INXS’ classic song, ‘Never Tear Us Apart‘ is getting renewed attention thanks to Sunflower Dead.
Sunflower Dead premiered its take on the INXS classic Friday. The cover’s premiere comes almost a month after the band premiered its then latest single, ‘Falling Down‘ and its companion lyric video. SFD’s take on the song is available to stream and download here.
Sunflower Dead’s take on the classic (which itself bears some musical and stylistic similarity to songs from The Rolling Stones) gives the song an interesting hard rock update. In this case, it bears more similarity to works from the likes of Saliva and other similar acts. The gritty sound of the vocals and infectious guitar solo pairs with the richness of the bass and drums
Front man Michael Del Pizzo talked about the band’s take on the song in a prepared statement.
“SFD really doesn’t like doing covers,” he said. “I guess we are too lazy to learn how others correctly play their songs which is funny because our new cover of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart is our second cover in 4 albums. Go figure! We did The Police’s Every Breath You Take on our debut album and to this day it remains one of our most requested songs and it had no radio play, no video and no promotion. For us to do a cover we have to completely rewrite our way. To do that, we have to be inspired by some kind of killer idea (in our heads at least) in a direction to take the song. With ‘Never Tear Us Apart,’ we started talking about doing this back in 2014 because we just loved the song. The thing is though, it is a very romantic and major scale type of sound. So yeah, there was no way we were doing this unless it was completely redone.”
Added Del Pizzo of the song’s cover, “I heard it in my head a certain way and rewrote the song in a minor key with crushing guitars and accordion added in. Once I showed [guitarist] Jaboo the approach, he was on board and we tracked it and fell in love with our dirty, dark, sexy and heavy version of the track. Oh and instead of doing a sax solo on the bridge, we had Jaboo rip up a guitar solo that expands upon the original sax melody. Love the original and now are extra happy with our dark rewrite of such a classic song.”
In other news, Sunflower Dead has announced a new slate of live dates. Dubbed “The Black Pilled Tour,” the run is scheduled to launch Oct. 22 in Des Moines, IA and to run through Nov. 14 in Huntsville, AL. The tour’s schedule is noted below.
Oct/Nov Tour Dates:
“The Black Pilled Tour”
Sunflower Dead will be supporting Smile Empty Soul (also on the bill is Tommy Gibbons)
10/22 Des Moines IA, Lefty’s 10/23 Saint Joseph MO, Cafe Acoustic 10/27 Wichita KS, Barleycorns 10/28 Oklahoma City OK, Kendall’s Bar 10/30 Fort Worth TX, The Rail Club 11/1 Austin TX, Come and Take it Live 11/2 Shreveport LA, 516 Soundstage 11/3 New Orleans LA, Southport Hall 11/4 Tallahassee FL, The Warrior 11/5 Jacksonville FL, Archetype 11/6 Sanford FL, West End Trading Co 11/7 Tampa FL, The Brass Mug 11/10 West Palm Beach FL, Propaganda 11/11 Fort Myers FL, Buddha Night Club 11/12 Gainesville FL, Highdive 11/13 Savannah GA, The Wormhole 11/14 Huntsville AL, Sidetracks
SFD’s take on ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is the third single from the band’s forthcoming album, March of the Leper, which is expected for release in early 2022. The band premiere the album’s lead single, ‘The Underneath‘ and itsvideo in August.
March of the Leper will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below.
March Of The Leper is available for pre-order and is available in 7 packages at this location: Pre-order
1. Signed CD
2. Signed Vinyl
3. Signed Limited Edition Cassette
4. Signed CD/T-Shirt Bundle
5. Signed Vinyl/T-shirt Bundle
6. Signed Cassette/T-Shirt Bundle
7. Everything Bundle
More information on Sunflower Dead’s new single, video, album and tour is available online now along with the band’s latest news at:
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Overnight Smash’ is a classic rock-infused composition. There are hints of Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and others interspersed throughout the course of the approximately three-minute opus. Listeners can even argue there is a slight influence from The Rolling Stones in the mix, too. The energy in the straight-driving composition is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained in its own right.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the new song takes on a rarely discussed matter, but one that is relevant to everyone, and Conte talked about that topic during a recent interview.
“‘Overnight Smash’ is about professional jealousy,” he said. “Once somebody starts ‘getting somewhere’ in their career, there is always that crowd that, for whatever reason, got left behind in the dust, and then they like to s***-talk about ya.”
