Ribler’s New Album Is Awaiting And Deserves Attention From Audiences, Radio Stations Nationwide

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Marc Ribler has made quite the name for himself over the course of his career, having worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zant, and Paul McCartney.  Now this Friday, Ribler is poised to take a big step forward in his career, going from a supporting role to that of front man with his new solo album, The Whole World Awaits You.  The record, which has already produced three successful singles, could make Ribler a star in his own right given the right support as those singles show.  They are just a few of the songs that serve to support the noted statements.  ‘Without You,’ one of the album’s late entries, serves in its own way to show the album’s strength.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Manzanillo,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another example of how much the record has to offer.  It will be examined a little later.  ‘This Is How The Song Goes,’ the album’s finale, is another example of the album’s appeal. It will also be discussed later.  Each of the songs noted here does its own part to show why The Whole World Awaits You is appealing.  When they are considered with the album’s existing trio of singles and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album a “whole” win for Marc Ribler and audiences alike.

Marc Ribler’s forthcoming solo album The Whole World Awaits You is a wholly successful new offering from the veteran singer/songwriter/guitarist.  The album’s existing trio of singles goes a long way to support that statement.  They are only some of the songs that show how much the album has to offer audiences.  ‘Without You,’ which comes late in the album’s 12-song run, is also of note.  The song’s musical arrangement is an instantly infectious composition that lends itself to comparison to works from Train just as much as from Tom Petty.  Yes, those are two completely opposing acts, but are more alike than not, as this song shows.  That is evidenced through the light use of the organ alongside the vocals and the equally subtle guitar, percussion and drums.  The whole is a composition that is one of the album’s most radio ready works. 

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Without You’ does a lot to make the song appealing, and is just part of what makes it engaging and entertaining.  The lyrical theme that accompanies the musical arrangement builds on that appeal even more.  While the song’s title and some of its lyrics make it seem like a love song, the rest of the song proves to be more than just that.  It also presents a social commentary of sorts in the song’s chorus that shames people on both sides of the aisle so to speak.  That is evidenced as Ribler sings, “I don’t want to live in a world where everyone has an empty heart/I don’t want to live in a world where it still matters what color you are/I don’t want to live in a place where they watch every thing you say and do/I don’t want to live in a world without you.”  On the one hand, yes, the romance aspect is there.  At the same time, Ribler uses the opportunity to comment on the negative place that the world has reached; that place where we have to be so careful about every single thing that we say and do, and where our skin color still sadly matters so much.  The romance aspect becomes more pronounced in the song’s lead verse, in which the song’s subject pronounces his/her love for that other person.  This is made clear as Ribler sings, “Your love runs deep for me/Shows up in most everything/You lose your way and you fall down/I’ll be the one that you can count on/Help you understand/I’ll always be right there/You can let your feelings flow.”  This is Ribler’s subject saying that things are bad in the world, but he/she will be there for that other person.  It is a familiar lyrical topic in pop music, and is just as familiar in this case.  The adoration for that other person continues in the song’s second verse and bridge, as the song’s subject praises and thanks that other person for being there.  That accessible lyrical them and equally accessible musical arrangement is just as much of a positive addition to this album as the record’s singles.  It is just one of so many examples of how much the album has to offer audiences, too.  ‘Manzanillo,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another example of the album’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Manzanillo’ makes the song stand out because it stands out in itself.  Whereas so much of the music featured in The Whole World Awaits You blurs the line between neo-classical, Americana, pop and rock, this song’s arrangement is a distinctly Latin-tinged composition.  The dual guitar line, horns, and drums work with the claves to take listeners to Cuba from years ago.  Meanwhile, Ribler’s vocal delivery maintains a more American pop sound and stylistic approach.  The whole here is so infectious in its own right.  When it pairs with the song’s lyrical theme, the two elements make the song even more engaging and entertaining.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Manzanillo’ itself comes across as a tribute to the history of the Latin culture.  This is inferred as Ribler makes mention of the ancient Mesoamerican peoples and their culture.  He even makes mention of history repeating itself if we are not careful, perhaps making reference to how those cultures were wiped out and how our current world is doing itself in, too.  This is all this critic’s own interpretation of course.  His mention of his mother coming to him in a dream and warning about thing happening “in this land” lends itself even more to that inference.  Considering all of this, the song’s lyrical theme definitely stands out from its counterparts in this album.  That originality and identity pairs with the unique presence of the song’s musical arrangement to make the song stand out even more, as a key addition to the album.  It is just one more way in which the album shows its strength.  ‘This Is How The Song Goes,’ which closes out the album, is yet another example of what makes Ribler’s new album stand out.

