Chickenfoot To Release Its First Hits Compilation Next Month

Courtesy: eOne Music

Courtesy: eOne Music

Chickenfoot will release its first-ever hits collection this spring.

The rock super group announced this week it will release its new hits collection Best + Live on March 10, 2017.  The compilation includes ‘Get It Up,’ ‘Soap On A Rope,’ ‘Dubai Blues’ and eight other Chickenfoot favorites.

It also includes a “new” song, ‘Divine Termination,’ which the band performed live last May.  The song was performed during a performance at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.  The performance was from one of two one-off shows performed at the famed casino.

The band’s hits and its new songs are just some of what audiences have to look forward to on Chickenfoot’s new compilation record.  It will also feature three live performances included in that main disc.

To sweeten the deal for fans, the collection will also include a second disc that features 11 live performances from Chickenfoot. The songs featured on the bonus live disc were originally included in the band’s 2010 Live DVD/BD Get Your Buzz On.

The full track listing for Best + Live is noted below.

Tracklist “BEST+LIVE”
CD1 – BEST OF
01. Divine Termination (BRAND NEW SONG)
02. Soap On A Rope
03. Sexy Little Thing
04. Oh Yeah
05. Get It Up
06. Future In The Past
07. Big Foot
08. Different Devil
09. Lighten Up
10. Dubai Blues
11. Something Going Wrong

Bonus LIVE TRACKS:
12. Highway Star
13. Bad Motor Scooter
14. My Generation

CD2 – LIVE
01. Avenida Revolution
02. Sexy Little Thing
03. Soap On A Rope
04. My Kinda Girl
05. Down The Drain
06. Bitten By The Wolf
07. Oh Yeah
08. Learning To Fall
09. Get It Up
10. Turnin’ Left
11. Future In The Past

More information on Best + Live is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.chickenfoot.us

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/chickenfoot

 

 

 

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.

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The Dead Daisies’ New LP Is A “Rock Solid” Record

Courtesy: SPV

Courtesy: SPV

It’s official.  There’s another new contender for the title of one of the year’s top new rock records.  The band’s name: The Dead Daisies.  The band’s album: Make Some Noise.  While the band’s name makes it sound like some dark, goth-rock act, the truth is that it is anything but.  It is a super group of sorts whose album, just as with Foghat’s new album Under The Influence, exhibits everything that is right with rock and roll.  It reminds listeners through both its musical arrangements and lyrical content that thankfully, there is still hope for real rock and roll even in the 21st century.  The album’s adrenaline-fueled opener ‘Long way To Go’ clearly exhibits that.  The same can be said of the album’s titles track and its cover of John Fogerty’s ‘Fortunate Son.’  All three songs show in their own way why this record gives hope for real rock and roll in the 21st century.  They are hardly the only songs presented in the album that could be cited in proving this.  There are nine other songs that could just as easily be used to prove that statement.  All things considered the album in whole is a *ahem* rock solid record that, again, gives full hope for the future of rock in the 21st century.

