The first thing you hear is that unmistakable wall of fuzz. I was fortunate enough to be standing on the balcony in the Green Room at the 013 in Tilburg when the Wino trio — Scott “Wino” Weinrich on vocals/guitar, Jon Blank on bass and Jean Paul Gaster on drums — played the set that’s captured on Live at Roadburn 2009, and though it’s a work that will probably always carry with it an element of tragedy — Blank would die of an overdose a few weeks after returning home to the States — there’s no denying the potency of the three-piece in this live setting. If anything, Live at Roadburn 2009 (review here) is only made sadder by how good it is and how much potential this partnership had, should it have been able to continue and flourish as its own unit.
Of course, Wino and Gaster (who was on loan from his main outfit, Clutch) were the headlining names, but to hear how well Blank stood up to both of these marquee players in filling out “Sunblood” — which originally appeared on The Hidden Hand‘s first full-length, Divine Propaganda, in 2003 — it’s obvious he was the right guy for the job. In addition to the setlist that spanned Weinrich‘s discography and included cuts from The Obsessed (“Neatz Brigade,” “Streetside” “Skybone” and “Streamline”), Spirit Caravan (“Lost Sun Dance”) and the aforementioned The Hidden Hand in addition to the Wino album, Punctuated Equilibrium, released on Southern Lord the same year they played in Tilburg, Live at Roadburn 2009 showed a nascent propensity to jam as Gaster and Blank took off in “Release Me/Wild Blue Yonder” that Weinrich would soon use as a founding principle in his subsequent four-piece, the shortlived Premonition 13.
Roadburn/Burning World Records, which released Live at Roadburn 2009 late in 2010, has the collection up for a pay-what-you-want download at their Bandcamp page, and to honor their generosity and celebrate this perhaps-baggage-laden-but-still-awesome live record, hosting the stream here for Wino Wednesday seemed like a no brainer. Hope you enjoy.
Happy Wino Wednesday: