‘Endeavour: Season 5’ U.S. Release Date Announced

Courtesy: itv/PBS Distribution

itv’s hit crime drama Endeavour wrapped its fifth season this past March, and now Season 5 is coming home for the series’ American audiences.

Public Media Distribution will release Masterpiece Mystery!Endeavour Season 5 July 10.  It will be released on DVD ($39.99) and Blu-ray ($49.99).  In the fifth season of the international hit series, it’s 1968, and turmoil is brewing inside and outside the Cowley Police Station.

As Endeavour Morse takes a new recruit named Fancy (Lewis Peek — PoldarkCurse of the PhoenixDartmoor Killing) under his wing, his current partner, Thursday (Roger Allam — V For VendettaPirates of the CaribbeanOn Stranger TidesThe Wind That Shakes The Barley) is considering retirement.  Organized crime is also on the rise in Oxford, causing plenty of concern for Morse and company.

Season 5 opens with an auction of a famed Faberge Egg at Lonsdale College.  It catches the attention of an international thief — and in turn, the police — upon the report of a failed burglary.  That case turns to an even bigger investigation into a serial killer.  Along the way, Morse ends up taking the aforementioned Fancy under his wing, but not entirely willingly.

In ‘Cartouche,’ the second of Season 5’s episodes, a horror movie filming in Oxford crosses with the investigation into the poisoning of a former detective sergeant as Morse and Thursday are led to a theater in their investigation.  It just so happens that the theater is hosting the stars of that horror film at a special event.  Things take an even more unexpected turn when the theater’s organist is also poisoned, leading the movie’s stars to think an Egyptian  curse is to blame for the poisonings.  The reality though, is much darker.

‘Passenger,’ the season’s third episode follows Endeavour as he investigates a woman’s disappearance, fearing it may be linked to a cold case involving the death of a teenager killed years ago.  Thursday meanwhile, is investigating a truck hijacking that is believed to have been linked to organized crime in the city.

The death of a model following a photoshoot on an army base lies at the center of the season’s fourth episode, ‘Colours.’  Things get even more complicated when Sam Thursday — the son of Morse’s partner — is implicated in the model’s death, leading him to be sidelined.  DS Jim Strange takes Thursday’s place during the investigation.  Tensions rise between the pair during the investigation, especially after a second model is found dead and more secrets are revealed.

‘Quartet,’ the season’s fifth episode, is a turning point for Morse and Thursday as Thursday decides to step away and work more from home following an investigation into an attempted assassination.  While the investigation into the assassination attempt is halted, Morse wants to keep investigating, leading him deeper into the underbelly of Oxford than ever before, and revealing even more secrets than ever thought.  Thursday meanwhile, has to face his own issues as he works from home.

The season’s finale continues the turning point in Morse and Thursday’s working relationship after Thursday’s brother returns suddenly.  Meanwhile, Morse is investigating  a case at a school involving the disappearance of a teacher and the appearance of a body.  The discovery leads Morse to question who he can and cannot trust.

While audiences will have to wait until July 10 for Season 5 to be released on DVD and Blu-ray, the wait for its American television premiere is much shorter.  Season 5 is currently scheduled to premiere on PBS stations nationwide June 24.  Audiences can view a full season trailer for Season 5 online now here.

Season 5 is spread across three discs on each platform with a total run time of 540 minutes.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at reduced prices of $34.99 (DVD) and $44.99 (Blu-ray).  More information on Endeavour is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/endeavour

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/masterpiecepbs

 

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George’s New LP Is A Shining Diamond Of An Independent Album

