As you might expect, there were not a lot of Live albums released during 2021 but of the ones that were these are the five best that I got to listen to and spin during my shows…..enjoy!
The Teskey Brothers & Orchestra Victoria – LIve At Hamer Hall
A case can be made that the best current R&B band in the world is from a place in the Yarra valley outside Melbourne Australia. The four brothers write and sing as though they have emerged from a time capsule found in a wall in MoTown with Otis Redding 45s in their hands. Just listen to Rain, So Caught Up, and San Francisco and be teleported back to the golden age of modern music for an evening.
Greg Copeland & Steve ‘Guitar’ Giles – LIve in Aotearoa New Zealand
Greg Copeland & Steve ‘Guitar’ Giles serve as ambassadors for the blues on this recording done in New Zealand. Greg is a smoky voiced singer and master storyteller of the blues who is from Virginia and has been living in Germany for a number of years. Greg and Steve capture the heart of the contemporary acoustic blues on songs like Don’t Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down and Going Home. Greg’s love of the blues comes through in every note and I can’t think of a better person to sing the story of the blues to audiences in New Zealand, Europe, and here in North America.
Pat Fulgoni – Dark Side of the Blues – Live in Prague
Out of the UK, Pat Fulgoni is the Mountain Man of the roadhouse blues with his long hair, full beard, and a blues style and voice perfect for roadhouses from Prague to New Orleans. The recording features covers of blues classics including Rock Me Baby and the jammin’ How Many More Times.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – Layla Revisited
Stellar guitar work, a rocking rhythm section, and fantastic vocals mark this one off live concert recorded by the Tedeschi Trucks band as a remembrance of the Derek & the Dominos album that featured Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Trey Anastasio (Phish) and Doyle Bramhall II also joined the band on the recording. Listening to Susan Tedeschi belt out Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out is worth the price of admission.
The Brothers – Madison Square Garden March 10, 2020
Recorded days before the world as we knew it changed radically, the recording was organized by Jaimoe and will probably stand as one of the last live recordings featuring an original member of the Allman Brothers Band (ABB). ABB alumni including Warren Haynes on all vocals, Derek Trucks on guitar, bassist Oteil Burbridge, and percussionist Marc Quinones provide a trip down memory lane with most of the two dozen songs coming from the golden era of ABB from 1969 to 1973.
Mary Stokes Band – Clouds In My Heart (LIve In Dublin)
The Mary Stokes Band is a very tight blues band out of Ireland centered around Mary’s robust vocals, her life partner Brian Palm’s badass harmonica playing, and some mighty fine licks on the guitar by Sarah Michelle. This is live roadhouse blues at its very finest!!! Listen to The Last Time and I’m So Glad and tell me it ain’t so!!! Originally recorded in 1999, the CD was released internationally this November.
Joe Bonamassa – Now Serving Royal Tea Live from the Ryman
My first exposure to Joe Bonamassa was live on PBS and I still enjoy listening to him perform on a stage. As much a rock recording as a blues album, Royal Tea Live From the Ryman features a performance of A New Day Yesterday/Starship Trooper – Wurm that I love.
Legacy Releases of 2021
Stevie Ray Vaughan – The First Broadcast
Muddy Waters – Muddy Waters: The Montreux Years
Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB