Matt Andersen – Live in London *****

Canadian bluesman extraordinaire Matt Andersen delivered a virtuoso performance at Camden‘s Dingwalls. In the midst of a European solo tour to promote his latest album Halfway Home By Morning Andersen came on stage to an excellent reception.

Not many artists can play a two-hour solo set and leave the crowd baying for more. Quite frankly, Andersen was extraordinary. The charismatic bluesman delighted the audience with masterful playing, impassioned singing and relaxed chat.

Technically brilliant, delighting with sophisticated guitar solos, not an easy thing to pull off whilst keeping the rhythm going, and vocals reminiscent of Eric Bibb, Andersen proved that less can be much more.

From laid-back blues, to Americana to frenzied slide playing, Andersen had it all in a varied 24-song set featuring several tracks from the latest album including his encore song Quarter On The Ground (A Song For Uncle Joe) with his guitar down to minimal and the atmosphere at maximum. Andersen makes you feel what he feels.

Singing six inches away from the microphone, perhaps the song of the night was Something To Lose, which has Amy Helmduetting with him on the album, and to give such a wonderful solo rendition was remarkable.

Before the set I thought “I wish he had a band”. After the set I thought “I’m glad he didn’t have a band”. This was 100% Andersen. This was 100% magic.

Review by Chaz Brooks