Junior Brown

Live at the Continental Club: The Austin Experience – 2005 (Telarc)

Reviewed by Greg Milliken

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CDs by Junior Brown

Junior Brown's latest was recorded live at the Continental Club, the Austin venue that jump-started Brown's career in the early 1990's.

Brown warms up with run-throughs of "Broke Down South Of Dallas," "PartyLights" and "My Wife Thinks You're Dead," three sly compositions that showcase his drawling baritone. By the fourth number, "Hillbilly Hula Girl," Brown is relaxed and confident. He follows with two fret-burning "Guit-steel" (Brown's trademark double-necked axe) solos during the hard-rocking "I Hung It Up."

Of the set's two previously unrecorded songs, "Lifeguard Larry" is slightbut catchy, while "Juan Charasquado," sung in Spanish and spiced by Flaco Jimenez's accordion, works the crowd to a party pitch. Before closing with the nine-minute "Rock and Roll Guitar Medley," Tanya Rae Brown harmonizes with her husband on Hank Williams' "I Want To Live and Love Always," and audience favorites "Highway Patrol" and "Gotta Get Up Every Morning" are given lively readings."The Austin Experience" is a likeable and well-produced offeringfrom one of America's wittiest singer-songwriters.