The musical arrangement in ‘This Is How The Song Goes’ is just as unique as those in the songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s songs.  To a certain point, the blues, almost psychedelic approach and sound here conjures thoughts of The Doors.  At the same time, listeners can also argue that there is a hint of influence from The Beatles in the song’s arrangement, considering the strings and vocal harmonies.  Once again, it is completely unlike anything else featured in this record, making even clearer the importance of the album’s musical content.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of its identity.  Its lyrical theme is just as unique.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘This Is How The Song Goes’ is just as thought-provoking as the song’s musical arrangement.  It opens with Ribler singing, “A tree fell in the forest with no sound/Some things go up/But don’t come down/Tomorrow’s just a day we’ll leave behind/Only precious time…” What follows is difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference considering the overly subtle way in which Ribler sings here, but what is understandable shows the deep metaphorical language that Ribler uses here.  The mention of things being “in your dreams” in the song’s chorus is just as metaphorical even when the song’s lyrics can be deciphered.  That what little can be deciphered is itself cryptic is interesting enough.  When the rest of the song can be deciphered, the whole proves just as cryptic, ensuring even more engagement and discussion.  That engagement and discussion pairs with the song’s equally interesting musical arrangement to make the song in whole yet another clear example of why The Whole World Awaits You deserves so much attention.  When the song in whole is considered with the other songs examined here, the album’s singles, and the rest of its works, the whole makes the album a powerful new outing for Marc Ribler that could be the start of a very big career for him, given the right support.

Marc Ribler’s forthcoming solo album, The Whole World Awaits You is a presentation that is awaiting and deserves attention from audiences and radio stations nationwide.  It is a unique presentation that shows Ribler, who has spent so much of his career as a supporting musician to bigger names, is ready to take his own place in the limelight.  That is proven through each of the album’s singles and the songs examined here.  The album’s remaining songs serve just as much to support the noted statements.  Between the record’s unique (and accessible) musical arrangements and equally accessible lyrical content, the whole offers audiences much to appreciate.  All things considered, the album proves itself to be among the best of this year’s new independent albums.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Wicked Cool Records.

More information on Marc Ribler’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:



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

Liv Strange Debuts Cover Of The Doors’ ‘People Are Strange,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: O’Donnnell Media Group

Independent performer Liv Strange is taking on the Doors for her latest single.

Strange debuted her cover of The Doors’ hit single ‘People Are Strange‘ Dec. 8 along with a companion video. Strange’s take on The Doors’ song gives that composition a whole new unique identity, incorporating something of a goth/electronic sound in place of the guitars that form the foundation of the original song.

The video for Liv Strange’s take of ‘People are Strange’ finds her in a variety of settings, such as a forest, a city sidewalk, and a park as she performs her take on the song.

Strange talked about her decision to take on The Doors’ classic hit during a recent interview.

“I decided to cover ‘People Are Strange’ because I’ve always been enamored by the oddities of the ‘average’ individual; the hidden secrets and twisted mind of your next door neighbor,” said Strange. “We are all strange in our own way. In knowing that, it can either keep us connected to our personal freedom or burdened by its ghastly shadow.”

More information on Strange’s cover is available along with all over her latest news at http://www.facebook.com/livstrangemusic.

