Peter Welker’s ‘Sidemen’ Project Is Among The Best Of 2021’s New Overall Albums

Courtesy: Summit Records

Musician-composer Peter Welker has had quite the career over the course of his adult life.  His resume includes work with the likes of Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Buddy Miles, and even Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia.  His work with those famed musicians makes up only a portion of the noted expansive resume. He added even more to that resume last month with the release of his latest project, Sidemen.  Released Aug. 6 through Summit Records, the 11-song record features guest appearances from Tony Levin, Pete Levin, Tom Scott, Bill Champlin, and Steve Morse and features an interesting mix of originals and covers.  Among the most notable of the record’s featured originals is the record’s only work with vocals, ‘You’re Gonna Let It Happen.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Creepin’ Up’ is another of the record’s notable originals and will be examined a little later.  The cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Third Stone From The Sun’ is the most notable of the record’s covers.  It will also be discussed later.  All three songs show in their own way how much the record has to offer.  When they are considered along with the rest of the featured compositions, the whole makes the record another successful offering from Welker.

Peter Welker’s latest studio recording as a band leader, Sidemen, is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences; this despite it being released through a label that is largely known for handling jazz records.  The record succeeds through its blend of originals and covers.  Among the most notable of the record’s originals is its only track that features vocals, ‘You’re Gonna Let It Happen.’  Co-written by Welker and Bill Champlin, the song’s lyrical content features a relatively familiar topic that is accessible in its own right.  It is a song sung by a man who is determined to get a woman to emotionally let him in and accept him in general, no matter how long it takes and what it takes.  He is determined to find out what will appeal to her so that she will like him.  It makes the song one of those works that would be a good fit in any relationship’s formative days.  It is just one part of what makes the song work, too.  The composition’s musical arrangement builds on the appeal formed by the song’s fully accessible lyrical theme to make the song that much more engaging and entertaining.

The musical arrangement featured in this song, is a relaxed but funky composition.  The use of the horns — including saxophonist Tom Scott’s solo – alongside the steady, solid time keeping from Todd Tribble and musical spice from organist Bill Champlin makes the arrangement so fun.  Not only does Champlin handle the B-3 organ here, but he also handles vocal duties.  His dirty, gritty vocals are so rich in their presentation, adding even more to the presentation, especially when he hits those high notes.  The collective of all involved along with them makes this song’s musical arrangement fully immersive and entertaining.  It is just one of the songs that makes the album so fun, too.  ‘Creepin’ Up’ is another notable original featured in this album.

‘Creepin’ Up’ stands out because its arrangement, is an interesting balance of old and new.  The song’s opening bars come across as a sort of throw back to the fusion sounds of Weather Report.  That sound lasts only a brief moment, though.  From there, Greg Johnson’s work on saxophone and the work of his fellow horn players conjures thoughts of the jazz sounds that were so popular in the 80s.  Meanwhile, David K. Matthews’ work on piano gives the song a lighter touch, making it a little more widely accessible as he breaks through the jazz subgenre boundaries.  His work along with that of Tribble on the drums and that of the rest of the collective makes this song so unique against its counterparts.  The whole becomes a surprisingly infectious work that is so smooth and light at the same time.  It is just a wonderful addition to the album that further exhibits what makes the album so engaging and entertaining.  It is yet another example of the album’s strengths.  The cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Third Stone From The Sun’ is the most notable of the record’s featured covers.

Steve Morse’s work on guitar in ‘Third Stone From The Sun’ would make Jimi himself just as proud (if he were still with us today) as it will certainly his legions of fans worldwide.  That includes both his solo and his work alongside his fellow musicians in this case.  The light, bluesy sound and the production therein makes his work so rich.  Tribble’s work on the drums is just as impressive as that of Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell.  He remains solid throughout the song as he adds little fills and flares at all of the right points.  Meanwhile Cliff Hugo’s work on bass works just as well in coordination with that of his fellow musicians.  When the horns come into play and join the trio, the group in whole creates a take on this classic Hendrix composition that is just as enjoyable as its source material if not better.  When this composition is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s works, the entirety of that material makes Sidemen a fully immersive musical experience that audiences across the musical universe will enjoy.

