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Live In Hamilton

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Review by David Bowling


Some bands are made for the stage and such is the case for The Smoke Wagon Blues Band. They are now just over 15 years into their career and while they have produced a number of excellent studio albums, it is live where they shine as a blues band.

Vocalist/harpist Corey Lueck, guitarist Mike Stubbs, keyboardist Nick Succi, sax player Gordon Aeichele, bassist Jason Colavecchia, and drummer Tibor Lukacs are a veteran and tight unit. When they took the stage at Stonewalls Music Hall on May 4th, 2013; the crowd was enthusiastic and they were at the top of their game playing an energetic and enthusiastic 70 minute set of modern day blues. The result is their new album Live In Hamilton.

There is nothing like a complete live show to learn about a band. The old Bill Withers soul classic “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone” is transformed into a subtle and smooth blues classic that explores the outer edges of a jazz sound. Sometimes the best way to rate a blues band in by how they handle slower tunes and their “Lonesome Whistle Blues” passes that test with flying colors. “The ten minute “Feeling Of The Witch” is a jam fest and allows the members to stretch a bit.

Live In Hamilton is 70 minutes of how the blues should be played in a small club setting. A treat for anyone who appreciates the blues.

Rating: ***1/2