The Dead Daisies’ latest full length studio offering Make Some Noise is a record that will have listeners making noise of their own after hearing it.  That is because over the course of its twelve total tracks, it reminds listeners that thankfully there is still hope for the future of real rock in the 21st century.  The album’s opener is a clear example of why the album gives such strong hope.  That is exhibited both in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  The song’s musical arrangement is a full-throttle, no-nonsense, guitar-driven rock and roll composition that conjures thoughts of AC/DC, and so many other pure rock and roll acts.  The catch is that even with those thoughts in mind, the song manages to maintain its own identity separate from those bands.  This makes the song all the more enjoyable.  It is just part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical makeup.  The song’s lyrical content is a clearly socially conscious statement that addresses the unrest in the world today.  That is clear as front man John Corabi (ex-Motley Crue) sings, “There’s something going down on the streets right now/There’s hate in the air/We’re upside down/Guns and bombs/Blood on the floor/We’re killing ourselves and there ain’t no cure/Maybe tomorrow/Maybe today/No more enemies…Just more suffering.”  From here he and his band mates—Doug Aldrich (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass), Bran Tichy (drums), and Davi Lowy (guitar)—drive home the song’s message in its chorus as they sing, “We’ve got a long way to go/And no time to get there/One step forward two steps back/There ain’t nobody to blame.”  The message is just as clear in the song’s second verse as Corabi sings, “Something’s going on/Times are changin’/Movin’ too fast/We’re all going crazy/Black man, white man…in the name of love open your eyes.”  The message is clear.  People have got to stand up and join together, not stand against one another.  We have got to overcome all of the violence and hate that are filling the world.  It is a wonderful message.  Given it’s hardly the first time that a band has ever presented that message.  The thing is that it is a message that the world needs to hear whether from The Dead Daisies or another band.  What’s more the fact that Corabi and company presented the message in such a straight-forward, blue-collar fashion makes it all the more important to note.  It isn’t presented in some overly philosophical fashion (as has been done by some bands) or even in any militant fashion either (as with certain other acts).  Audiences familiar with their music history will understand those references. It just puts the message out there: we have got to stand together against all of this negativity in the world.”  The band uses the same blue-collar rock and roll approach in the song’s musical arrangement, which adds even more to the message’s impact.  When the two elements are joined together as one, they work to show in whole just what makes the song (and the album in whole) such an impressive new offering from The Dead Daisies.  Audiences can see the song’s official video online now here.  It is just one of the songs presented in this album that makes the record so impressive.  The album’s title track is another clear example of what makes this record such a strong new offering from the band.

‘Long Way To Go’ is in itself an impressive inclusion in The Dead Daisies’ new album.  It is an impressive composition in itself.  That is evident both in its musical arrangement and its socially conscious lyrical content.  The band’s blue-collar approach to both makes the song both a strong start for the band on its new album and a clear example of what makes the album in whole stand out.  It is just one of the songs included in the album that makes it stand out.  The album’s title track is yet another of the album’s most notable compositions.  It stands out because it is, plain and simple, a hard rocking, fist-pumping, arena rock song.  It is the polar opposite of the album’s opener.  The song’s musical arrangement is much slower in terms of its tempo than that of ‘Long Way To Go.’  And even despite that it still hits hard thanks to the work of Tichy and Aldrich.  Tichy forms the song’s musical foundation with his work behind the kit and Aldrich builds on that solid foundation with his simple yet so fun guitar line.  Mendoza’s low end expertly compliments their work.  All three lines join together to instantly make the song’s musical arrangement infectious and a song that is sure to be a fan favorite at the band’s live shows, even as short as it is (it clocks in at just under three-minutes).  The song’s lyrical content shows even more why the song stands out so clearly among the album’s other offerings.  That is because of its simplicity.  Corabi sings here, “Everybody stand/Get outta your chair/Lemme hear your sound/Put your hands in the air/Everybody on the left/Everybody on the right/Don’t hold back/Get crazy all night/Make some noise/Make it louder/Make some noise/Everybody now.”  Corabi goes on in similar fashion throughout the rest of the song, encouraging audiences to turn up the volume and just let loose.  No doubt they will, too.  That is regardless of whether audiences are listening in their cars, at home, or at the band’s live show.  It will leave listeners pumping their firsts in the air (and their horns) all the while with a wide smile on their faces.  Between that and the song’s musical arrangement, the song gives listeners plenty to enjoy.  When the pair is coupled it shows with full clarity why it is another important addition to the album’s whole and why the album in whole is an impressive new effort from The Dead Daisies.  It still is not the album’s only remaining standout composition either.  The band’s take on John Fogerty’s famed protest song ‘Fortunate Son’ is just as notable as the album’s title song and its opener.

