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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Allvey

JAMES OLIVER - LIVE IN THE USA

Live in the USA - James Oliver Band.

Released October 2022. Available on cd and https://jamesoliver1234.bandcamp.com/

Reviewed by Rockin Rebel, 8TH January 2023.

Live in the USA, James Oliver from Blackwood, South Wales. Playing Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Blues and Country.


Members on this cd are Vocals /guitar James Oliver - Drums Steve Peck – Bass Tommy Reed.


This cd was recorded live in Marlborough, Connecticut and Demonstrates the pure power of both James’s vocals and unique style of guitar playing. And put those to elements together and you get one of the most dynamic performances you could wish for. You can hear hints of the past guitar masters within his playing, but James is an outstanding guitarist in his own right. Don’t play this album on low volume, turn it up for and let your ears enjoy a great performance from a modern-day master.

Track by track:


T-Bone Shuffle Opens with a great T-Bone Walker track, James replaces the sax instrumental with a great solo of his own on the Gibson ES-295 guitar. The band just plays along nicely in the back allowing James to do his thing.


Matchbox A track that is widely sang across the rockin scene, but this version goes to another level. It will blow you away how he just naturally goes into overdrive with his guitar playing. Mr Perkins would be proud of this version.


Hideaway Another great track originally done by Freddie King. Instrumental track Flowing along giving the audience a chance to enjoy some great work by the band.


Let it Rock Up-tempo version of the classic Chuck Berry song, James displays some awesome guitaring once again taking this track well over 4 mins of pure brilliance. My legs were going faster than Shakin’ Stevens on steroids.


It’s My Own Business Once again speed comes with this track that will hit you straight on the rhythm bone. The dancefloor will have been full at this point. A great instrumental by each band member highlighting the brilliance of each member.


Sweet Little Angel. Take B.B King's blues version and inject it with James Olivers boogie blood and passion and you get just under six minutes of soul wrenching pleasure. The band all gel together with some great licks from the guitar.


Don’t Lie to Me Sometimes recorded as “I GET EVIL” it was first recorded by Tampa Red in 1940. Before becoming a hit for Fats Domino (1951) and Chuck Berry’s version in 1961. This is a fast passed rockin treat by James and the boys.


Twenty Flight Rock Again, the band strut their stuff to a classic track and give it a refreshing rockin sound. Vocally James gives it newness but a fair tribute to the original recording. Some great guitar riffs.


Help Me New to me track but if you’re going to show your stuff then it’s the right track to do it to. First recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson in the early 40s. the Harmonica was the choice of instrument back then. But its bought back to life with a great bit of guitar work, and its over 7 minutes of the hairs standing up. Just beautiful.


Guitar Boogie Its nice to hear a Roy Clark track and showing his wide musical influences. But this talent James has is from playing from the age of 14 and finding his own style to which he clearly shows on this version.


Who do you love Unbelievable version of a Bo Didley classic. Fingers must be down to the bone after this. He makes his guitar beg for mercy on this track. Both drums and bass keep up the rhythm in the avalanche of sound.


It Wasn’t Me A standing ovation as the final track plays out on this awesome cd. James takes another chuck berry to finish his blitzkrieg of tracks during this performance. The audience just didn’t get a show but a masterclass session from a great performer.


Summary:

Simply one of the best albums of 2022/3. When you can admire another artists song and then give it a piece of your own style, there is no finer tribute. James gives everything in this performance along with two great members behind him. If you’re going to by an album? Buy this one and sit back and admire a genius at work.




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