Sherman’s Studio’ “Concert” Is A Performance Of A Lifetime

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

This year was another strong one for live recordings.  Between recordings released in bundles and those released either as standalone CDs or DVDs/BDs, the recordings that serve audiences who might have otherwise not been able to take in a live show, proved on both fronts to be largely solid offerings.  Given, there were some disappointments including Jane’s Addiction’s latest live recording Alive at Twenty-Five and the archived Les Paul tribute concert Live From Universal Studios Hollywood.  For the most part though, this year’s field of new live recordings — both on CD and DVD/BD — has proven to be quite impressive as has already been noted in the previous live recordings lists.  Keeping that in mind, it is only fair, having noted the best live CDs and best new live DVDs and Blu-rays to present one list of the year’s best new overall live recordings.

This year’s best overall live recordings pull from both audio and audio-visual fields, proving that recordings can be enjoyable in both arenas.  Topping this year’s list of best live overall recordings is PBS’ in studio “concert” from Richard Sherman, one half of the famed Sherman Brothers creative team, Songs of A Lifetime.  Slipknot’s new live recording Day of the Gusano is on this list, too thanks to the combined impact of its CD and Blu-ray presentation.  Of course while Alter Bridge, Jon Cleary and Experience Hendrix, LLC all released new recordings that were CD only, they deserve their own spot on the overall list.  Eagles of Death Metal’s new live recording Live at the Olympia Paris also deserves to be on that list along with The Rolling Stones’ new From The Vault offering Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 — again because of the overall impact of its audio and audio/visual sides.  It’s just one more on that list.

As with every previous list, this entry offers this critic’s 10 best new titles in the category along with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Enough rambling.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Live Recordings.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE RECORDINGS

  1. Richard ShermanSongs of a Lifetime
  2. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  3. Mumford & Sons — Live in South Africa
  4. Between The Buried & Me — Coma Ecliptic Live
  5. Jon Cleary — Live at Chickie Wah Wah
  6. Curtis Knight presents Jimi Hendrix — Live at George’s Club 1965 & 1966
  7. Eagles of Death Metal — Live at Olympia Paris
  8. The Rolling Stones — From The VaultSticky Fingers Live at The Fonda Theatre 2015
  9. Foghat — Live at the Belly Up
  10. Black Sabbath — The End
  11. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  12. The Who — Live at the Isle of Wight 2014
  13. The Winery Dogs — Dog Years — Live at Santiago & Beyond 2013 – 2016
  14. The Who — Tommy Live at Royal Albert Hall
  15. The Dead Daisies — Live & Louder

That’s it finally for the live recordings categories.  Up next will be the year’s top new albums overall.  It’s going to be an interesting list, needless to say as it may well change before it even gets posted up in the next day or so, so stay tuned!  Also on the way is a handful of lists for the year’s new DVD and Blu-ray titles including box sets for families and for grown-ups as well as family DVDs and Blu-rays.  Stay tuned!

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.

PBS’ Richard Sherman Studio “Concert” Hits All The Right Notes For Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs/BDs List

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Experiencing a live performance by one’s favorite acts is a special experience.  The sights and sounds — from the performance itself to the enjoyment and excitement experienced alongside other fans — come together to make the live experience something almost as magical as it is memorable.  Of course it’s not always that easy to have that experience because of work, family or maybe other items.  Enter the live DVD and Blu-ray.  These recordings are pivotal for audiences the world over because people don’t always get to see their favorite acts.  They also often prove to give audiences an experience that is at least slightly different from that offered in their CD counterparts.  Keeping that in mind, it is fully justifiable for critics to present lists of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays as well as live CDs.  That is exactly what this critic is doing here.

This year, as with so many years past, Eagle Rock Entertainment has proven to have the majority of the year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays, once again proving why it is the leader in live recordings.  Of course it is not the only label represented in this critic’s list this year.  Live recordings from The Winery Dogs, The Dead Daisies, and even famed songwriter Richard Sherman (one half of the famed Sherman Brothers creative team) are all on the list, too alongside new material from Between The Buried and Me and Michael Schenker.  Those noted recordings are all from other labels.  In other words, this year saw a healthy range of new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  With that in mind, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Live DVDs and Blu-rays.  As always, the list includes this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles, for a total of 15 titles.  Let’s go!

