Charlie Robison

Live at Billy Bob's Texas (Smith Music Group)

Texas Platters

Charlie Robison

Live at Billy Bob's Texas (Smith Music Group)

Except for the occasional live gig, Charlie Robison has been missing in action since his last disc, 2009's Beautiful Day. He's gearing up for a new album due in October, so here's an excellent placeholder, a live date captured last year in Fort Worth. Always more gritty and full of hot sauce onstage, Robison's performance – a deluxe version adds a DVD to the 2-CD proceedings – kicks up more than its fair share of red dirt as most of the strengths of Beautiful Day come across with attitude and what seems like an army of guitars. There's plenty of favorites as well, with a charged medley of "Wooly Bully" and "Barlight," and the second disc chugging home on a cover of J.J. Cale's "They Call Me the Breeze" that gives Skynyrd a run for its money. Don't forget Robison's got-to-sing-along anthem "My Hometown." A must for fans, a worthy introduction for everyone else.

***

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