Alastair Greene: Alive In The New World Review

Blues rock guitarist Alastair Greene has been a highly respected name in the genre for many years, but more recently he has undoubtedly risen to even greater heights with a string of well-received full-length offerings, culminating in The New World Blues (2020). 

 An inveterate live performer whose credentials include extensive touring with the iconic Alan Parsons Live Project, Greene has recently released Alive In The New World, an extension of sorts of The New World Blues set in Greene’s natural habitat. Produced by the multi-talented Tab Benoit and released through his Whiskey Bayou label, the record captures a number of Greene’s performances during a six-night run at Chicago’s City Winery. Backed by Benoit himself on drums and Corey Duplechin on bass, the Californian six-stringer adds a fresh dimension to the studio output of his previous album.  

Enhanced by the competent, minimalist production, the record features an organic and warm feel, typical of a live album recorded in a small, intimate venue, and even when Greene’s leads cut harder through the loose, laidback grooves provided by Benoit and Duplechin, there’s always an almost a comforting element permeating the album, especially in the slower, mellower songs. While I understand and respect the purpose of the modern tricks of studio post-production, there’s beauty in simplicity, and this album proves just that.  

There’s an enjoyable Freddie King flavor on the instrumental opener “Back At The Poor House”, which is an early launching pad for Greene’s lead stunts. Cemented in a boastful funky riff, “Lies And Fear” is another standout, benefiting from an added attack compared to its studio counterpart while “When You Don’t Know What To Do” has the veteran guitarist ripping through a relaxed, J.J. Cale-inspired shuffle.  

The outstanding version of the textbook slow blues “No Longer Amused” features an extended, spirited guitar solo while the ballad “Heroes” remains as heartwarming as its studio equivalent. The swampy “Bayou Mile” is a mostly dreamy, evocative piece, which is contrastingly brought down to reality by a number of puncturing, amped-up bursts of slide guitar. A driving, heavy-on-slide blues rocker, “The New World Blues” brilliantly concludes the album, taking advantage of Greene’s guitar heroics heightened by the live setting environment. 

Overall, while not featuring drastic reinventions of previous material, the record certainly adds depth and color to the original studio set, bringing the listener closer to the music and its message thanks to a welcoming, unadulterated live ambiance and inspired performances. In its stripped-down, essential nature, Alive In The New World succeeds as a rewarding live album. 

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Back At The Poor House
– Lies And Fear
– No Longer Amused
– Heroes
– The New World Blues

The Big Hit

– No Longer Amused

Buy the album: Amazon

Fidel Beserra

Fidel Beserra is a professional translator and an occasional writer. As one would expect, he's also an enthusiastic lover of everything music-related.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bulk Email Sender