Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lance Lopez: Foundation of the Next Generation of Bluesmen

It's a tall task to come on stage at the legendary BB King's Blues Club during Johnny Winter's birthday party and play the blues. Not only was Lance Lopez up to the task, he delivered a incendiary seven song set, full of heavy riff driven original blues rock songs that are chock full of energy.

Right out of the gate, Lopez hits the gas, with a hard driving 12-bar blues, Come Back Home, complete with a blistering solo which is only a small taste of things to come. The riffs are non-stop, with the meaty riffery of Hard Time and Get Out and Walk. Next, the gears shift and the band dusts off (and supercharges) the only cover song of the set, Robert Johnson's Traveling Riverside Blues. Lopez and his trio pound out the classic in their signature fashion, giving it a powerful treatment that I can only imagine would have even Johnson himself grinning.

The highlight of the set though, is undoubtedly Lowdown Ways, where Lopez eases off the overdrive and shows off his chops.  Over 11 minutes, Lopez delivers soulful vocals and a lethal combination of tasteful and blinding guitar licks that will leave you spellbound.  It would be unfair, however, to lay all the praise for the excellence of Live In NYC at Lance Lopez's feet. A blues trio is nothing without a solid rhythm section, and drummer Chris Reddan and bassist Mike Nunno provide a rock solid foundation from the word go, driving the riffs along, and giving Lopez a musical canvas on which to shine.

Short and powerful, Lance Lopez's Live In NYC is certainly a statement: With guitar slingers like him on the loose, the future of the blues is in good hands.

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