Kevin Montgomery “Live from Glasgow” (Road Trip Records 2005)
Decent “Best Of” from Nashvillian and ubiquituous UK tourer, featuring the legendary Al Perkins. Kevin Montgomery has spent a large proportion of the last few years touring his heart out across the UK, and has been rewarded for his troubles with a sizeable fanbase, so a live album is a logical step. Recorded at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut it documents a performance from June 2003 and features his usual band the Road Trippers, who include Paul Deakin and Robert Reynolds from the Mavericks, and on steel and guitar Al Perkins from almost anyone who matters (Burritos, CSN, Emmylou to name but three). Stylistically this is a warts and all album (not that there are many) and hasn’t suffered from much post-recording studio work. This means it has a real live feel, but from time to time the overall sound quality, and Montgomery’s vocals in particular, are a little strained. 2003 was probably the peak of Montgomery’s live show, as latterly it has descended into tedious self-indulgence (notably from Montgomery and Reynolds) and little if any new material is offered. On “Live from Glasgow” though the band were still in rocking blow ‘em away mode and relatively fresh, and it shows. Songwise what you get is essentially a best of, and despite the odd dip (“Angel Tonight” is particularly maudlin and lachrymose) there are a lot of A1 songs here. “Tennessee Girl” and “Melrose” rock with the best of them, and “Fear Nothing”, “Another Long Story” and “Let’s All Go To California” are a tryptch that can hold their own with anybody. Instrumentally, while the band is never less than competent it’s Al Perkins, as you would expect, who is the star. The set proper finishes with blistering versions of “Crossroads” and “Ooh Las Vegas” and Perkins’ fingers fly with unfeasible speed and skill. Eat your heart out Jerry Douglas. Live albums are often a difficult proposition, suffering as they do from hints of contractual obligation, and often being little more than milk-the-fans exercises. “Live from Glasgow” is a decent offering though, and a handy starting point for the uninitiated.
Date review added: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Related web link: www.kevinmontgomery.com