Santana-McLaughlin Montreux Re-Issue Is Another Shining Beacon From Eagle Rock

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Forty-eight years ago a man named Claude Knobs founded the Montreux Jazz Festival. In the decades since its founding, the once jazz-only festival has grown to become one of the world’s most renowned festivals featuring acts from every one of the music industry’s genres. Sadly, Knobs passed away two years ago. But even in his absence, the festival has continued on and remained one of the world’s elite music festivals. And thanks to the efforts of the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment that reputation has been held strong due to the label’s partnership with Montreux Sounds. The companies’ partnership has resulted in a number of performances from the festival’s history being released in recent years. That list includes performances from the likes of: Stan Getz, Phil Collins, Etta James, ZZ Top, and The Raconteurs among so many others. Last week, that list grew just a little more when the companies revisited Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin’s 2011 Invitation to Illumination performance and re-issued the concert in a double-disc CD presentation. Originally released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013, this latest release is just as enjoyable for those that might not already own the concert’s original DVD and/or BD presentation. Of course it is just as enjoyable for anyone that already owns said presentations, too. The main reason that it is so enjoyable is its set list. Just as with Eagle Rock’s 2012 Santana live release, Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011, this show’s set list feels more like one giant jam session than a specifically structured set list. By direct connection, the stage presence of the musicians on stage is just as noteworthy in the recording’s enjoyment and success. Last of note in this recording is the concert’s audio mix. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. Together with the set list and the band’s stage presence, that expert audio mix is one more factor that reminds audiences why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leader of the pack in live recordings. Collectively, all three elements show why this recording is one of the best of this year’s crop of re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new double-disc presentation of Carlos Santana & John Mclaughlin’s performance at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival is not the first time that the recording has been released. Despite that, this audio-only presentation is just as enjoyable as the concert’s 2013 DVD and Blu-ray presentation of the concert. This applies both for those that already own the concert’s DVD and/or Blu-ray presentation and for those that have neither. The main reason that it is so enjoyable for all involved is its set list. The nearly two and a half hour performance (two hours and fourteen minutes to be exact) is composed of sixteen tracks that touch on quite a few different genres. There is a tribute to Led Zeppelin early on as Santana and company cover the legendary rock band’s hit single ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ There are also tributes to Miles Davis and John Coletrane later in the performance in the form of ‘Black Satin’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ respectively. There is also another tribute to Coletrane earlier in the show in the form of ‘Naima,’ which is another of the legendary sax player’s greatest hits. As if these numbers aren’t enough, there are also of plenty of other original pieces performed by Santana and his fellow musicians pulled from Santana and McLaughlin’s 1973 album Love Devotion Surrender. The combination of the artists’ covers and original compositions results in a set list that is rich and completely engaging. Being so rich and engaging, audiences won’t even realize that so much time has passed by the time they reach the concert’s finale performance. That in itself is the mark of a truly talented group of musicians. Speaking of the musicians’ collective talents, their talents are another reason that audiences will enjoy this latest release of Invitation to Illumination.

The extensive set list compiled for Invitation to Illumination is in itself plenty of reason for fans of Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin to pick up this newly re-issued concert recording. It runs nearly two and a half hours and spans some sixteen songs. At no point in that time will audiences ever find themselves checking the time as the concert progresses. Rather, they will find themselves becoming lost in the concert in the best way possible. That says quite a bit within itself. Of course the concert’s chosen set list is only part of what makes it so enjoyable. The stage presence of Santana and his fellow musicians is another reason that audiences will enjoy the show. Taking in a performance by Carlos Santana and his band mates is more than simply taking in a performance from the highly talented musicians. Taking in a performance of these individuals is taking in a full musical experience. This is just as true in Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination as it was on Carlos Santana: Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011. It is incredible to hear Santana and his band mates sharing the stage throughout the two-hour plus performance. Unlike so many other acts out there today, Santana steps back on multiple occasions, allowing his band mates to get their fair share of time in the limelight. Simply put, he not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, too. Such humility, willingness to share the spotlight, and talent shows why Santana is still one of the greatest guitarists in modern music history. Audiences will be in awe at the talent of both Dennis Chambers and Santana’s own wife, Cyndi Blackman Santana as they work behind their kits. Blackman Santana’s skill with the sticks is unparalleled. Watching her perform whether with the rest of the band or by herself on her drum solo is like watching controlled chaos. By contrast, Chambers’ own performance behind his kit is the picture of talent and composure. Chambers’ body language is one of someone that is entirely relaxed. Yet his playing would seem otherwise. It’s an amazing juxtaposition. The band overall presents such talent throughout its performance. It’s yet another way in which the band’s stage presence shows itself to be an important part of the recording’s whole. Together with the show’s extensive set list, both elements show once again why Invitation to Illumination is a brightly shining live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The set list assembled for Invitation to Illumination and the stage presence of the assembled musicians are both key reasons that the recording is so entertaining for audiences. They are just part of the whole of the recording’s enjoyment in its new double-disc CD presentation. The concert’s final audio mix rounds out the reasons that the concert shines so brightly. Those with surround sound home theater systems will especially appreciate that clarity of the recording’s audio mix. That is not to say that those without a home theater system will be left out in the cold per se. Rather it is just to say that the audio mix really lends itself to a home theater system even having been recorded at an indoor venue. There is something about the combined talents of the musicians on stage that just gives the performance that much power. This includes both the concert’s more raucous moments and even its more reserved moments. Audiences will agree with this sentiment when they pick up this recording for themselves. Together with the concert’s set list and the performers’ stage presence, it becomes the finishing touch on a recording that is one more brightly shining recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment even having been previously released.

