"At just under an hour in running time, this CD is just about equivalent to half of a typical Cowboy Mouth live show, showing off their songwriting virtuosity and variety, their hard-driving attitude and performance, and the fervour with which audiences receive them.There is a quality to this album and to Fred's interaction with his audience not unlike a tent-meeting revival, and this should come as no surprise -- because Fred *is* a kind of evangelist -- an evangelist for life and joy and, above all else, good old-fashioned rompin' stompin' rock and roll. A past review says "...on a bad night they'll tear the roof off. On a *good* night they'll save your soul."Throughout this set, as at any CM show, you can hear Fred exhorting the audience to get into it -- to sing along, to jump up and down and yell to "gimme a little rhythm, y'all..."; there are no passive observers allowed at a Cowboy Mouth show -- "I don't give a damn about yesterday, and I ain't too concerned about tomorrow..." -- but while he had those people there he and the rest of CM gave them one rockin' show -- and you can hear them respond."...you're not allowed to sit and stare, we'll do our best to make you care..." brings a roar and cheers every time.Some of the band's strongest songs are here -- and some others aren't (which is why i give only four stars -- i think that the selection could have been *slightly* improved -- where are "Son of an Engineer", "My Little Blue One" and "How Do You Tell Someone"?)Standout songs/performances:"Love of My Life" (as always when done live; this one just doesn't work in its studio version, but live it's an excuse for Fred to really rant and rave) is a pure rock'n'roll experience, with its cheerful reflection that she's *not* "the love of my life anymore", as Fred incites the audience to even higher levels."Here I Sit in Prison", is lead guitarist J. T. Griffith's cheerfully skewed take on the "Folsom Prison"/"Mama Tried" genre, as the narrator is not only not sorry in the slightest that he gunned down his best friend when he caught him with his wife -- his only regret is that he didn't get *her* too.Rhythm guitarist Paul Sanchez's "Louisiana Lowdown and Blue" speeds up a cajun beat to tell the story of escaping from The Past.Fred's "Bad" is in a swing vein (complete with megaphone-effect backing vocals and JT's lovely tinkling electric piano), as the narrator informs the woman who unceremoniously dumped him after he was so good to her that "I'm gonna be bad, every time I think about you...""At the Foot of Canal Street" is an old-fashioned Dixieland gospel (again featuring JTG on piano) inspired by one of New Orleans's famous cemeteries.And, of course, we have -- again -- Fred's anthem -- "Jenny Says" -- the story of a doomed relationship with a woman who can't understand what obsesses him.Put this on. Turn it All The Way Up. Then turn it up some more.Imagine you're packed like a sardine in a hot, dark sweaty club with a couple hundred intimate strangers. Grab a beer. Get ready to rock out harder than you ever have in your living room before.And then realise that, good as it is, essential as it is, this is merely the best approximation of that awesome thing that is Cowboy Mouth live that you can buy..."
Almost as good as seeing them live
Matt | 01/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you love seeing cowboy mouth live- and who doesn't (they are the most energetic live band ever) you'll appreciate this album. While nothing equals their onstage energy, this album makes you feel like you're there, in the back row, for some of their most popular songs. Their version of Hurricane party is truely awesome!!"
Well worth the price of admission!
JG | Boston, Ma. | 04/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Quite possibly the best live band I have ever seen. This CD is excellent and does a good job of catching the concert atmosphere (although you really have to see Fred run the ship first hand to appreciate the full experience). There are several songs I would have liked to see included but you can't fit them all in. One of my personal faves on the album is 'Hurricane Party' from Paul's solo album 'Loose Parts'. What makes this song special is I had the pleasure of being at the show when they recorded it. The liner notes don't say where they were recorded but Paul can be heard saying "beat them all the way to Fenway Park" as the song fades out. This show was sponsored by a local radio station and took place on Lansdowne Street in the shadows of Fenway's Green Monster. If you haven't seen this band perform live...GO. If you have seen them...GO again! Either way, buy this album."
If trapped on a deserted island with a cd player & 1 disc...
Kendyluv | Atlanta , GA | 04/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this would be it! I have every CM album out there, but this one is definitely my favorite. No, it's not the same as being there -- but it's as close as you can possibly get! Cowboy Mouth's rampant enthusiasm at live shows is enough to make me weep... and this CD is enough to make me misty. That is, when I'm not bumping my head on the roof of my car trying to dance in the driver's seat... or endangering my vocal chords screaming responses to Fred. If you only own one Cowboy Mouth album, this should be it!"