Elektric Voodoo’s Latest LP Will Cast Another Musical Spell On Audiences

Courtesy: Illusion Tournet Music

Independent music collective Elektric Voodoo is scheduled to release its latest album this week.  Thee group is scheduled to release its new album, Telescope Friday through Illusion Tournet Music.  The group’s third album, it will come less than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Animal (2018).  The nine-song album is a record that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements makes for its own share of interest to this record.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out the most important of the presentation’s elements.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Telescope another enjoyable offering from Elektric Voodoo.

Elektric Voodoo’s forthcoming third album, Telescope is another positive offering from the group, founded by former Grace Potter and the Nocturnals member and founder Scott Tournet.  The 47-minute record’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are everything that audiences have come to expect from the group over the course of its existing albums.  The incorporation of the Afro-Latin percussion along with the vocals and other elements immediately lends each song’s whole to comparison to works from the likes of Carlos Santana and to a lesser degree, The Doobie Brothers.  Though, the comparison to works from Santana are much stronger.  At the same time, it is just as easy to compare the arrangements featured here to works from Elektric Voodoo’s first two albums.  The good thing is that as similar as the works are to the band’s existing body of work and even to one another here, the variances are just subtle enough that a close listen reveals the changes.  There is some funk-infused work alongside more soulful rock and other content throughout the record.  The whole makes the record’s musical arrangements in themselves stand out as their own important part of the album.  The arrangements are just a portion of what makes the album work.  Their companion lyrical themes play their own part in the album’s success.

The lyrical themes featured in Telescope are just as important to the album’s presentation as their musical counterparts because they do just as much to keep audiences engaged and entertained as that music content.  Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘People of the Earth.’ This song’s lyrical theme clearly delivers a message of unity.  It is not the first time that any group has presented such a message, but it is just as welcome here as in the case of any other act’s similar song.  The message is made clear as Tournet and company sing throughout the song, “We’re people of the Earth/We all belong.”  That and the note of people being together from so many different nations makes the song’s message clear.  The upbeat nature of the song’s arrangement alongside that welcome message and the rest of the song’s lyrical content (which furthers the noted message) makes the song’s message connect with listeners that much more.  It is just one of the songs whose lyrical content shows the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  ‘Children Are The Revolution’ is another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.

The declaration that “money and the politicians/They’lll never tell the truth” does well to set the stage here.  The refrain of “Love shines through it all” works with that previously noted statement and the rest of the song’s lyrical content to make the overall message unquestionably clear.  Once again, that message of love, unity, and positivity is just as welcome in this case as in so many other songs from other acts that have presented the same.  We live in a time nowadays when this message is as needed as ever if not more so.  It is just one more way in which the album’s lyrical themes prove so important to its presentation.  The lyrical content in the album’s title track is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical theme.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Telescope’ seems to hint at dealing with overcoming personal thoughts.  That is inferred through the mention of having lost someone and seeing the world through a telescope.  It seems like it is mean to evoke that sense of community with anyone who has ever lost a friend or someone close.  It really is another good song offering support for so many.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important to its presentation.  When it is considered with the other lyrical themes examined here and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, the whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  Keeping that in mind, the album’s lyrical content is not the last of the album’s most important elements.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Telescope is important to address because of its impact on the record’s general effect.  The sequencing ensures the album’s mood stays stable from one arrangement to the next.  This as the arrangements change so subtly from one to the next.  The mood largely stays upbeat throughout the album as a result of the sequencing.  The end result is that the album ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment through that positivity just as much as through its content.  Keeping that in mind, this and the album’s content collectively make the album in whole an other successful offering from Elektric Voodoo.

