Friday, December 31, 2021

Year In Review 2021 - Favorite Albums 2021

Here are our all of our favorite albums of 2021. This is the year end review, all in one place.

You can find our favorite album cover art, RtBE's favorite archive releases and picks for best live shows

Below are our picks for RtBE's favorite albums of the year. It starts with our honorable mentions then moves into our top ten albums of the year. There is a short blurb about the album and a song from it, click on the title to read our full review of the selected records. The focus here is on full albums, not singles, but long playing releases you can slap on and listen to all the way through.

Thanks for reading. Until next year....

Live Streams: St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Live From Brooklyn Bowl Nashville

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.

Today we highlight: St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Live From Brooklyn Bowl Nashville

Ring in the New Year with St. Paul and The Broken Bones. Grab tickets here.

To get in the mood, here is an older tune from the band:

Full Show Friday: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Live New Years Eve 1978

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing). This week...Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers!

Let's go back to New Years Eve 1978 as we celebrate New Years Eve 2021 tonight. Who better to host than Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers?!?!? From Santa Monica California, Pro Shot, Pro Sound, full set list below. 

Happy New Year and as always, thanks for reading, listening, commenting and participating in any way.  All the best to you and yours in 2022 and beyond.....



Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Santa Monica Ca Setlist: 1:11 I Need To Know 3:33 Surrender 6:26 Fooled Again (I Don't Like It) 12:34 Tom Talks, Intro To Casa Dega 13:10 Casa Dega 18:27 Refugee 22:18 You're Gonna Get It 26:36 Mystery Man 29:56 American Girl 34:19 Breakdown n/a Runaway 41:30 Too Much Ain't Enough 46:00 Band leaves 48:02 (Encore) Shout

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Live Streams: Billy & The Kids - Revisited

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.

Today we highlight: Billy & The Kids - Revisited

Back in July, Billy & The Kids played Red Rocks. Now FANS is rebroadcasting both shows on 12/30 and 12/31 to highlight what they are calling the hottest shows of the year. 

A portion of the proceeds benefit Backline, providing mental health and wellness resources for the music industry. Get tickets now.

To get in the mood, here is the band playing "So Many Roads":

Album Review: Grateful Dead - Dave's Picks 40: 7/18-19/90 Deer Creek, IN

Grateful Dead
Dave's Picks 40: 7/18-19/90 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN
**** out of *****

The Grateful Dead were having a late career renaissance at the end of the 80's and the beginning of the 90's with the band riding a surprise MTV hit into selling out arena's around the country. The group has already captured this live era on Without A Net and Dozin' at the Knick during their playing days and then released two full box sets of their Spring 1990 tour after Jerry Garcia passed away. Safe to say the band enjoys this time period with Bob Weir even stating, "For my money, this was our hottest era."

The hotness kept rolling into the summer of 1990 before things were forever altered when keyboardist Brent Mydland died from an overdose on July 26th 1990. Dave's Picks 40 captures two complete shows (minus one encore) from just a few days before Mydland's death and prove that the glory of Spring '90 was still riding high through the summer months.  

The first set offered from 7/18/90 is by far the weakest of the four presented here, but it is not a complete lost cause. After a rickety "Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower" start, which had a few sound issues (and a loud and proud Phil Lesh on bass) Mydland takes over for a electro keyboard lead "Easy To Love You". Things chill out during mellow offerings of "Peggy-O" and "When I Paint My Masterpiece" before set highlight "Cassidy" finds the best clicking between all the players on the upbeat jam. 

The band keeps that energy through the set break for the spritely opening combo "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider" as the second set puts to bed any doubts after a lack luster opening frame. A passionately delivered "Looks Like Rain" from Weir before a thunderous "Terrapin Station" proves this era of the band had real power. Terrapin leads to a unique sounding jam and interplay before the gremlins in the machine start warping with sonic waves in "Space" and an exploratory "Other One", both freaking out the fans with trippy vocal effects/glitches. 

A monstrous "Morning Dew" with huge drums from Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart around Garcia's soaring guitars and screams wraps up the set while an excellent "The Weight" from The Band acts as an encore for the group; a dynamite second set rescues the first with playing and shenanigans that recalled the Dead's early days. 

