MCB Live- The Story?
When one of the Michael Cleary Band’s fans asked if his brother could come and record us, they said sure. It turns out his brother was Pete Nenortas of Satronen Sound out of Maine,, and he showed up at Black Eyed Sally's with a full blown Protools multitrack recording setup. Not only were the tracks recorded in high fidelity and with great care, but the band also happened to have all their knobs dialed right and rose to the occasion with one of their most memorable performances. The sound, the vibe, the audience, everything just clicked, and when Chuck Rubano of Capture Productions heard the tracks, he knew he was listening to something special. Eagerly wanting to be a part of this project, Chuck painstakingly mixed the tunes with his vintage Trident mixing board in his Protools equipped studio. After some finishing touches by Dana White at Specialized Mastering, all the stars were aligned, and the result is MCB Live.?
What you have here on this cd is a nearly perfect snapshot of what the Michael Cleary Band is all about. Great songs, monstrous solos, epic jams, funky grooves, wacky humor; all in all a diverse, joyous musical stew played and sung by talented musicians who have been performing together for nearly 16 years.?
Starting with the impassioned vocal performance of Ed Corvo singing “Never Gonna Let” which features some blistering guitar work by MC, they then break it down into a dynamic, funky version of “All To You” which climaxes with a Hendix inspired groove where the band literally ends up giving its all to you.?
Following the catchy radio-ready arrangement of “Stand” the band breaks into a raucous version of the fan favorite, “Zydeco Girl” where Vince Delaria plays every note he knows and then some! Vincenzo!? The band then delivers a smoldering version of “Funky 16” where Ed implores the listener to feel the groove with a veiled threat but by then the audience has been willingly taken captive for the ride.?
What can one say about “World Like This” besides Paul Bozzi! Paul Bozzi! Paul Bozzi! The band’s illustrious percussionist performs an epic version of this MCB classic, which opens with a bombastic drum battle between himself and drummer John Corvo. The breakdown in the middle is classic MCB with a hypnotic, spacey jam underneath a sing-along chant while Paul “Pops” Bozzi rants and raves!?
On any given night the band will spontaneously break into songs and jams that they’ve never played before, and this night was no exception. The best example of this is in the solo section of the next tune “Go To Bed” where they go from a reggae flavored Jeff Beck melody, backed by a Police inspired high hat rhythm, into a Zappa-esque rock montage climaxed by a Ted Nugent riff all without missing a beat. It was never played before and will never be played again but the tracks were rolling to prove that it really happened. And to top it all off they seamlessly segue into the closer of the evening, “Child Inside,” a song they’ve been playing for over 15 years but still deliver with an enthusiasm and a driving energy as if they wrote it last week.?
There is a special energy and camaraderie that makes each MCB performance fun and exciting, and all the people involved in this project have done a masterful job in making “MCB Live “ the next best thing to being there.
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