‘Long Way To Go’ and ‘Make Some Noise’ are both key inclusions in The Dead Daisies’ new album Make Some Noise.  That is made clear both in the songs’ musical arrangements and their lyrical content.  The songs’ musical arrangements are both pure rock and roll compositions.  There’s pretense to either arrangement.  Nor does either one aim low.  Rather each song presents the band giving its best and its all.  The songs’ lyrical content shows just as much thought put into the record.  One song presents an important message about unity that, just as with the songs’ musical arrangements, lacks any pretense in doing so.  The other is the polar opposite, giving listeners a clear taste of a live Dead Daisies show.  Its approach is just as simple as that used in the message in ‘Long Way To Go.’  Both songs show in their own way what makes them stand out among their counterparts.  They also serve to show (both by themselves and together) what makes the album in whole such an impressive new effort from the band.  They are not the only songs that serve this end.  The band’s cover of John Fogerty’s famed protest song ‘Fortunate Son’ stands out just as much as those songs and the rest of the album’s compositions.  The band’s take is hardly the first time that a band has tackled the song.  What is important to note is that despite that, it is one of the better renditions of said song.  That is due in large part to the band’s approach to the song’s musical arrangement.  The band maintains the song’s original identity in its take on the song at the same time given the song its own extra touch.  The band does that through the use of its familiar no-nonsense rock and roll approach.  In essence the band takes Fogerty’s original tune and steps it up even more here with its own take on the song.  The end result is a song that is right up there with Dave Grohl’s take on the song (which was included in Fogerty’s 2013 album Wrote A Song For Everyone and Dropkick Murphy’s take on the song included in its 2005 compilation Singles Collection: Volume 2.  Keeping this in mind, it is just one more song that exemplifies what makes Make Some Noise another impressive effort from The Dead Daisies.  It is, again, not the only remaining song included in this record that could be used to show what makes the album so enjoyable.  ‘Song and a Prayer’ will take listeners back to the late 80s ad early 90s, when guitar rock was still king. ‘Last Time I Saw The Sun’ is a work that Buckcherry fans will appreciate. And ‘All The Same’ conjures thoughts of Sammy Hagar (both as a solo artist and with Van Halen).  They are just a few more songs include in this record that make it so enjoyable.  Whether for those songs, the songs more directly addressed here, or any of the album’s other compositions, listeners will agree that the album in whole is a *ahem* rock solid record and yet another clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.

The Dead Daisies’ new album Make Some Noise is a record that is certain to leave listeners making their own noise about it after listening through each of its twelve total songs.  That is because collectively they reassure listeners that even in the 21st century there is still hope for real, guitar-driven rock and roll.  The album’s socially conscious yet blue-collar opener clearly proves this. The confident arena rocker that is the album’s title track proves it just as much.  The same can be said of the band’s cover of John Fogerty’s ‘Fortnute Son.’  The song maintains the original song’s identity while adding a great additional touch through the band’s arrangement of the timeless tune.  These are just a few of the songs that show why Make Some Noise will leave listeners making their own noise about the record.  When they are set against the rest of the album’s songs, the album in whole proves, again, to be a “rock solid” record and another clear candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new rock records.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Make Some Noise is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://thedeaddaisies.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheDeadDaisies

 

 

 

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.

The Midnight Special’s Re-Issues Will Have Audiences Singing, Dancing Well Past Midnight

Courtesy:  StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

Courtesy: StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment/NBC

StarVista Entertainment and Time Life Entertainment have made quite the name for themselves over the course of recent years.  Releases of classic series such as The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family, The Dean Martin Show, China Beach, and most recently The Wonder Years have taken a company that for years was the butt of many people’s jokes to a place in the upper echelons of home entertainment companies.  For years, Time Life was known mainly for the not-so-well-known products that it pushed through extended advertisements on television.  Now it has carved out even more of a comfortable place in that upper echelon with the release of The Midnight Special on DVD.  The classic late night live concert series was released in a number of formats last month, resurrecting one more important piece of television and music history.  The show’s six-disc collector’s edition is one of the best of the sets that any fan of classic television and music can add to their own home library.  That is because it is one of the best examples of what made this series so great during its nine-year run on NBC.  It presents ninety-six total performances from bands, artists and groups across the music industry’s spectrum.  The acts that make appearances throughout the set’s six discs are the center of this box set’s enjoyment and success.  Just as important to note is the quality of the footage.  More than four decades have passed since the Midnight Special first debuted in 1972.  In that time, the footage presented in these performances has stood the test of time quite well.  And last but not least worth noting in the set’s success is its companion booklet.  The booklet serves as an episode guide for viewers.  That is the central point of its importance.  It also features personal insight from the series’ creator Burt Sugarman. Sugarman’s retrospection on the series and its importance adds one more layer of appreciation for this series.  Together with the acts that appear on each set and the quality of the footage, all three factors together make The Midnight Train another wonderful release from Time  Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment.

