Phil Gates Live review…August 16, 2013…

PHIL GATES

LIVE AT THE HERMOSA SALOON

DCT BPRODUCTIONS   PGCD BBY7

ADDICTED TO THE BLUES–MESSIN WITH THE KID–AWAY I GO–USED ME UP–OLD SCHOOL–SUMMER IN THE CITY–END OF TIME–EVENING TRAIN–TAKE IT OUT–I’M LOST–GET AROUND TO ME

 

Phil Gates is a very well-respected, Los Angeles-based bluesman, who is one of a select few performers who have not only played in the IBC’s, but judged the competition as well.  For his eighth release, he uses the “home court advantage” to its fullest for “Phil Gates Live At The Hermosa Saloon” in Hermosa Beach, CA.  The crowd was up for an evening of rockin’ blues, and this Chicago-born guitar-slinger did not disappoint.  He also had Ron Battle on bass, Keith Williams on drums, and keyboard whiz Morris Beeks to back him up.

Phil kicked off the show in high gear, telling everyone he is Addicted To The Blues,” but his “Jones” is a healthy one, indeed–he “gets higher than a whole fifth of booze” just by bringing the fans the best blues he can, night in and night out.  Ron holds down the funky bottom while Phil runs a rap about a red-hot lover in “Away I Go.”  He conjures up some vintage soul sounds on “Take It Out” and the Motown-Philly sweetness of “Old School,” while giving a reggae tinge to the Lovin’ Spoonful classic, “Summer In The City.”  It also features a great solo by Morris on the B-3.

That was another cool thing about the songs on this set.  Whether intentional or not, at times when Phil and Morris get locked in on an extended jam, you can hear a definite Allman Brothers vibe goin’ on.

We had two favorites, too.  “Evening Train” spotlights the interplay between all three musicians, with Keith’s locomotive beat riding over Phil’s tale of using that mode of transportation to get to and from “another day working on the factory line.”  And, a song “for everyone who’s ever been used in a relationship” is the theme of the loping, 8-bar blues of “Used Me Up,” and features Phil’s crying slide at its searing, absolute, most intense.

Phil Gates writes ’em from the heart and plays ’em from the soul, and he’s handled a bluesman’s greatest challenge–satisfying a hometown crowd hungry for some of the best in contemporary blues with “Live At The Hermosa Saloon.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Hi Sheryl and Don! Thanks So much for the great review!
    I’m glad that you dug the music!
    Best,
    Phil

    Reply

  2. Posted by Pam Shellmire on August 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Nice nice. You pretty much covered the essence of that night. The Phil Gates Band always gives us a great show. At times very high intensity and then slow melodic almost hypnotic rhythms. Love this band!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Elizabeth on August 19, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Phil is the best around!

    Reply

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