While it is not the first time that Eagle Rock Entertainment has released the concert, the company’s new double-disc CD presentation of Invitation to Illumination still shines just as brightly as the concert’s previous DVD and Blu-ray presentation. This is the case both for those that already own one or both of the previously released presentations and for those that don’t already own either. The show’s set list coupled with the stage presence and talents of the performers makes for plenty of enjoyment in its new re-issue. The concert’s expert audio mix makes it even more of a joy for audiences. All three elements taken together make Invitation to Illumination a concert that is just as enjoyable the second time around as the first. Santana & McLaughlin: Invitation to Illumination Live at Montreux 2011 is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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

Beck’s New Live CD Is A Welcome Addition To Any Fan’s Collection

Courtesy:  ATCO/Rhino Records

Courtesy: ATCO/Rhino Records

Later this month, veteran guitarist Jeff Beck will release a brand new live recording titled Live+. The recording, which will be released only on CD, will be released on Tuesday, May 19th. The disc is a great new collection of live performances for audiences of all ages. The main reason for this is the list of songs that make up the disc’s sixteen total tracks. The disc’s body is composed of fourteen live tracks and two brand new studio tracks. The live tracks include both Beck’s own originals and some cover tunes that audiences of all ages will recognize and enjoy. The work of those charged with handling the record’s sequencing is just as much worth noting. The songs featured on this record come from a number of shows held during Back’s 2014 tour with ZZ Top. Despite this, they weren’t just tossed around haphazardly. Rather they were placed in a specific order that guarantees audiences will remain just as engaged as if they all came from one single performance. Having noted this, there is one more positive that can be noted of Live+. That last positive is the disc’s overall audio mix. Every little nuance of the performances is captured thanks to the work of those responsible for handling both the original concert audio and those charged with balancing said levels in the disc’s “post-production.” Taking into consideration all three elements noted here, Live+ proves itself to be another good addition to any Jeff Beck fan’s music library even if it is available only via CD and digital download.

Live+ is a good addition to any Jeff Beck fan’s music library. This is the case even with the collection of live performances being available mainly via CD and digital download. The reason that it proves itself worth the addition is the list of songs that makes up the body of the record. The record is composed of sixteen tracks. Fourteen of those tracks are live tracks and two are brand new studio recordings from Beck. In listening to the fourteen live performances that make up most of this record, audiences will appreciate that it includes both familiar originals from Beck and some familiar songs from other artists, too. The covers include Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Little Wing,’ ‘Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come,’ ‘Mahavishnu Orchestra’s ‘You Know You Know,’ and a pair of tunes from The Beatles in the form of ‘A Day in The Life’ and ‘Hammerhead.’ There’s even an interesting take on the traditional song ‘Danny Boy.’ and an impressive take on Stevie Wonder’s hit song ‘Superstition.’ The original songs from Beck that were included across the disc include: ‘Morning Dew,’ ‘Big Block,’ ‘Why Give It Away,’ and ‘Loaded’ are just some of Beck’s originals featured throughout the record. Some might ask what this is important to the whole of the record. It is important in that it shows Beck’s versatility. It shows that along with handling his own works with just as much ease as ever, he has a certain respect for music and musicians across the musical universe. Those that are familiar with all of the songs featured here will second that sentiment while those that might be new to both Beck’s originals and the covers he handles will agree just as much as they discover both for the first time ever.

The songs that are included across the body of Live+ are in themselves key to the record’s enjoyment. That is because they put on display Beck’s versatility as a musician as well as his respect for other musicians and musical acts across the musical universe. On a related note, the work of those charged with handling the sequencing of the songs are to be commended. Their work makes the overall listening experience through each song all the more enjoyable. As audiences will note, from song to song, those charged with handling the record’s sequencing never stick to just one style of song. The more energetic, up-tempo songs are complemented quite well by their slower, more reserved counterparts from beginning to end. As inconsequential as this may seem, it is extremely important. It is especially important in the realm of live recordings. Musical acts assemble set lists that will keep their audiences fully engaged at the actual concerts that they hold. This compilation of live performances was set up in much the same fashion even being compiled from a number of live sets. It is a tribute to their efforts and attention to such an important detail along with that of Beck himself. It’s one more reason audiences will agree that Live+ is another good addition to any Jeff Beck fan’s personal music library.

Both the set list that makes up the body of Live+ and the work of those charged with handling the sequencing of said songs are important to the whole of the recording in their own right. Neither would be of any consequence without the work of those charged with handling the performances’ audio. This includes both those that handled the audio at Beck’s performances with ZZ Top last year and those that handled the audio levels in “post-production.” That is those that handled the audio levels in preparation for the recording’s release. It’s thanks to their work that singer Jimmy Hall blows audiences away with his powerhouse vocals. It is thanks to them that Becks work shines through just as much both during his time in the limelight and as a member of the musical collective on stage. Even more impressive is that throughout the course of the record’s live performances, every part is balanced with the utmost expertise. This includes not only Hall’s vocal talents and Beck’s talents on guitar, but the talents of their band mates–Jonathan Joseph (drums), Rhonda Smith (bass), and Nicholas Meier (guitar)–too. No one part overpowers the other at any point throughout the performances. The end result is a collection of performances that once more proves itself another worthy addition to any Jeff Beck fan’s personal music library.

Jeff Beck’s new live recording Live+ shows plenty of reason for his fans to add this recording to their personal music libraries when it is released this month. The mix of original songs and covers shows both Beck and his band mates as quite the versatile group of musicians. It shows them as musicians that are not only greatly talented but that have great respect for other equally renowned acts. The work of those charged with sequencing the various performances is just as noteworthy. That is because the mood of the recording’s live songs doesn’t stick to just one style. The more energetic, up-tempo pieces are expertly complemented by more laid back, reserved pieces from beginning to end. The end result of that expert balance is a collection of performances that will keep audiences fully engaged from the collection’s first performance to its fourteenth. The work of those charged with handling the performances’ audio both in their live setting and in post production have made Live+ enjoyable, too. It is thanks to the work of those individuals that the performances sound so good from beginning to end. That element taken into consideration with the compilation’s set list and the work of those that assembled said set list proves Live+ in the long run to be a live recording that every Jeff Beck fan will want to add to their personal music library. That isn’t to ignore the record’s two new studio recordings, either. They add even more enjoyment to the record. Having noted all of this it can be said with certainty that Jeff Beck’s upcoming live CD Live+ deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live CDs.

Jeff Beck is currently wrapping up a handful of makeup dates with ZZ Top that were previously postponed last year. The dates in question were postponed due to an injury sustained by ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. The last of those dates is tomorrow, May 10th. After that date, Beck will embark on a nine-date solo tour that kicks off next Tuesday, May 12th in Louisville, KY. That schedule is listed below.

Jeff Beck Newly Added Solo Dates – on sale dates noted:

May 12 The Kentucky Center –Whitney Hall Louisville, KY*

May 14 Michigan Theater Ann Arbor, MI ***

May 15 Hard Rock Live Northfield, OH*

May 16 PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH

May 17 Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN

May 19 Fox Theater St. Louis, MO *

May 21 Chicago Theatre Chicago, IL **

May 22 Riverside Theatre Milwaukee, WI*

May 23 State Theater Minneapolis, MN*

*on sale April 10

** on sale April 11

*** on sale April 17

Live+ will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 19th. It will retail for MSRP of $18.98 in physical form. More information on this recording, Beck’s upcoming re-issue of Live at Ronnie Scott’s and any of his other recordings is available online now along with all of the latest updates on his tour schedule and other news at:

Website: http://www.jeffbeck.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffbeckmusic

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.

