Tears Of A Fallen Hero Debuts New Single, ‘Come Closer,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: UAC Management

Independent rock band Tears of a Fallen Hero debuted its new single and its companion video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Come Closer‘ and its companion video Friday. The song’s musical arrangement is a surprisingly engaging work. Its emo pop/rock style sound and approach is comparable to works from the likes of Jimmy Eat World and other similar acts.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement centers on the all too familiar topic of romantic relationships, as the band pointed out in a collective statement.

“The song is about the vacuum that can appear before you know if you are a couple or not,” the statement reads. “Are we together or not? Why do we have to play this game? I know how I feel, do you feel the same? This is one of the songs that took us the least time making. It just fell into place instantly.”

The video for ‘Come Closer’ is interesting in its own right. A young woman is featured sitting along an unidentified waterfront setting at points throughout, seemingly contemplating the very topic that the band’s statement notes. Those visualizations are complimented with footage of the band performing its single in a dug out area of a field.

More information on Tears of a Fallen Hero’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://tearsofafallenhero.bandcamp.com

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

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 Lucid Debuts ‘Deaths Of Despair’ Video

Courtesy: SpoiledHead Records

Rock super group The Lucid debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘Deaths of Despair‘ Wednesday. The song is the second single from the band’s self-titled debut album, which was released Oct. 15 through SpoiledHead Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Maggot Wind’ in September.

The musical arrangement featured in The Lucid’s new single is a blues-rock style composition. The combination of the instrumentation and vocals lend the song’s arrangement somewhat to comparison to works from Stone Temple Pilots.

Information about the song’s lyrical theme was not provided in the news release announcing the debut of the song and its video. The lyrics provided with the video leave themselves up to interpretation, too.

The song’s video features the band — Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge), Mike Heller (Fear Factory) and David Ellefson (ex-Megadeth) — performing its new single in a very tight rehearsal space.

In other news, The Lucid has announced a brief live run. The band’s upcoming mini-tour is scheduled to run from May 20-28. The tour schedule is noted below along with links for tickets.

May 20 – Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz Ticket Link
May 21 – New Bedford, MA – The Vault
May 26 – West Dundee, IL – Rochaus Ticket Link
May 27 – Westland, MI – The Token Lounge Ticket Link
May 28 – Akron, OH – Empire Concert Club Ticket Link

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




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.

Sabaton Premieres New Single, ‘Soldier Of Heaven,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Sabaton premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Soldier of Heaven‘ Friday. The song and its video are the latest from the band’s forthcoming album, The War To End All Wars, which is scheduled for release March 4 through Nuclear Blast Records.

Album Pre-orders are open now. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Christmas Truce’ and the song’s companion video Oct. 29.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Soldier of Heaven’ is unlike much of what Sabaton has crafted over its life. The familiar power metal sounds that the band has crafted are replaced here by a more electronic, keyboard-driven approach and sound. That is not to say that the band’s familiar power metal sound is not there, but it takes a bit more of a supporting role here than lead role.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the premiere of the song and its video. From what can be inferred through the lyrics provided with the video, the song tells the story of the men who have died in combat.

The video features the band performing its new single on a snow-covered mountaintop as one of the noted soldiers lies dead in the snow. Fighter planes fly behind the band in combat along the way.

The War To End All Wars will feature 11 new songs, all of which are noted below along with the formats on which the record will release.

The tracklist for The War To End All Wars is as follows:

1. Sarajevo

2. Stormtroopers

3. Dreadnought

4. The Unkillable Soldier

5. Soldier Of Heaven

6. Hellfighters

7. Race to the Sea

8. Lady Of The Dark

9. The Valley Of Death

10. Christmas Truce

11. Versailles

“The War To End All Wars” will be available in the following formats:

– Jewelcase CD

– Limited Gold CD [Supporter Edition – various versions with translated booklets]

– History Edition

– NB Mailorder Exclusive Edition [ltd. to 1500 copies]

– Earbook [limited to 6000 copies]

– Black Vinyl 

– Azure Blue Vinyl [bandshop exclusive, ltd. to 300 copies]

– Inca Gold Vinyl [bandshop exclusive, ltd. to 500 copies]

– Copper Vinyl [ltd. to 500 copies]

– Fluorescent Orange Vinyl [ltd. to 500 copies]

– Leaf Green Vinyl [Sweden exclusive]

– Fluorescent Yellow Vinyl [Ginza exclusive]

– Dusk Vinyl [Levik exclusive]

– Soft Grey Vinyl [Nordics exclusive]

– Lavender Vinyl [FNAC exclusive]

– Rosewood Vinyl [Mystic exclusive]

– Fluorescent Green Vinyl [UK exclusive]

– Pacific Blue Vinyl

– Polar White Vinyl [limited to 300 copies]

– Dewdrop Vinyl [limited to 500 copies, EMP exclusive]

– Blue cassette [limited to 100 copies, bandshop exclusive]

– Green cassette [limited to 100 copies]

– Grey cassette [limited to 300 copies]

– Red cassette [limited to 500 copies]

– Black cassette [limited to 250 copies]

– Smokey cassette [limited to 200 copies]

– White cassette [limited 100 copies]

In other news, the band premiered a standalone single, ‘Steel Commanders’ and a companion video in August. The premiere was followed with the debut of an official lyric video for the song in late September.

More information on Sabaton’s new album announcement is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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

Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Home Release Does Little To Make The Movie An “Anniversary” Worth Celebrating

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

For some reason, humans have a fixation on numbers ending in the numbers five and zero.  They seem to make a big deal on this numbers, whether in the case of anniversaries or in general.  To that end, one would think that when Disney released its 60th animated feature, Encanto, late this year, it would have been a hugely memorable work from the studio.  Sadly that did not prove to be the case.  Now Disney is hoping to give the movie a new life with its upcoming home release Dec. 24 on digital and Jan. 26.  The movie’s home release on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and 4K UHD/BD combo pack) adds slightly to its appeal, but only slightly.  That is due in large part to its featured bonus content, which will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content is in fact both a positive and a negative, leading into the movie’s one major unavoidable negative, its story, which will be addressed a little later.  The musical numbers and cast’s voice work comes together to make things even more concerning for the movie.  Sadly when these items are considered collectively, they make Disney’s Encanto just as forgettable in its home release as in its recent theatrical run.

Walt Disney Studios’ Encanto is an anniversary mark for the studio that could have been so much better.  That was already proven in the movie’s theatrical run.  The movie’s forthcoming home release further supports that statement.  That is proven in part through the bonus content featured in said presentation.  The bonus content is expansive to say the least.  There is lots of background in the way of explaining the story’s focus on family.  The is also plenty of focus on Disney’s continued drive to make one of its movies as true to the culture that it represents as possible.  That bonus content that centers of mirroring the people and culture of Colombia is engaging and entertaining.  The content that centers on family is where the problems start to appear.  In watching this content (which is extensive in itself) the movie’s creative heads talk plenty about the noted focus.  If in fact the story is all about family, then one cannot help but wonder why so much of the story is spent focused on the Madrigal family’s “ugly duckling,” Mirabel.  Not to get too far off track here, but the story spends quite a bit of time on her and making her extended family more background dressing than actually important cast.

On another note, the bonus content spends what feels like an inordinate amount of time focusing on the movie’s musical content.  Now for those who have not already seen Encanto, Lin Manuel Miranda (who had his stamp on Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns as well as the uber popular Hamilton and In The Heights among many other stories) plays a big role in this movie’s musical content.  As a matter of fact, one cannot help but wonder how much creative control he had in the movie’s musical side, since it gets more time than the movie’s story, getting back on the subject at hand.  So much of the movie’s bonus content centers on the movie’s musical side, that viewers cannot help but feel like Disney and all involved were just trying to distract viewers from all of the plot holes and other problems posed throughout the story.  This shows in its own way how the bonus content does offer some engagement, but is also just as problematic as it is positive.