Courtesy: Hand Drawn Records

Late this past March, independent musician David Michael George released his latest full-length studio recording 1,000 Yard Stare online.  While the record is only spread across six songs and 24 minutes, it impresses from start to finish with its varied musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  With its mix of bluesy, funky arrangements, it is certain to appeal easily to fans of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Marc Broussard, Joe Bonamassa and even Etta James among so many others.  Its lyrical content is just as certain to keep listeners across the board engaged and entertained.  Those statements are supported right from the album’s outset in its infectious opener ‘Step Aside.’  It will be discussed shortly.  The slow bluesy ‘Just Ain’t The Same’ also serves to support that statement.  It will be discussed later.  The gentle, flowing ballad that is ‘Sink or Swim’ also serves to support that statement in its own way.  Each song noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this album, and are certainly not the only songs that could be cited in showing what makes this independent album a surprisingly shining diamond in the rough.  The other trio of songs not directly noted here plays its own part in its whole, too.  All things considered, they make 1,000 Yard Stare not just an impressive new effort from David Michael George, but also one more of this year’s top new independent albums.

David Michael George’s new album 1,000 Yard Stare is one of this year’s most surprising new albums, especially among his independent contemporaries.  As noted prior, that is due in part to six musical arrangements that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  Its lyrical content is just as certain to appeal to listeners across the board.  The album’s opener, ‘Step Aside’ is just one of the songs that supports those statements.  This song’s arrangement lends itself easily to comparisons to compositions from Marc Broussard, Joe Bonamassa and Tedeschi Trucks Band with its guitars, vocals and drums.  If one wanted, one could potentially even make a comparison to Lenny Kravitz here.  If all of those comparisons are not enough reason to hear this song, its simple lyrical content is certain to give audiences reason to take in the song.  George sings here, “Well I see some things/That I cannot explain/Yeah, down in the hole so far that I can’t even sink…I see no tomorrow, but I feel that other side…If you don’t get up now/Before I put you down/You’ll be on the path to yesterday’s sorrow/You’d better testify.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Yeah, I was caught in a trance/Doin’ a dead man’s dance/All full of life/Filled with foolish romance/I tried to change/In mysterious ways/Yeah, I feel no tomorrow/Feeling half insane/Better get back, babe…if you don’t get up now/Before I put you down/You’ll be on the path to yesterday’s sorrow.”  As always, this is the interpretation of this critic alone, but this comes across as being a subject singing about not giving up hope.  This is inferred as George sings, “I see no tomorrow/But I feel that other side.”  That seems to be a message of perseverance of sorts.  The song’s second verse hints at that just as much, as does the upbeat musical arrangement.  All things considered here, they make this song such an enjoyable work and one that thanks to that seeming positive message, makes the song a strong start for the album and just one example of what makes this record in whole so enjoyable.  ‘Just Ain’t The Same’ is another example of why this record stands out.

‘Just Ain’t The Same’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement, just like ‘Step Aside.’  The slow, 12-bar blues arrangement at the center, coupled with George’s own vocal delivery so easily conjures thoughts of Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Lang.  the inclusion of the horns into the arrangement and the backing vocals leads to thoughts (at least in this critic’s ears and mind) of legendary singer Etta James.  The way it’s all assembled, it conjures thoughts of the group performing in some dimly lit blues club somewhere out there.  It is just such a wonderful thought and sound.  The emotion in George’s vocals add to that impact as he sings, “All my life/fighting these devils, but I will survive/But all your promises won’t keep me hanging on/Because you know it just ain’t the same/It just ain’t the same/It just ain’t the same anymore.”  He goes on to sing, “Don’t you know it’s shattered and torn/My love’s forever through hellfire and storm…all your life/Fighting these devils, but you will survive/And all their promises will keep you hanging on/because you know it just ain’t the same/It just ain’t the same/It just ain’t the same anymore.”  He sings one more time at the song’s end, “All your promises won’t keep me hanging on/’cause it just ain’t the same anymore.”  One can infer from all of this that this song is one of those works that is centered on a broken relationship.  If indeed that is the central topic here, then George has done quite the job of handling it lyrically.  The song’s musical arrangement supports that statement even more.  When both elements are coupled, they make what is one impressive old school blues arrangement that is sure to appeal to any blues purist.  In turn, that impressive nature shows even more why 1,000 Yard Stare stands out in this year’s field of independent albums.  It still is not the last of the songs that supports the statement that this record is a standout indie offering.  ‘Sink Or Swim’ is yet another song that supports that statement.

