January/February 2005

Soulive
Live in NYC July 30 2004
Pirate

Far more relevant, particularly for today's hip-hop and jam-band crowds, is Soulive's Live in NYC (Pirate Entertainment/DiscLive). Recorded at the intimate Tribeca Rock Club on July 30, 2004, this two-CD set is a kind of beat-the-bootlegs project. Made available to fans for download almost immediately after the gig at Disclive.com, the double CD sets were shipped just one week later, complete with full artwork in a limited edition Digipak-which, strangely, offers no credits whatsoever, not even song titles. Together guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and his brother Neal Evans on B3 and Clavinet create a visceral brand of organ-fueled funk and blues that the audience seems to go nuts for, though I find it all fairly mediocre. As instrumentalists, drummer Alan is a pedestrian timekeeper, Krasno rarely rises above the level of a decent funk rhythm guitarist and blues soloist and organist Neal is certainly not in the same league with the Jimmy Smiths, Tony Monacos and Joey DeFrancescos of the B3 world. Indeed, this stuff sounds closer in spirit to Billy Preston meets the Average White Band-and apparently that's just how the screaming horde at the Tribeca Rock Club likes it.

Originally published in January/February 2005
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