ALIVE AT THE DEEP BLUES FEST recaptures the loose and spontaneous feel of live albums produced in the Golden Age of rock’n’roll.
The album was recorded live in the summer of 2012 at the Deep Blues Festival during three glorious (sold-out) days of great music, Southern-style BBQ and camaraderie between musicians, fans and friends alike, far from the corporate sterility of many larger modern music fests. Chris Johnson’s festival successfully revived the communal spirit of late ‘60s and early ‘70s music gatherings, evoking the vibe of a large summer picnic with family, friends, good food and great music.
BUFFALO KILLERS and RADIO MOSCOW turned in super heavy sets soaked in psychedelia and reverb, while LEE BAINS III & The GLORY FIRES fiercely ripped through their show with a blistering set of songs steeped in Southern rock, R&B, soul, gospel and punk. BRIAN OLIVE and his backing band melded soulful R&B with technicolor garage pop for their early daytime set, while LEFT LANE CRUISER, HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE, and JOHN THE CONQUEROR perhaps kept closest to the Deep Blues curriculum with their respectively raunchy and heavily amplified modern interpretations of rural gutbucket Delta Blues.
Grab a copy of Alive At The Deep Blues Fest, invite a bunch of good friends over for some food & drink, and PLAY IT LOUD!
If you appreciate raw, passionate, soulful rock with an edge, you can’t go wrong with this record (or any of the compiled bands’ individual releases). In fact, this is the rare live album that I actually think works well as an introduction to all the bands. Of course, existing fans will find this record to be a great treat. I usually think of live records as novelty pieces, but “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest” has much substance to go along with the style. – VINYL UNDER REVIEW
Alive Naturalsound has built a stunning back catalogue that presaged and launched today's back-to-basics garage blues-soul scene, harking backwards but always looking forwards.
Seven acts span 13 tracks on an album recorded over a few days (June 29-July 1, 2012, to be precise) at a festival at Minneapolis in the American Midwest. Even my maths suggests all the bands aren't going to get equal time but there's more than enough to spread around and give you a good feel for what went down. – I-94 BAR
Be forewarned, boys and girls: running your thumbnail through the plastic wrap and pulling Alive At The Deep Blues Fest out of the package is like opening a half-gallon of bourbon and throwing the cap out the window. You touch this album off and things are going to happen … Recorded at Bayport, Minnesota’s Deep Blues Fest this past summer, Alive is a sampler of rocking blues at its best, with plenty o’ grease and grit and growl. You might expect that a compilation album with seven different bands would have its low points, but not here: the energy never slacks. Every human on this album plays his living ass off. – JAMBANDS
As a primer for Contemporary Blues-Rock 101, things don’t get much better than this. – David Maine / POPMATTERS
Alive bands Radio Moscow, Buffalo Killers, John the Conqueror and others bring the rock in a big, groovy, heavy, get-high-in-a-field-and-do-that-dance way. – ROCTOBER
All seven bands on this 13 track live compilaton blast out powerful performances, greeted by cheering crowds, and the quality of the recordings is clear but not too clean. By the end of Alive At the Deep Blues Fest you'll be sitting awash in a haze of fuzzed out, loud and sun-soaked blues rock at its mots raucous and amped up. Incredible musicians and blistering performances, this collection really comes alive and jumps out of your speakers. – Ian Chaddock / VIVE LE ROCK
If you love the blues and rock n roll; this CD is the perfect soundtrack for trashing your motel room, getting a speeding ticket, or trying to pick your ex-girlfriend's mom in a dive bar. Pure electric booze-fueled hedonism! – Jay Scheffler / BOSTON BLUES SOCIETY
This is part neo-classic rock underground fest, and part showcase for Alive’s current roster. Alive’s version of “deep blues” has less to do with genre puritanism and more about spirit, which is why decidedly non-bluesy rockers Buffalo Killers, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires and Brian Olive join more overtly (but still a long way from purist) bluesy garage/punk/power rockers John the Conqueror, Left Lane Cruiser, Radio Moscow and Henry’s Funeral Shoe. – Michel Toland Top 10 / THE BIG TAKEOVER
A flashback to weekends at the college where everyone was sitting on blankets and passing around aromatic cigarettes rather than sandwiches with barbecue sauce. For others, here's 1966 in an alternative universe updated to 2012. – BLOGCRITICS
For lovers of hard hitting electric blues howl and growl, there's a blessed passion and fire in these performances. Particularly impressive are the Buffalo Killers and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires. – PERFORMER MAGAZINE
The Deep Blues Festival takes place every June in Bayport, MN and is arguably one of the best alternative and outside blues festivals in the world. This live recording is well recorded and the collection of artists is top notch. – WE GOT BLUES
This is a record that happily does double duty: It's a great document of what sounds like one of the best summer music festivals I've ever heard of, but it's also a really good label sampler. – WYMA
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Not since Woodstock’s most raucously recorded sludgefest moments have I heard such a deliriously raw recitation of down ’n’ dirty skuzztone blooze, the likes of which you hardly hear anymore. That’s why you owe it to yourself to scoff a copy and crank it up until your delicate little shell-like ears remind you why you allowed yourself to get picked up and seduced by this kind of hard rockin’ harlot in the first place. – Jeffrey Morgan's MEDIA BLACKOUT
It's super rock without posture, it's dirty ragged blues without a society, it's (D) All of the above. Get some. – REEL DEEP BLUES
It’s great to hear these bands together (even if only through the magic of editing), offering the numerous shades of two- and three-man blues that is their label’s stock-in-trade. – HYPERBOLIUM
Alive at The Deep Blues Fest is put together with perfection as every band here scratches that blues itch in its’ own special way. – THE FIRE NOTE
An excellent primer to inoculate yourself with the talent Alive has in its stables. – The Triggerman / SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC
Although recording live at a festival can be tricky in terms of getting a good sound, this record does a nice job in doing so. And due to the fact that it is recorded live, one of the highlights includes a nine-minute jam from the Buffalo Killers. – SLUG
"Really captured the general feeling of the festival. You can hear the dampness of barbecue-covered guitar strings and fingertips," says Andy Gabbard of Buffalo Killers, who kick off the disc with a pair of rollicking, psychedelia-laced blues-rock nuggets. – CITY PAGES
After listening to this LP of howling electric guitars, and feedback, and thick, dense, heavy blues rock, my brain wasn’t fried, but it was definitely scrambled. I had to sit back at the breakfast table and have a slice of bacon, and some milk before I asked for seconds. – THE RECORD CHANGER
Alive at Deep Blues Fest is chock full of big yellow undigested nuggets poking out of that big brown log cabin floater! – Christopher Duda / SUGARBUZZMAGAZINE
If you like your blues big, bad, live and loud, then Alive At The Deep Blues Fest is for you. You can just smell the hot amplifier tubes and feel the mid-summer sun beating down on you with this collection recorded in Bayport, Minnesota just a few months ago. It's a sizzling set of winners taken from a weekend of heavy-duty electric blues that reminds us how good it feels when the blues get down and dirty. – RUSTZINE