Live At The Visulite Theater is the first release from The Last Waltz Ensemble, a tribute band paying homage to the songs of Bob Dylan and The Band. Although the album is only six tracks long, it is a good representation of the breadth and depth of the band’s sound and musical capabilities.
The Last Waltz Ensemble excels in a live environment and has garnered accolades from a steady touring schedule playing well-known music halls and theaters from coast to coast. While stereotypical cover bands typically have a short longevity and few true fans and followers, The Last Waltz Ensemble has been successful in reaching out to older fans of the original music and introducing younger music fans to classic material for the first time.
The song choices on Live At The Visulite Theater are evenly mixed between three The Band songs and three Dylan tunes. Slower songs like “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “It Makes No Difference” are balanced nicely by more up-tempo numbers “Time To Kill” and the timeless “Like A Rolling Stone.” It is also chock full of special guests and improvisational jams highlighting the musical chops of the players. Although some of the band members have changed over the past few years, a solid nucleus of Mark Kramer, Benji Shanks, Jason Fuller and Kris Gloer are complimented by Scott Glazer on vocals and bass, as well as Ike Stubblefield playing his Hammond B-3 on a few tracks.
Overall Live At The Visulite Theater is a nice introduction to a talented band that is well worth checking out. Fans of the original songs by Dylan and The Band will be impressed by the faithful interpretations spiced with lively jams and inspired performances. And even fans of good live rock and roll who are not as familiar with the material should appreciate a group of talented musicians who had solid command of their instruments and a ready-made songbook that has withstood the test of time.
Live at The Visulite Theater is out now.