The next night is also included in this set and it finds the band in better form from the start. "Jack Straw" has Lesh's loose bass sound flowing through the opener while Mydland's solo on "They Love Each Other" is smile inducing. Weir takes over and leads a strong version of the band's take on Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" and Garcia matches the effort with stout playing and singing on the dripping "Row Jimmy". "Picasso Moon" rock's with an 80's flair before an "Althea" which could rival the best the band has played and a smoking "Promised Land" concludes a great first set from the band. 

The second just kept on moving in the positive direction with an electro squawking version of the dark "Victim or the Crime" which the band slinks away from into the upbeat strumming of "Foolish Heart". Things really locked in after that as the group wove through the trio of "Playin' In The Band" > "China Doll" > "Uncle Johns Band" with grace and charm. The "Playin'" allowed Garcia to turn his guitar into a flute with midi effects while Lesh held down the deep bass before "China" saw Garcia dig deep for stirring vocals while Brent shone bright throughout "UJB"; this three song jaunt is a highlight run on this release. 

The "Drums">"Space" segment runs long and semi-interesting while "All Along The Watchtower" was hitting shredding highs from Garcia, before he made an odd abrupt down shift into "Black Peter"  This version actually gathers up some rocking energy at the end, as if Garcia knew the crowd and the band wanted to keep the vibe soaring, so they wrapped up with a pumping version of "Not Fade Away" to finish an excellent late career show from the Dead. 

While fall 1990 through Summer 1995 had a few nights when the band brought it all together or were inspired, the truth is when Mydland died soon after the nights presented here, something seemed to end for The Grateful Dead. This era and Dave's Picks 40 in particular are one of the last exciting moments when Brent was in his element with the rest of the band and things were bright and flowing.
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Support the band, buy the album, peep some video below:
(Audio is not from the official release)

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Live Streams: Robyn Hitchcock

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.


Today we highlight: Robyn Hitchcock

Through Mandolin, Robyn Hitchcock will be performing live tonight. Grab tickets now

To get in the mood, here is a song from Hitchcock:


Album Review: Chris Acker - Odd, Ordinary & Otherwise

Chris Acker
Odd, Ordinary & Otherwise
***and 1/2 out of *****

The third album from the New Orleans based country/folk artist Chris Acker is brimming with humor warmth and honesty as the singer-songwriter works with his band The Growing Boys to deliver a set of satisfying efforts on Odd, Ordinary & Otherwise.

Acker presents smile inducing turn of phrases right from the beginning as "Panicked & Paralyzed" is an album highlight with funny truths being told and sung through and around excellent strumming and pedal work. Acker's easy comparison is John Prine as his aw-shucks vocals and sweet lyrics instantly remind the listener of the great folk singer. 

The Prine vibes are everywhere, from the dour "Walking" to the nice and chill "The Pig War Reenactment" as Acker and crew sashay the sound forward. When the full Growing Boys band (Nikolai Shveitser: pedal steel Zach Thomas: bass Dave Hammer: electric and 12 string guitar, vocals Sam Gelband: drums, vocals) contribute, the sound swells gloriously. 

The country rock with heavier drums of "Bound" gallops forward while the upbeat country rocker "She Lives" cooks along. The pacing and excellent guitar work from all involved make the motel affairs of "Complementary Confidential" sing as Acker delivers delightful lyrics. His complicated love affair of the title characters "Nick and Joe" is well explained while the self-deprecating "Styrofoam" brings back the humor which is vital to Ackers writing. 

There are a few slower weepy numbers which aren't as successful like "Refinery", but overall the tone, texture and sound of Odd, Ordinary & Otherwise proves that Chris Acker has an excellent voice, spirit and tone; delivering a pleasant ride throughout.  
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Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video below:





Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Live Streams: Phish Live on NYE

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.


Today we highlight: Phish Live on New Years Eve

Phish had to reschedule their upcoming New Years Eve run at Madison Square Garden until April, but are not taking 12/31 off from playing.  They have announced a free, streaming 3-set show, that they will be playing sans audience at The Ninth Cube (a reference to their Halloween Sci-fi Solider performance):

To get in the mood here is the debut of "The Ninth Cube" from 10/31/21:

Album Review: Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi - They're Calling Me Home

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi 
They're Calling Me Home
*** out of *****


Rhiannon Giddens affinity for songs of long ago has been well documented. From her work with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, to Our Native Daughters and beyond, she has breathed new life into long lost numbers and reinvented classic offerings. She continues down that same path with They're Calling Me Home, her second with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi.

