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Live at The Palais

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Album Review

Live at Palais is one of the rare concert recordings released by Michael "Papa Nez" Nesmith. In the early '90s, when the rest of his back catalog was being issued on CD, Nez refused to allow the disc to be included in overhaul — citing dissatisfaction with the performance. Due to the demand of enthusiasts worldwide, consent was granted to not only reissue the disc, but also to compliment the package with nearly a half-hour of additional music. The material covered here is primarily derived from the half-dozen albums Nez did on RCA Records in the early '70s — the singular exception being "Capsule" from the cryptically titled Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma long-player. A majority of the tracks are refugees from one of Nesmith's most fertile creative periods in the late '60s, just prior to leaving the Monkees. "Calico Girlfriend," "Propinquity," "Some of Shelly's Blues," "Crippled Lion," and "Listen to the Band" are all tunes Nesmith recorded as both a Monkee and solo artist. On Live at Palais, Nesmith's folk-tinged originals are replaced by electric and decidedly more emotive renderings. While much of the folksy spirit remains, songs such as "Calico Girlfriend" and "Some of Shelly's Blues" have matured — featuring the essence of the Southwest Americana that Nesmith's music so aptly depicts. The bonus material is as strong as — if not arguably more potent than — the Palais performance. From a 1981 show at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, TX, comes another, albeit heavier, version of "Grand Ennui" as well as the only live version of the previously mentioned "Capsule." The other pair of bonus tracks is from a concert sponsored by Gretsch Guitars in 1995. Incidentally, Nesmith owned one of only three electric 12-string Gretsch guitars manufactured in the mid- to late '60s. His affinity is obvious and translates into some outstanding music ranging from the tender "Crippled Lion" to the raucous "Listen to the Band." Live at Palais is only available through Nesmith's online mail order site.

Customer Reviews

This is a great album!

This has got to be Michaels best live CD, I like it even better than the CD "Live at the Britt", which is good on the 2nd half, with his newer songs from Tropical Campfires. Mike sounds great on almost every song, and even though the recording is not 100% great, I think because this is early concert of his, the concert is very good. I am really glad he released this, and am looking forward to many more years of Michael Nesmiths great singing and songwriting. And the hits just keep on coming....

Live and great!

Mike performs some of his hit songs and some covers that are just mind blowingly different from the studio versions that he had recorded. I really can't explain how different these songs are and thats not a bad thing. It reminds me of John lennon's live concerts, very gritty and dare i say country/funk? This is a must buy for any Nez fan, these are top notch and give his old songs a musical face lift. If you are not a nez fan, probably better to start with the originals, so you can apperciate this live concert.

He is a great performer

I love this album. He is a very good performer, here and anywhere else I've seen him perform. One must wonder why he did not perform live more than he did. Grand Ennui is a great song, but I have to admit that I never heard of the concept of ennui before. Now that I looked it up and know the definition, I encounter this term all the time. One of those strange things.
Everyone loves Joanne, and he performs it slow and delicately here. Wish I had been there!
The album notes above say Nez was not happy with the performance! I wonder what he did not like?


Born: December 30, 1942 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The comparatively level-headed member of '60s teen sensation the Monkees, Michael Nesmith was the most proficient instrumentalist in the group and wrote their best in-house songs, rootsy pop numbers like "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Told Me," "You Just May Be the One," and "Tapioca Tundra." In fact, he had written many songs before even joining the group, and one of his compositions, "Different Drum," was a hit for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys in 1968. After he left the Monkees one year later,...
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