Broadcasts Vol. 15
KGSR Broadcasts Vol. 15 (107.1 KGSR Radio Austin)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 23, 2007
Broadcasts Vol. 15(107.1 KGSR Radio Austin)
The 15th installment of KGSR's coveted series benefiting the SIMS Foundation veers from the dominant singer-songwriter dynamic that typically characterizes the releases. Instead, a heavy dose of blues and jams provide the backbone of the two discs, led by cover boy Jimmie Vaughan's double offering with the swinging "Extra Jimmies" and exceptional Omar Kent Dykes collaboration "Jimmy Reed Highway." Furthering the blues vibe, John Hammond's harmonica explodes on "You Know That's Cold," Papa Mali lays down a gritty "Johnny Porter" with backing from the Gospel Silvertones, and Ruthie Foster's stunningly soulful voice soars on "Fruits of My Labor." Ian McLagan & the Bump Band are given opening honors with the dark, funky groove of Ronnie Lane's "Spiritual Babe," an impulse that finally erupts with Cyril Neville & Tribe 13's "Talkin' 'Bout New Orleans" and J.J. Grey & Mofro's "War." Patty Griffin, the Greencards, and Alexi Murcoch are among the encores from Vol. 14, though Tony Joe White's return with "Rainy Night in Georgia" is most impressive in its deep, plodding movement that sounds almost like a 45 played at 33 rpm. Guy Clark's "Stuff That Works" is equally compelling, as is Madeleine Peyroux's jazzy swing with "I'm All Right" and Joan Armatrading's intimidating range on "A Woman in Love." Though Gomez and Calexico both supply impressively subdued moments with "See the World" and "Cruel," respectively, and Future Clouds & Radar's stripped down "Build Havana" is gorgeously graceful, there are as many acoustic missteps from indie contributors: Ryan Adam's dreadfully trilling "Two," a poignant but dated "The Blower's Daughter" from Damien Rice, and Spoon's "The Underdog," enthusiastically attempted but begging for the original's energy. Vol. 15's best moment doubles as its most stretching, with Angelique Kidjo's "Salala" melding African, Latin, blues, and jazz influences behind her entrancing and soaring vocals.