Atco Records To Release New Jeff Beck Live LP Next Month

Courtesy:  Atco Records

Courtesy: Atco Records

This spring, Atco Records will release a new live recording from veteran guitarist Jeff Beck.

Officials with Atco Records announced this week that the label will release Jeff Beck Live+ on Tuesday, May 5th. The sixteen-track recording features fourteen live recordings lifted from various stops on Beck’s 2014 tour with fellow legendary rock band ZZ Top and two new studio recordings. The new studio tracks are Beck’s first new studio recordings since he released his Grammy-nominated 2010 album Emotion & Commotion.  Beck was joined by fellow musicians Rhonda Smith (bass), Jonathan Joseph (drums), and Nicholas Meier (guitar) as well as vocalist Jimmy Hall for the performances featured on this recording. The songs culled for the recording include some of Beck’s biggest hits including: ‘Morning Dew,’ ‘Superstition,’ and ‘Big Block’ among others. There are also covers of The Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘’Hammerhead,’ Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing,’ Mahavishnu Orchestra’s ‘You Know You Know,’ and Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ as well as a special rendition of ‘Danny Boy.’ The new studio tracks ‘Tribal’ and ‘My Tiled White Floor’ round out the upcoming compilation. Ruth Lorenzo provides guest vocals for ‘Tribal’ and Veronica Bellino shares her talents on ‘My Tiled White Floor.’ The full track listing for Jeff Beck Live+ is listed below.

JEFF BECK LIVE+

Track Listing

  1. “Loaded”
  2.  “Morning Dew”
  3. “You Know You Know”
  4. “Why Give It Away”
  5. “A Change Is Gonna Come”
  6.  “A Day In The Life”
  7. “Superstition”
  8. “Hammerhead”
  9. “Little Wing”
  10. “Big Block”
  11. “Where Were You”
  12. “Danny Boy”
  13. “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”
  14. “Going Down”
  15. “Tribal”*
  16. “My Tiled White Floor”*

*New Studio Recording

Jeff Beck will hit the road beginning next Monday, April 13th at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on an eleven-date headlining tour that runs through April 26th. Beginning April 30th, Beck will join ZZ Top again for a handful of makeup dates that were postponed in 2014 due to an injury sustained by ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. Those dates run through May 10th. From there, Beck will take a couple days off before heading back out on the road once again beginning May 12th on a nine-date solo tour that begins in Louisville, KY and winds down on May 23rd in Minneapolis, MN. The full slate of dates for Beck’s upcoming performances is noted below:

Jeff Beck Solo Dates

April 13                  The Capitol Theatre                                                            Port Chester, NY

April 15                  The Paramount                                                                    Huntington, NY

April 16                  The Paramount                                                                    Huntington, NY

April 17                  The Paramount                                                                    Huntington, NY

April 18                  The Capitol Theatre                                                            Port Chester, NY

April 19                  Orpheum Theatre                                                               Boston, MA

April 21                  Ulster Performing Arts Center                                           Kingston, NY

April 22                  Bergen Performing Arts Center                                         Englewood, NJ

April 24                  Count Basie Theatre                                                           Red Bank, NJ

April 25 The Strand – Capital Performing Arts Center                                          York, PA

April 26                  The Palace Theatre                                                             Greensburg, PA

 

With ZZ TOP

April 30                  Cedar Park Center                                                               Cedar Park, TX

May 1                    Winstar Casino                                                                    Thackerville, OK
May 2                    Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion                                        The Woodlands, TX
May 3                    Concrete Street                                                                    Corpus Christi, TX
May 7                    MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre                                   Tampa, FL
May 8                    Cruzan Amphitheater                                                         West Palm Beach, FL
May 9                    St. Augustine Amphitheatre                                              St. Augustine, FL
May 10                  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre                                              Alpharetta, GA

Jeff Beck Newly Added Solo Dates – on sale dates noted:

May 12                  The Kentucky Center –Whitney Hall                              Louisville, KY*

May 14                  Michigan Theater                                                          Ann Arbor, MI ***

May 15                  Hard Rock Live                                                             Northfield, OH*

May 16                  PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center                       Cincinnati, OH

May 17                  Ryman Auditorium                                                          Nashville, TN

May 19                  Fox Theater                                                                  St. Louis, MO *

