Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez Live from the Ruhr Triennale – October 2005 is a truly special recording, a duo of pure Americana doing what they do best. This performance was part of a Century of Songs concert series established in Ruhr to celebrate the history of popular songs from the 20th Century, including some of Taylor’s original compositions and other classics he and Rodriguez made their own. With a backing band that included Bill Frisell on guitar, the duo served up a performance that did American music history proud. Live from the Ruhr Triennale closes with Taylor’s anthem “Wild Thing,” as the band is joined by wiz guitarist Buddy Miller for a raucous good time that saw this long-time crowd-pleaser turned on its ear. The track takes listeners on a blazing journey through past decades of Americana history, all in a span of six minutes and thirty-seven seconds.Though the performance may have taken place in 2005, Live from the Ruhr Triennale must be considered amongst the finest live recordings of 2007. Taylor himself sums the performance up best in the disc’s linear notes. “When I started singing ‘Ten Years Ago… on a cold black night,’ it was like I was in this deep, deep cavern. Then these haunting sounds started to seep in … then Carrie was there… and I felt I had never been in a zone like that in my entire life and I wanted to stay there forever.”
Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene,” featuring an ensemble of guitars, fiddle, pedal steel, and mandolin, must be considered the standout track, as Taylor’s Western swing hoedown take on the early rock classic is particularly enjoyable. Other classic covers presented on this disc include “Big River,” “Long Black Veil, and “Today I Started Loving You Again.”
After one listen to this CD, many will also find themselves wanting to stay in the moment of this musical bliss. With Live from the Ruhr Triennale now available, that’s simply a matter of leaving this masterful performance in regular rotation on your favorite disc player.
Live from the Ruhr Triennale is out now on Train Wreck Records.