Just as is the case with the previously discussed songs here, ‘Sink Or Swim’ stands out because its arrangement changes things up for listeners yet again.  This time, there’s still a touch of blues, but it’s more akin to songs from Marc Broussard.  One could even argue a comparison to Edwin McCain and other similar singers.  The inclusion of the organ and choral style backing vocals add even more to its whole.  While that content is important to the whole of this song – because of how it stands apart from the rest of the album’s works – it is only part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content helps it stand out, too.  George sings here, “Make it a part of your every day/Before you forget me/Make sure that I’m to blame/Wait until I bypass you/We can’t carry on/When we know we’re being used/I saw it coming, miles away/I shout it out I want it/They don’t hear these words I say/Don’t give wisdom to fools/Turn it around/And use it against them/Sink or swim/I’m going my own way…you can only see/We can’t touch the sun…”  He goes on to sing of what sounds like social unity as he sings, “Seems so muddy/All the time/Stop suffocating each other/For a little while/All the screaming goes nowhere/Some won’t even listen/Yeah, some don’t even care/Sink or swim/I’m going my own way…You can only see/We can’t touch the sun…”  This all comes across as a social statement of sorts, maybe in response to everything going on in the country today.  That is hinted George sings about the “screaming” and “people not listening.”  If that is indeed the message here, then it is a wonderfully moving way to get that message across.  It honestly throws back to the days of Pete Seeger and others in that wording.  When that familiar lyrical style is coupled with the deeply moving musical arrangement here, the end result is one more song that shows the reach of George’s talents.  When it is considered alongside the previously discussed songs (and those not discussed here), the whole of this album becomes a record that is just as good as anything that George’s mainstream counterparts have ever released.  That is a powerful statement.  That being the case, it proves to be not just an enjoyable indie record, but one of this year’s top new independent albums.

David Michael George’s new album 1,000 Yard Stare is a true diamond in the rough in this year’s independent music scene.  That is because it is a record that is just as enjoyable as anything that its mainstream counterparts have proven to be both present and past.  It is a record that shows such potential for George’s future, given the right support.  As has been noted in this review, that statement is supported in an examination of the album’s bluesy soulful opener ‘Step Aside.’  The same can be said of ‘Just Ain’t The Same’ and ‘Sink or Swim.’  When these songs are considered alongside the bluesy, southern rock sound of ‘River Don’t Rise,’ the funky rhythms of ‘Find My Way Home’ and the light southern rock sound of ‘Villain,’ the whole of these songs makes 1,000 Yard Stare a record that blues and rock fans alike will appreciate, and in turn agree is one of this year’s best new independent albums.  It is available now.  More information on 1,000 Yard Stare is available online now along with all of David Michael George’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://davidmichaelgeorgemusic.com

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

 

 

 

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Leprous Releases New Single; Announces New Live Schedule

Veteran progressive rock band Leprous released more new music on Friday.

The band released its new single, ‘Golden Prayers’ to kick off the weekend.  The song was recorded during the Malina sessions, but ended up on the cutting room floor, so was unheard until now.  The band said of the song in a collective statement that it was a key composition for the band to create.

“It’s very exciting for us to finally release ‘Golden Prayers,’ the band said.  ‘It was recorded together with the Malina material, but we felt it worked better as a standalone tune than on the actual album.  So, we saved it until now!  Enjoy!”

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

The single’s release is meant to help the band launch the next leg of its 2018 campaign in support of Malina, which was originally released August 25, 2017 via InsideOut Music.  That campaign includes festival appearances and performances around the world.  Those dates are noted below.

