Michael Nesmith

Live at the Britt Festival

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Some might recall Live at the Britt Festival as a performance video released in 1992. This two-disc set is basically the audio track of that program. The sound is opulent, accurately recreating the organic acoustics on opening night of the 30th anniversary Peter Britt Festival in Jackson, OR. Nesmith states in his liner notes he feels "ever fortunate that [he] had the good sense to record this show." That is an understatement. Like others' stops on the brief Tropical Campfires tour, this performance offers a stellar sampling of material from every phase of Nesmith's diverse musical career -- including his first Monkees side "Papa Gene's Blues." However, the vast majority of the show spotlights his post-Monkee solo career. The timeless nature of Nesmith's compositions has served them well. Songs such as "Propinquity," "The Upside of Goodbye," and the lilting "Two Different Roads" take on a matured persona -- with the folk wisdom that only comes from experience. The Tropical Campfires tracks have a tremendous intimacy about them that is only achieved by the right group of musicians performing the right music for the right crowd. This is certainly the right group of musicians. Desert Rose Band string man John Jorgensen and percussionist Luis Conte are brilliant and their individual talents are underscored on tracks such as "Laugh Kills Lonesome" and "Silver Moon" -- the latter being one of many highlights. Live at the Britt Festival is highly recommended for the avid enthusiast and curious alike.

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