Brad Wilson Live
This one’s all blues and Wilson sounds like a pro. He’s a California native, not a southern boy, but you’d not know it when listening to his music. The band is tight, snappy and full of soul. Comparison’s have been made to Stevie Ray Vaughn and he certainly comes to mind, especially on track three, “I Can‘t Quit You Baby”. The album’s also reminiscent of George Thorogood, only Wilson doesn‘t have quite the attitude that Thorogood possesses. Live makes you feel like you’re at an outdoor blues festival; you just want to find a table, grab a beer and get lost in the smooth warmth of the music.
Having said that, the record seems slow, especially if you listen to it after Rocking the Sunset Strip. But, if you’re a blues fan, Wilson’s a satisfying pick. He and his band sound great live; that’s a sign of a great band and someone who truly understands his music. As mentioned, Wilson tours a great deal. Judging from this album and the press releases, you won’t be disappointed by his show.
Cities and Songs
Cities and Songs is part live and part studio. The live tracks again show his blues sensibilities. He sounds a lot like Bob Seger on these tracks. He infuses them with emotion and the road weary motif of Seger, while also embracing the west and especially California history. The only problem with some of these songs is that they have the icky flavor of county songs on occasion. If you like country, I guess you’ll like these songs.
Interestingly, the studio tracks have a better tempo than the live set. Some of the live songs get a little boring after a few listens despite the astute musicianship of this stellar guitarist. But the studio tracks have energy. In the studio, Wilson once again loses some of his blues nature and reverts to old metal.
Not much could be found about the rest of the band that plays with him, but they are first rate. Strong rhythm, excellent timing. They provide a solid foundation for the formidable guitar of Brad Wilson. These CD’s are all worthy additions to anyone’s music library.