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS/BDs

  1. Richard ShermanSongs of a Lifetime
  2. Tedeschi Trucks Band — Live From The Fox Oakland
  3. Slipknot — Day of the Gusano
  4. Mumford & Sons — Live From South Africa
  5. Between The Buried and Me — Coma Ecliptic
  6. Black Sabbath — The End
  7. Jeff Beck — Live at the Hollywood Bowl
  8. The Rolling Stones — Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015
  9. The Who — Tommy Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  10. The Winery Dogs — Dog YearsLive in Santiago and Beyond 2013 – 2016
  11. Eagles of Death Metal — I Love You All The Time — Live at the Olympia Paris
  12. Sting — Live at the Olympia Paris
  13. Spock’s Beard — Snow Live
  14. The Dead Daisies — Live & Louder
  15. Michael Schenker — Michael Schenker Fest Live Tokyo International Forum Hall

That’s all for this list and still not all for the live recordings.  Still to consider is the whole of the combo packs and the standalone recordings.  In other words, there is still a list of the year’s top new live recordings overall to consider.  Also still on the way are the year’s top new albums as well as a handful of DVD and Blu-ray lists.  As many as possible will be covered before the year lets out, so stay tuned for all of that.

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.

ESPN’s E:60 Returns Tonight

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ESPN’s E: 60 returns with a whole new season tonight.

ESPN kicks off its Fall 2014 season of E: 60 tonight beginning at 8pm ET.  Tonight’s season premiere presents two in-depth feature that come from the NFL.  The first of the pair focuses on Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and the second on the Seattle Seahawks’ polarizing cornerback Richard Sherman.

On the heels of the Ray Rice case, E: 60’s Jeffri Chadiha sits down with Jamaal Charles and discusses the murder of his wife’s cousin Kasandra Perkins.  Perkins was murdered by her husband Jovan Belcher, who was also a teammate to Charles.  Belcher turned the gun on himself after killing his wife in December of 2012.  It is now believed that Belcher’s actions may have been the result of CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  Charles discusses the terrible tragedy as well as his own tough childhood, growing up as part of a large family and more in that interview.

In the second of the night’s premiere features, Kenny Mayne talked with Richard Sherman.  The outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback has made headlines since the buildup to last season’s Super Bowl.  But as Kenny Mayne reveals, there is a whole other side to Sherman that few if any know of.  Mayne reveals in his talk with Sherman that he [Sherman] demands success of himself not just on the gridiron but off the field, too.  Sherman reveals in his interview with Mayne that much of his drive for excellence goes back to his younger days growing up in Compton, California.  He also discusses how his days playing at Stanford played a role in his development, too.  It is an intimate portrait of a man much deeper than the one most people know of.

Along with the interviews with Sherman and Charles, there is also a feature on “Morganna, The Kissing Bandit.”  The famed figure rose to fame in the 1970s and 80s, well before the rise of Youtube and viral videos as she would run out onto the field at MLB games, kissing players.  She disappeared suddenly in the 90s.  Now fifteen years after she disappeared, “Morganna, The Kissing Bandit” has re-emerged.  She sat down with E: 60’s Wright Thompson to discuss her reputation and how it was a troubled personal life that led her to become the famed figure.

The figures scheduled to appear on tonight’s season premiere of ESPN’s E: 60 are but a handful of the names set to come on the network’s hit show this season.  Also expected to appear this season are: Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, NFL superstar Gerald McCoy, famed pitcher Randy Johnson, Dallas Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten, and New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.  The complete schedule for this season is noted below.

