Audio blog with links to great live tracks from great live bands.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mr. Sparks

OK, at the risk of exaggerating, I'm going to make a bold statement: Melvin Sparks is the best guitarist I have ever seen. The man gives so much with so little effort that it's frightening. I mean, if you have ever seen him live, you know what I'm talking about. He kind of reminds me of "It" from The Addams Family. You know, that hand that exists on it's own without a body attached to it. Melvin's left hand is all over the neck, while the rest of his body is just this mass of grooving, smiling love, just sittin' on a stool. I have seen him by himself a few times and I have seen him sit in with all sorts of acts. When he played with the 20th Congress last year, I swear Cheme was going to blow a gasket. He must've said "Oh my God!" about 116 times during a 10-minute solo. Bob Walter looked like he could barely keep playing. So it goes without saying that you should absolutely, 100% NOT miss Melvin Sparks if he comes to your town. And if you get a chance, talk to him. He's exactly how you'd expect one of "those old jazz cats" to be like - right down to the old "paperboy" hat.

"Pick Up The Pieces" - Melvin Sparks Band, Portsmouth, NH 5/28/04

Download the whole show here.


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