Eagle Rock Entertainment’s New Waylon Jennings Concert is A “Performance” That Every Country Music Fan Should See

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Waylon Jennings is one of the greatest and most revered names in the history of country music.  That goes without saying, and Eagle Rock Entertainment is going to remind audiences just why he remains such a respected figure within the country music (and music in general) world Friday with a new archived recording, The Outlaw Performance.  Recorded in 1978 at a sold out show at the Opry House in Nashville, TN, the 16-song performance is a deep dive into what is the most important era in his career, the 1970s.  That was the era that saw Jennings break away from the so-called “Nashville Sound” and grow more into his own artist, thus earning him the title of an “outlaw” country artist.  That set list forms the foundation for this recording and will be addressed shortly.  The performance of the set list by Jennings and company adds to the recording’s presentation even more and will be addressed a little later.  The audio and video quality of the recording rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make The Outlaw Performance a welcome addition to any country music purist’s live music library and one of the year’s best new live DVDs and BDs.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new archived live Waylon Jennings recording The Outlaw Performance is a fitting tribute to a man who is one of the most respected and revered names in country music.  That is proven in part through the concert’s set list.  Composed of 16 songs, the set list pulls from many of the albums that Jennings released during the 1970s.  That was the era during which Jennings broke away from the so-called “Nashville Sound” and became his own artist.  That is what led his music to become dubbed “outlaw country.”  While not every one of the 16 albums that he released between 1970 and 1979 is represented here, a healthy cross section of that catalog is represented.  In all, 11 of those albums are represented, including Jennings’ “duets” album that he recorded with longtime friend Willie Nelson.  That album, Waylon & Willie, was released in 1978.  The set list reaches as far back as Jennings’ 1972 album Good Hearted Woman and as recently as the aforementioned duets record with Nelson and another 1978 album, I’ve Always Been Crazy.  That album gets the most nods in this performance, with four of its songs featured in the set.  That makes sense, considering the performance itself would have been part of a tour in support of said album.  Honky Tonk Heroes (1973), Dreaming My Dreams (1975) and Are You Ready For The Country? (1976) each get two nods in this set list while Good Hearted Woman (1972), Lonesome, Onry and Mean (1973), The Ramblin’ Man (1974), This Time (1974), OlWaylon (1977) and Waylon & Willie (1978) each get one nod.  Again, this is not a representation of Jennings’ full 1970s catalog, but is still a rich picture of where he was in his life and career at the time.  One of the featured songs, ‘Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand?’ was a discussion on Jennings’ battle with drug use at the time.  ‘Good Hearted Woman’ was, in Jennings’ own words, about his wife Jessi Colter.

Staying on the note of the set list, audiences are treated to audio commentary from the late great musician in each of the set’s featured songs.  That adds even more enjoyment to the set.  As Jennings and his fellow musicians make their way through ‘This Time’ audiences hear from Jennings as he discusses how the song, which became a #1 hit, almost didn’t happen.  What led the song to be completed will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In discussing ‘Good Hearted Woman,’ Jennings was quoted as saying, “It describes her [Colter] better than anything” and as saying that if not for Nelson, the song might not have been completed.  ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way’ closes out the set, which runs just under an hour.  Jenning is heard saying as the song nears its finale that, “In music, there has to be a freedom…If you don’t have that freedom, then you’re dead going in.”  This is a direct reference to Jennings’ professional growth at the time, and how it led him to grow away from the so-called “Nashville Sound.”  There is more commentary from Jennings as the end credits roll, and said commentary adds even more engagement to the presentation.  Audiences will be left to take in that commentary for themselves.  Taking all of the noted commentary into mind along with the set list, these two elements go a long way toward making The outlaw Performance quite engaging and entertaining just on their merits.  Of course, the set list and its accompanying commentary is just a portion of what stands out about the performance.  The performance put on by Jennings and company in the concert adds to the performance’s engagement and entertainment even more.

