by Andy Braham
Alongside this summer’s supremely hyped Frank Ocean album, another groundbreaking piece was released by Rock Hall of Famer Jeff Beck. The guitar genius is not the Beck of the past. Beck has arguably always been the most diverse musician from the British Invasion bands. Unlike the guitarists from The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, and The Kinks, who never amounted to much after each band peaked , Beck has released countless solo and albums to critical acclaim. He is never afraid to innovate and experiment, unlike most hippie musicians who resell their oldies for serious coin.
Known for his drawn out instrumental guitar, Beck’s new album, titled Loud Hailer, possesses delicate vocals, yet the vocalist is anything from fragile. Rosie Bones, who comfortably sported a mechanic’s jumpsuit with combat boots and a megaphone during the group’s performance at Saratoga Mountain Winery, opened the August 14th concert with the dramatic ballad The Revolution will be Televised, which is a play on Gil-Scott Heron’s pre-hiphop hit The Revolution will not be Televised. Bones is part of Jeff Beck’s new crew, consisting of the three young hip women who were featured on the album. The combination of the nearly ancient rock mastermind plus three under thirty women is a site to behold, let alone be heard. Bone’s was sure to borrow Grace Slick’s classic dance moves.
The show opened with blues god Buddy Guy. Guy continues the tradition of a British guitarist touring with an American blues artist. Guy, who is eighty, clearly enjoys what his age affords him and at the historical winery, he was not shy to chastise the crowd for not knowing the words to a few songs and to drop a few profanities. He justified his liberal use of the f word by saying “listen to what the hip-hoppers are getting away with.” It was hilarious to hear those words from the American legend. Guy was sure to appease anyone who was skeptical of Beck’s new lineup. For diehard Beck fans, don’t worry, “Loud Hailer” includes just as many crushing guitar riffs as “Blow by Blow” or “Wired.”
Beck didn’t forgot to add a few goodies in with the new stuff either. He still included “Beck’s Bolero” and a cover of Mahavishnu’s “you know, you know.” In fact, he went way, way back to The Yardbirds. During their show at the Hollywood Bowl, Beck played every 50’s tween girl favorite, “Over Under Sideways” and at the vineyard they played “Shape of Things.”
Jeff Beck has shown himself to be a musical machine able to work with anyone and produce innovative sounds. He knows how to stay relevant as he has said “[If] I don’t change course now, I’ll be stuck with that ‘Guitar World’ thing.” But as Beck fan’s know, we sure don’t mind him being stuck with it.
(Sources: Rolling Stone, Grateful Web)