Call Of All Debuts ‘War & Illusion’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Rock outfit Call of All unveiled this week, the lyric video for the title track from its upcoming album War & Illusion.

The video debuted Tuesday online via AlternativeNation.net.  Musically, the song’s 90s alt-rock sound will appeal to fans of Stone Temple Pilots, Our Lady Peace, and other similar acts in that vein.  Lyrically, the song is familiar territory.

Front man Hunter Watson, who has spent some time on the small screen as one of “Negan’s Saviors” on AMC’s The Walking Dead and as Big Johnny on Tyler Perry’s Too Close To Home (BET) said in a recent interview with Alternative Nation that the song’s lyrical theme addresses what has happened to the world due to “the powers that be.”  Audiences can read the entire interview here.

Watson’s band mate Cody Webb has his own claims to fame. He is the front man for the band Ages Apart and is a successful producer at Belmont Lane Productions, and has also toured with Hinder. He also has earned through his work, a sponsorship deal with EMG pickups, production and other touring work throughout 2016.

War & Illusion is currently scheduled to be released Aug. 25.   More information on War & Illusions is available online now along with Call of All’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://callofall.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/callofall

 

 

 

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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Red Reign’s New EP Will Appeal To Classic Rock Fans Of All Ages

Courtesy: Chipster PR

Early last December, Red Reign released its latest studio recording, a five-song self-titled EP.  The self-released record is a work that will appeal to any fan of the songs that made up rock’s mainstream during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  This applies both in regards to the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  The record’s opener ‘Not That Way’ solidly serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains,’ the record’s third entry, is another of its songs which supports that statement.  It will be discussed later.  The same can be said of the record’s title track.  Each song is important in its own right in showing why fans of rock from that bridge between the 1980s and 90s will enjoy this record.  The other two songs not noted here are just as important in their own right, too.  All things considered, Red Reign proves to be a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate. That is the case even with Red Reign being a more modern act.

Red Reign’s new self-titled, five-song EP is a work that any “classic rock” fan will appreciate.  That is exhibited in no small part through the record’s opener ‘Not That Way.’  The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement takes listeners back to rock’s early 90s era, conjuring thoughts of Queensryche, Joe Satriani, Van Halen and other similar acts.  Drummer Sam Bendheim’s time keeping on the song provides the song even more depth as he keeps the song moving solidly forward.  Front man and guitarist Carlton McMichael even conjures thoughts of former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate through his vocal delivery.  The song’s musical arrangement is clearly an important part of its whole, but is just one key part of that presentation.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content comes across as an anti-break-up song of sorts.  That is especially inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s chorus, “How things have changed/But it’s not the same/No it’s not that way/You had your chance/And you let it slip away.”  If there was any doubt left about the song’s upbeat message, the song’s second verse alleviates that doubt almost instantly as McMichael sings, “All these years have passed/And I’ve found somebody new/I never ever, ever think of you/Then you come around/Cause you thought you could/But I broke those chains so long ago/And it feels so good.”  The song’s subject goes on to sing in the verse’s back end about being heartbroken long ago and having moved on.  It is a rare message sent in songs centered on relationship break-ups.  Keeping that in mind, that positive, upbeat message does plenty to make ‘Not That Way’ stand out.  When it is coupled with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the two elements show clearly in themselves why Red Reign will appeal to “classic rock” fans.  It is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  ‘Chains’ serves as just as much of an example of why classic rock fans will appreciate the record.

‘Not That Way’ is a clear example of what makes Red Reign’s new self-titled EP a work that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the song’s upbeat and uplifting lyrics and its equally positive musical arrangement.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show why this record will appeal to the already noted audience.  ‘Chains’ is another example of why that audience will enjoy this new offering from the Richmond, Virginia-based rock act.  Its musical arrangement sits at the base of its notoriety.  As with the record’s opener, there is an obvious influence from Queensryche in this song’s arrangement.  That is obvious right from the song’s outset through Larry Moore’s bass line and McMichael’s bombastic guitar line.  The combination of those elements and Bendheim’s work behind the drum kit conjures thoughts of something from Queensryche circa 1986 (Rage For Order’s release year).  While the song’s musical arrangement shows a direct influence from Queensryche, its lyrical content is different yet still just as thought-provoking as the lyrical themes presented in RFO.

