Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr, Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens, Alice Cooper Shine on New DVD Titles

An already-legendary benefit concert featuring both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, companion releases capturing country music heroes Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens, and a groundbreaking period of Alice Cooper's '70s career finally released on DVD make for some terrific viewing (and listening!) via new releases.

Artists: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Moby, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, more
Title: Change Begins Within: A Benefit Concert for The David Lynch Foundation (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: The Beatles, Moby, Betty LaVette, Ben Harper
Tell me more: A special event featuring sets from a number of legendary musicians is reason enough to celebrate, but imagine a once-in-a-generation concert boasting sets from both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney with the former Beatles then joining forces to perform several Fab Four classics together. Those are among the many reasons to run out and get a copy of Change Begins Within: A Benefit Concert for The David Lynch Foundation. Filmed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 4, 2009, the now-legendary concert also features performances teaming Moby and Bettye LaVette ("Trouble So Hard/Natural Blues"), Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper (an excellent cover of the Queen/David Bowie classic "Under Pressure"), and Sheryl Crow and Harper (George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"). Appearances from British singer-songwriter Donovan and comedian Jerry Seinfeld also shine in the concert film, directed superbly by Michael Dempsey. Bonus features on the DVD include interviews with McCartney, Starr, Vedder and Harper. Information: eagle-rock.com.

Artists: Dwight Yoakam
Title: Dwight Yoakam  Live From Austin, TX (New West Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard
Tell me more: On Oct. 23, 1988, Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens each performed individual sets while cameras rolled as part of PBS' series "Austin City Limits." Now both those performances have been issued as individual releases, with each title providing the performance on audio CD and on DVD. Although Yoakam was a native of Kentucky, from his youth he fell in love with Owens' groundbreaking "Bakersfield" sound (also a favorite of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons) and fused that with his own bluegrass and authentic country sound. The Live From Austin, TX appearance from Yoakam is an hour-long joyride, with both uptempo favorites ("Guitars, Cadillacs," "Please, Please Baby," the night-ending "This Drinkin' Will Kill Me") and tender ballads ("Home Of The Blues," "I Sang Dixie") among the choice cuts. Yoakam is joined by Owens for a wonderful duet of their number one single "Streets Of Bakersfield," (also featuring the beautiful accordion work of Flaco Jimenez). And everywhere across the set the stellar work of guitarist Pete Anderson and fiddler Scott Joss add nuanced firepower to the selections. Information: NewWestRecords.com.

Artist: Buck Owens
Title: Buck Owens  Live From Austin, TX (New West Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard
Tell me more: It was an enthusiastic Yoakam who pulled his musical idol Owens out of a self-imposed 10-year retirement in 1988, leading up to the tandem sets showcased on the newly-issued "Live From Austin TX" releases. Owens' turn is pure fun, with the Sherman, Texas native kicking things off with his 1963 number one hit "Act Naturally" (a favorite of Ringo Starr, who recorded it with the Beatles in 1965). The fast-paced set also includes other beloved Owens nuggets including the lovely ballad "Together Again," his signature Bakerfield romp "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail," rockabilly-styled "Hot Dog" (the title track from his 1988 studio album) and honky tonk gem "Put Another Quarter in the Jukebox." Owens is joined on stage by Yoakam for a duet of "Under Your Spell Again." He caps off his performance with a countrified take on Chuck Berry's rocker "Johnny B. Goode." Information: NewWestRecords.com.

Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Vincent Price, KISS, Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires
Tell me more: Catching Alice Cooper deliver a powerful and entertaining concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles last month, this writer was anxious to watch the newly-released Welcome To My Nightmare Special Edition DVD, a title featuring both a TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare and the Welcome To My Nightmare concert film from the mid-1970s. Both features on the DVD will thrill fans of Cooper. Aired on ABC-TV in the U.S. in April 1975, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare fully developed the concept of Cooper's album Welcome to My Nightmare, with Cooper portraying the child Steven and Vincent Price serving as the Spirit Of The Nightmare. The television special (directed and choreographed by David Winters) is fascinating, with Cooper delivering groundbreaking segments animated by creatively-lit theatrical sets, talented dancers and dynamic glam and shock rock that bring Cooper's nightmare to life. Filmed at London's Wembley Arena in September 1975, Welcome To My Nightmare was shown in movie theaters in 1976. The entertaining concert features seminal tracks from Cooper's early career including rousing versions of "No More Mr. Nice Guy," "The Black Widow," "School's Out" and the affecting ballad "Only Women Bleed." Information: eagle-rock.com.

Robert Kinsler

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