The live recording isn't quite the commercial staple for contemporary blues-rock artists as it was for their 1960s and '70s-era forebears, but a surprising number of live LPs are beginning to appear, albeit at a trickle, providing a nice memento for fans to remember their favorite artist's latest tour. We close out October with reviews of two such live blues-rock releases from guitarists Joe Bonamassa and Gary Moore.
Joe Bonamassa might have been right at home circa 1969 or '70, the guitarist touring his road-weary backing band hard each year, and releasing new material at a prolific pace that even notorious record-machines like Free or Humble Pie would find daunting. Bonamassa has released five studio and two live albums over the past four years, and that's not counting three Black Country Communion studio discs and a live CD/DVD.
Bonamassa's latest is the absolutely electric Beacon Theatre - Live In New York, a stunning performance that was captured on high-definition video and released earlier this year on DVD and Blu-ray disc. The recently-released CD version of the show is equally bad-ass and gives the fan something to listen to when they're nowhere near a television set. The Reverend's review of Beacon Theatre - Live In New York deems the album a classic of blues-rock guitar.
Gary Moore's Blues For Jimi album is a heartfelt tribute to one of his own personal guitar heroes, the groundbreaking blues-rock pioneer Jimi Hendrix. In honor of Jimi, Moore took his power-trio band on a high-speed ride through the guitarist's catalog, re-creating such Hendrix gems as "Purple Haze," "Hey Joe," and "Stone Free" with his own unique flourishes. Former Hendrix bandmates Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell join Moore for three songs, and much like Bonamassa's live set, this one was also previously-released on DVD and Blu-ray. The Reverend's review of Blues For Jimi states that while the album is not without its flaws, that Moore's powerful playing helps redeem an otherwise checkered performance. Check 'em both out!
Photo courtesy Eagle Records