“In its pure unadulterated emotional and sonic form, sans overdubs of any kind, the honest power of Clark and his band’s musicianship sheds a discernibly different light on the polished likes of the…studio work. [T]he guitarist/vocalist depicts how forcefully he can parlay this music in practiced, natural collaboration with guitarist Eric ‘King’ Zapata, bassist Johnny Bradley and drummer Johnny Radelat. And while the cacophonous closer, “Numb,” is a carryover from the prior double live release, it still sounds so close to the artist’s heart and soul; as such, it will be sure to satiate the appetites of the most ravenous guitar hero-worshipers.”
The Tedeschi Trucks Band is one of the best live bands around. With Susan Tedeschi taking frontwoman duties, guitar wizard Derek Trucks holding down lead duties, and a massive, all-star band that takes the power-couple from great to freaking amazing, the band is a must-see for anyone who loves that sweet spot where rock, blues and jam collide.
The outfit’s latest release is a live album and film titled Live From the Fox Oakland. Recorded and filmed on September 9th, 2016, the album and film provide what the band’s website describes as an “in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the touring juggernaut.”
1. Don’t Know What It Means
2. Keep On Growing
3. Bird On The Wire
4. Within You, Without You
5. Just As Strange
6. Crying Over You
7. Color Of The Blues **Film only
8. These Walls (featuring Alam Khan)
10. Right On Time **CD only
11. Leavin’ Trunk
12. Don’t Drift Away
13. I Want More (Soul Sacrifice outro)
14. I Pity The Fool
15. Ali ** CD only
16. Let Me Get By
17. You Ain’t Going Nowhere **film only
First the Lumineers were an indie-folk underground band that few people had heard of, touring around and slowly growing their fanbase. Then, they were the band that had that catchy song, “Ho Hey,” with the lyrics, “I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart.”
Then, something slightly unfortunate happened…for fans anyway. Mainstream media picked up on the catchiness of “Ho Hey” and you couldn’t get away from it. It found its way into movies, television shows, commercials, radio, sidewalk musician repertoires…anyplace there was music, there was that song. It became unbearable.
Apparently, even the band grew tired of playing it. As Lumineers frontman Wesley Schultz told Billboard, “You can only play something for so long before it naturally just gets stale. I think we’re really excited to turn the page.”
Turn the page they have, with a new album titled Cleopatra. To fans, the record comes as a welcome relief as it is heartfelt and soulful, without a trite pop hit around. For those concerned about the band “going mainstream” with this one, or tossing together some half-baked offering, worry not. The band has created something that furthers their journey as slightly rough-around-the-edges, thoughtful indie-folk explorers rather than something swerving into mainstream mediocrity.
The band is happy with the effort, as well, and pleased to have some new material to perform. As Schultz puts it, “[Cleopatra] breathes new life into a band that spent, maybe, I’m exaggerating, but four or five years playing those songs [from the first album].”
by Cat Johnson
Amos Lee famously blends genres and styles. His foundation is in American roots music, he can rock with the best of them, and he can get so deep and soulful with a ballad that you feel the tears welling up.
On his new release, Live at Red Rocks With the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Lee one-ups himself by recruiting a symphony orchestra to back him up and playing at the legendary Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado.
The result is an album that is at times soft and acoustic, and at other times, downright triumphant, with strings, horns, keyboard, and drums all ringing out in the Colorado night.
Longtime fans of Lee will appreciate that he performs material from throughout his career, but puts emphasis on his outstanding album, Mission Bell. Standout tracks include “Windows Are Rolled Down,” “El Camino,” and “Flower.”
“Starting out in small clubs, and corner bars, it was both humbling and exhilarating to take the stage for a sold out show at Red Rocks,” Lee told the Wall Street Journal. “The performance, which I’m very proud of, is a testament to how much my band has grown and how fluid and versatile the CSO and their conductor, Scott O’Neil, are. I was floating the entire night, and still find it a little hard to fathom it’s happening. I’m grateful to have taken part in such a special night with people who are immensely talented and generous of spirit.”
The legendary Leonard Cohen recently dropped a new, live album titled Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour. The collection features 10 “Cohen rarities” recorded on his Old Ideas World Tour.
[The songs] have the immediacy, spontaneity, and thrilling intimacy of the best studio recordings made in the white heat of live performance and Cohen’s legendary soundchecks, in which he brings the colors of his virtuoso band to full bloom in harmony with his voice, never more seductive. Here is a full range of Leonard Cohen’s work: new songs including, from the realm of blues, the wickedly funny “Got a Little Secret” and “Never Gave Nobody Trouble”; luxurious performances of such Cohen masterpieces as “I Can’t Forget,” “Light As a Breeze,” “Night Comes On,” and a sublime “Joan of Arc.”
by Cat Johnson
I’ll admit, it took me a while to warm up to this band’s name. The phrase Trampled by Turtles is kind of clever and cute but it doesn’t have that weathered, old-time flair that signals to me there’s going to be some heartbreak, sweet picking, and songs about hard-living. It was somewhere around the band’s third or fourth album that I tuned in to what they were doing. And I liked it. Not all of it, but enough to start digging through their catalog looking for the gems.
Judging from YouTube views, the TBT track that people like the most is “Wait So Long.” I like it fine, but the hell-fire pace they play at sacrifices some of the nuance of the song. But, I see why people love it. The band’s standout track for me is “Midnight on the Interstate.” A slower, banjo-and fiddle-tinged song with images of loneliness, changing times, and the road, the song strikes a nice balance of beauty and hurt.
Other favorites, including “Gasoline” and “Bloodshot Eyes,” made it onto the recently-released live album, Live at First Avenue. Recorded in the band’s hometown of Minneapolis, the album is a snapshot of the band doing what they do best: playing catchy, heartfelt jams that get people jumping or swaying.
As far as live albums go, it’s really lovely. The recording is clean and warm and the band sounds, as usual, totally on-point without being stiff. Released as both a CD/DVD combo and vinyl/DVD combo, Live at First Avenue acts as encapsulation of what the band has done up to this point. Surprise additions are covers of the Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” on the CD and vinyl and a cover of Faces’ “Ooh La La” on the dvd.
Recommended for those who are already on the Trampled By Turtles train as well as new roots fans who like the raw energy of live recordings.
M.I.A and nine look-alikes tore up Letterman last night with the noisy and catchy, “Born Free.” The track is off of her brand new (came out yesterday) album MAYA or /\/\ /\ Y /\…or something like that. The album is supposed to be really experimental and gritty and good.