The performance by Jennings and company throughout the performance is important to examine because in the bigger picture of the show because of what the band does and doesn’t do here.  What the band doesn’t do is waste a lot of time between songs with unnecessary rambling.  Rather, the band maximizes its time on stage, letting the music do the talking for the group.  Given, there are a few very brief moments of monologue through the course of the roughly 50-minute-plus performance, but in large part, the music is the star.  That is not to say that audience interaction is a bad thing.  Don’t misinterpret that.  But depending on venues, acts only have a certain amount of time to perform, so that can limit that audience interaction.  Likelihood here is that the band’s time was greatly limited, so the band made the most of the situation, and still managed to entertain the audience in house in the process.  Because of how the group handled the situation, audiences at home will be just as entertained as those who were in attendance.  Staying on that note,  the band keeps the energy flowing throughout, with Waylon’s subtle yet expert riffs and his vocal delivery.  The bass and drums add their own share of enjoyment in each song, enriching each performance with just enough low end and flares from the cymbals, floor toms and snares.  Between the expert musicianship and the maximizing of the allotted time, the band’s performance clearly strengthens even more, the foundation formed through the recording’s set list.  It still is not the last of the recording’s most notable elements.  The collective audio and video quality of the recording rounds out its most important elements.

The audio and video quality of The Outlaw Performance is important to note because it is impressive in its own right.  Considering that the footage is more than four decades old, it has obviously stood the test of time.  Either that or those behind the concert’s presentation did one heck of a job remastering everything.  Interestingly it doesn’t look like anyone touched the video, as the video still has that look that so much old school video recording has.  It’s grainy rather than clear and sharp, but not overly so.  It shows the marks of having been recorded to film through older cameras, yet still somehow looks so good in its original presentation.  So again, the only thing that can be assumed here is that the footage was just that well preserved.  Taking into consideration the audio, it is possible that some of that might have been remastered.  That’s not to say that the audio was remastered, but if not, then it certainly stood the test of time just as well as its visual counterpart.  Seeing and hearing the concert in whole is like taking a wonderful trip back in time right on screen.  That is the simplest way to explain the quality of the audio and video. The collective audio and video will grab at audiences’ nostalgia greatly, and together with the concert’s songs and the performance of those songs, will make audiences forget the worries of everything going on around for at least an hour and in the process prove itself a must have for country music fans everywhere.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new archived Waylon Jennings concert The Outlaw Performance is a work that country music fans and Waylon Jennings fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the songs that make up the show’s set list.  They are a statement of where Jennings was personally and professionally at the time of the 1978 concert.  The audio commentary that comes from Jennings himself adds even more to the set list as it gives a little extra background to each song.  The overall performance of the set by Jennings and company adds even more engagement and enjoyment for audiences in its own right, as has been pointed out here.  The overall audio and video quality of the recording puts the finishing touch to the recording’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make The Outlaw Performance one more of this year’s top new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  It will be available Friday.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock Entertainment Announces Release Date, Specs For New Archived Waylon Jennings Concert

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is resurrecting Waylon Jennings…sort of.

The company is scheduled to release Waylon Jennings The Outlaw Performance May 15 on DVD.  Originally captured in 1978 at a sold out show at the Opry House in Nashville, TN, this concert features Jennings performing songs that made him famous, such as ‘I’ve Always Been Crazy,’ ‘Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’ and ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way’.

The concert’s set list is noted below.

 

Track Listing
Are You Ready For The Country?
Lonesome, On’ry and Mean
Waymore’s Blues
Amanda
A Long Time Ago
Jack A Diamonds
Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
This Time
You Asked Me To
I’ve Always Been Crazy
Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out Of Hand
Good Hearted Woman
Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Luckenbach, Texas
Honky Tonk Heroes
Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way

 

Audiences will get to take in the show both with and without interview segments with Jennings. As an added bonus, the DVD also features interviews with other country superstars, such as George Jones, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings’ own drummer Richie Albright in an extra interview segment titled “Friends Remember The Outlaw.”  The interviews were recorded in 1990.