By nature and design these songs are fairly stripped down with Giddens voice being the focal point as the two artists were separately isolating in Ireland during Covid lock-downs and looked to songs that reminded them of their home lands (North Carolina for Giddens and Italy for Turrisi). Giddens voice is glorious throughout, but the minimal instrumentation can leave to some odd choices as on the buzzing opening title track, a surprisingly bland start to the record. 

Things pick up with fiddle and percussion for "Avalon" while Giddens shows off singing expertly in Italian for "Si Dolce e Tormento". The spiritual "I Shall Not Be Moved" contains minimal strumming, pump organ and some over singing from Rhiannon, as if working where other instruments would normally fill in. 

The best results here are on "Waterbound" where a fuller sound of light drums, soothing violin and plucked guitars craft a base for Giddens to lament not being in her homeland.  The island of her and Turrisi's lockdown displays some influence as the fife and guitar give "Bully for You" Irish flair and the hand drum percussion and backing vocals of "O'Death" deliver a gospel spiritual vibe to the old song. 

Turrisi gives vocals a shot on the ominous Italian lullaby "Nenna Nenna" while Giddens experiments with a hummed version of "Amazing Grace" around more buzzing below to wrap up They're Calling Me Home. The project was meant as a way to connect with a home far away and feel comfortable during times of great uncertainty and fear. You return to what you know and for Giddens returning to these century old songs delivers warmth and comfort in trying times for all who hear her voice.     
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:


Monday, December 27, 2021

Live Streams: Dr. Dog Live @ The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.


Today we highlight: Dr. Dog Live @ The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA

On their last tour, Dr. Dog is streaming their show tonight from their hometown:

RtBE caught the band at Terminal 5 a few months back, and it was one of our favorite shows of the year

To get in the mood for tonight, here is a tune from the band:

Dylan Cover #511 Margot Pourailly "Forever Young"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Margot Pourailly is performing a cover of "Forever Young" 


Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we covered a cover of this tune.
"Forever Young" is a classic. A track that Dylan released two different versions of on Planet Waves, and a song tons of artists use to close out sets or play encores. Without doing research it has to be one of the top 5 most covered songs of his, and yet it was never one of RtBE's favorites. It is a great song, Bob has always treated it a bit sterile though and this is a flaw in Dylan; artists would give their whole careers to write a song like this and he treats it like an out take, Last Waltz version not withstanding.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is the first time we are hearing Margot Pourailly

Thoughts on Cover:
A soothing cover and delicate version to wrap up our year of Dylan covers.  Thanks for checking them out and supporting the artists we featured. Next month we dive back into Jazz covers of Dylan tunes. 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Live Streams: CHRISSIE HYNDE & CO SING BOB DYLAN (AND OTHER SONGS) – FROM THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, LONDON

For the last year live music was on lock down (like everything else in New York City). Live streams and old concerts have become essential for live music junkies like RtBE. Things are improving on the pandemic front in this city, but live streams will be an option for the foreseeable future. We will highlight various shows/streams/virtual events for your viewing and listening pleasure and as a way to help out the artists. You can always check out or weekly Full Show Friday series for concerts from the past and as always please support the artists any which way you can.

Today we highlight: CHRISSIE HYNDE & CO SING BOB DYLAN (AND OTHER SONGS) – FROM THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, LONDON

Tonight Hynde and company play a special show which will be streaming on Veeps, grab tickets now
I also reviewed her recent album of Dylan covers for Glide Magazine, she will be focusing on that release tonight.

To get in the mood here is a one of the songs from that album:


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas from Rock the Body Electric

Have a Happy One on @RockBodyElec:

Here is our favorite Christmas song for the Holiday Season, sing it Clarence!


And a a few bonus tunes as stocking-stuffer's because we are in the giving spirit. Here is Albert King trying to get Santa the respect he deserves...


