Ryan Adams - Live in Jamaica

Ryan's other experiences in the market are less pleasant, however. He suffers sunburn and complains loudly when guitarist Brad Rice plays a cruel trick on him. He wonders aloud, (one must say, rather pensively), about why everyone is staring at him and calling him names. Who would possibly do such a beastly thing?

 

 

Oh, the endless folly of modern life...

 

Before I settle down to review this DVD, I might as well point out that I saw it once, and once was enough. The makers of the "Music in High Places" series of DVDs (of which this is one), should not be disheartened by this bold statement of fact, for their work has left an indelible imprint upon my memory.

 

However, dear reader, I readily accept that this admission will not be enough to sate your curiosity. I must go further and describe this memorable work.

 

Where better to start than with the introductory bumpf? How could I withold it from you?

 

The 'Music in High Places' series is "the ultimate international music and travel adventure series that takes top recording artists to the most ancient sites on Earth (Kingston market? A Jamaican playground with swings?). Each expedition takes music's biggest artists to the four corners of the globe (surely the best example of a mixed metaphor ever, but, sorry, do go on..) and features exciting acoustic performances set against the backdrop of earth's most intriguing natural locations. (At this point, m'lud, I must interject. There is a passable rendition of Firecracker in a playground, or in what appears to be a community recreation area; suffice to say there are children climbing trees. And there is grass and a refreshments stall. If I could draw your honour's attention to the out-takes at the end of the DVD, where the self-same song is seen without the benefit of the soundman's overhead microphone. To all intents and purposes the tableau presented is that of four bewildered, sweaty, scruffy men playing a ragged and thin tune in a park, much to the curiosity and amusement of the locals. But, yes, sorry, do go on with the introduction... ) Take an intimate journey with RYAN ADAMS as he discovers the culture, history and spirituality of Jamaica. Collect the entire series for musical experiences that are anything but ordinary."

 

You heard that? Collect the entire series for musical experiences that are anything but ordinary. Ryan's experience in trying to play a soupcon of reggae with Toots Mayal is, well, anything but ordinary. It's laughably bad. Bad in the way Peter the Great's bowel movement jokes must have been. Bad beyond the realms of human thought. A badness which (and here I find myself in complete agreement with "Music in High Places"), is anything but ordinary.

 

However, the jammin' session must have ticked the "spirituality" box, for in it goes. I presume that we, the viewers, are meant to see it as a spiritual meeting of two great cultures, or some such. (At this point I must mete out a warning to the makers of the video. Good Sirs. Far be it from me to advise you what out-takes and extras to include in your series, but the spiritualty quotient was lessened somewhat by the inclusion of the out-take where, we, the viewers, were confronted with the sight of the camera man's posterior creeping out of his shorts. I believe the term for this, in less beknighted circles than one's own, is 'builder's arse'. This may cause some displeasure to more spiritual viewers, especially as this unhappy incident seemed to be the sole highlight, nay the sole reason for the out-take in question. But I digress.)

 

The culture bit of the video, I presume, is the trip to the local market, where Ryan comments favourably on the range of merchandise on offer. We watch on as he buys bangles and barters for a tee shirt. We learn (as indeed does Ryan), that the title of the Rolling Stones album, Goats Head Soup is inspired by a soup that is made by boiling the head of a goat. Ryan's other experiences in the market are less pleasant, however. He suffers sunburn and complains loudly when guitarist Brad Rice plays a cruel trick on him. He wonders aloud, (one must say, rather pensively), about why everyone is staring at him and calling him names.

 

Who would possibly do such a beastly thing?

 

Words: Richard Foster.

 

P.S.Other artists featured in this series are; BoyzIIMen, Wynonna (live in Venice) and BBMak (live in Vietman). You can find out more about Music in High Places by visiting their website, http://musicinhighplaces.msn.com