REVIEW: Dave Arcari – Live at Memorial Hall (2017)

DAVE ARCARI – Live at Memorial Hall (2017 Buzz Records)

The most wonderful thing about this community of writers is the chance to hear new music.  I think I can safely say I have bought new music at the recommendation of just about every writer I follow.  One such writer is J from Resurrection Songs, an amazing musician in his own right.  I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but through following him, I also ended up following his fellow countryman, Scottish singer/songwriter Dave Arcari.

Arcari has an engaging social media presence, so after following for a while and checking out his videos and live clips, I decided to finally buy an album.  I chose 2017’s Live at Memorial Hall, and a wise choice it was.  I had an inkling that an Arcari live album would be the way to go.

Dave Arcari is an “alt/blues troubadour” and that description works as well as any.  Hammering away on his steel guitar with a bottleneck slide on one finger and a wee dram of Scotch, Arcari has his own brand of storytelling.  The sandpaper vocals sound like they’ve walked a million miles.  Up there alone on the stage, Dave commands attention.  You tend to associate a steel guitar with the American south and the bluegrass that came with it.  You rarely think of a Scottish storyteller.  Yet here he is, so enjoy.

I didn’t really know many of Dave’s originals, and only a couple of the traditionals, but this is a very enjoyable album even so.  Live albums shouldn’t be mucked with, and this sounds 100% live.  Some tracks are mellow and contemplative, others are fast and rambunctious.  It doesn’t matter to the crowd who hoot n’ holler after every song.

Favourite songs?  Sure, how about “Dreamt I Was 100”, “Bring My Baby Back”, “Devil’s Left Hand” and “Whiskey in My Blood”?  The fast ones are my favourites!  There are 24 songs so I’ll wager nobody’s going home disappointed.

Dave Arcari just returned home from a fall US tour.  If he ever comes to Canada, I wouldn’t want to miss it.  This CD will have to do for now.

4.5/5 stars

Oh!  And the CD came with an autograph, and I’m pretty sure he mailed it from the US tour, since it’s postmarked from Michigan!  That’s dedication!


  1. Great stuff, Mike. Pleased you dig Dave’s stuff. He’s quite something live… like a man possessed. Parcel of Rogues and Devil’s Left Hand are two of my favourites.

    Nobody’s Fool and Whiskey in My Blood are good for hearing a rhythm section behind him – like a train hurtling down the tracks!

    Liked by 2 people

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