George Fest: A Night to Celebrate The Music of George Harrison

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥  3 out of 5.  Recorded and filmed on September 28th, 2014 at the The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, a host of fine musicians paid tribute to George Harrison singing and playing their favorite Harrisongs.  The stars include Conan O’Brien, Dhani Harrison, Norah Jones, Brandon Flowers, Ann Wilson, “Weird Al’ Yankovic, Brian Wilson, and Ben Harper.

The version that I purchased has two CDs and a DVD of the full concert.

George FestI love George Harrison.  He was a terrific songwriter, backup singer, and lead guitar player.

Where he was really, really great, though, was as a slide guitar player.  Slide guitar usually shows up in the blues.  It tends to be more rare in other genres (those slidey things in country music tend to be steel guitars or lap steel guitars, which is different!).  Don Felder and Joe Walsh were masters of adding slide to the Eagles songs–which took country songs and made them edgy rock.

Harrison had a unique slide guitar sound.  Often harmonized, it was most definitely not bluesy.  Rather he colored his songs with a distinctly different sound that is rarely copied.

This show is very competently played and performed, but doesn’t excite me.  It was fun to listen to and watch, but it isn’t likely to be played often in my house.  My recommendation would be to watch the Concert for George, which occurred in 2002–one year after George’s death.  I still pull that one out regularly and watch it.


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