So most of you headz probably know MV & EE quite well at this point. Their discography is pretty long so there are still a lot of little gems out there to be found, this live cassette from 2007 with Willie Lane called Pray For Less (Blackest Rainbow) being one of them.
The first two tracks are simple live renditions of MV & EE’s more straightforward (though totally hazy) Americana folk. The Grateful Dead on Robitussin shit hits immediately afterward.
Their cover of “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” alone makes this worth the cost of admission. While most bands cover this number as a kind of corny, electric blues up-tempo mess, MV & EE scale it back and work it out like champs. Their “Death” is not Bo Diddley knocking down your door, pulling you out kicking and screaming; it’s slow but unstoppable, mournful and highlighted by Erika Elder's sorrow-filled vocals.
We then move into highly lysergic guitar shred territory. While “Hammer -> Summer Magic” features the same kind of drowsy feel, it is almost entirely filled with beautiful guitar interplay with Willie Lane that does not just border on guitar hero type shred, but completely blows it out of the water.
The tape ends on a more free form type of abstract jam, with the instruments never being used to play a melody or strum a chord in any sense.
What else can I say? These guys/gals rule and this tape should be heard if you’re into it and haven’t gotten around to it yet.