Encanto’s trailers made it seem like the movie was going to be some big adventure for its lead character, Mirabel.  The reality is that the story is anything but.  Rather, the story is in question more a coming-of-age piece than action.  Mirabel has to figure out why on the night that the youngest member of the Madrigal family receives his magical gift, the magic in the family’s candle starts to fade.  No one believes what she tells them at first, leading her to go on her mission of sorts.  As it turns out (no to give away too much), the reason for the fade is linked back to the clan in general.  Again not to give away too much here, but audiences realize that perhaps the reality is that the Madrigals who had magical gifts were taking their gifts for granted and just had to come to that realization in the end. 

This is where things get problematic.  In setting up the story, the movie’s writers fail to really fully explain how the candle got its magic.  Audiences know that the candle came into being after Abuela Alma’s (Maria Cecilia Botero) husband was killed by some not so nice people.  From there though, there is no explanation of the magic’s candle.  Was it something tied to the culture of Colombia?  We do not know.  What’s more, the identities of the men who killed Abuela Alma’s husband is never fully revealed, either.  As if this is not problem enough, the whole issue of Bruno and his psychic gift playing into the story just seems so random in itself.  It is as if the writers were just putting all of this together as they went along and hoped that it would stick, which sadly it did not. 

Adding even more to the problems is what happens in the story’s end.  The candle is not there, but the magic is back, as are the magical powers of the Madrigal clan.  So then was the candle never magic to begin with?  Again, those who have praised this movie either ignored this and so many other problems, or they were paid for positive reviews.  Yes, this critic went there. 

If all of this is not enough, the semi-climactic moment when Maribel and Abuela Alma confront one another, and then later share their feelings, leading to the final act, just seems so contrived.  Maribel stood up to Alma and told her that everything that happened was her (Alma’s) fault.  Alma then later tells Maribel that she was right, to which Maribel – after hearing Alma’s sob story – backed down and said she was in the wrong.  This is just so contrived.  The young woman had become empowered, only to stand down from the family’s matriarch.  This is just not believable nor realistic.  Between this and everything else noted here, it should be crystal clear why this movie’s story is in itself just so much a failure.  There is little if anything to like other than the subtle, nearly hidden messages about appreciating ourselves and others regardless of who we are and what are our “gifts.”  Of course for all of the problems that the story poses in itself, things only get worse from here.

Looking at all of this, it should be clear why the story featured in Encanto is just as problematic as the bonus content that accompanies it in its home release.  The story centers on one character even though in the bonus content, the movie’s creative heads reiterate time and again that the story is all about family.  Add in all the musical cues tossed in (again they are the central focus among the bonus content) and the story’s plot holes and problems become even more concerning, as do the bonus features themselves.  All of this in mind, it is still only a part of the trouble with the movie’s presentation.  The noted musical cues and the cast’s voice work are also problematic.

As noted, the musical numbers featured throughout the movie are everywhere.  Sometimes they show up at such random times, as if Miranda and the movie’s crew and creative heads just decided to throw them in for what they thought was “good measure” since they didn’t have any other ideas to flesh out the story. 

The voice cast’s work is troubling in that none of the cast’s work does anything to make any of the characters memorable.  Yes, Maribel is supposed to be the story’s lead.  Yes, voice actress Stephanie Beatriz deserves applause for her work as she makes Maribel a strong lead.  Other than that though, she doesn’t do much to make her memorable.  Though, that circles back to the writing.  The script does not really give Maribel much to develop as a character.  Even the work of John Leguizamo (the Ice Age franchise, SpawnMoulin Rouge) here when he is finally introduced does little to help the story.  Though, again, that is because he is brought in so late and is given so little screen time from there on.  It is like the Madrigal family is there, but that is about it.  None of the voice cast really brings anything major and memorable to the table, but again that is because the story does not really provide much if any opportunity for character development.  So once again we see the problems with the story.  It is all tied in together, and in considering this along with the movie’s other problems and the problems, the whole makes the movie overall such a disappointment in comparison to much of what Disney has released in recent years.