More information on Steve Conte’s new single and album is available along with all of his latest news at:
Mercury Studios (formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment) and The Rolling Stones have brought quite a bit of enjoyment to fans of the legendary rock band over the course of almost the past decade. The two sides have partnered since 2012 to release no less than 18 archived live recordings from The Rolling Stones. The shows have come from points around the globe, from England to Japan to Cuba to the United States. Now Friday, the two sides will revisit one of The Rolling Stones’ “older” live recordings when they re-issue the band’s 2007 live recording, A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach. While it is a re-issue, this recording is still a presentation that will appeal to any fan of The Rolling Stones. That is due in no small part to the recording’s featured set list, which will be discussed shortly. The re-issue’s companion booklet is also of note. It will be discussed a little later. The recording’s production values round out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the re-issue. All things considered, they make the re-issue another wonderful new addition to the library of any fan of The Rolling Stones.
Mercury Studios and The Rolling Stones’ forthcoming re-issue of its 2007 live recording, A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach, is a re-issue done right. It will no doubt appeal to all of the band’s audiences. That includes those who might already own the recording’s original release. This is proven in large part through the recording’s set list. The set list features a total of 20 songs, one of which – ‘Night Time is the Right Time – is a cover of a song made famous by the equally legendary singer/songwriter, Ray Charles. Four others – ‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ ‘This Place is Empty,’ ‘Oh No, Not You Again,’ and ‘Tumbling Dice’ – were not featured in the original recording. This despite the fact that the band performed said songs at the 2006 concert, held in Rio De Janeiro. Mercuty Studios and The Rolling Stones are to be especially commended for the inclusion of the noted songs as part of the recording because it would have been just as easy for each side to just make the songs “bonus content.” This is something that many labels and acts do with live recordings. Even Mercury Studios has taken this route in past recordings from other acts. So to make the previously unreleased songs part of the main feature makes the recording whole. This, again, will appeal not only to those audiences who maybe do not already own the recording’s 2007 presentation, but also to those who do own that recording. It will certainly make replacing that recording all the easier.
Adding to the importance of the set list is that while the band once again features many of its timeless hits here, it also lifts from its then new album, 2005’s A Bigger Bang. The set list is not necessarily career-defining in the purest sense of the word, but it does pull from nin (almost half) of the albums that the band had released up to that point. A Bigger Bang and Exile on Main Street each get the most nods at three while Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed each get two. Along the way, other records, such as It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll, Voodoo Lounge, Some Girls, and Tattoo You each get one nod along with other records from the band’s extensive catalog.
As if everything noted is not enough, there is still one more aspect of the set list worth noting. That aspect is that the set list is presented in the same sequence on each of its available platforms. Those platforms are: DVD/2CD, SD BD/2CD, 2DVD/2CD, and 3LP. The Deluxe 2DVD/2CD platform will feature a 40-page book and the concert on DVD and CD. The bonus second DVD features the band’s 2005 Salt Lake City, UT concert in whole. That concert was also in support of A Bigger Bang. Now, keeping in mind all that the positives that the recording’s set list offers audiences, it is just a part of what makes this re-issue successful. The companion booklet that accompanies the recording adds its own appeal to the presentation.
The companion booklet that accompanies this re-issue is important because of the liner notes featured therein. Crafted by journalist Paul Sexton, the liner notes set the stage (pardon the pun) for the concert featured on the noted platforms. Sexton points out in his notes, front man Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards’ 1968 vacation to the region was at least partially responsible for the samba beat featured in ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’ He also notes that the free concert, which is estimated to have had an audience in excess of 1.5 million people, was not just something that the band did on a whim. He points out that a lot of thought and planning went into the event beforehand. That whole story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves just as much as that of the region’s impact on some of the band’s older material. Additionally, Sexton cites the band members themselves as they recall fondly, the experience of playing before one of the largest audiences ever for a free concert by any act. Between everything noted here and so much more pointed out by Sexton, the whole makes the liner notes just as important as the set list to this re-issue. It is easy to argue, considering this, that audiences should really read the liner notes before taking in the concert. Keeping that in mind, the overall content featured in this recording gives audiences much to appreciate. The collective content is only a portion of what makes the recording successful. The recording’s production values round out its most important elements.
The production values in this recording are just as appealing as the concert’s content. While 4KUHD might not have been a reality in 2006, recording technology from the early 2000s was still a huge improvement in comparison to that of the 80s and 90s. Keeping that in mind, the audio and video mix in this re-issue is solid throughout the course of the concert’s approximately two hour run time. The sound balance is expert from beginning to end. The camera work captures the concert from so many great angles. Staying on that note, the direction is to be commended for having such an eye for those angles. Thanks to that collective work, audiences are taken on stage with the band and above the crowd with various crane cam shots. The shots change at a pace that is just right to accent the energy within each song. This in itself is important because it means at no point will audiences be left feeling dizzied or even bored. The mixes make the transitions just as smooth, too. Simply put, everything incorporated in to the production makes the concert’s presentation just as successful as the concert’s content. All things considered, the concert proves to be a prime example of a re-issue done right.