Whereas Red Reign’s opener was an upbeat anti-breakup song, this piece is much deeper with what seems like introspective commentary centered on someone’s efforts to move forward in life and forget the past.  That is inferred as McMichael sings in the song’s lead verse, “Black and pouring rain/I’m running through these streets where no one knows my name/Free/I won’t look back/On all these things that kept me fear/For all these years/I’m gonna break these chains/I’ll break these chains/I’ll breathe again/I’ll breathe again.”  The song’s second verse continues in similar fashion as the song’s subject sings about overcoming certain difficult situations.  Considering this and the power in the song’s musical arrangement, one can’t help but imagine the song is meant to convey a message of overcoming and moving on in life.  That is of course only this critic’s own interpretation of the song and should not necessarily be taken as gospel.  It would be interesting to learn the exact message delivered in the song.  One can only hope the message interpreted here is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Regardless, the power in the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content combines to show in whole why it, too plays such an important part in Red Reign’s enjoyment by its target audiences.  It still is not the last song that serves to show why classic rock fans will appreciate this modern rock act’s new EP.  The record’s title track is one more example of what makes this record an effort that will appeal to fans of rock’s biggest age.

‘Not That Way’ and ‘Chains’ are both key compositions showing what makes Red Reign a record that any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is due to musical arrangements that harken back to the late 1980s and early 90s and lyrical themes that will both uplift and leave listeners thinking.  They are not its only key compositions.  The record’s title track proves to be just as important to its presentation as the previously discussed songs.  As with those songs, the discussion here begins with the song’s musical arrangement.  This time out, the song’s musical arrangement is more directly related to music from the early 90s. It hints at influences from Stone Temple Pilots, Brother Cane, and other slightly harder-edged bands from that era.  One could even argue that there is a hint of Van Halen circa 1994 (Balance) in this song’s arrangement thanks to its heavy guitar riffs, bass line and equally heavy vocal delivery from McMichael.  That overall arrangement is just one part of what makes this song stand out.  Its lyrical content will leave listeners thinking just as much as that presented in ‘Chains.’

The lyrical content presented in ‘Red Reign’ will leave listeners thinking (and talking) because of McMichael’s metaphorical language used throughout the song. He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Like a flash of lightning/I burn throughout the sky/Out of the way, I’m running high/I feel the evil coursing through my body and veins/Are you ready to rock this place/Lower the bridge I’m coming through/Red reign down on you.”  One can’t help but wonder what exactly McMichael is saying here.  The song’s second verse is just as intriguing as McMichael sings, “In this house of pain the storm looms large and black/My sanity is off the tracks/You know I’ve got no more home…I’ve come from grace and I can’t go back/Lower the bridge I’m coming through.”  McMichael definitely leaves listeners guessing at his message here.  It would definitely be interesting to learn that message and the story behind the song considering that uncertainty.  The very fact that the song’s lyrical content can generate just as much discussion as its musical content shows why this song is so important to Red Reign’s overall presentation.  When this is all set alongside the musical and lyrical content presented in the previously noted songs the picture painted through the songs is one of a record that, again, any classic rock fan will appreciate.  That is even though the band is a more modern rock act.

Red Reign’s recently released self-titled EP is a work that classic rock fans of any age will appreciate.  It shows with its arrangements–which bridge the sounds of the late 80s and early 90s—and its thoughtful lyrical themes that a lot of time and effort was put into its creation.  That time and effort, audiences will agree, paid off.  It resulted in a record that takes audiences back to a specific era without simply being a carbon copy of songs from that era.  The end result is a record that modern record that classic rock fans will appreciate as much as any original classic rock record.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Red Reign is available online now along with all of Red Reign’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.redreignband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/redreignband

 

 

 

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.