LEPROUS – Festivals 2018:
29.06.2018 Helsinki (Finland) – Tuska Open Air
Fri. 13.07.2018 Viveiro (Spain) – Resurrection Fest
Sat. 14.07.2018 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Dynamo Metal Fest
Mon. 23.07.2018 Tolmin (Slovenia) – Metaldays
Sat. 28.07.2018 Sibiu (Romania) – ARTmania Festival
Fri. 17.08.2018 Bristol (UK) – ArcTanGent Festival
Sat. 18.08.2018 Warsaw (Poland) – Prog In Park

LEPROUS + Agent Fresco – European Tour 2018:
03.09.2018 Nürnberg (Germany) – Hirsch
04.09.2018 Kosice (Slovakia) – Collosseum
07.09.2018 Sofia (Bulgaria) – Mixtape 5
08.09.2018 Athens (Greece) – Fuzz Club
10.09.2018 Belgrade (Serbia) – Dom Omladine *
12.09.2018 Bratislava (Slovakia) – Majestic
13.09.2018 Brno (Czech Republic) – Melodka
14.09.2018 Zagreb (Croatia) – Mocvara
15.09.2018 Graz (Austria) – Dom Im Berg
16.09.2018 Salzburg (Austria) – Rockhouse
17.09.2018 Aarau (Switzerland) – KiFF
18.09.2018 Karlsruhe (Germany) – Substage
19.09.2018 Frankfurt (Germany) – Zoom
21.09.2018 Leeds (UK) – Brudenell
22.09.2018 Manchester (UK) – Gorilla
23.09.2018 Birmingham (UK) – 02 Institute 2
24.09.2018 Vaureal (France) – Le Forum
26.09.2018 Hannover (Germany) – Musikzentrum
27.09.2018 Gothenburg (Sweden) – Sticky Fingers
28.09.2018 Stockholm (Sweden) – Klubben

Tickets for the performances are available here.  Leprous has released three singles that were included in Malina.  They are noted below.

Check out material off LEPROUS’ newest album “Malina” here:
“From The Flame” (Video): https://youtu.be/FZSlX1zXnfM
“Stuck (Radio Edit)” (Video): https://youtu.be/jk63FcCIw9g
“Illuminate” (Video): https://youtu.be/Tl4gwOMrJiQ

More information on Leprous’ new single, its tour dates, news and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.leprous.net

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

 

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‘Red Yarn’s Old Barn’ Is A Win For Country Music Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Red Yarn Productions

Late last month, veteran children’s act Red Yarn released its latest full-length studio recording to the masses.  Red Yarn’s Old Barn, the group’s fifth full-length studio recording, is yet another work from the Portland, Oregon-based act hat will appeal to country and bluegrass fans of all ages through its catchy country and bluegrass musical arrangements and its equally deep lyrical themes.  This is proven in throughout the 12-song, 40-minute record.  The record’s lead single, ‘Old Barn’ makes this wholly clear, as does the more subtle socially aware ‘Old Hen Cackled.’  ‘Till The Cows Come Home’ is yet another way in which this record proves to be such an enjoyable new offering for the whole family, but certainly not the last that could.  Every one of the songs featured in the album could easily be cited in that statement.  To that end, Red Yarn’s Old Barn proves in the end to be a record that is a family album in every sense of the word, and one that will appeal to the whole family.

