Are You Ready for the Big Show?

Are You Ready for the Big Show?

by Radney Foster
     
 

Leaving nothing to chance on his first live album, Radney Foster delivers such first-rate songwriting and gripping vocal performances that he's staked a claim on making one of the finest long players of the year. Such an observation is apparent about, oh, two seconds into the hard-driving album opener, "Are You Ready," and is reinforced with each succeeding cut. No… See more details below

Overview

Leaving nothing to chance on his first live album, Radney Foster delivers such first-rate songwriting and gripping vocal performances that he's staked a claim on making one of the finest long players of the year. Such an observation is apparent about, oh, two seconds into the hard-driving album opener, "Are You Ready," and is reinforced with each succeeding cut. No mere contract filler (it's his Dualtone label debut) or greatest hits stand-in, Are You Ready for the Big Show? mixes in five new songs with 11 familiar ones, adds two new studio recordings as bonus tracks, and puts them all together on an enhanced CD offering interviews and printed lyrics. The catch is that the old songs are reconsidered with new arrangements, making them feel brand-new as well. For instance, Foster's hard country hit single, "Just Call Me Lonesome," is transformed here into a herky-jerky, zydeco-flavored lament; and Nickel Creek mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile adds a bluegrass feel to Foster's beautiful breakup song, "Nobody Wins." Of the new songs, the pragmatic wisdom in the bluesy ballad "How You Play the Hand" brings out the best in Foster's passion-rich tenor, whereas the literate musings in "Leaning on What Love Can Do" rise from a slow boil into a roiling, rock-fueled cry of the heart aimed at a betrayed lover. The old is new, the new is up to Foster's high standards, and that makes Are You Ready for the Show? as exciting a country album as you're likely to hear this year.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Reasor
Few contemporary country artists deliver a live performance distinctively unique from the formulaic recordings processed by Music Row; one artist who does this is Radney Foster. Are You Ready for the Big Show? released on Dualtone Music Group, takes various live performances from September 21st and 22nd, 2000, at the Continental Club in Austin, TX, of Fosters' new material as well as his standards. The album captures the basic artistry of Radney Fosters' songwriting repertoire as well as a back-porch jam session featuring mandolin protégé Chris Thile (Nickel Creek), and Nashville's best kept secret, guitarist Mike McAdam (Steve Earle, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jack Ingram). For fans of Fosters' earlier solo work, Are You Ready for the Big Show? includes a Cajun rearrangement of "Just Call Me Lonesome" (Del Rio, Texas, 1959) and a slimmed-down acoustic version of "Nobody Wins" (Del Rio, Texas, 1959). The album's single is the unearthed Foster and Lloyd classic "Texas in 1880," unlisted as hidden track 16. On Are You Ready for the Big Show? Radney Foster returns full circle to his neo-traditionalist roots, which separated him from the droves of aspiring Nashville singer/songwriters early in his career.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2001
Label:
Dualtone Music Group
UPC:
0803020110229
catalogNumber:
1102

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