Bloodied but unbowed

Rating: NNNN After 12 years at the top of the alt-country heap, Chicago's Bloodshot label has compiled a representative sampling of.


Rating: NNNN


After 12 years at the top of the alt-country heap, Chicago’s Bloodshot label has compiled a representative sampling of unruly concert footage and DIY videos from its impressively talented roster past and present, including Ryan Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Sally Timms, the Waco Brothers, Sadies, Old 97s, Detroit Cobras, Robbie Fulks, Graham Parker and many others.

Despite the snappy tunes and spirited performances, the video-jukebox-style run of clip after clip – separated by dreary title frames – gets tiresome long before you’ve seen all 31, which suggests that some charismatic personality like Jon Langford should have introduced each artist. Even inserting some Beatle Bob dance instruction segments would’ve greatly enhanced the viewing experience.

The best bits are are the short films in the Stories section, which includes a behind-the-scenes-at-Bloodshot gag reel – signees express their love for the label under duress and others put on nutty wigs – and lip-sync covers on Chicago cable access dance party Chic-a-go-go, in addition to an interesting mini-documentary on local country legends the Sundowners.

There’s perhaps a little too much Kelly Hogan and not enough Andre Williams on Bloodied But Unbowed, but with three and a half hours of material, trust me, there’s enough twang to go around.

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