Friday, June 18, 2010
Essential Recordings: Son Seals - Live and Burning
The next few tracks were even better. Lowell Fulson's "Blue Shadows Falling" slowed things down a bit, but the mood was still sweaty and intense (despite the comically intoxicated fan sitting close enough to contribute a lengthy rebel yell to the proceedings). Seals even tells one fan to leave him alone...."Can't you see me workin'?" The next track, "Funky Bitch," eventually became a standard of sorts for Seals and was even covered by the band, Phish, in the late 90's. Their version can't touch Seals' though, as he growls the vocals and lets loose with a blistering solo.
"Hot Sauce" definitely was a Son Seals' standard. He played the blistering instrumental at most of his shows throughout his career. This high-speed version featured on Live and Burning could possibly cause smoke to rise from your CD player, and it closes the album on a high note.
In addition to Reed and Mitchum, Seals' band included Lacy Gibson on second guitar, Tony Gooden on drums, and Alberto Gianquito on piano for "Last Night." Gooden was later killed in a train wreck in Europe during an Alligator Records tour with Seals. Reed enjoyed a nice solo career highlighted by his wry song lyrics, which took a blues-based look at everyday life. Lacy Gibson was a solid solo performer who also released a couple of discs as well. Mitchum played with Seals for ten years, before striking out on his own.
Son Seals recorded a couple of other live discs, one for the B.L.U.E.S. label (live at the club, but now out of print and a definite collector's item) and a second set for Alligator. While both were top notch, they didn't come close to capturing the raw energy and intensity of Live and Burning.