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

Violent Idols Asking Fans To Help Craft Its Next Video

Courtesy: Violent Idols

Violent Idols wants fans to help create the video for its new song ‘F*** You.’

The band debuted the song by itself April 23.  It is featured in the band’s new EP Idolatry, which is streaming in whole through Spotify.  The song and EP were produced and mixed by Kane Churko at The Hideout Recording Studio.

As the band prepares to create an official video for its new single, which features guest vocals from Gemini Syndrome front man Aaron Nordstrom, the group is launching a contest to get its fans involved in the process.  The band is asking fans to submit footage to the band showing how they say ‘F*** You’ during the COVID-19 quarantine.

The footage picked by the band will end up in the upcoming video.  Fans can submit their footage now here.

In terms of its musical arrangement, the song lends itself, ironically, to comparisons to works from Gemini Syndrome, The Veer Union and other similar acts through its heavy, guitar-driven foundation.  The song’s low-end and percussion adds to that comparison even more.

The song’s lyrical theme is an anger-fueled statement to which any listener can relate, and was discussed by the band recently in a collective statement.

“‘F*** You’ encapsulates a feeling that every single person alive has felt at one time or another,” the statement reads.  “Even the best of us still have moments where we just want to let our anger and frustration out and say, ‘F*** You.’  This song is an ode to that feeling, a feeling that need not be hidden inside, as it’s an honest reflection of he internal human struggle.”

The band’s enigmatic front man “V” added to the discussion with his own comment on the song’s creation with his own statement.

“Very appropriately, I started writing this song in my car after getting stuck behind bad driver after bad driver,” he said.  “Aaron [Nordstrom] and I had discussed the idea of him guesting on our EP and once I had the initial seeds for it I knew it would be perfect to involve him on.  Aaron is an extremely talented artist, and he brought a whole other layer of intellectual rage to the song that I would not have been able to do alone.”

‘F*** You’ is the fifth and final single from the new five-song EP.  The band debuted the EP’s lead single ‘Enemies With Benefits‘ Oct. 22, 2019.  The song’s musical arrangement presents a sort of industrial metal sound at its base while its lyrical theme is heavy in its own right.

“V” discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a previous interview.

“There is no hero without an enemy, and usually, even the villain thinks himself the hero,” he said.  “This song explores the schizophrenic relationship between the two and their perpetual bond.”

‘Enemies with Benefits’ is available to stream and download here.

The debut of the EP’s second song, a cover of The Doors’ ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)‘ followed in December.  The band debuted the EP’s next song, ‘Unscripted VIolence,’ which is the theme song for AEW star John Moxley, on Feb. 5.  It was followed weeks later with the debut of the record’s fourth single, ‘New Religion (ft. K.A.Z.).’

More information on Violent Idols’ new song, contest, latest news and more is available online at:


Website: http://violentidols.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/violentidols


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


Feast Of Friends Is Truly A Feast For The Eyes And Ears Of Any Doors Fan

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

The tour documentary is, in the music industry’s current era, one of the most overused recordings released by record labels and their roster of acts each year.  Next to those “making of the record documentaries” and singles collections that so many acts and labels like to call “greatest hits” records, the tour documentary has over the years become overly abundant that it has largely lost any importance that it might have previously had within the music industry.  The end result of so many labels and acts releasing tour documentaries is that the documentaries in question have become relatively bland and useless.  This is especially the case being that the world now lives in an era in which social media dominates almost every avenue of everyday life.  By comparison, bands that laid the groundwork for today’s music industry didn’t have any of today’s technology.  So the only glimpse that audiences had at said acts was the occasional live show that audiences could attend when said acts came to their towns.  That makes the rare documentaries released today on said acts all the more valuable for audiences.  Eagle Rock Entertainment released one of those important and valuable rarities late last month in the form of The Doors’ Feat of FriendsFeast of Friends was produced by and about The Doors.  It was also the only tour documentary ever produced by the band itself.  The catch is that it was never actually fully completed.  Until now, Feast of Friends has never been officially released to the public for purchase.  That within itself is a major reason for audiences to pick up this documentary.  It’s just one reason for audiences to check it out, too.  The amount of material presented to audiences within the documentary is just as important to the whole.  And last but not least of all is the quality of the footage itself throughout the presentation.  Considering how many decades have passed since the video presented in Feast of Friends was originally recorded.  But it looks surprisingly clean in its transfer from its masters.  Together with the documentary’s content and the fact that it has never before been released, it becomes a presentation that any fan of The Doors and any music historian will want to add to their collection.

