Texan Rodney Parker and his band 50 Peso Reward just released Live In the Living Room. This acoustic collection includes songs from the group's three studio albums. The live performance was actually recorded in Parker's living room in front of a small audience.
In a recent interview with Hal Bogerd, Parker revealed how he felt about this recording: "...And yes, it actually was recorded in my living room. That room has always sounded great to me and was sort of begging for something to be recorded in it. I had been wanting to do a live acoustic record there for a few years, and we finally had the opportunity to do it. We invited about 30 of our closest friends and family, so it was super laid back and felt just like a big party. It ended up being one of my favorite things this band has ever done."
"10 Lb. Test" begins this performance with a plaintive banjo-laced ballad. A cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City" follows in the quiet footsteps of the previous song. Parker's convincing voice emits an honest tone. "Bring Me My Gun" travels into deep bluegrass territory, and verifies this band's versatility. "Firefight" contains more soulful instrumentation from the band while Parker's sings of distant salvation.
"Ghost" proves the songwriter's ability to construct a rain-proof song. "Highway Blues" sounds like a number best heard on Sunday morning. "I'm Never Getting Married" reels off a cold-hearted narrative on the institution of matrimony. "Skin and Bones" counts as one of this album's strongest tracks...a dark tale of midnight ghosts and hearts of stone...
Rodney Parker ends this performance with "Where The Bright Lights Glow Me"--a sonic space where the band's blue musical spark appears. These songs burn like flames under straw.