REVIEW: Brandy Clark – ‘Live From Los Angeles’ CD

I had the pleasure of seeing Brandy Clark live on two occasions in 2016. The first in North Carolina with her full band and a month later in Birmingham when she toured the UK with Miles Aubrey and performed acoustically.

There is a desire to see a performer perform their songs as they were recorded and the full band show facilitates this. However, if the attraction of that performer revolves around the sheer quality of their voice and the songs, very little is diminished by hearing that artist acoustically. Brandy Clark is the perfect example of such a performer.

‘Live from Los Angeles’ was recorded last year at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Aubrey, her fellow guitarist and harmony singer, accompanies her on the project and we have 11 essentially stripped back tracks that encompass her two studio albums.

It was originally recorded as a bonus vinyl release for independent retailers. Only 2500 copies were pressed, but such was the interest that her label have decided to make available a digital copy to enable more of her fans access to it.

The audience certainly were enthusiastic. The difference between US and UK crowds becomes apparent when applause breaks out during a brief guitar solo. We tend to reserve our applause for the end of a song!

There is one unrecorded song in the collection. ‘When I Get To Drinkin’ hadn’t been performed live before, let alone appeared on an album. If the reaction from the crowd is anything to go by, I think it’s likely that we will see it recorded, maybe on a whole album of “drinking songs”!

It’s a shame there isn’t a live DVD to accompany it. It’s just the sort of show where you would relish the opportunity to watch the performance at the same time that you listen to it.

Save for that, it’s a foretaste of the musical pleasure that we have in store in the UK this October when Brandy returns for more gigs.

Her song writing has been recognised by the Grammy Awards committee and vocally she has few peers. ‘Live In Los Angeles’ showcases her talents perfectly.

Graham Wharton