Nation.com CD Review
Silber & Friends, "Live at Strings 2005", by Norman
L. Beberman, GuitarNation.com staff writer
Marc Silber is a direct descendant of American music as practiced
by the likes of Woody Guthrie & Bob Dylan, as well as one
of the very few remaining living links to bluesmen such as Son
House, Bukka White & Rev. Gary Davis. Marc first came to the
fore in Greenwich Village in the folk movement of the 1960's,
&, in one way or another, has traveled the world as an informal
While a complete history of Marc & his music are beyond the
scope of this review, it was with great pleasure that I received
a copy of "Live at Strings", featuring Marc & friends
Jody Stecher, Suzy Thompson & Hot Tuna alum Will Scarlett
Marc's newest CD has 3 of my favorite things: 1) Strings in Emeryville,
CA; 2) his musical & personal friends; &, 3) Marc himself.
Strings is the brainchild of Bay-area guitarist Joey Lent &
is a Private Club of, by & for musicians. For more info, go
Two-time Grammy nominated string wizard Jody Stecher & fiddle
goddess Suzy Thompson's tasteful playing are the perfect complement
to Marc's singing & guitar-playing. To hear any one of these
musicians in such an intimate environment as Strings would be
a night to remember. Thankfully, for the rest of us who weren't
there, we can experience & enjoy this once in a lifetime musical
Marc really nails blues standards "99 Year Blues" &
"Hesitation Blues" before launching into the social
commentary that is "Bourgeois Blues". Picking (pun intended)
& choosing their moments, Marc, Jody, Suzy & Will move
effortlessly through solo & group playing, showcasing musical
skills that have been finely honed over the years. This 13-song
CD concludes with Marc's original instrumental "The Imbecile
Daughter of King John the Simp", which highlights Marc's
pure guitar playing.
Between "99 Year Blues" & "The Imbecile Daughter
...", we are treated to some original compositions like "Coffee
Blues" which was written in Morocco if my memory serves me
correctly, a few tunes that Marc has interpreted to incorporate
his musical experiences such as "Louisiana Jambalaya".
His soulful versions of "The Dying Hobo", "Dancing
With Tears In My Eyes", "Pearlee Blues" & "In
the Jailhouse Now" are played with such emotion that nothing
is left on the table.
I am such a huge fan of Marc's, that it is downright difficult,
if not impossible, to pick a favorite track. Having said that
"Dark Road Blues" is a highlight of "Live at Strings
2005" because Marc, Jody, Suzy & Will play it so fluidly,
giving everyone a chance to stretch out musically while at the
same time conjuring up images of Mance Lipscomb playing it; a
superb example of how Marc can take an old classic song &
breathe new life into it with his highly original musical perspective.
"Live at Strings 2005" is Marc at his musical best;
playing with life-long friends in a familiar, intimate environment.
Simultaneously thought provoking & fun from beginning to end.
Marc & his friends have given us an authentic, meaningful
& historic celebration of music that can only come from the
hearts & souls of musicians who play for the love of playing
& for the love of music. Listen to it & you will see what
True to his generous nature, Marc has graciously given me permission
to upload an mp3 of Dark Road Blues; so here it is! Enjoy!!!