One of the main reasons that today’s tour documentaries and making of presentations have become so annoying and useless is the fact that there are so many of them.  More often than not, many of the pieces that make up that mass are “documentaries” that have been released more than once over the years.  Given some might not have been.  But there are those that have been released and re-issued more than once.  Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of The Doors’ Feast of Friends is the first time ever that this documentary has seen the light of day since its original recording during the band’s 1968 tour.  That means that at least the primary feature material contained within this Blu-ray is material that has not been seen before.  Given, there is one piece that looks like it was taken from the band’s 1968 show at the Hollywood Bowl. And “The Doors Are Open” has been previously released, too. It was released on DVD in 2002.  But other than that, the material presented in this documentary is material that has not been seen before by audiences.  That means that there is nothing to which this release can be compared in terms of The Doors’ previous releases.  That in itself is plenty of reason for any music historian and fan of The Doors to pick up this recording.  It also leads to another reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends.  That second reason that audiences will appreciate Feast of Friends is its very breadth of material.

The fact that Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent release of Feast of Friends marks the first time that the documentary has been released to the public for purchase is reason enough for any music historian or Doors fan to pick up this recording.  The amount of never before seen material that is shared throughout the recording is even more reason for audiences to check it out.  Audiences get to see the primary presentation after which the Blu-ray is titled for the first time.  Audiences get to see another side of Jim Morrison especially through the course of this feature.  They get to see his more well-known enigmatic side.  But they also get to see a more laid back Jim Morrison, playing a piano backstage at one of the band’s gigs.  They get to see him with his band mates and all of their friends and family at a lake, just enjoying time together.  They also see early on a man who was obviously a reluctant celebrity despite his ability to connect with the band’s fans on and off stage.  It is truly an interesting juxtaposition to see.  And it’s not all that audiences will enjoy seeing, either in this presentation.   Also included with Eagle Rock’s new release of Feast of Friends is a rather interesting look at the band from across the pond in the feature “The Doors Are Open.” This feature does has actually been released before. It does quite the job of juxtaposing the band’s concert footage against all of the unrest running through America at the time. There is also an impressive concert feature in the presentation’s closer “The End.” It shows the band’s performance of what is one of its greatest songs of all time in ‘The End.’ It is complemented by the inclusion of interviews with John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, and Danny Sugerman. Whether or not audiences are familiar with the Doors, the collective material featured throughout this Blu-ray is material that will enlighten and entertain anyone with any interest in classic rock and the foundations of today’s rock world. It is most definitely a collection of material that makes the presentation in whole well worth the watch.


The material culled for Feast of Friends will definitely enlighten and entertain audiences regardless of their familiarity with the Doors or even the history of classic rock in general. That Feast of Friends has never been released before, and that over ten years have passed since “The Doors Are Open” was last released makes this collection even more worth the watch for any true fan of The Doors and any music historian. As important as all of this is to the success and enjoyment of The Doors: Feast of Friends none of it would mean anything without the work of those charged with restoring the footage for its presentation here. In watching the Blu-ray in whole, it is obvious that while some of the material has been previously released, painstaking efforts were taken to ensure that Feast Of Friends maintained the high standard set by Eagle Rock with each and every one of its releases, whether it be a live concert recording or documentary. There are those Blu-rays out there that present classic concerts and movies in which the footage obviously hasn’t been touched. And those releases look awful to say the least. This Blu-ray however, is not on that level, thankfully. It maintains Eagle Rock’s high standard quite well. And because of that, it leaves no doubt in any viewer’s mind that Feast of Friends is indeed a feast for the eyes and ears of any Doors fan and music historian.


