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Rhythm & Views

The Sadies

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After years of globetrotting, Toronto's pride The Sadies recently returned home for a musical family reunion of sorts. Recorded over two nights in February 2006 in front of an adoring crowd at Lee's Palace, In Concert, Volume One crams 41 songs and a wealth of guest appearances onto two very busy discs.

Notable collaborators who help The Sadies flesh out their singular mix of cosmic country rock, psychedelic surf and a Canadian take on spaghetti Western-styled themes include Kelly Hogan, Jon Langford, Gary Louris, Neko Case, Garth Hudson, Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray (Heavy Trash) and members of Blue Rodeo. How cool are The Sadies? So cool that lanky front guys Dallas and Travis Good's father, uncles The Good Brothers and their mother, Margaret, also make the cut.

With roughly 41 highlights, cherry-picking individual tracks seems churlish, but off the top of the head, Neko Case emoting "Evangeline" with Garth Hudson on accordion, the cosmic-weepy "Story's Often Told" with Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor and the greasy rockabilly overdrive of Heavy Trash are all particularly choice. And "Lucifer Sam," by Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, gets a thoroughly respectable treatment by The Jayhawks' Gary Louris and crew.

The only downside to Steve Albini's recording and mix is audible audience noise throughout the discs. That can either be mildly annoying or add to the party, depending on where you sit. But no one was sitting at these shows, that's for sure.

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