Larry Norman - Live At The Elsinore

Published Wednesday 17th January 2007
Larry Norman - Live At The Elsinore
Larry Norman - Live At The Elsinore

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Solid Rock DVD-SRD605
FORMAT: DVD Music video
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Chris Tozer

This DVD features Larry Norman live in concert in the northwestern American state of Oregon, during the summer of 2005. The 16 tracks include a good number of Larry's hits from the '70s including "The Great American Novel", "The Outlaw", "Reader's Digest", "Song For A Small Circle Of Friends", "Six Sixty Six" and the immortal "Why Don't You Look Into Jesus". But, there are plenty of lesser-known Norman songs that are just as good. These include "Let The Rain Fall Down" and "God Part 3". In spite of recent concerns over Larry's health he appears in good voice on this recording, and on a number of solo songs he proves that he is still a virtuoso when it comes to playing rootsy rock music on a Spanish guitar. During the concert Norman is aided and abetted by an incredibly wide range of excellent musicians including the Catholic singer Julie Hoy, Michael Manning and his musical saw plus the superb Severin sisters - twins who play bluegrass banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and cello. As a support act five earnest blind acappella singers from Liberia sing 'Ba Yo Ne' and 'Lay Your Hands On Me'. But, the ultimate guest star turns out to be Frank Black, the lead singer of The Pixies - credited by many as the source of inspiration for grunge artists such as Pearl Jam and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Larry's fans have grown accustomed, after many years' experience, to expect the unexpected at his concerts. Hence, the audience are treated to the bizarre sight of the singer in a dinner jacket and bow tie crooning his way through "The September Song" which was a '40s hit for Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Even stranger is Larry's rendition of "The Wabbit & The Twain" which could have been written by the lisping politician Roy Hattersly. Although understandably touted as the Godfather of Contemporary Christian Music Larry and the CCM scene have generally kept a healthy distance from one another over the past 35 years. Judging by this super show reconciliation doesn't look imminent - nor indeed necessary.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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