Ian Siegal

A Bigger Plate of Meat & Potatoes

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The titular "bigger plate" refers to an additional DVD now included with the original studio audio CD. This features a 90-minute show of a smoking, in more ways than one, performance of the Ian Siegal band at the North Sea Jazz Festival on tour to promote his Meat & Potatoes album. The simple answer to the obvious question of whether this justifies buying the album again for those who already own it is an unqualified yes. Siegal reprises six of the disc's songs and not only extends them but adds two covers that allow him even more room to stretch out. The closing "You Don't Love Me" is lengthened to a 15-minute centerpiece where Siegal wanders off on long but never boring talk/singing interludes that add an edge to his already spiked-up combination of blues, funk, and soul. His version of the Jimmy Liggins by way of Albert Collins "I Ain't Drunk" expands to over nine minutes. The total of those two tracks alone accounts for nearly a third of the show. Siegal's usual backing duo is also enhanced for this gig by guitarist Matt Schofield, a Nugene-signed act who is also Siegal's producer, and Schofield's keyboardist, Jonny Henderson. The beefed-up sound and extra musicians allow Siegal room to lay back, play occasional rhythm guitar, and even drop his instrument occasionally to concentrate on singing. It's somewhat disconcerting to hear that Howlin' Wolf-styled rasp emanate from Siegal's baby face, but his style, while obviously indebted to Wolf, never seems forced. He is also one of the few musicians to light a cigarette and smoke during a song -- he does this twice -- while cautioning about the addictive properties of nicotine. But it's his rugged playing and intense singing here that are addictive. Siegal unleashes his slide for the New Orleans-styled "Drowned My Sorrows" and sweats out the funk during "Brandy Balloon." Schofield steals the show for a few solos, lighting up his Telecaster on "Bloodshot" as Siegal lays into his Wolf howl. Everything is tougher, tighter, and longer than the album versions of these tunes, which lash out here with the passion that only a great band meshing on-stage can provide. The camera work is smooth and unobtrusive, the lights shift from deep reds to vibrant greens, and the Surround Sound mix is full as Siegal and the band spark and catch fire. It's a perfect addition to the studio album and a great introduction for those new to Ian Siegal's blues inferno.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick