Eagle Rock Entertainment To Release Jarreau’s ’93 Montreux Performance Next Month

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds have teamed up to release yet another classic performance from its rich history.

Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds will release Al Jarreau: Live at Montreux 1993 next month.  The concert, originally recorded July 6th, 1993, will be available in stores and online on Friday, April 15th.  It will be available exclusively on CD.  The concert was the fifth of his now eleven performances at the famed music festival.  The performance was part of Jarreau’s efforts to promote his then upcoming album Tenderness, which would be released nearly a year and a half later on December 6th, 1994. The concert’s complete set list is noted below.

 

Track Listing

  • We’re In This Love Together
  • Try A Little Tenderness
  • Summertime
  • We Got By
  • Mas Que Nada
  • She’s Leaving Home
  • You Don’t See Me
  • Save Your Love For Me
  • Your Song
  • Alonzo
  • Puddit (Put It Where You Want It)

 

Al Jarreau: Live at Montreux 1993 will be available in stores and online Friday, April 15th.  It will be exclusively on CD for MSRP of $13.98.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

More information on this and other recordings from Al Jarreau is available online along with all of the Grammy Award®–winning artist’s news at:

 

Website: http://www.aljarreau.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ALJarreau

 

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

ELP Double Disc CD Set Is A Solid Final Entry For Band’s ’97 Montreux Show

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Nearly nine years ago, Eagle Rock Entertainment struck a deal with Montreux Sounds that since that time has led to the release of innumerable concerts from the famed festival’s decades-long history.  That number includes performances from acts across the musical spectrum and years.  One of the earliest of those releases came on November 16th, 2004 in the form of Emerson, Lake & Palmers (ELP as the band is also known) performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival.  It was released on DVD.  Six years after its release, the concert was re-issued on Blu-ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Now almost eleven years after the release of that first DVD, Eagle Rock Entertainment has finally finished it off with the release of the concert in question on a double-disc CD set.  The very fact that the concert has finally been released in an audio-only presentation is the central reason that it proves to be one that any ELP fan will appreciate.  That will be discussed at more length shortly.  The show’s set list is another reason that ELP fans everywhere will appreciate this new release/re-issue.  It features some of the band’s biggest hits to date over the course of thirteen tracks and roughly hour and a half run time.  Last but hardly least of note to this recording’s positives is its liner notes.  The recording’s liner notes were penned by the members of the band themselves versus by an outsider.  This adds a certain extra enjoyment to the recording as it gives the band members’ own thoughts as opposed to personal thoughts and suppositions from any outside sources.  That final element set against the show’s set list (and the band’s performance by connection), and the recording’s platform makes it one welcome piece for any ELP fan’s collection regardless of whether or not he or she already owns the performance in either of its previous releases.  All three elements together also show once again why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Earlier this month, Eagle Rock Entertainment released ELP’s classic 1997 performance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival.  The performance, released on a double-disc CD platform, marks the third time that performance has seen the light of day.  It was originally released on DVD almost eleven years ago by Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Its second release, roughly five years ago, was on Blu-ray also via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Now, with its release earlier this month on 2 CD set Eagle Rock Entertainment it would seem that Eagle Rock has finally completed releasing the concert on each of its platforms.  To the untrained eye (and ear) this is not very significant.  However the reality is far different.  Ever since Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds first partnered to release the innumerable performances from the famed festival Eagle Rock has gone on to make a habit of releasing each recording on its multiple formats at once instead of making audiences wait.  That is a big change in comparison to the company’s earliest recordings, this recording included.  While it likely is not the last of the companies’ earlier recordings that have needed to be finished off, it is nice to know that both companies have strived to keep from making audiences wait since then.  It’s just one way in which this new release/re-issue shows itself to be such a welcome recording for ELP’s fans and one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  The show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list is just as important to its overall enjoyment and success as its audio-only presentation.

