Lynn Anderson

Live from the Rose Garden

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There's no recording date information and the general packaging is minimalist, to say the least; but this double-disc set -- one live CD and one DVD containing the video equivalent of the same show -- delivers where it counts, in the music. The sound is such that there's very little audience ambience, but there's plenty of presence for the band and even more so for Lynn Anderson, who is in excellent form throughout. The CD is great, but the DVD is even better, not only with an excellent visual account of the concert from the Renaissance Center in Dixon, TN, but also a nice selection of bonus features -- before and after interviews and other support materials. The camera angles vary sufficiently so that one never feels confined or static watching the show, and the full-screen (1.33-to-1) image is crisp enough to pass for HDTV. The audio is mastered a little low on the DVD but it pumps up well and cleanly, and in other details -- the menu's simplicity, the chapter breaks (one per song, natch) -- the producers get everything right. Equally important, and amazingly, Anderson still gives a great show 40-plus years into her career; and she's got a first-rate band working with her, who really do right by the music and the audience. Anderson and the band rise to the occasion of her first full-length concert video in fine style in the environment, which seems as personally friendly as it is music-friendly. She's obviously having the time of her life, and never more so than when she's doing some of the material that's particularly special to her, as on "Under the Boardwalk."

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