Peter Welker’s new project, Sidemen is an impressive new offering from the veteran musician/composer.  That is evidenced from beginning to end of the hour-long presentation.  The arrangements that make up the record’s body make that clear.  They span musical genres and fully immerse audiences in each case.  The songs examined here do well to support the noted statements.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes Sidemen one of the best of this year’s new overall albums, at least in the ears and mind of this critic.

Sidemen is available now through Summit Records. More information on this and other titles from Summit Records is available online at:




To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Eagle Rock Entertainment Announces New Deep Purple Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is releasing yet another new live Deep Purple recording this summer.

Deep Purple: Live at the NEC will be released Friday, August 26th.  It will be available on DVD ($14.99) and digital formats.  Originally recorded on September 14th, 2002 the hour and forty-nine minute concert was meant to pay tribute to founding member and keyboardist Jon Lord.  That is because earlier the same year, Lord had announced his retirement from the band.  After his announcement the band enlisted the help of Don Airey, who also joined the band at the concert along with Lord.  Airey served as principal keyboardist throughout the course of the concert.  Though, Lord made a very special appearance on ‘Perfect Strangers.’  The concert featured the lineup of Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Steve Morse, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, and Don Airey.  The set list features a number of the band’s biggest hits including: ‘Highway Star,’ ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Woman From Tokyo,’ ‘Space Truckin’,’ ‘Speed King,’ ‘Lazy,’ ‘Hush,’ and many others.  The concert’s full set list is noted below.  Along with its main feature, the DVD also features interviews with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover as bonus material.



1) Fireball

2) Woman From Tokyo

3) Mary Long

4) Ted The Mechanic

5) Lazy

6) The Well Dressed Guitar

7) When A Blind Man Cries

8) Space Truckin’

9) Keyboard Solo

10) Perfect Strangers

11) Speed King

12) Guitar Solo

13) Smoke On The Water

14) Hush

15) Black Night

16) Highway Star


Along with the release of Live at the NEC, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release two other Deep Purple concerts—Total Abandon and Bombay Calling—exclusively in digital platforms the same day.  More information on Live at the NEC is available online now along with all of Deep Purple’s latest news and more at:







More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:









To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at


Eagle Rock Releasing Another New Archived Deep Purple Concert Next Month

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release another new archived live recording from Deep Purple.

Deep Purple With Orchestra Live in Verona will be released Tuesday, October 21st.  The concert was recorded in 2011 at the Area di Verona.  The Arena di Verona is a Roman amphitheatre that was originally constructed in 30 A.D.  The concert features the lineup of Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar), and Don Airey (keyboards).  The band was joined by the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt for the concert, which includes performances of some of Deep Purple’s greatest hits.  Those hits include: ‘Smoke on the Water,’ ‘Lazy,’ ‘Strange Kind of Woman,’ Perfect Strangers,’ ‘Highway Star,’ ‘Woman From Tokyo’ and many others.  The concert’s complete set list is included below.


1) Deep Purple Overture

2) Highway Star

3) Hard Lovin’ Man

4) Maybe I’m A Leo

5) Strange Kind Of Woman

6) Rapture Of The Deep

7) Woman From Tokyo

8) Contact Lost

9) When A Blind Man Cries

10) The Well Dressed Guitar

11) Knocking At Your Back Door

12) Lazy

13) No One Came

14) Don Airey Solo

15) Perfect Strangers

16) Space Truckin’

17) Smoke On The Water


Along with the concert’s primary set list, two extra tracks—‘Hush’ and ‘Black Night’—are included as bonuses in the concert’s upcoming release.  Both songs were part of the night’s set list.

Deep Purple With Orchestra Live in Verona will be released both on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, October 21st.  The DVD will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and the Blu-ray for $19.98.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at



To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Now What?! Re-Issue A Must Have For Any Purist Deep Purple Fan

Courtesy:  E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: E.A.R. Music

Deep Purple is one of modern music’s most beloved and respected bands. The UK based band has been making music for some forty-five years. In that time, the band’s members—Its current lineup consists of Ian Gillan (vocals), Ian Paice (drums), Roger Glover (bass), Steve Morse (guitar), and Don Airey (keyboards)—have crafted no fewer than eighteen albums. Considering all of the band’s lineup changes and side projects through the years, the very fact that the band has churned out nearly twenty albums is quite the statement of its staying power. Last year, Deep Purple’s most current lineup released album number nineteen in the form of Now What?! That album was met by critics and audiences alike with largely positive reviews. Fans that enjoyed that album—the band’s first in eight years—will enjoy just as much its newly expanded re-issue, which is available now.

