Title - 'Live In NYC'
Artist - Lance Lopez
There’s no doubt about it, the state of Texas is well known world wide for its fiery blues guitar players. Even just a cursory look will reveal the state’s rich tradition, which easily rivals Chicago and Mississippi for producing players who have been both originators and contributors to the legacy of the guitar’s significant role in the genre’s history.
For those not in the know, from 2003 to 2007 Texas based Lance Lopez recorded, and released three studio and one live CD for a small independent label, Grooveyard Records – all of which were heavily influenced by another of the guitarist’s main influences – Jimi Hendrix.
After a three year break, Lopez returned with a Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Santana) produced studio album Salvation From Sundown. Intentionally conceived as a more traditional Texas blues styled offering, it was, at that time, the guitarist’s most mature recording, showcasing strong songwriting while still retaining his now-trademark red-hot fretwork.
In Europe in November 2011 MIG Music released the follow up to Salvation From Sundown. A very strong Hard Rocking/Blues offering entitled Handmade Music, it was chock full of well crafted songs and Lopez’s signature searing guitar work.
And now here in 2016 we are glad to welcome another live album from the Texas guitarslinger, Live In NYC. Combining just 7 songs with a live set that blows the roof off, this newly-released album - recorded live at both B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill Times Square (NYC) - finds Lopez kicking things off with an incredible ("You've been gone a month and it don't seem right, I've got to hug my pillow at night") 'Come Back Home' and it just never lets up thereafter.
Next up is the furious, almost metalesque guitar lead in to 'Hard Time,' a thunderous blues rock track that if it were on vinyl this release, would literally bounce the needle off just to spite it! That's backed by the Mississippi rock fest ("She didn't like my music or the way that I talk all she did was just sit there and gawp. I won't holler at you later baby so you can get out and walk") 'Get Out And Walk.' Man, if this latter track doesn't get you up and thinking you can accomplish anything in life you're listening to it all wrong!
Next up is the Robert Johnson-written 'Traveling Riverside Blues' which is yet another prime example of how Lopez can envelope himself within a track without external pressures to be someone, or something else in this day and age. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, as much an old school mix of funk, rock and blues as you are likely to ever hear. The ten minute Stevie Ray Vaughan-Blessed 'Lowdown Ways' is easily another one of the standout highlights on this pulsating CD, one that sadly then has to come to an end with the heavy pacing, throaty vocals of 'Tell The Truth' and then the near 8 minute long ("East and West North and South, I just can't get your taste out of my mouth") 'El Paso Sugar.'