Mercury Studios and The Rolling Stones’ forthcoming re-issue of A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach is a presentation that every fan of The Rolling Stones will appreciate. That is proven in part through its featured set list. The set list runs 20 songs deep and is presented in whole. That is in comparison to the set list featured in the recording’s 2007 presentation, which was lacking four songs featured in the then 2006 concert. The set list is also featured in the same sequence on each of its available platforms. It is also an extensive presentation of the band’s catalog at that point. Given it might not be career-spanning per se, but still does a good job of representing the band’s catalog. The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet add their own appeal because of the foundation that they form. That foundation is formed through the background information that the notes provide. The recording’s production rounds out the presentation’s most important elements. The sound and video are expertly balanced while the cinematography does its own share to keep viewers engaged and entertained. It is a tribute to the work that was put in to remaster and re-edit all of the featured content. Each element examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make the recording a presentation that every fan of The Rolling Stones will enjoy and a prime example of a re-issue done right.
A Bigger Bang: Live on Copacabana Beach is scheduled for release Friday through Mercury Studios and Universal Music Group. More information on Steel Wheels Live is available along with all of its latest news at:
When Lynyrd Skynyrd released its debut live recording, One More from the Road in September 1976, no one knew that it would go on to be the only live recording from the band (at the time) featuring the group’s original lineup. More than a year after the recording’s release, on Oct. 20, 1977, a plane crash claimed the lives of then front man Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (who was Steve Gaines’ sister). The crash happened during the band’s tour in support of One More from The Road and ironically, only days after the band released what would be its fifth album, Street Survivors. After the tragedy of that incident, more than a decade would pass before the band reformed with a new lineup and album. More than three decades would pass before any other live recording featuring the band’s original lineup would see the light of day in 2009’s Authorized Bootleg: Lynyrd Skynyrd Live: Cardiff Capitol Theater and Authorized Bootleg: Live at Winterland – San Francisco Mar 07, 1976. Every live recording that followed (and those in between) have all featured the band’s post crash lineup. Now Friday, Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe will release another rare fully official recording featuring the band’s original lineup in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76. The concert captured in this rare recording took place Aug. 21, 1976 at the Knebworth as part of the day-long festival headlined by none other than The Rolling Stones. This is an important piece of information about the concert. It plays directly into the recording’s presentation and will be discussed later. The most important of the recording’s elements is its set list, which will be discussed shortly. For all that this concert offers audiences to appreciate, it is an imperfect presentation. That is due to one key limitation, which will be discussed a little later. Even keeping that one negative in mind, it is not enough to make the recording a failure. Keeping this in mind, the recording proves for the most part, to be a work that most Lynyrd Synyrd fans will appreciate.
Very few official recordings featuring live performances of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original lineup have ever seen the light of day over the decades. In all, only three of those recordings have ever been released. That is saying a lot. Now Friday, what will be only the fourth ever live recording featuring the band’s original lineup will be released in the form of Live at Knebworth ’76. This 11-song recording is a mostly successful presentation, too. Part of the recording’s success comes through its set list. The set list pulls from all of its then four studio recordings, and even from its debut live recording, One More from the Road. What is truly interesting to note is just how balanced the set list is. The band’s 1973 debut album Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd receives three nods as does its follow-up, Second Helping. That record’s follow-up, 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy, was represented with two songs while the band’s then latest album, 1976’s Gimme Back My Bullets is represented by one song. One More from the Road got two nods here. Simply put, it is easy to say that this rare live recording’s set list was at the time, career-defining. Adding to the interest here is that research into the band’s tour in support of One More from the Road, compared to this concert’s set list, mostly lines up. Comparisons show that the majority of the songs most commonly played by the band during its tour at the time are featured here. There is some variance between the band’s average set list from the tour and this concert’s set list, but for the most part, audiences got the set list presented in most of the band’s shows. To that end, the set list featured in this presented concert forms a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation. Now, for all that the concert’s set list does to establish appeal for the overall presentation, the recording does suffer from one negative. That negative comes from the limitation of the availability of the authorized Lynyrd Skynyrd biography, If I Leave Here Tomorrow. The last time this documentary was released was in 2018. The 97-minute documentary recounts Ronnie Van Zant’s upbringing, how that played into his song writing, and the band members’ relationships. It is itself a rarity, being that it is so difficult to find at any of America’s major retailers. In the case of its presentation here, it is made available as part of the recording’s Blu-ray/CD platform, but not its separate DVD/CD platform. Who made such a decision and why is anyone’s guess. Regardless, that limitation means that audiences who want to watch the documentary will either have to buy the Blu-ray player and HDMI cable, and Blu-ray/CD package (if they do not already own said product) or just try to find it streaming online. It really is a disservice to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s fans that the documentary would be so limited in its availability. Of course in defense of Eagle Rock and UMe, maybe not everyone is such a devotee and some people care more about the concert. To that end, that limited availability is not enough to make this recording a failure. Regardless, again, it is still a concern that audiences cannot ignore.
