This final 2016 column contains video presentations both musical and dramatic. Happy New Year to all my readers!
‘Blindman,’ Directed by Ferdinando Baldi (ABKCO Films,☆☆☆1/2)
This Nov. 4 DVD/Blu-Ray/digital release is a 1971 spaghetti western starring Tony Anthony and Ringo Starr, who was beginning an acting career after years of creative drumming in The Beatles with then-manager Allen Klein’s assistance.
The movie’s plot, written by Anthony (who plays the titular Blindman), is complex, violent and sexually suggestive at times; but spaghetti-western/Ringo fans will find enjoyment with proper parental screening. The scenery and some plot elements will seem eerily familiar.
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‘Starry Starry Night,’ Don McLean (MVDvisual,☆☆☆☆)
This DVD features Don McLean and band (pianist Tony Migliore, bassist Ralph Childs, drummer Jerry Kroon, guitarist Mike Severs and additional bassist Mark Prentice) plus an orchestra filmed at Austin’s Paramount Theatre in 1999. There’s bonus footage from the 1970s-1990s, plus home video shot in England’s Hyde Park in 1975.
My favorite tunes are “Jerusalem,” appropriately epic covers of Marty Robbins’ “You Gave Me a Mountain” and Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” and “You’re My Little Darlin’.”
“American Pie” is here, with enthusiastic audience response and singing.
Folks who want all of McLean’s hits with superb backing will enjoy this presentation.
‘Boonville Redemption,’ Produced and Directed by Don Schroeder (MVDvisual,☆☆☆☆☆)
This DVD movie stars Ed Asner, Pat Boone and others in a story of 1906 Boonville, California. Thirteen-year-old Melinda (Emily Hoffman) was born out of wedlock and is determined to find her real father. Her Grandma Mary (Diane Ladd) requires care, and Melinda is ordered by her evil step-father into that job, which also allows her to quiz Grandma about her real father. The plot gets complicated, with glimpses into the past, an earthquake and a trial that reveals much about past dirty dealings and eventual redemption. This is the rarest of faith-based films, one that has a gripping story line; and it’s a great one for family viewing.
‘Live In Concert At The Capitol Theatre,’ Justin Hayward (IM3 Global Entertainment,☆☆☆☆☆)
This is the concert video mentioned last week featuring Justin (guitar/lead vocals) and a small band (guitarist Mike Dawes and keyboard/percussion/backing vocalist Julie Ragins) performing solo tunes, a few Moody Blues favorites and hidden gems in Clearwater, Florida.
There’s only room to list a few favorites: “What You Resist Persists” (featuring Dawes’ bluegrass-flavored electric guitar), the gorgeous “Forever Autumn,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” surprisingly muscular versions of “Question” and “Nights In White Satin,” “The Western Sky” and three bonus songs. Julie’s harmony vocals and nifty keyboard work, plus Justin’s many guitars and Mike’s skillful playing, make for a thoroughly entertaining presentation.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at email@example.com.