Art Of Anarchy Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Art of Anarchy has announced new live dates in support of its new album The Madness.

The band announced this week it will embark on a short string of live dates next month beginning April 3 in Amityville, N.Y. The nearly month-long schedule takes the band to the Midwest and into the Southwest and also into Canada, eventually winding down April 29 in Henderson, NV.  The band’s current live schedule is noted below.

Art of Anarchy Tour Dates:

4/3/17 – Amityville, N.Y. – Revolution Bar & Music Hall
4/4/17 – Asbury Park, N.J. – The Stone Pony
4/6/17 – Toronto, Ontario – Velvet Underground
4/7/17 – Sarnia, Ontario – Station Music Hall
4/8/17 – Battle Creek, Mich. – The Music Factory
4/10/17 – Libertyville, Ill. – Austin’s Saloon
4/11/17 – Chesterfield, Mich. – Diesel Concert Lounge
4/13/17 – Fort Wayne, Ind. – The Rusty Spur
4/14/17 – Ringle, Wisc. – Q&Z Expo Center
4/29/17 – Henderson, Nev. – M Resort

Composed of Scott Stapp (ex-Creed) on vocals, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex Guns ‘N Roses) on guitar, John Moyer (ex-Disturbed) on bass and twin brothers Jon and Vince Votta on guitar and drums respectively, the band originally formed through an 18-year friendship between Thal and the Votta brothers.

Jon Votta first approached Thal with the idea to form the band years ago.  That discussion eventually led to the band’s creation, which originally saw the late Scott Weiland (ex-Stone Temple Pilots) handle vocal duties. The band’s debut self-titled album was released in June 2015.

Stapp said in a recent interview that he was optimistic about working with the members of Art of Anarchy.

“I’m excited to be a part of Art of Anarchy,” Stapp said.  “I appreciate collaborating with other talented artists and I can’t wait to share our new music with the fans very soon.”

Band manager John Gomez shared Stapp’s optimism.

“The other members of AOA and I are equally excited to have Stapp on board,” Gomez said.  “This is the first band that Scott has fronted outside of Creed and his heart’s really in it.  Scott’s vision, his gift for gut-wrenching storytelling and his powerful vocals lend a bold new energy to the group.”

Thal thought bringing Stapp on to take Weiland’s place has been a boon for the band, adding he thought Stapp’s addition to the band helped take the band in a new direction.

“Scott’s style and the personal lyrics he’s been writing are taking the sound in a new direction – one that brings out the best in all of us,” Thal said.  “It’s a new chapter for us all, and I’m looking forward to sharing the new music with the fans and seeing what the future holds.”

Vince Votta agreed.

“It’s been awesome having Stapp on board,” Votta said.  “Everyone is bringing their A-game and can’t wait to bring it live to the stage.”

Audiences that haven’t heard that new sound can hear The Madness’ latest single, its title track online now via the band’s official YouTube channel.  More information on The Madness is available online now along with all of Art of Anarchy’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.artofanarchyband.com

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

 

 

 

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.

Silvertung Tapped To Play 2015 Shindig Music Festival

Courtesy:  Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.

Courtesy: Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.

Baltimore, Maryland’s own Silvertung will play a huge hometown show this summer.

Silvertung has been tapped to play the main stage at this year’s annual Shindig Music Festival. The festival will be held this year on September 19th at Carroll Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Interestingly enough the day-long festival actually features not one but two identical main stages. There will be NO OVERLAPPING SETS between the two stages. Godsmack will headline one of the stages while fellow veteran rock band Stone Temple Pilots will headline the other. Also on the bill for this year’s Shindig Music Festival are: Anthrax, Chevelle, Helmet, Reverend Horton Heat, Nothing More, and Crobot among others. More information on the lineup for this year’s Shindig Music Festival is available online along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.theshindigbaltimore.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheShindigBmore

Courtesy:  Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.