The Midnight Special was one of the most famed and beloved series on television during its day.  Unlike so many other series of the time, acts that came on the series in its heydey actually sang instead of lip synching.  What’s more, unlike American Bandstand, The Midnight Special focused on more than just the big pop acts of its day.  The acts that came to perform on NBC’s live overnight concert series spanned the music world’s ranks.  That is the most important aspect of this recently released classic series.  The acts that performed on The Midnight Special included the likes of John Denver performing alongside Linda Rondstadt and Aerosmith performing alongside Barry White, The Stylistics, and ELO.  It also featured acts the likes of: B.B. King, Frankie Vallie, Sammy Hagar, The O’Jays, BeeGees, and so many other greats that are still remembered today.  Even the show’s host himself, radio host Wolfman Jack was a celebrity in his own right.  Even today, he and those acts noted here are just as beloved as they were decades ago.  In an era when so many musical acts are little more than flash-in-the-pan pop acts and rarely radio worthy rock bands, musicaians and audiences alike need to be reminded of what once made music great and could again–originality and real talent.  That in mind, it makes sense that the list of performers that came on The Midnight Special is the central point of this series’ success whether in its six-disc box set or its other formats.

The list of artists, bands, and groups that graced The Midnight Special’s stage during its nine-year run on NBC is the most important aspect of this series’ recent re-issue.  More than four decades have passed since it first debuted on NBC in 1972.  That makes for plenty of reason to be concerned about the quality of the show’s footage in its transfer from tape to disc.  Luckily for audiences of all ages, painstaking efforts were taken to present the performances as they appeared in their original broadcasts. Those efforts paid off in spades as both the audio and video of each performance have been well-balanced.  Any impurities in the quality of the footage whether in the audio or video are so minute that they are unnoticable.  The end result is a product that for the show’s original audiences will generate a much-welcomed sense of nostalgia.  Both for those same audiences and the show’s much younger audiences, it also serves to show just how far music has come (both in a good and bad way) and how far recording technology has come, too.  So in the end, the quality of the footage in these performances makes Time Life and StarVista’s new re-issue of The Midnight Special even more enjoyable for audiences of all ages.

The efforts taken to transfter The Midnight Special’s master tapes to disc have definitely not been for nothing.  The show looks and sounds just as good as it did in its original run all those years ago in its rencet re-issue.  The acts that appeared on the show (and that are featured on the new six-disc compilation) are just as important to the overall presentation.  Both aspects together more than make the series worth a watch or two in any of its three re-issue formats.  The last aspect of the series’ re-issue (at least in its six-disc compilation format) that makes it a success and so enjoyable is the set’s companion booklet.  The booklet serves primarily as an episode guide, pointing out disc-by-disc and episode-by-episode each artist, band, and group that appears.  That listing even includes the songs performed by said acts.  By itself, the episode listing more than helps the enjoyment of the series’ re-issue.  The added insight from series creator Burt Sugarman adds one more layer of enjoyment to the series’ various presentations.  In terms of the six-disc box set, Sugarman recalls how so few people had faith in the show and how great it felt to prove those naysayers wrong.  That insight along with other comments from Sugarman make for even more interest and enjoyment in watching the performances culled for the show’s different re-issues.  While being the last of the noteworthy factors that make The MIdnight Special so…well…special, it is hardly the least important of the factors that make the series’ sets such a joy.  This aspect, along with the quality production values and the performances culled for the releases, makes The Midnight Special a truly special experience for viewers of all ages.

The Midnight Special is available online now.  Its eleven-disc and sixteen disc sets can be ordered online direct from Time Life’s online store at http://timelife.com/products/the-midnight-special-collector-s-edition.  The six-disc collector’s edition can be ordered via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Special-6DVD-Amaray/dp/B00L9OPJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1414009549&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Midnight+Special.  More information on this and other releases from Time Life Entertainment and StarVista Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.timelife.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TimeLifeUS

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.

