Jeffrey Lee Pierce: "Anarchic Blues - Live In Slovenia 1994" CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jeffrey Lee Pierce: "Anarchic Blues - Live In Slovenia 1994" CD Review

Jeffrey Lee Pierce: 'Anarchic Blues - Live In Slovenia 1994' CD ReviewI’ve seen The Gun Club perform live about a half-dozen times and the band makes both my “Top 10” best and worst concert lists. When they were “on”, I haven’t seen another band that could top their swamp-rock blues sound. When they were “off”, it was a complete train wreck. The last time I saw Jeffrey perform live was one of the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Quartet shows and it was, unfortunately, a train wreck where Pierce was noticeably fighting with guitarist Romi Mori and kept turning up his amp to drown out her playing. Over the last decade, there have been an increasing number of (mostly) quality live recordings surfacing from The Gun Club but there has been nothing (until now) from Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s solo tours.

Earlier last month, Music Melon Records released Anarchic Blues which captures a live recording of Pierce in Slovenia on November 6, 1994. This show was originally broadcast live on “The Jane Weber Show” and it is a clear soundboard recording that runs just over an hour.

Pierce is definitely “on” for this show but this isn’t the sweaty exorcism of the Wildweed live shows but rather the “Ramblin' Jeffrey Lee” delta-blues storytelling found on Pierce’s second solo album. After the breakup of the Lucky Jim lineup of The Gun Club in 1994, Pierce toured as an acoustic duo in Europe behind his 1992 solo release Ramblin' Jeffrey Lee with Cypress Grove and Willie Love along with guitarist Cypress Grove (a.k.a. Tony Chmelik). The duo’s set list focused predominately on material from this disc along with some Gun Club and blues covers.

Here is the complete track list:

- St. Louis Blues (W.C. Handy/arr. by J.L. Pierce & Cypress Grove)
- Pony Blues (Son House or Charlie Patton)
- Titanic Blues
- Sto' Gallery Blues
- My Black Mamma (James McCoy)
- John Henry (trad.)
- Juniors Got A Jap Girl For Christmas
- Crawl Out Your Window (Bob Dylan)
- John Hardy (trad., arr. by J.L. Pierce) / Mother Earth (J.L. Pierce) / Lucky Jim (J.L. Pierce)
- Not Supposed To Be That Way (Willie Nelson)
- Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town (Mel Tillis) / Long Long Gone (Frankie Lee Simms)
- I Am A Rock (Paul Simon)
- Breaking Hands (J.L. Pierce)

This disc is a great companion piece to the '9 Lives' reissue of Ramblin' Jeffrey Lee (which contains five previously unreleased bonus tracks). Evidently there is more material in the “can” as Cypresss Grove is quoted on as saying “Anyway, all the shows were recorded, and a live album of that final tour is coming out in February 2007. I get asked a lot of questions about what is happening with the album, so I thought here might be a good place to answer them! It is to be called “Spanish Flang Dang” and will feature performances from most of the shows. Me and Edwin (the tour manager) spent many hours listening to all the DAT’s, and think we have pretty much come up with the best stuff – although as always, opinions may differ on that.

Jeffrey Lee Pierce