Francesca Beghe Releases Live Album
Francesca Beghe Live is the new 14-track release from New York City’s Francesca Beghe. Featuring songs recorded over different performances in 2019 and 2020, Beghe’s hiatus from the stage is quickly forgotten. While the already-released single, “Trust In Me” comes later into the collection, Beghe allows the listener to really savor all that comes before, and after. Her two decades that she was away from the stage with a full-backing band, are simply an afterthought. A timeless voice and a band that cultivates a rousing mix of blues and adult contemporary patterns, Francesca Beghe Live brings fans of Beghe’s work an up-to-date masterpiece. By the end of the album, one would be hard pressed to not be a fan.
Francesca Beghe Live is certainly, top to bottom, a comprehensive listening experience. I think the idea of a live album might throw off some – only because there are artists out there that don’t sound the same vocally as they do on the original recordings. Some listeners, too, prefer the artist to sound exactly like they do live as the way they heard it on the radio. Without having the luxury (or bias) of hearing these songs on the radio, I was able to completely drift away to the tiny imperfections that only come with live performances. You can feel the way she communicates to the audience in the first song, “Enlightenment”. This is such a pivotal song because it’s kind of like the warm up song, and like baseball pitches are judged on that first pitch, she throws the listener quickly under her spell.
Her magnetism never loses its grip and she takes the listener on the sonic journey riddled with Hammond B-organs, dropped beats and showstopping guitar work. She enlists the help of backing vocalists, backing choirs and the live stage energy ignites with each track. Some of my favorite tracks besides “Trust In Me” were “La Came To Meet Me”, “Let Your Spirit Fly” and “People Have The Power.” Unearthing these songs to a newbie listener like me, had me surprised at the wide ranges and different emotions Beghe displayed in her work. I think these songs stood out the most, perhaps, because she inserted her own special Bohemian-like candor. “La Came To Meet Me” has a little quirkiness happening and almost sounds like Sheryl Crow Tuesday Night Music Club era. Maybe I was feeling nostalgic myself, but “La Came To Meet Me” sounded so crisp and pure. Effortless.
A cover of Patti Smith’s “People Have The Power” is curiously the closing song. I love how this feels so New York, so lingering. You leave the album, as if you were leaving the venue on a super high note. The power to dream, the power to rule, Beghe sings, delivering Smith’s words with vindication and reverence.
Beghe’s backing band is just as impressive: Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Waits), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Sarah McLachlan), Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega, Celine Dion, Chris Botti), Daniel A Weiss (Joan Osborne, Al Green, Anthony Rapp), Zev Katz (Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor), Diane Garisto (Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Laura Nyro) and Emily Bindiger (Carol King, Leonard Cohen, Buster Poindexter). Francesca Beghe Live -what a gift.