When it comes to live performances, Van Morrison is usually thought of as a serious, enigmatic soulslinger with a voice of gold, but even Van the Man lets his hair down every once in a while. And as this 1998 concert recording proves, when he does he's every bit as engaging a hootenanny participant as he is a mystical guide. Flanked by his early contemporaries Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber, Morrison moves subtly through a wide variety of covers, from old-time blues ("It Takes a Worried Man") to more lighthearted fare like the cornball classic "Muleskinner's Blues." Because it's a collaborative effort, THE SKIFFLE SESSIONS doesn't place Morrison at the forefront for its entire duration, but it's fascinating to hear him bob and weave through the disc's 15 songs with Donegan (best known for his '50s novelty hit "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor...?") and Barber. There isn't a misstep on the set, but Morrison really outdoes himself on the notable "Frankie & Johnny" and the rave-up closer, "I Wanna Go Home."