Reckless Kelly Was Here
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2006, Volume 13, #8
Written by John Metzger
Reckless Kelly wastes little time getting into the swing of things on its latest outing Reckless Kelly Was Here. The multimedia affair — which is presented as a two-CD, one-DVD package — was captured before a hometown crowd in March 2006 at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas. Spurred by the enthusiasm that was exhibited by the assembled audience, the band unleashed a ferocious performance that annihilated any thoughts that the group was mired in a slump.
Salvaged from the distracted air of Wicked Twisted Road, the ZZ Top-inspired Sixgun was set ablaze by its punishing rhythm and wildly churning guitars, and although Reckless Kelly didn’t make any dramatic alterations to the arrangement of Alejandro Escovedo’s Castanets — the first of several exquisite cover tunes that the group delivered that evening — its interpretation was sufficiently urgent. Elsewhere, the ensemble reveled in the galloping country-imbued refrains of Richard Thompson’s 1952 Vincent Black Lightning as well as its own Motel Cowboy Show, intertwining guitar and fiddle to form a bucolic hoedown for the former and inserting a space-y, Neil Young-ian jam into the latter. For its finale, Reckless Kelly blew apart The Beatles’ Revolution, transforming it into a slow-burning, roadhouse blues excursion.
Tacked onto the end of Reckless Kelly Was Here are studio renditions of the impassioned Break My Heart Tonight and the playfully incisive Wiggles & Ritalin, while the DVD contains a 5.1 surround sound mix of the show, sans Revolution. Although Under the Table and Above the Sun remains Reckless Kelly’s crowning achievement, Reckless Kelly Was Here effectively captures the exhilarating essence of the collective’s concert performances.
Reckless Kelly Was Here is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box