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on 27 September 2013
Not sure why there have been moderate reviews of this very good live album by Mr Ryland Cooder esq.

OK - so American audiences whooping it up do get on your nerves (and should have been edited out), but the sound quality is actually pretty good. Certainly up to the standard you would expect from a premier player like Ryland.

But the music is excellent - back to the great days of the sound perfected with Chicken Skin Music, Bop Till You Drop and Paradise & Lunch - in other words - Ry's classic years.

A truly hot band featuring Flaco Jimenez hit all the right parts, and Ry is in good voice throughout.

However - this album must be purchased for the red hot version of Vigilante Man. Maybe the best ever live recording by Ryland - it absolutely sizzles. His slide work might be the best of his career. and makes other slide masters (Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth) seem positively feeble by comparison. Incendiary song - brilliantly played!!

Stick that one on repeat, and marvel at Mr Cooder's skills.....
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on 24 September 2013
For Cooder fans, this is a Must - a reunion with Flaco Jimenez, a play list covering (OK, parts of...) the Cooder catalogue, and newer stuff from the Pull Up Some Dust album. The sound quality is very good - clear and 'live': as you would have heard in the room, rather than 'direct-to-desk'. The mix is right: a DDD recording of a live event, audience and all - what would you expect?!!

As other reviewers have said: cracking versions of Crazy Bout An Automobile, La Corrida de Jesse James and Viglante Man - the last has the only extended slide solo on this album. Ry plays electric throughout, with a bit of crunch; mostly playing slide and fingerstyle mid-range rythmn parts, as in recent albums.

The Do Re Mi number (Track 5) is actually a replay of the 'Viva Sequin / Do Re Mi' medley from Ry's 1977 Showtime album, with Flaco. Juliette Commagere (who featured on the Chavin Ravin album) takes lead vocals on Volver Volver. Ry is in great voice; the band is variously tight and gloriously shambolic - exactly as they should be.

The packaging is a thin Digipack tri-fold, with full credits and a few photos; nothing to get excited about.

Bottom line? If you like how Ry Cooder does his stuff right now, you will love this. It's a good gig and a faithful live recording; joyful stuff - like being there on the night.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2013
Ry's live releases are so few and far between grabbing this one as soon as it came out was a no-brainer. The artistry and musicianship is as always with Cooder of the highest quality and its great to hear him on new material with Flaco.
Sound quality however is very boomy and more than a little disappointing. Though not necessarily ruining the listening experience there's bootlegs with better sound. Bit of a shame but still worth shelling out for.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2013
Any release by Ry Cooder is a cause for celebration and since his live releases have been pretty thin on the ground (well, legitimate ones anyway), this one has been eagerly awaited.

Thirty six years on from his last authorised live album "Showtime" it's a shame, given the immense catalogue that he had to choose from, that three of the songs from that record are duplicated this time around, "School Is Out" a particularly surprising choice.

Most satisfying is Cooder's lengthy, stripped-down revisiting of "Vigilante Man", where freed from the shackles of the large supporting ensemble he gets down to what he does best with some very tasty guitar work. "Crazy 'Bout An Automobile" is another standard that Cooder has long since made his own and there's nothing wrong with it here, although the definitive version of that tune is to be found in the all-too-rarely aired 1987 concert film of Ry Cooder and The Moula Banda Rhythm Aces in Santa Cruz, which is positively unhinged. (By the way, when is someone finally going to release an authorised high quality CD or DVD of that magnificent show?)

Juliette Commagere, whose seductive vocals have illuminated much of Cooder's recent work, delivers a disappointingly mechanical and soulless rendition of another Cooder perennial "Volver Volver" whilst "Goodnight Irene" is similarly lifeless. Give me Tom Waits' version any day.

Otherwise, it's the older material that fares best with "Do Re Mi" and "Boomer's Story" the pick of the bunch.

School is out. End of term report: "Good, but could have done better."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2013
An official album from Ry Cooder is always welcome. As someone who has collected Ry Cooder since the 70's I a totally disappointed by this collection. Ry Cooder is simply going thru the motions here. Round up a few cronies and make a quick buck. If you listen to a recent release of a concert in Hamburg Germany in 1977, you will be struck by a remarkable similarity in the track listings. Surely a man of his talents could vary the setlist over a forty year period? Do Re Mi, Wooly Bully, Dark End of The Street, and of course Goodnight Irene all featured again and again and again. Time to freshen it up Ry, because this all sounds like it has all been done before.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Really confused by peoples negative remarks about the sound quality of this recording ! I don't think I've heard a better live recording . I'm listening to the vinyl edition on my rega planar 3 turntable, and it sounds sublime!

Great concert, cracking set , and long overdue from my favourite guitar player . (Would be nice to have it on a DVD as well.)

Cooder sounds better than ever - especially vocally , as do Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller.

My only slight dissapointment is the absence of Jim Keltner on drums. No offence to Joachim (I like him too) but Jim brings a different dimension to Ry's playing and songs.

Small gripe, and I would have said this is absolutley essential to Ry Cooder fans . Buy it on Vinyl too !...
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on 21 February 2015
great album from the master guitarist
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on 31 March 2015
great album as expected, thanks.
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on 21 June 2015
Fantastic live recording.
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on 2 October 2014
very good
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