Red Yarn’s new full-length album Red Yarn’s Old Barn is a family album that is certain to appeal to the whole family.  That is especially the case for families that are fans of country and bluegrass music.  This is due both to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical themes, which promote very positive ideals.  ‘Old Barn,’ the record’s title track and opener – which the album’s companion booklet notes is based on an anonymous poem from the 1800s — is one prime way in which this statement is supported.  Some changes are made lyrically between that poem and this work, but even with those changes, which will be discussed momentarily, the song becomes even more enjoyable than its source material.  The song’s musical arrangement is a wonderful musical trip back in time to the old days of bluegrass and country western songs, complete with piano, banjo and guitar.  Vocalist Andy Ferguson’s delivery conjures thoughts (interestingly enough) of Hank III, who pays his own tribute to the old days of country music.  Between his vocal tonality and the whole of the instrumentation here, the whole makes this composition that will put a smile not only on children’s faces, but on the faces of the most seasoned purist country music aficionado.  Lyrically, it will put just as much of a smile on the faces of more open-minded listeners as it promotes a positive message of inclusion.  That’s made fully clear in the description of the song’s companion video.  The video illustrates that message quite well complete with a U.S. flag hanging adjacent to a gay pride flag and animals of all kinds coming to the barn dance.  Of course, country music and gay pride typically don’t go hand-in-hand, but it is nice to see someone bring the two together, and show that it’s possible to be a country music fan and open-minded.  Lyrically, the song does a good job of presenting that message of inclusion as Furgeson sings, “It don’t matter whether/You got fur or you got feathers/If you walk on four legs or you walk on two/We’ll all feel better if we could all just be together/’Cause there’s room here in my old barn for you.”  He drives his message of full societal inclusion as he sings, “The new sheriff from the town/Just tried to shut us down/Sayin’ who could stay and who must leave/But if you’re askin’ me/Well the only place to be/Is wherever/With whomever/You feel free.”  Considering the day and age in which we live today and with people showing their hatred-filled souls so much, this message is one from which so many people could learn.  Attacking others because of their language, religious beliefs, etc. is just wrong. Period.  Considering this, it’s nice to see Red Yarn present this message right from the album’s outset.  It’s just the start of the album’s positives, too and by connection, just one of the ways in which this record proves to be such a joy for the whole family.  ‘Old Hen Cackled’ is another key entry to this record.

‘Old Hen Cackled’ is another key addition to Red Yarn’s Barn in part because of its musical arrangement, which changes things up from ‘Old Barn.’  This time, listeners get a song that is more of a bluesy composition that easily lends itself to comparisons to works from Derek Trucks Band, The Allman Brothers Band and other similar acts.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion possible.  It should be noted here that this song, as clearly noted in the album’s companion booklet, is based on an African-American folk song that was especially made popular by Pete Seeger.  Of course there are some additions and changes made here to adapt the song to the current state of affairs in America.  It’s a simple work through its instrumentation and overall composition that is certain to have listeners tapping their feet.  Lyrically, it’s just as important to discuss because once again, it uses its farm references to discuss a much bigger issue – that of racial equality and standing up for that right.  This is inferred as Furgeson sings about the old hen’s cackling starting small, but eventually reaching The White House.  It started with the hen “cackling” on the farm, then on the street, then the board room and then the court room before going as high as the White House.  What he is saying here (or at least seems to be saying) is that even though some people call those calls for social change little more than “cackling,” they are in fact much more.  They are important messages that can and do grow with those who are determined to be heard.  As Furgeson sings to his young listeners, “Open up yours eyes and let yourself see that/All my little chickies got a right to be free.”  Again, this is clearly a message promoting social and racial equality.  Kudos are in order for yet again having such a deep and powerful message presented on a level that is accessible to young listeners, and in turn a starting point for parents to start discussions on the importance of standing up for change, yet another important issue.  It’s just one more way in which Red Yarn’s Old Barn proves to be such an enjoyable album for the whole family, especially now in this nation’s current day and age.  It still is not the last song that can be cited in supporting that statement. ‘Till The Cows Come Home’ is yet another example of that impressiveness.

