Saturday, March 7, 2020

#435 : Josh Smith - Live at the Spud




2020 – Flat V Studios
By Phillip Smith; March 7, 2020

I’ve been a fan of Josh Smith’s since reviewing his Don’t Give Up On Me album in 2013 for Blues Revue Magazine’s online zine BluesWax.  His 2015 album, Over Your Head album was another favorite.  It’s so cool to hear this new live recording of Josh playing at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California.  Comprised of back to back gigs on December 29 and 30, 2018, the album provides a nine-song retrospective of Smith’s last fifteen years.  With stellar musicians, drummer Gary Novak and bassist Travis Carlton backing him, Smith delivers one hell of a performance.

He kicks into top gear with a heavy dose of blues-rock on “How Long”.  It’s such a phenomenal jam with lots of beefy bass, crashing drums, and searing guitar.  “Pusher” sneaks up right behind with delightful boatload of funky jazz.  This thirteen-plus minute piece is colossal to say the least.  The funk is flying on “Letting You Go”, and I’m loving every bit of it.  Smith’s vocals are confident and bluesy and his guitar is white hot.  Novak crushes on drums.  An injection of fuzz bass from Carlton takes “When I Get Mine” to the next level.  It’s amazing.  I get goosebumps when they break into “Triple J Hoedown”, a magnificent western-rooted jam.  It’s a pure joy to listen to.

Spinning Live at the Spud this past week has definitely brightened my commutes to and from work.  I hope to see more live albums like this from Josh in the future.           

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For more information about the artist, visit this website.. www.joshsmithguitar.com  






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