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Album Review

You can practically smell the spilled beer and nachos throughout this second live album from the poet laureate of Hill Country hangovers. Aside from the last track, Live was recorded at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, well within the corona of Austin, with Robison at the peak of his laconic powers. Backed by his band, the Enablers, he takes his time with songs that generally flow lazily past, slicked by a mix of Lone Star and steel guitar. Several tracks stand out: Some, such as the foot-stomp, Irish-inspired "John O'Reilly," ring like alarm bells and briefly shatter the sodden reverie. Others provide goofball interludes, especially "Life of the Party," whose grade-school scatology is more endearing than offensive. And there are moments that approach poetry, especially on Robison's rendition of his brother's "Tonight," whose evocation of teenage life in a tiny Texas town is as vivid as any scene you might choose from The Last Picture Show. As for that last song, "Walter," a case could be made that this crisply produced coda, cut with a bunch of studio pros in Nashville, should have been saved for some upcoming project. It's too much of an anomaly here — a bit too polished. It's good, but hell, it ain't Live. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Biography

Born: 01 September 1964 in Bandera, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Texas singer/songwriter Charlie Robison was born in Houston and raised on his family's ranch in the town of Bandera; absorbing the music he heard on the local honky tonk scene, he and brother Bruce — later an acclaimed performer in his own right — were also brought up on artists ranging from Black Sabbath to Gram Parsons to Bruce Springsteen. After discovering the thriving music scene in nearby Austin at age 15, Robison began writing his own material, drawing equal influence from rock...
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Live, Charlie Robison
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