The set list featured in this presentation of ELP’s ’97 Montreux show and the band’s performance thereof are just as important to the presentation’s enjoyment and success as its presentation.  The central reason for this is that the set list is the same as in the concert’s previous pair of releases going all the way back to its original DVD release in 2004.  This is so important because despite what some might believe there are some companies out there that will and do present the same concert with set lists that vary from one platform to the other.  It’s sad but true.  The variances commonly appear in the set lists’ orders.  In other cases, songs have in fact been known to be deleted depending on the platform and recording.  Luckily that hasn’t happened here nor has the set list’s order been altered.  The band’s performance of the show’s songs is just as important as the set list itself.  From beginning to end of the show’s roughly ninety-minute run time the band gives its all, keeping listeners engaged and entertained.  This is the case even in the show’s longer pieces, one of which runs just short of the twenty-minute mark.  The band keeps listeners so entertained that they will not even realize that so much time has passed by the show’s end.  It is yet another reason that this latest release of ELP’s classic Montreux show proves to be as enjoyable as the concert’s previous releases.  In simpler terms, it proves even more through its set list and the band’s performance of said set list to be one more welcome piece for any ELP fan.

ELP’s newly re-issued ’97 Montreux show proves through its very presentation on double-disc DC set to be a welcome addition to any ELP fan’s personal collection.  This is regardless of whether or not fans already own the concert in its previous DVD and Blu-ray presentations.  The fact that the set list from the concert’s original presentation has been held in tact here makes it all the more impressive.  The band’s performance of said songs adds a whole extra level of enjoyment to this recording for ELP’s fans.  While all of the recording’s noted elements do plenty to make it enjoyable for ELP fans of all ages, they are not the only factors that make it such a worthwhile addition to any ELP fan’s collection.  The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet add even more reason for the band’s fans.  That is because all three of the band’s members share their own thoughts on the group’s performance at the festival as well as on its founder Claud Nobs and the town of Montreux.  The trio’s sentiments in regards to Nobs are deeply moving in their respect for him.  All three men also paint a picture of the town of Montreux as something right out of a classical work of art.  All of the descriptions are of a town that during most of the year is a sleepy little hollow that is a dream come true for anyone wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.  But during the annual festival time things really ramp up.  It’s such an interesting juxtaposition to see in one’s own mind.  On a separate but related note, writer Michael Heatley notes ahead of the band members’ own thoughts a brief but concise history of the band’s rise to fame and eventual inclusion at the Montreux Festival.  Audiences that might not be so familiar with the band’s history will be interested to learn that ELP actually got its start at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.  Ironically enough, Eagle Rock Entertainment just recently released what would be the last major concert by Rory Gallagher and his band mates in Taste at that same festival on Blu-ray and DVD.  Even more interesting is that where ELP got its start would be the last major mark for one Jimi Hendrix before his untimely death only weeks later.  It’s an interesting six degrees of separation to consider that makes this addition to the recording’s liner notes that much more important to the whole of its presentation.  One can’t help but stop in considering this to think for a moment:  the very festival and year where ELP got its start (according to Heatley) is the same festival that essentially was the last blast for two other acts’ careers.  Together with the concert’s presentation here in a double-disc CD platform and the show’s set alongside the band’s performance of said set, the whole of these elements completes the recording and shows once and for all why any ELP fan will want to have this potentially final installment from the band’s ’97 Montreux show in his or her own home music library.

ELP’s newly released double-disc CD presentation of its performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival is more than likely the final installment of said performance from the legendary progressive rock band.  That is because the concert has already been released both on DVD and Blu-ray previously in separate years.  That being the case, the CD set’s release this summer in itself is reason enough for the band’s fans to add it to their own home music libraries.  This applies both to those with the concert’s previous releases and those without.  The fact that the set list was kept intact in its presentation makes the recording even more enjoyable. Add in an equally solid performance from the band from start to finish and some rather insightful liner notes in the recording’s companion booklet and ELP fans get one more presentation of its 1997 Montreux show that each will agree is a completely welcome addition to their own personal music library. Fans will be happy to know considering all of this that Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 is available no in stores and online in its new double-disc CD presentation. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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.

Santana-McLaughlin Montreux Re-Issue Is Another Shining Beacon From Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Forty-eight years ago a man named Claude Knobs founded the Montreux Jazz Festival. In the decades since its founding, the once jazz-only festival has grown to become one of the world’s most renowned festivals featuring acts from every one of the music industry’s genres. Sadly, Knobs passed away two years ago. But even in his absence, the festival has continued on and remained one of the world’s elite music festivals. And thanks to the efforts of the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment that reputation has been held strong due to the label’s partnership with Montreux Sounds. The companies’ partnership has resulted in a number of performances from the festival’s history being released in recent years. That list includes performances from the likes of: Stan Getz, Phil Collins, Etta James, ZZ Top, and The Raconteurs among so many others. Last week, that list grew just a little more when the companies revisited Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin’s 2011 Invitation to Illumination performance and re-issued the concert in a double-disc CD presentation. Originally released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013, this latest release is just as enjoyable for those that might not already own the concert’s original DVD and/or BD presentation. Of course it is just as enjoyable for anyone that already owns said presentations, too. The main reason that it is so enjoyable is its set list. Just as with Eagle Rock’s 2012 Santana live release, Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011, this show’s set list feels more like one giant jam session than a specifically structured set list. By direct connection, the stage presence of the musicians on stage is just as noteworthy in the recording’s enjoyment and success. Last of note in this recording is the concert’s audio mix. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. Together with the set list and the band’s stage presence, that expert audio mix is one more factor that reminds audiences why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader of the pack in live recordings. Collectively, all three elements show why this recording is one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new double-disc presentation of Carlos Santana & John Mclaughlin’s performance at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival is not the first time that the recording has been released. Despite that, this audio-only presentation is just as enjoyable as the concert’s 2013 DVD and Blu-ray presentation of the concert. This applies both for those that already own the concert’s DVD and/or Blu-ray presentation and for those that have neither. The main reason that it is so enjoyable for all involved is its set list. The nearly two and a half hour performance (two hours and fourteen minutes to be exact) is composed of sixteen tracks that touch on quite a few different genres. There is a tribute to Led Zeppelin early on as Santana and company cover the legendary rock band’s hit single ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ There are also tributes to Miles Davis and John Coletrane later in the performance in the form of ‘Black Satin’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ respectively. There is also another tribute to Coletrane earlier in the show in the form of ‘Naima,’ which is another of the legendary sax player’s greatest hits. As if these numbers aren’t enough, there are also of plenty of other original pieces performed by Santana and his fellow musicians pulled from Santana and McLaughlin’s 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender. The combination of the artists’ covers and original compositions results in a set list that is rich and completely engaging. Being so rich and engaging, audiences won’t even realize that so much time has passed by the time they reach the concert’s finale performance. That in itself is the mark of a truly talented group of musicians. Speaking of the musicians’ collective talents, their talents are another reason that audiences will enjoy this latest release of Invitation to Illumination.

The extensive set list compiled for Invitation to Illumination is in itself plenty of reason for fans of Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin to pick up this newly re-issued concert recording. It runs nearly two and a half hours and spans some sixteen songs. At no point in that time will audiences ever find themselves checking the time as the concert progresses. Rather, they will find themselves becoming lost in the concert in the best way possible. That says quite a bit within itself. Of course the concert’s chosen set list is only part of what makes it so enjoyable. The stage presence of Santana and his fellow musicians is another reason that audiences will enjoy the show. Taking in a performance by Carlos Santana and his band mates is more than simply taking in a performance from the highly talented musicians. Taking in a performance of these individuals is taking in a full musical experience. This is just as true in Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination as it was on Carlos Santana: Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011. It is incredible to hear Santana and his band mates sharing the stage throughout the two-hour plus performance. Unlike so many other acts out there today, Santana steps back on multiple occasions, allowing his band mates to get their fair share of time in the limelight. Simply put, he not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, too. Such humility, willingness to share the spotlight, and talent shows why Santana is still one of the greatest guitarists in modern music history. Audiences will be in awe at the talent of both Dennis Chambers and Santana’s own wife, Cyndi Blackman Santana as they work behind their kits. Blackman Santana’s skill with the sticks is unparalleled. Watching her perform whether with the rest of the band or by herself on her drum solo is like watching controlled chaos. By contrast, Chambers’ own performance behind his kit is the picture of talent and composure. Chambers’ body language is one of someone that is entirely relaxed. Yet his playing would seem otherwise. It’s an amazing juxtaposition. The band overall presents such talent throughout its performance. It’s yet another way in which the band’s stage presence shows itself to be an important part of the recording’s whole. Together with the show’s extensive set list, both elements show once again why Invitation to Illumination is a brightly shining live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The set list assembled for Invitation to Illumination and the stage presence of the assembled musicians are both key reasons that the recording is so entertaining for audiences. They are just part of the whole of the recording’s enjoyment in its new double-disc CD presentation. The concert’s final audio mix rounds out the reasons that the concert shines so brightly. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. That is not to say that those without a home theater system will be left out in the cold per se. Rather it is just to say that the audio mix really lends itself to a home theater system even having been recorded at an indoor venue. There is something about the combined talents of the musicians on stage that just gives the performance that much power. This includes both the concert’s more raucous moments and even its more reserved moments. Audiences will agree with this sentiment when they pick up this recording for themselves. Together with the concert’s set list and the performers’ stage presence, it becomes the finishing touch on a recording that is one more brightly shining recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment even having been previously released.

