King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Gary U.S. Bonds

Gary "U.S." Bonds

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King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Gary U.S. Bonds Review

by Bruce Eder

Recorded live at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, on November 25, 2000, this hour-long show is one of the best representations of Bonds' work. The man was 61 years old when he did this show, and not only is the voice still everything it ought to be, but he's got the energy and the sheer presence to make the whole thing work. Bonds is backed by a very solid band, with a muscular, powerful sound that's about as tight as can be, and with his core repertory that spells a disc that's just about essential -- the immediacy and power of most everything here, but especially "Jole Blon," "Dedication," "New Orleans," and, of course, "Quarter to Three," and it's reassuring just to hear a recording like this in 2001. The songs may not be as important historically as the classic hit versions, but are fresh and exciting in their own right four decades later.

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