The Tigers Have Spoken
Two of the album's 11 songs are new versions of old Neko Case songs: "Blacklisted" is the title cut from Case's 2002 album, and "Favorite" was originally from the hard-to-get EP Canadian Amp from 2001. Two other songs, "If You Knew" and the CD's title song are new originals Case co-wrote with the band The Sadies, who back Case on the album and many times in the past.
The rest are covers, and some interesting choices. Case sings a spirited and faithful version of the 1973 Loretta Lynn treatise on gender roles, "Rated X." She also does a strong take on "Soulful Shade of Blue," a song by one of Case's heroes, Buffy Sainte-Marie. Case named her first dog Buffy after the singer at the age of five, so the ongoing tribute continues with this inclusion.
The album's longest song, at an epic-length almost 5 minutes, is a cover of a song by Catherine Ann Irwin, one of the singer/songwriters of the Louisville alt-country band Freakwater. The song, "Hex," features some gorgeous vocal harmonies.
Case also selected The Shangri-La's hit "The Train from Kansas City." And perhaps most unexpectedly is "Loretta," a gritty 1980 number by the not very well known Boston pop-rock band Nervous Eaters.
Rounding out the album, and functioning as encores, are the traditional songs "Wayfaring Stranger" and the terrific and energetic "This Little Light."
Very talented musicianship recorded in the raw, as it were, and the interesting song chosen for its setlist make The Tigers Have Spoken one of the better live albums in recent memory.