bill bodkin reviews the first live album from the co-host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show …
“I’m a Jersey boy, and there’s nowhere better to record my first-ever live comedy CD than good old Dirty Jerz. Malls, mullets, and metal.”
Don Jamieson is the kind of guy you want to hang out with. He’s got a personality as big as his Wolverine-esque sideburns — one that makes you want to laugh at everything he tells you, no matter how crude, lewd or heinous the joke. And that’s what makes his first live album, Live & Hilarious (released on Metal Blade Records) so good. His personality is so magnetic, his delivery so relatable and familiar that you feel as though you’re listening to one of your good buddies cracking wise instead of a comic who’s been killing it for over a decade — both onstage and on TV (he’s got an Emmy to prove it).
As an album, Live & Hilarious (the name derives the classic Thin Lizzy album Live & Dangerous), is a fast-paced live album that you wish ran a little longer—- and I mean that in the best way possible. Jamieson hits a tremendous comedic groove at the midpoint of the album, so you wish it had gone about 10 more minutes.
The atmosphere of the record is also something to note. Recorded live at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, N.J., the record is loud, electric and raucous. Listening to the album in your car you feel as though you’ve been transported from your car to the middle of crowd at Bar A. It should be noted that Jamieson’s That Metal Show co-host and longtime comedic partner Jim Florentine and Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumble Foot” Thal are featured at the beginning of the album. Also, check out two hidden musical tracks at the end of the record, you won’t regret it.
Outside of production, the strengths of Live & Hilarious comes not from the subject matter of Jamieson’s act, it’s Jamieson himself. His material isn’t anything we haven’t heard comics do before — problems with airport security, hating hyperactive kids, embarrassing sexual moments in front of your pets, being from Keansburg. Okay, maybe his subject is something we haven’t heard before. Irregardless, it’s all about the delivery. Jamieson has this wonderful knack for telling a joke, hitting you with the punchline, then just as the laughter is dying down, he hits you with a quick quip, aside or joke that makes the listener go “wait wait wait” and while laughing, you replay the track to catch the joke you missed.
So if you’re looking for a good laugh from a heavy metal dude from Jersey, pick up a copy of Live & Hilarious at Don’s official website and you’ll find out if Valtrax is covered under Obama’s new healthcare bill.