Live at the Bay County Hotel
The Matt Barranti Band
Live at the Bay County Hotel - Erie, PA
- Let Me Ride - Dickey Betts
- Messin With the Kid - M. London
- Mustang Sally - Bonny Rice
- Someone Like You - Matt Barranti
- Can't Hold Out - Elmore James
- Lord Have Mercy - Matt Barranti
- You Say - Matt Barranti
- Hell in High Heels - Matt Barranti
- Low Down Dirty Mean - Dickey Betts, Johnny Neel
- Her Middle Name - Chris Cain
- In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - Dickey Betts
- Place in the Woods - Place in The Woods
- Come On In My Kitchen - Robert Johnson
- I Won't Make It - Matt Barranti
The first and last thing that comes to mind when I listen to this live CD is, "this band means business."
The Matt Barranti Band consists of Matt Barranti (Lead and slide guitars, lead vocals), Bill Eyler (Lead Guitar, vocals), Jim Payne (Bass, background vocals), Lou Angelo (Drums, background vocals), Fred Delu (Keyboards), George Harris (Percussion), and "Big Jim" Syfrett (sound).
As I settled into my chair and pressed play, I couldn't help but notice the powerful presence of this band during "Let Me Ride." This Dickey Betts cover featured an edgy sound with an Allman Brothers feel. Nice guitar solos weaving in and out of the vocals with consistent dual lead parts, courtesy Eyler and Barranti. The classic "Mustang Sally" was delivered with a soulful voice and a tasteful rhythm section, which kept the groove together. Again, the dual lead parts were nice to hear, and kept bringing me back to the sounds of the Allman Brothers. The band kept the energy flowing during each cover, as they plowed through others which included "Low Down Dirty Mean" and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed."
When listening to a band for the first time, I usually can get a good feel for who they are and what they are trying to say from their originals songs. "Someone Like You," written by Matt Barranti, gave me the chance. This is a love song, from what I gathered, speaking of holding onto the dreams of a lady that will never be. A soulful ballad that was quite different from the previous covers on the CD, which I felt was refreshing. It's always nice to see a person's true self shine through in their music, instead of blending to the point where you can't tell the difference from an original and cover.
"Lord Have Mercy," written by Matt Barranti , features a dominant blues riff to start off, followed by a funky rhythm consistent throughout the song. I noticed, in this particular song, the riff and slide guitar compliment each other rather well. In my opinion, this is a good example of musicians working at a song until its clean delivery cuts right through and delivers.
The Matt Barranti Band consist of competent musicians and it's obvious from the first few notes they are really having a blast playing together. Although I am usually not the biggest fan of bands performing cover songs, The Matt Barranti Band played these covers with a touch of soul and purpose. It seems obvious that songs like "Come On In My Kitchen" (Robert Johnson) and "Her Middle Name" (Chris Cain) mean something to this band. There is a sense of homegrown tradition that cannot escape your ear when listening to this live CD, and it's nice to hear.
Added: Saturday, October 05, 2002
Reviewer: Anthony Coloneri