Going back to the topic of the concert and those audiences who perhaps prefer that more than the documentary, they and all other audiences receive in the concert, quite the presentation. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s performance here is considered by critics and fans alike to be a defining moment for the band. That is even considering that it was hardly the band’s first ever performance outside the United States. The band played Europe well before the tour that included its Knebworth show. There really is something special in this performance. The band keeps the energy high throughout the course of the 66-minute (one hour, six minutes) concert, wasting little time between songs with any amount of talking. Rather, the band allowed its performance to talk. In all honesty, the performance moves so fluidly that audiences are left feeling like it has reached its midpoint and even finale before they realize it. That is meant in the most complimentary fashion possible. It means that the band uses its songs and performances to make audiences completely forget about the time and just enjoy the show.
One big part of what makes that full immersion happen is the collective performance of drummer Artemis Pyle, guitarists Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Steve Gaines, and bassist Leon Wilkerson. The quartet’s talent is on full display throughout the show. The manic energy from the group throughout is so powerful as it pulls in audiences. Meanwhile, Van Zant’s own eclectic performance made for its own interest. His general lack of real emotion and motion throughout the show made for quite the contrast to the power in his vocals. Those moments in which he just stands there on stage as his band mates play their solos immerses audiences even more. That is because it makes audiences want to know what is going on in his mind. That mystery in itself makes for so much interest in his performance.
The audience’s reaction to this overall performance will engage and entertain home viewers just as much as the band’s performance. Some of those in attendance at the concert were decked out in Rolling Stones apparel – The Rolling Stones headlined the Knebworth show, but most critics agree Lynyrd Skynyrd even outperformed them, which speaks volumes — dancing just as energetically in time with the music. It clearly shows the band’s popularity at that early point in its life. Even in the more contemplative opening minutes of ‘Freebird’ audiences remained just as engaged, the camera at times showing the almost intense focus and attention from the audience as the band performed. At yet other points, the cameras capture a Confederate flag waving in the air as the band performed. This was not a flag that the band had in the crowd, either. It was brought by the audience. As a reminder, this was a show in England. It made the moment one of the weirdest moments in live music history, even as simple as it was. Yet at the same time, it shows the reach of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s appeal at that point in time. Between the interest that it creates and that generated through the rest of the audience reaction and through the band’s performance, the whole of that interaction makes clear why the actual recording featured in this package proves so important and enjoyable. When the appeal generated through the interaction between the band and audience is considered along with the recording’s equally rich set list, those elements make this recording a presentation that will appeal to any Lynyrd Synyrd fan. That is even with the one negative concerning the documentary’s limited availability in mind.
Eagle Rock Entertainment and UMe’s forthcoming presentation of Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 is a presentation that audiences will agree is a mostly successful presentation, especially being such a rare presentation. The recording’s success comes in part from its set list. The show’s set list is a presentation in itself that was at the time of the concert, career-defining. It pulled from all of the band’s studio recordings at the time and from its debut live recording. That live recording and this latest are technically the only two fully official live recordings featuring the band’s original lineup. Two “official bootlegs” were released in 2009 by Geffen Records, but are again, “bootlegs,” so considering this along with the career-defining set list in this recording, the set list gains even more importance. While the set list is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation, the limitation on the availability of the companion authorized documentary detracts from the recording’s appeal to a point. Luckily its negative impact is not enough to make the recording a failure, though it cannot be ignored, regardless. Moving on from there, the band’s performance and the audience’s reaction to that performance pairs with the set list to make the recording all the more enjoyable. That performance leaves no doubt about critics’ statements that the band outplayed The Rolling Stones, who were stars in their own right at that point. All things considered here, Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live at Knebworth ’76 proves itself a presentation that is for the most part, a successful new offering from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eagle Rock Entertainment, and UMe.
Pre-orders for Live at Knebworth ’76 are open. A trailer for the concert is streaming here.
More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available at:
Saxon is giving audiences yet another preview of its forthcoming covers compilation.
The band debuted its take on The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ Friday, along with the cover’s companion lyric video. The cover is the third single from Saxon’s forthcoming covers compilation, Inspirations, which is scheduled for release March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The collection also features covers of Deep Purple’s ‘Speed King‘ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it Black.’
Saxon front man Biff Byford noted during a recent interview, his appreciation for The Beatles is far-reaching.
“I sawThe Beatleson TV for the first time in 1963,”he said. “It was a very inspirational moment for me to think maybe I could be in a band!”
Saxon’s take on ‘Paperback Writer’ stays true to its source material, but amps it up considerably. The song takes on more of an arena rock type work here versus the more pop rock approach taken in The Beatles’ original.