Elekctric Voodoo’s forthcoming album, Telescope is another strong new offering from the independent music collective.  That is proven in part through its arrangements.  The arrangements are everything that audiences have come to expect from the group.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content adds its own appeal to the record.  That is because they are just as accessible as the album’s musical arrangements.  The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation, ensuring audiences’ engagement and entertainment through the balance that it ensures in the record’s mood and energy.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album a presentation that will cast another spell over audiences from beginning to end.  Telescope is scheduled for release Friday through Illusion Tournet Music.  More information on the album is available along with all of Elektric Voodoo’s latest news at:

Website: https://elektricvoodoo.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottTournet

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

“Irish Tour ’74” Is An Excellent Re-Introduction To Rory Gallagher

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Rory Gallagher is probably not the first name that most people would come up with when they are asked to name some of the most well-known guitarists in music’s modern history. While he may not be one of the most well-known musicians to have ever picked up a guitar, the artists with whom he recorded and performed in his short career are legendary. Muddy Waters and Jerry Lee Lewis were just a couple of acts that he recorded with during his career. He also performed and recorded with former members of the famed Yardbirds after that band’s initial disbanding. And that is just a small sampling of his achievements from his career. Now thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, a whole new generation of rock purists is being introduced to Gallagher’s talents thanks to the recent release of his Irish Tour ’74 archived live recording. The archived concert was released in a special deluxe 2-CD edition on October 21st. And it goes without saying that there is a lot to like about this recording especially for those that might not be so familiar with Gallagher and his body of work. The most obvious thing to like about the recording is the recording’s set list. The special double-disc CD set focuses primarily on Gallagher’s shows from Cork, Ireland on January 5th, 1974. It is a great piece of music history especially for those that aren’t so familiar with Gallagher and his body of work. The concert’s audio mix in this presentation is another aspect that audiences will like. Four decades have passed since the shows from Gallagher’s ’74 tour. And the audio has stood the test of time quite well, as audiences will note here. Rounding out the package is its companion booklet. The companion booklet comes with never before published pictures and new liner notes. Each factor noted here makes Irish Tour ’74 enjoyable in its own right. Together, they make this recording a welcome and important piece of music history.

Irish-born blues-rock guitarist Rory Gallagher was one of the most well-kept secrets in the music industry during the course of his short life. He recorded roughly twelve studio albums over the course of his career. Those albums have sold well over thirty million copies worldwide. For such impressive numbers, Gallagher never gained the international super stardom of his British and American counterparts at the time. But as audiences will hear in the set list contained on Eagle Rock’s double-disc release Irish Tour ’74 Gallagher was and still is deserving of far more credit and acclaim than he has ever received. The blues rock sounds presented in the show’s set list echo hints of Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, The Doobie Brothers, and so many other great names within rock’s blues-based sub-genre. One could even argue that there are hints of Jimi Hendrix in his playing. That is evident right off the top in his performance of ‘Messin’ With The Kid.’ Audiences can hear both Hendrix and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in this song. Lou Martin’s frantic work on the keyboards and Rod De’ath’s drumming set against Gallagher’s guitar playing make this song an explosive opener and an equally explosive first impression for those that are hearing Gallagher’s music for the first time. Audiences will also appreciate the comparison to George Thorogood (and to a lesser extent Lynyrd Skynrd) that can be made in ‘Hands Off.’ The song’s straight forward 4/4 blues-rock vibe will have any listener jamming out regardless of their familiarity with Gallagher’s music. The mini-tribute to the Andrews Sisters in the opening of ‘Who’s That Coming’ is by itself a great touch. The song’s simple stylistic comparison to The Allman Brothers Band and even The Doors makes the song even more enjoyable for audiences. Yes, one could even make a comparison between Gallagher and The Doors. That says quite a bit about Gallagher’s talents. Listening to the rest of the songs that make up this two-disc recording, audiences will find other comparisons. In making such comparisons, it reveals even more Gallagher’s level of talent. One can only hope that the end result will be a resurgence in the popularity of his music.

The set list that makes up Irish Tour ’74 presents Gallagher as a truly talented musician. The same can be said of his band mates in these concerts. It makes one wonder why he never gained the level of fame as his counterparts despite his albums selling some thirty million copies worldwide. Perhaps this recording will help push him to that stratosphere on which his counterparts in question rest to this day. The set list itself more than makes this recording a great re-introduction to Gallagher’s works. Without a solid audio mix the recording would be nothing. Luckily though, the tapes on which these shows were originally recorded have stood the test of time quite well. The audio levels are expertly balanced in their re-mastering. The end result there is that no one part overpowers the other at any one point throughout the course of the recording. Yet again, it is proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains to this day the leader in live recordings. Whether the recording be from a world renowned superstar or someone lesser known such as Gallagher, Eagle Rock Entertainment releases only the best possible recordings. It does not release recordings with inferior production values. Such expertly handled production values will make taking in Gallagher’s music all the more enjoyable and play even more of a role in re-igniting his fame.

