Lady A’s “Live On This Winter’s Night” Is Enjoyable For Any Winter’s Night

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Christmas is just around the corner once again.  And that means that the annual crop of holiday CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays will start appearing on store shelves everywhere very soon if they haven’t started doing so already.  It means that there will be lots of choices for those looking to get into the holiday spirit.  Decisions, decisions.  Those that are perhaps scratching their heads about what music to pick up to bring the holiday spirit into their homes might consider Lady Antebellum’s new holiday Blu-ray, This Winter’s Night.  The new blu-ray is the companion piece to the band’s new holiday CD by the same name.  And it is certain to warm any listener’s home and heart this holiday season when they watch it whether by themselves or with those they love.  The trio’s performance was recorded at Nashville, Tennessee’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.  The venue itself was stunning.  And set against the band’s more quaint stage setup, it made for quite the overall effect on the overall presentation.  Speaking of the overall presentation, the trio’s chosen set list is also an important part of the show’s overall presentation.  And it most certainly impresses for those looking for the season’s more familiar sounds.  Add in the bonus music video and acoustic performances, and audiences get in This Winter’s Night, a full holiday performance that will be a favorite this and every holiday season.

Those charged with developing the setting for This Winter’s Night did quite the job with their responsibilities.  Those individuals made the stage setup at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center look just as cozy as that of NBC’s annual holiday show at Rockefeller Center.  The difference is that because it was indoors, it was only done on a smaller scale.  Ironically, it was that smaller scale presentation that made the show feel so much more intimate even for home audiences.  The use of the faux trees, the lighting, and the mid-size string ensemble together established the intended intimate feeling.  This is made even more impressive as it is set against the Schermerhorn’s openness.  And the set list chosen by Lady Antebellum for the show only served to heighten that feeling even more.

The set list chosen for This Winter’s Night is comprised largely of standards that any listener will recognize and enjoy.  There are also a couple of original songs written by the trio in the form of ‘This Christmas’ and the performance’s title song.  Audiences will enjoy these two songs just as much as the standards included in the performance.  Among the performances highlights are the trio’s performances of ‘Silent Night’, A Holly Jolly Christmas’, and the updated take on Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas.’  ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’ opens the concert, which comes in at just under an hour.  It’s a fun mid-tempo take on the original that’s certain to get any viewer dancing along at home.  The same can be said of the updated take on ‘Blue Christmas.’  This is a key moment in the performance because instead of going with the much more melancholy vibe established by the original song, the group went with a more upbeat almost swing style feeling for their take on it.  This gives the song a whole new meaning.  And the group’s take on ‘Silent Night’ to close the concert is certain to leave not a single dry eye among viewers.  This is one of the most beautiful and powerful songs among the canon of holiday songs.  The band does it full justice with its take on the song.  And having the audience in attendance singing at the song’s end without the string ensemble or the band makes it all the more impactful.  These are just a few examples of what this recording has to offer.  There are plenty of others to which audiences will lean.  But audiences will have to find out for themselves which songs they like most when they pick up this new release on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as CD.

The set list and the overall setup of the show on This Winter’s Night work in tandem to make it a memorable show for audiences.  This is regardless of whether one is a hardcore fan of Lady Antebellum or is just a fan of the holiday standards.  They play the primary role in this recording’s overall success.  There is still one piece of the overall presentation that must be examined, however.  That final piece is the presentation’s bonus features.  Audiences that watch through the main concert will notice short vignettes between songs.  Some of those vignettes introduce the song to be performed next.  Audiences get the full songs in question as part of the bonus features.  They are full acoustic, almost music video style performances of said songs.  The bonus acoustic performances included are: ‘Blue Christmas’, ‘The First Noel’, ‘Silent Night (Lord of my life)’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, and ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas.’  The last of t hose songs in question also has its own whimsical music video included as a bonus feature, too.  Audiences will love seeing the young boy in the vide trying to get a kiss from Lady Antebellum’s own Hillary Scott.  The end result will have anyone laughing.  As even more bonus, audiences are also treated to a behind-the-scenes and “Making of” featurette on the music video.  These additions are the finishing touch to what is a holiday presentation sure to warm any home and heart this holiday season.  It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.

Lady Antebellum is currently touring in support of both its new holiday release and its most recent full length studio release, Golden.  The band will perform at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS this Friday, November 8th.  The band will also make a stop at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina next January.  The band is scheduled to perform at the PNC Arena on Friday, January 10th at 7pm.  It also has a performance scheduled for Saturday, April 26th at Charlotte, NC’s Time Warner Cable Arena. Audiences and fans can get the most current list of the band’s tour dates, news, and more online at http://www.facebook.com/ladyantebellum and http://www.ladyantebellum.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 Phi’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Truth & Salvage Co. Making Tour Stop In North Carolina

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records/Sony RED

Courtesy: Megaforce Records/Sony RED

Truth & Salvage Co. is currently touring in support of its new album, Pick Me Up.  As part of its tour, the Nashville, Tennessee based band will make a stop in the Old North State this Fall.  The band is scheduled to perform at Asheville’s “Downtown After 5” festival on Friday, September 20th.  The band actually has a connection to Asheville.  Scott Kinnebrew (guitar/lap steel/mandolin/vocals), Walker Young (piano/accordion/vocals), and Bill “Smitty” Smith (drums/percussion/vocals) all met in Asheville before the band relocated to Asheville, where the band’s new album was recorded. 

