Great Big Sea

St. John’s, Newfoundland, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about butt-kicking rock ‘n’ roll. And to be sure, Great Big Sea’s particular brand of rock ‘n’ roll does kick butt in a relatively folkie, acoustic sort of way. But the energy that pervades this wonderful live album is as exhilarating as any live rock ‘n’ roll album. Though the instruments are all acoustic, and the beat is as likely to be supplied by a bodhran as a drumset, the band’s rhythmic momentum and the crowds’ delirious participation are thrilling. Highlights include the band’s signature cover version of the Oyster Band’s "When I’m Up," hilarious takes on "The Night Pat Murphy Died" and "Mary Mac," and the touching ballad "Boston and St. John’s." Maritime Canada has long had a rich folk music tradition, and by adding rock energy, Great Big Sea has created one of the most exciting sounds to come out of that country in recent years.