Courtesy: Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.

Silvertung’s latest single ‘Never Too Late’ peaked at #36 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Radio Indicator Chart.  It comes from the most recent release, 2013’s Devil’s In The Details. Audiences can check out the video for the single online now at the band’s official website http://www.wilvertung.com. More information on Silvertung’s performance at the Shindig Music Festival and other lives dates is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.silvertung.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/silvertung1

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.

Hall And Oates Impress Again In Their First Time Together In Dublin

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Next Tuesday, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release its latest live recording Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin. The concert, recorded live at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on July 15th, 2014, is yet another example of why to this day Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings. For a number of years, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released some of the best live recordings out there for audiences. From rock (Stone Temple Pilots, BTO, Slipknot) to rap (Cee Lo Green) to jazz (Stan Getz) and points in-between, Eagle Rock has spanned the musical globe bringing some of the biggest names and best quality concerts to audiences right in their own living rooms. Now early in 2015 it continues to hold its reputation strong with the upcoming release of Hall & Oates’ new live recording. Being the very first time that the duo had ever performed together live in Dublin, the concert instantly becomes something special for long-time fans of this hugely popular pop duo. While not necessarily what one might call a career-defining concert, the show’s set list covers a healthy range of the duo’s seventeen albums. It even pulls from the pair’s 1977 compilation record No Goodbyes. Keeping that in consideration, the set list chosen for this first-ever concert for Hall & Oates becomes the first key element of its success. The stage presence not only of Hall & Oates, but also of the pair’s backing band is just as important to the whole experience. Audiences will not be disappointed in that avenue, either. And last but hardly least worth noting of the recording is its production values (I.E. the audio and video mix). Considering what looks like a relatively small venue in the Olympia Theatre, the camera crew and audio operators must have faced quite the challenge in setting up the cameras and setting audio levels. Their efforts paid off in spades as the concert looks and sounds just as impressive as any previously released live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment. By itself, the concert’s production values are what make the concert worth the experience. What’s the use of taking in a concert whose production values are muddy and rough? Exactly. That being the case, it shows why this show’s production values are as important as with any concert. Together with the show’s set list and the band’s stage presence, all three elements prove why Hall & Oates fans will enjoy this concert. It also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leader in live recordings.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Hall & Oates live recording is a piece that any of the duo’s long-time fans will appreciate. It also proves itself in the long run to be another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader in live recordings. One key reason for this is the concert’s set list. While not necessarily what would be dubbed a career-defining set list, fans will be impressed with the mix of material chosen for the first-ever concert. The show’s set list goes all the way back to Hall & Oates’ sophomore album Abandoned Luncheonette (1973) and as recent as its 1984 album Big Bam Boom. pulling some of the duo’s biggest hits along the way. There is even one number included in the set that was released only on the duo’s 1977 compilation record No Goodbyes in the form of ‘It’s Uncanny’ and another taken from the 1983 compilation Rock ‘n Soul Part 1 in the form of ‘Say It Isn’t So.’ It all starts with a pair of the duo’s more recent hits in ‘Maneater’ and ‘Out of Touch,’taken from H2O and Big Bam Boom respectively. From there, H&O and company start going back in time beginning with that 1983 hit single ‘Say It Isn’t So.’ From there, the show’s set list hits on some of the biggest hits of Hall & Oates’ career including the likes of ‘Family Man,’ ‘Las Vegas Turnaround’ and perhaps the group’s biggest hit of all time, ‘You Make My Dreams’ among a number of others. The set list reaches fifteen songs, the last two of which are encores. The total run time (trt) comes in at just under the two-hour mark. And while it comes in at just under that mark, it doesn’t feel the least bit short. The concert keeps audiences engaged, singing and dancing along in their own living rooms from start to finish. And the reason for that is also the second reason that this concert will impress any long-time H&O fan, the band’s stage presence.

