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I'm Chuck Miller. Welcome to my live music recording information site and blog. Recording live music performances is my passion. Here you will find links to live music recordings and information about recording live music. You'll also find some DIY projects, reviews of concerts and albums, as well as concert posters, tickets, art and photographs and links to some of the recordings I've made of bands over the years.

Many of the recordings I make are with just a stereo pair of microphones located in the audience section of the venue. Occasionally, I'll arrange to get a soundboard feed to mix in with the microphones to make a blended (matrix) recording. This technique takes advantage of mixing a time adjusted, usually dry PA feed with stereo microphones that capture the PA and the audience at the same time. Those are some of my favorite recordings. If all the elements cooperate the results can be very nice.

I don't record bands covertly. Every recording I share here was made with the permission of the band and is available for free download and streaming. I follow the concert tapers code of conduct which means the bands allow me to record their live performances as long as I don't profit from it and I share the recordings freely. If you have questions or concerns please contact me. My info is on the Contact page.


Wendy Woo brought her The Immigrant  album release tour to The Gold Room in CO Springs on April 13... 

 

Posted April 14, 2019 and last updated April 16, 2019 by: Chuck Miller 

 

Loveland, Colorado based singer-songwriter Wendy Woo released her latest solo album The Immigrant recently and held an album release party at The Gold Room in downtown Colorado Springs on April 13. The event featured Woo solo, singing accompanied with acoustic guitar and occasionally electric piano. There was no opening act. She played all of her new songs, some of her older fan favorites, and a few covers. She also provided some context for many of the songs and engaged with the audience frequently between songs.

 

The two-set show started a little after 8 PM with Woo playing the new album's title song "The Immigrant" followed by the second album song 'Dust Off the Piano." Then Woo moved to piano for "Vic's Coffee" the fourth album song which she said was about going to high school prom in Boulder. The new songs and the whole show was received well by the intimate audience of loyal Woo fans.

 

Hearing the songs played live before listening to the CD was instructive. I usually think hearing an artist play live is better than listening to their studio albums. I can tell a lot about an artist by observing how they play to a live audience, especially with new material, which fans have not heard yet. Woo handled this impeccably at this show I think partly because the new material is so good.

 

For me, the songs sounded great live without the various guests artists and additional instrumentation used on the studio release. Playing live, Woo draws you in while exposing herself in a way that keeps you involved and attentive. That was the case at The Gold Room on Saturday night. She even came out between sets to sign CDs and chat with her fans.

 

After the show, I listened to the album. The album is gorgeous, well played and expertly produced. I love the new material and the decision to use understated instrumentation, and the production choice of utilizing select guest musicians on some songs was spot on. I can see many of these songs making their way into rotation with the full band in the future. Standout album tracks are "Dust Off the Piano," "Plane To China," "The Weather," and "This Little Town," which was co-written with her husband Charles Snyder.

 

She included Stevie Nicks' iconic "Landslide" on the album. We've all heard covers of this song throughout the years. Woo really made it her own here. It felt perfect in the context of an autobiographical album like this. There really isn't a dull moment on The Immigrant. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes strong singer-songwriter music with thoughtful lyrics and great instrumental back-up. This one will be in heavy rotation on my music player for a while.

 

I made a recording and took some photos which can be accessed by following the links below.

 

  Wendy Woo (solo) ~ 2019-04-13 The Gold Room, Colorado Springs, CO

 

  Wendy Woo - 2019-04-13

 

Visit Wendy Woo's official web site: WendyWoo.com

Wendy Woo on Facebook: The Wendy Woo Band

 

 

 
Tedeschi Trucks Band's latest release Signs is a beautifully deep recording and their best album to date...

 

Posted March 22, 2019 and last updated March 22, 2019 by: Chuck Miller 

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band's fourth album Signs is easily the best album they have produced together and the best new album I've heard so far this year. Signs sounds warm, inviting, intimate, and organic perhaps owing to the decision to record it live at the married couple's Jacksonville, FL, home studio. You can feel the collaborative band presence on every gorgeous track.

