Michael Nesmith performs live at the Britt music festival, showcasing both circa-1960s/early '70s tunes from both The Monkees and his solo career, and also tunes from his then-recently-released album Tropical Campfires, backed by his longtime pedal steel compadre Orville "Red" Rhodes and by country-rock veterans John Jorgenson, John Hobbes, and others. Written by
Excellent concert film, showcasing both classics and more recent material
Backed by a first-rate band that includes sidemen both present (keyboardist John Hobbs and percussionist Luis Conte, both of whom appear on Nesmith's most recent album, "Rays") and past (the late, great steel guitarist Red Rhodes, whose long collaborative relationship with Nesmith began during the First National Band days), Papa Nez proves once again that he is one of the most talented songwriters in the world of popular music. The first half of "Live At the Britt" focuses on Nesmith's early career, hitting high points like 'Joanne', 'Silver Moon', and 'Some of Shelly's Blues'. He even acknowledges his stint in the Monkees with a slow, mellow recasting of 'Papa Gene's Blues'! During the concert's second half, the audience is treated to selections from Nesmith's then-new album "...tropical campfire's...", which range from the beautifully tranquil ('Yellow Butterfly') to the quirkily upbeat ('I Am Not That'). The show closes with another couple of oldies, 'Rio' and 'Different Drum' (which Nez performs alone on acoustic guitar). At eighty minutes, "Live At the Britt" is the perfect length--it doesn't go on too long, but it's not so brief that you wish there were more when it's over. Throughout the performance, Michael Nesmith is relaxed, dignified and in perfect form. It's nothing short of criminal that so many people still think of him as just "that guy from the Monkees" when he has produced a body of work that rivals Bob Dylan's and Paul Simon's.
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