I confess that the opening tune 'Are You Going With Me' has long been a dependable drug free stress release companion. Its two minute intro by the entire ensemble softly builds an atmosphere that suggests something truly ground breaking is about to be unleashed. It is in the form of the most innovitive guitar sound of its time. It is easy to mistake Pat's guitar for an harmonica at first until it becomes gradually apparent that not even the genius of Larry Adler could conjure up sounds of this dimension. Once a trombonist Pat's unique guitar phrasing reminds me more of a brass instument and at times mimics the sound of a singing whale.
This is probably their most widely appreciated anthem which lays the ground for a euphoric musical voyage of alternating exhileration and relaxation which makes the trip the most pleasurable musical journey I have endured.
Steve Rodby, now installed on bass with a less complex sound than his predessors, and percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, adding a Brazillian flavour have realy kicked the band into a new stride on these 1982 live recordings.
Disc one winds down with the exquisite slow classical style that is 'Farmers Trust'.
Disc two strides out purposefully with the contemplative 'Extradition', followed by the lullaby,'Going Ahead' before the storm, 'Wichita Falls' a menacingly turbulent tune, resolved by the serene calmness of 'Travels'.
'Song for Bilbao' is a fanfare for the safe return of thr musicians at their journy's end.
This remarkable exploration closes with a track from their trio days,'San Lorenzo' as a reflection and modest but majestic celebration of this fantastic trip.