Live & Kicking

So having had a blog for while without actually posting anything, here’s my first foray into the murky & subversive world of blogging.

Recently I’ve been listening to quite a lot of non-studio music, live shows, radio performances, that kind of thing, I still find it enlightening how certain tracks I never rated highly suddenly jump out as being masterpieces when heard live. It may be a mood thing? maybe to my ears the lyrics get diluted in the studio production? sometimes more is less and can the real atmospheric of a raw live performance be reproduced in the studio? there’s no doubt that sometimes the beauty of a song can be lost in the studio, the mood removed by unsympathetic production, the playing lost in a muddy mix, I guess in part that’s why I like a lot of americana music that often takes the lo-fi approach.

I was debating with a friend recently about the joys of listening to live music, he was unconvinced and couldn’t see any merit in listening to amateur recordings with the crackle, hiss, crowd noise or why I would want to own a copy of any of the @ The BBC albums for instance when I already have all but a couple of the tracks on studio albums, each to their own as they say, but for me there are magical moments to be missed by overlooking live albums and bootlegs.

There are so many blogs and websites around offering live shows and tracks it’s no longer a ball-ache to get hold of “bootleg” music, the only problem is finding the time to listen to it all, the Internet Archive live music section has 358 shows available for the Drive-By Truckers, that’s what, around a month’s worth of listening assuming you could stay awake around the clock.

So for your listening pleasure here it is a “mixtape” of some of my favourite live tracks, it may give you a few clues to what type of music you can expect to see around here in the future.

There’s are are few cover versions too, including Josh Ritter doing Springsteen’s The River and Mary Lou Lord’s take on Thunder Road, there’s also a stellar version of Light Enough to Travel by the wonderful The Be Good Tanya’s and Loomers – Anastasia from a BBC session that’s better than the album version to my ear plus tracks from Ray Davies, Paul Weller, Damien Rice, Centro-Matic, Blaze Foley, Dan Bern amongst others and given the current situation in the middle-east a rather poignant Steve Earle track, there’s a full track listing in the download.
So much music, so little time.
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