Live at KEXP!
I loved the debut studio set from Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (in fact I thought it so nice, I reviewed it twice!) But the thing that really hipped me to this band and sold me on their sound was this live-to-air; released here for Record Store Day featuring the warm-up set and the official broadcast.
The trio is funky, fresh and perfectly tight-but-loose with drummer David McGraw holding it down and the shared rhythm duties of Delvon Lamarr (organ) and Jimmy James (guitar) are equally impressive, just as both players take their moments to shine when soloing. James manages to evoke his namesake (Hendrix) on the MG’s soul-stir that is Tacoma Black Party, really letting loose, strangling out some beautiful sounds.
It’s such a full sound from the band and such a great, driving feel. Lamarr’s overall aesthetic – look at that album cover – is for the 1960s of Booker T and Jimmy Smith. There’s jazz in the heart and soul here with pure R’n’B in the engine room.
Also, this is worth having – not just for the kick-ass live performances, but only two songs are repeated on the debut studio record, strong renditions here of the sassy-funk stew, Concussion and the cool-charm breezy licks that drive Memphis; all Cornell Dupree-like. But this live album kicks off with a powerhouse run through Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up and keeps the soul strut searing with a little Meters-esque bounce through South Leo St. Stomp.
This is a separate, distinct experience – not better than Close But No Cigar but maybe more instantly accessible, more appealing due to the vibe.
Both are great records. Both are must-haves for your collection. And if you haven’t yet heard Close then maybe start with this one. A little sampler below…