New York Minute

John Wetton And The Les Paul Trio

Primary Purpose, 2015

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Sometimes, you just get discs on your desk that don't make much sense, and this is one.

Bassist/singer John Wetton, formerly of Asia and King Crimson and currently helping out Steve Hackett on his Genesis Revisited tour, played a 40-minute show in 2013 at The Iridium in New York City. The brevity is questionable, but more so are the two references to prostate cancer, the set list (seven covers and two of Wetton's hits), and "The Les Paul Trio," which makes no sense at all. The majority of the songs feature Rodney Holmes on piano and Wetton singing, and only occasionally does a guitar make an appearance. Maybe this was part of a benefit or something put on by an Asia fan, I don't know, but it's strange all the same.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I mention a benefit because the songs are well-known classic rock tropes, and even though Wetton says they personally inspired him, they aren't exactly radical takes on shopworn classics. Granted, "What's Going On?" and "God Only Knows" are fantastic no matter what, while the version of Steely Dan's "Do It Again" is solid, Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" is good and Wetton's "Battle Lines" actually gets new life breathed into it, making it preferable to the dull-ass AOR studio version.

That said, a needless take on "Lady Madonna," a slowed-to-a-crawl "Heat Of The Moment," a so-so "Can't Find My Way Home" and the Serious Don Henley "New York Minute" sap the energy out, and then just like that, it's over. Again, Wetton throws in a PSA about the need to do self-exams for testicular and prostate cancer, because why not? Even the cover of the disc shows what looks like a stock photo of a younger Wetton playing a guitar, when he does no such thing here and when other recent photos of him don't exactly look like this.

Other reviewers of Wetton's recent work have said his voice is stronger now than it has been in a while, and that's true; it's about the only thing that makes these songs work. But with no clear purpose and nothing that will blow your mind, New York Minute really has no reason to exist.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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