Homemade Tamales — Live at Floore’s
Room 8 Records

This double-CD and DVD set from the Randy Rogers Band is a fantastic document of what might well be the best live act from the Texas country scene currently hitting the highways of the entire nation. Homemade Tamales was recorded over two nights at the legendary Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Texas, with only the best cuts selected for inclusion. A purist could argue that it might have been cool to have a “warts and all,” less-than-perfect recording of a single RRB show, but the fact is that Rogers and crew really don’t offer up that many imperfections in concert on a night to night basis, anyway. Having played thousands of shows now as a core, cohesive outfit without replacements or lengthy hiatuses for 15 years, the band is the proverbial well-oiled machine. But that doesn’t mean they’re just going through the motions here: the newer material on Homemade Tamales, specifically “Fuzzy” and “Trouble Knows My Name” from last year’s resurgent Trouble, has the verve expected of a group showing off its new sounds, but aged numbers such as “Like It Used to Be” are performed with just as much enthusiasm. In addition to the comprehensive live set, the second disc closes with a pair of previously unreleased studio tracks, “Satellite” and “She’s Gonna Run.” Both are classic-feeling Rogers nuggets that could’ve fit snuggly onto Trouble or any other RRB album. The DVD offers a crystal clear presentation, but the intimate behind-the-scenes extras — like the clip of Rogers taking the viewer into a tattoo studio with him to get fresh ink — are the real gems. — KELLY DEARMORE

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