Alive At The Deep Blues Fest

Alive Naturalsound Records

Be forewarned, boys and girls: running your thumbnail through the plastic wrap and pulling Alive At The Deep Blues Fest out of the package is like opening a half-gallon of bourbon and throwing the cap out the window. You touch this album off and things are going to happen …

Recorded at Bayport, Minnesota’s Deep Blues Fest this past summer, Alive is a sampler of rocking blues at its best, with plenty o’ grease and grit and growl. You might expect that a compilation album with seven different bands would have its low points, but not here: the energy never slacks. Every human on this album plays his living ass off.

The Buffalo Killers kick things off with “River Water” – a lesson in the classic power trio sound. (Listen at the 2:30 mark when Andy Gabbard takes off on the guitar with his brother Zachary’s walloping bass and the rolling and tumbling drums of Joey Sebaali right behind. That’s what I’m talking about – right there.) Things take a turn for the Humble Pie-ish when The Buffalo Killers roar into “It’s A Shame” – due in no small way to the raunchy, swaggering blues harp of special guest Mark “Porkchop” Holder. Holder – who also sits in with Left Lane Cruiser later on – needs to be signed by somebody, now. The man is a blues harp monster who deserves to be heard by the rest of the world.

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