We took a road trip to Levon Helm’s Studio in Woodstock NY to hear “The Voice” finalist Laith Al-Saadi.
We’ll his “Voice” is only half of it. He is one hell of a guitar player, as most who watched The Voice would know. He had 3 guitars with him but stuck with a Gold-top Custom Shop Fender Tele that reeked with different tones. Playing through a Fender Vibroverb (which I’d never heard) he was Danny Gattonesque with a mix of Chicago Blues, Swamp Blues and R&B. That mix made sense when he gave tribute to Levon Helm as a major influence in his musical taste and did a great cover of Ophelia which you can see here:
With just a drummer and bass Laith, filled the room with fills. Even the encore of Whipping Post lacked nothing despite no B3 or second guitar. He just released and outstanding CD titled “Real” which we picked up and listened to on the way home. It’s got some real heavyweights in the music industry like, Lee Sklar, Jim Keltner Jimmy Vivino and Tom Scott.
The fact that a rootsy blues player like Laith got so far and almost won the Voice is a tribute to him and to the great music that he’s helping keep alive.