Larry Norman & Randy Stonehill - The Cottage Tapes Book Two

Published Thursday 18th August 2005
Larry Norman & Randy Stonehill - The Cottage Tapes Book Two
Larry Norman & Randy Stonehill - The Cottage Tapes Book Two

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12501-1695
LABEL: Solid Rock SRD702
RRP: £15.99

Reviewed by Dougie Adam

If truth be told when I saw the track listing for this CD I was disappointed. But then I played the disc. Many of Larry's tracks had featured on the first book or volume of 'The Cottage Tapes'. However on this I really liked the way the tracks had been assembled and fitted together. Larry's songs are taken from the 'Street Level' and 'Bootleg' albums. Many of the tracks sound like demos, rougher, looser and edgier than their more polished later incarnations. The band numbers sound more or less live in studio and in a few cases I prefer some of these recordings to the well produced wonderfully arranged but slightly more sedate versions that would appear later on some of the trilogy albums. When the band are dropped and Larry is on his own for "Six Sixty Six" on guitar or "Even If You Don't Believe" on piano these solo acoustic performances carry great weight and power contrasting nicely with the fun, energy and wild abandon of the band recordings. A few of the tracks have never been on CD before (eg, the live version of "Blue Shoes White"). This release will also be of interest to Stonehill fans as the final seven tracks are the live songs from the ultra rare 'Judgement Day At Speedee Mart' album appearing on CD for the first time. For the most part they find Randy covering Larry's songs as well as engaging in some humour with the audience and playing around with his own Jesus music classic "Norman's Kitchen". The release is also notable for its 20 page CD booklet with previously unpublished photos of the duo and further reminiscences from Larry on the Jesus Movement era. There are still several great songs from 'Bootleg' and 'Street Level' which have yet to be officially released on CD, so who knows if a Book 3 may appear in future. the first two instalments have certainly been enjoyable so here's hoping!

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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