New Familiars - Live
The New Familiars - Live You've probably said it before: (insert band) is just one of those that you have to see live. While their 2007 debut The Storm did well to encapsulate the lyrical and melodic strengths of country rockers The New Familiars, it takes a live album to portray the sheer vitality that this quartet is capable of bringing. With their second release Live, they finally have that. They're a living, breathing nod to the country side of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as evidenced by some sly lyrical references and sunny fatalism in the album's opener, "In Love With the World." This release does more to put their native energies onto disc, however, as this marks their first release in their overhauled musical direction. Since banjo man Eric-Scott Guthrie departed, The New Familiars have set aside their traditional leanings for a slimmed-down and thoroughly rocking approach. Their aura of their past remains on "Mill's River," as the versatile Justin Fedor provides the banjo accompaniment underneath the scintillating electric guitar of Josh Daniel. His rangy Dixie growls bleed seamlessly into the powerful "Got This Disease," easily one of the band's most beloved live numbers. Daniel remains at the forefront throughout, whether on resonator or electric, until the end of the album. Fedor gives the plucky acoustic punch on "All in All," while the band's translation of Phil Collin's "Take Me Home" would have been worth the admission price all by itself. If there's any knock against this live release, it's that it only clocks in at just over 30 minutes, but if it will do it's job and get you in the venue door.