While it is not the first time that Eagle Rock Entertainment has released the concert, the company’s new double-disc CD presentation of Invitation to Illumination still shines just as brightly as the concert’s previous DVD and Blu-ray presentation. This is the case both for those that already own one or both of the previously released presentations and for those that don’t already own either. The show’s set list coupled with the stage presence and talents of the performers makes for plenty of enjoyment in its new re-issue. The concert’s expert audio mix makes it even more of a joy for audiences. All three elements taken together make Invitation to Illumination a concert that is just as enjoyable the second time around as the first. Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination Live at Montreux 2011 is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

Eagle Rock, Montreux Sounds To Release Classic ELP Concert This Fall

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Next month, veteran rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) will release its performance from the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival on CD.

Live at Montreux 1997 will be released on Friday, September 11th. It will mark the first time ever that the classic concert will have been released on CD. The concert’s thirteen-song set list is spread across two discs and features some of the band’s biggest hits including: ‘Karn Evil 9’ (‘Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends’), ‘Hoedown,’ ‘Take A Pebble,’ ‘Lucky Man,’ ‘Tarkus,’ ‘Pictures At An Exhibition,’ and ‘Fanfare for the Common Man.’ Also included with the double-disc recording is a handful of previously unreleased songs such as ‘Touch and Go,’ ‘Creole Dance,’ and ‘Carmina Burana.’

While the concert’s extensive set list will offer plenty of enjoyment for ELP’s fans, it’s only part of what fans will love about this newly released recording. Its companion booklet includes liner notes written personally by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer. The complete track listing for Live at Montreux 1997 is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

DISC ONE:

1) Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression, Part 2

2) Tiger In The Spotlight

3) Hoedown

4) Touch And Go

5) From The Beginning

6) Knife Edge

7) Bitches Crystal

8) Creole Dance

9) Honky Tonk Train Blues

10) Take A Pebble

DISC TWO:

1) Lucky Man

2) Medley: Tarkus / Pictures At An Exhibition

3) Medley: Fanfare For The Common Man / Rondo / Carmina Burana / Carl Palmer’s Drum Solo / Toccata In D Minor

 

Live at Montreux 1997 will be available Friday, September 11th on 2CD physical set and digital formats. The double-disc CD set will retail for MSRO of $15.98. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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

ZZ Top Live @ Montreux Is One Of 2014’s Top New Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has, over the years, earned the title from this critic of being the “Leader in Live Recordings.” Eagle Rock has long been the gold standard for live recordings with releases from the likes of Paul McCartney, The Raconteurs, Elton John, Stone Temple Pilots, Slipknot, and so many others across the board. Now yet again, Eagle Rock has proven yet again why it is that gold standard thanks to the brand new release of ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013. This latest release in Eagle Rock’s ongoing partnership with Montreux Sounds is one more of this year’s top live recordings. It offers audiences a concert loaded with all of the Texas-based trio’s greatest hits and some lesser-known pieces, among which is a fitting tribute to the famed festival’s late founder Claude nobs. The concert’s combined audio and video mix make taking in each of those songs even more of a joy for audiences of all ages. And rounding out the whole thing is a pair of interviews that while relatively short, provide so much insight into the band’s respect for the Montreux festival, music in general and more. All three of these factors together show once again why Eagle Rock remains to this day, the “Leader in Live Recordings,” and why every classic rock and rock fan in general, will enjoy this concert.