Jimmy Jule and the Nuclear Soul System let's you that "Xmas Done Got Funky":

Our friends The Clay Pigeons doing their best with "Oh, The Holidays":

and we will end with Reigning Sound double dipping with "Jingle Bell Rock" and "If Christmas Can't Bring You Home":


Enjoy the holiday and as always, thanks for reading.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Full Show Friday: Chase - Christmas in Concert Live 2020

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing). This week...Chase!


The artist Chase sings Christmas songs backed by the Summer Street Band. Pro shot, Pro Sound, full set list below. Merry Christmas. 


Enjoy this hour-long, live Christmas performance by Chase featuring both nostalgic classics & Great American Songbook standards. This concert has been made possible by the generosity of dear family, friends, supporters, patrons, and friends. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!! Virtual Tip Jar: https://paypal.me/chasesings This Live Concert Is Also Available On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0hdErP... Setlist: 0:00- It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 4:22- Winter Wonderland 7:41- The Christmas Song 12:10- White Christmas 14:43- Please Come Home for Christmas 18:30- Kiss Me Beneath The Mistletoe 22:13- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town 26:13- Don't Get Around Much Anymore 28:48- I’ve Got You Under My Skin/The Look of Love 36:38- It Had to be You [with Scott Truran] 40:48- Georgia On My Mind 46:00- This Christmas 50:04- Spend A Little Christmas 53:55- I’ll Be Home For Christmas 57:33- Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow! 1:00:43- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1:05:25- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 1:08:38- Credits ________________________________ Vocalist: Chase ________________________________ Website: https://www.chasesings.com Instagram: @chasesings.music Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/chasesings ________________________________ Due to the generosity of our Kickstarter backers, we were able to donate $1000 to the DYRK1A Syndrome International Association through the Christmas In Concert project. This is an organization that is very close to my heart, so, thank you, Kickstarter backers, for making a special difference in the lives of affected individuals and families!! To donate directly to this cause, please click here: http://www.dyrk1a.org/donate _________________________________ Special Thanks To: Musicians (Summer Street Band) Drums- Scott Truran Guitar- Tim Gowens Keys Left- Stan Coates Keys Right- Robert Meadows Bass- Kenny Bentley Saxophone- Ollie Patterson Venue (The Oak House) William Nolan Tony Nolan Audio Jorge Castro Video Team (Aethon Films) Will Ogburn Jon Haight Chris Brady Alex Wolcott Wardrobe Karon Davis-Truran Photography Walt McDole Set Design Karon Davis-Truran Bert Cooper

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Phish Reschedule New Years Run @ MSG for April 2022

Omicron is reeking havoc with holiday events and Phish (along with their fans) are no exception. 

The Vermont jamband had been scheduled to start a 4 night run next week at The World's Most Famous Arena, but now that will have to wait until April 20th. From the band:
With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 surging in New York City, we have made the very difficult decision to reschedule next week’s run of shows at Madison Square Garden.

The health and safety of Phish fans, our crew, and venue staff is paramount in our minds. While Phish has played shows this year as the pandemic has continued, this variant’s ability for rapid transmission is unprecedented.

We are also mindful that a significant number of people travel for these shows and then return to their communities, and we want to avoid accelerating transmission of the virus. Finally, even with the strictest of tour Covid protocols, the prolonged exposure of a four-night indoor run (plus the days of preparation and travel) to critical crew and staff considerably increases the possibility of having to shut the shows down once they’ve started.

We’re fortunate to have found a four-night window in The Garden’s schedule, and the shows will now take place April 20-23, 2022, including a three-set show (as originally planned for New Year’s Eve) on April 22.

Ticket holders can request a refund anytime over the next 30 days, beginning today, if they cannot commit to the rescheduled show date. If a refund is not requested during the allotted time, tickets will be valid for the new show date. Please note: If you purchased from an authorized ticket sales channel.(Ticketmaster, Phish Tickets, CID or venue website) these ticketing partners will be contacting all buyers shortly with further instructions.
Thank you all for your understanding. Stay healthy and safe, take care of each other out there and please get vaccinated and boosted if you haven’t already.
That is just one of the many shows/events that will be getting canceled/rescheduled in NYC over the next few weeks.  Let's hope Omicron leaves just as quickly as it arrived. 

