The String Cheese Incident

On the Road: Travelogue, Big Summer Classic 2005

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This triple disc was compiled by Larry Fox -- String Cheese Incident's official compiler -- from a July 2005 tour. On the Road: Big Summer Classic 2005 is literally huge with guest performances ranging from Spearhead -- including Michael Franti singing on a cover of "What's Goin' On," (which is edited here) and playing on a read of the Grateful Dead's "Franklin's Tower" -- in addition to the band's fave traveling companion, Keller Williams, members of Umphrey's McGee, New Monsoon, Martin Sexton, and others. It's the covers that are going to get the most attention here: "Ramblin' Man," "Billie Jean," John Coltrane's "Impressions," the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" (with Franti on lead vocals again), and the bluegrass classic "Whiskey Before Breakfast." Most of these are highlights in an otherwise lackluster series of performances. The technical chops are here to be sure, but there's a certain fire lacking in the execution. The spontaneity feels forced. Perhaps it's integrating all those side players, perhaps it was the heat. Who knows? But this triple just doesn't measure up to some of the other live shows compiled in this series.

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