Dusty Rhodes And The River Band

First You Live


There are some real gems on First You Live; “Leaving Tennessee” packs all the piss ’n’ vinegar of a good vengeance ballad, while “Keys To The Truck” includes a powerful gospel refrain that could induce a frenzy of hand-clapping in even the most hardened non-believer. At the same time, there’s something missing. When it comes to sloppy country tales of heartbreak and hard drinkin’, recordings usually boast all the sonic subtlety that could be coaxed from an engineer coming off a five-day Jim Beam bender; just look to Dusty Rhodes’ spiritual contemporaries Ghost Mice or Defiance, Ohio. First You Live is a sparklingly clean affair, however, and the passion and earnestness of its songs suffer as a result. That’s not to say they haven’t been brushing up on their CCR or their ELP, but there are some lessons to be learned from this record that will likely result in a more impressive second showing. (SIDEONEDUMMY) Sam Sutherland