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Live on the Air: The Radio Sessions 1992 – 2018

Review by Gary Hill

This album from Tempest was released almost two years ago, July 1st 2020. It features (as you can probably figure from the title) a number of radio performances the band recorded over the years. There is a wide range of sound here, and some Tempest classics are captured on this. I think it's a great set for long time fans, but might also be a good introduction to the group because it really does showcase a lot of the evolution and variety of the band.

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Track by Track Review
Toss the Feathers WCBE Columbus, OH 1994
Percussion brings this track in. The rest of the band jump in from there, and we're off into a rousing and fun Celtic prog jam. I dig the meaty and crunchy guitar soloing on this later a lot. This instrumental is so much fun.
Raggle Taggle Gypsy WCBE Columbus, OH 1992
More traditional in sound, this is entertaining, but it's not at the same level as the powerhouse that preceded it.
One for the Fiddler WCBE Columbus, OH 1999
There is almost a Grateful Dead vibe here. Mind you, that's tempered with the full Celtic prog treatment you expect from Tempest. This is another killer rocker. I love the bass sound on this.
You Jacobites by Name WCBE Columbus, OH 1999
I've always loved this song. The hard rocking angles on this are classy, but then when it opens for an acapella section after the introduction it takes on new levels of cool. The instrumental interplay on the break is stellar. This thing just rocks like crazy with so much style and magic.
For Three of Us KUOP Stockton, CA 1997
Starting with acoustic instrumentation and vocals, this builds out gradually from there. While more traditional in its approach, this is full of drama.
Two Sisters WYSO Yellow Springs, OH 2001
This is another Tempest tune that's always been a favorite of mine. The cut has more of a traditional sound and arrangement. It's a bouncy and fun cut with plenty of folk in the mix. The instrumental break brings some real magic to it.
As I Roved Out WCBE Columbus, OH 2002
More of a traditional balladic piece, I love the interplay of male and female voices on this. It rocks out more further down the road. There is some particularly tasty violin work on this number. In fact, that whole instrumental section later in the piece is noteworthy. It really elevates the tune.
Heather on the Moor Danish Radio 1999
Here we get an electrified, driving tune that deftly combines that hard-edged prog texture with the Celtic ones.
Three Ships Public Radio International 1994
Tempest gives this holiday classic their trademark treatment. This is a bouncy folk prog styled cut with plenty of Celtic elements at its heart. The powered up instrumental jam that closes the track is purely on fire.
Never Tire of the Road KPFA Berkeley, CA 2007
Another classic Tempest tune (at least in my book), this comes in with a folk music concept.
The Serb KPFA Berkeley, CA 2007
I love the intricate acoustic guitar on this. The violin brings plenty of magic to the proceedings, too. The tune turns out to more of a mainstream folk rocker as it continues. This is an entertaining romp.
Lahard Chase KPFA Berkeley, CA 2018
A Celtic rocking jam, this is so much fun. It's an instrumental designed to get people out and dancing.
Great Departure KPFA Berkeley, CA 2010
Dramatic Celtic folk music is at the heart of this number. This gets more driving later with some really inspired jamming.
Don't You Grieve KPFA Berkeley, CA 2010
A bouncy folk-styled tune, this has an acoustic arrangement. That said, it still has some rich layers. I'm not completely sold on this number. It's not a bad song. It just doesn't speak to me the way some of the rest of the songs here do.
Verses of Grace KPFA Berkeley, CA 2010
Energetic acoustic folk with Celtic angles is the order of business here. This is a classy tune that works really well. The violin really shines on this one.
On the Road (Bonus Track) Portland, OR 1994
This is a fun romp that has plenty of Celtic folk built into it. It's bouncy and brings a smile to the face and a tap to the foot.
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