Blu-ray/CD Review “Melissa Etheridge: A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.”

Rated: Unrated
Studio: Shout! Factory
Run Time: 60 min
Format: CD/DVD/Blu-Ray

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

“A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.” is the latest live release from singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge. The performance was recorded on December 12th 2014 at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles during the last show of Etheridge’s “This is Me” Tour. The package is being released via Shout! Factory and is available on both DVD/CD and Blu-Ray/CD combo’s and Deluxe Digital Edition formats.
2 time Grammy Award winning singer/song writer Melissa Etheridge is back with a brand new concert performance release, Her first new live release since 2001’s “Live and Alone”.

Though “A Little Bit of Me: Live In L.A.” clocks in at just 60 minutes the 13 tracks that make up the set list are pure magic. All the hits are here including “I Want To Come Over”, “Come To My Window” and “I’m The Only One” along with several new tracks from Etheridge’s most recent studio album “This Is M.E.” including “Take My Number” and “A Little Bit of Me”. Though I found the sound and picture to be really great on the Blu-Ray edition I was a little underwhelmed that the entire concert only ran 60 minutes. With Etheridge’s last live release clocking in at over 2 hrs. and packed with bonus footage there was certainly something’s left to be desired. Don’t get me wrong the behind the scenes footage and interviews with the band are ok but nothing that hasn’t already been done.

If you are a long time Melissa fan and have to have everything she release to fulfill your collection then this release is certainly for you. I think this also would make a great piece to have if you saw one of the shows from this tours run. However if you are really looking for a more complete M.E. package then dig into her expansive back catalogue as there are several options that will probably be able to fit what you are looking for.

Track Listing:
1.) I Won’t Be Alone Tonight
2.) I Want To Come Over
3.) Chrome Plated Heart
4.) Take My Number
5.) Come To My Window
6.) Ruins
7.) A Little Bit of Me
8.) If I Wanted To
9.) Meet Me In The Back
10.) Bring Me Some Water
11.) I’m The Only One
12.) Like The Way I Do (Bonus track on Blu-Ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)
13.) Monster (Bonus track on Blu-Ray, DVD and Deluxe Digital Edition)

Blu-ray/CD Review: Black Label Society “Unblackened”

Black Label Society
eOne Music
Tracks: 23

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society is back with a new two disc live offering titled “Unblackened”. Recorded in stunning high definition during the band’s 2013 appearance at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA, the two disc CD/one disc Blu-Ray album showcases the bands reworking of some of Black Label Society’s most iconic tracks in a way they have never been performed before.

Along with Zakk Wylde on guitar/piano, bassist JD DeServio, long time BLS co-guitarist Nick Catanese, drummer Chad Szeliga, singer Greg Locascio and Derek Sherinian on keyboards/piano “Unblackened” is probably the best release to come out from The Doom Crew since the early 2000’s. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the lighter approach to songs that have been ingrained in to my head since I first started listening to Zakk however in my opinion this should have been the band’s sound from the start. Each track seems to breathe much better which also allows the rich instrumentation to remain clear and articulate (something that is often overshadowed by the group’s standard sludge like sound). Wylde’s voice on tracks like “Sold My Soul”, House of Doom” and “In This River” renews my faith in him as a front man as he showcases a unique vocal range that is quite a bit different than the Viking like gargling he has become known for.

Don’t let the idea of songs like “House of Doom” and “Stillborn being reworked into more acoustic renditions sway you from picking up a copy of this album as those songs along with the other 20 plus are equally crushing and still every bit Black Label Society. Though I appreciate the original recordings of each song which were reworked for “Unblackened” I can safely say that I like the new versions that much more. Another great thing about this release is that it is being released in a couple different formats some of which feature additional material and bonus tracks so no matter if you’re a devout vest wearing, chapter member of the Black Label Society or simply a music fan in general you will surely want to make some room in your collection for “Unblackened”.

Disc 1 Track Listing:
1.) Losin’ Your Mind
2.) The Blessed Hellride
3.) Sold My Soul
4.) Road Back Home
5.) Spoke In the Wheel
6.) House of Doom
7.) Queen of Sorrow
8.) Machine Gun Man
9.) Sweet Jesus
10.) In This River
11.) Throwin’ It All Away

Disc 2 Track Listing:
1.) Takillya (Estyabon)
2.) Won’t Find It Here
3.) Rust
4.) Speedball
5.) I Thank You Child
6.) Stillborn
7.) Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone
8.) Lovin’ Woman
9.) Queen of Sorrow (unplugged)
10.) Song For You
11.) Won’t Find It Here (unplugged)
12.) Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Blu-ray/CD Review “Jimmy Buffett: Welcome to Fin City – Live in Las Vegas 2011”

Starring: Jimmy Buffett
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Number of Discs: 2
Tracks: 15
Running Time:
Label: Mailboat Records

Blu-ray Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
CD Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have been a life-long Jimmy Buffett fan, although only seeing him live for the first time earlier this year. Living in Florida, there is also no shortage of Jimmy Buffett mentality but I will take more wherever I can. Jimmy Buffett is also a rare act that can constantly produce live albums and DVDs and still manage to excite fans and deliver a fantastic time worth re-purchasing. Jimmy Buffett concerts are unlike any concert I have ever been to. The energy is so unique and what better than to watch it from the best seat in the house! So crack open that Margarita mix, get that blender ready and party it out with Jimmy and friends.

This release marks the first time that Jimmy is available in high definition Blu-ray. If that isn’t enough this comes as a two disc set with a CD of the show as well. The concert featured here includes the best of from his 2011 Las Vegas shows. I am not sure why the entire concert wasn’t included though since all of his concert is really a best of. Also included on the Blu-ray only is a never before released music video of “Elvis Presley Blues”. I just love the fact that this come with both Blu-ray and CD, since one can stay in my car and one in my Blu-ray player! 24 hours of Jimmy Buffett.

It is funny because when I think of Vegas, I immediately think of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel. Las Vegas seems to be an awesome venue to catch one of his concerts. This concert contains combined performances from 2 incredible Saturday night shows at the MGM. The audio/video on the Blu-ray is just superb and makes you feel like you are there in the audience. Of course there is nothing like a live show, this will hold you over until Jimmy’s next go-round in your town. Inquirers who are curious about what a Buffett concert is like will enjoy this personal and intimate view. But obviously, hardcore fans of Jimmy, this purchase is a no-brainer.

Track Listing:
1. Viva Las Vegas
2. Brown Eyed Girl
3. License to Chill
4. Off To See The Lizard
5. Life Is Just A Tire Swing
6. Bama Breeze
7. Gypsies In The Palace
8. It’s Midnight And I’m Not Famous Yet
9. Knee Deep
10. Back Where I Come From
11. Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
12. One Particular Harbour
13. Fins
14. Defying Gravity
15. Elvis Presley Blues (Blu-ray only)


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