Over the last decade, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck has built a reputation as one of alt-country's strongest, boldest auteurs (maybe a blanche-worthy statement for purists, but whatever)—and his last LP, 2013's Muchacho, was undoubtedly his masterwork, a beautiful collection of songs that stretched far and wide like an open road. Speaking of the open road: Houck and his live band also carry a solid rep performance-wise, and if you need some proof, they're putting out a live album, Live at the Music Hall, on February 17 via Dead Oceans. As the title suggests, the collection was culled from a four-night stand at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg—and you can get a sneak preview by checking out a track from it below, a rollicking version of "Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)," a cut from 2010's excellent Here's to Taking It Easy.
Houck sent the following email statement to FADER about the track:
""Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly)" is probably the most straightforward four-on-the-floor-type pop song I've got. I wouldn't have expected it to become a live staple but it has consistently found a spot in the sets over the last couple years.
I think of shows the same way I think of albums in that, ideally, you can establish a world and then create something like a journey within that world. That said, I rarely make set-lists because you never know what kind of vibe the evening might bring. So it's sort of like sequencing an album in real-time; reacting to the the room and the crowd and the band; and aiming for a nice arc.
Anyway, "Nothing Was Stolen" has established itself as a welcome guest on these journeys. Like an easy-going buddy who pops in and refreshes the party. Maybe lightens the mood if needed. Or maybe focuses the mood if that's what's needed. Also it gives me the chance to give shout-outs to whoever's gonna take the solos. I enjoy that bit."
Lead photo: Steve Gullick