Concert For Ronnie Montrose Is As Good As Any Major Label’s Live Recordings

Courtesy:  RoMoCo

Courtesy: RoMoCo

2013 has seen quite the surplus of live concert recordings.  Bands the likes of Jane’s Addiction, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and so many others have been released to the masses.  Each of those live recordings has proven to be exceptional in its own way.  These recordings will be seen by countless audiences thanks to being released via some of the music industry’s biggest labels. It doesn’t mean that they’re the only live recordings to hit the market this year.  One independently recorded and released live concert event that deserves just as much coverage as those aforementioned recordings is the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  Recorded April 27th, 2012 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California, this live concert event will impress anyone that is a fan of true, pure, guitar-driven rock and roll.  This applies to even those that might not be so familiar with the work of Ronnie Montrose.  There is much to like about this new live recording.  The most obvious of factors is the concert’s audio and video mix.  For a show that was independently recorded and released, it looks and sounds surprisingly good.  The show’s set list and guest lineup collectively make up another of the reasons to check out this concert.  And while it is something relatively subtle, those charged with finalizing the concert included names and titles for each artist on each song.  For those that might be unfamiliar with the artists, this inclusion will help to introduce the artists to said new audiences when they look up each name.  In turn, it could open audiences’ eyes and ears to a whole new world of music.  Together with the aforementioned factors, the Concert For Ronnie Montrose proves to be just as enjoyable as any live recording released by the industry’s major labels.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose is an independently recorded and released live concert event.  The automatic thought that might be raised in some audiences’ minds upon reading this is that it probably doesn’t match up with the live recordings released by the record industry’s major labels.  That belief could not be any more wrong.  The reality of this concert recording is that it looks and sounds just as good as any of the countless other live recordings released on said labels already in 2013. The camera crews charged with capturing the concert expertly carried out their duties.  Home viewers get the best seat in the house.  They are taken right on stage with the musicians and even above the crowd to see the full extent of the audience in attendance.  Seeing how packed the house was on the night of April 27th, 2012 just goes to show that while Ronnie Montrose might never have been one of the biggest names in the industry, he was and still is one of the most respected individuals to pick up a guitar. It is truly a telling statement, and one that any Ronnie Montrose fan will appreciate when they watch this concert for themselves.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose was captured just as expertly on video as any live recording released via the industry’s major labels.  It is crystal clear.  And the camera work itself is just as impressive.  Having examined the recording’s high-quality video, the next logical step is to examine its audio mix.  Having been recorded in the semi-intimate setting of San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, it goes without saying that it was extremely important that the audio be perfect.  Those that are more familiar with the science of acoustics will appreciate the painstaking efforts taken to ensure that the concert’s sound was on par with any major live recording.     Not one of the guitarists overpowered the other at any point throughout the evening.  And none of the musicians overpowered their fellow guest vocalists, either.  That set alongside the equally top notch camera work and video editing serve as the foundation for a concert recording that proves in the long run to be just as good as any of the year’s major concert recordings.

The audio and video mixes in the Concert for Ronnie Montrose collectively make for a solid foundation for this recording.  Having examined both, the next logical step in examining the presentation is to look at the collective set list and the guest lineup.  The set list that comprises this tribute concert spans the late guitarist’s rich career before his passing.  From his days with the Edgar Winter Group to his work with the band that bore his name to his solo career, this concert is front loaded with more than its share of great music.  Even audiences that might perhaps be less familiar with Montrose’s work will likely recognize the Edgar Winter Group’s hit songs ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Free Ride’ and the cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Connection.’  What’s more, those that might be fans of Dream Theater will hear quite the similarity between the concert’s opener, ‘Overture’ and certain work by Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci on the first of Liquid Tension Experiment’s two records.  Petrucci wasn’t one of the artists on hand at the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  However, some equally big names were in attendance. And their presence is sure to impress audiences just as much as the show’s set list.

The lineup of artists on hand to pay tribute to Ronnie Montrose is just as eye-opening as the show’s set list.  Classic rock fans will recognize former Journey band mates Steve Smith and Neal Schon and Tesla front man Jeff Keith.  Also on hand were two equally big names in the form of Montrose’s former band mate and friend Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot) and world renowned guitarist Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot).  Hagar and Montrose’s fellow former band mates were on hand for the concert, too.  Anyone that was a fan of the band in its heyday will appreciate seeing its members back together if only for a one off show.  If the set list that makes up the show isn’t enough for audiences, then this megastar lineup of artists is certain to convince audiences to check out this recording.