The track listing for Inspirations is noted below. Pre-orders are open.
Paint It Black
Hold The Line
See My Friends
More information on Inspirations is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
Saxon will open the new year with a new covers record.
The band is scheduled to release its new collection, aptly titled Inspirations, March 19 through Silver Linings Music. The 11-song record features covers of songs from bands, such as The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy. Audiences can hear the band’s cover of The Rolling Stones’ famed song ‘Painted Black,’ which is featured in the compilation, here.
Front man Biff Byford, who released his own solo record School of Hard Knocks this year, talked about the band’s new compilation during a recent interview.
“We wanted to do an album based on our influences, the songs and bands that inspired us to write what we did and still do, and it was also interesting to see what my voice could do as I haven’t sung many of these songs before,” said Byford. “We didn’t want to change any of the songs too much, just play them more likeSaxon. And we also think it’s very important to have – and share with the fans – some fun in these dark times.”
Alongside the noted covers, Saxon’s forthcoming compilation also features covers of songs from other acts, such as Motorhead, Toto, and Led Zeppelin. The collection was recorded at Brockfield Hall near York, in the United Kingdom. the structure was constructed in 1804 and houses the largest collection of paintings from Yorkshire’s impressionist artists — The Staiths.
Byford talked about recording in the facility during his noted interview.
“The warmth and feel of Inspirations had so much to do with being together in this magnificent place and doing it ‘old-school’ style,” said Byford. “This is how many bands back in the day -including some of the ones covered here- made such great albums, so it just felt really good to be able to do this somewhere like Brockfield Hall.”
Inspirations‘ track listing is noted below. The album will release on CD, vinyl, and digital outlets. Pre-orders are open.
Paint It Black
Hold The Line
See My Friends
More information on Inspirations is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
Live music and live music venues took a big hit this year thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic. That goes without saying. Music acts and venues from the independent level all the way up to the big names were force to put their live music plans on hold indefinitely as a result of the pandemic. However a glimmer of hope rose this week when Live Nation head Joe Berchtold was quoted by major media outlets as saying that he believed live music would return by summer 2021. One can only hope that Mr. Berchtold is right, and that when it does return, audiences will welcome its return rather than let the germaphobes control their minds. Until then, audiences do have lots of live music to enjoy on CD, DVD and Blu-ray that was released this year. Hammerfall released its latest live recording Live!Against The World this year. Dream Theater also dropped its new live recording Distant Memories: Live in London. Metallica even celebrated the anniversary of its landmark S&M show with the release of S&M2. These are just some of the recordings that made Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings. They were joined by new live material from the likes of Myrath, The Rolling Stones, and Kamelot.
As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the Top 10 new titles in the given category and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles. Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings.
PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW LIVE RECORDINGS
Hammerfall – Live!Against The World
Jimi Hendrix – Live in Maui
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration
Def Leppard – London to Vegas
The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live
Devin Townsend – Order of Magnitude: Empath Live Volume 1
John Lee Hooker – Live at Montreux 1983 & 1990
Waylon Jennings – The Outlaw Perrformances
Myrath – Live in Carthage
Kamelot – I Am The Empire Live from the 013
Dream Theater – Distant Memories: Live in London
Metallica – S&M2
Delta Rae – Coming Home To Carolina
Bush – Live in Tampa
Dee Snider – For The Love of Metal
Up next from Phil’s Picks is one of the last three music categories of the year, Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Rock Albums. After that will be the year’s top new hard rock & metal albums, and then last but not least, the year’s top new albums overall. From there, it’ll be on to the DVDs and Blu-rays in all of their categories. Stay tuned for all of that.
Family entertainer Brady Rymer is keeping himself busy this year. Rymer released his latest album Songs Across The Pond over the summer. The record was a collaboration with fellow family entertainer David Gibb. Later this month he will host a free livestream concert. The performance is scheduled to take place noon ET on Dec. 19 through Rymer’s official Facebook page. Additionally, Rymer and his fellow musicians The Little Band That Could debuted their latest single, ‘Angels in The Snow’ Friday. The song is the lead single from the group’s new holiday compilation by the same name, which was released Nov. 6 through Bumblin’ Bee Records. The record is among the most unique of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s most unique. That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs, which will be discussed shortly. The musical arrangements that are featured within the four song EP add their own share of interest to the record, and will be discussed a little later. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the EP’s elements. When it is considered with the noted other items, the whole of those items makes Angels in the Snow a holiday music compilation that the whole family will enjoy.