Now What?! Gold Edition gives audiences more than its share to applaud. Those that haven’t picked up this recent re-issue first because it presents Now What?! in its entirety.  It also includes a second bonus track versus the single bonus track included in the album’s original release.  The re-issue’s added bonus track, titled ‘First Sign of Madness’ is a fun, up-tempo piano driven rocker that is certain to impress every listener.  Front man Ian Gillan sings against keyboardist Don Airey’s almost manic performance, “Somebody tell me why I’m talkin’ to myself/Haven’t listened to a word I say/Nor does anyone else/Somebody asked me/If I have any doubt/Well maybe yes/Maybe no/It’s something to think about.”  Airey’s work on the keys gives the song a light, not so serious vibe.  And Roger Glover’s low end set alongside the equally driving drumming of Ian Paice completes the song.  It all gels, making this a fitting closer to the album.  It isn’t the only impressive piece that the band includes on this album.  Audiences will also enjoy the funky, sexually charged song that is ‘Bodyline.’

‘Bodyline’ is a great addition to What Now?!  As Gillan explains in the album’s liner notes, the influence of the song was the silhouette of a woman he saw on the classic TV show Tales of the Unexpected.  He explained that the silhouette of what appeared to be a naked woman dancing in the flames was used in the show’s opening sequence.  He adds that this was when he was much younger.  That would explain the song’s swing and its energy.  Every male in his youth goes through that stage of puberty where his hormones are raging uncontrollably.  And that is essentially what is being described here.  Gillan sings in the song, “I’ve been watching you dancin’ all night long/Your legs go on forever/Exquisite synchronicity/But they never stay together/My head is spinning keeping focus on my whirling dervish/I don’t know who you are/But I’m enslaved and at your service/It’s your bodyline.”  What makes this even more interesting is that while the silhouette of a woman on TV was the influence behind such a verse, that same sexual energy makes this song just as much a hit in the clubs.

The songs included on the primary release of Now What?! are a big part of what made that release so enjoyable.  Now with its re-issue a new aspect has been added to the album that makes it even more album.  That aspect—a dual pronged aspect—is the newly included What Now?! Live Tapes.  The bonus disc and its companion booklet take Deep Purple fans out on the road with the band.  Whether the band has ever come to a fan’s town or not, this bonus live recording is a wonderful addition to the overall presentation.

The songs culled for this recording were recorded throughout the band’s 2013 “Now What?! World Tour.”  They do an impressive job of representing the band’s history.  And the audio mix of the recordings is just as impressive.  It would have been so easy to simply put together a slapdash recording and call it a bonus disc.  E.A.R. Music and the band’s members had more respect than that for the band’s legacy and its fans.  The audio is crystal clear on each song.  Add that to the fact that the song selection is such an impressive cross section of the band’s catalog and it makes this disc even more of a bonus for fans.  Speaking of that cross section, it would have been just as easy for those charged with the recording’s production to simple toss in each song and make them separate.  But they didn’t do that, either.  The transitions from song to song are clear and solid.  If one didn’t know that each song came from a different point on the band’s tour, one would have no idea that that was the fact.  The solid transitions between songs make this grouping of recordings feel like the entire show was recorded at one single venue.  Again, this is a minor issue on the surface.  On a deeper level though, it is quite the important piece to the overall recording’s presentation.  Those charged with assembling the recording and presenting it are well deserving of praise for their work.  Just as deserving of praise are those charged with assembling the companion booklet that comes with the bonus live recording compilation.

