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Recorded on his 2005 The Delivery Man tour, Elvis Costello's first live DVD is a winner. Caught in Memphis -- a reflection of his love of Southern R&B and country, as well as the landscape for the recording of his most recent album -- with the tightly knit Imposters backing outfit, Costello plunders his extensive catalog and adds some surprises. The show took place at Memphis' Hi Tone Caf, an intimate 250-seat joint packed with Costello fans, some of whom waited for hours for tickets. Taped in crisp but not slick high-definition video and surround sound by a professional camera crew, it looks and sounds great too. For better or worse, every bead of sweat and hair of Costello's scraggly beard is crystal clear, bringing him into your living room in as much presence as two dimensions will allow. Six of the show's 20 tracks, and two of its four bonus selections, hail from The Delivery Man, an album the majority of critics and fans consider Costello's best and most relaxed in many years. The singer/songwriter/guitarist and his band are in fine fettle throughout, charging into oldies such as the opening "Waiting for the End of the World" along with "Radio Radio," "Mystery Dance," "Blame It on Cain" (a song he introduces as "one I haven't done in a while"), "High Fidelity," "Pump It Up," and "Peace Love and Understanding" with the fire, if not hunger, of the old Attractions days. That is not surprising, since his current band includes both drummer Pete Thomas and keyboard whiz Steve Nieve of that band. Emmylou Harris makes an appearance, singing duets with Elvis on three tracks. One of these is Gram Parsons' "Wheels," a standard in her repertoire. Harris also reprises "Heart Shaped Bruise," the song she contributes to on The Delivery Man. The concept seems better on paper than in execution, with Costello's thick vocals -- which are generally pushed too far up front in the mix for the entire show -- overpowering Harris, who seems a little uncomfortable with her performance and sharing a microphone with Elvis. Two more Costello/Harris duets are included as extras, with both subject to similar limitations. It's a long show, running about two hours not including another 20 minutes of extra songs, inexplicably separated from the original program. An hour-long documentary extra entitled "Off the Beaten Path: A Road Trip with Elvis and Pete" follows the titular members/friends on a tour through the Deep South, with stops at landmarks including the studio where they recorded many tracks of the new album. They also swing by Jimbo Mathus' studio, and you follow Elvis as he goes clothes shopping in some funky shops and does some sightseeing in Memphis and Clarksdale, MS. It provides fascinating insight into Costello's influences and knowledge of Southern music and is well worth watching for fans of either. Enthusiasts might decry the lack of any mid-period Warner Brothers-era material, and the omission of material from the Americana-oriented King of America album is particularly questionable. But what is here is extremely well performed, making this a must for all Costello, if not Emmylou Harris, fans. ~ Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide
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|Number of Discs:||1|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.15|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||0.4 x 5.3 x 6.7|
|1.||Waiting for the End of the World|
|7.||Blame It on Cain|
|8.||Either Side of the Same Town|
|11.||Monkey to Man|
|13.||I Still Miss Someone|
|14.||Heart Shaped Bruise|
|19.||Peace Love and Understanding|
|20.||Pump It Up|
|21.||My Baby's Gone|
|22.||There's a Story in Your Voice|
|23.||Button My Lip|
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