6

Alan Evans Trio: Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The Alan Evans Trio, nee Alan Evans' Playonbrother, were the first band to formally avail themselves of the resources of Applehead Studios for a live with studio audience session in Woodstock New York in 2013. Patterned to a great degree on Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles at his own barn, ultra contemporary facilities in a rustic setting, these events present a unique opportunity for musicians and fans alike to immerse themselves in the spontaneity of the moment even as the engineers-Michael Birnbaum, Kevin Salem and Chris Bittner-are capturing it all for posterity.

Drummer Evans, guitarist Danny Mayer and keyboardist Beau Sasser make the most of their opportunity from the start as the three burst from the proverbial starting gate at a furious pace on "They Call Me Velvet." Early band introductions preface the vocal interlude and more frenetic funk-rock on "If You Want My Love" where the eminently reasonable similarities surface to the drummer bandleader's Soulive forebears: it's an identical instrumental lineup, the crucial difference lying in the relative simplicity of the sound: the former doesn't stray from Hammond B3 organ while the latter, fully capable of patient and pointed soloing as on "The Lay Down," usually restricts himself more to rhythm work than the brilliant Eric Krasno.

Further comparison might be fatuous since the Evans Trio hasn't been collaborating together as long as Soulive (who began in 1999), but the passing spoken interludes, such as that introducing "Thor," bring to mind Krasno and Evans sibling keyboardist Neal in their Lettuce project. Alan Evans sings with as much gusto as he plays his kit, but his voice is nowhere as distinctive as his drum work, which marries rock with funk in a way that renders apt comparisons to Jimi Hendrix' Band of Gypsies (and further illuminates references to the iconic guitarist via AE3's change in moniker to mirror the name of Evan's own studio).

The Alan Evans Trio shines at digging deep into grooves like that of "Have You seen Him," at 10:40 the longest track here and, given the group's streamlined approach, wisely placed in the tracklist. Subsequent cuts "The Lay Down" and "Crooooz" taper off in duration, while even shorter numbers as "Just Another Dream," maintain the pacing as this recording concludes.

Yet these live renditions of studio recordings reinforce the Evans Trio's aptitude for working with comparable skill in either setting. Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1 is obviously an ideal setting for all involved, including the audience, generally kept low in the mix, but acting as a subtle reminder of their presence and, by extension, the enticing ambiance of this unique situation.

Track Listing: 
They Call Me Velvet; 


If You Want My Love; 


Thor; 


Have You Seen Him; 


The Lay Down; 
 Crooooz; 


What Happens Off in the Woods; 


Who Dare Knock; 
Just Another Dream; 


Cosmic Hazeldust.



Personnel: Alan Evans: drums, vocals; Beau Sasser: guitar; Danny Mayer: B3 organ.

Title: Woodstock Sessions Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: The Woodstock Sessions


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Hope Of Home" CD/LP/Track Review Hope Of Home
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Soulmation" CD/LP/Track Review Soulmation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "The Sun Though the Rain" CD/LP/Track Review The Sun Though the Rain
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "A Chicken in a Bottle" CD/LP/Track Review A Chicken in a Bottle
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Gonimoblast Live" CD/LP/Track Review Gonimoblast Live
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 25, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.