One of the great, lost, legendary live albums in '70s rock finally sees a legitimate, full-length release with Real Gone Music's deluxe, two-CD issue of The Alabama State Troupers: Road Show. The brainchild of Elektra president Jac Holzman and Memphis music legend Don Nix, the 'Troupers were supposed to be a traveling roadshow highlighting the talents of various Southern musicians who were signed to Elektra, most prominently Nix, singer Jeanie Greene (best known for her work with Elvis and at Muscle Shoals), and guitarist Lonnie Mack. Days before the tour, Mack quit, having had a self-described Biblical vision telling him not to go, so Nix found quite the replacement: legendary bluesman Furry Lewis, whose solo set takes up the first side of the double album. The rest of the record features Nix and Greene with what amounts to be the backup group of your Southern R&B wet dreams; dubbed the Mt. Zion Band and Choir, it featured such stellar talents as guitarists Wayne Perkins and Tippy Armstrong, vocalists Marlin Greene and Brenda Patterson, keyboardist Clayton Ivey, bassist Bob Wray and other Muscle Shoals sidemen. Recorded at two October 1971 California performances, Road Show is kind of like the American version of Joe Cocker s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, a rollicking, boisterous and most of all soulful blend of gospel, R&B and rock in which one can hear the nascent stirrings of what would come to be known as Southern rock a little later in the decade.
CD1 1. Furry's Blues 2. Brownsville 3. I'm Black 4. A Chicken Ain't Nothin' but a Bird 5. Will the Circle Be Unbroken 6. Amos Burke 7. Mighty Time 8. Jesus on the Mainline 9. Mary Louise 10. Yes, I Do Understand
CD2 1. Opening 2. Living in the Country 3. Joa-Bim 4. Dixie 5. Heavy Makes You Happy 6. Iuka 7. Asphalt Outlaw Hero 8. Olena 9. My Father's House 10. Going Down