Walt Disney Studios’ forthcoming home release of Encanto does little to improve on the movie from its recent, brief theatrical run.  The improvement is minimal, with the movie’s bonus content proving only slightly engaging and entertaining.  At the same time, they prove problematic because it seems like the extensive focus on the movie’s musical content is an attempt by all involved to distract audiences from all of the plot holes and problems in the story.  Speaking of those problems and plot holes, they are everywhere throughout this story.  The noted musical content and the issues raised through the cast’s voice work add their own problems.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the movie a work that sadly is not the “anniversary” presentation that it could have been for Walt Disney Studios.

More information on this and other movies from Walt Disney Studios is available at:




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

Soulfly Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Soulfly will tentatively launch a new North American tour this winter.

The band announced Monday, it is scheduled to launch its new tour Feb. 7 in las Vegas, NV. The tour is scheduled to run through March 19 in Gallup, NM and features performances in cities nationwide, such as Lombard, IL; Tacoma, WA and Shreveport, LA.

Front man/founder Max Cavalera said he is looking forward to getting back in front of audiences again.

“I’m more than thrilled to kick off the New Year with a tour!,” he said. “We will be playing songs from our upcoming new release!”

Soulfly’s as-yet-untitled new album was produced by Arthur Rizk (Cavalera Conspiracy, Go Ahead and Die, Code Orange). The follow-up to 2018’s Ritual, its release date and other information is under consideration.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. 200 Stab Wounds is scheduled as support for select dates. Tickets are available here.

Confirmed dates for SOULFLY‘s  U.S. tour are:
2/07/2022 Las Vegas, NV – Rockstar Bar*
2/08/2022 Palmdale, CA – Transplants*
2/09/2022 Oxnard, CA – Oxnard PAC*
2/10/2022 Fresno, CA – Strummer’s*
2/11/2022 Santa Cruz, CA – Atrium
2/12/2022 Reno, NV. – Virginia Street Brewhouse*
2/14/2022 Berkeley, CA – Cornerstone*
2/15/2022 Roseville, CA – Goldfield Trading Post*
2/16/2022 Eugene, OR – WOW Hall*
2/17/2022 Portland, OR – BossaNova Ballroom
2/18/2022 Seattle, WA – El Corazon*
2/19/2022 Tacoma, WA – Fawcett Hall at Alma Mater*
2/20/2022 Spokane, WA – Big Dipper*
2/21/2022 Spokane, WA – Big Dipper*
2/23/2022 Great Falls, MT – The Newberry #
2/24/2022 Billings, MT – Pub Station #
2/25/2022 Casper, WY – Gaslight Social #
2/26/2022 Greeley, CO – Moxi Theater %
2/28/2022 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium #
3/01/2022 Minneapolis, MN – Cabooze #
3/02/2022 Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theater #
3/03/2022 Hobart, IN – Hobart Theater #
3/04/2022 Lombard, IL – Brauer House #
3/05/2022 Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live #
3/06/2022 Nashville, TN – Basement East #
3/08/2022 Memphis, TN – Growler’s #
3/09/2022 Little Rock, TX – Little Rock Music Hall #
3/10/2022 Oklahoma City, OK – Whiskey Nights %
3/11/2022 Baton Rouge, LA – Chelsea’s %
3/12/2022 Ft. Worth, TX – Rail Club %
3/13/2022 Shreveport, LA – The Sand Bar %
3/15/2022 Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock %
3/16/2022 McAllen, TX – Cine El Rey Theatre %
3/17/2022 Laredo, TX – Cold Brew Rock Bar %
3/19/2022 Gallup, NM – The Juggernaut Music %

  • = Support TBD
    # = with 200 STAB WOUNDS
    % = No Support

Soulfly just wrapped another North American tour Sept. 19. Fear Factory founding member/guitarist Dino Cazares replaced Marc Rizzo for the tour.