‘Till The Cows Come Home is a moving composition that musically takes listeners once again back to the old days of country music, complete with slide guitar and gentle piano and drums.  It’s an arrangement that conjures thoughts of those old smoky country dives in which the country bands of yesteryear would perform.  Interestingly, there are moments in the arrangement that lend themselves to thoughts of John Denver’s hit ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads.’  Odds are that those comparisons were not intentional, but they are there.  All things considered, this song’s arrangement is a beautiful piece that will certainly appeal to the most devout country music purists if only for its musical arrangement.  Of course that arrangement is only one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical theme plays its own importance in its whole.  In regards to its lyrical content, the song seems to be centered on the story of the prodigal son (I.E. familial love).  It does this by telling the story of a farmer who let his animals free to do their own things and experience life.  In the end, the animals came back, and were welcome with arms wide open.  It’s an original way to present a familiar story, and one that reminds listeners of all ages the importance of a parent being there while allowing young people to  grow and learn.  That is, in essence, what the story of the prodigal son is about.  It’s an allegory about a parent showing his/her love and support for children.  All that Red Yarn has done here is update that allegory and make it accessible for this generation.  Once again, it’s a wonderful way in which this record proves to be so enjoyable for listeners of all ages.  It also is hardly the last way in which the album proves to be such a success.  between it, the other directly noted songs and even those not noted here, the album in whole proves to be a work that country music purists of all ages will appreciate.

Red Yarn’s fifth full-length studio recording Red Yarn’s Old Barn is a record that is certain to appeal to country music purists of all ages.  As has been pointed out, that is because of the record’s musical arrangements and to the variety of lyrical material presented throughout the album.  The songs noted here do plenty to support that statement.  They are hardly the only songs that could be cited in supporting that statement, too.  ‘To Raise A Barn,’ presents the message of social unity and working together while also hinting at a former first lady’s message of it taking a village to raise a child.  The inclusion of a cover of songwriter Bob Morris’ song ‘I’m Gonna Feed You Now’ – which was popularized by country legend Porter Wagoner – adds even more enjoyment to the record.  It stays true to its source material, which will certainly please – again – any country music purist.  ‘Go Little Gator’ is an original by Red Yarn that seems to pay tribute to Furgeson’s father and his (Furgeson’s) own childhood.  There’s even a cover of the classic Appalachian folksong ‘Sally Anne’ included in the whole of the record.  Between those songs and the pieces more directly discussed here, it becomes clear in examining the whole of the album that it will most certainly appeal to a wide range of listeners.  From the newest to the most seasoned of country fans, this record offers something for everyone, both musically and lyrically.  That being the case, Red Yarn’s Old Barn proves to be a true family music album and justifiably one of the best of the year in that category, too.  It is available now.  More information on Red Yarn’s Old Barn is available online now along with all of Red Yarn’s latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.redyarnproductions.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redyarnpdx

 

 

 

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Imperative Music To Release Its Latest Metal Compilation Friday

Courtesy: Imperative Music/O’Donnell Media Group

Brazilian metal label Imperative Music, known largely for its metal compilations, will release its latest compilation this Friday, and the new collection — The Global Metal Compilation Volume 15 — will be released this Friday.

The label’s latest collection of songs will feature songs from well-known acts such as Kreator and Obituary alongside from metal bands from many other nations.  Those acts include the likes of Amethyst (Costa Rica), Risingfall (Japan), Metaspherical (Canada), Snakebones (Austria) and many others.  New to this compilation is Chicago, Illinois’ Riotous Indignation.

Riotous Indignation released its most recent recording, Violentus Musicae in 2016.  the band’s video for its single ‘The End’ is scheduled to be included in the DVD release of The Global Metal Compilation Volume 15.  Promotional copies of this CD have also been included in the metal fanzines Moshville Times (U.K.), Metal Obs’ (France), Totentanz (Germany) and Streetcleaner Fanzine (Germany).  The compilation is being released both domestically and internationally through Imperative Music’s label partners at Nuclear Blast, Season of Mist, Earache, Relapse, Heaven and Hell, Rock Stakk, Red Rivet Records, Disk Union and other outlets.

