For collectors only, Crosby,Crenshaw and Pendergrass...
The 'From the Front Row - Live' series of live DVD-A’s from Silverline Records are really, for collector’s only. If you’re a fan of any of the featured artists then they’re well worth indulging in. They’re archive performances, well recorded, well produced and, naturally, in sumptuous Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. But being something of historical artefacts the ‘extras’ are limited to photos or the odd video.
A 1989 concert from the Tower Theatre, Philadelphia finds David Crosby in rude health supported by Mike Finnegan (keyboards), Dan Dugmore (guitar), Jody Cortez (drums) and David Farragher (bass). This particularly fine set set covers CS&N and newer material including classics such as Déjà Vu, Wooden Ships and Long Time Gone. The performance is excellent, but what’s this, a DVD-A with no ‘extras’?! (Silverline) ***
Marshall Crenshaw is something of a cult artist and equally well (or not?) known for his film roles (Peggy Sue Got Married and La Bamba). In other words, he never ‘made it in either’ area and this explains why. Perfectly fine, but no ‘star quality’. This largely acoustic solo set (with invited guests on some tracks) is from the Stone Pony New Jersey in 2001. This fairly intimate gig sees him playing tracks spanning his recording career plus one or two covers. The only extra is live footage of one track. Definitely one for fans only.(Silverline) **
Teddy Pendergrass is probably best known for his work with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. Teddy was confined to a wheelchair after a near fatal car crash back in ’82. But he didn’t let that stop his career and this LA live set from 2002 spans his career and features hits such as Joy, Turn Off The Lights, Love TKO and, of course If You Don’t Know Me By Now. The ‘extra’ is live footage of Love TKO. And it’s joy to see the emotion Teddy puts into the performance. A man clearly reconciled with his fate, but clearly loving performing. And what a voice and what a performance - I’d have love to see the whole set.(Silverline) ***
Review by Pete Whalley