Published on Sunday, 31 July 2011 20:00
Written by Will
||Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
||Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
||Horizon Music Group
|By It Now On
Real music played by real musicians!
Sometimes life is good. My first concert DVD review. I could not have gotten off to a better start. Filmed January 16, 2011 at 21 Daniel Street in Milford, CT., Live Hive, presents Christine Ohlman and band Rebel Montez, doing what they do best, entertaining a live audience. This is meant as no offense to all of the fine studio musicians out there, but these folks are minstrels, the kind of musicians who spend their lives on the road, and are at their best in a live setting. These are rock 'n' roll road warriors, constantly on the move from place to place, defined by sound they revel in sharing their gifts with thirsty ears, wherever they my be.
Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez are an American musical treasure. Digging deep into many different styles for influence, the band meld rhythm & blues with soul, adding a dash of gospel to a rock and roll foundation. The result is classic roots rock, it sounds, looks, and even smells American. The kind of authentic, urgent music heard pouring out of dive bars all over the country. Places filled with working class people anxious to put the grind behind them, Christine's music grabs the ear, forcefully speaking to the soul, it tells you its going to be alright, at least here and now.
Although Christine plays guitar, her voice is her primary instrument. Smooth and sultry, she is at once capable of crooning with the best, yet possesses the power to tear off a roof whenever the mood strikes. While Christine charms the audience, Rebel Montez seamlessly follow every move, providing her powerhouse voice a soulful palette of precise instrumentation. The resulting songs take on a life of their own. Stories are told and secrets are shared. This is music that fills you up, almost commanding you get up and move.
Featuring Cliff Goodwin, formerly a member of Joe Cocker's band on lead guitar, Michael Colbath on bass, and Larry Donahue behind the drums, Rebel Montez provide both firm bottom end and the shred behind Christine's voice. The combination is deadly and classy. For anyone unfamiliar with Christine and Rebel Montez, Live Hive
, is a fantastic introduction to their sound, style, and attitude.
Featuring songs from all six records, Live Hive highlights seventeen of the Beehive Queen's best, interspersed with outtakes of Christine discussing career, collaborators, and basis of some of her favorite tunes and the stories behind them. Instead of breaking the action these interludes provide viewers with a better understanding of where the music comes from. Be it ass kicking rock and roll, 'Bring It With You When You Come', mid-tempo roots rock with a gospel flavor, 'The Storm', or soulful ballad, 'The Wish', Christine and Rebel Montez deliver the goods on every track.
My only regret, no encore (on the DVD), other than that, this is a pitch perfect recreation of a night out, filled with good company. Christine's guests for the evening included unofficial fifth member of Rebel Montez, Andy York of John Mellencamp's band on guitar, and New England vocal sensations The Sin Sisters, Janis Ingarra, Kathy Kessler, and Patti Rahl, contributing back-up vocals.
As I try to summarize without gushing, two words keep coming to mind, authentic and joyous. This is real music played by real musicians. There are no corporate underlying reasons for the music made here. It is offered honestly, without caveats. Traveling from place to place bringing the gospel of life and love through song, Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez represent everything that is good about live music. Now stop reading my long winded rant and go get yourself your own copy of, Live Hive, you can't have mine!