The companion booklet that comes with the bonus live recording compilation is the finishing touch to Deep Purple’s What Now?! Gold Edition.  For starters, it provides more than just the standard, stale liner notes.  It actually makes a person want to find out the whole presentation’s “W”’s (The who, what, when, where).  It also provides audiences with some personal insight from the band on each of the album’s eleven primary tracks.  Also included is a collage of albums featuring the band on the covers, as well as full color photos of the band on tour.  Some of those photos were also included in the main album’s companion booklet, but weren’t in color.  So seeing those same photos in full color brings them to life. And they make the experience all the richer.  Together with the bonus live recording compilation and the original album, the bonus companion booklet is the final touch on a rare worthwhile re-issue from any band across the board.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Amazon at  More information on this new release, news from the band and more is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

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  More information on other Ronnie Montrose releases is available also available at  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

“Concerto” Documentary A Fitting Tribute To Lord’s Memory

Courtesy:   Eagle  Rock Entertainment/Thompson Music/E.A.R. Music

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Thompson Music/E.A.R. Music

When Metallica recorded its now fan favorite live album S&M with the San Francisco Symphony, that recording was lauded by fans and critics alike. The praise showered on the band was fully justified. It was considered by some to be a groundbreaking performance because it was the coming together of two entirely separate musical worlds. What many people might not know is that S&M was not in fact the first time that the two worlds have come together. Former Deep Purple member Jon Lord crafted and performed his now famous Concerto for Group and Orchestra almost forty-five years ago in 1969. That performance was truly groundbreaking. Sadly, cancer claimed Lord in July of 2012. Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment though, Lord’s opus finally saw the light of day that same year. And now again thanks to Eagle Rock, audiences are taken even deeper into Lord’s majestic and magical composition thanks to a new documentary on that record. There is a lot to like about this recently released documentary. The documentary’s behind-the-scenes main feature is the main portion of what audiences will appreciate in this release.  Audiences are provided a history of Lord’s original performance of his opus in order to set up the more recent recording session.  As part of the recording process, viewers will also get to hear from some big names that helped bring the recording to life. Audiences will also appreciate that not only are they taken behind the scenes of the recording’s birth, but they are also provided with two opportunities to hear the recording in the new Blu-ray presentation.  It is included both as a bonus feature on the Blu-ray itself, and as its own separate CD as even more of a bonus.  All of this taken into consideration makes the documentary on Jon Lord’s Concert for Group & Orchestra quite the interesting work.

Far too many record labels in today’s music industry add “making of documentaries” to their new albums and try to pawn them off on fans as something special.  The problem is that so few of those “documentaries” in question are really worth the extra money shelled out by hard working audiences.  Jon Lord: Concerto for Group& is not one of those releases.  This documentary gives audiences a full history of the former Deep Purple member’s iconic song, from its very first ever performance in 1969 at the famed Royal Albert Hall to its first non-live recording in 2012.  Audiences see just how much work went into putting his composition to record.  It’s a fitting tribute to the musician, who sadly lost his battle with cancer just last year.  From the initial setup to the recording of each part and everything in-between, viewers will see that this isn’t just another one of those albums where each part was recorded separately in different studios.  This understanding will generate a whole new appreciation for the song and everything that went into actually doing a “studio” recording of it.  This applies to listeners that are both more familiar with Lord’s work and those that might be less so.

Along the course of the documentary, viewers get to hear from some of the biggest names in the rock world that took part in the recording process.  Those names include greats such as Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and blues/rock guitar great Joe Bonamassa among so many others.  The respect shared between them and Lord is obvious through their shared commentary and by the seriousness with which they approached their respective roles in the overall composition.

The overall presentation of the documentary here is exceptional to say the least.  From the composition’s history to its first official studio recording, so much information is shared on its importance.  As impressive as the main feature is, Eagle Rock didn’t stop there.  Eagle Rock has included as a bonus for fans, the complete Concerto for Group & Orchestra both on its own CD and as a bonus feature on the primary Blu-ray disc.  And it’s not all that is included as a bonus, either.  Eagle Rock has exceeded expectations once again with this documentary’s bonus material.  Also included as bonus material is are interviews with Paul Mann and Marco de Groeji.  Mann conducted the orchestra assembled for the new recording of Concerto for Group & Orchestra.  The insight that he shares is something special.  That’s because of his understanding of and appreciation for the worlds of both rock and classical, as well as for Lord himself.  His interview and that with others involved with the record’s production more than live up to the title of bonus features. Together with the documentary’s main feature, they collectively make this release one that transcends genres.  It’s one that fans of both classical and rock will enjoy. It is available now in stores and online.   More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Satriani Announces Complete U.S. Tour Schedule

Photo Credit:  Daniel Robert

Photo Credit: Daniel Robert Dinu–

Joe Satriani has officially announced the schedule for his upcoming U.S. tour in support of his new album, Unstoppable Momentum.  The tour kicks off August 29th in San Diego, California.  Satch will be joined by the Steve Morse Band on the tour up until October 3rd at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine.  Fans in North Carolina will be happy to know that Satriani will be making a stop in the “Old North State” as part of his tour.  He will perform at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina on Tuesday, September 24th.  Presale tickets for that concert will be available this Wednesday, June 5th.  Fans can order presale tickets online via the official Joe Satriani website at

The complete listing of Joe Satriani’s U.S. tour is available below.

