Trax, Charlottesville, VA
February 17, 1994
*Uncle Tupelo Upgrade Series Vol. 18*
Source: Two Nak 300s (on stand by the soundboard, about 50 feet back) > Sony TCD-D3 (DAT, 16/48)
Transfer: DAT clone(1) > Tascam DA-20 > M-Audio Audiophile USB > PC > Wavelab 5.0 > Izotope RX7 (editing, light EQ, re-balancing (guitars and vocals raised), normalizing) > Flac (Level 8)
Taped by John, transferred by mrpember (February 17, 2008); final edits / light remaster by mrpember (February 17, 2021)
originally seeded on Dime by mrpember in Febuary 2008, remaster seeded in February 2021
This is a 16/48 recording
01- Fifteen Keys
02- Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down [traditional]
04- Watch Me Fall
07- The Long Cut
08- True to Life
09- New Madrid
11- Atomic Power [Louvin Brothers cover]
13- High Water
15- We've Been Had
16- Give Back the Key To My Heart [Doug Sahm cover]
17- Looking For a Way Out
19- (Is Anybody Going to) San Antone [Doug Sahm cover]
20- Willin' [Little Feat cover]
21- Effigy [Creedence Clearwater Revival cover]
Total time: 82:34
Jay Farrar: guitar, harmonica, mandolin, vocals
Jeff Tweedy: bass, guitar, vocals
Ken Coomer: drums
John Stirrat: bass, guitar, vocals
Max Johnston: mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, lap steel
The purpose of the Uncle Tupelo Upgrade Series is to circulate live recordings of Uncle Tupelo and related bands with known lineages, focusing on recordings taken directly from masters or from the cleanest, lowest generation copies available. Some are shows that have circulated online for years with unknown or incorrect lineages and others are shows that have not been widely circulated in the file-sharing era. I will share any information I have regarding the recordings, as well as any features of the shows themselves that make them special to me.
I wasn't planning on including this show in this series since I posted it from the same source / transfer back in 2008, but after doing some work on it I decided that this did qualify as an upgrade, and it continues the story from the night before at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC that was Volume 17 of this series.
NOTES ON THE RECORDING
John was a well-known taper in Virginia, I didn't know him before this night but of course I talked with him when I saw him setting his mics up pre-show. There was a wee bit of drama when Uncle Tupelo's road manager at the time requested that nobody tape on DAT because he said someone had been selling recordings (in 1994?), so John set up a cassette deck on his taping table...and recorded into his portable DAT deck under the table. He was generous enough to send me a DAT clone a week or two later.
The master recording is very good though a bit flat, I did some tweaks for this release to standardize the volume across the show, try and brighten it up, and raise the level of the vocals and guitars a bit. If you have this show from when I posted it back in 2008 this will be a minor upgrade.
I taped with CSBs up closer to the stage but that tape is not complete, and overall this recording is a better document of the show.
NOTES ON THE SHOW
I'm not sure how much this will come across just from the audio, but the feel of this show was so much 'lighter' compared to the night before at the Cat's Cradle. Whether as a result of the altercation he had with Jeff Tweedy the previous night or for some other reason, Jay Farrar was much more engaged and I was floored by his vocals at this show. Does he sound enthused to be singing on "Watch Me Fall" or "New Madrid"? I can't say he does, but at least you can hear him clearly, and he really threw himself into his own songs. The band was also much tighter than the previous night.
I loved the encore, my first time seeing them play Sir Doug's "(Is Anybody Going to) San Antone" and CCR's "Effigy." The latter was one of the very top moments I've ever had at a live show, their version of "Effigy" had been released on the NO ALTERNATIVE comp but I didn't have it yet and thus wasn't prepared for the intensity of it. I've seen Ken Coomer play drums dozens of times in multiple bands and for me this was easily his best moment, his kit barely survived this song.
mrpember, February 2021