So much has already been noted as to what makes the Concert for Ronnie Montrose such a joy of a live recording, even having been recorded and released independently.  There is still one factor in the recording to examine.  It is a subtle, yet important factor to examine.  It is the inclusion of what is called “supers” (or superimposed images) highlighting the names and titles of each musician to take the stage throughout the concert.  Their inclusion is important for those that might happen to be new to each musician.  The names and titles are placed right in front of each musician.  This allows audiences to directly link a name with a face.  Audiences that are less familiar with said artists can in turn link the names and faces when looking up information on each one online or otherwise.  The latent effect of all of this is the potential introduction of a whole new world of music to new audiences.  For that alone, those charged with making sure the supers matched with each artist deserve their own round of applause.  And together with the camera crews, sound editors, and performers themselves, it all comes together to make the Concert for Ronnie Montrose a concert that any purist rock and roll fan will appreciate no less with each watch.  It is available now and can be ordered online at http://www.ronniemontrose.com/merchandise/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=238.  More information on this and all things Ronnie Montrose is available via the official Ronnie Montrose website, http://www.ronniemontrose.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Bearings Is A Beautiful Musical Eulogy For A Great Guitarist

Courtesy:  Alien Echo Music BMI/RoMoCo

Courtesy: Alien Echo Music BMI/RoMoCo

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose was one of the music industry’s busiest individuals during the course of his life.  Montrose, who died last year of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was one of the most respected guitarists in the music industry.  Despite the respect that he earned among his fans and fellow musicians, he never gained the level of fame that those musicians gained.  It had been known that he had been suffering from depression at the time of his death.  So it is perhaps no wonder that the music on his final recording, Bearings, is in large part, very reserved.  The fourteen total tracks that make up the album are so painful yet just as beautiful in their emotional depth, too.  Of course for all of the reserved emotion displayed throughout most of this album, there are more upbeat songs, too.  One of those more upbeat songs is the album’s opener, ‘All Aboard.’

‘All Aboard’ is a prime example of Montrose’s exemplary talents right from its opening seconds.  The song comes in at just under three minutes in length.  In the course of that three minutes, he showed in this song that his talents were right up there with the likes of Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani and so many other equally talented guitarists.  What makes this so interesting is that this song actually bears more of a country/bluegrass vibe about it than that of a rock song.  It would be so easy to see Ronnie sitting on the back porch of a large house somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, playing this piece.  Just as interesting to note on this song, is that Montrose also covered the song’s mandolin part, and the equally driving bass.  The layering of the three parts, which was also largely handled by Montrose let each part come through just enough to give a full assembly effect.  In turn, what listeners get in ‘All Aboard’ is a solid ad aptly titled opener to this record.

‘All Aboard’ is impressive to say the least.  It is impressive because of the talent displayed by Montrose both as an instrumentalist and as a producer.  He showed that he more than knew his stuff.  Just as much an example of his talent (and that of his fellow musicians) is the album’s fifth track, ‘Morning.’  Just as ‘All Aboard’ was aptly titled, so is this near five-minute song.  Ronnie was joined by percussionist Michele Graybeal and keyboardist Ed Roth for a song that stands out in so many of its own ways.  The gentle strains of Montrose’s guitar set next to Roth’s role on piano give this song so much life.  Graybeal is not to be left out either.  The use of what is either a small bongo drum or even a tabla is a subtle addition.  But it is just enough to add a certain extra something to the song.  One can close one’s eyes, and see the sun slowly coming up over a mountain range perhaps after a late night thunderstorm.  Others might see something else in hearing this song.  And they would be right, too.  That’s the beauty of completely instrumental music. It is one hundred percent open to interpretation.  And it’s just one of many songs that will lead to any number of interpretations on Montrose’s last recording.

The songs included in Bearings could be interpreted in so many ways.  That has already been noted.  No one interpretation would be wrong, either, regardless of who is interpreting the song.  One more example of that ease of interpretation comes in the form of the album’s penultimate piece, ‘Lighthouse.’  The song’s very title invokes images of a lighthouse set on a cliff.  The music itself feeds an even richer vision.  This critic alone sees images of said lighthouse overlooking a calm ocean on a warm summer night.  The sun is setting off in the distance.  The gentle fade of the music in the song’s closing seconds sees the sun setting below the horizon and the moon and stars taking over in the sky.  Again, this is just one critic’s view of this beautiful work.  Others might have their own visual interpretation of the song.  And those interpretations would be just as right.  Much the same can be noted of the album’s other songs, too.  That is exactly why any true music lover will want to hear this record at least once.  It not only displays a late musician’s talents once more, but also displays said musician’s ability to evoke so many different emotions among his audiences.  The album is available now online.  It can be ordered direct from the official Ronnie Montrose website at http://www.ronniemontrose.com/merchandise/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=237&zenid=2f9f4e8f36f439800dd5f1b97f4131fb.  More information on other Ronnie Montrose releases is available also available at http://www.ronniemontrose.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Winery Dogs’ Debut A Super Record From A True Supergroup

