Monte Montgomery

Texas Platter

Phases and Stages

Monte Montgomery

Live! at the Caravan of Dreams (TMG) The first thing to know about Live! at the Caravan of Dreams is that you don't have to buy it. The second thing is that Austin's Monte Montgomery is an enormously talented guitarist. The third is that talent and proficiency don't necessarily make compelling recordings. This 2-CD live souvenir comes without Montgomery's approval; he decried it on his Web site, saying, "In the near future I will comment further on the release of the Caravan of Dreams album, which I did not approve." That's a relief for longtime MM fans, who expect better output, while potential fans will most likely find the recording tedious. Naturally, Montgomery's chops are highlighted ("River"), even as they're neutralized by nebulous Seventies/Eighties California-style rock ("Hopin' That You'd Slow Down"). Surrounded by high-performance musicians, Montgomery can smoke 'em when he knows 'em ("Sounds Too Wonderful"), offering a little humor in his tongue-in-cheek rendering of Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings." Then there's the noodling. Live offers only 16 tracks over two discs, many clocking in at nearly 10 minutes or more -- "Set Your Soul Free," "When Will I," "Love Come Knockin'," Fleetwood Mac's "World Turning," and Dire Straits' "Romeo and Juliet." These hardly compare to the endless "Took Too Long," an appropriate title for an 18-minutes-plus song that plays peekaboo with famous guitar licks from "Stairway to Heaven" and "Rhiannon." An overlong, sappy cover of Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile" doesn't help and serves as a reminder that the fourth thing to know about this recording is the time-honored caution about live recordings: They're generally contractual filler.

*.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle