Friday, February 02, 2007

Los Lonely Boys - Live At Blue Cat Blues (2006)

Live at Blue Cat Blues is Los Lonely Boys second live album in less than a year's time following 2005's Live at The Fillmore. It is rare that an artist issues two live albums before a second studio album ever hits the stores but that is exactly what the band did before releasing Sacred last year. Marketing two live CDs may seem a bit too much with only one studio release on their resume but since demand for their work is high, and there was no new studio material ready for release, mining early archival performances such as this one is the result.

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.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you, Charlie, for the great review on Los Lonely Boys Live at Blue Cat Blues. I thought I would give you a little history on that CD. I have owned and loved it for more than two years. When the Boys became well-known, the outfit that owned BCB Club decided to release a CD of the shows the Boys had performed there. However, that CD was not an “official” Los Lonely Boys release (i.e., they weren’t making any money from it). During the past year, LLB management must have entered into some kind of agreement with the BCB people because the more recent version of the CD has the official LLB logo on it. (The CD I have does not have the official Los Lonely Boys logo and I purchased it directly from the BCB people.) So the Boys didn’t consciously release two live CD’s before Sacred, it just looks that way.

    I love Blue Cat Blues. My favorite song is Cottonfields and Crossroads. BCB is the only place you can get that song. It is also the theme song for the about-to-be-released DVD Los Lonely Boys documentary called “Cottonfields and Crossroads”. (For more information on the DVD go to http://www.myspace.com/loslonelyboysmovie.)
    I saw it in Texas last May and absolutely loved it. The DVD tells the story of the Boys’ rise to fame as well as gives some perspective of their “Texican” roots. There are many interviews with family and friends. It also gives a glimpse of what it was like to be of Mexican descent in San Angelo, TX in years past. I highly recommend it.

    One final note, the Boys have been playing two songs from that CD in concert over the past couple of weeks: My Sweet, Sweet Kiss and Baby Yoy're Gonna See. Another song from BCB, I Don't Want to Loose Your Love, appeared on Santana's latest CD.

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  2. Bela, thank you for setting the record straight regarding the timing of the CD's release. I'm glad you like the review.

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