Courtesy:  Loud & Proud Records

Courtesy: Loud & Proud Records

2013 has been quite a year for new rock records.  The list of new records vying to make critics’ lists of the year’s best is already cluttered.  And the year’s not even out yet.  That list already includes releases from the likes of:  Pop Evil, Queensryche, Buckcherry, Filter and Joe Satriani just to name a handful of releases.  Now with the release of its self-titled release, rock trio The Winery Dogs has added its name to that already massively cluttered landscape.  The band—Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), and Richie Kotzen (Mr. Big, Poison)—instantly draws comparisons to Chickenfoot from early on with its brand of rock.  If one were to listen to this and not know it was another band, one would instantly think one was listening to the latter of the two.  Even vocalist Richie Kotzen sounds at times like Chickenfoot front man Sammy Hagar.  At others, he sounds like Soundgarden/former Audioslave front man Chris Cornell.  The similarity in the singers’ voices is eerie.

The band’s new self-titled album is a solid mix of sounds, opening with a trio of heavier, energy-laden songs in: ‘Elevate’, ‘Desire’ and ‘We Are One.’  From there, things slow down a little bit in ‘I’m No Angel’ ‘The Other Side’ and ‘You Saved Me.’  What’s interesting here is that while this trio of songs is a little more subdued, there is still a certain controlled energy throughout all three.  The guitar solos in ‘We Are One’ along with Portnoy’s expert drumming in this song is just one of so many of the album’s highlights.  ‘You Saved Me’ is impressive not just because of its musical content, but also for its uplifting lyrical content.  Kotzen sings, “You saved me in my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You gave me all my strength and power/And when sunshine turned to grey/In my darkest hour/You stood by me and stayed/You stood with me/My guiding angel.”  This could be interpreted in a religious sense.  It could just as easily be considered more in the sense of a relationship.  Regardless of which angle one takes here, the ballad with its moving music and equally uplifting lyrics is sure to impress any listener. 

‘You Saved Me’ is a fitting midpoint for The Winery Dogs’ debut record.  That is because it is after this point that things pick back up beginning with what is one of the best of the best from this record in ‘Not Hopeless.’  This song is a standout thanks to the contradiction of the heavier, slower sludge rock style verses to the more standard rock style choruses.  Kotzen shows throughout both sections (and his solos) that he can easily hold his own alongside fellow guitar great Zakk Wylde here.  And if this isn’t enough to get listeners excited, the album’s next track, ‘One More Time’ definitely will.  Bass virtuoso Billy Sheehan gets his chance to shine in this up-tempo prog rock piece alongside Portnoy.  Sheehan gets his own solo alongside Portnoy in the song’s bridge.  Kotzen eventually joins in to add in his own spice, too.  By the time the song ends, it will have left listeners in awe of the trio’s talent once more.  Forget the lyrics.  This song is entirely about the talent of these three musicians.  And it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

After the high energy of ‘One More Time’ and ‘Not Hopeless’, the band slows things down only momentarily in ‘Damaged’ and ‘Six Feet Deeper.’  This gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breath before diving back in the deep end again on the album’s final trio of songs.  ‘Time Machine’, ‘The Dying’, and ‘Regret’ finish off the album.  And they do so in expert form.  The energy in these three songs is just enough to keep listeners engaged right to the final notes without skipping even one song.  Suffice it to say that listeners that are familiar with the musicianship of Sheehan, Portnoy and Kotzen will be just as impressed with this record as anything else that the trio has recorded throughout its career.  For those that are new to the trio’s talents, these final three songs are certain to seal the deal and make new fans of three of the most talented individuals in the music industry today. 

