.38 Special

Live at Sturgis

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Review

Southern rock has always been popular among hardcore bikers, so it makes perfect sense that .38 Special -- the best Southern rock band of the early '80s -- provided the soundtrack to the 1999 biker festival in Sturgis, South Dakota. That concert provided the basis for Live at Sturgis, their first release for CMC International. Like many latter-day live albums from veteran rock acts, Live at Sturgis is really only for the diehards who have followed the band throughout the years, even if it's essentially a greatest-hits set list with a couple of new songs from their reunion album, Resolution, tossed in for good measure. After all, less dedicated listeners have little desire to hear live versions of these songs, performed nearly 20 years after they hit the charts, especially since many of the hits have singalongs with the crowd. Nevertheless, it has to be said that .38 Special doesn't sound bad on Live at Sturgis -- the vocals may not be as passionate and the band might not rock as they did in their glory days, but the album is certainly listenable and, if you're a fan, entertaining. But it's not really something that even hardcore fans would listen to all that often, even with the addition of a new studio track, the poppy "Just One Girl," that's as good as anything on Resolution. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi