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Live In Albany, NY 9/20/76

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Album Review

Out of the several years of Tommy Bolin's short yet colorful music career, the last year of his life, 1976, is certainly the one that is the most documented by live bootleg recordings. Case in point: 2004 saw two more 1976 era live releases from the Tommy Bolin Archives (the third and fourth overall), Live at the Jet Bar and Albany, NY 9/20/76. As it's been well documented over the years, Bolin was pretty bad off with drugs by this point, which resulted in sometimes unpredictable and ragged live performances. And while this can certainly be said about the album-opening rendition of "Teaser," Bolin and company hand in a very strong and inspired rendition of "Shake the Devil." Elsewhere, the over-ten-minute version of "Post Toastee" shows that Bolin's guitar skills still certainly had flashes of brilliance, right up the very end. Out of all the 1976-era live Bolin releases, Albany, NY 9/20/76 (which includes a few bonus tracks from a New Orleans gig two months later) is the strongest one yet.


Born: August 1, 1951 in Sioux City, IA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

It's hard to listen to the music of Tommy Bolin and not wonder what could've been if the exceptionally talented (and versatile) guitarist hadn't succumbed to a senseless drug overdose at the age of 25 — just as his career appeared to be taking off. In a recording career that lasted only several years, Bolin not only touched upon several styles (blues-rock, ballads, fusion, funk, reggae, and heavy metal), but showed that he could master each one — as evidenced by his two solo albums and...
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Live In Albany, NY 9/20/76, Tommy Bolin
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