More information on Soulfly’s new tour and next record is available along with all of Soulfly’s latest news at:




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

Live CDs Did A Lot To Help Audiences Get Their Concert Fixes In 2021

Courtesy: KScope Records

As December (and the year) continues to wind down, Phil’s Picks is far from winding down.  There is still much more to share from Phil’s Picks in the final weeks of this year, including today’s year-ender list, that of the year’s top new live CDs.  In years past, Phil’s Picks has had an abundance of live material, including live DVDs and BDs, but this year, offerings from that field were far slimmer, likely due to the ongoing pandemic.  On the opposite side though, there were plenty of live CDs released this year.  Audiences across the spectrum got live material to enjoy this year.  The metal masses got new live material from the likes of Destruction, Motorhead, and TesseracT.  Jazz fans got new live content from the likes of Doug MacDonald, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Sextet.  Rock audiences got new content from the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Foghat.  Even reggae fans got a little something new from a “live” recording from Bob Marley.  Simply put, 2021 was still a good year for new live music releases, if only on CD.  To that end, Phil’s Picks is offering once again this year, the Top 10 New Live CDs.

As with each and every list presented by Phil’s Picks, the list also features five additional honorable mention titles, bringing the total to 15.  Every single act and title listed here is deserving of its own applause, being that enjoyable.  There is no bad release.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Live CDs list.


1. TesseracT – P O R T A L S

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Live at Knebworth

3. Harold Mabern – Mabern Plays Coltrane

4. Destruction – Live Attack

5. Motorhead – Louder Than NoiseLive in Berlin

6. The Allman Brothers Band – Down in Texas ‘71

7. Bob Marley – The Capitol Session ‘73

8. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Sextet – The Democracy Suite

9. Doug MacDonald – Live in Hawaii

10. Foghat – 8 Days on the Road

11. Eric Clapton – The Lady in the Balcony

12. The Hawkins – Live in the Woods

13. The Philadelphia Orchestra – Blue Symphony No. 2

14. Harold Land – Westward Bound

15. Enrico Rava – Edizione Speciale

That’s it for this list.  Again, there is no bad recording here.  Each act and title deserves its own share of praise and applause.  With this list done, this year’s music year-ender lists drops now to only three – the year’s top new rock, hard rock/metal, and overall albums.  From there, the attention will turn from music to TV and movies.  Stay tuned!

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.  

Dropkick Murphys Debuts ‘Good As Gold’ Video; Band Announces Addition Of Jesse Ahern To Lineup For Upcoming Tour

Courtesy: Born & Bred Records

Dropkick Murphys premiered the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single, ‘Good As Gold.’ The song and its video are the sixth from the band’s most recent album, Turn Up That Dial. The record has also produced the singles, ‘H.B.D.M.F.,’ ‘Middle Finger,‘  ‘Smash S*** Up,’ ‘Mick Jones Nicked My Pudding,’ and ‘I Wish You Were Here.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Good As Gold’ is, like those of the album’s other singles, everything that audiences have come to expect from Dropkick Murphys. The bagpipes are there complete with all of the band’s familiar punk stylings.

Co-vocalist Ken Casey talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

‘Good as Gold,’ celebrates the music that shaped the band. It’s about the precious vinyl albums we all listen to, collect, and cherish – and the video shows how that music connects fans through generations,” he said.  “It’s about the important role music has played in our lives. The outside world may be going on. Boom, you put your headphones on, drop the needle, and nothing else matters. It’s about how much hope I’ve gotten from music, all of the inspiration, and the way it’s helped me take my frustrations out.”

That lyrical theme plays directly into the song’s video treatment as a young man is shown discovering some of the great music of the past for the first time on vinyl. Along the way, he gets to meet the band and even go for a ride with the guys.

