Jeff Beck, “Going Down” from Live+ (2015): One Track Mind

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Jeff Beck returns to one of the very best moments from 1972’s Jeff Beck Group album, and ups the ante for a forthcoming concert recording Jeff Beck Live+.

Back then, Beck was paired with Bobby Tench (who’d also work with Beck Bogert and Appice, and Humble Pie) for a sizzling cover of Don Nix’s “Going Down,” and he mirrors that set up by including vocalist Jimmy Hall — with whom Beck worked on 1985’s Flash. But Hall also brings along his harmonica, while Jeff Beck also invites along second guitarist Nicolas Meier.

The result is a brilliantly muscular reinvention of a song that seemed pretty damned perfect already.

Beck no doubt discovered this song via Jeff Beck Group producer Steve Cropper, a former bandmate of Don Nix’s in the Mar-Keys. After hearing the way Beck and his new band (which also includes Rhonda Smith and Jonathan Joseph) tear into “Going Down,” however, you have to wonder if he wasn’t holding back a little out of professional courtesy.

They tear this thing down to the two-by-fours on Live+, which includes a career-spanning set of live updates and two new songs — Jeff Beck’s first since 2010’s Emotional and Commotion. And Jimmy Hall’s vocal simple sets Bobby Tench’s aflame.

Jeff Beck Live+ is due May 19, 2015 via Rhino’s Atco Records. Among Beck’s other cover subjects here are the Beatles (“A Day in the Life”), Jimi Hendrix (“Little Wing”), Sam Cooke (“A Change is Gonna Come”) and Stevie Wonder (“Superstition”). “Tribal” and “My Tiled White Floor” are just-completed studio recordings.

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