To cheer up the mood here is a live version of "Punch You In The Eye" from MSG back in 2011:

Album Review: La Luz - La Luz

La Luz
S/T
**and1/2 out of *****

As with other established bands releasing self-titled albums well into their career the newest La Luz album signals a shift in style/rebirth for the outfit. The band has released solid past efforts as well as lived through life altering accidents, now for their newest release on Hardly Art, they scale back their patented surf-noir sound and amp the harmonies and psych rock.  

Starting with a lineup change as drummer Marian Li Pino's departure left the band as a trio (Shana Cleveland, Alice Sandahl, Lena Simon) with drummer Riley Geare helping out in the studio. La Luz chose to work with producer Adrian Young (Ghostface Killer, Jay Z, Talib Kweli) shifting gears into more R&B terrain. Not modern, R&B, more reminiscent of girl group efforts of the early 60's. Doo-Wop styling and layered sounds in a light Phil Spector vein float along on the tracks. The easy rolling "Oh, Blue" languidly drifts by, "Metal Man" injects every garage rock instrumentation/sound while "Down The Street" is the best of the bunch in this new Shangri-La's style proving to be an album highlight. 

The band still has traces of their past as opener "In The Country" shimmers with guitar strums and laser blast keys, those electro-keyb bleeps and warbles take center stage on "The Pines" while "Goodbye Ghost" wants to rock, but stays restrained under layers of sound.

Main songwriter Cleveland moved from Seattle to Northern California and writes more about grounded emotions this go around, Perhaps the stoner country seeped in to much as "Watching Cartoons" starts out with an interesting hip hop inspired bass and drums before the lyrics and vocals come off as a dull diary entry. That sense of high wandering also weighs down the drawn out "Lazy Eyes and Dune" like some heavy weight edibles.

Better is the interlocking shimmy and shake of "I Won't Hesitate" which feels of both their past work and their new direction as the band links harmonies and lets the space flow. The warbling "Here on Earth" and the "She's So Heavy" inspired distort rock instrumental of "Spider House" ends the record on positive notes. 

The self titled release starts the band in a new direction, but their surf-noir past is still within reach while they transition into a more wide open future. These first steps can be a bit rickety, but La Luz is always a band worth checking in on.  

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Support the artists, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Unreleased Son House Recordings To Be Released By Easy Eye Sound

Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound is set to release a collection of unheard Son House recordings titled, Forever On My Mind


More information regarding the release: 
Born Eddie James House, Jr. in Lyon, Mississippi in 1902, Son House at that time had not played music for more than two decades. But the re-release of his early work — commercial 78s issued by Paramount Records in 1930 and two field recordings by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941-42 — by Origin Jazz Library and Folkways Records had excited fresh interest in a growing community of blues aficionados. Within months of his rediscovery by Dick Waterman (who became House’s manager and handler), Nick Perls and Phil Spiro, the once-obscure 62-year-old musician was thrust into the public eye by a story in Newsweek magazine and a series of performances at folk music festivals and college campuses around the country. Forever On My Mind, the new album of previously unreleased Son House recordings from Easy Eye Sound, the independent label operated by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, is the premiere release from Waterman’s personal cache of ’60s recordings by some of the titans of Delta blues. His collection of quarter-inch tapes — which are being restored to remarkable clarity by Easy Eye Sound — have gone unreleased until now. The collection is due out March 18, 2022.

Check out the trailer below:

Album Review: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Georgia Blue

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
Georgia Blue
***and1/2 out of *****

Most of the time, PR for an album is all fluff, but for Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit's most recent offering, Isbell himself wrote about the process, the inspiration and the limitations in a clear and illuminating way: 
Georgia Blue is a labor of love. On election day 2020, when I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state and donate the money to a Georgia based non-profit organization.

I will admit my motivations were a bit selfish. For years, I’ve been looking for an excuse to record these songs with my band and some friends. The songs on this album are some of my favorite Georgia-related songs, but the tracklist is not meant to be comprehensive. I would love to cover Outkast and 2 Chainz, but I don’t think the finished product would be very good. We’re a rock band, so we covered rock songs. We have roots in blues and R&B, so we enlisted some brilliant artists to help us pull off songs by Precious Bryant, James Brown, and Gladys Knight.

