It was a pleasure, during my recent visit to Łódź for a conference, to also have the opportunity to see the Mike Greene Trio perform at Club Mandala on the penultimate night of their current tour. Comprising Greene on guitar and vocals, David Price on fetching aluminium double bass [see here] and Łukasz Wiśniewski on harmonica, the group delivered an assured and entertaining performance – tight and focused but with space for spontaneity - for the very eager crowd. The Trio’s approach to their classic blues and country material is traditional, in the main, but Greene’s appealing vocals, Price’s supple bass and Wiśniewski's superb, dynamic harmonica-playing added some fresh textures to even the most familiar songs. Highlights of the well-structured set included an innovatively-arranged “Smokestack Lightning” and an intense “Back Door Man,” as well as very pleasing takes on such staples as “Sixteen Tons,” “Poor Boy Blues,” “Hellhound on my Trail,” and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”
A warm and affable front-man, Greene kept the mood relaxed and intimate throughout the evening, while the enthusiasm of the crowd resulted in an impromptu extended coda to the proper set including “She Belongs to Me,” “Bright Lights Big City,” and Greene’s lovely original song “Souls in the Rain.” The Trio have further shows planned for Poland in September and October: keep an eye on Mr. Greene's Facebook page.