Austin-based guitarist , as heard in the new live compilation album BAM Fest 2007. The youthful bluesman and his mates race through this breathless recording of "The Reverse" like a careening, nitro-fueled funny car, blistering the beat of the self-penned roadhouse shuffle and shredding its bare bones melody along the way.
That was surely a good thing in a live setting. After all, anyone who's plunked down his hard earned cash for a ticket to an outdoor music festival certainly doesn't want to hear a bunch of sad sacks dragging ass on a moribund 12-bar blues. But in digital form, Tessmer's rapid-fire take on Stevie Ray Vaughan -- he even sings like the late Austin legend -- is almost too frantic. Aside from a few brief single-note guitar runs, the band's blurted smear of a performance is strangely uninflected.
Don't get me wrong. Tessmer's energy level is often astounding, and it's a cinch that the assembled masses at BAM Fest's lovely lakeside site got off on him big time. But I wish he'd backed off the juice just a little and demonstrated what all those darting notes were actually saying.
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. The third annual BAM Fest runs over the night of Friday, July 11 and all day on Saturday, July 12 at the Belleville Community Park in the small Dane County community to the south of Verona. This year's performers include Joel Pingitore & Livin' Will, Larry McCray, Wayne Baker Brooks, Eric Sardinas & Big Motor, Sonny Landreth, Robben Ford, and onetime Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer, along with the local blues standouts the Jimmy Voegeli Band, Mud Angels, Queenie & the Bluecats, Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo, and The Crashers. The BAM Fest 2007 live album is a limited release of only 2,500 copies, and can be purchased at Capital Brewery as well as the Citgo gas station and Belle Bleu restaurant in Belleville.
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