One of the great things about live albums is that if they are we-ll produced, they give you the feeling of having been present at the show that was recorded for the album. Live at the Basement by Blackfoot Gypsies is one of those live albums that gives you the feeling of being front and center for the performance.
The album opens with a three-minute instrumental, which is probably a bit of an unusual start for a live set. However, this is a good intro for the rest of the album because the song features some bluesy harmonica by Matthew Paige and some greasy guitar that borders blues and garage. Even if it is an unconventional way to begin a set, you can tell that the audience is captivated.
After the instrumental intro, the band launches into a blazing version of “I Wanna Be Famous,” and you get an immediate sense of the energy that went into this performance. This is as loud and fuzzy as anything on the Get Hip label, which is a good thing. The guitar comes to the forefront, but the rhythm section can’t be ignored. Crank the volume when you hear this.
One of the impressive things about this album is the way the band bounces easily from one style to another. Zack Murphy propels “Back to New Orleans” with a beat that sounds like a French Quarter parade. It also features some ear-blasting guitar and a bass line by Dylan Whitlow that rumbles the gut. If you ever wanted to know what New Orleans music sounded like without the brass, this is a spectacular example. The band also shows it is pretty adept with slow-burning blues in “I’ve Got the Blues.” Matthew Paige’s high wail is the perfect vocal part of this song. The band even delves into some country sounds with “Potatoes and Whiskey”. The rhythm section in particular brings some sound that could get couples twirling on a dance floor.
Of course aside from those dives into other influences, the band plays some pretty good rock n roll in songs like “Under My Skin.” This one is just straightforward rock with plenty of fuzz and volume and a rhythm that will get you stomping.
This is a truly enjoyable live album. The band gave good energy throughout the performance and the recording makes you feel like you were in The Basement to witness it. Live at the Basement (Cafe Rooster Records) will be available everywhere on December 31. Order your copy here.