Phosphorescent

Live At The Music Hall (Dead Oceans)

Contact Jacob Daneman about Phosphorescent

Those who were fortunate to catch Phosphorescent at any of the their shows in 2013 can attest to the fact that this is no ordinary touring band. Built around the core of founding member/songwriter Matthew Houck, Phosphorescent has expanded from a loop-station based solo act into a fully fledged classic rock band to be held in the same regard as the likes of Crazy Horse. They spent most of 2013 touring behind their hugely acclaimed album Muchacho, and by the end of the year the band were at the peak of their powers. This 3xLP/2xCD live album was recorded over the course of four jam-packed, sweltering holiday nights in mid-December.

 

The shows featured the full line up of Matthew Houck (Voice, Guitar, Piano), Rustine Bragaw (Bass, Voice), Christopher Marine (Drums), David Torch (Percussion), Jo Schornikow (Organ, Voice), Scott Stapleton (Piano, Voice), Ricky Ray Jackson (Pedal Steel, Guitar, Voice). The songs are culled from across the catalogue of Phosphorescent albums stretching back to early live favorite ‘Wolves’, which is featured here in both solo form and in full band guise, through to current classics such as ‘Song for Zula’ & “Ride On/Right On’.

 

After the shows, Houck spent hours going through the recordings, piecing together this definitive live collection. This is far from a quick cash-in live album – in fact, it should should perhaps be seen as the ultimate Phosphorescent record, taking the recordings that make the studio album to a whole new level. Once Houck had pieced together the tracks, he and album mixer John Agnello worked through the tracks, mixing them to truly represent that amazing Phosphorescent sound – one part cowboy bravado, one part wounded master.

 

You can hear how Houck’s voice cracks over over the tender ‘Tell Me Baby…’ and how it soars in the perhaps definitive Phosphorecent live song ‘Los Angeles’. The musicianship on display here is supreme, particularly Ricky Ray’s sublime pedal steel and the dual keyboard work of Schornikow and Stapleton, playing opposite each other and playing off each other. This album should be considered an addition to the pantheon of classic live records – The Who’s Live at Leeds, Frampton Comes Alive, Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps, The Band’s The Last Waltz, Bob Marley’s Live, Cheap Trick’s Live at the Budokan – like those, it is a defining moment in the catalogue of Phosphorescent.

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