Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live at the Old Absinthe House Bar 2: Saturday
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop
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Pretty good, but not 5-star good
Btbp | Tokyo / New York / Singapore | 11/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When I found out (not from Amazon) that Frank Marino was on this album, plus KWS, I almost bought it sight unseen, but I gave the samples a listen and then decided to pick this and the Friday night (part I) up.I wasn't dissapointed, but my expectations we perhaps a little high, so it's not one of my top blues guitar albums, live or otherwise. It's a decent blues album and I like it, and although I'm no stranger to raw live blues, some of Lee's rawness comes off as, I'm sorry, but it's my opinion, sloppiness. Taken in context of a live recording in a New Orleans bar, this fits, but it's not 5-star material. Nor, IMHO is the companion album.But don't let that stop you from picking it up, it's/they're good album(s). Lee is a decent guitarist and singer, and it's really cool that he had Marino & Shepherd sit in with him. Makes you want to blast it loud while sipping a Jim Beam.To be really fair I need to check out other albums by Lee.If you're a very hard-core Marino fan like I am, you might a little dissapointed , Frank's a great player on his own and even better with Mahogany Rush, but like his "blues period" where he went from his own, post-Jimi/almost progressive self-styled fantastic sound period (IV, Strange Universe) to a more Johnny Winter vein, well, Frank's just not a blues guitarist *first*. He seems to be straining, not to play notes, but to garner feel. I can't believe I of all people am saying this about Frank!Frank does do some nice slide playing, although I'm not sure it's actually slide, I had heard that on earlier MR albums he used his whammy bar for slide-sounds, but that be yet another Marino urban legend.Some people are not so keen on KWS, but I have most of his albums and I like him a lot even if he's a SRV clone, at the end of the day he plays well and has good tunes. He sounds good here too.Don't kill me for this review, someone else yeh or nay it."
tehuti | Fullerton, CA United States | 02/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bryan Lee is one of my blues heroes. I don't know how I first heard about him, but I bought this CD a while back and it remains one of my favorites. So when I finally got to visit New Orleans this past weekend (2/21/2003) I made it a point to stop by the Old Absinthe House to pay my respects. Little did I know that only a few blocks further down Bourbon Street I'd get to hear the man himself, twice! At The Blues Bar on Bourbon Street I was privileged to hear him play on Friday and again on Sunday night. If you ever get a chance to visit N.O. make sure you go to hear Bryan Lee play. But even if you never make it there, pick this CD up."
Bryan Lee and Pals in Top Form
Dennis G. Voss Jr. | Lexington, KY USA | 08/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A New Orleans native, I stopped in at the Old Absinthe Bar for a Sazerac while taking some out-of-town guests around the city. There was a blues band on the stage fronted by a heavy-set guy dressed all in white. His voice was pretty good, and we were into the music, but when Bryan Lee ripped into his first solo our jaws just dropped. Maybe we'd heard that kind of playing on a blues CD once or twice, but none of us ever imagined we could just walk into a bar off the street, buy our "one drink minimum," and hear someone wail like that. His companion musicians were superb as well. We sat, hardly talking to each other, until Mr. Lee left the stage for the last time.
You'll never hear exactly what we heard. The blues bar was gone long before Hurricane Katrina, another victim to the epidemic of mango-flavored daquiris. But this CD is about as close as you can expect from a live recording. Unlike the Friday Night recording, this one included two guest guitarists: Frank Marino (known for his work with Mahogany Rush) and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Their performances are excellent, but more important I think is that their presence brought out the absolute best in Mr. Lee's playing. Forced to choose between the two CD's, I'd go with this one first.