Song of the Week – Live in the Dark & Blues Deluxe, Jeff Beck


In a couple of weeks I’ll be going with a friend to see Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy. It should be a fun evening of rock and blues.

Guitar hero Jeff Beck has been the focus of the media recently, touting his new album Loud Hailer. This is the first release in six years from the 72 year old axe man and it has received pretty good notices,mostly applauding the modern sound he captures by working with the young women of London based Bones — vocalist Rosie Bones and guitarist Carmen Vandenberg.

The first SotW is “Live in the Dark” from Loud Hailer.

Many of the songs on Loud Hailer have political themes, but not “Live in the Dark.” This is just a simple sample of modern garage rock.

Although I’m digging the new release, I still relish going back to his first solo album, Truth, for great blues based rock. His band for that album had Rod Stewart on vocals and Ronnie Wood on bass with a little help from friend Nicky Hopkins (piano) on a few cuts.

The next SotW is “Blues Deluxe” from that album.

The song sounds like a live recording but I’m not sure if it really is live or just overdubbed with audience applause to make it appear that way. I can’t understand why they would do that but it doesn’t really matter.

In a 1973 article by Charles Shaar Murray in New Musical Express, he writes of “Blues Deluxe”:

“After Rod and Nicky have slugged out several identical choruses, Beck comes in for his solo, stopping the entire band to play a totally extraneous riff, and then producing assorted gabbles and screeches, finally divebombing into a minor conflagration at the bottom of the neck before leading it back into the next verse.”

Beck has always demonstrated flamboyance and independence in his playing!

True to the folk/blues tradition, Beck/Stewart avail themselves of a bit of “borrowing” for this number. It is a reworking of B.B. King’s “Gambler’s Blues.” Check it out sometime.

Enjoy… until next week.