May 21                  Chicago Theatre                                                            Chicago, IL **

May 22                  Riverside Theatre                                                            Milwaukee, WI*

May 23                  State Theater                                                                  Minneapolis, MN*

*on sale April 10

** on sale April 11

*** on sale April 17

Jeff Beck Live+ will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 5th. It will retail for MSRP of $18.98 in physical form. More information on this recording, Beck’s upcoming re-issue of Live at Ronnie Scott’s and any of his other recordings is available online now along with all of the latest updates on his tour schedule and other news at:

Website: http://www.jeffbeck.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffbeckmusic

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 Entertainment Going Back To Ronnie Scott’s With Jeff Beck In June

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release another new archived performance from legendary guitarist Jeff Beck this summer.

Officials with Eagle Rock Entertainment announced today that the label will release Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition on Tuesday, June 2nd. The concert, originally recorded in 2007, comes on the heels of its 2009 release on DVD and Blu-ray, and the 2014 release of Live in Tokyo. It features some of Beck’s biggest hits including: ‘Beck’s Bolero,’ ‘Led Boots,’ ‘Scatterbrain,’ ‘Where Were You,’ ‘Angels (Footsteps),’ ‘Cause We Ended As Lovers,’ and what has become one of his most famous takes of ‘A Day in the Life’ among a number of others. Along wth the extensive set list, the appearance of guest musicians Imogen Heap, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, and Big Town Playboys makes the show even greater. The Big Town Playboys make a special appearance for a 7-song set with Beck in the second of the recording’s two discs. The full track listing for the upcoming double-disc recording is noted below:

TRACK LISTING:

Disc One:

1) Beck’s Bolero

2) Eternity’s Breath

3) Stratus

4) Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers

5) Behind The Veil

6) You Never Know

7) Nadia

8) Blast From The East

9) Led Boots

10) Angels (Footsteps)

11) Scatterbrain

12) Medley: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat / Brush With The Blues

13) Space Boogie

14) Big Block

15) Day In The Life

16) Where Were You

Disc Two:

1) People Get Ready (w/ Joss Stone)

2) Blanket (w/ Imogen Heap)

3) Little Brown Bird (w/ Eric Clapton)

4) You Need Love (w/ Eric Clapton)

5) Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (w/ Imogen Heap)

Jeff Beck & The Big Town Playboys Set:

6) Race With The Devil

7) Crazy Legs

8) Train Kept A Rollin’

9) My Baby Left Me

10) Matchbox

11) Baby Blue

12) Honky Tonk

The Jeff Beck Band will hit the road next month ahead of the release of Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition beginning with a performance at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on Monday, April 13th. From there the band will hit ten other cities on its own tour before joining up with ZZ Top in Cedar Park, Texas on Thursday, April 30th. The bands’ joint tour includes a total of eight dates and winds down on Sunday, May 10th in Alpharetta, Georgia. The Jeff Beck Band’s full upcoming spring tour schedule is listed below:

Tour Dates:

                                                          The Jeff Beck Band:

April 13 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theater

April 15 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 16 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 17 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount

April 18 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theater

April 19 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre

April 21 – Kingston, NY – Ulster Performing Arts Center

April 22 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center

April 24 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre

April 25 – York, PA – The Strand – Capital Performing Arts Center

April 26 – Greensburg, PA – The Palace Theatre

with ZZ Top:

April 30 – Cedar Park, TX – Cedar Park Center

May 1 – Thackerville, OK – Winstar Casino

May 2 – The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

May 3 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street

May 7 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater

May 8 – West Palm Beach, FL – Cruzan Amphitheater

May 9 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

May 10 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Performing This Week…Live at Ronnnie Scott’s–Special Edition will be released on Tuesday, June 2nd via Eagle Rock Entertainment. It will retail for MSRP of $17.98. A special three-LP is expected to follow soon after the concert’s double-disc CD release. 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

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.