Pre-orders are open now for Waylon JenningsThe Outlaw Performance. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

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Willie Nelson’s New LP “Rides” Its Way To The Top Of 2019’s Top New Country/Bluegrass/Americana Albums

Courtesy: SMG

This has been a productive year for the realms of country, bluegrass and Americana.  The genres are their own, but are so closely akin to one another that they are really one in the same.  To that end, the three genres deserve to be combined into one on any critic’s year-end list.  That is what this critic has done and is doing again this year.

This year’s list of the top new Country/Bluegrass/Americana records features a number of familiar names and some who might be slightly less familiar, but are still names worth getting to know.  There are also some compilations featured on this critic’s list this year.  From The Magpie Salute to Son Volt to Willie Nelson and the Carter family and more, this year’s list is full of music that fans of all three genres will enjoy.  As with every previous list, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 titles and five additional honorable mention title for a total of 15 titles.Each title is deserving of its own accolades as there is no negative title.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 Country/Bluegrass/Americana albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/AMERICANA ALBUMS

  1. Willie Nelson — Ride Me Back Home
  2. George Strait — Honky Tonk Time Machine
  3. The Magpie Salute — High Water II
  4. The Shootouts — Quick Draw
  5. The Vegabonds — V
  6. Old Salt Union — Where The Dogs Don’t Bite
  7. Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns
  8. The Carter Family — Across Generations
  9. Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues — Roots & BranchesThe Songs of Little Walter
  10. Steve Earl & The Dukes — Guy
  11. World Music Network — The Rough Guide To The Roots of Country Music
  12. Zac Brown Band — Owl
  13. Mandolin Orange — Tides of a Teardrop
  14. Michael Cleveland — Tail Fiddler
  15. Hootie & The Blowfish — Imperfect Circle

 

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Willie Nelson Is First Place This Year With “Last Man Standing”

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

Country music is big business nowadays.  One need only look at shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent to see that.  Also, look at the ratings for the Country Music awards shows that air on television every year, as well as the overall record sales and the glut of country music stations airing the past, present and future of the genre nationwide.

Keeping in mind the popularity (and ongoing success) of said genre, it is only fitting for the genre to get its own list of the year’s top new albums.  Phil’s Picks has compiled its own list of those albums, and it — like the noted radio stations — features a who’s who of country music’s past, present and future.

Topping this year’s list is Willie Nelson’s new album Last Man Standing.  The “Red-Headed Stranger” is in fine form in this latest offering, contemplating mortality, friends lost along life’s long road and some other, deeper topics.  Musically speaking, Last Man Standing is just good, old-fashioned country; everything that country music purists enjoy.

Second on this year’s list is fellow country musician John Prine and his new album The Tree of Forgiveness.  The soul in his lyrical themes and his performance make this song so powerful.  It is an album that every country music purist needs to hear.

Taking the third spot in this year’s list is Shooter Jennings, Waylon’s boy.  Shooter is everything that audiences have come to expect from him over the course of his career.  Yet again, listeners get more growth both musically and lyrically from the outlaw country musician that continues to place Jennings in his very own place separate from his contemporaries.  Again, this is another must for those who want to avoid all of the pop country that currently pollutes the country music scene today.

Moving on, the rest of this year’s list features some unexpected names and some more familiar names mixed in for good measure.  As always, the list features 15 total names and titles.  The top 10 are the best, and the next five are honorable mention titles.

Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s PIcks 2018 top 10 New Country Music Albums list.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW COUNTRY MUSIC ALBUMS

  1. Willie Nelson — Last Man Standing
  2. John Prine — The Tree of Forgiveness
  3. Shooter Jennings — Shooter
  4. Old Crow Medicine Show — Volunteer
  5. Jason Charles Miller — In The Wasteland
  6. David Michael George — 1,000 Yard Stare
  7. Eric Church — Desperate Man
  8. Pistol Annies — Interstate Gospel
  9. Kenny Chesney — Songs for the Saints
  10. Brothers Osborne — Port Saint Joe
  11. DeVotchka — This Night Falls Forever
  12. Dierks Bentley — The Mountain
  13. Devin Dawson — Dark Horse
  14. Patricia Vonne — Top of the Mountain
  15. Sugarland — Bigger

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Charles Lloyd Touring In Support Of His Latest LP

Courtesy:  Blue Note Records

Courtesy: Blue Note Records

Veteran sax player Charles Lloyd hit the road once again this week.

