The name Sean Webster conjures up the thrill of superlative blues guitar and thrilling live performances. Every time I have seen Sean Webster live I am held captive by the stage presence and the glorious sound of bright clear Blues with the electric guitar giving the lyrics a sting in its tale. The timing between Sean and the band is stunning as they raise the tempo then bring it back down as his guitar sings so that the guitar breaks are full of textured elegance.
The album is ten tracks of thrilling Sean Webster Blues with Three Nights Live. This is a live album and the majority of the numbers are taken from two albums, ‘Leave Your Heart At The Door’ and ‘See It Through’; that form his discography spreading back to his debut Long Time Coming in 2004.
Opening with a one two three and a ‘woah-oh-oh’, the night begins with the audience already on his side. Sean’s stupendous vocals are underpinned by drumming from Ruud Gielen; the sound builds as the band fills in the sound crescendo as Sean pleads Give Me The Truth. The energy increases with Hands of Time the winning combo as Sean the consummate bandleader directs and shapes a song so that there is a burning intensity as the narrative unveils itself the audience is held in the palm of Sean’s blues hand as we travel the journey together. This is blues full of delicious hooks that stitch the lyrics into the melody and the listener is spellbound by the depth of tone and texture.
We are now ready for the first of two covers with the third track. The slowing of the mood for John Meyer’s Slow Dancing in A Burning Room is perfectly timed. With a long 10 minute track that will have you sitting on the edge of the seat from the first note to the last. The long instrumental solo is perfection and then the voice joins the party and unbelievably it rises to another level. The intensity and purity of the guitar is breath-taking with the combination of the gritty vocals and a rhythm section that keeps the shape tight and acts as the perfect punctuation for Sean’s blues artistry. Following on after warm applause and Sean’s interaction with the audience with Heart Still Bleeds the slow moody tones are continued this is quality and then with a kick of the drum the tempo lightens on a track that works perfectly live the length of the track allows the band to explore the intricacies of the number building the tension and keeping the audience thoroughly entertained, whether in the room or captured in time on this recording. As we are treated to Hear Me Now, and yes Sean we hear you loud and clear this is music that sets your mood as you shape our emotional responses to the lyrics and melody and it is those hairs raising on you back of the neck with a stupendous guitar solo that just keeps giving. The only one response to this is to applaud loud and long with the pure pleasure you bring.
Every track is glorious, the second cover, Keith Urban’s ‘Til Summer Comes Around flows with an energy that captures your imagination as the instrumentation creates a sound that curls and reflects the gravelly rendition by Sean of the lyrics that tug at all of your emotional antennae. The evening draws to a close with Highway Man re-energising the audience with a song that has fast beats and defies you to sit still it is a get up and dance the night away number. No surprise that they were back for an Encore, in fact it is amazing that they were not asked to play the night away. This is blues that you never get tired of. He and his band never disappoint, leaving you wanting more and this live album is no different. Having captured the live sound on a record we do have a solution just play on repeat.
NINEdoodle paws out of TEN …
- Give Me The Truth
- Hands Of Time
- Slow Dancing In A Burning Room
- Heart Still Bleeds
- Hear Me Now
- Don’t Feel The Same
- The Mayor
- ‘Til Summer Comes Around
- Highway Man
- You Got To Know
All songs written by Sean Webster
Except ‘Slow Dancing In A Burning Room’ by John Clayton Mayer and ‘Til Summer Comes Around’ by Keith Urban and Monty Powell
Sean Webster – Vocals, Guitar
Floris Poesse – Bass Guitar, Backing vocals
Hilbrand Bos – Keys, Backing vocals
Ruud Gielen – Drums, Backing vocals
Recorded on March 21st at Bootleggers, Kendal, March 23rd Mainsforth Community Centre, Ferryhill and March 24th Legion Blues Club, Poynton.
Recorded by Superfly Studios Mobile & Engineered by Andrew Banfield
Mixed and Mastered by Wayne Proctor at Superfly Studios 2, A House Of Tone Mix