The Lazy Cowgirls were extraordinarily prolific at the turn of the century, releasing two full-length albums within six months of each other that both boast songs that rival the quality of anything they've done in their lengthy career. This live-in-studio collection finds the band at a turning point, surveying a healthy portion of recent compositions, covers of favored influences and forgotten Cowgirl classics. While Rank Outsider and Somewhere Down the Line both featured acoustic tracks, the inclusion of non-electric selections on this live document seems to herald a serious interest in pursuing a more rural tone than the no-holds-barred punk rock that the band is known for. It's an appropriate direction, since leader Pat Todd's songs have always been informed as much by Hank Williams as the Ramones, and while the acoustic numbers don't match up to their original sources (two are slowed-down versions of harder-edged songs from earlier albums, plus a reading of Bill Monroe's "Live in the Past"), they do pave the way for future country-flavored material that would serve the band well. "When It Comes to You I've Got No Dreams to Lose" is one of two new songs written for this project, and it's the highlight of the album, a tough-hearted number with a far rootsier approach than the crash-and-burn of Cowgirls past. Even at a slower speed, though, the band expresses all of the reckless sentiment and hoarse honesty that fans have come to expect. The electric set doesn't live up to the Lazy Cowgirls' full potential as a live band; the invited audience politely acknowledges each tune but the vibe is strangely sterile. The band does generate serious heat on their version of Billy Joe Shaver's "Goodbye to Yesterday," and the Todd original "Don't Count Me Out" (previously available only as a vinyl single) rocks with venom. Here and Now (Live!) is best appreciated by longtime fans who will be excited to hear the reworked versions of older tunes and the spirited covers that pepper the set. Anyone else with a passing interest in solid American rock & roll is encouraged to first obtain any of their more assured studio albums or witness firsthand one of the Lazy Cowgirls' incendiary live performances to fully understand this unsung quartet's importance.
AllMusic Review by Fred Beldin