I have always enjoyed “live” albums or versions of songs. You know songs recorded in concert and released either as a whole album or as a single song. To me these recordings display the true talents of the group, the songs are real, all of the overdubbing and effects done in the studio are stripped away. The musicians are more expressive because they are not limited by the three-minute and thirty-second song that radio wants. The guitar solos, the bass solos, the drums solos, all make the listening experience for me more enjoyable.
I was recently sent the new album The Williams Brothers Band Live at the Mesa Theater by The Williams Brothers Band and the albums rocks. The group is based in Grand Junction CO, on the western side of the state., and has been playing for twenty years in one configuration or another. The current lineup feature James “Papa Bear” Williams on vocals and rhythm guitar, Phillip “Uncle Phil” Williams on lead guitar and vocals, Allen “Demo” Bradley on bass, Jared “Duster” Schmidt on drums and vocals, additional members are Donny Morales on harmonica and vocals, Glen Patterson on pedal steel, and Andy Schmidt on keys. They describe their music as East Bay funk, Outlaw Country, Classic Rock and High Desert Americana.
The nine song album was pure live music heaven for me. I will admit this album was my first introduction to the group, and I am disappointed I had not heard their music sooner though no fault of the group. “Circles”, a song that was nominated for a 2008 Golden Kayak Award by the International, Academy of Independent Artist for best rock song, opens with the band just playing a full one minute and 15 seconds of just great music before the vocals start. The other eight songs on the album are just as well done. I got the feeling in listening to the album, the guys enjoy playing music, they enjoy performing together on the stage. I have listened to the album three times in the 24 hours I have had it and have enjoyed it more and more each time I listen. If you enjoy blues, southern rock, a little hint of country, I would suggest this album is one you should give a chance. Buy it, put your headphones on, sit back and relax. Let the sweet music of the Williams Brothers Band take you on a musical vacation.
You can hear one of the songs off the album this weekend on Front Range Radio.