Fall Highlights of E:60

Date and Time (ET) Scheduled stories include*
Tue. Sept. 30 (8:00pm) Jamaal Charles, Richard Sherman
Tue. Oct. 7 (8:00pm) Max Scherzer,
Tue. Oct. 14 (7:00pm) Gerald McCoy, Randy Johnson
Tue, Oct. 21 (8:00pm) Jason Witten
Tue. Oct. 28 (8:00pm) Rob Ryan
Tue, Nov. 4 (8:00pm) Cam Newton

*Air dates & stories subject to change

 

More information on this season of E: 60 is available online now at:

Website: http://e60.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/espne60

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.

The Band Perry Receives Two ACM Award Nominations

Photo Credit: Mickey Brown

Photo Credit: Mickey Brown

Good news for The Band Perry.  The superstar country music trio has been nominated for two ACM Awards.

The announcement was made this week that the band has been nominated for “Vocal Group of the Year” and “Music Video of the Year.”  The second of the nominations from the Academy of Country Music is for the video for the band’s #1 single, ‘Better Dig Two.’  That song was also the lead single from the band’s latest album, Pioneer.  This year marks the third consecutive year that The Band Perry has been nominated for “Vocal Group of the Year.”  It is the fourth consecutive year that the trio has received nominations from the Academy of Country Music.  The band’s biggest year to date was 2011.  It was that year that the band received five total ACM nominations.  It won the award that year for “New Artist of the Year.”

Reid Perry spoke on behalf of the band after the announcement.  He expressed the band’s excitement of being nominated again, and getting to come to Las Vegas again.  Las Vegas is the home of the ACM Awards, which will be broadcast on CBS April 6th on CBS.  “It’s such an honor to find out about our two ACM Award nominations,” he said.  “We love the theatrics that happen in Vegas, and remember, what happens in Vegas … gets broadcast on live TV.”

The announcement of the band’s latest nominations comes at a high time for the band as it is scheduled to perform live on Fox as part of the network’s Super Bowl pre-game party.  The band will perform alongside American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips.  Reid’s brother and fellow band mate Neil jokingly discussed the band’s anticipation of playing the pre-game show and being back in temperatures above zero.  “We’re all huge football fans, and there’s nothing more exciting than to be a part of football’s biggest day,” he said. “We’ve been up in Canada on our We Are Pioneers World Tour for the past month, so we’re just glad it will be above zero degrees in New York!”

The band won’t be slowing down any time soon after its performance this weekend on Fox.  That performance is just part of its ongoing North American tour in support of Pioneer.  It will be in Independence, MO next Thursday, February 6th.  The band also has a planned performance later this Spring in North Carolina.  It is scheduled to perform live in Cherokee, North Carolina on Friday, April 25th at the Harrah’s Cherokee.  The band’s latest schedule of performances is listed below.

 

 