This cover album allows the band to try new things all for a great cause. They open up with REM's "Night Swimming" Bela Fleck's banjo picking, strumming guitars and strings make for deep layers of sound while "The Truth" by Precious Bryant bounces along with a country jaunt led by Adia Victoria. The acoustic strums and eerie vocal harmonies float along with Brandi Carlile and Julien Baker helping out on The Indigo Girls "Kid Fears" while Cat Power's "Cross Bones Style" puts a modern spin on those strings, digitizing them up with the help of Amanda Shires

The big rock sound enters the fray with the sweet sounding "Honeysuckle Blue" with 400 Unit guitar man Sadler Vaden leading the way while "Driver 8" finds a smooth version of the REM track book ending things while "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" fits the outfit like a glove. The best Black Crowes song also gets a stirring cover complete with Steve Gorman helping out on drums as "Sometimes Salvation" blares out power, riffs and passionate vocals as the band slays the song on all fronts.  

The band also does a sweet job with their R&B covers as Brittney Spencer gives it her all on "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" supported by horns along with Isbell's weeping guitar in the distance and "Midnight Train To Georgia" which finds John Paul White supporting the polished effort. Isbell himself delivers his powerful vocals on the iconic "I've Been Loving You Too Long", putting in a top notch performance. 

A unique album worth hearing from a band on top of their game just playing some of their favorite songs with friends, for a State they love and giving the funds to very worthy causes. Nothing negative to say about any of that. 

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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Album Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s - The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s
The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts
***** out of *****


Compiled from two concerts (9/21 & 9/22) of the MUSE benefits held at Madison Square Garden with a huge lineup, The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts is a coming out party for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in more ways than one. 

The band had not been on tour, working in the studio on The River when they busted out with the raw abandon of a gang on holiday for these sets. This combination collection of the two nights captures the band in smoking form with Springsteen starting to ramp up his activism, finding a direct cause of No Nukes. The concert has high profile guests, covers and powerful renditions of many of Springsteen's crowd favorites, jumping up from the theaters of The Darkness tour to full fledge arenas, commemorating the first time Springsteen played MSG. 

A fairly tight "Prove It All Night" opens the set with the highlight being Clarence Clemons sax solo before the band slam home on a passionate "Badlands". The tune seems cathartic as Max Weinberg's drums lead the charge with Roy Bittan on piano and Danny Federici on organ sliding up and down the keys as Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt scream their hearts out; stellar kick ass rock and roll. 

Springsteen then takes a well earned mini break minute to introduce "The Promised Land", dedicating the song to all of the people participating in No Nukes. With a bright harmonica shining the way the song rings out proud before only the second version of his newest song "The River" was played live. The stark tale is in all of its heart-wrenching form from the beginning of its tear inducing existence. 

The party picks back up for the Jersey Shore swing of "Sherry Darling" highlighted by Van Zandt's lithe guitar work which displays Caribbean flashes as the whole band cuts loose, enjoying themselves with yelps and hollers. The massive hits follow as Springsteen evolves into the arena god almost before the fans eyes, "Thunder Road" is massive, "Jungleland" is epic, "Rosalita" is exciting and "Born To Run" is inspiring. Each one proves Springsteen & The E Street Band's scope and scale as they embark on a decade where they would own the rocking world. 

Tom Petty and Jackson Browne join the group for Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs “Stay” as the oldies roll out. The bands tried and true "Detroit Medley" complete with the early rock tunes of "Devil with the Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly / C.C. Rider / Jenny Take A Ride" delivers the hip swinging fun, rolling our for almost twenty minutes when you add the bands cover of Gary U.S. Bonds "Quarter To Three". The old time rock and roll wraps up the night with "Rave On!" as the band blasts out and the crowd explodes with vibrant energy.  

This collection vaults to right near the top of the best Springsteen live releases ever as the quality is exquisite. The only real downside is that all of these tunes are familiar to fans in multiple live versions before and there is very little mystery here. That stated, the time constraints of a 90 minute set actually compress Bruce and E-Streets energy and instead of the sprawling three hour concerts he played before and after, The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts solidifies the fact that Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are one of the best live rock and roll acts in history.
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