I lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for ten years so I'd always make the trek to Atlanta whenever Richard played the Variety, Smith's, etc. I live in Nashville now so getting to see Richard usually just means getting in the car and driving downtown.
-- Photo from a show in Baton Rouge in '91 here
. I'm the nerd in the middle with the sweaty black t-shirt. My hairline's a bit steeper these days.
The "Live in Providence" DVD is a bit of a disappointment, but that's largely due to the setlist. I've lost count of how many times I've seen him play, and the Old Kit Bag tour was kind of a letdown for me for a couple of reasons. I wasn't crazy about Earl Harvin on drums, and Danny's absence made a noticable difference in the band's sound. Plus, it just wasn't the same fire and brimstone vibe that was so much a part of the band's shows throughout the 90's. Having said that, the Providence DVD has great sound and the picture quality is very good. And there are
some astonishing moments -- if you want to convert any of your friends to the Cult of RT, cue up the disc to run through tracks 7-9: "Walking on a Wire", "Shoot Out the Lights" and a ferocious version of "Can't Win". In fact, if there's any real criticism to be made, it's that the disc leans so heavily on material from The Old Kit Bag when there were some fantastic older songs in the setlist that could have been preserved for posterity.
The Austin City Limits DVD is another matter entirely. The picture and sound are outstanding (although the acoustic guitar is a little thin -- if you've seen him you know how huge that Lowden sounds), the setlist is outstanding, and the perfomances are stunning. Richard's personality really comes through, and the schizophrenic dichotomy of the differences between his acoustic and electric material is really there. You get the folky RT with lots of nice close-ups of his freakish pick-and-fingers playing style, and then you get the howling, violent plugged-in dynamic.
So which to buy? Both, of course. And the "1,000 Years of Popular Music" DVD is set to be released in October...
"Front Parlour Ballads" has taken a few listens to really grow on me, but now I'm really enjoying it. I loved "Mock Tudor", and I thought "The Old Kit Bag" was very strong. But I wasn't quite prepared for the sparseness or intimacy of FPB. It's EXACTLY what the title sounds like. It's very English, and the guitar playing takes a back seat to the writing. The reason you may not have seen it yet is because it was released last Tuesday. Nice review here
Glad to find a fellow fan. If you're ever in Nashville, look me up!