Five Man Acoustic Jam

What do you get if you take away heavy distortion, the big amplifiers, and special effects? You get Tesla doing one of the most classic shows ever captured on tape. Tesla, who is named after the band’s idol, Nikola Tesla, is one of today’s most inventive bands. They’ve always done things their own way. Their handling of the musical and lyrical content of their songs is superb and it shows on this album. With the aid of only few acoustic guitars, a Paul McCartney-styled bass, a piano, and a small drum set, Tesla puts on the show of the year. The show was recorded at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, one of the five shows Tesla performed. Incidentally, one of these shows was performed here in Boston at the Channel. Along with nine of their own songs, Tesla performed five cover tunes: “Truckin'” by the Grateful Dead, “We Can Work it Out” by the Beatles, “Lodi” from Credence Clearwater Revival, “Mother’s Little Helper” the Rolling Stones, and “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band. High points of this album are the ten minute version of “Love Song,” which features one of the album’s few (and by far the best) electric solos. Other high points are “Paradise,” which features Brian Wheat on piano, and “Tommy’s Down Home,” featuring Tommy Skeoch on vocals. All around, this is an excellent album. Definitely an album worth buying for any Tesla fan or any fan of good rock and roll. n

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