The seventy-seven year old musician, who will turn 78 next month, embarked on his latest tour this past Friday, February 12th. He performed live at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is scheduled to perform next at the Portland Jazz Festival in Portland, Oregon Friday, February 19th and then at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, Canada on February 20th. After that performance, Lloyd will take some time off in March to recharge before heading out again beginning April 21st in San Francisco, California. The tour is in support of Lloyd’s latest full-length studio recording I Long To See You, which was released via Blue Note Records on January 15th. Lloyd’s current schedule of dates is noted below.

CHARLES LLOYD – TOUR DATES
Feb. 19 – Portland Jazz Festival – Portland, OR
Feb. 20 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, Canada
Apr. 21-24 – Lines Ballet – San Francisco, CA
Apr. 29 – Kennedy Center – New York, NY

I Long To See You includes a reading of Bob Dylan’s anti-war composition ‘Masters of War’ and a performance of ‘Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream’ by country legend Willie Nelson. While the combination of a jazz sax player and country singer may seem odd to some, Nelson released an album of jazz standards in 1978. Lloyd noted in an interview about that album in discussing inviting Nelson to perform on his latest album. “When I was living in Big Sur, a friend gave me a copy of Stardust,” Lloyd says of Nelson’s 1978 album of jazz standards,” he said. “I recognized a synchronicity between us in his choice of songs. Willie is a very soulful, independent outsider who loves the Zone. He has been paving the Freedom Trail for many years now, and we follow in his wake. I was incredibly honored that he accepted the invitation to sing on ‘Strangest Dream.’”

Along with the aforementioned songs, Lloyd’s new album also includes a new take on Billy Preston’s ‘You Are So Beautiful.’ The song was first made popular by singer Joe Cocker in 1974. Norah Jones adds her vocals to the song here. In explaining having Jones lend her talents to the song Lloyd noted that he had had her in mind for a long time for the song. “During my concerts, I sometimes play it as an encore,” he said. “For a long time in my mind’s ear I could hear Norah’s warmth caressing the lyrics. She became an extraordinary, beautiful sixth instrument in the rendition of the song.”

While Lloyd’s new album features a number of covers there are also some originals. One of those originals is the sixteen-minute opus ‘Barche Lamsel.’ If that is not enough for audiences there is also a re-working of Lloyd’s classic hits ‘Sombrero Sam,’ which was originally presented in Lloyd’s 1966 album Dream Weaver, and ‘La Llorona,’ which was originally presented in Lloyd’s 2009 album Mirror. The complete track listing for I Long To See You is noted below.

The track listing for I Long To See You is as follows:

1. Masters Of War (Bob Dylan)
2. Of Course, Of Course (Charles Lloyd)
3. La Llorona (Traditional)
4. Shenandoah (Traditional)
5. Sombrero Sam (Lloyd)
6. All My Trials (Traditional)
7. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream feat. Willie Nelson (Ed McCurdy)
8. Abide With Me (Traditional)
9. You Are So Beautiful feat. Norah Jones (Billy Preston & Bruce Fisher)
10. Barche Lamsel (Lloyd)

More information on I Long To See You is available online now along with all of Charles Lloyd’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.charleslloyd.com

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

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2015’s Top New Albums Come From Across The Musical Universe

The countdown is near, folks. And with the end of the year nearly here, the end of Phil’s Picks’ year-enders is officially here. We have finally come down to the last of this year’s “Best Of” lists. To close out this year’s group of year-enders we come full circle and finish where we started; back in the music world. To close out 2015, Phil’s Picks offers up its list of the year’s top new albums overall. This list was anything but easy to compile. That is because the top 10 albums and five honorable mention titles really represent so many galaxies within the musical universe. There’s some blues in this list courtesy of The Rev.Shawn Amos in this list. Salvador Santana, Carlos Santana’s son is also on this list, along with Pimps of Joytime and Fort Knox Five representing the rap and hip-hop galaxies. George Strait, The King of Country himself, is also here as are Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Even jazz great Terence Blanchard gets a nod as do Joe Satriani and electro-rock duo NYVES. There are others included here. And they are noted in the list below. Being that each album comes from a different part of the musical universe, figuring each album’s place in this list was what really made assembling this list so tough. The ability of listeners to take in the album without skipping tracks was taken into account as was each album’s production values and combined lyrical and musical content. That goes back to the albums’ ability to keep listeners fully engaged from start to finish. So no offense was meant to any act in its placement on this list. EVERY one of the albums included in this list was far more than deserving of being included in this list. That taken into consideration the following is the final list of this year’s top overall albums from Phil’s Picks. And as always, the top 10 albums make up the main body of the list while the bottom five each receive honorable mention. Without any further ado here for your reading pleasure dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Albums. Happy New Year!

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

1. BOARDWALK EMPIRE: BOARDWALK EMPIRE VOLUME 3

2. JUDITH HALL: BACK IN TIME

3. SALVADOR SANTANA: FANTASY REALITY

4. GEORGE STRAIT: COLD BEER CONVERSATION

5. WILLIE NELSON & MERLE HAGGARD: DJANGO & JIMMIE

6. SCALE THE SUMMIT: V

7. JOE SATRIANI: SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA

8. BLACKBERRY SMOKE: HOLDING ALL THE ROSES

9. FORT KNOX FIVE: PRESSURIZE THE CABIN

10. PIMPS OF JOYTIME: JUKESTONE PARADISE

11. NYVES: ANXIETY

12. DELTA RAE: AFTER IT ALL

13. THE REV. SHAWN AMOS: THE REV. SHAWN AMOS LOVES YOU

14. SUGARCANE JANE: DIRT ROAD’S END

15. TERENCE BLANCHARD: BREATHLESS

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Lots Of Options Offered By 2015’s Top New Country, Folk, Bluegrass, And Americana Albums

Country music and its related genres (I.E. americana, bluegrass, and folk) are big business in the music world. Just look at all of the karaoke competitions on television today and the number of country singers that go on those shows, trying to make a name for themselves. Look at the reach that it has on radio in general. Artists such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood have bridged the gap between pop and country alongside the likes of Rascal Flatts, Eric Church, and so many others. In the same breath, true-blooded country music remains just as much of a driving force today within the realm of country music as its more cross-genre counterparts that have become so popular over the last ten years or more. The dichotomy of the two worls is really intriguing to examine as well as the fan base of both sides of the country music world. Keeping that in mind, country and its offshoots can be said to have just as much importance to the music industry today as any other genre. So having covered the realm of children’s music, independent music, and world music, it seems only fair to offer up a listing of the year’s top new records in the worlds of country, folk, bluegrass, and Americana within their own collective year-ender. This was one of the more difficult lists to assemble because of the sheer variety of sounds and titles available to listeners this year. North Carolina-based Delta Rae makes the list once again with its new album After It All. Americana artists Buzz Cason is on this list, too with his new album Record Machine as are Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard with their new record Django and Jimmie. Of course Geoge Strait, “The King of Country,” couldn’t be ignored in this list. His new album Cold Beer Conversation is on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s top new Country, folks, bluegrass, and Americana records, too. They’re just a handful of the acts to make the list this year. There are plenty of others veteran and otherwise alike on this year’s list. Without any further ado, I offer to you, dear readers, the best new country, folk, bluegrass, and americana albums of 2015. As always the top 10 albums are…well…the top 10. the bottom five each get honorable mention. That is not a stab against them by any means. It was just that tough to compile the list and do it fairly because there were so many great new records in this realm just as with the other lists. Enough rambling. Here are the Best New Country, Folk, Bluegrass, and Americana albums of 2015 from Phil’s Picks.

