Off the charts: CD reviews of new releases by Sisters and Laetiria Sadier, and a Stevie Ray Vaughan reissue

Master King meets mentor Vaughan in blues summit from'83
2010-12-10T00:00:00Z Off the charts: CD reviews of new releases by Sisters and Laetiria Sadier, and a Stevie Ray Vaughan reissueBy CHRIS JORGENSEN Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
December 10, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan

“In Session”

Stax/Concord

Hearing it is one thing.

This classic 1983 meeting between Stevie Ray Vaughan and his mentor Albert King has been circulating for more than a decade.

But seeing it is quite another.

There's Vaughan, still in his 20s, showing off a little and clearly in awe of his legendary teacher, Albert King.

And there's King, wearing a three-piece suit, smoking a pipe and slinging his high-voltage Gibson Flying V, proving why he's worthy of the adulation.

Weirdly, this is the first time video from that live Canadian music TV series, “In Session,” has seen the light of day. Along with the DVD, this two-disc set includes a CD that adds three previously unreleased tracks.

Backed by a sizzling trio, Vaughan lets King call the shots, slowing “Born Under a Bad Sign” to a smoldering pace, trading solos, tossing each other ideas and smirking broadly to see where those ideas go.

During the long intro to “Texas Flood,” King gets rapping about their early days together, the young Vaughan sitting in on gigs at jumping Texas blues clubs like Antones in Austin.

If there's any resentment that King never achieved the kind of fame and fortune that either his big brother BB or Vaughan achieved, there isn't a hint of it here, or anywhere. King gets his props from Vaughan and it's obvious the two admire each other and that every electric guitar bluesman owes something to King.

Sisters

“Ghost Fits”

Narnack Records

The Brooklyn duo Sisters has made a beautiful mess of “Ghost Fits.”

The band's debut album is low on everything but volume, fuzz and hooks, dragging the kind of forceful lo-fi rock perfected by bands like Sonic Youth, Pavement and Black Flag into the indie future.

Like the White Stripes and Black Keys, Sisters guitarist/vocalist Aaron Pfannebecker and big-haired drummer/organist Matt Conboy make a big racket for just two guys. The songs are simple but driven, interrupted by clanging guitar solos and loopy, big bomb drum attacks. And Pfannebacker isn't much of a singer, which doesn't seem to hurt these songs one bit.

“Ghost Fits” is loaded with bouncy head-bobbers like the crunchy opener “The Curse” and the jangly “Glue” and “Sky.”

When the boys do veer into pop, it's just barely, with the synthy opening to “Highway Scratch” and the grungy “Wake Me Up” yielding to dirty guitar wailing without giving up their charm.

Like a lot of debuts, the duo has borrowed maybe too much from their ancestors. But, you can't help but admire their youthful pluck. It's a fine album and the pair are headed in the right direction.

LaetiTia Sadier

“The Trip”

Drag City

Laetitia Sadier steps out of her longtime role fronting Stereolab, and her side band Monade, for a solo debut that is spare and pained and graceful.

Gone are the walls of synth noise and insistent rhythms. On “The Trip,” Sadier fills out the mossy sound of her imperfect voice and capable guitar with her French Monade collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Julien Gasc, along with American hipsters Rebecca Gates, Richard Swift and April March.

The guests lend a laid-back hand, mostly acoustic.

Two of the prettiest cuts are sung in French, part of the whimsy that makes all of Sadier's projects so interesting.

And, while there are hints of old overthought Stereolab here, with a few subtle synth bloops and eerie tones in ballads like “Statues Can Bend” and the loungy “Un Soir, Un Chien,” there's plenty of melancholy here. In the persistent title track, Sadier deals with her younger sister's suicide. “I will open my heart and let the pain run along,” she sings. “As there is no point in holding on.”

Chris Jorgensen may be reached at 657-1311 or cjorgensen@billingsgazette.com.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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