The Doors: Feast of Friends is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:


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

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


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.

“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.

Psychedelic Resurrection Is A Welcome Return From A Cult Favorite Band

Courtesy:  Kayos Productions

Courtesy: Kayos Productions

The Blues Magoos are back! It’s been some four decades since audiences last heard from this cult favorite garage rock band.  And now the wait is over thanks to the release of the band’s new album Psychedelic Resurrection.  The album’s title is slightly deceiving as few of the songs that make up its track listing are necessarily psychedelic per se.  That’s not to say that the songs (both new and re-worked alike) aren’t enjoyable.  That should not be misinterpreted.  They are each interesting works in their own right, though.  And altogether all ten of the songs included on this record make Psychedelic Resurrection a great re-introduction for one of the best of the least-known bands of the 60s. One track on this record that does live up to the album’s title is its closer ‘Tobacco Road.’  This bluesy piece conjures thoughts of both The Doors and Deep Purple believe it or not.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ also presents a little bit of that old school rock sound.  And then there is the equally bluesy ‘Gotta Get Away.’  One can’t help but think about a smoky nightclub in listening to this openly classic rock style piece.  This song is the equivalent of a musical time capsule that has been pried open.  It brings to the 21st century a sound that so many have tried and failed to emulate.  Together with the likes of ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ ‘Gotta Get Away’ serves as more proof of why every rock and roll purist should hear Psychedelic Resurrection at least once.  That is not to discount the other songs on this record.  Every track on this record offers its own enjoyment and value.  And in listening to each of the songs that make up this record, audiences of all ages will agree that The Blues Magoos deserves to be more than the cult favorite that it was so many years ago.  It could well be more than that cult favorite when audiences and programmers nationwide give Psychedelic Resurrection at least one listen.

The Blues Magoos was never one of the biggest names in the music industry.  It was thanks to the band’s one major hit ‘(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet’ in the 1960s.  After that one song, the band never really was able to attain the same level of success earned thanks to that single song.  It has still managed to maintain its place in the rock pantheon, though, remaining one of the rock world’s best known unknown bands.  Confused yet? Ok.  Now thanks to its brand new release Psychedelic Resurrection, the Blues Magoos is set to make a name for itself again.  Thanks to the songs included on this record include both new songs and some revamped pieces, too.  One of the best of the songs included in this record is its closing number ‘Tobacco Road.’  The song’s bluesy sound instantly conjures thoughts of both The Grateful Dead and to a slightly lesser degree Deep Purple.  And while it runs just over five and a half minutes, the richness of the song makes it feel like it runs much longer.  That is meant in the best manner possible.  Front man “Peppy” Castro sings of a young man growing up in a difficult situation against the twelve-bar blues sound established by himself and lead guitarist Dennis LePore. Thielhelm sings of the young man’s upbringing, “I was born/In a dump/Momma died/And my daddy got drunk/They left me here/To die alone/In the middle of Tobacco Road/I grew up in/A rusty shack/All I had/Was what was hanging on my back/Only you know/How low/This place called Tobacco Road.”  Anyone that is a fan of The Doors will be able to catch a similarity to that band’s hit song ‘Roadhouse Blues’ in listening to this composition.  It is slight.  But it is there.  And it’s a nice touch, too.  Even Castro sounds a little like The Doors’ legendary front man Jim Morrison as he sings.  That makes this song even more of a joy for any purist rock and roll purists out there.  There are certain elements in the song that conjure thoughts of Deep Purple, too.  Such combination is certain to make this song a favorite among audiences regardless of their familiarity with The Blues Magoos.  Whether they are hearing the band for the first time or the first time in a long time, it is one of the best moments on this record.  It isn’t the record’s only positive moment, either.

