Live at Gruene Hall
Small and Nimble Records

Guy Forsyth is a simply one of the best performing musicians around. The brotherhood he shares with Gruene Hall started way back in the ’90s, when he was part of the Asylum Street Spankers, so his decision to record a live show at the venerable dancehall in 2009 felt like a happy homecoming. Spattered with memorable stories, including one about a ghost caught on film in the rafters of the old building, Live at Gruene Hall covers the full spectrum of Forsyth’s widely ranged talent, from roots-rock and blues to melodic sing-alongs and sexy ballads. The ferociously talented, multi-instrumentalist does more with two sidemen (Will Landin and Rob Hooper) than most can do with a six-piece ensemble. And yes, there is a tuba in the house. Often, live albums tend to lose something without the visual component, but here, you can feel the energy of the entire performance seep through on every track. For Forsyth fans, it’s essential — and a collector’s item, too; the CD run was limited to 1,000 units, after which Live at Gruene Hall will only be available as a digital download. — TRACIE FERGUSON