The production values of Irish Tour ’74 and the recording’s set list are both key to the overall success of this latest archived concert. The two elements together make this recording an excellent way to re-introduce Rory Gallagher to the world. The recording is rounded out with the inclusion of a companion booklet loaded with extras. The companion booklet boasts sixteen pages of previously unpublished photos from Gallagher’s Irish tour and new liner notes outlining the tour’s highlights. Among the most interesting of the liner notes are notes concerning his performance in the worn torn region of Belfast. There are notes about his impact on that region and his influence as a musician overall during his career and much more included in the liner notes. It is one more important piece of the whole that makes Irish Tour ’74 such a wonderful re-introduction for Gallagher to the world. Together with the show’s set list and its exception production values, it becomes all the more valuable for any rock and roll purist and fan of classic rock. It becomes a recording that regardless of one’s familiarity with Gallagher and his body of work, any rock purist will enjoy. It could even lead said purists to become new fans or new fans again of Rory Gallagher.

Irish Tour ’74 is available now in stores and online. Along with its double-disc CD presentation, it is also available as a special eight-disc box set containing all four of Gallagher’s performances on his 1974 tour of Ireland and even more bonuses and even a triple gate fold vinyl for all the vintage rock fans. The triple gate fold vinyl re-issue can be ordered online at http://www.recordstore.co.uk/recordstore/recordstore/Irish-Tour-74-Expanded/3JHU0000000. More information on this and other releases from Rory Gallagher, as well as the latest news from Rory Gallagher, is available online at:

Website: http://www.rorygallagher.com

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

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.

Zodiac’s “Sonic Child” Is Another One Of 2014’s Most Surprisingly Enjoyable Pure Rock Records

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records/Napalm Records

When Prosthetic Records added Zodiac to its roster two years ago, it went without saying that doing so was something of a gamble for the label.  It was such a gamble because much like Century Media, Metal Blade, Roadrunner, and others, Prosthetic is known more for the “extreme metal” bands that make up its roster than for the likes of the Munster, Germany-based band.  That’s not to say that Prosthetic sticks primarily to that more extreme sound.  Acts such as Niacin and Felix Martin both stand out among Prosthetic’s other acts.  Zodiac however has become the label’s most commercially viable band since Lamb of God was signed on with the company.  Zodiac’s mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock has helped the band to stand out among its label mates ever since the release of its 2012 Prosthetic Records debut A Bit of Devil.  Now with its third full-length studio effort, Zodiac has one again set itself apart from its label mates and grown just as much musically.  From the slow blues-based opener ‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ to the more up-tempo neo stoner rocker that is ‘Holding On’ to the equally catchy closer ‘Swinging on the Run,’ this record proves to have not one bad moment.  It proves to be one of the year’s most surprisingly enjoyable rock records and one that any rock purist should hear at least once.

