Patty Griffin's first live outing is a fine, poetic, flesh and blood example of what a live recording should be. This is as undressed as it gets; a fine record of a truly magical show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nash Vegas; a fitting end to a tour that began with the hope of getting a new record on a new label across. The end result is one of those recordings where the singer becomes her songs. Her guests, including Buddy
and Julie Miller
, Emmylou Harris
, John Deaderick
, and Jay Joyce
all end up as parts and parcels in the songs, rather than as personalities helping to interpret them. The world woven from Griffin's three studio recordings, combined with the energy coming from audience, and the stage itself, make for one of the most engaging, warm, and poetic listening experiences issued in a decade, and one of the best live outings on record. The package includes a DVD with videos for the songs "Rain" and "Chief," and a slice of life documentary of life on the road during a memorable year. Griffin's delivery on "Christina," is nervous, grainy, full of the heartbreak of her subject (Christina Onassis), "Rain" offers an acceptance and resignation of a soul in flux and pain which refuses to yield its desire to transcend. And on it goes, into the night with warmth abounding, and a heart opening, like Frida Kahlo's: revealing everything in the moment. in the safety of camaraderie. and the in the naked light of song itself.