The set list chosen for Hall & Oates’ first-ever performance together in Dublin is itself reason enough for long-time fans to pick up this new live recording. As with any live performance, a set list is just that without a quality show on the part of the performer(s). In the case of Hall & Oates (and the duo’s backing band), the performance put on by the group makes the set list all the more enjoyable. One of the most memorable of moments that defines that stage presence is a very simple moment in which drummer Brian Dunne is introduced to the audience in attendance. He is apparently wearing a soccer jersey that the audience recognizes. As soon as he stands up in his introduction, the crowd starts chanting and Dunne smiles, pointing to his jersey. Who would have thought such a simple moment would be so memorable and powerful? Yet it helped the band make a connection with the crowd. On the musical side of things, the band in whole exudes such energy in its performance of ‘Family Man.’ While it holds the original song in the performance, the band has noticeably stepped up in this performance. And the funky vibes of ‘It’s Uncanny’ will take audiences back to another age as the band launches into this piece. The band’s live take of ‘It’s Uncanny’ is just as good as its original studio recording if not better than said composition. And the band’s performance of its biggest hit of all, ‘You Make My Dreams,’ is a solid performance in its own right. Interestingly enough, one would think the band’s performance of one of its biggest singles of all would be a big production. But the band opts instead for a performance that while not subdued per se is not the massive production that one would expect. Interestingly enough, because the band saves its energy for the last bars of the song, it makes this moment all the more special and memorable. Whether for that memorable moment or for the band’s performances of ‘Family Man,’ ‘It’s Uncanny’ or any of the moments not noted here, it can be said with ease that the stage presence of Daryl Hall, John Oates, and the duo’s fellow musicians throughout the concert presented here makes the set list and in turn the performance in whole all the more enjoyable for fans.

The set list and performance of said set list in Hall & Oates’ new live recording go hand in hand in making this yet another impressive recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment. Of course without quality production values none of that would matter. But being another Eagle Rock release, it goes without saying that the production values incorporated into this concert are of the highest quality. This is especially important to note considering the fact that the Olympia Theatre doesn’t exactly look like the largest venue out there. Being a seemingly quaint venue, it had to have presented quite the challenge for the show’s camera crew and those handling the show’s audio. The challenge for the camera crew would include placement of the cameras for the best angles and shots without risking damaging any equipment. In terms of the audio management, such a seemingly small venue means having to work even harder to handle every single little nuance of the concert’s sound. The smaller the venue, the easier it is for sound to bounce everywhere and in turn make the overall quality of the audio rather muddled. Luckily, everyone involved was obviously more than up to the challenges put before them. The end result is a concert that sounds just as good as it looks, making the concert in whole even more another proverbial feather in the cap of Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The production values incorporated into Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin by themselves make this recording well worth the watch by any Hall & Oates fan. If not for the high quality of the production values, neither the show’s set list nor the band’s performance of said set list would be worth anything. Luckily, the audio and video mix proves in the long run to be of the highest quality,which is of course the standard for Eagle Rock’s releases. And because of those high quality production values, the set list and the band’s performance manage to prove their importance to the presentation overall. All three elements taken into consideration, Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin shows exactly why in the end every Hall & Oates fan will enjoy this recording and why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the leader in live recordings. Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin will be available next Tuesday, March 31st in stores and online. Fans may even be able to purchase it at the duo’s upcoming live dates. Speaking of those dates, Hall & Oates’ latest tour dates and news are available online now at:

Website: http://www.hallandoates.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/halloates

More information on Daryl Hall & John Oates Live in Dublin and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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.

Girl On Fire’s Debut Album Is One Of 2013’s Best New Rock, Indie Records

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  That timeless adage obviously wasn’t what Seattle, Washington’s own Girl on Fire had in mind when it came up with the title to its debut record, Not Broken.  Regardless, it is still a fitting title for the band’s debut record.  That’s because there is nothing broken about this record.  As a matter of fact, for a first outing, Not Broken is a solid record from beginning to end.  And with the proper support from mainstream radio programmers, the band could very well be the next band to add its name to the already long list of famed bands from the city.