 

The band endured heartbreaking loss while making this record. Derek Trucks' uncle, Butch Trucks, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band committed suicide and Tedeschi/Trucks' mentor, musician Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.), whom the album is dedicated to also passed away while they were busy recording Signs. Those losses are felt often throughout the music presented here. Then tragically, the band's gifted keyboardist and flute player Kofi Burbridge died on February 15, the very day the album was released to the public. Nevertheless, I don't hear Signs as a requiem. There is joy to be heard in these blues.

 

Derek Truck's singular electric guitar riffs get the recording started with "Signs, High Times." Soon after, the band joins and band leader Susan Tedeschi belts out, "Here I am - I did it to myself - But I still don't know what I'm here for," vocalist Mike Mattison adds, "Floating on my back - Hoping I end up dry" with Tedeschi continuing, "I got it right - Oh, to put you in my sights - But I don't have the fight to rage on - Something tells me," and back-up singer Mike Rivers testifies, "That maybe you're the one worth saving." The spiritually joyous opener gets things cooking quickly. I knew I was going to love this album less than one minute into my first hearing.

 

The somewhat funky (in a good, 1970's sort of way) "I'm Gonna Be There" continues the musical goodness with Tedeschi and back-up singers delivering heartfelt vocals while Trucks wails on electric guitar in sympathy with them. The musical effect is reminiscent of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman's playing on the Layla (and other assorted Love Songs) album. "When Will I Begin" returns us to the band's soulful blues with lyrics that allude to the album's cover art and set the tone for the rest of the 46-minute long blues/soul tome.

 

"Walk Through This Life" references 1940's era jazz, which is easy on my rock and roll ears, immediately followed by "Strengthen What Remains," which is more contemplative and features a bit of orchestration and a spattering of Kofi Burbridge's ethereal flute playing. I enjoy the song's simplicity, which comes from minimal instrumentation and Tedeschi's understated vocals.

 

Burbridge's solo piano twinkling begins and finishes "Still Your Mind," which conjures "Layla" again for me. It's my favorite track on the album. It contains everything I want in a Tedeschi Trucks Band song: Truck's wailing guitar, Tedeschi's soothing vocals, and the expert backing of their 12-piece band.

 

"Hard Case" is the most pop-oriented song on the 11-track album. I imagine this will be an excellent concert tune for the group. The whole band is actively participating, and I can see audience members getting out of their seats to dance to this one.

 

The eighth song, "Shame," starts out frenzied, reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band hit "Whipping Post" and moves between mellow and energetic a few times before ending on a tranquil choral note. "Shame" will demonstrate to a live audience how dynamically Tedeschi Trucks Band can play.

I've been listening to some of Bonnie Raitt's albums recently, and "All The World" reminds me of some of her songs. It's natural to draw similarities between Tedeschi and Raitt. Both are accomplished musicians, and both women sing the blues. Occasionally on the earlier TTB albums, I found Tedeschi's voice a tad bit too edgy, which is something I never hear when listening to Raitt's voice on her recordings. But, generally, I prefer Tedeschi's guitar playing over Raitt's because it sounds sweeter to me. Nonetheless, on this album Tedeschi's voice sounds great.

"They Don't Shine" sounds like unneeded filler to me on this album. It's not bad, so it doesn't bring the album down. But, it just doesn't match the highest level of the other songs or present anything interesting musically for me.

The greatest albums, and Signs is certainly a great album, end on a high note and that's true here, with the the last song, "The Ending." It's presented with only Tedeschi softly singing and playing acoustic guitar with gentle, occasional guitar accompaniment by her husband Derek. Distilling the grand power of a 12-piece band down to its two principles is enthralling. This aptly titled finale accomplishes that. I revel in the nuance of Tedeschi's plaintively wailing the lyrics which end the album: "His guitar is laughing and filling the room - Everybody's smiling while he's singing his blues - It's hard to understand but I think he understood - Yes, he knew - Yes, he knew, oh, he knew - The ending."

 

 

 

The Beat goes pre-Valentine's with Stompin' George Eldon and his band at the Gold Room in CO Springs...

