Among the pantheon of guitar gods that ruled the late '60s rock universe, Alvin Lee was one of the flashiest. Fronting British blues foursome Ten Years After, Lee displayed lightning-fast fingers. His signature fleet, fluid lines, which adorned many an extended solo stretch, suggested more than a momentary flirtation with jazz and distinguished him among the guitar elite of the day. His bandmates -- organist Chick Churchill, bassist Leo Lyons, and drummer Ric Lee -- proved the ideal supporting cast. Churchill's jazzy-bluesy choruses, in particular, suitably spelled Lee's high-wire guitar pyrotechnics. That lineup toured widely, recorded often, and performed one of the most raved-about sets at Woodstock.
With the halcyon days of the Alvin Lee-era long passed, his cohorts have fortunately found a talented replacement in Joe Gooch. While fast-fingered axemen are more common these days, Gooch's chops and energy stand out, as evidenced on last year's release, Ten Years After . . . Now. The lad is daring enough to take on Alvin Lee classics such as "I'd Love to Change the World" and über-boogie "Goin' Home," while the three vets behind him keep chugging, no worse for wear. -- Duane Verh Ten Tears After. Friday, March 10, at Wilbert's.
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