by Barry Kerzner (Originally posted at ChicagoBlues.com)
If you are a blues lover, and a musician, what better place to live and work than Chicago? What could beat that? How about if you were a part of the family at a Chicago blues institution, say, Buddy Guy’s Legends club? Anthony Moser has been blessed; he lives in Chicago, and is part of the family that keeps Buddy Guy’s Legends going strong.
Imagine the talent that Moser has seen play live at Legends. For most, that would be quite a perk. Moser has enjoyed it to be sure, but, he has also learned from it. Moser’s latest release, Live At Legends, on Fat Tone Records, is a product of his education. The album’s nine tracks clock in at 49 minutes and include 7 blues classics and two originals. Personnel are Anthony Moser – guitar and vocals, Antony Ablan – guitar, Greg Haar – drums, Chris Neal – saxophone, and Nik Skilnik on bass. Recorded live at Legends by Greg Guy, and mixed by Moser, the album has that old live club show feel; the cozy atmospherics, the murmur of the audience, and the live show sound. The mix is clear and robust, adding to the overall effect.
The album has that old live club show feel…
The album opens with a version of “T-Bone Shuffle” that is crisp, swinging, and played with enthusiasm. “Going Away Baby” swings with lively ‘50s guitar lines, and sweet sax accents. Slim Harpo’s “Hip Shake” grooves, and will have listeners swaying and shaking out on the floor. “One Percent” is an original, and has a very cool ‘40s allure that alludes to swing in an understated way, carrying listeners along before they realize they have climbed aboard for the ride. “Go Down” is another original on the order of “Sweet Little Angel” that is a bit more direct. The song works really well, and the band has fun sharing it with their audience.
Live At Legends succeeds on many levels. Moser and company present new interpretations of old songs that work well, making these classics all the more accessible for younger fans. The album has an overall T-Bone Walker vibe that feels familiar, and quietly elevates the performances. This is really solid work. Good song choices, played well, always make for winning albums. Check this one out soon.