Great Live CD
JM Blackmore | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I tend to have an uneasy relationship with "Live" recordings:
On the one hand, there's a lot of bands who simply play exactly the same bunch of songs in exactly the same way and even exactly the same order that they do on their studio recordings, which to me makes it boring. Note that there are exceptions, like Rush or AC/DC to name a couple, that still manage to infuse the music with passion and fire, even if they pretty much stick to the sheet music.
Then, on the other hand, there's the live albums where the band doesn't try or even care about being faithful to the studio versions. Now, when this works it's awesome, but it's always a gamble.
Being foreign (in this contex meaning I'm not a US citizen nor live in the US)I first heard about Victoria Williams when I saw the video for Soul Asylum's cover of "summer of drugs" back in the day. Shortly after, I listened to Pearl Jam's "Crazy Mary" on the radio and I decided to buy the Sweet Relief CD. A few spins later, I was hooked for life. I found Vic's songwriting and lyrics beautiful and interesting, albeit I realized it was for the most part other people's visions of Vic's songs and not necessarily very faithful to the source material.
Logically, I decided to get her CDs. Of course, I found it almost impossible. Over here almost NO ONE knows who she is, and those who know have practically been all told by me! When I did manage to find something, they turned out to be out of print, or they sold it in some webpage that didn't ship internationally. But things started to change and over the years, I've managed to get some of her CDs, used or whatever: Loose, Swing the Statue, Sings Some Old Songs. And now, I just got this one a few days ago.
I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. The songs stick pretty close to their studio versions for the most part, but you can clearly hear how much fun they're all having performing. I also found charming how Vic jokes with the audience in-between songs and how genuinely grateful and appreciative she seems. The CD feels like a recording of some friends' band playing a small venue, which I guess it's more or less what it is.
I'd definitely recommend it. Do yourself a favor and get some of her music, she's great and it sucks she's not as appreciated as she should be.
This is definitely a live album with heart. A lot of it."
Really fun disc
Dwight Buhler | Toluca Lake, CA United States | 01/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I got to see this, her one and only headlining tour with a full band, in L.A. and this disc really captures the joy and charm that Victoria exudes in a live setting. Sorry to hear it was such a flop commercially, but I have always really enjoyed this disc. For those who have not had the opportunity to see her live (and she seems to be touring less and less), you owe yourself this treat."