Eric Bell

A Blues Night in Dublin

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One of the reasons why guitarist Eric Bell bailed out of Thin Lizzy after the group's third album was the other musicians' lack of interest for the blues. Twenty-five years later, in the second half of the '90s, Bell had finally found a group tailored to his needs. This trio comes back to the original idea of Thin Lizzy as a Cream-derivative power trio, with the exception that Bell sticks mostly to road-tested standards. This concert was recorded in Dublin (the guitarist is Irish) in June 1998, two years after the album Live Tonite...Plus! The set list has not changed much -- the first four songs are presented in the exact same sequence. People who already own the previous record will find this one repetitive, but track list aside, this is a strong performance, spirited and heartfelt. Bassist Tony Williams and drummer Andy Golden form a tight rhythm section, perfect for the blues-rock inhabiting Bell's voice. Three recent originals (from the trio's then-recent studio album) are sandwiched between a clever selection of standards, including "The Stumble," "Things We Used to Do," and Albert Ayler's "Too Tired." Bell plays a nasty guitar, just a bit raspier than what is usually heard in the field, which gives him an edge to compensate for his average vocals. Highlights include "Shake Your Money-Maker" (in Paul Butterfield's adaptation), "Baby, Please Don't Go," and Bell's own "You Were the One." A couple of feedbacks and odd endings remind us of the live factor, giving the CD an authentic charm. Well done.

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