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The Allman Brothers Band's fifth live release in 25 years, cut during 1994 in Raleigh, NC, and at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey, is a high-water mark in their Epic Records catalog. If anything, they're even better here than they were on the earlier Evening with the Allman Brothers Band, the old material getting fresh new approaches – the band was on for both nights, and presented sets, including an acoustic version of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Jessica" (which won a Grammy Award), that soared and flowed, especially Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes' guitars. What's more, the clarity of the recording and the volume at which it was recorded make this a most rewarding 70 minutes of live music on a purely technical level – you can practically hear the action on the guitars during the acoustic set. It won't replace Live at Fillmore East or the live portions of Eat a Peach, but it deserves a place on the shelf not very far from them.
There's no doubt many heard Kim Wilde searching for the beat on "Kids in America," but know now that she finds it – thus, the rest of this sterling debut comes dangerously close in quality to that killer kickoff. The second cut, "Water on Glass," follows the sound from the wild streets to Wilde's brain, maintaining a high level of exuberant class. Weird staccato runs down the streets of "Our Town," while "Everything We Know" chills into an icy groove. Wilde only wants to be free in "Young Heroes," and by side two's single, "Chequered Love," she gives permission to touch her and do anything (surprising, considering her pro-pop dad and brother wrote the whole LP). Hard guitars and xylophones get physical, until horns and ska skip into "2-6-5-8-0"; by this point in the record, Wilde can pull off anything she wants, and ends up sounding like a No Doubt B-side. "You'll Never Be So Wrong" mellows the turgid tempo but not the precise passion, and she just plain gets upset in "Falling Out." From the womb to the end of "Tuning in Turning On," Kim Wilde is one excellent inaugural, one excellent chapter in the evolution of hi-NRG, and one excellent slab everyone should own.
Blending rock, blues, country, and jazz, the godfathers of Southern rock in all its wild, woolly glory. Collection includes: 'The Allman Brothers Band' (1969); 'Idlewild South' (1970); 'At Fillmore East' (1971); 'Eat A Peach' (1972); 'Brothers And Sisters' (1973).
Robin Trower's first rock, as opposed to blues, studio album in five years, returns the guitarist to the fluid, Hendrix-infused trio sound of his salad days. While the songwriting isn't quite up to the quality of his '70s work, Trower's snaky, echoed, languid guitar and his powerful duo's sympathetic backing make this a welcome addition to his extensive catalog. While the smooth, soulful whisky-soaked vocals of original singer Jimmy Dewer are sorely missed (Trower, who handles some of the singing here is at best adequate), the songs still shimmer with the uniquely silvery quality fans have come to expect from the guitarist.