My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Jessi Colter – ‘Live From Cain’s Ballroom’

Jessi Colter released Live from Cain’s Ballroom in 2013. The album her first live set, taken from a concert she performed with aid from her son, Shooter Jennings.

The eighteen-track set actually features just eleven songs, interspersed between six interludes and an intro. I wasn’t deeply familiar with Colter’s back catalog before we spotlighted her this month, so I really didn’t know what to expect from her output. I liked what I heard and I’m glad to hear her here, still in fine voice, with vim and vigor.

“I’m Not Lisa” is as sublime as I expected it would be, sparse and a beautiful showcase for the power she still possesses vocally. Similarly great is “What Happened To Blue Eyes,” another of her earlier hits.

Jennings joins her on two songs, both of which are very good, although not my taste. Jennings really isn’t a ‘country’ singer, or at least he leans on his growl and bluesy sensibilities for these recordings.

The tracks with Jennings are indicative of the album as a whole, which I wouldn’t classify as country in any noticeable way. The bluesy stylings work well for Colter, who truly does shine throughout this set. “Rainy Day Women” is a revolution, with sly guitar work brilliantly framing Colter’s slinky twang. “Storms Never Last” is also another of the highlights.

As a whole, Live From Cain’s Ballroom does little for me musically. I’ve never truly been into the guitar and piano-heavy bluesy style Colter is performing for the audience at this show. I can’t fault anything with the album itself, and it’s nice to have a recording of Colter in concert. The band is as strong as Colter, which makes this a winning set for fans of this style.

Grade: A- 

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