This week's Sound Check features reviews of a DVD from Elvis Costello, an audio/video package from the late Albert Collins and an announcement about this year's Lamar County Bluegrass Festival.
Detour Live at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall,' Elvis Costello (Eagle Rock Entertainment, HHHHH)
This Feb. 12 DVD/Blu-ray/digital release features Elvis Costello singing songs from across his career (plus a few covers) accompanied by his own guitars, occasional piano and rare looping-pedal instead of Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and others. He's also joined on some tunes by the attractive Rebecca and Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe on harmony vocals, mandolin (Rebecca) and slide guitar (Megan). A large "Lupe-O-Tone" TV provides an interactive backdrop/small stage. Some of the tunes feature radical changes from recorded versions.
My favorite tunes include "Red Shoes," "Accidents Will Happen," "Shipbuilding," "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down," "Walking My Baby Back Home," "That's Not the Part of Him You're Leaving," "Blame It On Cain," "Love Field" and "A Good Year For the Roses."
Elvis C. fans will want and enjoy this one immensely.
'Live At Rockpalast,' Albert Collins & The Icebreakers (MVDvisual, HHHH)
This DVD plus two-CD concerts recorded Nov. 26, 1980, was released Feb. 12. It presents the four-man Icebreakers combo (saxophonist/singer A.C Reed, bassist Johnny B. Gayden, guitarist Marvin Jackson and drummer Casey Jones); then, after two songs, "the Master of the Telecaster" Albert Collins steps onstage.
My favorite tunes include the up-tempo instrumental "Skatin'/Ice Pick," the slow jam "Cold Cold Feeling," the quicker "Brick," the throbbing "Cold Cut" (which spotlights bassist Gayden's solo abilities) and the other instrumentals, which sometimes break from standard blues patterns. The CDs spread the music out for easy listening; the DVD is cool for watching onstage telepathy between musicians.
This package is a good one for blues guitar students and fans.
Lamar County Bluegrass Festival
The Lamar County Bluegrass Festival will be held at the Lamar County Community Shelter near Purvis on March 11-12 this year. There's no mention on Facebook of the usual Thursday night supper, but campers interested in that can call. This year's bands include Breaking Grass and Gold Heart (both award-winning favorites from past festivals), Wood & Wire, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Coaltown Dixie and Driskell Mountain. There will also be opportunities for audience picking away from the main stage. Call 601-436-1170 or 601-596-6496 for more info.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at email@example.com.