Joe Walsh Cosmic Guitar Singing WHB, NY Aug 4 2012
Last night Joe Walsh and his touring band played in Westhampton, and that was one of the best concerts I have ever attended. It’s still ringing through me: the guitar riffs, the transcendental one toward the end of ‘Life’s Been Good,’ the beautiful one in Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ that Joe dedicated to Levon Helm who recently passed away. There were images flashing on the screen behind the band to augment whatever tune they were playing, and Levon was there in his youth and glory on the drums for all to see during ‘I Shall Be Released’ while tears ran down my face. Levon had played at the same venue a year or two ago (his throat cancer prevented his singing even one tune that night, but he did play drums and make plenty of friendly animated gestures to/for the audience).
For those who don’t know, Joe Walsh is from Ohio. He arrived on the music scene with the James Gang, played with Eagles mucho lately, and has several lovely albums that he released himself. This tour is to launch his first solo album in 20 years ‘Analog Man (In A Digital World)’ whose first lines are:
“When something goes wrong/ I don’t have a clue/ Some 10 year old smart-ass has to show me what to do.” Can you relate to that? Well, most of the audience could. That was the fourth song done last night. There were James Gang tunes like ‘Funk #49’ ‘Walk Away’ and some of his great solo tunes like ‘A Life of Illusion,’ ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ and of course ‘Life’s Been Good’ Lucky That Way – Live at the Troubador in L.A., California April 2012 No one on Earth sings like Joe Walsh. I loved how he sang between the leads his ‘back up’
singers sang during ‘I Shall Be Released’. He was funny, humble, and reached out to engage the audience. It was just a consummate evening of music that he had to finish by 11 PM (due to village noise restriction law – he said – probably true) because he didn’t want them to “pull the plug” on the band in the middle of a song. Oh, he did do a sort of 2012 update of ‘Life’s Been Good’ called
‘Lucky That Way’ that is purty, tho not so much lead guitar. Here’s the link to that plus a few other links including one to a 2004 version of ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ with terrific guitar performed with Booker T and the MG’s at a Dallas, Texas Guitar Festival; and then a version of ‘Life’s Been Good,’ performed in April at the Troubador in L.A. California. All three are live videos, to give you a feeling of last night. If Joe Walsh comes to your town, or close to it this year, do NOT miss him. I’m loving what remains in me from last night from the concert. Hope it lasts the rest of my life. Fortunate we are to have youtube and the internet to keep the flame of cerebro/adrenal music alive!