Joe Satriani’s Unstoppable Momentum Tour Itinerary (* featuring Steve Morse Band as support thru Portland, ME):

August 29            Balboa Theatre                                           San Diego, CA *

August 30            Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort     Las Vegas, NV *

August 31            Orpheum Theatre                                             Los Angeles, CA *

September 1      Talking Stick Resort Ballroom                          Scottsdale, AZ *

September 2      Kiva Auditorium                                                Albuquerque, NM *

September 4      Historic Paramount Theatre                                        Denver, CO *

September 5      Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center                     Midland, TX *

September 6      Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie                               Grand Prairie, TX *

September 7      House of Blues                                                                  Houston, TX *

September 8      Austin City Limits – Moody Theatre                         Austin, TX *

September 10   House of Blues                                                                  New Orleans, LA *

September 11   Ruth Eckerd Hall                                                               Clearwater, FL *

September 12   Parker Playhouse                                                             Ft. Lauderdale, FL *

September 13   Hard Rock Live                                                                   Orlando, FL *

September 14   Saenger Theatre                                                              Pensacola, FL *

September 15   Symphony Hall                                                                  Atlanta, GA *

September 17   War Memorial Auditorium                                           Nashville, TN *

September 18   Chicago Theatre                                                               Chicago, IL *

September 19   Lakewood Civic Auditorium                                         Lakewood, OH *

September 20   Taft Theatre                                                                       Cincinnati, OH *

September 21   Wings Stadium                                                                  Kalamazoo, MI *

September 22   Macomb Music Theatre                                    Mt. Clemens, MI

September 24   Carolina Theatre                                                               Durham, NC *

September 25   Warner Theatre                                                      Washington, DC *

September 26   Beacon Theatre                                                        New York, NY *

September 27   Orpheum Theatre                                                           Boston, MA*

September 28   Tower Theatre                                                                  Upper Darby, PA *

September 29   Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead                           Munhall, PA *

October 1            Center for the Arts                                                          Buffalo, NY *

October 2            Palace Theatre                                                                  Albany, NY *

October 3            State Theatre                                                                    Portland, ME *

October 4            Casino New Brunswick                                                  New Brunswick, NB

October 5            Rebecca Cohn Auditorium                                           Halifax, NS

October 7            Le Capitole De Quebec                                                  Quebec City, QC

October 8            National Arts Centre Southam Hall                           Ottawa, ON

October 9            St. Denis Theatre                                                             Montreal, QC

October 10          Centre in the Square                                                      Kitchener, ON

October 11          Massey Hall                                                                        Toronto, ON

October 14          Burton Cummings Theatre                                           Winnipeg, MB

October 15          TCU Place                                                                            Saskatoon, SK

October 16          Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium                      Edmonton, AB

October 17          Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium                      Calgary, AB

October 19          Vogue Theatre                                                                  Vancouver, BC

October 21          The Fox Theater                                                               Spokane, WA

October 22          Paramount Theatre                                                        Seattle, WA

October 23          Historic Elsinore Theatre                                               Salem, OR

October 25          Vina Robles Amphitheatre                                           Paso Robles, CA

October 26          Fox Theater                                                                        Oakland, CA


Fans can keep up with all the latest news, tour dates and more from Joe Satriani online at and at


To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Satriani Releases First Round Of Dates For New Tour

Courtesy:Sony Music/Epic Records

Courtesy: Sony Music/Epic Records

Guitarist Joe Satriani is set to release his latest album, Unstoppable Momentum.  In celebration and support of the album, Satriani has announced the first slate of dates on his supporting tour.  The first group of tour dates includes thirteen dates, beginning in San Diego, CA on Thursday, August 29th.  The Steve Morse Band will serve as supporting act on the tour.  Satriani will spend the majority of the first thirteen dates on his tour on the West coast and Southwest.  The current slate of performance dates is available below.