2015 BEST NEW COUNTRY, FOLK, BLUEGRASS, & AMERICANA ALBUMS

1. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard — Django and Jimmie

2. George Strait — Cold Beer Conversation

3. Blackberry Smoke — Holding All The Roses

4. Delta Rae — After It All

5. Sugarcane Jane — Dirt Road’s End

6. Alan Jackson — Angels and Alcohol

7. Alabama — Southern Drawl

8. Tim McGraw — Damn Country Music

9. Buzz Cason — Record Machine

10. Darius Rucker — Southern Style

11. Gloriana — Three

12. Luke Bryan — Kill The Lights

13. Chris Stapleton — Traveller

14. Dwight Yokam — Second Hand Heart

15. Zac Brown Band — Jekyll and Hyde

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ACL Celebrates 40 Years Is A Wonderful Celebration Of A Show And Of Music Itself

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS and its hit concert series Austin City Limits celebrated two major landmarks for the series this fall. This past October Austin City Limits celebrated forty years on the air. That landmark makes the concert series the longest-running concert series on television to date. Making the anniversary even more special is the fact that this October, the show’s original studio was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s tenth Rock and Roll landmark. Both of these marks are big honors for ACL and for PBS. In honor of these honors, PBS released on DVD today the brand new concert recording Austin City Limits 40 Years. There is a lot to like about this concert recording starting with the show’s all-star lineup. Featured in the concert is a who’s who of the music industry. It features legendary names such as: Willie Nelson, Buddy guy, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Foo Fighters, and even the original members of Double Trouble among so many others. There are even performances from up-and-coming blues/rock band Alabama Shakes. It’s a display in its own way of how many generations this series has reached over the course of its four decades on the air. Making the set even better is the concert’s set list. Emmylou Harris covers Willie Nelson’s hit ‘Crazy.’ There’s also an all-star tribute to Sam & Dave with a performance of ‘Wrap It Up.’ And just as enjoyable is the multi-song, all-star tribute to blues legend and Austin native, the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. These are just some of the examples of what makes the show’s set list so important to the presentation in whole. Last but hardly least noteworthy regarding the recording’s success is its bonus material. Included as bonus material, is forty-five minutes of bonus performances. There is also a bonus behind-the-scenes look at the work that went in to making Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years a reality. It’s all set against a great performance of SRV’s hit song ‘Texas Flood.’ These bonuses, partnered with the show’s all-star list of performers and its equally wonderful set list, serve to help make Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years one of this year’s surprise best new live recordings of 2014. It also serves to show yet again why PBS is the last bastion of worthwhile programming on television today.

Austin City Limits has been on television for forty years this year. That is a huge landmark for PBS’ concert series. It has outlived MTV’s Unplugged Series. It has also outlived VH1’s Storytellers and CMT’s Crossroads. In the four decades since it made its debut, ACL has gone from focusing on just one or two genres of music to being one of the preeminent destinations for some of the music industry’s biggest names. Elvis Costello has been on the show. Kings of Leon appeared just last year. And even none other than Nine Inch Nails appeared this year. It just goes to show how much this show has grown since its earliest days as has its importance in the music industry. That is shown just as much in the list of performers tapped to appear on Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years. The list of performers tapped to appear on this recording is a who’s who of the music industry from past, present, and even the future. It includes the likes of Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, Guy Clarke, Jr., Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Emmylou Harris, and up-and-coming blues/rock band Alabama Shakes and so many others. With such a wide swatch of performers, that list becomes for all intents and purposes a music history lesson live on stage. It shows not only where ACL has been and where it is going but where music itself started and to where it has come today. And every act tapped to perform is an excellent example of both histories. It’s just one of plenty of reasons that audiences will enjoy this DVD.

The list of performers tapped to perform on Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years is itself plenty of reason for audiences to pick up this brand new release from PBS. That list is itself a music history lesson and a lesson on the history of ACL. The performers themselves serve as plenty of reason for any music lover to check out this DVD. The songs that they perform make the recording just as enjoyable if not more so. Audiences will love Willie Nelson’s performance of the classic song ‘On The Road Again,’ and Emmylou Harris’ cover of Willie Nelson’s ‘Crazy.’ If that’s not enough, there is a star-studded, multi-song tribute to Austin, Texas’ own Stevie Ray Vaughan. That tribute features performances from Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and almost every member of the a-list cast of performers. There is also a special tribute to Sam & Dave in the performance of ‘Wrap It Up.’ That song is handled by Bonnie Raitt, Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark, Jr. and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the star-studded tribute to SRV is complemented with an equally gran tribute to Buddy Holly. These are just some of the performances included in the concert that audiences will enjoy in watching this recording. There are plenty of other great performances along the way that audiences will enjoy just as much. Collectively, all of those performances make for yet another wonderful reason for every music lover to see this concert.

