inspired by live albums such as bob dylan’s hard rain, houck envisioned an album that, rather than play like a greatest hits collection, would present songs from throughout his catalog in new ways, representative of how the songs have grown and transformed over the years in the live setting.
phosphorescent were coming to the end of almost a year of hard touring behind 2013’s muchacho before the four brooklyn music hall shows, (one of which was a solo performance by houck), and the ability of houck’s songs to morph and expand is showcased here through these revelatory performances. live at the music hall spans nearly 10 years and four phosphorescent albums total, including 2005’s aw come aw wry, 2007’s dead oceans debut pride, breakout 2010 album here’s to taking it easy, and ultimately, 2013’s transformative muchacho. the phosphorescent live line-up here features ricky ray jackson on guitar and pedal steel, pianist scott stapleton, drummer christopher marine, bassist rustine bragaw, percussionist david torch and organ / keyboards player jo schornikow. “playing those four shows, it was clear something special was going on,” says houck. “after eight months of touring, we’d gotten to a really good point where we weren’t quite exhausted yet with the material, but we’d had enough time to really grow with the songs. so we were in that sweet spot where we were pulling something great out of the songs every night.” without a doubt, live at the music hall is an inspiring document of a band at the peak of their powers.