‘Tobacco Road’ proves to be one of the best of Psychedelic Resurrection’s moments thanks to its direct link back to fellow greats of rock’s golden age such as The Doors, Deep Purple, and to a lesser extent The Grateful Dead.  ‘I’m Still Playing’ is another of the best moments from The Blues Magoos’ new album.  Unlike the album’s closer, this song is a much more straight-forward rock tune.  Its straight 4/4 time is driven largely by the band’s original drummer Geoff Daking.  His work on the kit alongside Castro’s vocals and work on the guitar may lead some to make a comparison to The Knack.  The song’s infectious chorus of “I’m still playin’/And you’re still hanging around” alone make this song another fun addition to the album.  Castro’s catchy riffs and Daking’s impeccable time keeping make the song even more enjoyable for audiences. The end result is one more song that given the opportunity will make The Blues Magoos more than just a one-hit wonder this time around.

Both ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ are great additions to The Blues Magoos’ new record.  They serve as only a tiny cross section of the album’s enjoyable whole, though.  ‘Gotta Get Away’ is perhaps one of the best additions of all to this record.  The reason for that is the seeming musical bridge between music’s golden era and its more modern era.  Castro sounds a little bit like fellow veteran vocalist Elvis Costello in this song, while the song’s musical side bears resemblance to the likes of Neil Young during the verses.  The song’s chorus sections sound are throwbacks to the golden era of rock.  As with the previously noted songs Daking’s drumming and Castro’s guitar work serves as the song’s backbone.  It is one of those musical hybrids that absolutely must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated.   Audiences that give this song a chance and any of the others included in this album will agree that while The Blues Magoos was little more than a cult favorite way back in the 1960s, it could be far more than that today thanks to this album.  Given the chance by audiences and programmers alike, Psychedelic Resurrection will prove that despite the comments of the likes of Gene Simmons, rock is not dead, but alive and well.

Psychedelic Resurrection is available now in stores and online.  In celebration of the album’s release, The Blues Magoos will perform live tomorrow, October 16th at The Bowery Electric in New York City.  Audiences can also pick up the band’s album at that concert, too tomorrow.  More information on Psychedelic Resurrection and all of the latest updates and live dates from The Blues Magoos is available online at:

Website: http://www.thebluesmagoos.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blues-Magoos-Psychedelic-Resurrection/136384816418734

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.

Michael C. Ford Releases Details Of Upcoming Album

Courtesy:  Hen House Studios

Courtesy: Hen House Studios

Michael C. Ford will release his latest work this Summer.

Ford will release Look Each Other In The Ears June 10th. The record, featuring accompaniments from The Doors’ Robby Krieger, John Densmore and the late Ray Manzarek, mixes the jazz-rock improv styling of Frank Zappa with the poetic yet socially conscious lyrics of the 1960s. It is the latest in a long string of releases from Ford that dates all the way back to his 1986 debut audio release Language Commando. That album garnered Ford a Grammy nomination in the “Spoken Word” category. It should be noted that many of the pieces recorded with the Doors members were recorded before the 2013 passing of Ray Manzarek. It is also the last recording ever made with what were then the remaining members of The Doors.

Ford’s new album runs the gamut, lyrically speaking. He noted in a recent interview how the current state of the nation led to the creation of many of the record’s works. “America has been transformed into, for all practical purposes, a non-existent attention span,” he said. “We don’t talk to each other on the phone anymore: we text message. We don’t drop a tone arm onto a turntable and watch a needle groove across tracks anymore: we stick iPods in our ears. I believe this recorded document is designed to inspire an audience of potential listeners to really turn the pages of their personal nostalgic notepads. My compositions of verbal art, certainly never forgetting the significance of all accompanying crafty instrumentals and the vast lyrical choral vocal contributions, create this maze of voices that I like to think of as movies for your ears.”


The track listing for Look Each Other In The Ears is listed below.



