Sean Costello: At His Best – Live, a special album of live performances recorded by the late blues guitarist/singer, featuring 16 tracks of all previously unreleased live material recorded in the US and Europe from 2000-2007 will be released by Landslide Records on November 15. This first ever completely live album of Sean Costello performances includes 11 songs not on any prior Costello release. At His Best – Live was mastered by acclaimed producer/engineer Rodney Mills (Gregg Allman, Atlanta Rhythm Section) and represents the essence of Sean Costello's unique artistry and total devotion to the genre.
Landslide Records is distributed nationally in the U.S. by Select-O-Hits. A portion of the royalties from the sale of the album will benefit the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bi-Polar Research (http://www.seancostellofund.org).
Throughout At His Best – Live, Costello demonstrates why he was tagged as a blues artist of immense talent and potential at the age of 16, and how he continued to deliver on that promise up until his tragic death in April, 2008, just one day shy of his 29th birthday.
It also documents the strong overall musicianship Sean surrounded himself with throughout his career. In September of 2009, Landslide Records released Sean's Blues, a 20-track memorial retrospective collection culled from his three commercial album releases from 1996 through 2001, as well as previously unreleased tracks, which garnered rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Now, on At His Best – Live, blues fans who never got to see Costello perform will hear what all the excitement was about; and for those fortunate enough to have experienced a Sean Costello show in-person, the new CD will bring back vivid memories of the energy force that drew audiences from all over the world to this incredibly talented musician.
"This CD release intends to share the incomparable power and magic of Sean Costello's shows," writes blues writer Tom Hyslop in the album's liner notes. "Drawing from clean soundboard recordings and warts-and-all, you-are-there audience tapes alike, it offers a fair representation of Costello's ever-evolving musical reach, including serious blues, sultry soul and R&B, and rock 'n' roll.
"When performing songs from his albums, Sean generally hewed closely to the reference versions. We have tried here to present rare performances in which Costello shook off those bonds and took artistic flight. More difficult was selecting the "best" takes of blues that Sean had not recorded, and therefore approached with complete liberty and palpable joy. On these favorites, his improvisations were reliably staggering, displaying his playful sense of humor, impeccable groove, chops, and attitude. It was a rare night that went by without Costello pulling down stars from the sky. Like his hero Johnnie Taylor, he was just doing his own thing. And how."
At His Best – Live showcases that special gift Sean Costello had to interpret songs and truly make them his own. The track list for the album highlights his mastery of Chicago blues, swing/jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, soul and rock. Highlights abound throughout the CD: witness his amazing take on Freddy King's "San-Ho-Zay", Lloyd Glenn's "Blue Shadows," Magic Sam's "All Your Love," Lowell Fulson's "Reconsider Baby" and Johnny "Guitar Watson's "Motor Head Baby" (wherein Sean ascends to interplanetary heights with his guitar work). On songs such as "T-Bone Boogie" and "The Hucklebuck," Costello exhibits a deft touch within the swing/jazz idiom with some amazing fretwork and interplay with standout keyboard player Matt Wauchope; and on such killer soul/rhythm & blues tracks as "I Get a Feeling," "Check It Out," "Can I Change My Mind" and "Doing My Own Thing," his soulful vocals and guitar work get inside the songs themselves. Closing out the set is Sean's version of Little Richard's classic, "Lucille," which shows that he could also rock out with the best of them.
Sean Costello: At His Best – Live - Track Listing
3. Blue Shadows
4. T-Bone Boogie
5. All Your Love
6. I Get A Feeling
7. Check It Out
8. Can I Change My Mind
9. You're Killing My Love
10. Reconsider Baby
11. Doing My Own Thing
12. The Hucklebuck
13. Motor Head Baby
14. Hold On This Time
15. The Battle Is Over But The War Goes On
16. Peace Of Mind