Album review: THE LIVESAYS – The Rhythm of Love and Dysfunction

THE LIVESAYS – The Rhythm of Love and Dysfunction

Website [Release date 20.09.20]

The Livesays are a five-piece rock band fronted by the band’s namesake singer/songwriter/guitarist Billy Livesay, who spent 12 years performing, recording and touring with E-Streeter Clarence Clemons’ band Temple of Soul. Drummer Howard Goldberg was a co-founding member of funk band Rudy and the band’s line-up is completed by Laplume on bass, Victor “Cuqui” Berrios on Hammond B-3 organ, and Tim Murphy on piano.

The album was mostly completed back in 2018, with a release for early 2019 planned, however in November 2018 drummer Eddie Zyne (most noted for his work in Hall & Oates) passed away. His drumming does feature on over half of the album as a fitting tribute to his work. Fast forward to 2020 and the current global pandemic led to the band forging ahead with this album.

It is a timely release as the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, has just released his latest album and much of this album has a Springsteen feel, be it ‘The Rhythm of Love’ or ‘There’s Something Coming Now’. They create the big band sound so beloved of the Boss, albeit less the sax playing.

The Livesays also remind me of Southside Johnny and Widespread Panic at times, whilst vocalist Billy Livesay has often been compared vocally to Don Henley. The Don Henley reference becomes very apparent when listening to the band’s take on Henley’s ‘Heart Of The Matter’. A superlative version of this classic tune. ‘Woodstock’ is the other cover on the album and the Livesays give it a timely update.

An album that will grow in stature with each subsequent listen I am sure. Finely crafted music touching on rock, blues, soul, funk and even a little pop. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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