Special guest: Ana Popovic, Guitar
Notes by Michael Hill:
ELECTRIC STORYLAND LIVE feels like the album that our band was born to make. Being onstage playing for the people has always been home for us, and we can now draw from four acclaimed albums of our original, New York-style storytelling. We've also gone back to the excitement of our roots as a trio. The energy, dynamics and sound of such groups as the Band Of Gypsies, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream have always been inspiring for me - that sweet, pure sound of electric guitar, bass and drums. With Pete Cummings and Bill McClellan I'm proud to have an amazing rhythm section that brings both - the deepest groove and a powerful sense of adventure to the stage every night. This album captures a lot of the fun we have playing together and more importantly the way in which a band and it's audience can connect with and inspire each other.
There's a lot going on: two discs from different nights and venues with sixteen songs, including two medleys. A writer once commented on the wide range of subject matter in our songs, and a lot of the best songs from our studio albums are here. There's the intensity and drama of our first album ("Why We Play The Blues", "Can't Recall A Time", "Evil In The Air", "Hard Blues For Hard Times") and praise of women, reggae-fied protest and romantic anguish from our second ("Women Make The World Go 'Round", "Grandmother's Blues", "Let's Talk About The Weather"). Our third album yields both autobiographical and humorous blues commentary ("New York State Of Blues", "Young Folks' Blues"). From the forth we have love going bad ("Terrible Twos"), love being resuscitated ("Heat On The Highway") and love in need of sexual healing ("Undercover"), not to mention historical Presidential miscegenation ("Monticello Nights") and Nigerian Highlife-blues spiritual uplift ("Blessings").
At our live shows we often play songs we like just for fun, and by popular request we've included a medley from one of the aforementioned trios (Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love" and their slick arrangement of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads"). To ice the cake we present two new songs, both inspired by 9/11: "Heart Of New York" speaks to the diversity of my hometown and her indomitable spirit after taking a serious hit, and "Something In The Sky" looks at one of the many ways life has changed here, and how it's connected to bombs dropped halfway around the world.
I can only hope that listening to ELECTRIC STORYLAND LIVE brings you the same kind of joy that we shared with our audiences the nights we made the music. And to quote an autograph that Jimi Hendrix once gave a friend, "Thanks for listening to our life and love."
Michael Hill: Guitar and Vocals
Pete Cummings: Bass and Vocals
Bill McClellan: Drums and Vocals
- Heart Of The City
- Ready For The Blues
- Monticello Nights
- Let's Talk About The Weather
- Women Make The World Go 'Round'
- Grandmother's Blues
- Terrible Twos
- Something In The Sky
- "Bloodlines" Trilogy: Why We Play The Blues/Can't Recall A Time/Hard Blues For Hard Times
- Heat On The Highway
- Evil In The Air
- Chocolate Cream Jam/Sunshine Of Your Love/Crossroads
- New York State Of Blues
- Young Folks' Blues (feat. Ana Popovic)