Sonc Child, Zodiac’s third full-length studio effort, is by and large the band’s best work to date.  With its mix of blues-based and neo-stoner rock sounds, this record proves to be one that every rock purist should hear at least once.  Right off the top, the band grabs listeners without really trying in the album’s opener ‘A Penny and a Dead Horse.’  The twelve-bar blues churned out in the song’s “A” section conjures thoughts of Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and so many of the forefathers of the blues.  Anyone that is a fan of Fireball Ministry, Black Stone Cherry, and other bands of that ilk will enjoy the more straight forward neo-stoner rock sound of the song’s “B” and “C” sections.  Lyrically, the song is just as enjoyable.  Vocalist Nick van Delft sings about an unnamed woman that has left a man, and left him with basically nothing.  Thus the song’s title.  van Delft sings of the woman, “Oh, woman/Where have you gone with that/Pot of gold/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/You had to leave me/Before the break of dawn/Somebody been haunting you/Somebody run you down/Over the yonder/Beyond the fields/Someone call your name/Oh, woman/Where have you gone/Sweet darlin’/You left me to die alone/With a penny and a dead horse.”  van Delft paints such a vivid picture thanks to the way in which he sings these lines.  The gradual tempo increase as the song progresses makes that picture just as vivid.  The picture goes from a man sitting alone in the darkness, perhaps drinking from a bottle of cheap whiskey to someone who feels something stronger as he and his band mates sing, “So long, so long” in the chorus.  The song’s final strains exhibit perhaps the man’s collapse.  This is of course just this critic’s own interpretation on the song.  Audiences can check out the song’s official video online now at the Prosthetic Records website at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  While there, audiences can also order Sonic Child, which was just recently released at the end of September.

‘A Penny & A Dead Horse’ is a wonderful addition to Sonic Child. It is also just one excellent example of what makes this album such a surprisingly enjoyable record.  ‘Holding On’ is another solid example of why this record proves to be such a surprisingly enjoyable rock record.  Where the album’s opener almost tells its own story, ‘Holding On’ is more of a straight-forward rock song.  It harkens back to rock and roll’s golden era much like Black Stone Cherry, Fireball Ministry, and others of that ilk.  van Delft sings against drummer Janosch Rathmer’s solid timekeeping and fellow guitarist Stephen Gall’s own work, “What is the point of your life/Your life/All covered up in those eyes/Those eyes/So now free mind/You’re one of a kind/Take a hold of the good things/And give sight to the blind/Tell me the one thing you see/Tell me the one thing you know/Show me the one thing you live for/Holding on.”  This set against the song’s opening verse in which van Delft sings, “Time keeps on ticking/Revealing your patience/It’s only a matter of self-defense/Eager to please/Your only disease/It’s just the weight on your mind/A day of your life/A step on your way to return” makes the song especially interesting.  There is a seeming message about each one of us having a meaning in life and it being just a matter of finding that meaning.  Again, that could be completely wrong.  Hopefully it is right, though.  Regardless, the very fact that it could lead to such deep thought serves to make this song all the more enjoyable.  The guitar solo in the song’s final movement adds even more enjoyment to the whole work.  Between that impressive guitar work, the deep, thoughtful lyrics and the overall talent displayed here, ‘Holding On’ shows again why any rock and roll purist should give this record at least one listen.

Zodiac shows throughout the course of its latest full-length release why this record is just as good as any album released by its bigger-named counterparts.  That is evidenced in the songs previously noted here.  From its more blues-tinged rock to its more neo-stoner sound, there is not one moment that disappoints on this record.  There is almost something of a more modern rock and roll influence in the album’s closer ‘Swinging on the Run.’  Much like the album’s opener and other tracks on this disc, ‘Swinging on the Run’ is not one for anyone with a short attention span.  This track clocks in at just over six minutes.  It’s not the album’s longest work.  that honor belongs to the aptly titled ‘Rock Bottom Blues.’  That song comes in at just over the nine minute mark.  And anyone that is a fan of the likes of The Allman Brothers Band will especially enjoy this piece with its smoky, old school blues-rock sound.  Getting back to ‘Swinging on the Run,’ audiences can clearly hear influences from the likes of The Allman Brothers Band, Cream, The Doobie Brothers, and so many others that have come before as the song progresses.  It shows a good song doesn’t necessarily always need lyrics to be enjoyable.  that being the case, it makes perfect sense why it was chosen as the band’s final statement on this record.  It leaves audiences knowing that they have experienced something very special.  It leaves listeners knowing that along with those tracks noted here, and the remaining seven not noted, they have in Sonic Child an album that is just as deserving of respect from rock purists as any album released by the band’s more well-known counterparts.  And given the right support from listeners and radio programmers alike, it could become just as big a record as those released by said bands.

Sonic Child is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Prosthetic Records online store at http://store.prostheticrecords.com/products/531769-zodiac-sonic-child-cd.  More information on Sonic Child and all of the latest updates from Zodiac is available online at:

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Zodiac.Rock

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.

