KGSR Broadcasts vol. 8 (107.1 KGSR-FM/Radio Austin)

KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 8 ((107.1 KGSR-FM / Radio Austin))

Record Reviews

KGSR Broadcasts vol. 8

(107.1 KGSR-FM/Radio Austin)

This year's installment of KGSR's annual Broadcasts collection, Vol. 8, is remarkable for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that on a 3-CD set (it's grown by a disc in celebration of the station's 10th anniversary), which includes the likes of Richard Thompson, Guy Clark, Kelly Jo Phelps, and Townes Van Zandt among 40-some-odd others, it's L.A. hipster Beck who sounds like the biggest folkie in the lot. What's perhaps more remarkable is that, while conventional lore dictates that this live-in-the-studio collection of local acts and big-name touring artists gets better with each successive volume, this year that's definitely the case (though Vol. 3 still ranks up there). Seriously, dig through your albums, and see if there's anything like the run of 12 South by Southwest performances that kicks off the second disc: the aforementioned Thompson ("Sights and Sounds of London Town"), Terri Hendrix ("Goodtime Van"), David Gray ("Babylon"), Steve Earle ("Halo 'Round the Moon"), Roger McGuinn ("James Alley Blues"), Hamell on Trial ("The Seven Seas"), Shelby Lynne ("Gotta Get Back"), Patti Smith ("Dancing Barefoot"), Gomez ("We Haven't Turned Around"), Slaid Cleaves ("Broke Down"), Alejandro Escovedo ("I Was Drunk"), and the Jayhawks ("I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"). Right there, those 12 songs are more than worth the price of admission alone. And what the local musicians lack in status or profile, they make up for with degree of inspired performance. In other words, just think of the rest as gravy -- really good, rich, thick, and if you're so inclined, even kinda lumpy gravy -- because the second disc still contains memorable performances by Bruce Cockburn, Ian Anderson, Robert Bradley, and Joseph Arthur. That's to say nothing of the first disc with Patti Griffin, Kim Richey, Kelly Willis, Leo Kottke, the Flatlanders, Robert Earl Keen, and really cool versions of "Drive South" and "Lawyers, Guns, & Money," from John Hiatt and Warren Zevon respectively, recorded last year at the station's ninth anniversary party. That of course makes 2000 KGSR's 10th anniversary, which brings us to the bonus "Ten From Texas" third disc, included to commemorate said b-day. It contains tracks from 10 Texas artists culled from past installments of Broadcasts CDs. With archived performances by this year's CD cover boy and Centex senior statesman of cool Willie Nelson as well as Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin (although technically she's from the Dakotas), Eric Johnson, and Joe Ely, it's a nice little bonus to regift someone, or make them jealous of where you live, or a crash course in local flavor for area newbies. And judging from the traffic, that's an awful lot of you. Anyway, recap: Broadcasts Vol. 8, best yet. Really. (Broadcasts Vol. 8 is in stores Friday, Nov. 24)

****

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