Not Broken is a fitting title for Girl on Fire’s debut full length album.  This is despite the fact that while the band obviously didn’t have a certain timeless adage in mind when its members were coming up with a title for the album.  Not Broken will grab listeners right from the album’s opener and lead single, ‘The Takedown.’  This song is an instant fan hit with its catchy guitar riffs and equally infectious defiant chorus of “We are not afraid to bleed/Awake the strength inside/Shadows come to life.”  It’s instantly easy to see the band playing this song to a packed arena, the crowd pumping its fists and singing in unison.  Any mainstream radio programmer that doesn’t give this single a chance is missing out.  Period.  Making the song even more radio friendly is the fact that front man Austin Held and his band mates—Nick Mahan (guitar), Nicholas Wiggins (guitar), Josh Mouser (bass), and Harry MacDonald (drums)—have crafted a song that could easily lead listeners to mistake it for Linkin Park.  The song’s official music video is available online now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLCWhKV5avc&feature=youtu.be.    Held even sounds just like LP/STP front man Chester Bennington.  It’s eerie how closely similar the two singers sound.

The positive message and equally enjoyable musical side of ‘The Takedown’ doesn’t stop after the song ends.  The band keeps its energy and positivity flowing throughout the album.  This is evident in the song ‘Believe.’  The song starts off at a slow tempo with Held singing, ‘These scars/Have to be covered/Never discovered/From outside eyes/I’ve been running in circles/While losing my purpose/It’s hard to breath.”  The reason for the slower, more moody opener (and its corresponding moments) is to highlight the more uplifting sections of the song and make them more influential.  Held sings in those more uplifting moments, “And I will be strong/And I won’t hold on/To the darker side of me/When you fall/No one sings/Hide your pain/Underneath/Like the scars/They never fade/Something in you/No one can take/I believe/I believe/Let’s just believe.”  This is only a portion of the song.  But that same contrast of positivity winning out over the most negative of thoughts runs throughout the song.  It makes this one more song that every listener will both enjoy and appreciate.

‘The Takedown’ and ‘Believe’ are both excellent examples of the positive lyrical themes that populate Not Broken.  Those themes don’t end with these or other songs, either.  The album’s title track is just as powerful both musically and lyrically.  Held sings about having overcome the worst that life could handle as difficult as times might have been at one time or another.  He sings, ‘I’m not broken/I’m alive/I’ve been kicked down/But I’ll surive/Never give up/Never hide/I won’t go down without a fight/You can drag me down to the mat/You can rip my heart/Right out of my chest/I’m not broken/I’m not broken.  This kind of uplifting content is something that every listener can use at one time or another regardless of age.  That’s because even as adults, we all have people that will try to kick us down and then kick us again when we’re down.  Even through all of that, Held and company are telling listeners it is possible to have the inner strength and determination to not let such situations get us down.  This isn’t the type of thing that would only apply to younger listeners.  The gentle piano run that opens the verses set against the harder rocking chorus parts makes once again make for an excellent juxtaposition of emotions.  They expertly illustrate the two different emotions and especially highlight the possibility of  hope and personal determination.  This song, along with the previously mentioned songs (and those not mentioned) make Girl on Fire’s debut a contender to be both one of the year’s best rock records and one of the year’s best new independent albums, too.  Not Broken is available now.  It can be ordered online direct from the Century Media Records website at http://www.centurymedia.com/artist.aspx?IdArtist=512.  More information on this release, the band’s current tour in support of Not Broken and more from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/girlonfiremusic, http://www.girlonfiremusic.com, http://twitter.com/girlonfiremusic, http://www.myspace.com/girlonfiremusic, and http://www.purevolume.com/girlonfire.  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.

