its playful lyrical content.  It is just one of the record’s key compositions.  ‘Knock It Off’ serves to show what makes UTI stand out just as much as ‘Upside of Lonely.’  Only it does so in a different way.  In listening to this song, listeners that know their music history will instantly note the stylistic similarity to AC/DC in terms of the song’s musical arrangement.  It is a driving, straight-forward 4/4 rocker that is infectious in its very own way.  It does plenty to make the song stand out among the rest of the album’s offerings.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical content.  Huhn makes no bones about the song’s message here.  He (or the song’s subject) is addressing someone whose sole intent in life seems solely to be making trouble and making others miserable.  He sings to that person in a very matter of fact fashion, “Don’t need no excuses/You like stirrin’ my cup/And pullin’ my strings/You keep winding me up/You think I’m overreacting/There’s a line you cross over/Just give me a reason/I got a chip on my shoulder/So knock it off/Knock it off/You’d better knock it off/I’ve got a chip on my shoulder…so knock it off.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “You keep pushin’ and pushin’/You just won’t let up/We gotta settle this quickly/And get out of this rut/I see you lookin’ for trouble/Well I desire some, too/Well just give me a reason/Double dare you to knock it off.”  Who out there hasn’t dealt with someone such as the subject being addressed here?  Exactly.  Considering this, the song becomes a great way to blow off some steam in dealing with such individuals instead of risk losing their jobs or safety over those people.  Keeping this in mind, it serves even more to show why this song is so important to the overall presentation of UTI.  It is still not the last example of what makes UTI stand out, either.  ‘Hot Mama’ serves to show what makes UTI such an important new offering from Foghat just as much as ‘Knock It Off’ and ‘Upside of Lonely.’

‘Upside of Lonely’ and ‘Knock It Off’ are both key examples of what makes Foghat’s new album such an important new offering in this year’s field of new rock albums.  Both songs’ musical arrangements harken back to a better age of rock; an age when rock was great because of its simplicity.  The songs’ lyrical content is just as important to note because of their clear, simple messages.  The prior is the antithesis of the breakup song and the other is a loud, confident statement defying those that would make others’ lives miserable.  The combination of each song’s musical arrangement and lyrical content make each song in whole important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation.  They are, again, just two key compositions included in the body of UTI, though.  ‘Hot Mama’ is just as important to note in examining the album’s body as ‘Upside of Lonely’ and ‘Knock It Off.’  That is because it stands apart from those songs (and the rest of the album’s offerings’) just as much as they do from one another and the rest of the album’s songs.  This song’s musical arrangement helps it stand out with its pure, old school southern rock and roll sound.  It conjures thoughts of Lynyrd Skynyrd and others of that ilk with its riffs.  That is just one part of what makes this record stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as notable here as its musical arrangement.  It is so important to note because it is in direct contrast to that of ‘Upside of Lonely.’  Whereas that song touted the positives of bachelorhood this song is more of a fun little piece about a man who has found quite the woman.  There is even a bit of innuendo so to speak in the song’s lyrical content as Huhns subject sings to that woman, “Hot mama/Who’s gonna fan your flame/Hey hot mama/Let me be your fireman” in the song’s chorus.  Whether or not that innuendo was intentionally inserted is anyone’s guess.  But one can’t deny that it is there unintentional or not.  The woman in question is obviously attractive, though.  Huhn’s subject makes that clear as he says to her, You give me a fever/When I’m standing next to you/You’re gonna burn down the house/Lookin’ like you do/Hot mama/Who’s gonna fan your flames/Hey hot mama/Let me be your fireman.”  If this doesn’t get any couple in the mood for a *ahem* busy night then nothing will.  That is because between its “fiery” musical energy and equally notable lyrical content, it will definitely light some flames of passion.  Considering this, it shows once more why this song stands out so loud and proud among the rest of the album’s offerings.  When it is considered along with ‘Upside of Lonely’ and ‘Knock It Off’ all three songs make rather clear why UTI is such an impressive new effort from Foghat.  When listeners hear them, and the rest of the album’s songs, they will agree that every rock purist will want to be under its influence.

