Live at the Kessler

Ask any musician and they’ll tell you that live recordings are better than those made in the studio, as the feedback they get from the audience impels them to play with greater fervor. That’s the prime reason that Dallas guitarist Jim Suhler took his band into his hometown Kessler Theater a couple of years ago to make this CD. “It’s the best listening room in the north Texas area. I knew we’d have a happy, appreciative crowd … which we did!” Suhler said in the Live at the Kessler press materials. Eleven of the 13 songs here come from four of the band’s albums, with the thumping, slide-infused blues tunes “Devil in Me” and “Po’ Lightning”—his homage to bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins—from 2009’s provocatively illustrated Tijuana Bible. Since 1999, Suhler’s worked with George Thorogood and his blues/rock credentials are impeccable as he shows us over and over, especially when his rousing slide guitar is featured on “Doin’ the Best I Can.” Lively band, lotta fun.