Cason’s Latest LP Has Plenty Of “Heart”

Courtesy:  Plowboy Records

Courtesy: Plowboy Records

Singer/Songwriter Buzz Cason has spent some six decades making music. He started his career by starting the very first rock and roll band in Nashville, Tennessee. He has founded his own recording studio where greats such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and The Doobie Brothers have recorded hit songs among many other major names. He has also spent much of his career making his own music. He has continued making his own music up to this year. As a matter of fact, Cason released his latest record, Troubadour Heart earlier this year. The album is quite aptly titled considering Cason’s storied career. And for those audiences that might not be so familiar with Cason’s body of work, Troubadour Heart serves as quite the first impression, too. The album exhibits quite the number of influences. The laid back bluesy ‘Goin’ Back To Alabama’ presents an influence from the likes of Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, and Robert Johnson. This applies both musically and lyrically. And then there’s the southern rock styling of ‘Something I Can Dance To.’ This song shows Cason’s Nashville roots and his rock leanings at the same time. Troubadour Heart’s penultimate tune ‘Cowboys & Indians’ exhibits more of Cason’s southern rock influences. Audiences more familiar with the history of modern rock will hear tinges of Eagles and even George Thorogood to a slightly lesser extent. There are also hints of The Grateful Dead and Dire Straits peppered throughout the course of Cason’s latest release. All of these influences together make Troubadour Heart one of 2014’s more interesting new records.

Troubadour Heart is one of this year’s more interesting records. That’s because of the range of influences exhibited throughout the course of the album’s fifteen total tracks. One prime example of this comes in the laid back bluesy ‘Goin’ Back To Alabama.’ The song—the album’s only blues-influenced piece—conjures thoughts of Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, and even Robert Johnson thanks both to its music and lyrics. Cason sings of a subject reminiscing of his younger days in Alabama. He sings, “When my world/Comes unraveled/I know it’s time/For me to travel/Going ‘round the bend/Gettin’ in that Dixieland.” He goes on in the song’s chorus to sing in semi-celebratory fashion about going back to Alabama. The most interesting aspect of this song is that not only does it exhibit classic blues influence, but that guest singer Dan Penn actually sounds just like Eric Clapton. If one were to hear this song without knowing that it was Penn backing Cason here, one would swear that one was hearing Eric Clapton. The similarity between the pair’s vocals is incredible. That and the song’s easygoing lyrics and music show just why ‘Going’ to Alabama’ is such a solid example of what makes Troubadour Heart such an interesting listen.

‘Goin’ Back To Alabama’ is an excellent example of the diversity of Cason’s talent on his latest record. It is just one example of that talent, too. Another equally impressive example of that diversity is in the more up-tempo southern rock tinged song ‘Something I Can Dance To.’ It clearly reflects Cason’s early days growing up in Nashville with its sound. That up-tempo sound and the song’s lyrics—which are slightly sexually charged in their own right—make this song a perfect fit for so many country-western style bars and clubs. The energy exuded by this piece will have listeners up and dancing in no time regardless of whether or not there’s a formal dance floor.

‘Cowboys & Indians’ is the penultimate track included in Troubadour Heart’s fifteen total tracks. It is also one more fitting example of the diversity of music presented on this record. This song presents a pretty obvious country-western influence as Cason sings about a Romeo and Juliet style story. Cason’s story here presents the love story of a Native American woman falling in love with a seemingly White male. Despite the fact that one’s parents doesn’t approve of the other, the couple doesn’t let that stop them. They end up happily ever after and having their own family together. It’s a fun story and an equally fun final blast from Cason before he gently closes out the album with the aptly titled beachy tune ‘Pacific Blue.’ That final song is a fitting closer as it is one more song showing the pure vastness of Cason’s talent and influences. Having taken in this song and those mentioned before it, listeners will agree once more that Troubadour Heart is without a doubt one of the year’s most intriguing records.

Troubadour Heart is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HGTNKAK/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1RG9YQMJV0C4KG1XBKVB&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846. His new album can also be purchased at any of his upcoming live shows. Cason is scheduled to perform live Wednesday, Jun e18th in Okoboji, IA. He also has a pair of shows scheduled in Nashville and one in Lincolnton, North Carolina. That concert is scheduled for Saturday, August 16th. Audiences can get a complete list of Buzz Cason’s live events and news online at http://www.facebook.com/buzzcasonmusic, http://www.buzzcason.com, and http://twitter.com/buzzcason. 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.

Eagle Rock Sets The Bar Again With New Doobie Brothers Live BD, DVD

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

The Doobie Brothers have been making music together for almost forty-five years.  The band has seen a number of lineup changes throughout those decades.  Through it all, the band has managed to remain one of the most beloved bands among its fans and fellow musicians.  And the band’s new live release, The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap is an example as to exactly why the band is still so popular to this day in music circles the world over.

The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap was originally recorded nearly nine years ago.  It was originally recorded July 25th, 2004 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Virginia.  The band’s performance may be almost nine years old.  But it shows that despite being much older than when the band started out over four decades ago, not one member of the band had lost that flame.  Sadly though, the band has since lost two members. Drummers Mike Hossack and Keith Knudsen both passed away since this concert was recorded.  Keeping that in mind, this recording is a tribute both one of rock’s best bands, but to two of its members, too.  Along with being a tribute to the band and its members, this new live release is also a tribute to Eagle Rock Entertainment.  It shows that Eagle Rock continues to be the leader in live home recordings.  This is proven through the combination of the show’s production values, its set list, and bonus features.  These factors combined make this show one more of the year’s best live recordings.  It’s just as much proof that audiences can enjoy a good show without breaking the bank.

The first factor to take into account in the success of The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap is its production values.  The production values of this performance are outstanding.  The picture is crystal clear.  Watching it on a Blu-ray player with full 1080 HDTV, viewers will feel like they are actually there with the audience that was there at the event.  It’s so clear that it’s almost like looking through a window from a luxury box at the venue.  Some of the best shots obtained throughout the roughly two-hour plus performance are crowd shots.  Viewers get to see for themselves just how much the audience in attendance enjoyed the band’s performance.  And it was evident just how much the band fed off of that energy.  This is especially the case in the show’s closer, the song that really made the band famous, ‘Listen to the Music.’  Every person in attendance was clapping his or her hands in time to the song.  The shot from the stage does a wonderful job of capturing this moment.  It is without a doubt, one of the most amazing moments of the entire concert, fittingly enough.  The audience’s reaction to the song and the song itself make this the perfect closer to yet another impressive live recording from both The Doobie Brothers and from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The video work done on The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolftrap is praise worthy to say the least, as is already evident.  The concert’s sound is just as impressive as its video.  Audiences need make almost no adjustments to their televisions or even their home theater systems for optimum effect.  That is how expertly the sound was mixed.  Some adjustments will be needed from one viewer to another for personal preference.  But the sound was so expertly mixed that audiences will find that any adjustments made will be minor at best.

The production values of The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap are an important part of the recording.  Without proper audio and video mixing, there is no reason to even begin taking in a concert.  Thankfully that isn’t a concern here.  So having examined that, the next logical step in this concert’s examination would be its set list.  The band gets the energy flowing right from its opening number, ‘Rockin’ Down The Highway.’  This high-energy hit is just one of so many classic hits mixed in with just as many more recent hits.  The energy flows nonstop until the band reaches the more subdued ‘South City Midnight Lady.’  Once the band eases its way through this piece and the bluesier ‘Snake Man’, things pick right back up in ‘Nobody.’  ‘Nobody’ is just one of a number of highlights throughout the band’s performance presented here.  It’s a nice mid-tempo southern rock piece that audiences at home will enjoy just as much as those that were in attendance at the show’s taping.  The show’s two-hour long set-list is a joy for any rock and roll purist.  There’s an added bonus within the confines of the show, making it even better in a few bonus interviews that shed light on certain songs.  Viewers need to just hit the “menu” button on their remote to access the bonus interviews.  While the bonus interviews aren’t included in every song, it’s nice to have them included where they are.  They add extra insight into the songs in question, making them even more enjoyable.