More information on The Global Metal Compilation Volume 15 is available online now along with all of Metal Imperative’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.imperative-music.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ImperativeMusic

 

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Moms (And Families) Everywhere Are Sure To Enjoy Cheri Magill’s Latest LP

Courtesy: Red Shoe Records

Being a mother is a special experience for so many women.  From the most stressful moments to the most heartfelt, the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, mothers are there for their children and families.  So in return for all that mothers do and all that they are, singer-songwriter Cheri Magill will release a new tribute to mothers everywhere next week in the form of her new album Tour Guide.  It goes without saying that this 10-song record is a tribute that mothers everywhere will appreciate.  That is thanks in part to the accessibility of its lyrical themes.  This will be discussed shortly.  The varied musical arrangements presented in the songs play their own collectively important part to the record’s whole, and will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing plays into its appeal by its target audiences, too.  That is because it is just as certain as the record’s musical and lyrical content to keep those audiences engaged and entertained.  When it is joined with that musical and lyrical content, the whole of those elements makes Tour Guide in whole, a work that will appeal not only to mothers, but to grandmothers as well.  Keeping this in mind, it goes without saying that Tour Guide is easily one of this year’s top new family albums.

Cheri Magill’s forthcoming album Tour Guide is a work that, in whole, is certain to appeal not only to mothers, but also to their mothers.  That is due in no small part to the accessibility of its varied lyrical themes.  From start to end, Magill touches on topics to which every mother can relate in the noted themes.  From the stresses of dealing with picky eaters and cleaning up after those adorable little ones in ‘Crazy’ to the emotional growth that a mother experiences as her child/children grow in ‘Brave’ to the love that a mother shows by trying to balance schedules and keep up with her kids in general in ‘Don’t Forget,’ and beyond, the themes presented throughout the album are wholly relatable to any mom.  For those who hope for that standard over-the-top emotional ballad, Magill has included that here in the form of ‘Unconditional,’ in which she sings about…well…a mother’s unconditional undying love for her children.  No doubt this one, with its overly saccharine sweet lyrics and musical arrangement, will leave not a dry eye in the house.  That and other arrangements included in the album will be discussed shortly.  Staying on the topic of those relatable lyrical themes, the reality of said themes and their ability to connect to mothers everywhere in itself forms a solid foundation for this record, making for a great starting point for its presentation.  The arrangements strengthen that foundation through their variety and through their impact on the songs themselves.

As noted already, the arrangement at the center of ‘Unconditionally’ is a gentle, saccharine sweet, piano-driven arrangement that makes the song quite the powerful composition.  Making a comparison here, it’s the kind of composition that will appeal to fans of Paula Cole and other similar singers.  It’s just one example of why the album’s arrangements are so important to the whole of Tour Guide.  For those wanting something a little more light-hearted, Magill offers the decidedly “poppy” ‘Lasso The Moon,’ which is certain to appeal to fans of Michelle Branch and other similar acts.  The arrangement that forms the foundation of ‘Crazy’ is a fun, light-hearted indie-pop style composition that is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face just through that arrangement.  Anyone that’s a fan of Maroon 5 and Andy Grammar will enjoy the equally light, airy arrangement at the center of ‘Better.’  As if all of that isn’t enough, the gentle, flowing piano-driven arrangement at the center of ‘Tour Guide’ conjures thoughts of a certain song from the soundtrack of Disney/Pixar’s Up.  Given, it’s not exactly the same, but there’s something in the two arrangements that invariably connects them.  That is meant in the best way possible.  The arrangement at the center of ‘Brave’ is one that will appeal just as easily to any mainstream pop fan, too, with its brooding keyboard and strings.  Between these arrangements and the others not directly noted here, it should be clear at this point just how important the album’s musical arrangements are to its whole.  They offer just as much variety and entertainment as the songs’ lyrical themes.  Keeping this in mind, the lyrical and musical elements of this album collectively go a long way toward making it a truly enjoyable musical gift for moms everywhere.  Even as much as they do for the album’s whole, they are not its only key elements.  The album’s sequence rounds out its most important elements.