If the who’s who list of performers tapped for this concert and their performances aren’t enough for audiences, the bonus material included on the DVD will convince audiences. PBS has included forty-five minutes of performance footage as bonus material on this DVD. That forty-five minutes includes a performance of ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die’ from Willie Nelson and ‘Freight Train’ from Gary Clark, Jr. and Sheryl Crow among the bonus performances. Robert Earl Keen handles ‘I Gotta Go’ and Joe Ely covers ‘All Just To Get To You’ as part of the bonus performances, too. Partnered with that is a special behind-the-scenes look at the concert set against a performance of SRV’s hit song ‘Texas Flood’ by Buddy Guy, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Robert Randolph, and others. It’s a double whammy for audiences. Not only does it give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the concert from pre-pro to show but it also offers audiences a bonus performance. Audiences are given another bonus performance by Bonnie Raitt and company in their rehearsal for their performance of ‘Wrap it Up.’ It’s a nice finisher to a concert recording has already more than proven itself one of this year’s best. Together with the aforementioned list of performers and set list, it pushes this recording over the top, once again proving why ACL has run so successfully for forty years and why its original studio is now part of music history thanks to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It shows once more why PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

So much can be said of what makes Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years a success and a total enjoyment. And so much has been said, obviously. It goes without saying that the show’s production values are just as impressive as everything else already noted here. Whether one is taking in the concert on a regular TV or one with a high-priced surround sound home theater system, every viewer will agree that all of the other positives noted here would be nothing without those top notch production values. The concert looks and sounds just as good as other performances recorded over the years. It is that proverbial cherry on top of the musical sundae that is this recording. It is that last part that makes this recording well worth the listen by music lovers of every age.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years is available now on DVD. It can be ordered direct online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=50214636&cp=&sr=1&kw=austin+city+limits&origkw=Austin+City+Limits&parentPage=search. More information on this and other recordings from Austin City Limits over the years is available online at:

Website: http://acltv.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/acltv

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.

PBS Celebrates Four Decades Of ACL With Special Anniversary Concert

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS’ Austin City Limits hit a major milestone this year.  The network’s hit music series celebrated forty-years with PBS.  In celebration, PBS is releasing a special DVD celebrating the long-running series next month.

PBS will release Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years on Tuesday, December 2nd.  Austin City Limits’ four-decade long run on PBS is especially important to both the network and to music lovers alike.  In the four decades that Austin City Limits has been on PBS, it remains the only TV series to be awarded the Medal of Arts.  Also in that time, MTV’s Unplugged and VH1’s Storytellers have gone by the wayside.  And even CMT’s on Crossroads series has failed to maintain the stability and reputation of ACL.  Throughout its now forty-years on television, ACL has seen and continues to see some of the industry’s biggest names take to the stage.  Those names include the likes of Elvis Costello, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, and so many others.  Many more names are sure to be added to that list as there appears to be no end to this landmark series.

In honor of the series’ fortieth anniversary, many of those same big names have come on board for this celebratory concert.  Bonnie Raitt joins Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark, Jr and Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes for a performance of the Sam & Dave classic ‘Wrap It Up’ to open the concert.  Howard returns later in the show alongside Gary Clark, Jr. for a special performance.  Willie Nelson, the red-headed stranger himself, joins Emmylou Harris for a performance of Nelson’s ‘Crazy.’  Singer/actor Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow team up for a performance of Kristofferson’s ‘Me and Bobby McGee.  Foo Fighters even make an appearance to perform Roky Erickson’s ‘Two-Headed Dog.’  That performance was recorded at the original ACL television studio especially for the concert.  Actor Jeff Bridges hosts the night’s festivities.  He also performs a special rendition of ‘What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do’ from the late singer-songwriter Stephen Bruton.  Bruton was a big influence on Bridges’ Oscar-winning role in the movie ‘Crazy Heart.’  As if all of this isn’t enough, Joe Ely and fellow local legend Robert Earl Keen make an appearance.  Blues legend Buddy Guy rounds out the show with a performance of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’  And finishing off the whole thing is a star-studded tribute to Buddy Holly and the one and only Stevie Ray Vaughan.  A who’s who of guitarists performs Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ and SRV’s ‘Texas Flood’ for the night’s biggest finish.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years was taped live at the ACL Live at the Moody Theater and the show’s original studio, Austin PBS affiliate KLRU’s Studio 6A.  The complete list of performers is: Alabama Shakes, Doyle Bramhall II, Jeff Bridges, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Double Trouble, Joe Ely, Mike Farris, Foo Fighters, Grupo Fantasma, Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Robert Earl Keen, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jimmie Vaughan.

Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years will be available Tuesday, December 2nd.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99.  It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=50214636&cp=&sr=1&kw=austin+city+limits&origkw=Austin+City+Limits&parentPage=search.  More information on Austin City Limits is available online at

Website: http://acltv.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/acltv

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.

Carlene Carter Announces Release Date For New Album

Courtesy:  Rounder Records

Courtesy: Rounder Records

Carlene Carter, the daughter of the late June Carter Cash and country music legend Carl Smith, will release her latest album this Spring.  Carter will release Carter Girl on Tuesday, April 8th via Rounder Records.  The album is Carter’s first collection of new material in a decade.  The album was produced by Don Was and mixed by Bob Clearmountain.  Along with producing the record, Was also handles bass duties on some of the songs included on the album, too.

Carter explained in a recent interview that she has anticipated making this record for many years.  She explains that she has wanted to make this record for so long because in her own words, “The songs on the album cover three generations of Carter Family music.”  She even shares writing credit with A.P. Carter on the update of the classic Carter song, ‘Lonesome Valley’ in ‘Lonesome Valley 2003.’  The update is a musical expression of her reaction to the loss of her mother, sister and legendary stepfather, Johnny Cash eleven years ago.  It isn’t the only Carter classic that is re-visited on her new record.  She also included a handful of songs from the Carter Family songbook next to her own original works.

The songs that were culled for this album are just part of that which audiences have to look forward.  Major names such as Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, the late “Cowboy” Jack Clement, and Elizabeth Cook  each make appearances throughout the album’s dozen total tracks.  Lorrie Carter Bennett, daughter of Anita Carta also adds her talents, as does Carlene Carter’s own husband, Joe Breen.  They were joined by session musicians Jim Keltner, Rami Jaffee, Greg Leisz, Sam Bush, Mickey Rafael, and Blake Mills.

‘Little Black Train’, the lead single off of Carter Girl is streaming now online at USA Today’s official website.  Audiences can hear it now at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/02/10/song-premiere-carlene-carter-little-black-train/5325175/http://.  The complete track listing for Carter Girl is listed below.

Carter Girl track listing

1. Little Black Train

(A.P. Carter)

2. Give Me The Roses

(A.P. Carter)

3. Me and The Wildwood Rose

(Carlene Carter)

4. Blackie’s Gunman (duet with Elizabeth Cook)

(A.P. Carter)

5. I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight

(A.P. Carter)

6. Poor Old Heartsick Me

(Helen Carter)

7. Troublesome Waters (duet with Willie Nelson)

(Maybelle Carter/Ezra Carter/Dixie Dean Hall)

8. Lonesome Valley 2003 (with special guest Vince Gill)

(Carlene Carter/A.P. Carter/Al Anderson)

9. Tall Lover Man

(June Carter Cash)

10. Gold Watch and Chain

(A.P. Carter)

11. Blackjack David (duet with Kris Kristofferson)

(A.P. Carter)

12. I Ain’ Gonna Work Tomorrow (featuring Helen Carter, Anita Carter, June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash)

(A.P. Carter)

More information on Carlene Carter, her new album, tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/officialcarlenecarter.  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.