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For the Record (Live)

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Album Review

In 1998, the Blue Dogs did a lot of taping on stage, and those live recordings resulted in two albums: Live at the Florence Little Theater (released in 2002) and this CD, which came out in 1999. Florence Little is the more generous of the two; that disc lasts 74 minutes, whereas For the Record only lasts about 45 minutes. Another advantage that the Florence Little CD has over this one is more variety — on that release, the Blue Dogs and their extended family of musicians treat listeners to different combinations of players and fluctuate between electric and unplugged (or at least semi-unplugged) performances. Nonetheless, For the Record has a lot going for it. Recorded at four different 1998 shows in South Carolina, For the Record is dominated by original material but contains a few noteworthy covers as well. Several of the songs were unveiled on a self-titled studio album that the Blue Dogs put out in 1997, including "Walter," "I'd Give Anything," "Maria," "Long Gone Goodbye," and the contemplative "World Turns a Revolution." While a performance of Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me" is pleasing, the album's most interesting cover is an unlikely version of the Commodores' "Brick House," which the Blue Dogs manage to change from '70s funk to fast, bluegrass-influenced country-rock (with a touch of jazz). And to their credit, the Blue Dogs' "Brick House" makeover doesn't sound the least bit forced or awkward — they make the 1977 classic sound perfectly natural as a country-rock tune. If you were limited to only one CD of the Blue Dogs' live performances of 1998, Live at the Florence Little Theater would be a better investment. But For the Record is still enjoyable and is worth acquiring if you're among their hardcore fans.


Formed: 1987 in Charleston, SC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Not to be confused with the avant-garde jazz combo Blue Dog or the alternative rock outfit Blue Dog Pict, the Blue Dogs are an earthy, down-home roots rock/country-rock/Southern rock band from South Carolina. The twangy, very Southern-sounding Blue Dogs were formed in Charleston, SC, in 1987 by lead singer/guitarist Bobby Houck and bassist Hank Futch, who had known each other since childhood and played together in college. Drummer Greg Walker came along later, joining the band in 1993. At first,...
Full Bio
For the Record (Live), Blue Dogs
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