ALEX CHILTON – Electricity By Candlelight: NYC 2/13/97

Album: Electricity By Candlelight: NYC 2/13/97

Artist: Alex Chilton

Label: Bar/None

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Alex Chilton


  The situation covered by this often-bootlegged recording is: the power went out at the Knitting Factory right before a set by Alex Chilton and his band, so the erstwhile Big Star leader borrowed an acoustic guitar and played an impromptu set of covers. Joined on some tunes by drummer Richard Dworkin, Chilton considers requests, banters with audience members and plays songs off the top of his head, with a running theme of finding “that magic folk song that will shut this thing down.”

 Taking on everything from Loudon Wainwright’s “Motel Blues” and Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost” to Nina Simone’s “My Baby Just Cares For Me” and a trio of Beach Boys tunes, Chilton sounds relaxed, peppering his performance with sardonic asides and demonstrating a guitar mastery beyond power pop and rock & roll. This is the kind of show that often carries a “had to be there” air, especially given the heavy participation of the crowd and the freewheeling nature of the performance. But Chilton’s charm and talent make Electricity By Candlelight wear surprisingly well.

 DOWNLOAD: “Motel Blues,” “My Baby Just Cares For Me”

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