Like its highly recommended predecessor, Folkscene Collection, Vol. 2 captures live-on-the-air performances from Folkscene, the acclaimed L.A. radio show. And since more than 1,500 such performances have aired during the program's 30-year history, it's no surprise that the producers didn't run out of good material on volume one. Far from it. Though most of the renditions on this collection are pretty faithful to the studio originals and revelations are few, the lineup of artists and songs is even more impressive this time out than last. And once again, the production values are terrific, especially considering that these are unvarnished live performances. Most of the 13 tracks are from the 1990s, but the collection also includes such vintage treats as a 1975 Tom Waits reading of his classic "The Heart of Saturday Night." Other highlights include Nanci Griffith's "Love at the Five & Dime," Lucinda Williams' "Little Angel, Little Brother," Greg Brown's "I'm This Blue," and Tom Russell's "California Snow." In addition, there's an acoustic "Mr. Tambourine Man" by Chris Hillman and three cohorts that's at least as much fun as the famous version he waxed with the Byrds way back when.
AllMusic Review by Jeff Burger