The Sidney Green Street Band: Half Live (2017) [rock blues]
Fueled by the deep-south musical roots of its singer, guitarist and chief songwriter Lance Doss, and driven by a group of guys with stage and session credits that run impressively deep, Half Live is a whole lot of fun to listen to. Doss puts his Alabama-swamp-rock street cred on display right out of the gate with “Muscle Shoals,” a bluesy, gruff, guitar-laden ode to the legendary Northern Alabama recording studio. From there, things really get rolling as the tight-knit band deftly swings from southern rock to psychedelia to blues and back again. Half of the 12 tracks are (surprise!) recorded live during one of the band’s legendary sets at their unofficial home base, The Great Notch Inn in North Jersey. “Last Beer and Testament” stands as perhaps the world’s greatest boozy tribute to, well, beer. And “Stayin’ all Night” puts the band’s straight-up bar-blues chops on display.
All the tracks on the first part of Half Live are tight, well-produced and lots of fun. But, to be honest, listening to these live tracks is nothing short of awesome.
The chemistry between guitarists Justin Jordan (Garland Jeffreys) and Doss (John Cale) really comes to life on stage, as they effortlessly shift between bone-rattling riffs and soulfully melodic Allman Brothers-esque jams. The rhythm section, featuring the legendary Steve Holley (Paul McCartney, Elton John, Joe Cocker, et al.) and Paul Page (Ian Hunter, John Cale) holds everything together in a cool, understated way throughout as the band plows through six rockin’ tracks, including “I Belong,” “Bad, Bad Way,” and the album’s fitting closer: “Rock Star.” In short, when you put both halves of this new release together, you end up with a whole helluva of a great album.