The central point of enjoyment in ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013 is the show’s set list, point blank. The veteran trio—Dusty Hill (bass), Billy Gibbons (guitar), and Frank Beard (drums)—churns out hit after hit throughout the course of the concert’s seventeen-song, eighty-minute show. Among those hits are the likes of ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ ‘Gimme All your Lovin’,’ and ‘Tush’ just to name a few. As much as audiences will enjoy those favorites, they will also enjoy the band’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxey Lady’ and the trio’s tribute to late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Knobs in the bluesy/jazzy ‘Kiko.’ The band even brings in a pair of special guest musicians to join in on this number and one other song. The band’s live take of ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’ is another wonderful highlight from this concert. Throughout it all, the trio’s unassuming demeanor set against such solid, driving songs makes for such an interesting experience. It goes to show that a band doesn’t need pyro and loads of special effects and more to make a concert memorable. As long as the band can get the audience moving with its music, that’s the most important factor to the show. And that’s exactly what the members of ZZ Top do in this case. That factor alone makes this recording more than worth the watch.

The set list that makes up ZZ Top’s by itself more than makes this recording worth the watch. It makes it well worth buying for the band’s fans of all ages. Just as worth noting is the concert’s combined audio and video mix. The sound and video are both crystal clear throughout the show’s roughly eighty-minute run time. This is one of those standards that has for the longest time, made Eagle Rock the gold standard in live recordings. Those with home theater systems will especially appreciate the painstaking efforts that went in to bringing this concert to audiences. From the soaring shots above the crowd to the close ups of the band to those of the audience happily singing along, the camerawork in this concert is on par with every concert that Eagle Rock has released in recent years. And the audio mix is just as solid. Again, those with a home theater system will hear this for themselves. That expert audio and visual work together with the show’s set list pushes this recording even more to the top. Putting the recording at the top is the addition of a pair of interviews with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill in which the pair discuss what the Montreux Festival means to them, their thoughts on Claude Nobs and more.

The finishing touch to ZZ Top’s new live recording is the inclusion of a pair of backstage interviews with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. The interviews are short. They run about three minutes or a little more each. But even within their short run times, the thoughts shared by the pair speak volumes. They discuss the festival itself and its history and how much it meant to have been invited to perform. They also discuss their relationship with the festival’s late founder Claude Nobs. They spoke very fondly of nobs and how those positive vibes led to the band’s musical tribute to the man. Just as eye and ear opening is the pair’s discussion on how the festival really brought together so many people of different musical backgrounds. It shows a love for music and respect for all different kinds of people. And that sentiment, as short as it may be, makes one look back through the concert once again, gaining a whole new appreciation not just for this recording, but for the members of ZZ Top as people. All things considered, this latest live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment proves to be one more in this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings. It will be the favorite of any other music lover, too when they purchase the Blu-ray or DVD for themselves.

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. And for the latest on ZZ Top’s updated tour schedule and more, fans can follow the band online at http://www.facebook.com/ZZTop and http://www.zztop.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Releases Details Of Upcoming ZZ Top Live Release

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

The partnership between Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds has led to the release of a number of archived shows from the festival’s decades-long history in recent years. Performances from the likes of Phil Collins, Carlos Santana, Etta James, and so many others have been released thanks to the companies’ partnership. Now another of music’s major names will see one of its Montreux Festival performances released this summer thanks to that partnership. The name in question is none other than classic rock trio ZZ Top.

ZZ Top: Live at Montreux 2013 will be released July 22, 2014 on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats. The new archived concert will be released alongside the brand new CD release of ZZ Top: The Very Baddest Of. That new CD release is a two-disc set containing forty of the band’s biggest hits. It will be released via Rhino Records. ZZ Top: Live at Montreux 2013 will see the band performing many of those hits live at the famed festival. Among the songs audiences can expect to hear are: ‘La Grange,’ ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’,’ ‘Pincushion,’ ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ ‘Waitin’ For The Bus,’ ‘Legs,’ ‘Tube Snake Boogie,’ and ‘Tush’ just to name a handful of songs. Audiences can also expect to see the band’s performance of ‘Tres Hombres,’ ‘Fandango,’ ‘Eliminator,’ and ‘La Futura.’ Needless to say that this new archived performance is a definite career-spanning set. There is even a jazz-blues tribute to the late Claude Nobs, who founded the Montreux Jazz Festival decades ago. The performance features appearances by Mike Flanigin on Hammond organ and Van Wilks on guitar.

