July 12, 2005

Acoustic Alchemy Creates Magic At Seattle Show

Acoustic Alchemy displays its strong points in concert.

AcousticAlchemy_live.jpgThe last time the veteran smooth jazz band Acoustic Alchemy performed at Seattle’s Jazz Alley, just last year, audiences were treated to a trio setting. When the band wrapped up its current U.S. tour on July 10 at the same venue, the band was in full force. That meant the place was jumping.

Acoustic Alchemy is led by guitarists Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale, the latter who became a permanent member after the unfortunate death of Nick Webb several years ago. Gilderdale brings a rock edge to the band’s live performances, which is not surprising when you consider that honed his chops jamming in a rock band. Gilderdale’s rock pedigree was evident from the get go as he laid down plenty of rock riffs throughout “Shelter Island Drive” and “Georgia Peach.” Gilderdale can sing and scat, too, which is evident on the band’s first single called “Say Yeah” from its current CD called American/English. In concert, lucky fans are treated to several minutes of scatting instead of the few measly seconds on the radio track.

Original member Carmichael, of course, is a treat to behold as well. While Gilderdale uses a pick, Carmichael prefers the guitar au natural – he plays it like a bass with his fingers. It looks painful, but he’s surely built up major protective calluses during his worldwide jaunts.

Together, Carmichael and Gilderdale complement each other nicely, never more so than on “Detroit Shuffle” when their give-and-take sounded lifted straight from the movie Deliverance. On that song, dedicated to the Motown style, they threw in a few snippets of “How Sweet It Is” and “Jimmy Mack.”

The duo was backed admirably by the touring band: Frank Felix on bass, Eddie M. on sax, Greg Grainger on drums and Fred White on keyboards.

The lads are now back in London, but will return to the States in September. Wherever you are, you deserve to catch a show by the legendary Acoustic Alchemy.

Posted by Brian Soergel at July 12, 2005 5:34 AM