The new album, Cadillac Flambe Live at Knuckleheads starts out with the energetic harmonica of James “Pappy” Garrett. The recording is tastefully crafted, with just the right reverb on the vocals to deliver an authentic live ambiance. The first song, Long Back Train, is filled with tight harmonies between the great bluesy voices of singers Kristopher Bruders and Havilah Bruders. This isn't your granddaddy's Long Black Train; all of the songs on this CD are originals. Kristopher Bruder's guitar work is crisp and lively. The bass work supplied by bassist Dr. Dave Duly makes their shows move, and it really comes through on this live recording. Mike Payne's drums retain all of the intensity and energy level of a live show throughout the CD, but Cadillac Flambe was not sacrificing quality for a live feel on this album. This CD is a great example of what can be done with a live album. Although there are no liner notes about the recording process, everything is so clean and crisp that it is easy to believe some studio work was put into this recording afterward as well. It's difficult for even a trained ear to discern, since the performances are all studio quality, but the energy level is always at a full, live roar.
Cadillac Flambe is one tight unit; few blues bands can keep a five person lineup together and on track these days, but this group sounds well rehearsed and comfortable. They have the kind of familiarity with one another that allows each musician to anticipate the moves of the others. Accents are hit together as a unit. Solos aren't stepped on by other players. This Cadillac is a well oiled music makin' machine. There may be some improvisation here and there, but every musical change comes out as if it is perfectly planned to deliver an eight cylinder, tire squealing breakaway from the starting line.
The best mood setter on the disc is track nine, Shotgun. Here are all of Cadillac Flambe's greatest talents presented in one great song—great harmonica intro, tight changes, soul-deep vocal harmonies, great song writing, driving beats, pumping bass, melancholic slow sections, and all of it skillfully performed with the honesty of a shotgun blast. You could listen to this song over and over all night and never feel like it was getting old. Other great original tunes on this album include Long Black Train, Death of Me, Workin', Sunrise, Bald Apple's Redemption, Freedom to Eat Right, Honky Tonk Gospel, and What Do You Think.
The album is Cadillac Flambe Live at Knuckleheads, and its twelve tracks include nine top notch songs and three short introductions. Cadillac Flambe strutted their stuff to first place at the Kansas City Blues Society's International Blues Challenge just a few days ago at The Office Bar & Grill. Their next IBC appearance will be at the Kansas City finals, which will be a homecoming for them at Knuckleheads Saloon, the location of their live recording. A win here would propel them to the International finals in Memphis, Tennessee. The competition at Knuckleheads Saloon will feature the bands Cadillac Flambe, Brother Bagman, Koolaide and the Exact Change Band, The Paperclips, and two other bands yet to be announced. Also competing to represent Kansas City as soloists will be Pharaoh Tarot (Skaught Patterson), Kevin Kraft, Jason Vivone, and Tom Tipton.
Cadillac Flambe at Knuckleheads Saloon, KCBS IBC Finals, four solo acts, six bands, October 9th at 2pm
Listen and shop: Cadillac Flambe Live at Knuckleheads CD
Sep 22 2010
The Riot Room Kansas City, Missouri
Sep 25 2010
Danny's Bar and Grill Overland Park, KS.
Sep 26 2010
The Getaway Inn Blue Springs, MO
Oct 9 2010
Knuckleheads Saloon Kansas City, MO