Angels in the Snow, the new holiday music compilation from Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could, is presentation that holds is own against its counterparts in this year’s field of new holiday music compilations. That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs. Of the four songs that make up the record’s body, three are originals. Only one – ‘My Favorite Things’ – is a cover. The album’s lead single and title track does incorporate the traditional holiday song ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ but its use in that song is minimal at best. It is more of a “supporting element” to the bigger composition than its focus. Even the lyrical themes in the songs are largely original, making the songs even more engaging and entertaining. ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ for instance is something to which every parent and child can relate. It finds a young child asking his/her dad why he/she has to wait to open his/her presents on Christmas morning. The anticipation is so difficult for the child as he/she has to wait for his/her parents to get coffee first and do other things.
While ‘My Favorite Things’ is at its heart, a cover of the timeless classic from The Sound of Music, this version presents the “favorite things” of a dog. Among those favorite things are: hanging the dog’s head out the window of a moving vehicle, feeling snowflakes fall on its nose, and “naps in the cool shade.” So even while they have covered a classic here, Rymer and company still give the song a new, unique touch that adds even more to the appeal to its presentation and that of the EP.
‘Writing A Letter to Santa Claus’ is another way in which the EP’s songs show their own importance. This song is straight forward. It is told from the vantage point of a child who is writing that letter to Santa with all of his/her wishes for Christmas. What is really interesting about the song’s lyrical theme is that while yes, there are wishes for certain toys and other items, the letter also tells Santa that the child wants to ride in his sleigh, etc. So it’s not just about the toys. That adds even more appeal to the song. In turn, it adds even more appeal to the EP overall. Keeping that in mind along with the content in the other noted songs and their overall originality, no doubt is left at this point as to the importance of the songs featured in Rymer and company’s new EP to its presentation. They are just a portion of what makes the record stand out. The musical arrangements featured within the songs add their own touch to the EP’s presentation, too.
The arrangements that are featured within Angels in the Snow are just as original as the songs themselves. They are also diverse. The EP’s closer, ‘Writing A Letter to Santa’ presents a vintage country/western style arrangement, complete with the slide guitar twang that is so trademark to the genre and the just as audible twang in Rymer’s vocal delivery. The subtle addition of the organ (likely a Hammond B3) and the gentle snare drum rolls enriches the song’s arrangement even more. Much the same can be said of the addition of the sleigh bells just as Rymer mentions the reindeer.
The simple arrangement featured in the EP’s title track/opener lends itself ever so slightly to works from Soul Asylum, giving listeners even more musical variety. As a matter of fact, one could argue that Rymer’s vocal delivery here lends itself just as slightly to not just Soul Asylum front man Dave Pirner, but also to The Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger. The Jagger comparison is especially audible in the song’s choruses while the comparison to Pirner is more noticeable in the verses. The stylistic approach to the song’s instrumentation, what with the use of the drums, keyboards, and guitar add to the comparison to Soul Asylum works. The equally subtle use of the bells adds its own special touch to the song’s arrangement. The whole of this arrangement is just one more exhibition of how the record’s musical content makes the record’s musical side so important. The arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ is yet another example of what makes the record’s musical presentation so important.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ takes listeners back to the 1960s. This arrangement is one that will especially appeal to parents (and even grandparents). That is thanks to the use of the horns, piano, and drums. The immediate comparison that comes to this critic’s mind is that of Dr. John. Such comparison is due more to the song’s instrumentation here than Rymer’s performance. The energy is there, but is also just controlled enough to paint a rich of that child on the stairs, head in hands, waiting so patiently yet anxiously. At the same time, the overall sound conjures those thoughts of those night clubs from days gone by. It is an arrangement in whole that has so much substance, in other words, and is certain to appeal to listeners of all ages. When this is considered along with the appeal in the other songs addressed here and with that of Rymer’s updated take of ‘My Favorite Things,’ the arrangements in whole prove to be just as important to the EP’s presentation as its songs. Together, these two elements more than ensure listeners’ engagement and enjoyment, and are just a portion of what makes the record stand out. The songs’ sequencing rounds out the EP’s most important elements.
In listening through the course of Angels in Snow, listeners will note that the 13-minute record is mostly a gentle, relaxed presentation. Its mid-tempo opener, more relaxed take of ‘My Favorite Things’ and reserved energy in its closer collectively keep its mood relatively relaxed without being too slow. ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ meanwhile breaks up that more relaxed sense that populates most of the song, what with its more excited energy and lyrical content. In breaking up the album and changing things up even momentarily, that variance helps to make the record’s sequencing just as impacting as the EP’s overall content. Keeping this in mind, the positive result of the EP’s sequencing shows its importance just as much as the EP’s songs and their musical arrangements. All things considered, they make the record in whole a surprisingly welcome musical gift that the whole family will enjoy.
