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Alabama - The Last Stand
Review By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

This is a very strong recording, Alabama was named the country group of the last century. That is pretty popular, for over two decades, they were in the country music limelight. This twelve song disc promoted by Cracker Barrel Restaurants is previously unreleased material from their 2003-04 farewell tour. These songs were never on any other Alabama albums as well.

The Last Stand is simply a great recording, with tons of energy and emotion. This group does not sound like they are on a farewell tour, they sound like they are in the prime of their career. Most of these songs are covers by other writers, so they are very familiar and lots of big hits too. This disc was patched together to sound very coherent like you are listening to a continuous show. But, you can tell by the announcements that they are in different towns. The vocals are what stand out in Alabama, beautiful three part harmonies, also great doses of country guitar. 

"If You Are Gonna Play In Texas" (You Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band) This is a popular song that Alabama nails, this band's music sounds so fluid, so tight, they sound like they are having fun, one of the secrets of success. This band has three or four great guitarists that play real country guitar, both acoustic and electric, mostly electric. There is obviously some great fiddle in this song. 

Overall, one of the best live recordings that I have ever heard and I love "live" music. The crowd noise is perfect on this disc,
"Here We Are" (Vince Gill, Beth Nielson Chapman) - This song is a real country rocker, this will get ya movin', love Teddy Gentry's tight bass track. Mark Herndon's drums are very consistent thru out the album. Great dual guitar and piano here on this song. A little fuzz on the electric guitars, some horns. Chris Walters can really play piano.

"Old Flame" (Mac Mcnally/Lowery) is a familiar song that never sounded better. This is an upbeat ballad with more great guitar, the acoustic rhythm really sounds nice along with the twangin' electrics.

This group is not to be found today amongst the country music lot, they do remind me a bit of the 70s' Eagles. Great digitech packaging making the disc look like it is in a leather folder, great artwork. 

Definitely a must have for country fans. Check this out.

Click on the CD cover to order yours!

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