Deep Blue Sun - Live at Tree Sound

Deep Blue Sun's musical and emotional depth is perfectly captured on Live at Tree Sound.
The combination of high-quality studio recording equipment and personnel with the band's preferred concert environment helped them create the ultimate jam album situation. Their explosive improvisations and tight performances remain intact, bolstered by the energy of the stage and crowd, while the sound quality and instrument separation are raised a level above the normal "live album" recording practice. It's the only way this veteran band could have presented listeners with an accurate portrayal of their shows - utilize the most unique recording facility in the south to kill the studio and live birds with one very diverse stone.

The Georgia sextet boasts a telepathic grasp of each other's habits, and one gets the impression that they couldn't perform their material with any less tightness or vibrancy if they tried. Overall, the sound blends the stratospheric elements of Haight-inspired hippie rock with the muddy rawness of the southern blues, found in the dirty guitar tone, distinct organ swells, crashing drums, and vocal honesty. Songs like "Afterglow" and "Not Wastin' Time" are spiced with flavors as wide-ranging as New Orleans, Muscle Shoals, New York City, and San Francisco. The band moves seamlessly as one mass of psychedelic color - guitar solos are buoyed by entertaining drumming, keyboard work shades every aspect of each song in moody hues, and bass gives your mind a spin as each member locks into place with stunning precision, never overshadowing each other.

It's easy to see why Deep Blue Sun's shows are just as notorious for the communal atmosphere and everyone's-invited party vibe as they are for the pyrotechnic jam-rock found on Live at Tree Sound. Their tightness and professionalism make it easy for the audience to let go and ride their impressive waves of sound.

--Bryan Rodgers