A curious redaction, albeit a necessary one, considering Keane's fluid
repertoire of a couple hundred songs. Still, those who've caught any of Keane's
numerous Austin shows over the last couple years are sure to find a favorite or
two missing, and replaced by what? "Tylerville Road," wherein a fine
performance is rendered moot by hapless lyrics that only Keane's reticent
personality saves from dread "confessionalism," and a Bill Morrissey song about
the snow and ice in Tennessee, although whether he's referring to Memphis or
the Great Smokies (an important distinction) we don't know. Praise be to
Morrissey for his interest in Keane's music, but some of the production
accoutrements on this record sound rather dubious: Take the
oh-here-comes-the-sad-part cello obbligato intruding on an otherwise great
version of Dylan's "I Want You," and Morrisey's own tubercular harmonica on an
inspired version of Richard Fariña's "Pack Up Your Sorrows." Rather,
take them away, and leave Keane alone. Elsewhere, things are as fine as one
should expect, with Keane's hearty vocals, and deft guitar work consistently
impressing, particularly on "You Haunt My Dreams," "Poor Jessie," (both
originals), and Mississippi John Hurt's "If You Don't Want Me". Verdict: half
as good as it could be, twice as good as most of the erstwhile "competition"
(folk or otherwise).
(3.0 stars) -- B.B.