Recorded "live" at the Church House Concert Series in Haddam, CT, this project captures Walker's energy, his joy of performing, and his command of "Southern-Fried-Zen-Mojo." Listening to this CD, one feels as if they're almost there at the show, taking part of the magic that Walker shares with his audience at each of his live performances.
As is his custom, he opens the show with a seriously nasty guitar piece, stunning the audience, and from there on, they're his. And he's theirs. There's something about a "live" performance that a studio effort can never achieve. Call it symbiosis; call it give and take; call it cause and effect. Call it whatever you want. But after listening to this CD, you'll know why live recordings are the best barometer of an artist's skill. Studio recordings can often be misleading. Live shows convey the truth.
What kind of truth? Check out track number three, "Universal Mundane Church of the Uninformed." Sometimes humor is the best method for conveying truth. If you like the occasional twisted turn of phrase and tongue-in-cheek philosophy, you'll love this tune.
Or perhaps you've fallen down in the past. And maybe you've been rescued by an angel-like loved one. If so, pay close attention to "Drivin' On", the namesake of the CD. Talk about real; talk about honest.
But maybe you'd like to hear some plain old nasty blues. If so, check out "Coustic Blues". Walker coaxes and cajoles unnatural riffs and notes out of his guitar on this one. And if you've some time on your hands, give it some thought and try, just try, to categorize or pigeon-hole this cut. Good luck. And if you're into blues-rooted tunes that are brimming with high energy and passion, tune in to the last two cuts. They're in a class all unto themselves.
Want a bit of spiritual intonation? Give a listen to "Good News" or to "Rock Me in Your Arms". Even atheists might want to testify after hearing these cuts.
Or if you prefer, how about an old classic or two? While Walker is known as a first-rate songwriter, on this project he pays homage to those that have gone before him. Listen to "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues", and to "Four and Twenty". He keeps the integrity of both, but gives new life to both of them. And if you'd like something pleasantly mellow, lovely and soothing, give an ear to the old standard, "Over the Rainbow". It's soulful, moving, and unforgettable. Listen closely and you'll hear a listener in the audience giving him thanks for this piece.
This CD is an expression of simple truths. It's "live" and there are no bells and whistles. It's an honest recording, and a fine example of acoustic blues, acoustic soul, and of a man who bared his soul to an audience he'd never seen before. Very few in the audience knew this show was going to result in a live CD. They loved the music for what it was, and they loved Pops for what he is and what he gave them that night.