–For Openers (Lost Jazz Bars in Four-Time)

–A Simple Ode (To Frank O’Hara)

–Waterfalls (Look Each Other In The Ears)

–I Don’t Wanna Go (Said The Suicide)

–Mars Is America (Anytime At All)

–Sleeping Underwater

–Making Out (With Westwood Village)

–(Autobiography of) An American Bomb

–Wartime Carol (Bringing The War Back Home)

–Whatever Happened To The Orangegroves, Grandma

–Float Of Drive (Triple Bypass)


More information on Look Each Other In The Eye and more from Michael C. Ford is available online at http://www.michaelcford.com and http://henhousestudios.com/michael-c-ford-look-each-other-in-the-ears. 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.

Eagle Rock’s New Doors Documentary A Whole New Look At A Legendary Band

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment has released a number of pieces centered on The Doors in recent year.  Between the likes of Mr. Mojo Risin’ to Live at The Hollywood Bowl to this most recent release, Eagle Rock has painted a fully vivid picture of just what continues to make this band beloved by fans of all ages decades after the band’s final performance. R-Evolution is another special addition to Eagle Rock’s growing catalogue of recordings and documentaries from The Doors for a number of reasons.  The primary reason for its success is that it examines the band from an angle which it has never done so before.  That angle is how the band evolved over time in the public spotlight of television. Audiences get to see the band performing its hits on the likes of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Jonathan Winters Show, and so many others.  These performances offer a whole new glimpse into the band.  Making this latest release even more enjoyable is its compliment of bonus features.  Included with both the DVD and Blu-ray presentation of R-Evolution are: an extra near hour-long documentary as well as a bonus live performance of ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side).  That’s not all that fans get, either from the included bonus.  The real highlight of the bonus features will be discussed at more length later.  The last aspect of Eagle Rock’s latest in its ongoing tribute to The Doors that makes it so worthwhile for fans of this groundbreaking band is that it will be available in both a standard and deluxe edition when it is released later this month.  It’s the last part of what makes this latest release a must have for any true fan of The Doors.

The first aspect of R-Evolution that audiences will appreciate is the fact that it presents the band in a fashion like never before.  Eagle Rock has shown the band from a personal level in Mr. Mojo Risin’.  It has shown the band in its natural live setting in Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  Now, fans of this groundbreaking band see the band grow through the use of television in this release.  Knowing the band’s reputation—and especially that of its equally legendary front man Jim Morrison—it’s kind of odd to see Morrison and his band mates dressed so prim and proper early on in its performance on Shebang.  Here was a band that was the antithesis of bands like The Beatles dressed almost like John, Paul, George, and Ringo.  The change in the band is obvious as the years pass.  It’s especially interesting to see the remaining band members perform in the post-Morrison years.  It’s something that audiences can only appreciate by seeing for themselves.  It should be noted on the side that there is some brief nudity in the main presentation.  So viewers should use their discretion in viewing it.

The performances themselves that have been culled for this musical documentary are of course the foundation of its success.  They aren’t however the only part of its success.  Making this latest release even more of a joy for fans of The Doors is the extensive bonus features included as part of the whole.  Audiences are treated to a bonus live performance of ‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)’ as part of the collective bonuses.  Also included as a bonus is a near hour-long documentary on The Doors titled ‘Break Through The Lens.’  This documentary adds more depth to the songs and performances included in the main feature. It also serves to expand on the Doors documentaries already released by Eagle Rock Entertainment in recent years.  As nice as these additions are, the real gem of R-Evolution’s bonuses is the picture-in-picture commentary. The option of having PIP allows viewers to take in the main feature all while taking in the remaining Doors members’ thoughts on the recordings.  It knocks down two obstacles at one time.  For that addition, those behind R-Evolution are to be highly commended.