The bonus interactive interviews interspersed throughout the performance are nice additions to the overall experience.  But there are more bonus features that fans will enjoy in this disc.  The bonus features offer a history lesson on the band explaining how the Doobie Brothers and the band’s name came to be.  There are also features on the performance from the vantage point of the band versus that of the audience.  The band members explain what it feels like to be up on stage, performing together, and fans cheering.  And in what is perhaps the funniest of the bonus features, audiences get a glimpse of the one band member’s reaction to a fan that had probably had a little too much to drink.  Audiences will see her during the concert.  But in all honesty, they won’t give her much mind as she looks like a crew member helping to maintain the stage equipment.  It turns out she was anything but.  This little vignette will leave any viewer laughing till they cry.  It’s that funny because everyone knows someone who has been exactly like the woman in question, whether at a concert, at a club or anywhere else.  It definitely is one of the highlights of the bonus features.  And along with everything else that went into bringing this performance to the masses, it makes this new live recording that much more worth checking out.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via the Eagle Rock Entertainment website at http://www.eagle-rock.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.

Doobie Brothers Documentary A Nice Addition For Any Fan’s Collection

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Over forty years ago, the very first ever Doobie Brothers album was released.  Since that first release, this iconic band has gone on to release twelve more full length studio albums and has toured the world in support of each one.  Those travels and albums have produced more than their share of stories, and probably more than can be put to a single documentary.  But on the band’s new documentary, Let The Music Play: The Story of The Doobie Brothers, the band and Eagle Rock Entertainment have made a valiant attempt to tell as many of those stories as possible.

Let The Music Play: The Story of The Doobie Brothers is a good introduction for anyone who is new to the music of the iconic band that first came to fame in the 1970’s.  It culls interviews with the band’s members, its manager and those closest to them as the band’s story is told including both its good times and bad.  And it’s all set against the backdrop of the band’s biggest hits, including ‘Listen To the Music’, ‘China Grove’ and so many others.  The main feature documenting the band’s journey through each album runs a little less than two hours.  In that time, newer fans are welcomed into the world of The Doobie Brothers with just enough information to hook them and reel them in.  For the more seasoned fans of this veteran rock act, it’s more of a trip down memory lane so to speak.  It’s a reminder of what made this band so great in its heyday and what still makes it such an important band to this day. 

The documentary focusing on the career of The Doobie Brothers is obviously the primary feature of this new release.  The stories are entertaining and at times tough to hear.  They do their part in making this a nice watch for fans of all ages.  It’s just one part of the whole. Along with the main presentation, Eagle Rock has also included a near hour long set of live performances from The Doobie Brothers.  To some this collection of songs is just bonus material, as noted on the case for the disc.  But they’re more than that.  The live performances included with this new release serve as an accompanying piece to the documentary.  They help to illustrate the band’s memories of performing.  So in its own right, the collection of live performances included here is actually not just a bunch of songs, but a visual aid that helps to bring full circle what the band discussed in the documentary.

So few people give the bonus features of any DVD and/or Blu-ray the credit that they deserve. But this presentation is one more that proves the importance of bonus features.  And there is at least one more bonus feature not on the disc that makes the entire Doobie Brothers experience presented here even richer.  That feature is the included booklet.  Most people in general are quick to just skim through liner notes and booklets that come with DVD’s, Blu-ray’s and CD’s.  But were they to take the time to read through said notes and booklets, they might find out some interesting facts.  This Blu-ray’s booklet is a prime example of that. San Francisco Chronicle writer Joel Selvin opens his notes on the band by explaining how this very project came to being.  He writes, of how Pat Simmons started working on this documentary after stumbling across music from The Doobie Brothers.  Selvin goes on to explain that the music was from TV shows, movies and lots more, thus leading Simmons to start working on this project.  Selvin goes into even more depth with his liner notes of sorts, thus providing a solid prologue to the presentation.  Yet again, it’s one more piece of the puzzle that makes this a whole work that’s worth at least one watch by all fans of The Doobie Brothers.

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