Don Conoscenti

Extremely Live at Eddie's Attic

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Don Conoscenti didn't know he was being recorded when he performed at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta on December 7, 2001. Sound man Jim Hedden simply recorded the concert without consulting the artist. That probably contributes to the authentic spontaneity of Extremely Live at Eddie's Attic, an hour long one-man jam session peppered with witty audience interaction. The recording captures Conoscenti at his best; dynamic and down to earth. It's also possible, though, that Conoscenti might have put more variety into the set list if he'd known the concert was to be his next album. More than half of Extremely Live is taken from the 2001 record Paradox of Grace, a disappointing imbalance for an artist with a catalog as deep as Conoscenti's. On the other hand, the solo live performances of Paradox songs like "The Burren," "Texas Moon," and "Molly" are particularly welcome since that record was densely arranged and produced. The live context gives Conoscenti the chance to perform the songs with the raw treatment he gave to all of the tracks on his previous album, Mysterious Light. There are also several strong tracks from earlier albums including "Hour in Texarkana," "My Brilliant Masterpiece," and "Seven Years Old" (wittily re-imagined thanks to an audience quip as a song about a young B.B. King). Conoscenti's performance is very polished on all of the material, and the recording quality is excellent with the exception of irritating two-second lapses between songs that sometimes disrupt Conoscenti's dramatic instrumental transitions.

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