New Blues/Rock: Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat (‘Live At The Kessler’)

Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat — Live At The Kessler

Label: Underground Records

Let’s face it, getting out to a live concert is sometimes a bigger challenge than we’d like to think. Depending on what city you’re in, it could be the traffic, the door charge, the drunk, obnoxious audience, or just the all-too-frequent “I’m too busy” that impedes you from going and remembering why you love live music. If you feel like being in the middle of all that live music energy right now, download Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat’s new album, Live At The Kessler. Not only is it “live,” but it is live from the intimate Kessler Theater in Dallas, Texas—home to some of the most knowledgable and appreciative crowds around. On the album, Sutler & company rock every last sorrow away, and they do it with some of the best Texas blues around.

The band includes Jim Suhler (guitar, vocals), Chris Alexander (bass, vocals), Shawn Phares (keyboards) and Beau Chadwell (drums, percussion), as well as special guests Tim Alexander (keyboards) and Tex Lovera (cigar box guitar).

When the longtime guitarist for George Thorogood & The Destroyers (Jim Suhler) lets go and lets the guitar notes fly, you can bet you’re in for some seriously potent music. What’s great is the way the album was produced; you can feel the presence of the audience more than you can hear them. That’s such a relief, compared to most live albums, where the crowd noise irritatingly dominates.Not only does the sixteen track album leave you wanting more, but by the time the last song (a completely engaging “Restless Soul”) is over, you’ll wish you had been there when it was recorded. At least there’s this album.

Essential Downloads: “Doin’ The Best I Can,” “Deja Blue,” “Prayin’ For Rain.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.


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