ZZ Top Live @ Montreux Is One Of 2014’s Top New Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Eagle Rock Entertainment has, over the years, earned the title from this critic of being the “Leader in Live Recordings.” Eagle Rock has long been the gold standard for live recordings with releases from the likes of Paul McCartney, The Raconteurs, Elton John, Stone Temple Pilots, Slipknot, and so many others across the board. Now yet again, Eagle Rock has proven yet again why it is that gold standard thanks to the brand new release of ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013. This latest release in Eagle Rock’s ongoing partnership with Montreux Sounds is one more of this year’s top live recordings. It offers audiences a concert loaded with all of the Texas-based trio’s greatest hits and some lesser-known pieces, among which is a fitting tribute to the famed festival’s late founder Claude nobs. The concert’s combined audio and video mix make taking in each of those songs even more of a joy for audiences of all ages. And rounding out the whole thing is a pair of interviews that while relatively short, provide so much insight into the band’s respect for the Montreux festival, music in general and more. All three of these factors together show once again why Eagle Rock remains to this day, the “Leader in Live Recordings,” and why every classic rock and rock fan in general, will enjoy this concert.

The central point of enjoyment in ZZ Top Live at Montreux 2013 is the show’s set list, point blank. The veteran trio—Dusty Hill (bass), Billy Gibbons (guitar), and Frank Beard (drums)—churns out hit after hit throughout the course of the concert’s seventeen-song, eighty-minute show. Among those hits are the likes of ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ ‘Gimme All your Lovin’,’ and ‘Tush’ just to name a few. As much as audiences will enjoy those favorites, they will also enjoy the band’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxey Lady’ and the trio’s tribute to late Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Knobs in the bluesy/jazzy ‘Kiko.’ The band even brings in a pair of special guest musicians to join in on this number and one other song. The band’s live take of ‘I Gotsta Get Paid’ is another wonderful highlight from this concert. Throughout it all, the trio’s unassuming demeanor set against such solid, driving songs makes for such an interesting experience. It goes to show that a band doesn’t need pyro and loads of special effects and more to make a concert memorable. As long as the band can get the audience moving with its music, that’s the most important factor to the show. And that’s exactly what the members of ZZ Top do in this case. That factor alone makes this recording more than worth the watch.

The set list that makes up ZZ Top’s by itself more than makes this recording worth the watch. It makes it well worth buying for the band’s fans of all ages. Just as worth noting is the concert’s combined audio and video mix. The sound and video are both crystal clear throughout the show’s roughly eighty-minute run time. This is one of those standards that has for the longest time, made Eagle Rock the gold standard in live recordings. Those with home theater systems will especially appreciate the painstaking efforts that went in to bringing this concert to audiences. From the soaring shots above the crowd to the close ups of the band to those of the audience happily singing along, the camerawork in this concert is on par with every concert that Eagle Rock has released in recent years. And the audio mix is just as solid. Again, those with a home theater system will hear this for themselves. That expert audio and visual work together with the show’s set list pushes this recording even more to the top. Putting the recording at the top is the addition of a pair of interviews with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill in which the pair discuss what the Montreux Festival means to them, their thoughts on Claude Nobs and more.

The finishing touch to ZZ Top’s new live recording is the inclusion of a pair of backstage interviews with Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. The interviews are short. They run about three minutes or a little more each. But even within their short run times, the thoughts shared by the pair speak volumes. They discuss the festival itself and its history and how much it meant to have been invited to perform. They also discuss their relationship with the festival’s late founder Claude Nobs. They spoke very fondly of nobs and how those positive vibes led to the band’s musical tribute to the man. Just as eye and ear opening is the pair’s discussion on how the festival really brought together so many people of different musical backgrounds. It shows a love for music and respect for all different kinds of people. And that sentiment, as short as it may be, makes one look back through the concert once again, gaining a whole new appreciation not just for this recording, but for the members of ZZ Top as people. All things considered, this latest live recording from Eagle Rock Entertainment proves to be one more in this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings. It will be the favorite of any other music lover, too when they purchase the Blu-ray or DVD for themselves.

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. And for the latest on ZZ Top’s updated tour schedule and more, fans can follow the band online at http://www.facebook.com/ZZTop and http://www.zztop.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Releases Details Of Upcoming ZZ Top Live Release

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Montreux Sounds

The partnership between Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds has led to the release of a number of archived shows from the festival’s decades-long history in recent years. Performances from the likes of Phil Collins, Carlos Santana, Etta James, and so many others have been released thanks to the companies’ partnership. Now another of music’s major names will see one of its Montreux Festival performances released this summer thanks to that partnership. The name in question is none other than classic rock trio ZZ Top.

