Live At The Ry­man 7/10

UNCUT - - New Albums - graeMe tHOMsOn

six-night stand doc­u­mented

Recorded over six Nashville nights and fea­tur­ing 13 tracks pulled from Isbell’s three most re­cent stu­dio al­bums, Live At The Ry­man is an au­dio vérité doc­u­ment of a song­writer in his prime backed by a pow­er­house band. The vis­ceral record­ings put the lis­tener right there, amid whiskey-soaked au­di­ence whoops, yelled count-ins and sear­ing ver­sions of “Hope The High Road”, “White Man’s World” and “Cum­ber­land Gap”. Amanda Shires’ swirling vi­o­lin adds a touch of The Water­boys’ mid-’80s gran­deur to th­ese hard­scrab­ble tales, while spare read­ings of “Ele­phant” and “Cover Me Up” are al­most over­whelm­ingly in­tense. An in­ti­mate, un­fil­tered snap­shot of rough-hewn ex­cel­lence.

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