Foghat’s new album Under The Influence is a record that is one of 2016’s top new rock records and top new albums overall.  That is because from beginning to end it exemplifies everything that is right with rock and roll today.  It shows that rock is thankfully still alive and well.  Between the album’s overall musical content and its lyrical content, there is plenty to appreciate about the record.  This is evident not just in the songs directly discussed here but in each of the album’s offerings.  In considering this listeners will agree that every rock purist will want to be under its influence.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Under The Influence is available online now along with all of Foghat’s news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.foghat.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/FOGHAT

 

 

 

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Veteran Acts Dominate 2015’s Top New Live DVD/BD Recordings List

This week marks the last full week of 2015. It’s a little tough to grasp that there are only eleven days left in the year. But it’s almost time to bid a fond farewell to this year. And even as the year’s final days tick away, there is still plenty of work left to do in turns of examining the top titles from the entertainment world. Phil’s Picks has already done quite a bit of that, delving into the top titles of the music world’s top titles. There’s still some ground to cover in that realm while beginning to transfer over into the year’s top new DVDs and Blu-rays in each of their different own areas. Keeping that in mind, what better way to start making that transfer than to look today at the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. The year’s best new live CDs have already been tackled. And as previously explained, in many cases, some DVDs and Blu-rays are actually released separate from their audio-only counterparts even today, and vice versa. That justifies a separate category for the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays. That being the case, here, for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list while the bottom five are no less important. They each receive honorable mention for a total of fifteen titles. Enough rambling. Here, again, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS AND BLU-RAYS

  1. SLASH FT. MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS – LIVE AT THE ROXY 09.25.14

 

  1. TESSERACT – SCALA

 

  1. AEROSMITH – AEROSMITH ROCKS DONINGTON

 

  1. GEORGE STRAIT – THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY

 

  1. THE WHO – LIVE AT HYDE PARK

 

  1. SHANIA TWAIN – STILL THE ONE: LIVE IN VEGAS

 

  1. ERIC CLAPTON – SLOWHAND AT 70: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE IN LEEDS 1982

 

  1. THE ROLLING STONES – LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME 1990

 

  1. LYNYRD SKYNYRD – PRONOUNCED L LEH-NERD SKIN-NERD & SECOND HELPING

 

  1. PAT METHENY – UNITY SESSIONS

 

  1. WHITECHAPEL – BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

 

  1. TASTE – WHAT’S GOING ON: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT

 

  1. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE – LIVE AT FINSBURY PARK

 

  1. DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES – LIVE IN DUBLIN

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Music’s Past, Present, And Future Come Together In 2015’s Best New Live CDs List

Going to see live shows is anything but cheap. Anyone that has ever been to one will attest to that. Regardless of whether the show is close by or a long drive, it seems going to see shows nowadays is anything but cheap. Not to mention it’s not always easy because of time constraints. Weekday and weeknight shows are anything but easy just because of scheduling regardless of whether or not one has a family. So that leaves the question what is one to do in place of going to see a show? The answer: Pick up one’s favorite live recording on CD or DVD/Blu-ray. Both formats offer their own pros and cons. And in many cases, what is available on CD might not necessarily be available on DVD/Blu-ray or vice versa. That leads to the need for a list both for the year’s best new live CDs and new live DVDs/BDs. For the sake of this list the attention will go to the year’s best new live CDs. This year’s list includes a number of live CDs that were not accompanied by live DVDs and Blu-rays. Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck’s new live CD Live + is one of those that only received the CD treatment. It topped this year’s list. Saxon’s The Saxon Chronicles is another live CD that didn’t get the companion DVD/BD treatment. It’s on the list, too as is Birth of Joy’s Live at UBU, Jimi Hendrix’s Atlanta Pop Festival performance, and Zodiac’s The Road Tapes Volume 1. In other cases such as The Rolling Stones’ “From The Vault” recordings, audiences were lucky enough to get the recordings in complete packages. The same applies with Whitechapel’s Brotherhood of the Blade. These are just some of the titles that made the cut for this year’s list of the year’s best new live CD recordings. This was by no means an easy list to assemble. So no offense is meant against any recording that was left off the list. Set lists had to be taken into account as well as production values and also the acts’ stage presence. Taking all of that into account the following is the final list. Without any further ado I offer to you, dear readers, 2015’s Top New Live CDs.

2015 TOP NEW LIVE CDS

1. JEFF BECK — LIVE +

2. CARLOS SANTANA/JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

3. LYNYRD SKYNYRD — SWEET HOME ALABAMA

4. DARYLL HALL AND JOHN OATES — LIVE IN DUBLIN

5. TESSERACT — ODYSSEY

6. JIMI HENDRIX — ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL

7. ZODIAC — THE ROAD TAPES VOLUME 1

8. WHITECHAPEL — BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE

9. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE AT THE TOKYO DOME

10. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: LIVE IN LEEDS

11. THE ROLLING STONES — FROM THE VAULT: THE MARQUEE CLUB LIVE IN 1971

12. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS (SPECIAL EDITION WITH WACKEN OPEN AIR 2015 CONCERT)

13. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

14. EMERSON, LAKE, & PALMER — LIVE AT MONTREUX 2011

15. BIRTH OF JOY — LIVE AT UBU

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