Those behind R-Evolution are to be commended for making available PIP commentary.  They are just as worthy of praise for the last factor in this presentation’s success.  That factor is the availability of R-Evolution in both standard edition and deluxe edition.  R-Evolution has been made available both in standard edition and expanded deluxe edition on both Blu-ray and DVD.  The deluxe edition comes complete with a bonus forty-page booklet loaded with trivia on the band, photos, lyrics and so much more.  This collection of extras is well worth the extra cost for any true blooded Doors fan.  Regardless of whether one picks up the standard or deluxe edition of R-Evolution, there is no denying that this upcoming musical documentary is quite the way for Eagle Rock Entertainment to kick off 2014.  More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.eaglerockent.com and http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt.  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.

Hidden Masters’ Debut LP Takes Psych-pop To A Whole New World

Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Rise Above Records/Metal Blade Records

The 1960s and 70s were two of the most important decades in the history of modern music.  Those twenty years saw some of the music world’s most influential and prolific artists and bands rise to fame.  Among those artists and bands were the likes of The Doors, Crosby Stills and Nash, Country Joe McDonald, and so many others.  Decades later, those artists and their music remain some of the most important and influential around.  One of the most recent examples of that influence lies in Glasgow, Scotland’s three piece known as Hidden Masters.  The band’s new album, Of This and Other Worlds is one of those albums that any true fan of rocks’ golden era will appreciate.  The songs on this new release openly exhibit the influence of the likes of The Doors, CSN, and others.  One of the most interesting of the album’s offerings is the song, ‘Last Days of the Sun.’ This song stands out among the album’s other tracks because of its two completely contrasting sounds.   At first it comes across as another of the band’s classic psychadelic style pieces.  But the song’s final moments sound more modern, with a sort of garage punk rock vibe.  Audiences will especially appreciate the almost Blue Oyster Cult style use of the cowbell (we need. More. Cowbell.) in this song.  That set against the song’s rather interesting lyrics, and audiences get a song that must be heard to be believed.  Lyrically speaking, ‘Last Days of the Sun’ is just as interesting as it is musically.  Front man David Addison sings as the song opens, “Tell me do you think it’s gonna rain/I sense something/But I just can’t name/The birds complaining too…”  Simply put, the combination of the lyrics and music together make this one of the album’s most intriguing tracks that must be heard.  It will grow on listeners more with each listen.

‘Last Days of the Sun’ is certain to make listeners pay very close attention to the song.  There is so much going on to take away from the song.  If that song isn’t enough for listeners, drummer John Nichol’s work behind the kit will impress on ‘There Are More Things.’  Nichols’ drives the song with his drumming right from the song’s outset.  The trio’s harmonies in the song’s chorus and its almost rockabilly meets hippy music feel only serve to make it even more interesting.  Its seemingly contemplative lyrics about all the things that man doesn’t know weirdly work with the music.  The two elements together give the song a certain mysterious vibe.  They are a good fit together.  And they make this one of those infectious songs that will get stuck in any listener’s head with ease, given the chance.

The energy exuded by the band in ‘There Are More Things’ is maintained even after that song ends and the band launches into the album’s next song.  The song in question is ‘Nobody Knows That We’re Here.’  What makes this song such an interesting addition to the album is that Addison’s part here is reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Painted Black.’  Some might argue here that that’s a little bit of a stretch.  But those that know the song will agree that the Rolling Stones influence is there even if it is purely coincidental.  The addition of Alasdair Mitchell’s keyboard part helps to set the song apart from that influence and turn the song into its own creation.  Together with the once again somewhat cryptic  lyrics sung by Addison, it makes for one more song that listeners will grow to enjoy more with each listen.

The songs noted in this article are just a small sampling of what Hidden Masters has to offer on its new album.  There are seven more songs from which to choose.  Each listener will find his or her favorite song(s) throughout the album’s ten tracks.  It is available now and can be ordered direct from the Rise Above Records online store at http://www.riseaboverecords.com/store/hidden-masters-of-this-and-other-worlds/.  More information on Hidden masters is available online at http://www.facebook.com/hiddenmastersmusic.  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.