Krissy Matthews - 'Live At Freak Valley' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 25, 2018    
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An energetic live document.

Another figure plying his trade in the Blues Rock style, Krissy Matthews has amassed plenty of experience despite being only twenty-four years old. Astonishingly, he recorded his first album 'Blues Boy' in 2006 aged just thirteen. By the time his third release landed (2009's 'Alien In Reverse'), he was opening for Joe Bonamassa at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, recording a session on BBC Radio 2 and having a song featured in Classic Rock magazine.

His fourth record, 'Hit The Rock', appeared in 2011 and by this juncture Matthews was touring heavily, opening for Gregg Allman, Toto and Beth Hart, among others. He then met singer/performance poet Pete Brown and the pair sat down to co-write a collection of songs that made up Matthew's 2015 album 'Scenes From A Moving Window'.

After gigging in 2016 with Maggie Bell, Matthews decided to release his first live record. To his credit, he has gone all out to present a warts and all document, insisting there are no overdubs or studio fixes. This is especially ballsy as the show at Freak Valley Festival (Germany) was the first time he'd performed as a three-piece, backed by Sam Weston (bass) and Max Maxwell (drums).

Opening with 'Feeling For The Blues', the first impressions are that Matthews is a talented guitarist and the band are tight. The drawback is Matthews' voice; while I've heard far worse, his is a raw and acquired taste. 'I've Been Searching' is a heavier cut while 'All Night Long' is a shuffling foot-tapper. Matthews covers Blind Willie McTell's 'Searching The Desert For The Blues' and plays it well, however, vocally it falls short for me.

'Language By Injection' is a mix of Blues and Rock, while 'Bad Boy' is one of the best efforts on offer with its machine gun beat and driving riff. The set closes with a cover of Jimi Hendrix's 'Freedom' but while it's well played, Matthews' faltering voice doesn't cut it. This release also includes three live bonus tracks – 'Hit The Rock', 'Roadsick Blues' and 'Bubbles And The Seven Phones' – that were similarly recorded in Germany.

I couldn't find much wrong with the material, it's fairly typical of the current Blues Rock scene. Krissy Matthews is clearly a gifted player and a good writer, the only downside was I couldn't get on with his voice. If that's not an issue for you, then this energetic live document is worth hearing.

James Gaden

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