Rockshow Another Welcome Live Release For Fans of McCartney AND Wings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment has for some time, been the place to go for anyone wanting to learn anything about the history of modern mainstream music.  The company has released live recordings from greats such as: Ray Charles, Miles Davis, The B-52s, Deep Purple and more over the years.  It has even ventured into the realm of newer music with live releases from artists including: The Raconteurs, Stone Temple Pilots, Alanis Morissette, and even Slipknot.  Now Eagle Rock has taken music lovers the world over back in time once again with yet another impressive live release from another of music’s greatest names in the form of one Sir Paul McCartney.

Eagle Rock has just released a new live recording from Sir Paul McCartney and his band mates in Wings, titled, Rockshow.  It would be so easy to state that this performance presents McCartney and company at the top of their game.  But the reality is that McCartney himself has always been at the top of his game.  This performance is just one more example of his and his band mates’ talent.  There are those that have complained about issues with audio in the transfer from this performance’s original VHS recording to the DVD and Blu-ray format.  One can’t help but wonder if this was a mostly isolated problem.  The Blu-ray screener viewed by this critic didn’t seem to have any audio issues whatsoever.  And for those that complained about the video quality, one must remember that this concert was originally recorded nearly four decades ago.  So yes, it is going to be grainy.  Fans of the music icon should be appreciative that the effort was even made to transfer the masters from Betamax to DVD and Blu-ray.  Considering all that could have gone wrong with the transfer, the grainy footage is just one more part of the whole that makes this another success for Eagle Rock Entertainment and for Sir Paul’s fans.

Having tackled the elephant in the room, the next logical step here would be to take a look at the band’s performance overall.  Whether one is a fan of McCartney’s time with The Beatles or more of his work away from the band that helped him launch his career, both sides will be equally impressed by the set list of this concert.  It all kicks off with the crowd pleaser, ‘Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet.’  Throughout the course of the roughly two hour-long recording, McCartney and company cover largely material from Wing’s catalogue.  Though there are some Beatles tunes peppered in for good measure including: ‘Lady Madonna’, ‘Blackbird’, and ‘The Long and Winding Road.’  They intentionally avoided the Beatles material as much as possible during this and other performances intentionally in order to separate the two bands.  As author/media personality Paul Gambaccini writes in the included liner notes, “In the early seventies McCartney did not perform Beatles songs in concert, wanting to establish Wings on its own.  Now, in 1976, the group is in full flight, and Paul can use some of the songs he wrote in the sixties to spice up the set.”  It really was a logical plan of action for someone that had built his name with such a big band.  And it helps to make this performance so much more enjoyable.

Staying on the matter of Gambaccini’s writing, this is another positive factor to the whole that is Rockshow.  His writing style is less journalism and more storytelling.  Set alongside the photos of the band, the pair takes viewers back in time.  He doesn’t try to write above himself.  And he doesn’t try to write above the heads of those that would buy this new release.  It’s easily accessible for general audiences.  Because of this, the actual concert experience is that much richer whether one was actually there or not when this performance was originally recorded.

Getting back to the actual concert experience, the band covers more than its own material and that of The Beatles.  Audiences will enjoy the inclusion of the Moody Blues classic, ‘Go Now.’  This song about lost love is ironically one of the whole performance’s highlights.  It’s a highlight not so much because of the music, but because of the sight of Paul and his then wife Linda performing side by side.  There is something so contradictory about this sight set against a song about lost love.  Audiences can see just how in love the couple was.  Sadly, she would pass many years later.  Knowing this, it makes this moment all the more special.  It makes the final two pages of the included booklet all the more touching as a closing gesture, too.  The booklet’s penultimate page features a concert poster for the original 1976 tour with Paul’s face there.  The final page is a picture of Linda exactly as she looked in this recording.  She was one of the ones for whom this re-mastered recording was dedicated.  While McCartney himself might not have had a hand in this new re-issue, he surely had to have seen this touching gesture.  Fans will see it too, and hopefully be just as moved by this and the sight of her performing with her then husband.  It’s a touching final moment of what is another enjoyable live release from Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The DVD and Blu-ray are both available now in stores and online.  They can be ordered online direct from the Eagle Rock Entertainment website at http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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