Voodoo Jive

October 07, 2007 | BY Billy Chic
Song of the Day: Chris Bergson Band - Rain Beatin' Down

Chris Bergson Band - Rain Beatin' Down
from the album Fall Changes

I turn your attention, if you will, to the Chris Bergson Band -
this cat has an amazing voice and is smokin' on the blues/rock guitar. He's got a great band backing him up (including Jay Collins on tenor sax and backup vocals) and has a new album out now - Fall Changes. I caught him the other night at the Rodeo Bar for his CD Release Party and he was amazing. I enjoy the album very much, but I must say that it doesn't do his live shows justice - which, like many bands such as The Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, and some of the best blues artists like Junior Kimbrough (who I used to see in Oxford, MS at his Juke Joint from time to time) you'll find more the norm than not.† For how does a studio capture the live essence, that spark, that can happen when an amazingly talented artist takes control of the stage? Or a band that jams out on a tune that is only partially caught on CD?

This is not to say anything negative about the album; on the contrary, besides his own songs being beautiful (co-written with his wife, actress Kate Ross), and a slide guitar that would make you think you were back in Memphis somewhere, he does one of the best and most unique covers of Hendrix's Are You Experienced and live the other night, Dylan's Standing In the Doorway (dude, I was in tears by the end of the song) that I have EVER heard. And yes - before you ask - I have heard covers of both songs done many times in like three different states live; and the essence of them are captured on the album with enough groove to make you want to play it over and over.† This cat has shared the bill with Etta James and has played with characters such as Levon Helm and Norah Jones.