ZZ Top: Live at Montreux 2013 will be released July 22, 2014 on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats. The new archived concert will be released alongside the brand new CD release of ZZ Top: The Very Baddest Of. That new CD release is a two-disc set containing forty of the band’s biggest hits. It will be released via Rhino Records. ZZ Top: Live at Montreux 2013 will see the band performing many of those hits live at the famed festival. Among the songs audiences can expect to hear are: ‘La Grange,’ ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’,’ ‘Pincushion,’ ‘Sharp Dressed Man,’ ‘Waitin’ For The Bus,’ ‘Legs,’ ‘Tube Snake Boogie,’ and ‘Tush’ just to name a handful of songs. Audiences can also expect to see the band’s performance of ‘Tres Hombres,’ ‘Fandango,’ ‘Eliminator,’ and ‘La Futura.’ Needless to say that this new archived performance is a definite career-spanning set. There is even a jazz-blues tribute to the late Claude Nobs, who founded the Montreux Jazz Festival decades ago. The performance features appearances by Mike Flanigin on Hammond organ and Van Wilks on guitar.

The concert’s DVD presentation will retail for SRP of $14.98. The Blu-ray will retail for $19.98. More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment and Montreux Sounds is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://www.eagle-rock.com. More information on ZZ Top and all of its upcoming releases and tour news is available online at http://www.zztop.com and http://www.facebook.com/zztop. 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.

Jeff Beck, ZZ Top Announce First Ever Joint Tour

Courtesy:  Mad Ink PR/Merlis For Hire

Courtesy: Mad Ink PR/Merlis For Hire

Two of the country’s most iconic acts are hitting the road together this Summer.

ZZ Top and Jeff Beck have announced that they will tour together beginning Friday, August 8th in Missoula, Montana. The tour will run for five weeks and will include performances in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Detroit, Boston , and New York City. The acts’ current tour schedule runs through September12th. More dates are expected to be announced.

This will not be the first time that Beck and ZZ Top have ever performed together. However, it will be the first time that the two acts have ever toured together. ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons joined Jeff Beck on stage at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. The pair performed Jimi Hendrix’s hit song ‘Foxey Lady’ and ZZ Top’s ‘Rough Boy’ at the event. Beck joined ZZ Top in Lucca, Italy in 2010 for an extended take of ZZ Top’s hit song ‘La Grange.’

Billy Gibbons spoke on behalf of his band mates in ZZ Top—Dusty Hill and Frank Beard—in an interview about the upcoming tour. He had nothing but positive things to say of Beck and his importance in the history of modern mainstream music. He said of Beck, “Ever since experiencing ‘Jeff’s Boogie,’ the prospect of performance with Jeff Beck on the deck brings us into focus with the curator of crunch.”

Beck shared similar sentiment about his friends in ZZ Top. “Ever since Eliminator I thought it would be great to play with ZZ Top,” he said. In discussing Billy Gibbons, Beck called Gibbons “The Professor of Grunge.

The most current schedule of tour dates for Jeff Beck and ZZ Top is listed below. More dates will be announced over time.

ZZ Top with Jeff Beck Tour Itinerary:

August 8         Ogren Park                                          Missoula, MT

August 9         Chateau Ste. Michelle                         Woodinville, WA

August 10       Cuthbert Amphitheatre                        Eugene, OR

August 12       The Mountain Winery                          Saratoga, CA

August 13       Greek Amphitheatre                            Los Angeles, CA

August 15       Ironstone Amphitheatre                       Murphys, CA

August 16       The Joint                                              Las Vegas, NV

August 20       Fiddlers Green Amphitheatre              Englewood, CO

August 22       Zoo Amphitheatre                                Oklahoma City, OK

August 23      Starlight Theater                                   Kansas City, MO

August 24       Verizon Wireless Amphitheater          Maryland Heights, MO

August 27       DTE Energy Music Theatre                 Clarkston, MI

August 28       Ravinia                                                Highland Park, IL

August 31       MGM Grand Theater @ Foxwoods     Mashantucket, CT

September 2    Blue Hills Bank Pavilion                        Boston, MA

September 3    Merriweather Post Pavilion                 Columbia, MD

September 4    Nikon @ Jones Beach Theater           Wantagh, NY

September 6    Verizon Wireless Amphitheater          Alpharetta, GA

September 7    St. Augustine Amphitheater                St. Augustine, FL

September 12  Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion         The Woodlands, TX

More dates TBA

The latest tour dates, news and more from ZZ Top and Jeff Beck are available online at http://www.facebook.com/jeffbeck, http://www.facebook.com/ZZTop, http://zztop.com, and http://www.jeffbeck.com. 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.