August 13, 2002
DCN (Digital Club Network)

Album Review

Serving as their last official release, their first live album, as well as something of a career retrospective, Tonight It's Now or Never is a fitting coda for one of alternative country's pioneering bands. With two discs and 21 tracks, the band delves into generous helpings of traditional folk tunes, cowpunk anthems, and bluesy, feedback-heavy rock with equal aplomb. Whether storming through the rollicking "Bloody 98" or dipping into the hypnotic English folk of "Young and Tender Ladies," Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt imbue songs of sadness and longing with the genuine spirit of the Appalachian folk and Delta blues from which they draw. Similarly, the Neil Young & Crazy Horse riff rock of "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" and the Celtic shades of "Rye Whiskey" show a band who was more than capable of moving past the commonplace strains of Americana, sounding as much like John Doe and Exene Cervenka on their harmonies as they do George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Sadly, the group would part ways shortly after the March 11, 2001, performance at Chicago's Schuba's, with both Hudson and Stirratt either releasing or readying solo albums within a year, making this an excellent document of one of the band's final moments.
Matt Fink, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Young and Tender Ladies
  2. Bloody 98
  3. Lakeside
  4. Banks of the Ponchartrain
  5. Myrna Lee
  6. Jimmy Carter
  7. Riley and Spencer
  8. Rain and Snow
  9. Black Dog
  10. Poppa
  11. Let's Go Runnin'
  12. Judgement Day
  13. When You're Not Mine
  14. My Wicked, Wicked Ways
  15. Soul Sister
  16. That Nasty Swing
  17. Sleepin' in My Shoes
  18. I'm Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes
  19. Rye Whiskey
  20. Generic America
  21. Go 'Way Devil
purchase full album