August 29             Balboa Theatre                                                                   San Diego, CA

August 30             Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort          Las Vegas, NV

August 31             Orpheum Theatre                                                              Los Angeles, CA

September 1        Talking Stick Resort Ballroom                                         Scottsdale, AZ

September 2        Kiva Auditorium                                                                  Albuquerque, NM

September 4        Historic Paramount Theatre                                           Denver, CO

September 5        Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center                          Midland, TX

September 6        Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie                                   Grand Prairie, TX

September 7        House of Blues                                                                    Houston, TX

September 26      Beacon Theatre                                                                  New York, NY

September 27      Orpheum Theatre                                                              Boston, MA

September 28      Tower Theatre                                                                    Upper Darby, PA

October 26           Fox Theater                                                                          Oakland, CA *

*Steve Morse not supporting this date.

Unstoppable Momentum will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 7th.  Fans that pre-order the album now through Sony Music’s Epic Records store at will have the chance to bundle new signed copies of the album with exclusive t-shirts and guitar straps.  Fans that pre-order the new album via Satriani’s own website,, will receive a never before released book of artwork and doodles drawn by Satriani himself throughout the course of his career.  He explained in a recent interview, his reason for releasing the exclusive book.  “This book represents my first effort to finally compile my oddly drawn friends into one place, a wildly colorful portfolio of sorts. A collection of drawings meant to inspire and entertain,” he said.  As he also notes, “Some of my drawings have made their way on to guitars, straps and picks, LP and CD booklets, t-shirts, hats, keychains, etc and even my live stage productions.”

All the latest tour dates and news from Joe Satriani is available online at the official Joe Satriani website, and Joe’s official Facebook page,

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Lord’s “Concerto” Is A Modern Musical Work Of Art

Courtesy: Thompson Music/Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

Jon Lord’s Concerto for Group and Orchestra is a modern musical work of art.  One part classical and one part rock concert, this opus proves more than ever that music truly is the universal language.  It’s a modern classical work that could so easily put modern masters the likes of Hans Zimmer and John Williams to shame.  The way that the musicians so perfectly complement each other throughout each movement makes it sound just as much a movie soundtrack as a general modern classical opus.

The style and dynamic contrasts of this three movement piece will pull in audiences from both sides of the fence.  And the addition of a top notch group of musicians on both ends to bring it all to life makes it that much more of a joy to hear.  Steve Morse, Joe Bonamassa, and Darin Vasilev all join in on guitars, with Vasilev heading things in the first movement.  Bonamassa comes in on movement two, while Morse finishes things off in movement three.  Brett Morgan and Guy Pratt add their own touch to the work’s rock based sections.  On the other side, the control of the orchestra (especially the strings) throughout what would seem to be the “B” section of the first movement.  That section repeats later near the end of the movement, too.  Classical fans will also recognize what is a reference to Gusatv Holst’s The Planets.  As noted in the liner notes, there is a reference in the first movement to “Jupiter.”  But it’s a bit of a surprise that there’s no mention that the final moments are equally similar to the final moments of “Mars.”

The immediate contrast of the brashness from the first movement into the second movement adds so much more emotion to the overall piece.  It’s a total mood change.  The way that it the second movement changes moods so much from one section to the next makes for even more discussion and enjoyment.

The intensity from the concerto’s first movement returns in its third movement full force, with the orchestra’s percussion and low brass holding court first.  The woodwinds come in next, followed by the strings, and then even Hammond organ.  It all comes together for what is without a doubt the entire concerto’s finest moment.  While the entire movement is nearly eleven minutes long, it’s nearly eleven minutes well spent as even rockers who have never been fully introduced into the world of classical music will find themselves listening intently to the musicianship of this group, along with the rock elements.  When it’s all said and done, it will leave audiences soundly appeased yet wanting more.  That is the sign of a good recording.

Concerto for Group and Orchestra offers so much for both fans of classical and rock.  One can only hope that it will serve its purpose and bring both sides together, perhaps making for new fans of the other side all the way around.  This is a standout album, all the way around.  It is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website,

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page,  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at