Genre: Southern Rock
Rate: 320 kbps CBR / 44100
Size: 177,03 MB
There's a lot of good music out there. I just got my hands on the Eric Clapton Crossroads DVD from 2010 which totally convinced me that the old guys still rule. They got the solid licks and a high-energy shot of rock'n'roll with purpose. But you would expect Eric to gather the best of the best for his annual gig in Chicago. So there's nothing new there. What most don't realize is that you don't have to go to the ivory tower to get that shot in the arm. Look no further than Robbin Thompson's latest CD and DVD combo "Live at The National" to get a downright heaping helping of the best darn music available today.
I guess I'm a little prejudiced because I've followed Robbin's career since Richmond's Fan district and the early days of Steel Mill and Bruce Springsteen. But seriously, today's Robbin Thompson Band puts the early vinyl years well in the past. Today's old stuff is better than it ever was! Yes, the favorites are here: "Dream on Melinda," "Boy from Boston" and all the others. But today's versions have been polished to pure excellence.
The best thing about the old guys is they still know the importance of lyrics. They know there's nothin' better than a good story woven together with a tune. Robbin epitomizes this spirit. He is, hands down, one the best story tellers in the biz today. The way Robbin writes and delivers the songs makes you want to remember the lyrics. Once you do, you always remember them coming from Robbin. I can vividly hear Robbin's words "Another cup of coffee and a cigarette" and the emotion of the story. Even 35 years later, it's still alive -- unfortunately not on the National CD! And then there's "Dream On Melinda" (Included in this package!) "... waitin' at the Continental Hyatt House bar, dream on Melinda -- hoping to get yourself a rock'n'roll star!" These are words -- stories -- you can carry along, stories so true, so memorable you can't forget them. Then there's "Highway 101" and "Boy from Boston" and on and on -- all stories you can love, delivered immaculately.
All fourteen songs on the CD are recorded and mixed to perfection. In fact, it's surprising to get this kind of quality off the stage at the National. I mean, have you been to the National? But in this DVD mix, you can literally follow each and every note from each musician. Turn it up. Listen again.
Velpo Robertson's lead guitar licks crack like a greased whip with some of the most inspiring fretwork you'll ever hear. From subtle to scream, from "Rock n' Roll Singer" to the full-fret voices of "Bright Eyes" you ride along through delicious runs up and down the neck. You thought you heard all those notes in crystal clarity. But you haven't. Listen again ... you missed some!
And then there's Eric Heiberg on keyboards. He's so calm on the DVD -- if you didn't see the video version, you'd never guess those riffs are coming from this guy. I listen for the keyboards and then try to dissect them into understandable strings notes. With Eric, it's impossible. Listen closely and you'll probably agree he's probably the best kept secret in the industry today. Listen to "Another Day, Another Dollar" and the piano is world class ... but wait! Get to "Rock n' Roll Singer" and it's boogie-woogie deluxe ... but wait! Turn it up and run "Movin' On Up" and suddenly you're in Chicago! You're standing up -- stomping the floor -- screaming! Then put on the headphones, turn it up again and spin "Let it All Out" -- Robbin's soulful story moves you. But what carries you away on a magic carpet is Eric's ivory! His hands are flying but he hasn't broken a sweat. He's that good!
I guess I shouldn't single out any of the members over others -- they are all world class, and they ply the craft with unity and perfection. You just won't find a better 'live' presentation anywhere. With Robbin at the helm, the musical trip goes from sublime to awe and back again. Robbin's classic fretwork, Eric's full keyboard press, Audie's insightful blend of bass and Velpo's whisper to a scream Fender all weave a magical listening experience.
In "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" you're thinking you need to go back and listen again ("...but somewhere, there's this little girl -- she's puttin' spurs on her Sunday shoes") but the moving stream doesn't let you stop. Then you find yourself in a Nashville honky-tonk with "Barroom Romance" ("You got the keys in your pocket, but where'tha hell's the car?") then ... suddenly you're back in high-school with "All Alone in the Endzone." ("The stars fell from the sky -- when we got our diplomas and said good-bye!")
If you like good music, superb craftsmanship and seducing stories, this is twenty bucks well spent. If you grew up in America in the '60s and '70s, then you need this CD. Robbin's floating, rising, dipping, circling stories will captivate your most precious memories. All the while, the band weaves an unmistakable high -- yes, the young guys out there play what they want, and maybe what sells -- but the old guys got what you need.
Live At The National could possibly be the best CD of the decade. It's fun, it's rockin, and it's undeniably memorable. You'll listen again and again until you can sing along. Watch the DVD, then start up the engine, pull away, slip in the CD, roll the windows down and let it all out. You just may not want to come back. (Fred Showker)
01 - Dream On Melinda 03:32
02 - Highway 101 06:56
03 - Boy From Boston 03:52
04 - Trainride 04:16
05 - Another Day Another Dollar 11:03
06 - Movin' On Up 05:28
07 - Sweet Virginia Breeze 04:33
08 - Rock 'n' Roll Singer 05:18
09 - Candyapple Red 04:13
10 - Let It All Out 06:39
11 - Even Cowgirls Get The Blues 05:25
12 - Barroom Romance 03:22
13 - All Alone In The Endzone 04:40
14 - Bright Eyes 08:06
The Robbin Thompson Band here: