Andy Pratt: Live At The Village Underground

andyprattWith about 17 studio albums in print, including albums with Christian-oriented lyrics, enigmatic singer/songwriter Andy Pratt has never had a full live album that can translate what his better shows have communicated. Mark Doyle’s guitar lines complement Pratt perfectly and this exquisite recording captures the artist in a way that recalls some of the better shows of his heyday. In the 2000s Pratt has had a penchant to perform at open mic nights, no frills, not even proper stage attire that those who remember his shows from the 70s and 80s expect. Sev Grossman of Willie Alexander and The Boom Boom band has said that you have to play every show as if those in the audience will never see you again, because it may be the only time they see you. With that in mind Live At The Village Underground works as a document of Pratt as the consummate musician he can be, the music maker that his devoted fans believe he is.

The 20 selections here are played with rock & roll enthusiasm – Pratt is “on”, and the musicians superbly blend their skills. He’s the kind of artist you have to appreciate from afar…get an autograph and be on your way…and enjoy this excellent document of a man who acts as strange as the characters he creates in his songs. “Treasure That Canary”, a musical essay that almost demands you take the singer as he is, is majestic with the guitars singing in an almost Mick Ronson/David Bowie-ish kind of way, a compliment supreme. “It takes us Americans a long time to grow up” Pratt says while dissing wife #1, wife #2 and wife #3 in one fell swoop. “Karen’s Song”, with its hard rock meets reggae undercurrents and sublime hook blossoming so beautifully in this setting is a result of a team effort, like all the tracks here, the product that only a group on a successful mission can generate. Executive Dean Producer knows Pratt’s music intimately and he’s the driving force behind this project. It is that kind of devotion that is necessary when capturing precious moments from erratic rock and roll personalities who need some kind of boundaries in order to preserve their art. Live At The Village Underground is, along with being a great treat for long-time Andy Pratt fans, an excellent introduction to the man’s music.

1 If You Could See Yourself (Through My Eyes) 4:02
2 Rainbow 3:34
3 Constant Heat 3:54
4 Treasure That Canary 4:05
5 Karen’s Song 4:40
6 Call Up That Old Friend 3:31
7 So Faint 3:25
8 Love Song 3:19
9 Grey, Chick and Malda 2:23
10 I’m Alright 3:41
11 Summer, Summer 3:55
12 19th Nervous Breakdown 4:32
13 I Don’t Wanna Live Anymore 2:53
14 Business as Usual 3:40
15 Insanity 3:49
16 Who Am I Talking To 2:55
17 Can’t Stop My Love 3:53
18 Everything Falls into Place 4:17
19 Avenging Annie 6:04
20 All I Want Is You 6:27

Joe Viglione has written a number of Andy Pratt reviews for the All Media Guide as well as the liner notes to the CD release of Pratt’s first album Records Are Like Life.

Title: Andy Pratt Live At The Village Underground March 11, 2003

Artist: Andy Pratt, Sal Baglio, Mark Doyle, Gary Link, Tom Hambridge

Label: Renaissance/It’s About