CD REVIEW: Mason Jennings "Live At First Ave."

Live At First Ave.
Being that this is Mason's first widely available live album, it's pretty awesome. The album features a live performance from the tour Jennings went in support of the release of his last studio release "Blood Of Man." The set is heavy on tracks from that album, but also features a few classic Mason Jennings songs from older albums. Some of the highlights of the album include the heavy rockers "Ain't No Friend Of Mine" and "Be Here Now," as well as the stirring and emotional tracks "Black Wind Blowing" and "The Field." Mason also shines during performances of the subtle classics "Ballad For My One True Love" and "Rebecca DeVille." His interaction with the crowd showcases just what an excellent and down-to-Earth performer he is and the fact that the performance was in his home state of Minnesota makes the performance extra special for Mason and the crowd. The album features thee unreleased songs as well, "Born," "Lonely Computer Screen," and "Grow Old With Me." "Born" could have easily found its way onto any of Mason's albums and the other two tracks are beautifully performed by Mason solo with just his acoustic guitar. "Godless," a gem from his first album closes out the set and bridges the entire performance from then until now. Many of his fan favorites and radio singles are missing from the performance, but if he found time to include them all, he'd need about a 4 hour show and probably have to release it as a box set. Mason's live versions of his songs are very similar to his studio recordings, so the fun is in experiencing them live on stage. This is the closest most will get and it's a great representation of what it's like to be there,