07.23.2009

Live Under Lights and Wires, Sandra McCracken

Posted by AJ Harbison at 4:20 pm

A few days ago I downloaded Sandra McCracken‘s latest album, Live Under Lights and Wires. It’s a live album, recorded by Sandra and Derek Webb (her husband) at a house show they performed in their own living room, just the two of them and their guitars. Derek just provides guitar and backup vocals, though; it’s Sandra’s show, and most of the songs are from her last album Red Balloon, which I wrote about a few months ago.

Live Under Lights and Wires is a fun listen–a glimpse into the songwriting process, by virtue of Sandra’s incidental comments and hearing the stripped-down versions of the songs, and a chance to listen in on a concert for the hundreds or thousands of fans who weren’t able to attend the private show. Sandra’s style is (as I mentioned in my Red Balloon post) “a folk/acoustic/singer-songwriter sound, with some country flavoring,” and it lends itself well to acoustic-guitar-only arrangements. She’s definitely a talented songwriter, and the personal songwriting shines through a personal and intimate performance. And it’s cool to hear her and Derek playing and singing together; if you ever get the chance to see them both live, it’s awesome to see the way they interact with each other during a performance, and there’s a small taste of that here.

A digital download of the album is only five bucks on Sandra’s webstore; a physical CD plus an immediate digital download is ten. The videos for “Halfway” and “Lose You” I linked to in the Red Balloon post are actually from the same show, so you can watch them as well. Sandra is an independent artist I would highly recommend, and this should be an enjoyable CD for fans and newcomers alike.

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