Monday, March 16, 2015

Kelly Richey - Live at The Thirsty Ear --- one of the best live recordings I have.

Anyone except newbies here, and you are indeed most welcome to my curious world, will probably realise that I like much music, new and not-so-new, live music and especially music on physical formats, including vinyl. You may also notice that I'm certainly not averse to availing myself of legal on-line sources, especially for increasing my exposure to and therefore knowledge of, new music. I have indeed mentioned that I have been using Spotify to just that end for some months now.
Whilst doing this over the last few days, primarily thinking about artists at festivals that I am attending this summer, it has come to my attention that such sources do not find all things, even some recent ones. 

Then it is time to dig deeper, sometimes digitally or alternatively into my collection of physical recordings. This is a good example of a live CD that, although less than a decade old is not that easy to track down though if you can it is not actually particularly expensive. It is also one of the very finest live albums I have. Kelly Richey - Live at The Thirsty Ear (Columbus, OH, recorded 2006, released 2007).

I have no real expectation to see Kelly Richey live. She rarely tours outside the US and then only fitfully and in a fairly limited geographic range. LPs are distributed on her own label, Sweet Lucy Records. This live set consists of only eight tracks:
  • Tears Like Rain
  • Red House (Jimi Hendrix)
  • I Don't Feel So Good
  • The Longest Road
  • Nobody's Fault (Nina Simone)
  • Hey Joe (Billy Roberts)
  • Is There Any Reason
  • Crossroads (Robert Johnson)
That might seem short change, indeed four of them are covers, but it really isn't so. The covers are quite something but then so are the originals and it isn't a short CD either - only the third and fourth tracks are less than nine minutes long. Much guitar is indeed shredded, but not at the expense of the overall mood and the more reflective aspects in particular. 

I have several of her studio LPs, which are easier to source, of them  Sweet Spirit (2013) is the most recent and at least in my view slightly underwhelming. Taken in counterpoint to the live album that is perhaps not surprising. If I might recommend another studio album to try in particularly because it is stronger and more plangent, even political, than Sweet Spirit that would be Carry The Light (2008). It is easy to source physically (CD) and also available to stream on Spotify and elsewhere.

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