Winery Dogs’ debut record is slated to be released Tuesday, July 23rd via Loud & Proud Records.  Fans can pre-order it now via the Loud & Proud Records website at http://loudandproudrecords.com/releases/winery-dogs/.  In the meantime, fans can check out the band’s new album live on its tour.  It will be touring through Japan and South America during the month of July before coming back to the United States on August 3rd.  Fans can get a full list of the band’s tour dates online at http://www.facebook.com/TheWineryDogs.  Fans can also “Like” the Winery Dogs’ Facebook page for all of the latest news and updates from the band.

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 keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

Satriani Proves He’s Still Got Plenty Of “Momentum” On New LP

Courtesy:  Epic Records/RED Distribution

Courtesy: Epic Records/RED Distribution

Joe Satriani’s latest release, Unstoppable Momentum is the famed guitarist’s best release since his 2006 album, Super Colossal.  This new record is the album that fans have waited for since the release of Super Colossal.  It is just as bombastic as Super Colossal and more at some points.  It’s also just as gentle as SC, too at different points.  Perhaps a big reason for the success of this record is the Satch opted for a different backing group than he typically uses on his records.  Many of Satriani’s past records were recorded with Jeff Campitelli on drums and Allen Whitman on bass.  This time out, Satch opted instead to have drummer Vinnie Colaiuta man the kit and Chris Chaney add the low end on bass.  Another change to the lineup that could have created such a difference on this record from his other works was the inclusion of Mike Frasier behind the glass once again.  The two are quite familiar with one another, having worked together on no less than six of Satch’s previous records, including his most recent album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (2010) and Super Colossal.  He also helped with the creation of both of Chickenfoot’s current releases on which Joe played guitar.  That familiarity and friendship between the pair—and the inclusion of new musicians–obviously played a role in the record’s sound as it has proven to be not just his best record since Super Colossal, but one of his finest records to date.

Right from the opening number of Unstoppable Momentum, long-time fans of Satriani’s work know they are in for quite a ride.  The album opens fittingly with its title track.  Simply listening to the song, one can’t help but hear that perhaps Satriani is making a statement early on that even fourteen albums in, he still has a lot left to offer audiences.  He still has that “unstoppable momentum.”  The song’s seeming ABA structure starts off easy before really kicking things up in the middle section.  Joe shows without a doubt that he’s still got plenty left in the tank with his “solos” in this section while drummer Vinnie Colaiuta gives an added intensity with his musicianship behind the kit.  He proves to be just as solid as [Jeff] Campitelli, if not more so.  His ability to handle polyrhythmic patters without missing a single beat is impressive to say the least, both here and throughout the record.  This is just one example of what makes this such a solid record.

Another good example of what makes Unstoppable Momentum a success is the almost Beatles-esque, ‘I’ll Put a Stone on Your Cabin.’  The song’s “A” sections have something of a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club influence.  Somehow, Satriani and his band mates manage to tie in a sound that is quite the counterpoint to this vibe, making the song into a piece unlike anything that Satriani has ever recorded throughout his career.  It is one of those songs that simply must be heard to be appreciated and understood.      

There is at least one more example of what makes this new record one that fans will enjoy.  And it is the album’s absolutely shortest, but most touching piece.  That song is the one minute and forty-three minute long, ‘I’ll Put a Stone on Your Cairn.’  For those that don’t know, one of the traditional uses of a cairn is as a monument to one who has passed on.  Its use roots all the way back to prehistoric Eurasia.  So placing a stone on one’s cairn would be an act of tribute and remembrance to the deceased.  Keeping all of this in mind, the gentle, dulcet tones of this short opus are sure to create thoughts in the minds of listeners of perhaps those that they have lost.  It offers some of the album’s deepest emotions and is sure to generate among listeners some of the deepest emotions, as well.  Without a doubt, this song may end up being a favorite for fans, even as short as it is.  And it is just one more among so many that listeners will enjoy throughout the course of the album’s eleven total tracks.  The album is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Joe’s website, http://www.satriani.com, where he has links to iTunes, Amazon, and through his own website.  Fans can also order the new album and all sorts of Joe Satriani gear through his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/joesatriani.  Fans can keep up with the latest tour updates and news from Joe on his Facebook page, too.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  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.