 

Posted February 16, 2019 and last updated February 16, 2019 by: Chuck Miller 

 

KCOS Digital Media brought Stompin' George Eldon and his four-piece band to The Gold Room in Colorado Springs on February 13 for The Beat Goes On global internet radio show. Hosts Mark White and Lisa Carns interviewed Eldon and the band and entertained the intimate but lively group of music fans between songs.

 

The show started at 7 PM with the band playing their originals "The Stars Have Amnesia," "Barefoot (Ol' Time Happy)," and "Rainbow Song."

The sound in the venue was great. The band played well, though I felt like the radio show format sometimes slowed their momentum. But, of course the hosts made it fun, and it was great to hear Eldon interviewed in depth about his songs and tell some interesting stories. I left feeling like I knew Eldon and his music much better than I had before.

 

Early highlights included hearing the new instrumental "The Cabana Song" and the confessional host chat after the song "Naked in the Graveyard." Of course, Chrys Bocast did her best to feed the hungry crowd during "Saltine Cracker."


There was also a Valentine's Day themed haunted house giveaway by My Bloody Valentine. That got host Lisa Carns out into the audience asking couples how long they'd been together. One lucky couple won free admission to the HellScream Haunted House on North Hancock Ave. After that, the band launched into the audience participation song, one of my favorites, "Johnny Depp." "Stoned Brown Girl" was also performed impeccably later in the set.


I've wanted to record Eldon since I first saw the band play at Mother Muff's in Old Colorado City last year. Hearing them play all originals for the whole night was a rare treat. The event ended at 9 PM with a strange and inspired pairing of the chorus of Buck Owen's classic "PFFT You Were Gone" with the original "Talk Some More Shit" which left the crowd wanting more. That certainly ended the set on a high note.

 

The two hour long professionally produced video show was broadcast live and is archived on YouTube and on the KCOS Digital Media web site if you'd like to check it out. I enjoyed watching it and think it will be worth your effort to see if you're interested in the band.

 

Links to my audio recording and some photos I took during the event are below.

 

  Stompin' George Eldon ~ 2019-02-13 The Gold Room, Colorado Springs, CO

  Stompin' George Eldon - 2019-02-13

 

 

 
Colorado Springs tribute to Bob Dylan at Stargazer's Theatre & Event Center on Friday, January 18...

 

Posted January 19, 2019 and last updated February 2, 2019 by: Chuck Miller 

 

Stargazer's Theatre & Events Center hosted the Colorado Springs tribute to Bob Dylan on Friday, January 18. The music started a little after 7 PM with Lindsay & Jeremy Facknitz who kicked the night off with a transcendent rendition of "Boots Of Spanish Leather." This was my first time seeing this talented duo, and they were easily my favorite act of the night. Lindsay's voice is clear, bright, and chill-inducing at times. Jeremy's guitar accompaniment was spot on and set the standard for the rest of the performers. On this song Lindsey reminded me of Natalie Maines, the lead singer for the Dixie Chicks.

 

Other first set highlights were Mike Judge's rendition of "I Shall Be Released" and Craig Walter's powerful takes on "Queen Jane Approximately" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."

 

I was there primarily to see Chuck Snow's performance. I planned on splitting after his portion of the show, but I enjoyed the other bands so much, I stayed for the rest of the night. Unfortunately, each group only played four songs. As a consequence, they were all turning over the stage at about the time they started getting warmed up. Fittingly, I thoroughly enjoyed Snow and his four-piece band's rendition of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," which ended the first set with the crowd wanting more.

 

Chris and Deb Mitguard got the second set started right with "I Am A Lonesome Hobo" from John Wesley Harding. Jason Miller's renditions of "Shelter From the Storm," "The Man In Me," and "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" were appreciated by me and the eager Bob Dylan fans. Miller only played three songs, but they were some of my favorites of the second set.

 

One of Dylan's most popular tunes "Blowin' In the Wind" was performed impeccably by K. J. Braithwaite, who also offered up the crowd favorite "Mr. Tambourine Man." Braithwaite's focus and command of the material was impressive. He was aptly rewarded with some of the most enthusiastic audience response of the night.

