Having hooked up with Imago for Glum, and then just as quickly leaving the major label world -- it didn't help any that Imago itself went bust a little while later -- Giant Sand kept things simple for its follow-up release. Taking its name from the fact that, indeed, part of it was recorded at a benefit show for New Jersey's WFMU held in a backyard with a barbecue, Backyard Barbecue Broadcast also contains numbers from another session done at the station the following year. With the trio accompanied by extra guitarists at each session (Bill Elm and, on the latter session only, Mike Semple), Giant Sand makes its way through a series of interesting cuts, most of which hadn't been formally released by the band (and still haven't, for that matter). Notably, two songs crop up here which Bill Elm, John Convertino, and Joey Burns later redid with Howe Gelb's help under their Friends of Dean Martinez guise. Both are covers -- Charles Trenet's classic boulevardier song "I Wish You Love" and Santo & Johnny's "Seashells." Otherwise, it's Gelb compositions featured, with the songs performed at the actual BBQ itself mastered on the CD as one overall track. Whether intentionally or not, the brief bits between the songs are filled in with lower-fidelity bits from the band -- odd, but it doesn't really distract. Gelb's vocals sound more than a little thrashed on the BBQ cuts, but he still keeps things going pretty well, while the band performances themselves call to mind the Purge and Slouch sessions, though with a little more overall focus. The songs from the other session make for good listening as well, the piano-led "Lean" in particular being a winner, balancing off a slow pace with looming feedback twang that bursts forth fully every so often. A semi-unlisted track from a 1993 New York station broadcast, "Rolling Stones I Am...," ends the disc with a bit of straight blues-rock and another singer, one Ms. Hot Dog.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett