Live at Blue Cat Blues has a different sound than Live At The Fillmore. It was recorded on the evening of November 30, 2000 four years before the release of their self-titled debut. During this formative period you will find their music sounding less "Texican" and more in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The concert features only a small handful of songs the boys recorded in the past (either live or in the studio) so duplication can not be used as a reason to pass on this album. "Dime Mi Amour" and "Senorita" are both present here and the show opens with their hit "Heaven" that JoJo Garza dedicated to their Grandmother who passed away earlier in the day. "I'm The Man To Beat," that appears on Fillmore, is the only other song on this disc to make it to CD previously. Most of the rest of the evening provides a perfect showcase for their instrumental and vocal chops. The highlight is the eleven minute slow burning blues "Cottonfields and Crossroads" where Henry Garza's guitar soars along with those of the best electric blues men and Ringo Garza proves he is an absolutely amazing drummer.
The performance is studio quality because the concert was recorded from the band's soundboard. There are no overdubs or studio enhancing of the audio, just the trio live. Despite a sold out house the recording has virtually no crowd noise. The audience is so faint in the background that the band's banter and the extraneous guitar noises emanating from their instruments between songs sound a little odd. You may think you're listening to an unedited studio recording similar to The Beatles' Let It Be with it's between song chatter. It often seems that the brothers are thanking an empty room.
Despite their loss earlier in the day the brothers performance is full of life. It is the sound of a young and hungry band giving the audience all they've got to give. Having seen these guys live, and now having heard both of their live CDs, I'm convinced that as good as they are in the studio, Los Lonely Boys are better, and far more at home, on stage.
Live at Blue Cat Blues is available from Amazon.