Brady Rymer & The Little Band The Could have released in its new EP Angels in the Snow, a work that is among the best of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s best overall. That is proven in part through the songs that make up the record’s body. They are largely original compositions instead of covers. Their lyrical content is original, too, even in the cover of ‘My Favorite Things.’ The arrangements that accompany the songs and their lyrical content are original in their own right. This adds even more pleasure to the listening experience in the case of this EP. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. It ensures listeners’ engagement and enjoyment just as much as the record’s content because of how it balances the EP’s energy. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered they make Angels in the Snow a record that will find plenty of plays any holiday season.
Angels in the Snow is available now. More information on the album is available along with Brady Rymer’s latest news at:
Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds
Eagle Rock Entertainment will take audiences back to the famed Montreux Jazz Festival again next month.
The company is scheduled to release John Lee Hooker Live at Montreux 1983 & 1990 on Nov. 6. The presentation will release on separate 2LP, digital video & digital audio platforms. The 1983 set features fan favorites, such as ‘Boogie Chillen,’ ‘Boom Boom,’ and ‘Worried Life Blues’ while his 1990 show featured ‘I’m In The Mood,’ ‘Baby Lee’ and ‘The Healer’ as well as another rendition of ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘Boogie Chillen.’
On a side note, Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recent live recording from The Rolling Stones, Steel Wheels Live also featured Hooker performing ‘Boogie Chillen’ alongside Mick Jagger and company. The recording is available now.
Hooker was joined by the Coast to Coast Band for each of the featured performances. The 1983 show saw the group’s performance of ‘Boogie Chillen’ expand to a 13-person jam session that featured performances from famed blues figures, such as guitarist Luther Allison and harmonica great Sugar Blue.
The track listing for the recording is noted below. Pre-orders are open now. A trailer for the recording is streaming here.
LIVE AT MONTREUX 1983 – LP 1 SIDE ONE
1. It Serves Me Right To Suffer
2. I Didn’t Know
3. Hi-Heel Sneakers
4. If You Take Care Of Me, I’ll Take Care Of You
5. Boom Boom
1. Worried Life Blues
2. I’m Jealous
3. Crawlin’ King Snake
4. Boogie Chillen
LIVE AT MONTREUX 1990 – LP 2 SIDE THREE
1. John Lee Hooker Introduction
3. I’m In The Mood
4. Crawlin’ King Snake
5. Baby Lee
1. It Serves Me Right To Suffer
2. Boom Boom
3. The Healer
4. Boogie Chillen’
More information on John Lee Hooker Live at Montreux 1983 & 1990 is available along with all of the latest John Lee Hooker news at:
The true greatest rock band in the world returned this week with another new archived live recording. The band in question is The Rolling Stones and the recording in question is one of its three December 1989 concerts in Atlantic City, NJ in support of its then new album Steel Wheels. The performance was part of the band’s “Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle” tour, which was the band’s first American tour since 1981. The recording is another presentation that will appeal to The Rolling Stones’ fans just as much as rock fans in general just as much as the multitude of previous live recordings. That count is almost at 20 counting (not counting this recording) if not right at said figure. The main reason that audiences will appreciate the recording so much is its extensive set list. The list, which runs approximately two-and-a-half hours in length, will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance thereof adds to the enjoyment in its own way. This will be addressed a little later. The recording’s production values round put the finishing touch to its presentation. When it is considered along with the set list and the band’s performance, the elements collectively make the recording another welcome way to beat the live music blues this and any year.
The Rolling Stones’ latest live recording is another fully immersive, enjoyable presentation for the band’s most devoted fans and rock fans in general. In an age when live music has been relegated to watching concerts online, this offering from the greatest rock band in the world is its own welcome offering and alternative to being glued to a computer or phone screen. That is proven in part through the recording’s extensive set list. The 28-song set list spans a run time of approximately two-and-a-half hours. It takes audiences all the way back to 1965 and the band’s fourth album Out Of Our Heads and all the way up to its then most recent album, 1989’s Steel Wheels. Given, not every album in-between is represented in the set list, but in comparison to the set lists featured in the band’s past live recordings, audiences do get some songs not featured in those presentations. The band’s five nods to Steel Wheels are themselves works that have rarely if ever been featured in the noted previous live presentations. The band’s cover of Bob & Earl’s ‘Harlem Shuffle’ and its performance of its own single ‘Undercover of the Night’ (from 1983) are in themselves live rarities. So audiences have all of that to enjoy. Along with the noted songs, audiences also get more familiar songs, such as ‘Honky Tonk Women,’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ and ‘Tumblin’ Dice’ among others. As if all of that is not enough, the band also pulls ‘2,000 Light Years From Home,’ ‘Happy,’ and ‘Salt of the Earth’ as some semi-rare works from its catalog. Also making this set list so enjoyable are guest appearances from blues legend John Lee Hooker, who joins the band for a performance of his own hit song ‘Boogie Chillen’ and a guest appearance by fellow blues legend Eric Clapton on that song and ‘Little Red Rooster.’
The set list in itself does a lot to make Steel Wheels Live appealing to audiences. The set list proves itself even more critical to the recording’s presentation in that it is the exact same in the recording’s DVD, CD, digital and vinyl platforms. In other words, audiences get the same presentation from one platform to the next. This is important to note because even today, there are some acts out there whose live recordings vary across platforms. So to have the same thing from one platform to the next makes the set list that much more important to the recording.
Additionally, the set list’s sequencing plays its own part to the recording’s presentation. From the show’s opening up until the band takes on ‘Terrifying,’ the show’s energy remains relatively high. It is not until the noted point that the band pulls things back. The noted relaxation lasts only momentarily. After that song and ‘Salt of the Earth,’ which features a guest appearance by Guns N’ Roses members Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin, the show’s energy picks back up. Their performance alongside Mick Jagger and company will be addressed a little later. ‘Honky Tonk Women’ slows things down again, but still manages to keep the concert’s energy flowing solidly thanks to its swagger. The same can be said of ‘Midnight Rambler,’ too. That song comes immediately after ‘Honky Tonk Women.’ From that point on, the show’s energy rises and falls in all of the right points and ways, showing without question the amount of time and thought that went into assembling the set list. That effort paid off, too. When this aspect is considered along with the set list’s presentation across the recording’s platforms and its breadth and depth, those elements collectively make the set list the most important aspect of this recording. It builds a solid foundation for the recording’s presentation on which the band’s performance rests easily.
The Rolling Stones’ performance of Steel Wheels Live’s set list is important to note because it does its own part to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Those audiences who are familiar with the band’s live show style already has an expected standard from the band. Those audiences will be glad to know that the band lives up to that expectation here just as much as in the band’s past performances. Front man Mick Jagger is just as confident as ever as he struts his way across the stage and sings. That swagger is on full display just as much. Guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood keep the energy moving along with drummer Charlie Watts, the trio’s work just as engaging as ever in its own right. Wood and Richards’ prowess on their instruments makes one forget the woes of the world, especially as they make their way through the blues classic ‘Little Red Rooster’ alongside Eric Clapton. The group’s performance is just as solid as it supports Rose and Stradlin in the collective’s performance of ‘Salt of the Earth.’ On a similar note, viewers will be pleased to see that Rose shares the stage with Jagger and company in that performance rather than trying to steal the spotlight. It shows that he knows he and Stradlin are the guests here, not the stars. Even when he gets the spotlight in ‘Cant’ Be Seen,’ Richards shows once again, his talent as a performer and not just a guitarist. He and the band’s longtime backing vocalists make for so much enjoyment and engagement in their own way. Between that aspect and the rest of the presentation in the concert, the band’s performance in whole makes for a wonderful experience. It builds on the foundation formed by the show’s set list to make the recording even more enjoyable. When the two elements are considered together, they give audiences even more reason to take in this concert. They are still only a portion of what makes the recording so impressive. Its production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.
Just as with all of The Rolling Stones’ past live recordings released through Eagle Rock Entertainment, the production here gives home viewers the best seat in the house. When the cameras go out beyond the sea of people, audiences get a full picture of just how many people attended the concert, and the sheer immensity of the band’s stage setup. The on-stage footage immerses audiences into the performance even more as it takes viewers along for the ride up close with the band. The transitions from shot to shot throughout and the sound enrich the experience even more. From a more relaxed moment, such as in ‘Sympathy for the Devil to the more fiery cover of ‘Harlem Shuffle’ and everywhere else, the guitars and vocals are so well-balanced with Watts’ time keeping and the work of the band’s fellow musicians. Each performer gets an equal share of time in the limelight. Considering that and the smooth camera transitions, no doubt is left about the impact of the concert’s production. When this is considered along with the band’s performance and the concert’s set list, the whole of these elements makes Steel Wheels Live a presentation that is another welcome addition to The Rolling Stones and Eagle Rock Entertainment’s ongoing series of live recordings from the band.
Eagle Rock Entertainment and The Rolling Stones’ latest live recording Steel Wheels Live is yet another welcome addition to the two sides’ ongoing series of live recordings. That is proven in part through the recording’s expansive set list. The set list runs 26 songs deep and spans a run time of two-and-a-half hours. Given, it is not a career-spanning set even for its time, but does still present a relatively clear cross section of the band’s catalog up to that point. The band’s performance of the featured set list is everything that audiences have come to expect from The Rolling Stones. The swagger and the energy is there from beginning to end. The concert’s production values play their own part to the recording’s presentation. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation. All things considered, they make the recording as solid as steel. Steel Wheels Live is available now.
More information on Steel Wheels Live is available along with all of its latest news at: