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Unleashed Live Live

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, September 26, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Outside of Texas, it's hard to grasp the Beatlemania-like frenzy that can be directed toward these marginally successful singer-songwriters. At a packed Texas honky-tonk such as Gruene Hall, however, the brothers Robison and adopted kin Jack Ingram go over like the Second Coming, which doesn't mean they don't earn the reception. The three Texans take no chances with material--everything but Ingram's "Travis County" has been cut elsewhere--and deliver their most anthemic and popular tunes in straight-shooting, full-band, Outlaw country style. Small flourishes save these 12 songs (recorded one night in December 1999) from abject predictability: Bruce's Western swing version of Joe Dickens's "Good Life," his wife Kelly Willis's sweet guest harmonies on "Angry All the Time," and Charlie's self-deprecating tone on "Sunset Boulevard." Unfortunately, Ingram turns in four of his slighter tunes, including the obnoxious frat-brat anthem "Barbie Doll," which only makes the call-and-response of his audience all the more suspect. But if you've never experienced Texas frat-country hysteria first hand, this live set will get you more than close enough to the party. --Roy Kasten
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: September 26, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00004YC1O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,645 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As an East Coast liberal music geek, I must object to your review of Jack Ingram's contribution to this CD. I am way outside of Texas and easily grasp the enthusiasm this guy generates. I bought Unleashed Live in a record store in Massachusetts this week specifically because Ingram appears on it. Just stopped by here to see what the response was like. To give you a sense of my musical tastes I was in the store to buy Radiohead's new one and Catpower's last one (before the recent Covers album.) I'm a music fan, not a frat brat. I first discovered Ingram in Hope Floats and I looked into buying that soundtrack. He's not even on it. Whoever made that decision continues to puzzle me with their motives. Next, I was lucky enough to see him open for Wille Nelson in NYC and the kid held the attention of the room--a room full of New Yorkers and Hell's Angels waiting to hear Mr. Wille Nelson. He held the room because he's got the chops. Sure he's young, but he's no frat brat. He's doing his best to be the next in a line of authentic Texan singer-songwriters that winds back through Jerry Jeff and Willie. Ingram's tracks on Unleashed Live are some of my favorites-- Mustang Burn and Barbie Doll especially. I don't find Barbie Doll the least bit obnoxious and I'm a humorless feminist. I think the ditty is smart and funny and good for dancing. That's all I really need.
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Format: Audio CD
How can you hate this album? True Texan style honky tonk. The performances are great for a live album. Bruce cranks out a great set that sets the stage for the rest of the album, starting with a splendid version of "The Good Life". Charlie kicks it in gear with a terrific version of "Sunset Blvd" and cleverly works in the name Lewinsky (you just gotta hear it!). "Loving County" still gives me chills, hearing it live gives you an idea that his potential has not even been tapped yet. Jack Ingram, who I am ashamed to say I knew nothing about before this album, won a new fan with his awesome music. From "Mustang Burn" to "Barbie Doll", this guy gives you everything he's got. The Texas attitude may be more than some folks can stomach. But if you want a taste of talented musicians that put heart and soul into the music, do yourself a favor and buy this album. I spent lots of time in Texas honky tonks, and these guys give you a real sample of quality music. You don't have to be from Texas to love this album. If you understand real country music, you will quickly find this to be one of your favorite albums in your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
A live sampler of four songs each from brothers Charlie and Bruce Robison and fellow Sony/Lucky Dog labelmate Jack Ingram, this release provides a good introduction to all three artists. With the exception of "Travis County" by Ingram these songs are all available in studio versions. Diehard fans will want to have the CD to capture the feel of seeing these performers live. Someone not familiar with the artists may be inclined to purchase this CD to sample all three performers for the price of a single CD. If you like one, it's extremely unlikely you won't like all three, buy CDs from each instead.
The highlight of this release is "Angry All the Time" performed by Bruce Robison with harmony vocals by Kelly Willis that put the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill cover version to shame. The remaining tracks are all solid performances and a good cross section of songs from each artist.
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Format: Audio CD
If you've been watching CMT's "Western Beat" series, you've only gotten a taste of what these great Texas singer-songwriters can do. This CD gives you a bigger sample of their work - just enough to (hopefully) make you want to buy their other CDs. Charlie Robison is my favorite one of these 3. His tunes sometimes have a sense of humor & other times an honesty &/or sincerity that you just can't get from today's poppy NashVegas fluff (McGraw, Hill, Twain, etc.). Like I said in my review of Charlie's "Life Of The Party" CD (..or was it "Bandera"?), his Dixie Chick wife (banjo picker Emily) got me into his music. But I know I would've enjoyed Charlie's music had I never bought a Dixie Chicks CD. I prefer Charlie to Bruce & Jack because Charlie rocks & his story-telling lyrics remind me of those of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant. Bruce's music & particularly his voice are softer, but still very good & worth a listen. As you may have guessed, my favorite part of Bruce's portion of the CD is his duet with Charlie - "Rayne Louisiana". I also like "Red Letter Day" & "The Good Life". "RLD" has a cool late 60's/early 70's Rolling Stones or Southern Rock feel to it whereas "TGL" is a good honky tonk song. Pretty much the same story with Jack; 3 outta 4 ain't bad! "Barbie Doll" is another cool song on this CD that has a Southern Rock-ish feel that I really enjoy. "Work This Out" is the most Country-sounding song Jack does here that I like. The other one, "Mustang Burn", is pretty much another rocker. But it's a good one! :-) Basically, if you've been watching CMT's "Western Beat" & have been hearing about a new genre of music that nobody's been able to label except maybe with the phrase "rockin' country", this CD is a great example of what "rockin' country" is all about!
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