The Frames were supposed to make their first trip to America following the release of For the Birds in 2001, but their plans had to be canceled after their ten-year lead guitarist called it quits. With Simon Good on board, they first toured Central Europe in the winter of 2002 before crossing the Atlantic. Breadcrumb Trail documents a concert in Brno, Czech Republic, in front of an enthusiastic audience. Understandably, the set list included many selections from For the Birds, including the atmospheric rocker "Santa Maria," where Good shines. This song's power was only hinted at in the studio version. Glen Hansard and consorts also revisit a few key tracks from their previous albums, including the gripping "Fitzcarraldo," the show's other highlight. Softer numbers also work well, "Lay Me Down" and "New Partner" being the most effective. For "Fitzcarraldo," "Ohio Riverboat Song" (a traditional folk song), and "Red Chord," Czech violinist Jan Hruby joins in, trading solos with the Frames' Colm Mac Con Iomaire. The concert took place in a relaxed atmosphere, and the CD conveys it very well, although it means the listener has to suffer through Hansard's unfocused presentations. The album concludes with new scaled-down studio recordings of "Look Back Now" and "Star Star," a charming way to say goodbye. Breadcrumb Trail is a strong live album, the group's first and therefore a welcome addition to their discography. It taps into the essence of the Frames' folk-rock, more than any studio producer could do.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture