This potent English country-rock quartet have released a set of live recordings, commendably free of overdubs and edits, from 2008 and 2009. Good though their last studio album was, they’re so evidently in their element playing live. This is dynamic music. Basically imagine 70s American heroes - Crazy Horse, E Street Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd - playing in a pub, and you’ve got the essence of a Whybirds gig. Three tracks are previously unreleased recordings, and the other seven are well worth the investment for the extra excitement that live performance provides. These guys have the requisite musicianship, and possess the attitude to a tee. Listen to this at home and you’ll be up off your sofa, boogieing on down and swigging Jack Daniels far too rapidly.
There’s a refreshingly positive aspect to The Whybirds. Country-rock can often have an emotionally hardened feel, but these lads have an optimistic take on life and love, as well as evident enthusiasm for their music, which fits well with the exhilarating feel of hard-rocking boogie. There’s also a determination to succeed in their musical career without any compromise. All in all a band you’ll enjoy supporting if you’re into vintage rock with a thoroughly American flavour.
A slightly edited version of this review previously appeared in the excellent national music magazine R2 (aka Rock'n'Reel). Reproduced by kind permission of the editor, Sean McGhee.
Writer: Rychard Carrington