Neko Case

New West has a definite winner on its hands with the Live From Austin, TX franchise. The concept is simple: Raid the Austin City Limits archives and release the shows uncut on DVD, spruced up with a spiffy new transfer and digital sound. Even better, the releases manage to strike a balance between the established legends and the up-and-coming acts of the present. Such is the case with the latest release featuring Neko Case, (also available on CD). The show, recorded in 2003, features Case with longtime collaborators Kelly Hogan (vocals), Jon Rauhouse (pedal steel, banjo and guitar), and Tom V. Ray (bass, tambourine). The alt-country chanteuse belts her way through some of her best songs and graces the crowd with worthy covers of the Bob Dylan classic “Buckets of Rain” as well as Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken.” Lovely and talented, Ms. Case is a double threat, and this disc is an essential purchase for anyone who loves American roots music.