POKEY LAFARGE & THE SOUTH CITY THREE
LIVE IN HOLLAND
Continental Song City (CSCCD1092)
Devil Ain't Lazy, Can't Be Satisfied, Fan It, Brick Thieves, Pack It Up, Ain't The Same, Walk Your Way Out Of Town, Two-Faced Tom, In The Graveyard Now, Drinkin' Whiskey Tonight, Cairo Illinois, Claude Jones, Hard Times Come & Go, La La Blues
It's not unusual for a hard working touring band, with a reputation for being one of the hottest tickets in town, to release a live album in an attempt to capture the magic that secured this reputation in the first place. It is unusual though for the attempt to succeed so well.
This really is a splendid live album, achieving what all the best live albums do - make you wish that you were indeed there on the night. I don't know what the audience in Amsterdam had been smoking or drinking that night prior to the appearance of Pokey and the boys but they were clearly in splendid spirits, cheering loudly not just every song but solos, between-song quips and (quite possibly) everything else that moved. On some albums this can irritate after a while, but not here, it simply sounds as though everyone in attendance was having a good ol' time.
Another feature of this CD is the sheer sound quality - it is so pristine and clear you feel as though you had the best seat in the house and that the band were playing specifically and only for you. No muddy sound, under-amped banjo or over-miked plectrum here.
So what of the music you ask? Well, if you don't know Pokey (where have you been?), then it's up-tempo American roots, country blues, folk, jazz and western swing, all delivered by a group of excellent and lively musicians. By and large the songs here are taken from their two most recent studio albums, though even if you have these, I suspect you'll still want this - listen to it often enough and before long you'll have convinced yourself that you were indeed in The Paradiso in Amsterdam in April 2012. I know I was!
Review Date: October 2012