THE BAND PERRY FULL LIST OF TOUR DATES

JANUARY

31st

Bangor, ME

Cross Insurance Center

FEBRUARY

6th

Independence, MO

Independence Events Center

7th

Brookings, SD

Swifter Center

8th

Bemidji, MN

The Sanford Center

9th

Grand Forks, ND

Ralph Englestad Arena

13th

Dubuque, IA

Five Flags Center

14th

Kearney, NE

Viareo Event Center

15th

Rapid City, SD

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center

16th

Billings, MT

Rimrock Auto Arena @MetraPark

20th

Rockford, IL

BMO Harris Bank Center

21st

Cape Girardeau, MO

Show Me Center

22nd

Corbin, KY

The Corbin Arena

23rd

Saginaw, MI

Dow Events Center

27th

Green Bay, WI

Resch Center

28th

Mankato, MN

Verizon Wireless Center

MARCH

1st

Duluth, MN

Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena

2nd

Cedar Rapids, IA

U.S. Cellular Center

7th

Savannah, GA

Savannah Civic Center

8th

West Palm Beach, FL

Cruzan Amphitheater – WIRK Rib Roundup

9th

Plant City, FL

Florida Strawberry Festival

15th

Dublin, IE

Country to Country 2014: O2 Dublin

16th

London, UK

Country to Country 2014: O2

21st

Melbourne, FL

Runaway Country: Wickham Park

22nd

Houston, TX

Rodeo Houston

APRIL

11th

Florence, AZ

Country Thunder USA

25th

Cherokee, NC

Harrah’s Cherokee

26th

Dothan, AL

Toad Lick Festival

MAY

16th

Gardendale, TX

Texas Thunder

30th

Virginia Beach, VA

Patriotic Festival

JUNE

21st

Dallas, TX

Gexa Energy Pavilion *

27th

Dauphin, MB

Dauphin’s CountryFest

JULY

20th

Cincinnati, OH

Buckle-Up Music Festival

AUGUST

8th

Detroit Lake, MN

WE Fest

SEPTEMBER

5th

Phoenix, AZ

Ak-Chin Pavilion *

6th

San Diego, CA

Sleep Train Amphitheater *

12th

Sacramento, CA

Sleep Train Amphitheater *

13th

Mountain View, CA

Shoreline Amphitheater *

* Blake Shelton Tour

More information on The Band Perry’s tour, album and latest news is available online at http://www.facebook.com/thebandperry and http://www.thebandperry.com.  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.

ESPN Broadcasting Expanded Edition of Sunday NFL Countdown This Sunday

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will broadcast a special edition of Sunday NFL Countdown this week.  This week’s edition of Sunday NFL Countdown come live from Herald Square in New York City.  The special extended four-hour broadcast will begin at 10am ET this Sunday, February 2nd.  Chris Berman will anchor the broadcast.  He will be joined by Suzy Kolber and Monday Night Countdown’s Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young at MetLife Stadium.  Sal Paolantonio will have all the latest news from the Broncos while Ed Werder will have all of the latest updates from the Seahawks.

Analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Jonhson will join host Chris Berman.  This year marks the thirty-second Super Bowl that Berman has covered.  ESPN will offer extensive coverage for football fans throughout its extended Sunday NFL Countdown broadcast including a 30 for 30 “mockumentary” courtesy of comedian Frank Caliendo focusing on Seahawks star Richard Sherman.  Stars of the upcoming NFL Draft-themed movie Draft Day, Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary, will also make an appearance.  If this isn’t enough, ESPN Senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen will sit down for a one-on-one interview with Broncos QB Peyton Manning.  The veteran quarterback will discuss his future in the league as well as how parenthood has affected him.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will sit down with Chris Berman at 11am ET to discuss his most memorable plays so far in his career.  Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will follow at 12:30pm ET.  He will share his friendship with one special fan and how it has grown over the years that the pair have known one another.

ESPN will offer much more coverage for fans.  More information on what fans can expect from Sunday’s special edition of Sunday NFL Countdown is available online at http://www.espn.com and http://www.facebook.com/espn.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

