Experience this veteran band captured live on a magical night.
MCB Live- The Story
When one of the Michael Cleary Band’s fans asked if his brother could come and record us, they said sure. It turns out his brother was Pete Nenortas of Satronen Sound out of Maine,, and he showed up at Black Eyed Sally's with a full blown Protools multitrack recording setup. Not only were the tracks recorded in high fidelity and with great care, but the band also happened to have all their knobs dialed right and rose to the occasion with one of their most memorable performances. The sound, the vibe, the audience, everything just clicked, and when Chuck Rubano of Capture Productions heard the tracks, he knew he was listening to something special. Eagerly wanting to be a part of this project, Chuck painstakingly mixed the tunes with his vintage Trident mixing board in his Protools equipped studio. After some finishing touches by Dana White at Specialized Mastering, all the stars were aligned, and the result is MCB Live.
What you have here on this cd is a nearly perfect snapshot of what the Michael Cleary Band is all about. Great songs, monstrous solos, epic jams, funky grooves, wacky humor; all in all a diverse, joyous musical stew played and sung by talented musicians who have been performing together for nearly 16 years.
Starting with the impassioned vocal performance of Ed Corvo singing “Never Gonna Let” which features some blistering guitar work by MC, they then break it down into a dynamic, funky version of “All To You” which climaxes with a Hendix inspired groove where the band literally ends up giving its all to you.
Following the catchy radio-ready arrangement of “Stand” the band breaks into a raucous version of the fan favorite, “Zydeco Girl” where Vince Delaria plays every note he knows and then some! Vincenzo!
The band then delivers a smoldering version of “Funky 16” where Ed implores the listener to feel the groove with a veiled threat but by then the audience has been willingly taken captive for the ride.
What can one say about “World Like This” besides Paul Bozzi! Paul Bozzi! Paul Bozzi! The band’s illustrious percussionist performs an epic version of this MCB classic, which opens with a bombastic drum battle between himself and drummer John Corvo. The breakdown in the middle is classic MCB with a hypnotic, spacey jam underneath a sing-along chant while Paul “Pops” Bozzi rants and raves!
On any given night the band will spontaneously break into songs and jams that they’ve never played before, and this night was no exception. The best example of this is in the solo section of the next tune “Go To Bed” where they go from a reggae flavored Jeff Beck melody, backed by a Police inspired high hat rhythm, into a Zappa-esque rock montage climaxed by a Ted Nugent riff all without missing a beat. It was never played before and will never be played again but the tracks were rolling to prove that it really happened. And to top it all off they seamlessly segue into the closer of the evening, “Child Inside,” a song they’ve been playing for over 15 years but still deliver with an enthusiasm and a driving energy as if they wrote it last week.
There is a special energy and camaraderie that makes each MCB performance fun and exciting, and all the people involved in this project have done a masterful job in making “MCB Live “ the next best thing to being there.
Check out these reviews/ comments raving about MCB Live!
These guys have been dishing out their R&B/blues (with a bit of funk tossed in to get the rumps shaking) for nearly 20 years. Their latest album, recorded live at Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford, is a fine recording. It has lots of solos that actually work, some extend-o-jams that keep the crowd up. It's all that you'd expect from a established, polished band. 3/14 Craig Gilbert/New Haven Advocate
Live records are typically best saved for bands that have either a tremendous live show like Kiss or for bands that have a legacy that warrants as much ala The Rolling Stones. So reviewing a live record from Hartford act The Michael Cleary Band is a bit of a pre-loaded gun. The Michael Cleary Band has been carving out their niche as the areas preeminent blues-based rock band for almost 16 years now and they are great at what they do: check the solo at the tail end of Never Gonna Let, the harmonies on Stand, or pitch perfect classic rock stand-in Zydeco. The live setting suits them and it´s the relative coziness of the venue that yields a hominess as you have fans squabbling, the band´s inner dialogues and if you listen hard enough you can hear the clinking of pint glasses between sets. 3/21 David Lewis/Play New Haven magazine
Michael Cleary Band ~ MCB Live
For the uninitiated, MCB Live is a great introduction to the Michael Cleary Band, the closest you´ll come to experiencing them live. For area fans who´ve followed MCB´s near 16-year road of music-making in our region, it´s a cool souvenir to be savored, a colorful snapshot of these musicians completely in their element.
Recorded at Hartford´s own Black-Eyed Sally´s, MCB Live delivers an evening´s worth of funkified songs capable of moving both hearts and feet. Brothers Ed and John Corvo lay down and power the grooves here with soul and precision, abetted by Paul Bozzi´s engaging percussion; keysman Vince Delaria at times conjures up the late great Kenny Kirkland with his wondrously colorful lines; and Cleary presides over his ensemble with soulfully agile vocals and guitar.
Groovier than the Allman Brothers and more riffalicious than Tower of Power, MCB´s sound is an audibly tempting brew seasoned with skill and feeling. High points "Zydeco Girl," TOP-esque groove-fest "Funky 16" and closer "Child Inside" joyfully illustrate their musical bond is as energetic and entertaining as ever. Catch them live in Middletown on April 6th at La Boca. Guy-Michael Grande/Ear Candy/Rare Reminder
This disc RIPS!!! The solo on All To You is ridiculous. Alan Veniscofsky / Rane
5 Stars - Incredible live performance...
This disc is a great example of a soulful, incredibly talented band at their absolute best. Mike and the boys sound so tight, you can feel the energy on this disc...it's a great representation of how powerful they are live! Lee Sylvestre / Bill Carlton Band
I enjoyed the heck out of your live performance ...and certain parts really brought a smile to face. Elliott Randall / Steely Dan / www.elliott-randall.com/
The Michael Cleary Band
I am dating myself when I say that the Michael Cleary Band is more my parents’ music than my own. Influences like Little Feat, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and the Allman Brothers guide their tunes. However, where their previous discs left me cold, MCB Live has finally convinced me that these guys are worth noting. And you know what did it for me? The lyrics. They’re a great working-class band with a great live show. Dan Berry, Hartford Advocate
The Michael Cleary band is a Hartford institution. They are celebrating their 18th year of making original blues/rock music with a twist and have been called Hartford's answer to the Allman Brothers. The MCB is a perennial favorite in the Hartford Advocate's reader's poll and previous winners of the "Best Rock" and "Best Blues" categories. They have played with Tower of Power, Little Feat, Average White Band, Joan Osbourne, Peter Wolf, NRBQ and countless other regional and national acts. Their previous release, "Tales from the Cup," was released in August 2004 and their current release "This Life" is available now.