My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Recommendation: Live songs & albums

So being the Sugarland freak I am, I went to Wal-Mart to get Live On The Inside the morning it came out- before they had even put it on the shelves. I had to find a worker to get the box of new CDs open to get me one so I could have it. Not being a fan of live CDs, I was worried, but Live exceeded all my expectations. With superb singing of both Sugarland’s hits and mostly great covers, I was very happy. So for my recommendation this week, I’m going to recommend 3 tracks from 3 live albums that I’ve enjoyed:

live on inside“Better Man” by Sugarland (Originally by Pearl Jam)
Playing this for friend, he remarked the bridge wasn’t energetic enough and listening to the original, he was right, but Sugarland does a good job here. This song has themes that belong in country music, and the mostly acoustic arrangement works out to make a cool cover. This is one of my favorites from Live On The Inside, as well as “The One I Love” and “Circle”. Watch a preview of it on Youtube.

cwlive“Poison & Wine” by The Civil Wars (Original song)
Thanks to this article from Country Universe, I discovered their free live album, Live at Eddie’s Attic (You can still download it for free here). I was pleasantly surprised to find two very talented singer/songwriters making very good music, “Poison & Wine” being my favorite. It’s a gorgeous song with driving piano that underlies it’s sadness. Watch it live on YouTube.

album_tigers“Rated X” by Neko Case (Originally by Loretta Lynn)
A #1 hit for Loretta Lynn, this controversial song does well in the hands of Neko Case, still sounding country, but all Neko. I almost got to see Neko Case live in New York City this year, but unfortunately I didn’t get to go. Sadly you can’t hear this song anywhere, but iTunes has Neko’s excellent live CD, The Tigers Have Spoken here.

These three albums have made me like live albums more, now I want yours.

What live albums or tracks would you recommend?

18 responses to “Recommendation: Live songs & albums

  1. Leeann Ward August 19, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I actually really ended up enjoying the Sugarland album too. My favorite song on it was “Irreplaceable.”

    I love that Civil Wars album too.

    My favorite live album is probably Emmylou Harris’ Live At the Ryman. It’s the album that made me finally dig deeper into her catalog, even though it was an album full of covers.

  2. Occasional Hope August 19, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I don’t tend to be a big fan of live records, mainly because they tend to consist of rougher versions of songs I’ve already got studio versions of. I do like Emmylou’s live albums Last Date and Live At The Ryman because not only do they sound great, they have material which she hadn’t done on her other records.

  3. the pistolero August 19, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    On his first live set Double Exposure, Cory Morrow did a bang up job covering Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and Billy Joe Shaver’s “Georgia On A Fast Train.” The whole thing was pretty good, actually; I also liked Pat Green’s Live At Billy Bob’s, as well as Robert Earl Keen’s first live album, recorded back when he was still doing the bluegrass-type stuff. (Cory Morrow also covered “I’ll Go On Downtown,” which REK also cut on that live album.)

    • Leeann Ward August 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm

      I haven’t been able to get into Corey Morrow, but I really like Pat Green’s live album as well as Reckless Kelly’s Live at Stubbs. They do a fun cover of “You Shook Me All Night Long”, much better than the Big & Rich cover of it. I’m not a huge live album fan either, but I know there are more that I like quite a bit.

  4. Razor X August 19, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    The Sugarland live album was too 80s-arena-rock for my taste. As far as live albums are concerned, I really like the Emmylou Harris ones already mentioned, as well as Dolly’s Heartsongs – Live From Home and Live and Well , and George Strait’s For The Last Time – Live From The Astrodome.

  5. Megan Morrow August 20, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Since its Reba month on the blog, I can’t help but mention Reba’s Live. Her vocals give me chills on the covers at the end that illustrate her musical influences including Bob Wills’ “San Antonio Rose”, Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”, Dolly’s “Jolene” and her famous acapella version of Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams.”

    The Ray Price cover of “Night Life’ is one of my all time favorites from any of her albums. Reba on the blues…incredible.

  6. Pingback: Lost Highway Debut Announced for Robert Earl Keen; Rounder Celebrates 40; Kenny Snatches Camera | The 9513

  7. Steve Harvey August 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Johnny Cash’s rendition of 25 MINUTES TO GO from the ‘At Folsom Prison’ record is spine-tingling, and probably the best thing he ever did.

  8. CF August 20, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    “Oh Atlanta” by Alison Krauss & Union Station.

    “I Can Only Imagine” by Wynonna Judd.

    There are some others, but those ones immediately came to mind.

  9. Razor X August 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Dwight Yoakam’s Guitars, Cadillacs was re-released in 2006 with some bonus material to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Among the bonus material is a live concert that he gave at The Roxy in Los Angeles around the time that the album was released. Really good stuff.

  10. Lanibug August 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I am a fan of the Dixie Chicks – “Top of the World – Live” CD’s.

  11. Kevin J. Coyne August 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Pick up the “An Evening with the Dixie Chicks” DVD. It’s an all-acoustic performance of their entire Home album, start to finish, then closes with performances of four earlier hits. I’d recommend it over “Top of the World”, which also has some nice moments.

    Here’s a clip. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube, I think:


  12. Jake August 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I also think the Dixie Chicks Top Of The World live album is great. I also lik Garth Brooks Double Live alot. “Beaches Of Cheyenne” has more depth when he did it live.

    For non country live albums the Goo Goo Dolls 2004 live one is good aswell. And if you don’t buy it check out the live version of “Iris” on it.

  13. Canadian Boy August 23, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I’m not really into live albums, but I decided to pick up Live on the Inside and I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite track off of it is probably “The One I Love”. Both Bush and Nettles sound great on it.

  14. Chris Morris Band September 16, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Roger Creager’s “Live Across Texas” is the reason we started playing Texas Country. Awesome.

  15. Mike K September 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

    For those into Todd Snider (or wanting to check him out), Near Truths and Hotel Rooms is an excellent place to start with his music. It also happens to be hilarious!

  16. Pingback: Lost Highway Debut Announced for Robert Earl Keen; Rounder Celebrates 40; Kenny Snatches Camera - Engine 145

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