Eagle Rock Entertainment // 2008 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // June 21st, 2012
Steady as she goes!
If you're only casually acquainted with guitar weirdo/virtuoso Jack White (of The White Stripes fame), you may not have heard of The Raconteurs, Jack's post-Stripes, much-hyped super group featuring fellow Detroit roots-rocker Brendan Benson. Over two albums, The Raconteurs found moderate mainstream success and a pretty warm critical reception based on their folk-cum-garage band sound and the strength of some catchy-as-hell singles. Seeing them playing the much lauded Montreaux Jazz and Blues festival struck me as a bit of an odd fit at first, then I popped the disc in.
The Raconteurs: Live at Montreaux 2008 features a healthy cross-section of material culled from both albums...
"Consoler of the Lonely"
"You Don't Understand Me"
"Keep it Clean"
"Steady as she goes"
"The Switch and the Spur"
"Rich Kid Blues"
"Many Shades of Black"
"Broken Boy Soldier"
"Salute Your Solution"
Things start off a little dicey, maybe even a little too raw for a band known for rawness, but by the third track the band has hit its stride, and things flow beautifully from there on out. The Raconteurs are so much more than the sum of their parts, and Jack White ably proves that there's much more dimension to him as both a player and a frontman than the whole White Stripes candy-striped freakshow would have you believe. The wide-open jams, toe tapping rhythms, and energetic performance on display here is more akin to Led Zeppelin or The Who without all the pomp and pageantry. There's a loose groove to The Raconteurs, like a speeding car whose wheels could fly off at any minute, and you keep waiting for that crash, but it never comes. The band skirts ragged edges, tosses folksy solo breakdowns and fiddle bits in alongside simple chord progressions and rough and tumble harmonies. There's a feeling of spontaneity and creativity in the music that fits right in. These showmen prove their worth and then some; they are all about Montreaux, and they fit like a velvet glove.
Eagle Rock provides its typically rock solid product with a wonderfully natural, beautifully clear 1080i image and several sound choices. My personal preference was the room-filling DTS-HD Master Audio mix, but the Linear PCM Stereo track has just a little more oomph to it. There are no extras outside of the essay present in the enclosed booklet.
Not guilty! I salute your solution!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site