Record Review with Kevin Bryan

editorial image

Kevin Bryan gives his verdict on some of the new music releases.

Hot Tuna - Live at New Orleans House Berkeley,CA 9/69 (Retroworld). Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass player Jack Casady first formed Hot Tuna when they were compelled to take a break from their activities with Jefferson Airplane as they waited for vocalist Grace Slick to recover from throat surgery in 1969. The two musicians are still striving manfully to keep the band’s name alive today, but this new Retroworld CD focusses attention on some archive recordings from their very early days as Kaukonen and Casady immerse themselves in the rootsy delights of a splendid acoustic set featuring affectionate revamps of songs made famous by giants of the blues and jazz genres such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Rev.Gary Davis and Jelly Roll Morton to name but a few.

Snafu - Live Nottingham 1976 (Angel Air). Snafu were nearing the end of their brief existence when this muscular performance was captured for posterity at Trent Polytechnic in January 1976. The outfit formed by one-time Procol Harum drummer Bobby Harrison had recorded three critically acclaimed albums by this stage but commercial success had largely eluded them and the departure of slide guitarist Micky Moody for pastures new with Whitesnake effectively signalled the end of the road for Snafu’s robust fusion of blues, funk and country rock. Highway and the soulful Every Little Bit Hurts are the best of the bunch.

Christy Moore - On The Road (Sony Music). This life-affirming celebration of the cream of Christy Moore’s back catalogue was recorded live at seventeen different venues around the British Isles, including London, Glasgow and Galway. This is the first time that all of Christy’s perennial crowd pleasers have been brought together on one album, and as an introduction to the great man’s unique repertoire On The Road is well nigh indispensable. The artist who Irish broadcaster RTE once hailed as the country’s greatest living musician is in typically compelling form here as he alternates between the gentle romanticism of Nancy Spain and Beeswing and emotionally charged renditions of rousing ditties such as Viva La Quinte Brigada and The Pogues’ Fairy Tale of New York.

Glen Campbell - Live Anthology 1972-2001 (Wienerworld). Arkansas-born Campbell may have sold in excess of 45 million records during the course of a career which spanned more than half a century but it’s certainly arguable that his peerless skills as a singer and guitarist were never fully appreciated by the more image conscious members of the rock fraternity. This easy on the ear CD/DVD package features concert recordings of many of Glen’s finest MOR hits, including a string of classic Jim Webb creations led by By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Wichita Lineman and “Galveston.