L.A. GUNS – Acoustic Gypsy Live (2011)


L.A. Guns (Tracii Guns version) is releasing an acoustic album of greatest hits called “Acoustic Gypsy Live”, recorded in Los Angeles last February.
All the songs you would expect are included, like the classics “Never Enough” and “The Ballad Of Jayne”.

According to the liner notes, when Tracii Guns was approached to do an acoustic album live, he was terrified because he hadn’t done an acoustic performance since grade school.
However Tracii was up for the challenge and delivered, bringing on crowd-pleaser Jizzy Pearl on vocals, Chad Stewart on drums and Danny Nordahl on bass.
Special guests were Teddy ‘Zig Zag’ Andreadis on keyboards and harmonica, former bassist Muddy Stardust who performed as a second guitarist and backup vocals-percussionist Doni Gray.

The opening track, “Crystal Eyes”, begins with keyboard effects and percussion which drew in the audience as Tracii entered in on guitar while Jizzy Pearl sang with backing vocals done by the remainder of the group. This song still possess that haunting vibe and it’s a fantastic choice for an acoustic makeover.
“One Way Ticket” is filled with vibrant guitar leads and drum rolls that move across the variation of tom-toms.
“Electric Gypsy” offers a great rhythm section, leads and percussion. I can feel the energy pulling together as the band becomes heavier and the track ends a roar from the crowd. Tracii’s solo provide the listener a whole new feel for the melodic flow of this song.

In the middle of their set, they break into their hit, “Never Enough”. Tracii does a fine job fulfilling all the leads on acoustic that are normally done on his electric. The band seems to be enjoying themselves while performing this piece delivering a great sound acoustically as they would have done electrically.
The band does the same for “Over The Edge”, with pounding drums and screaming vocals by Jizzy. It’s one of those songs that always pack a kick to the head regardless of the format, and it doesn’t disappoint here.

Throwing the listener off is the new song “Little Soldier”, which is not what you’d expect from a glam metal band like L.A. Guns. This country-flavored track is surprisingly good, especially when a harmonica is thrown into the mix, the audience seems to have enjoyed it as they scream for joy at the end.
L.A. Guns performs a couple of covers; “These Arms Are Mine” by Otis Redding and Boudleaux Bryant’s “Love Hurts” made famous by Nazareth, the latter in a great form.
The album nears the end with “The Ballad Of Jayne” and of course “Rip And Tear” which leaves their fans crying for more.

“Acoustic Gypsy Live” offers a refreshing, melodious approach to these L.A. Guns classic tunes.
Plenty of bands have experimented with the acoustic set here and there; however most don’t realize the vulnerability that accompanies the transition from performing these songs in hard rock format to such a stripped down, intimate version.
Luckily, L.A. Guns didn’t added overdubs, the show was pressed on CD as it was performed.
On this kind of recordings there is no where to hide. No effects or over amplification to gloss over imperfection. It is simply musician and instrument, where true talent is allowed to rise to the surface.
And for the most part, on “Acoustic Gypsy Live” L.A. Guns accomplishes the job.

01. Crystal Eyes
02. One Way Ticket
03. Decide
04. Dreamtime
05. Electric Gypsy
06. It’s Over Now
07. Never Enough
08. Over The Edge
09. Little Soldier (New Song 2011)
10. Sex Action
11. These Arms Of Mine (Otis Redding Cover)
12. Love Hurts (Nazereth Cover)
13. The Ballad Of Jayne
14. Rip And Tear

Jizzy Pearl – Vocals
Tracii Guns – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Muddy Stardust – Guitars
Danny Nordhal – Guitars, Acoustic Bass
Chad Stewart – Drums, Percussion
Doni Gray – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Teddy Zig Zag Andreadis – Keyboards, Harmonica


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