John Stewart

In Concert

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In Concert is basically a remixed distillation of The Phoenix Concerts edited down to one LP with a couple of tracks that didn't appear on the original two-LP set added to the CD to make it complete. It is not clear why this best-of The Phoenix Concerts was necessary, unless it was to fulfill a contract obligation by John Stewart. The two tracks in question are "Freeway Pleasure" and "Let the Big Horse Run." The former is a beautiful acoustic balladic confession of rambling fever. On this track Stewart is unaccompanied. It's moving, direct, and full of Stewart's particularly American poetry. The latter is a full-band rock & roll tune with Jim Gordon kicking it on the drum kit. "Let the Big Horse Run" could have been written by Chuck Berry, full of easy flow rock & roll in a I-IV-V progression, if not for its imagery, which is pure California rancher. The tracks are both worthy and should never have been left off the original LPs but have been thankfully added to the CD version, making this single-disc version all but obsolete.

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