Infamous Stringdusters fans who’ve not yet picked up the band’s 2016 LP, Laws of Gravity, will find a fine alternative with Laws of Gravity: LIVE!
Culled from four shows in Washington, D.C. Portland, Maine, and Boise and Eugene, Ore., in early 2017, the live set gives the impression of a seamless, full-album performance with no stage banter and just a touch of crowd noise. The arrangements are virtually unchanged, and the live renditions of the 13 tracks add just five minutes to Laws of Gravity in its original incarnation.
There’s a foot-stompin’ spiritual in “This Ol’ Building,” plenty of folksy storytelling on “1901: A Canyon Odyssey;” a shot at a pop hit with “Gravity,” some blues on “Back Home,” and old-school, instrumental pickin’ and grinnin’ on “Sirens.”
The vocal harmonies may not be as pristine and the playing not as precise when compared to the album but the Stringdusters are a band that thrives in the live setting and the resulting exuberance makes for an in-concert collection of songs that certainly holds its own and, at times, even improves on its studio counterpart.