 

Stargazer's Theatre owners John and Cindy Hooton finished the individual live band performances with stirring readings of "All I Really Want To Do," "Shooting Star" and two others. I'd never seen them perform together. I thought they were very good. John Hooton's finger-picking guitar licks held up well against some of the more seasoned musician's  work.  A video taped rendition of "Chimes Of Freedom" by Anglum, Mock & Greene who couldn't make it to the live show played on the screen above the stage as the night's performers gathered together for the all-star last song of the night. A very disjointed but still fun version of "Like A Rolling Stone" capped the tribute at around 10:45 and sent the joyous Dylan fans out into the cold Colorado night.

 

I recorded the whole event, but I currently only have permission from Chuck Snow and John and Cindy Hooton to share their performances. That recording and some photos I took of each group can be accessed by following the links below.

 

  John & Cindy Hooton ~ 2019-01-18 Stargazer's Theatre, Colorado Springs, CO

  Chuck Snow ~ 2019-01-18 Stargazer's Theatre, Colorado Springs, CO

  John & Cindy Hooton - 2019-01-18
  K. J. Braithwaite - 2019-01-18
  Jason Miller - 2019-01-18
 
The Mitguards - 2019-01-18
 Chuck Snow - 2019-01-18  
 Craig Walter - 2019-01-18
 
Mike Judge - 2019-01-18
 
Lindsay & Jeremy Facknitz - 2019-01-18

 

 

 

Reflecting on why I like to make live music recordings and looking forward to doing more of that in 2019...

 

Posted and updated by: Chuck Miller January 1, 2019

I usually like to bring in the New Year while listening to live music. I can't actually remember the last New Year's Eve that I wasn't at a show or watching a pay-per-view event at home on the couch. I just didn't feel the need to get another live show in before 2018 ended. As luck would have it though, just before I went to bed last night I saw a Late Show with Steven Colbert re-run that featured Jeff Tweedy from Wilco singing "Let's Go Rain" from his new solo album WARM. That was a pleasant surprise and fitting end to 2018.

Looking back, I had a satisfying year, musically. I heard and recorded some new bands and attended concerts performed by old favorites. The older I get, the more I appreciate live music. The quality of live sound now plays a large role in that for me. PA systems, even in small clubs, sound much better than they did when I was young. I heard plenty of poorly mixed performances when I first started going to concerts. That was a turn-off. Now, I expect to be able to hear the words the singers are singing and also hear all the instruments clearly. These days, even small bands doing their own sound from the stage can achieve that. Stompin' George Eldon's band does that every time I see them. That's part of what makes a band worth recording -- good sound! When I started to hear really good sound at concerts, especially from the Grateful Dead in the 1980's, that's when I got interested in making recordings. That's what led me here.

When I buy a concert ticket or pay a cover charge to see a band play these days, I expect to hear high quality sound. That was the case with my last concert in 2018, which was the December 29 Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven double bill at the Soiled Dove Underground in Denver. I've seen both bands many times. I love their music. Both bands played very well, of course. But they also sounded great! It was easy to make a quality recording. You can read my review and listen to the recordings I made by following the link here if you're interested.

I'm looking forward to 2019. So far, I have tickets and plan to see moe., Big Head Todd and the Monsters, and Toad the Wet Sprocket at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. I'd love to see Wilco this year. I haven't made a personally satisfactory recording of them yet. Hopefully they'll play somewhere in Colorado, and I'll get the opportunity. Closer to home, there is a Bob Dylan tribute this month featuring among others, some friends of mine at Stargazer's Theatre and Event Center. Woodshed Red, a band I recently discovered and really like, is playing at that same venue in February. I'll record that performance. I want to record Stompin' George Eldon's band soon, too. They are so unique. I want to expose them to more people.

I also want to record some more diverse music in 2019. I see a lot of jam bands, mainly because they tend to be more open to being recorded. Contact me by email here if you know of a great local band I haven't covered yet. After all, that's part of my mission: to highlight and expose people to good live local music.

Well, those are some of my wishes for the coming year. I'm excited after learning about some of the events that have been announced already. If 2019 is anything like 2018 was, I'll be happy and busy making recordings and sharing them here with you. Cheers. 

 

 

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