Commander Cody

Live at Gilley's

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Q/Atlantic's Live at Gilley's captures a 1982 concert given by a latter-day lineup of the Commander Cody Band. The liner notes indicate that it was recorded in the summer of 1982 with the Commander's current lineup, but they never say who's in the band, which is frustrating, because this is the kind of release that will appeal only to hardcore collectors, who need to know this kind of information. After all, Live at Gilley's hardly captures the band at their peak -- instead, it's a snapshot of a touring band in the middle of their tour. They play their best-known songs ("Hot Rod Lincoln," "Down to Seeds and Stems," "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar," among others) professionally and competently, but never quite excitedly. That's not to say this is a bad listen, particularly if you're a dedicated fan. But it's not an inspired, kinetic performance -- it's the work of journeymen, banging out the sounds they know by heart for a mildly appreciative crowd. Not a disaster, by any stretch, but nothing to attract the attention of the average fan, either.

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