Live at the Bay County Hotel
Pennsylvania’s Matt Barranti has shared the stage with everyone from Toy Caldwell to Derek Trucks and Dan Toler, but nowhere does his guitar work shine more prominently than at the heart of his own band. The CD, recorded live back in 1996 in Erie, Pa. is a breath of fresh air from beginning to end.
The MBB kick things off with a fine reading of Dickey Betts’ Let Me Ride,and the unmistakable influence of The Allman Brothers Band burns across the ear drums. Interwoven throughout this 14-song set are several other Brothers covers, including Warren Haynes’ Low Down Dirty Mean and a fiery rendition of In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”
The band delivers a slide-infested take of the Robert Johnson classic, Come On in My Kitchen.” In fact, slide guitar is prevalent throughout the disc. Barranti makes no bones about stating the influence of Duane Allman on his playing. And then there’s Elmore James’ Can’t Hold On. At times, this particular track has a real Stevie Ray Vaughan feel that is red hot.
If there is a draw-back at all, it’s the unrefined vocals of Barranti, but singing is quite subjective, and the playing outshines any vocal rough edges.
There are several of Matt’s originals here as well, the finest of which is Lord Have Mercy, a funky number with some Allman-like slide overlayed atop some Toy Caldwell-style chicken-pickin.’
Live from the Bay County Hotel is hot. If you like the Brothers, southern rock or blues, or just good music, give a listen. I think you’ll be pleased.
Added: Saturday, October 05, 2002
Reviewer: Michael Buffalo Smit