Live On The Westside was recorded on two separate dates in February and July 1999 at the Club Tavern in Middleton, Wisconsin. The 73+ minutes of music on the CD offers some very well done covers by the very tight Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band.
One of most the interesting aspects of Live On The Westside is that even though there are no original compositions, the band takes each of the thirteen songs on the recording and makes it their own with consistently great solo work. Harp player, Westside Andy (a.k.a., Andy Lindeman) and guitarist Mel Ford provide a strong 1-2 punch, backed by a trio of strong musicians including Jimmy Voegeli on keyboards and the rhythm section of drummer Steve Dougherty and Tony Menzer on bass.
The recording opens with a Hip Linkchain tune entitled "On My Way" that burns with solos from Andy, Ford and Voegeli to fire up the audience right from the beginning. Many of the songs on the CD include extended solos from one or more of the three talented gentlemen, while Dougherty and Menzer continue to lay down a solid backbeat. Other standouts on the CD include the Little Walter tune, "It Hurts Me" and The Crusaders "Put It Where You Want It," including a hookish recurring theme and some smokin' harp from Westside Andy. "I Underestimate You" is a great song written by Doc Pomus and Dr. John that allows the band to swing behind Andy's harp and Voegeli's B-3 organ.
"My Daddy Was A Jockey" and Eddy Clearwater's "Party At My House" are both uptempo songs that give the band a chance to really get the crowd rocking. After listening to the CD, it is easy to see why Austin, Texas harpman Gary Primich speaks so highly of the combo in the liner notes.
Live On The Westside is a fine live recording by a well-seasoned group of musicians. To find out more about Live On The Westside, or The Westside Andy/Mel Ford Band, check out Andy's website at www.westsideandy.com. Pick up a copy of Live On The Westside; you won't be sorry!
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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