Truth & Salvage Co. has already toured with North Carolina based band, The Avett Brothers, as well as veteran rockers, The Black Crowes.  It exclusively debuted its new album this summer online at USATODAY.COM.  Audiences can check out the album now at USATODAYONLINE.com at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2013/07/17/truth-salvage-co-pick-me-up-album-premiere/2524813/ 

The full track listing for Pick Me Up is listed below:

Full track listing for PICK ME UP:
–The Bad Times (Kinnebrew, Young, Jones, Smith, Grace)
–Silver Lining (Kinnebrew, Jones)
–Bird on the Wing (Kinnebrew, Jones)
–Island (Jones, Young, Kinnebrew)
–Appalachian Hilltop (Smith, Kinnebrew, Jones, Grace, Young)
–Games People Play (Joe South)
–I’m Not Your Boyfriend (Young, Jones, Kinnebrew, Smith, Grace, Roberts)
–Back in Your Love (Jones, Kinnebrew)
–Pick Me Up (Young)
–So Sad (Kinnebrew, Grace)
–Shady River (Smith, Young, Jones, Kinnebrew)
–Middle Island Creek (Smith)
–All Stand Tall (Kinnebrew, Grace)

For all of the latest news and tour info from Truth & Salvage Co., audiences can follow the band online at http://www.truthandsalvageco.com, http://www.facebook.com/truthandsalvageco, http://twitter.com/TruthandSalvage, and http://www.youtube.com/truthandsalvageco

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.

OCMS’s New LP Will Impress Fans New And Old

Courtesy: ATO Records

Old Crow Medicine Show has only released four albums so far in its time together.  In that time, the band has amassed legions of fans around the world.  Listening to the band’s previous three full length studio releases, it’s no wonder why so many people have become fans of this Nashville, Tennessee based bluegrass band.  The band’s most recent album, Carry Me Back is even more proof of that.  The album is old school bluegrass at its finest.  Even having gone through a lineup change after the release of its last album, OCMS has shown that it hasn’t missed a step.  If anything this sextet of professionals has gotten even better than before this time out.

Carry Me Back opens with its title track.  The balance of the fiddle, guitar, and mandolin along with the vocals of Kevin Hayes make for a strong link back to bluegrass’ Celtic roots.  For those who perhaps don’t know, much of bluegrass and country is rooted deeply in old Celtic music.  Lyrically, it’s an interesting piece.  It tells of a soldier in the Civil War.  Hayes sings about a person wanting to go back to Virginia after fighting in the war.  He sings, “I’m a rebel boy/Born on the banks of the Shenandoah/In ’61 I went to the war/To win one for Virginia/Yeah my brother went first/Then they called me, too/I was green as a clover in the morning dew/So I marched to the drum/And we sang to the tune/Carry me back to Virginia.”   The song goes on, telling of the soldier’s experience on the frontline, seeing other soldiers die around him, and being sent to the hospitals to have limbs amputated, yet he still fights for his Southern pride.  It’s an interesting piece, and a good opener for this album.

From here, the band moves into what can only be described as one of the album’s most interesting tracks in ‘We Don’t Grow Tobacco.’  That’s first and foremost because of the vocals.  If a listener didn’t know any better, one would think that this song was being sung by none other than the late great Hank Williams, Sr.  It’s somewhat fitting that it would sound like Williams, as it comes across as a true old school style country song in its mournful lyrics.  Presented here is the story of someone looking at the changing of the guard so to speak.  The figure in the song sings about how the old way of growing tobacco for income is no more.  He sings, “Grandpa told me this I know/Change is coming/Won’t be slow/Knocking just like thunder at the door/Fallow fields are all around/Empty barns just falling down/Ironweed is coming up through the floor/Once we growed it by the pound/Now the kids all moved to town/And all that’s left are elderly and poor/Now I sure am sad to say/That I lived to see this day/That we don’t grow tobacco round here no more.”  Anyone who has ever driven through the country sides of this country have seen exactly what this song is about.  It really hits home, thinking about it.  The crux of the song isn’t so much about a region not growing tobacco anymore, though.  It’s more about a way of life going by the wayside.  That’s what makes it such a good song.  Despite that introspective lyrical vibe, the song’s musical vibe doesn’t come across as being too sad.  That mix of emotions makes this song another high point to Carry Me Back

For the emotion of Carry Me Back, OCMS also offers its listeners something with a little bit of an edge to it.  ‘Country Gal’ will put a grin on any listener’s face, male and female.  It’s a laid back song that expertly mirrors the song’s somewhat naughty lyrics with a little bit of word play at the same time.  The title of the song says it all.  The lyrics drive it all home.  Hayes sings in this song, “Baby’s on the bench seat/Ready to go/So if you wanna have fun/honey/Let’s have a roll in the hay/Good lookin’ country gal/hey good looking country gal/Mouse in the corn crib/Pig in the pen/pitchforks turn/Just to circle again/It’s a barnyard two-step/Do-si-do/Raising up a ruckus/’Til the rooster crows.”  There’s no doubt what this one’s about.  Yes, it’s got an edge of sorts to it.  But it’s also a fun song that will entertain any older audience because of how it gets its message across.  It’s just one more of so many enjoyable songs on the band’s new album.  There are also slower pieces such as the album’s closer, ‘Ways of Man’, the Bob Dylan-esque ‘Aint It Enough’, and ‘Genevieve.’  They all come together to make an album that shows where Old Crow Medicine Show has been and where it still plans to go in the years to come.  Carry Me Back is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct via the ATO Records website at http://atorecords.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=126_54314&pc=ATCD106.

Fans can also take in the band’s new album live as the band is out touring in support of Carry Me Back now.  The band will be at the Capitol theater in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday, November 15th.  It will also have a semi-hometown show later this month on the 25th in Memphis, Tennessee.  Audiences can get a full tour run down and all the latest news from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/OldCrowMedicineShow and http://crowmedicine.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.