Live in Branson, MO, USA

Roy Clark

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Live in Branson, MO, USA Review

by Eugene Chadbourne

It is dangerous to make such predictions, but if any body of recorded work is least likely to be considered of historic interest in future years, it would have to be live recordings from the country & western theater showcases located in Branson, MO. While the theory of Branson is sound, the vacationing folk who check out evening shows after a day of fishing, hiking, or drinking moonshine are not generally witnesses to great moments in country & western history. This particular album has been greeted with ratings as low as one star, or a drawing of a smelly sock in one country journal. Out of respect for Roy Clark the base rating level is upped somewhat, simply because he could probably still play better guitar than most even if he was being dragged from the back of a chariot at the time. That is not to compare his evening on-stage in Branson with the climax of Ben Hur. On the contrary, it is the dullness level among the sidemen, as consistent as the beauty of the Ozark Mountains, that is a characteristic of a Branson recording. As a gig, it is rated something like playing at a Western theme park in Taiwan. These jobs provide employment for pickers who want to go somewhere boring and stay a long, long time. These performances are not examples of musicians rising above the tedium of their enterprise and reaching for inspiration. The extremely short playing time for the CD is the slap in the face; with all the music Roy Clark could find to play, there are only 30 minutes? Not that hearing more of this gaggle of noodlers would be desirable. Much, much better Clark is available without having to travel to Branson.

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