In other news, Dropkick Murphys will bring back its annual St. Patrick’s Day Tour next year. The band announced through a news release Wednesday, it has added Jesse Ahern as support for the upcoming tour. Ahern will join The Bombpops and The Rumjacks as support on various dates.

The bands’ tour schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

Dropkick Murphys 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Tour dates are as follows:

Feb. 21, 2022Reading, PASantander Arena
Feb. 22, 2022Rochester, NYMain Street Armory
Feb. 24, 2022Cleveland, OHTempleLive Cleveland
Feb. 25, 2022Detroit, MIThe Fillmore
Feb. 26, 2022Chicago, ILRadius
Feb. 27, 2022Madison, WIThe Sylvee
March 1, 2022Austin, TXStubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
March 2, 2022Houston, TXBayou Music Center (On sale TBD)
March 3, 2022New Orleans, LACivic Theatre
March 4, 2022Chattanooga, TNThe Signal
March 6, 2022Lake Buena Vista, FLHouse of Blues
March 7, 2022St. Petersburg, FLJannus Live
March 8, 2022Fort Lauderdale, FLRevolution
March 10, 2022Asheville, NCThe Orange Peel
March 11, 2022Wilmington, NCGreenfield Lake Amphitheater
March 12, 2022Washington, DCShamrockfest at RFK Festival Grounds
March 14, 2022Albany, NYAlbany Capitol Center
March 15, 2022Portland, MEState Theatre
March 17, 2022Boston, MAHouse Of Blues
March 18, 2022Boston, MAHouse Of Blues
March 19, 2022Boston, MAHouse Of Blues
March 20, 2022Boston, MARoadrunner

* The Bombpops on all shows except March 12 and 20.

* The Rumjacks on all shows except March 12.

* Jim Lindberg and The Rumjacks open March 20.

More information on Dropick Murphys’ new single, video, and tour schedule is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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.

Billy F. Gibbons Debuts ‘Jingle Bell Blues’ Video

Courtesy: Merlis For Hire

ZZ Top front man Billy F. Gibbons debuted the video for his new holiday tune this week.

Gibbons debuted the video for his new single, ‘Jingle Bell Blues‘ Thursday. Gibbons debuted the song by itself Nov. 9. The song is a cover of ‘Jingle Bells’ covered in Gibbons’/ZZ Top’s signature style, complete with pulsing harmonica solo. It is a 12-bar blues tune that gives the song a much deserved blues update, but also updates the song’s lyrics to a bit, too.

Gibbons talked about the new video in a prepared statement.

“The animators put me in a hot rod that looks suspiciously like our very own ’34 Ford-based ‘Whiskey Runner’ though they’ve made some few seasonal adjustments,” said Gibbons. “There’s considerable snowfall so the wheels are replaced midway by a set of skis and now there’s a pickup bed in the back so gifts can rain down from it. They have me doing a header into a chimney but it’s not clear if I get to to enjoy any cookies and milk for my efforts. Just the same, I’m really digging the snowman blowing some great blues harp in the time-honored Jimmy Reed style.”

Gibbons released his latest studio offering, his new album, Hardware early this year through Concord Records. It came less than two years after the release of his sophomore solo record, The Big Bad Blues.

More information on Billy F. Gibbons’ new single is available along with all of his latest
news at:




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.

Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top New Family Music Albums Shows The Present, Future Of The Genre

Courtesy: Uniroo Records

The genre that is family music is one that has always stood out from the rest other genres that make up the musical universe.  That is because by and large the music that fills that space is constantly so diverse even as the lyrical themes in so many songs are largely the same.  Even being so much the same from one song to the next, the themes are important because they promote individuality, self-confidence, creativity, and so many other items that are key not only for personal growth and development in younger people, but for continued development in older audiences.  To that end, those themes are just as accessible for younger listeners as for their more seasoned counterparts.  In the same vein, the diversity in the genre’s musical content is just as enjoyable if not more so.  That is because honestly, more often than not, it is more diverse than in so much mainstream music for older audiences.  At the same time, it will again, more often than not, appeal to such a wide range of audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, the world of family music really is just as deserving of having its own list of top new albums as any other genre, and that is why this critic has continued to present exactly that for so many years.

This year is no different from past years, either.  This year was another successful one in the family music world.  New albums from veterans, such as Laurie Berkner, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band joined new records from up-and-comers, such as Ben Tatar & The Tatar Tots, Twinkle, and Stacey Peasley among many other established acts.  All in all, this year’s field of new family music albums represented the present and future of the genre very nicely, as today’s list will show.

Keeping in mind everything noted about the importance of the content in every family music record, developing a list of the year’s top new albums in the genre is never easy.  This critic tried, though.  The result of those efforts is this critic’s view of the year’s top 10 best family music albums and five additional honorable mentions, for a total of 15 new offerings.  So without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2021 Top 10 New Family Music Albums.


  1. Koo Koo Kanga Roo – Slow Clap
  2. The Story Pirates – The Strawberry Band
  3. Sarah Watkins – Under The Pepper Tree
  4. The Bright Siders – A Mind of Your Own
  5. Lucky Diaz & The Family Jam Band—Crayon Kids
  6. Laurie Berkner – Let’s Go
  7. Twinkle – It’s OK To Be Me
  8. Gordie “Crazylegs” MacKeeman – Folk For Little Folk Vol. 1
  9. Tracy Bonham – Young Maestros Vol. 1
  10. Genevieve Goings – Great Indoors
  11. Tunes With Tim – We’re All Human
  12. Stacey Peasley – Make It Happen
  13. Jenn Cleary – All Together Now
  14. Kelli Welli – Let’s Go Pistachio
  15. Ben Tatar & The Tatar Tots – Seconds

That’s all for this year’s list of top new family music albums.  The new year is just around and the corner and no doubt, lots of new family music is coming with the new year, too.

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.  

Mickey Leigh Announces New Album Details, Debuts New Single

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Musician/author Mickey Leigh and his band mates in Mutated Music will release their new album this winter.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Variants of Vibe Feb. 18 through Wicked Cool Records. In anticipation of the record’s release, the band debuted the record’s latest single Friday in the form of ‘No Fun.’ The song is the record’s seventh single. Audiences can check out all seven of the record’s singles and pre-save/pre-order the album now here.

Leigh talked about the group’s new single in a prepared statement.

“It’s not uncommon for songwriters to steal bits and pieces from either their musical contemporaries or past influences,” said Leigh. “Not that I’m a big fan of his, but I decided to steal a line written by an old Roman Emperor. “Veni, Vidi, Vici” = I came, I saw, I conquered,” said Julius Caesar. The Queens (NY) interpretation – or, at least, mine – is: I came, I saw, you’re no fun anymore. Whatever it might be: if you realized something was a danger to you and left it behind -before it kicked yours – fair to say you “conquered” it. In this song, it’s a healthy conquering. You came and saw it was time to conquer that demon. Don’t sue me, Caesar!”

In regards to the album, Leigh had the following to say:

“Like every organic entity, music is perpetually re-adapting itself in order to survive = mutating. As we know, things we create also variate as they mutate. Mutated Music is what we are. Our new album presents a Variant of Vibe. This may sound complicated, but, it’s only rock n roll. and we love it and don’t want to see it become extinct! Mutated Music = Rescuing Rock ‘n Roll, One Song At a Time.”

The musical arrangement featured in Leigh and company’s new single is a direct throw back to the rock and pop rock songs that formed the foundation of today’s rock industry. There are hints of The Who here as well as influences from Huey Lewis & The News. Yes, it seems like quite the contradiction of sounds, but it is there and it works well here.

More information on Mickey Leigh and Mutated Music’s new single and album is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:


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

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