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Carrie Rodriguez & Chip Taylor: Live from the Ruhr Triennale

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Album Review

If you're a fan of roots rock and Texas country music, then this disc will kind of take your breath away before you even hear a note. The pairing of singer/songwriter Chip Taylor and fiddler/singer Carrie Rodriguez has been an inspired one ever since they started making albums together in 2002. On this live album (recorded in Germany at the triennial celebration of the Ruhr region) they are joined by a band that includes pedal steel player Greg Leisz as well as — get this — famed jazz/country/experimental guitarist Bill Frisell. The music is by turns soulful and rollicking, with dips into the old book of country standards (Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again," Johnny Cash's "Big River") and the slightly less old book of rock & roll standards (Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," Taylor's own "Wild Thing"). Most of the remainder are relatively contemporary songs written by Taylor, and several things jump out at you about them: Taylor's own strong voice, Rodriguez's gorgeously reedy harmony vocals, and the almost otherworldly beauty of the live arrangements. A good portion of the credit for that beauty goes to Frisell, who is at his best in a setting like this — spinning out his heartbreakingly lovely guitar lines in ringing, shimmering layers. But even if he were absent, songs like the Taylor/Rodriguez duet "Once Again One Day You Will Be Mine" and the quasi-religious "Oh Set a Light" would stand beautifully on their own. Not to mention Rodriguez's sturdily rocking arrangement of the traditional fiddle tune "Elzic's Farewell" and the two numbers that close out the set — a quiet version of "Angel of the Morning" (yes, that's a Taylor song as well) and a startlingly sexy version of "Wild Thing." Brilliant.

Customer Reviews

whoo wee

utterly outstanding! These two are the bomb. I'm gonna learn to play guitar and sing just soes I can form the first chip and carrie cover band. A great live record with excellent sound quality.

Buy this disc TODAY

I was introduced to C+C via Bill Frisell's website, as this was one of their offerings. After a listen to a sample of 'Red Dog Tracks' I immediately busted out the plastic and ordered it. Terrific songs, great harmonies, sublime musicianship and one of the finest live recordings I have ever experienced (and I have heard a LOT of live recordings). What are you waiting for? All killer, no filler.


Born: 1978 in Austin, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Reared in Austin, TX, and schooled at Boston's Berklee College of Music, the fiddle-playing singer/songwriter Carrie Rodriguez made her recording debut in 2002 by contributing to Chip Taylor's Let's Leave This Town. Taylor had first heard Rodriguez at the 2001 South by Southwest conference and subsequently invited her to tour alongside him, which she did for several years. The duo also released several collaborative albums, which allowed Rodriguez to showcase her fiddle expertise while slowly sharpening...
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