Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Live! At Harby's (DVD)
Review by Nightwatcher
One of the most underrated and best bands too few have discovered, Indianapolis's Healing Sixes rock convincingly in an acoustic mode on the DVD 'Live At Harby's', which shows that even shorn away any extra production or electric guitars, this is truly one of America's finest present day bands.
Best known for having the latest version of Led Zeppelin's Jason Bonham on drums for 4 years in an earlier incarnation of the band, and for vocalist Doug Henthorn's stunning contribution to blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa's version of the Zeppelin classic "Tea For One", the performances put down in this intimate setting prove that the band can stand tall on their own, and need neither Bonham nor Bonamassa to produce exemplary music. As evidenced as they go through the majority of the songs from the band's latest studio offering, One Less Friend To Ignore' and selections from 2002's Kevin Shirley (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa) produced 'Enormosound'.
All the musicians compliment the other perfectly,and Doug Henthorn has to be considered one of the finest vocalists on the scene. Mixing the grittiness of Paul Rodgers with the soaring quality of Chris Cornell, with a portion of Robin Trower's late great James Dewar thrown in for good measure, he hearkens back to the finest bluesy wailers of the 70's, even in a more subdued setting such as this. Acoustically, the songs shine through, revealing the extremely impressive songwriting throughout. This would've been a natural for MTV's 'Unplugged' series when that was running, and if so, this set would've been ranked up with Aerosmith, Alice In Chains and Nirvana's as among the best offerings the show had to produce. Yes, folks, it's that good.
The interplay between the four, which besides Henthorn on vocals and guitar includes guitarist Eric Saylors, bassist Wade Parish and drummer Jeff Stone is remarkably intuitive. Recorded entirely on the night of May 23, 2008, this is the band as they really are, and although you're not going to see any instrumental gymnastics on display here, that's not what they're all about - a tight rock quartet who on this aren't too far removed from The Black Crowes, musically speaking with other 70's influences gleaned from Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley and even The Beatles popping up every now and then, they let their roots shine through without being imitators, creating their own sound in the process.
Although not a high budget production, the recording captures this performance wonderfully, the sound and video are crystal clear, and makes it seem as if the band is performing just for you in your living room or home theater. If you're looking for the standard, 100 cuts and pans per minute rock video, you won't find it here. But what you will find is extremely high quality musicianship and exceptional songwriting in a rootsy, bluesy rock vein. If that sounds like your brand of rock, this comes highly recommended. 9/10
"Tonight Nothing's Wrong" from 'Live! At Harby's' :
Healing Sixes LIVE: Tonight Nothings Wrong