Independent roots rock band Brent & Co. is doing its part to help audiences get their live music fix while they wait for live venues to reopen with a new live recording of its own. The band released its new live recording Live From the Waterfront July 14. Originally captured Aug. 16, 2019 at The Yards Park in Washington D.C. as part of the free Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series, the band’s 10-song set is available to stream free here. It is notable in part because of that noted 44-minute set list. This will be discussed shortly. The band’s performance thereof is also of note. It will be discussed a little later. The concert’s production and mixing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be discussed later. Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this recording. All things considered, they make the recording another positive addition to the band’s already growing catalog.
Brent & Co.’s new live recording Live From The Waterfront is a positive new presentation from the independent roots rock band. It is a presentation that will appeal to the band’s established fan base as well as fans of the roots rock world in general. Its success comes in part through its 44-minute set list. The set list in question features songs from each of the band’s records and also features a handful of unique cover songs. The band’s most recent record, Anacostia Songs Vol. 1 (2018) gets the most nods at three. The band’s self-titled EP, released in 2015 is represented by two songs. The band’s 2012 EP Not How We Dream also gets a nod in this set. Joining these songs are covers of Van Morrison’s beloved song, ‘Wild Night,’ ‘Ray LaMontagne’s ‘You Are The Best Thing’ and Ah Ha’s ‘Take On Me.’ The show’s closer, ‘Use Me’ is a cover of Bill Withers’ hit song ‘Use Me.’ Between these covers and the band’s own original songs, audiences get through this performance a relatively clear picture of the band’s catalog, it influences and interests. In other words, the recording’s set list makes for a strong starting point for Live From the Waterfront. It is enough to certainly get even the most casual listeners interested in the rest of the band’s work. This is just one of the recording’s key aspects. The band’s performance of said set list adds even more to its appeal.
The band’s performance of its set list is important to note because it is that performance that ensures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. The band’s performance of ‘Use Me’ is just one example of what makes the band’s performance its own positive mark. Drummer Dominic Fragman’s solo forms the song’s backbone. He handles the rhythms here will the fullest confidence, never once losing the beat as he makes his way through his extensive solo. Saxophonist Derrick Michaels adds his own flare throughout the song, too, with his bluesy, funky arrangement. Front man Brent Peterson and bassist Joe Martone meanwhile add their own subtle flare to the song to keep the song’s energy high, ensuring that much more, listeners’ engagement. Peterson’s performance in ‘Dueling Creek’ is another high point in terms of the band’s performance. The song itself conjures thoughts of Zac Brown Band, even with the sax line added to its presentation. Peterson’s presence is so laid back as he and his band mates make their way through the semi-beachy composition. The ease of his performance on the slide guitar, from Michaels on that subtle sax line and from Fragman as he keeps time maintains that gentle, laid back sense. It likely relaxed audiences who took in the show, and will do much the same for home audiences. The subtlety in the band’s performance of the show’s opener, ‘Float Away’ is another way in which the band’s performance shines in this recording. Peterson’s performance and that of Fragman here does so well to help translate the emotion in the song’s music and lyrics, which focus on a gentle journey down the Anacostia River from Dueling Creek down to the National Arboretum. The duo’s performance makes it so easy for audiences to get lost in the relaxing arrangement and its equally gentle lyrics. It’s just one more way in which the band’s performance proves the importance of the band’s performance in its new live recording. When it is considered with the other performance aspects noted here and the rest of the featured performances, the whole makes clear the impact that the band’s performance of its set list has on the recording’s presentation. Together with the set list itself, the two elements give listeners lots of reason to take in this recording. They are just a pair of notable elements to examine. The recording’s production and mixing are important to examine in their own right.
The recording’s production and mixing prove important in more than one way. On one hand, audiences have to take into account that the band’s performance at the Yards Park was an outdoor performance. It was not at a major venue with all kinds of high-tech audio, yet those behind the boards and the post production were able to fully pick up the audio. There is no loss at any point throughout the course of the broadcast. What’s more, the audience noise was just subtle enough in its presentation thanks to the production and mixing. At times, it is difficult to hear, while at others, it is there just enough. This is key to note in that it serves as a reminder of the “intimacy” of the performance. So many live recordings out there are held at major venues, but this performance was in a more “natural” setting. Getting to hear that difference in the crowd noise actually has its own aesthetic impact on the experience. That those responsible for the production and mixing were able to accent that aspect of the performance adds even more enjoyment to its presentation. When this aspect is considered with the recording’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the entirety of the recording proves wholly enjoyable regardless of one’s familiarity with Brent & Co.
Brent & Co.’s new live recording Live From the Waterfront is a work that will help any roots rock fan get over the live music blues. While presented only through Spotify, it is still an enjoyable presentation in its own right. That is due in part to the recording’s set list. The set list presents a relatively healthy cross section of the band’s current catalog — which is composed of two EPs and an LP – as well as showing some of the band’s influences. The band’s performance of said set list adds its own appeal point for listeners, as does the production and mixing. All three elements noted are important in their own right to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make Live From the Waterfront a live recording that any roots rock fan will enjoy. It is available now to stream live through Spotify. More information on the recording is available along with all of Brent & Co.’s latest news at:
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