The concert’s DVD presentation will retail for SRP of $14.98. The Blu-ray will retail for $19.98. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. More information on ZZ Top and all of its upcoming releases and tour news is available online at http://www.zztop.com and http://www.facebook.com/zztop. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

May & Ellis’ Candlelight Concerts Recording Another Huge Hit For Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment and its visual division, Eagle Vision, have been at the front of the line in live recordings in recent years thanks to releasing so many big, bombastic concerts on DVD and Blu-ray. So it goes without saying that Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is quite the departure for Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision. That’s not a bad thing, either. While it features Queen guitarist Brian May alongside one of the most powerful voices in Broadway’s modern history, the references to Queen are kept to a minimum throughout the course of the concert. That is the most important factor in what makes this latest release from Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision so worth the time. Another reason that audiences will appreciate this new recording is its audio and video mix. The high quality video and audio mix (both on the Blu-ray and CD) maintain Eagle Rock and Eagle Vision’s long-held standard of releasing only the best quality concerts to audiences. And making everything complete for this latest recording is its packaging. Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts has been made available to consumers in a double-disc Blu-ray/CD combo pack in a single package. This allows audiences to take in the performance in whole without having to choose which one they would want more. It may be a slightly higher price. But in the long-term, it’s more cost effective for those wanting the full concert experience. All of the factors noted here make Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts yet another huge success from the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is not a Queen concert. That’s not to say that there are no Queen songs featured throughout the course of the set’s CD and Blu-ray. As a matter of fact, some of Queen’s biggest hits including ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’ are part of the performance. But by and large, this performance features covers of other songs, and even a couple original tunes. One of the most powerful of the performance’s moments comes in Ellis’ cover of ‘The Way We Were.’ The song, made popular by singer/actress Barbara Streisand in the 1973 movie by the same name. As Ellis notes before performing her take on the song, it’s more commonly performed with a full orchestral backing, even in the movie’s soundtrack. It gains a whole new identity in this completely stripped down setting. On the other end of the spectrum, May and Ellis presented a stripped down song in ‘The Kissing Me Song’ that absolutely cries out for a full band setting. Any drummers and percussionists out there will agree with this drummer that there is a stunning polyrhythmic drum track just waiting to come out in this piece. One can even hear a tambourine part echoing in the background. Making the song even more interesting is that it is an original piece, instead of a cover. It would be interesting to see if the pair ever re-works the tune for a full band setting. Moving on, there is at least one more high point in this performance in terms of the show’s set list that audiences will appreciate. That last high point is the duo’s take on ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Despite being in a stripped down setting, it is just as enjoyable in this setting as on record. And experiencing the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to the song makes it all the more enjoyable for viewers watching it in their homes. It has just as much energy here as in any other setting. As enjoyable as this moment is, it isn’t the last of the show’s many high points. There are plenty more moments from which audiences will get to choose when they purchase or order the combo pack for themselves.

The set list chosen for this penultimate performance of May and Ellis’ “By Candlelight Tour” is central to the enjoyment of this recording. Those hoping for a stripped down Queen set will be sadly disappointed since it isn’t a Queen set. For those more open-minded, they will deeply appreciate the variety of songs included in the show. The songs would be nothing without the expert work of those behind the cameras and soundboard. Eagle Rock Entertainment and Eagle Vision have maintained a high standard for their live recordings for some time. And this recording is no exception to that rule. The picture and sound are both crystal clear. And the angles used in the camera work expertly capture the emotion of both performers in the rather intimate setting. It adds so much depth to the overall presentation, making it even more worth checking out.

The set list and overall production values of Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts are both pivotal elements to the overall presentation of this recording. Both go hand in hand in making the whole thing worth the time and money. There is still at least one more element worth noting about this set. That aspect is the recording’s packaging itself. Eagle Rock, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records have come together to make the set available to the masses not as separate release, but as one entire package. On the surface, this might drive up the price of the set a bit. But in the long run, it actually saves money and the time trying to decide which is more important. Eagle Rock is actually serving its customers by combining the CD and Blu-ray into a full double-disc set. What’s more, each of the two discs gets its own spot on either side of the Blu-ray’s case. That saves space and in turn, helps to keep the cost of the set down. And that combined with the show’s outstanding production values, and equally outstanding set list makes it one more huge success from the company that more than deserves the title of being the leader in live recordings.

Brian May & Kerry Ellis: The Candlelight Concerts is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Candelight-Concerts-Live-Montreux-Blu-ray/dp/B00I60VY56/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396512611&sr=1-1&keywords=brian+may+kerry+ellis. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment, Eagle Vision, and Eagle Records is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. 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.