(4.5 stars) EVER WONDER WHY CRITICS RATE JOE WALSH AS ONE OF
ol' nuff n' den sum | the Virginia coast, USA | 03/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some folks just can't seem to figure out why Joe Walsh is held in such high esteem as one of classic rock's premiere guitar players. Apparently, these people have never listened to the James Gang's Live in Concert (1971).
Recorded in May of 1971 at Carnegie Hall in New York City, this was to be Joe's last album with the James Gang (he went on to became a successful solo artist and is now a member of The Eagles).
Live in Concert makes it very obvious that Joe Walsh was a big fish in a small pond while he was with the James Gang. Dale Peters (bass) and Jim Fox (drums) are fine players in their own right, and they both show their stuff here with extended solos; it's just that Walsh is a major talent and such a dominating presence that he is almost the whole show. Which is just fine!
The group rocks out on several James Gang staples including lively versions of Stop and Walk Away (with different drum fills and no trainwreck noises on Walk Away).
Joe expertly plays the Hammond organ on Take A Look Around and the homegrown Tend My Garden (both songs sound great and feature dramatic organ solos).
A very enjoyable Ashes, The Rain & I is performed with acoustic guitars, and Joe belts out an authentically bluesy version of Albert King's You're Gonna Need Me. Yes, Joe Walsh plays the blues!
Walsh really cuts loose with an extended effects-pedal guitar solo on this eighteen-minute version of The Yardbirds' Lost Woman. He effectively uses delay, echo and feedback to create a very impressive psychedelic electric-blues-jam symphony.
Live in Concert is definitely essential for Joe Walsh and James Gang fans; or anybody who is interested in hearing Joe Walsh display his considerable talent as a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and organist. He is at his down-home, unpretentious and rockin' best here. Good stuff!
5 stars for music, 2 for recording
Bernard Reagan | Atlanta GA | 04/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An incredible performance by one of the very best power-trios from the 70's. Like most truly great bands of the era, the studio albums did not fully prepare you for the 'live experience'. Another group that comes to mind is pre-Eliminator ZZTop....Anyway this recording sucks. Go find the original vinyl if you really want to hear Walsh at his mend-bending best."