The album’s sequencing is so critical to its enjoyment because without the thought and time put into the sequencing, the songs would still be enjoyable, but not as engaging.  Right from the album’s outset, listeners get an up-tempo arrangement in its title song.  The energy of that song continues on into ‘Lasso the Moon’ (on a side note, one can’t help but wonder if Magill was watching the classic James Stewart movie It’s A Wonderful Life when she developed that song’s title.  Getting back on the topic at hand, Magill pulls back, but only minimally as the album progresses into its third song, ‘You Are Here.’  This song, by the way, is certain to generate plenty of smiles, laughs and tears of joy through its flowing musical arrangement and vivid lyrical picture.  Things pick right back up after ‘You Are Here’ with the previously discussed arrangement in ‘Crazy.’  This light-hearted, bouncy arrangement is infectious to say the very least, and is certain in itself to keep listeners engaged.  As the album moves into ‘Brave,’ its mid-point, it moves into a much more dramatic sound and feel, which definitely changes things up and keeps the album interesting.  The energy gradually builds back from here over the course of the album’s next few entries – ‘Still,’ ‘Don’t You Forget’ and ‘Better.’  As the album moves through its last two songs, ‘Unconditionally’ and ‘Chopsticks Lulllaby,’ its energy again becomes reserved, finish off in very gentle fashion.  That gentle, flowing finale is a direct contrast to the energy in the album’s opening and first half in general.  Obviously, this was done intentionally.  It shows, once more, the time and thought put into the album’s sequencing for the utmost impact.  Taking this into consideration along with the time and thought put into the rest of the album’s sequencing, the whole of that element proves to do just as much for the album as the songs themselves.  When all three elements are joined together, they make Tour Guide a record a wonderful, moving musical trip for moms (and even families) everywhere.

Cheri Magill’s latest album Tour Guide is a wonderful musical trip for moms (and families) everywhere that is also without doubt one of this year’s top new family albums.  That is proven in part through its completely accessible lyrical themes.  Those themes are topics to which every mom (and even dad, believe it or not) can relate.  The diverse range of musical arrangements presented throughout the album do plenty to make this record enjoyable, too.  The obvious time and thought put into the album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the album’s overall presentation.  Each element is, again, clearly important in its own way, as has been pointed out here.  All things considered, they make Tour Guide not only fun for the whole family, but in turn, one of this year’s top new family albums.  It will be available May 4 via Red Shoe Records.  More information on Tour Guide is available online now along with Magill’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://cherimagillmusic.com

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

 

 

 

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.

Fates Warning Announces ‘Live Over Europe’ Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Fates Warning has a new live recording on the way.

The veteran progressive rock act announced Thursday that it will release its new live recording Live Over Europe on June 29 via InsideOut Music.  The 2-CD, 23-song recording culls performances from eight stops along Fates Warning’s run through Europe this past January in support of its latest album Theories of Flight — Aschaffenburg, Germany; Belgrade, Serbia; Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece; Rome and Milan, Italy; Budapest, Hungary and Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The double-disc set, which spans the band’s 30 year-long life, was mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Kreator, Symphony X) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden.  It will be available as limited edition 2-CD deluxe mediabook, 3LP/2CD combo pack, and digitally.  The recording’s full track listing is noted below.

Front man Ray Alder said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to the recording’s release.

“We would like to thank each and every one of our fans that helped us make Live Over Europe,” Alder said.  “We had a great time making this album, and we hope that you enjoyed the shows as much as we did playing them!”

FATES WARNING  “Live Over Europe“

CD 1:
1. From the Rooftops
2. Life in Still Water
3. One
4. Pale Fire
5. Seven Stars
6. SOS
7. Pieces of Me
8. Firefly
9. The Light and Shade of Things
10. Wish
11. Another Perfect Day
12. Silent Cries
13. And Yet it Moves

CD 2:
1. Still Remains
2. Nothing Left to Say
3. Acquiescence
4. The Eleventh Hour
5. Point of View
6. Falling
7. A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Pt. IX
8. Through Different Eyes
9. Monument
10. Eye to Eye

More information on Live Over Europe is available online now along with all of Fates Warning’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.fateswarning.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fateswarning

 

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.