Over the years, I have been privileged to work with some extremely talented blues and blues/rock artists. Some of these artists I discovered were really nice people along with being great talents. And then there were those select few who were both monstrously talented as musicians and as human beings as well. Those are what we at Bluesrockers refer to as “special” artists, the kind we look so hard to find to bring to the attention of our readers.
Santa Barbara California based blues/rock guitarist/singer/songwriter Alastair Greene is definitely one of those who rightfully belong in the special category. I had the pleasure a couple of years ago to review Greene’s debut recording “A Little Wiser”, which remains among the
top few of my favorite independent releases of late. Now, Greene and company return with, as they call it, an authorized bootleg of a live show recorded in Los Angeles late in 2002. It captures Greene and the band exactly as they sound live, no overdubs and fluff, which in their case has proven to be a very prudent decision. They have managed to produce a very remarkable recording which maintains its charming rawness without sacrificing a very balanced and polished sound. This is top quality stuff for a bootleg, with very good balance especially in the recording of the drums. The band is a 4 piece with Greene supplying both explosive guitar and excellent vocals, Jack Kennedy adding some most impressive bass, Steve Ulstein stroking the keys, and Tom Lackner pounding drums. The backing band is quite impressive while allowing Greene the room he needs to really shine on this set. He is an extremely gifted guitarist, whether playing effects heavy blues/rock or intense electric slide. He melds a touch of Walter Trout, a dash of Warren Haynes, and a pinch of Trower into a high powered blues/rock beast.
You will like it all, from the band’s cover of Muddy Waters’ “Ramblin’ Mind”, through their rendition of the Allman’s “One Way Out” and climaxing in an explosive presentation of the Alastair Greene original “3 Bullets” from his debut recording.
Monstrous talent? You bet. But well above and beyond that beats the heart of a truly nice young man, one who has certainly blessed this old reviewer with his sincere messages of appreciation and skills as a human being, far exceeding his considerable skills as a musician. Talent+hard work+personal integrity is a proven and unmatched formula for success. You will find these and much more abundantly evident in the life and work of Alastair Greene. Mr. Greene, when you read this review, please call whoever it was that raised you and tell them they did a heck of a job. Oh, and your guitar teacher did a pretty good job too.
“Live in L.A.” is available from the number one source of indy music at www.cdbaby.com via the band’s official web site at www.agsongs.com. This one receives our patented “walk to work for a week to save your gas money to buy it” Bluesrockers seal of approval.
Alastair Greene – Guitar, Vocals
Jack Kennedy – Bass
Tom Lackner – Drums
Steve Utstein – Hammond B-3 Organ
1. Ramblin’ Mind
2. Beginning To Wonder/Cissy Strut
3. Say What You Want
4. One Way Out
5. Afro Blue
6. Love Too Strong
7. 3 Bullets
2003 riatsala music
© Bluesrockers 2003