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Niacin Niacin Live! Blood, Sweat and Beers  album cover
4.55 | 24 ratings | 4 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Clean Up Crew
2. Do A Little Dirty Work
3. Bullet Train Blues
4. Hell To Pay
5. Niacin
6. One Less Worry
7. I MIss You (Like I MIss the Sun)
8. Klaghorn
9. Three Feet Back
10. Purple Rain
11. No Man's Land
12. You Keep Me Hangin' On
13. Front and Center
14. Gelatin

Line-up / Musicians

- Billy Sheehan / bass
- John Novello / Hammond B3, piano
- Dennis Chambers / drums

Releases information

Niacin recorded live in Japan in 1996.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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NIACIN Niacin Live! Blood, Sweat and Beers ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (4%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NIACIN Niacin Live! Blood, Sweat and Beers reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
5 stars Three men with keyboards, bass and drums can make more music than some bands with twice the number of members - that is if you happen to be talking about the mind-boggling musicianship of Niacin. Billy Sheehan (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums), and John Novello (keyboards), are a trio beyond compare.

"Niacin Live!-Blood, Sweat and Beers" comes as advertised, a live session that goes above and beyond the norm with plenty of blood, sweat, and a few beers to quench the thirst of these mighty musical men.

The B3 Hammond is a crucial part of NIACIN's sound, it always has been. They sound like a futuristic Booker T. & the MGs in hyper drive. Novello's keyboards set the table for the incredibly fast and funky chops of Sheehan on bass whilst the amazing and adept Chambers is able to keep it all in order; he is on task every step of the way. Chambers is the kind of percussionist that could play in any setting, night or day, with anyone on the same level as he is, and most certainly, he could adapt to any genre of music if he chose to. His versatility a rhythmic sense of the instrument is truly a wonderful thing to hear. Sheehan, well what can you say about the guy? He is without a doubt a man with few peers at his position in the band. Think what Steve Vai would sound like if he played the bass.

This is an amazing live set with fantastic sound and sonic quality. Recorded in Jarkata, Indonesia and Tokoyo, Japan, the trio really burns with the red-hot flame of passion and desire on every single track. Notable tracks for these ears include "I Miss You (Like I Miss the Sun)" and the VANILLA FUDGE classic "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Actually, they were all fantastic, but those two particular cuts really perked my interest. What is cool about this live set is that two previously unreleased studio tracks are included as a bonus. Live instrumental music does not get any more exciting and interesting than this, period.

Rating: 4.75/5

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Jazz-Rock Fusion may be a dirty word to certain (unfortunate) critics, but some of us happen to like it that way: fast and dirty, played with virtuoso chops and no shortage of muscle. Which helps to explain my recent enthusiasm for Niacin, a familiar name now finally brought to my belated attention after reading Professor Edward Macan's mammoth 800+ page biography of EMERSON, LAKE and PALMER ("Endless Enigma", Open Court Press, 2006).

In one of his many appendices Macan takes a few pages to explore similar/contrasting keyboard-based rock trios, citing this 2003 live set as maybe the quintessential Niacin album. From what I've heard so far I'm not inclined to disagree with him: musicians of this caliber are always more exciting in a concert setting, and on stage Niacin is an instrumental dynamo, easily matching the energy of a band with twice the personnel.

The recordings here were all made in the Far East, but the ambience of the CD (thanks in large part to the grungy throwback sound of John Novello's Hammond B3 organ) is of an adrenalin-driven R&B trio playing in a smoke-filled blue-collar bar. Okay, so that may not be an old-school symphonic progger's dream gig, but don't panic: the music itself is an exciting blend of funky grooves and aggressive jams, performed with pinpoint accuracy and featuring more than one knock-your-socks-off solo.

This is a tight group by any professional standard, with all three musicians at the top of his game. Novello's organ sets the mood; the spirited drumming of Dennis Chambers sets the pace (listen to his sharpshooter fills on "One Less Worry" and "Klaghorn"); but it's the astonishing Billy Sheehan who gives each track its visceral punch. If you think the bass guitar is strictly a rhythm instrument, lend an ear to Sheehan's liquid metal solo over the slow-burn blues of "Hell to Pay", only one of his several jaw-dropping moments on the album, and all the more amazing for being performed while sedately perched, Fripp-like, on a stool.

The usual complement of idiosyncratic cover material is accounted for, including "Purple Rain" (yes, the Prince tune), and a faithful but driving update of the old VANILLA FUDGE Proto-Prog chestnut "You Keep Me Hangin' On", a showcase for Novello's keyboard dexterity. The disc even includes a pair of previously unreleased studio tracks, positioned not unlike a belated encore but missing the nourishing energy of a sympathetic crowd.

If, like me, you haven't yet had the chance to see what Niacin can do in concert, this generous set will offer plenty of consolation. At least until the band's next appearance, in a beer-stained downtown bar near you.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Having known Billy Sheehan , since the end of eighties, i have to say that he is like old wine, he is getting better with the age ;-). This fabulous bass player add to these two great musician, made it a great pick. Niacin live blood, sweat and beers is the proof that it is possible to make a ... (read more)

Report this review (#17698) | Posted by | Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Niacin Live" on my opinion is one of the greatest musical work live in the jazz fusion at the moment. Great outstanding masterpiece of work in keyboard, bass, and drums. Congratulations to these guys!!! Best regards, Jose. ... (read more)

Report this review (#17696) | Posted by | Saturday, March 6, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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