Thursday, December 27, 2012

REVIEW: Various Artists - Alive At The Deep Blues Fest

We've been listening to these great Alive/Naturalsound artists all of 2012 - each album has its own pleasures, but what unites them, in my mind, are a joy in playing and the serious chops that are hallmarks of great blues and rock and roll.

Back in the summer, seven members of Alive's roster joined 19 other bands for a summer BBQ festival in Bayport, MN and the results were recorded and, fortunately, produced into an album by Jim Diamond. Here's the tracklist:

River Water - Buffalo Killers  
It's a Shame - Buffalo Killers  
There is a Bomb in Gilead - Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
The Red, Red Dirt of Home - Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Traveling - Brian Olive  
Bonelle - Brian Olive  
Hold On Me - Radio Moscow  
Little Eyes - Radio Moscow  
24 Hour Blues - Left Lane Cruiser  
Rambling on My Mind - Left Lane Cruiser  
Three More - John The Conqueror  
Be your own Invention/Stranger Dig - Henry's Funeral Shoe
Henry's Funeral Shoe - Henry's Funeral Shoe
From the psychedelia of Buffalo Killers (expansive, sweet-sounding) and Radio Moscow (heavy, raging), to Bains' roaring gospel/blues-based Southern rock, to Olive's mix of blues and sweet SoCal pop, Alive embraces variety. Here's Brian Olive:

Left Lane Cruiser, John The Conqueror and Henry's Funeral Shoe are playing hard blues, and it really shines through in a live setting. Here is the Welsh brother duo Henry's Funeral Shoe:

This is a record that happily does double duty: It's a great document of what sounds like one of the best summer music festivals I've ever heard of, but it's also a really good label sampler. If you're still looking for a way to spend that iTunes or Amazon gift card, this record is a good option, and it will open up seven other worthy possibilities...

Here is a free download of a live version of The Buffalo Killers' "It's A Shame" from the Fest:

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