|Review by Marpow August 9, 2015 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
|Joe Beard: For Real. Hybrid SACD. Stereo Only.
Last year in Salina, Kansas, I was lucky enough to see and sit and talk with Joe Beard. A tall, lanky fella with a polite personality, that you see the same thing on stage. A very commanding performer with great vocals and the ability to play great blues guitar.
Quick Facts: This disc is the AudioQuest disc and a lot of the same AudioQuest discs may have different catalog numbers from Sledgehammer music. This is a pure analog recording. The tracks where recorded live direct to two track tape.
The title of the disc adds, Featuring Duke Robillard and friends.
Performance: I like listening to the Blues on Sunday afternoons, tends to calm me down. My dog Winston likes it also. This band is a 6 piece. Two guitars, Joe Beard and Duke Robillard, Piano and Hammond B-3 Bruce Katz, Bass Rod Carey, Drums Per Hanson, and Harmonica Jerry Portnoy. This is more of a Delta Blues sound than the heavy Chicago Blues sound. Great lyrics, of course, always being in woman trouble, right. The music flows and flows, seamlessly from one track to the next. Obviously Joe's vocals and his guitar are the stars but how they put together the track list with the other sounds is quite a master piece. Just when you are grooving to the Hammond B-3, here comes the next track to harmonica, then to piano, and goes full circle. I do believe this is when the producer and engineer really become part with the artist.
Stereo Sonics: I listened 88.2Khz, PCM, HDMI outs. I varied the volume between 64 and 70 decibels, I settled in at 68 decibels. I loved the warm analog sound and at the higher volume it seemed to take away from my peaceful feeling. Bass drum has good snap and finish to it. Joe's hollow body guitar is just plain easy to tell it is a hollow body as it resonates so well and you can hear that acoustic/electric mix that comes from a hollow body. Drums either with brushes or cymbals are perfect. While listening the stereo separation is perfect where band, vocals and solos all take turns at center stage with a beautiful present rhythm section always in the rear. Joes voice at times can be a little rough but that is of his character and has nothing to do with the recording, in fact you want to hear him the way he is. Great sonic disc.
Packaging: SACD plastic jewel case. Nice pictures of the band. They must have had a good time together as every picture all have big smiles. Historical liner notes of Joe, giving the reader a little history lesson. Joe gives a little talk about each song. As per all the AudioQuest/Sledgehammer discs I have reviewed complete recording notes, tape, cables, mics, etc.
I am a blues lover so these reviews are easy for me. I am about mid way through my AudioQuest SACD blues discs and this is another gem. I gave 4.5 stars.
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