Ida

Live at Carnegie Hall, the Album (Insound Tour Support Series No. 11)

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Issued in conjunction with the Insound Tour Support Series, the limited-edition Live at Carnegie Hall, the Album collects material recorded seemingly everywhere but the title venue. Culled from performances spanning from late 1997 to late 1999, this 18-song document splits pretty evenly between fan-favorite originals and covers, and if not for the less-than-stellar sound quality would serve as an ideal introduction to Ida's music and the forces that shaped it. Given the plaintive earnestness of the band's studio efforts, the disc is perhaps most valuable for bringing to the fore their oft-neglected sense of humor, from the witty between-song stage chatter to their raucous covers of Prince's "Dirty Mind" and "Uptown." Likewise, a rendition of Doug Sahm's "Mendocino" reveals a country-rock swagger heretofore uncaptured on record, while another cover, the Porter Wagoner/Dolly Parton chestnut "The Pain of Loving You," is the perfect vehicle for their stunning three-part harmonies. Someone needs to give this a wider release.