Top positive review
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A Tidal Wave of High Energy Rock and Roll
on August 15, 2006
As it was for another reviewer, Great American Music Galaxy kind of slipped between the cracks for me. Though I have purchased most other Dave Alvin CDs, for some reason I didn't remember that this had been issued until I was perusing the listings here for anything I might have missed. And had I not read the reviews and discovered that it was not a recording along the lines of Rod Stewart's smarmy Great American Songbook, I really would have been missing something great.
I am usually leery about live albums, oft-times they are issued just to generate some income and to keep an artist's name before the public while he/she struggles with something new. Additionally, the quality of a live concert recording is often far inferior to a studio recording. Not so with Great American Music Galaxy. On this CD, Alvin and his Guilty Men give their all. There is a generous dash of rockabilly, a dollop of country, and a taste of the blues but mostly there is a massive tidal wave of high-energy rock and roll.
I like the whole CD, but the standout song is an absolutely blistering delivery of the very dark Out of Control. What a song! After that, my favorite cuts are the hard-rocking Ashgrove and Alvin's sinister tale of misguided and obsessive love, Mary Brown.
If you have not heard Dave Alvin live, you are in for a treat here. Great American Music Galaxy is probably very different from what you might expect. I strongly recommend getting this while its still around.