New Disney Re-Issue Was Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Walt Disney Studios’ home entertainment division has been very busy this year.  The company’s home division has released no fewer than ten of its classic and more recent movies to Blu-ray/DVD combo packs this year so far.  And even more are planned for release before the year’s end, including a handful of holiday themed features.  That makes for a very crowded field in terms of re-issues from Disney.  Families are thus left wondering which of the current crop of re-issues are the most worth adding to their home libraries.  One that is definitely worth adding to any family’s home library is the brand new re-issue of the 1977 classic, The Many Adventures of Winnie The PoohThe Many adventures of Winnie The Pooh is one of Disney’s most timeless works.  Taken from author A.A. Milne’s series of children’s books, this collection of stories is perfect for the entire family.  And it looks even better than ever now that it has finally been re-issued in high definition.  The quality of the footage hasn’t lost anything in the transfer from its most recent DVD release to its new Blu-ray release.  In connection, the movie’s animation style stands out as some of the most impressive of any true animated feature rooted in hand drawn animation.  Along with the beautifully hand-drawn animation, audiences will appreciate the inclusion of the fourth of the stories in the Winnie The Pooh franchise, A Day for Eeyore as a bonus feature.  Also included as bonuses, are a handful of mini-adventures and even the standard “Making of” featurette that adds more insight into how this feature was brought to life.  All of this taken into consideration, it all works hand-in-hand to make The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh a must have for any kid and kid at heart.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh is a must have for any kid or kid at heart.  It is a perfect piece from Disney to add to any family’s home library.  The first and most important reason for that is how the collected stories were culled for the overall presentation.  Instead of the current trend by film makers to try and pull a bunch of different stories for one presentation, this presentation clearly separates Pooh Bear’s adventures.  They did so expertly, making the transitions completely smooth.  Audiences will love how the directing team of John Lounsbery and Wolfgang Reitherman had Pooh (and later Tigger–voiced then by Sterling Holloway and Paul Winchell respectively) break down the fourth wall in interacting with the narrator (Sebastian Cabot) at different points in the story.  It’s a cute moment for the family, but also quite an ingenious way to separate the stories, too.  Just as ingenious was the manner in which Lounsbery and Reitherman had their animation team incorporate Pooh and company into the story, showing the text on the pages with the characters acting out everything being read.  This would eventually go on to be a staple for the features based on Milne’s books, and a welcome one at that.  It doesn’t necessarily break down the fourth wall.  But it adds a certain charm and individuality to the story.  That’s because no other studio at the time was doing this.    It’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what audiences will appreciate in this new re-issue.  This is especially the case for those seeing it for the first time or even the first time in years.  Audiences will appreciate just as much, the original hand drawn animation throughout the feature.

The man for whom Walt Disney Studios was named died in 1966.  That was eleven years before this adaptation of Milne’s works had even been considered by anyone at Disney.  Many critics agree that the quality of Disney’s releases went down after his death.  However, had he been alive to see that his legacy had been carried on in The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, he would have been very proud.  That is because the previously released movies that comprise this presentation—Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!—were each features in which Disney had a direct hand.  So seeing his previous works combined into one larger feature serves as a fitting memoriam to Disney’s legacy.

The animation and the writing in the stories culled for The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh work hand-in-hand to make this feature a truly fitting memoriam to Walt Disney’s legacy.  The brand new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes another feature that serves as just as much of a memoriam in the form of Eeyore’s Day Out.  The fourth release in the series of stories about everyone’s favorite bear follows the same formula as the stories culled for The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.  There’s the fourth wall being broken down, the solid writing in general, and the equally impressive hand drawn animation.  The story of Eeyore’s Day Out centers on the eternally depressed donkey on his birthday.  Pooh, Rabbit, Piglet and the others had all forgotten, making Eeyore even sadder.  Of course, everything turns out just fine and will leave any viewer with that warm, fuzzy feeling that the previous Pooh tales so wonderfully do.  Making it even more enjoyable is its lessons of friendship and forgiveness.  It serves to make this a wonderful addition to the whole set that is the brand new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.

The inclusion of the bonus Pooh tale is a great addition to this newly released re-issue.  There is still one more factor in this set that audiences will appreciate.  That final factor is the standard “Making of” featurette.  This bonus feature goes into full depth about how The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh came to life.  From the animation to the music and even the work of the voice cast, “The Story Behind The Masterpiece” shows just how much work went into making sure Walt Disney’s wish of making this feature happen was honored.  Audiences will love hearing the legendary Sherman Brothers discuss the feature’s musical numbers, including everyone’s favorite song about Tiggers.  Who out there knows the best thing about Tiggers?  The explanations of the old school animation style used to create every single movement of each character shows how much work used to go into making these works of art.  And it is sure to make any art lover and general viewer appreciate that work and its end result versus the far drier and sterile CG pieces that are created by every animation studio out there today.  It is the icing on the cake that is this deliciously wonderful new re-issue from Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.  Both the standard DVD and double disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack are available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at http://movies.disney.com/the-many-adventures-of-winnie-the-pooh and http://www.disneystore.com/the-many-adventures-of-winnie-the-pooh-2-disc-combo-pack/mp/1341260/1000316/.  More information on this and other re-issues from Walt Disney Studios is available online at http://www.facebook.com/WaltDisneyStudios.

To keep up with all of 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.