Last April, the much adored (in hipster circles, anyway) Band of Horses played two nights at the fabled Ryman Theatre, Nashville. In deference to the venue's country music legacy, they unplugged the electric guitars and delivered acoustic sets that touched on all aspects of their career.
This recording features just ten songs and clocks in at 38 minutes – unusually short for a live album – but this comparatively sparse approach showcases the prettiness of several of their best songs including Slow Cruel Hands of Time (from the disappointing latest studio album, Mirage Rock) and The Funeral.
It's a ploy that suggests some of their more recent output would have been improved had it been delivered in a simpler wrapping. Yet, despite the gorgeousness of the playing and Ben Bridewell's honeyed vocals, there is an unavoidable sense of a band treading water here and there.
Such quibbles are quickly forgotten during the sublime piano on Factories – and this version of an already fine song is an excellent starting point for those new to the band.
Slow Cruel Hands of Time; Marry Song
Day & Night