Live at 12th and Porter, a straightforward document of a single live show (recorded in Nashville on December 2002) from country hooligans Trent Summar and his New Row Mob, came a little early in his career, considering he had only one studio album under his belt. In fact he reprises every song from that 2000 studio disc, in versions nearly identical to, if a tad looser than, the originals. The sound is clean and the lack of editing, along with Summar's frequent between-song patter -- noted as "introduction" on the track listing -- maintains the album's warts-and-all approach. But it doesn't make for a listening experience you'll probably want to repeat. Summar sounds like he's having a blast even as he tries to rev up the rather sedate audience. He slings out ragged, raunchy, country rockin' with a few covers like Nick Lowe's "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'N' Roll)" and Jerry Lee Lewis' "High School Confidential" along with a few tracks like the funky "Slaw" from his years in Hank Flamingo. His band, which this evening features Bill Davis from Dash Rip Rock on acoustic guitar, bangs out rollicking Americana with appropriate gusto, but somehow it never really catches fire, at least consistently, on disc. Tightening the set list, losing the between-song banter, and importing more new tunes might have helped the flow. But as it stands, this is an album you'll spin once, then return to only after you see Summar and his band tear it up live.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz