After ten years, seven albums and a rabid touring schedule, the only thing missing from the decker. discography at this point is either a live or greatest hits album. With Greetings All Ye Playful Prisoners of Spacetime, from the Royal Potato Family label, you can cross live album off the list.
So why a live album now? There are a couple of reasons according to band leader and namesake Brandon Decker.
“I really wanted to capture where we are right now. I loved live albums as a teen,” Decker said. “Kind of in my informative years. I was really drawn to the kind of energy that can only come across in a live album.”
With Greetings, Decker wanted to recreate as close to a live decker. experience as there is. One thing that wasn’t a problem for Decker, was having enough material to choose from for the album. “We meant to play like 18 songs but ended up playing 30. You don’t always get that crowd. They were so loving and engaged.”
A majority of the material covered in the concert comes from the last two decker. albums Born To Wake Up and Snake River Blues. Decker added several of the covers the band frequently plays on the road along with a couple of well-chosen songs from the earlier decker. catalogue as well.
The objective of the first part of the album is simple and easily accomplished as decker. gets its loyal fans out of their seats and rocking with the band. Decker shows off his wonderfully unique and polished voice with “Burnin’ Grass,” “The Holy Ghost,” “The Garden,” and “The Phantom.”
Not only does Decker’s voice stand out, so does the tightness of the band. Having toured together for a while, you can feel the comfort the band has playing these songs as they can open things up or change direction without missing a beat.
There is great contrast going forward as the soulful and passionate vocals in “The Saint” are followed by the modulated amplified psychedelic “Snake River Blues” along with decker.’s take on The Stooges cover and set list staple “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”
One of Decker’s personal favorites, “Cellars,” closes out what could be considered the first set of the show. This version offers a powerful vocal blend with the others in the band, along with a Zappa-esque flavored jam at the end. “It’s always meaningful when we play it (“Cellars”),”says Decker. “Especially for me. Every time I perform it in a bar, rehearsal, or concert, I fully surrender to it and get into the groove part.”
Decker and the band take a break from the music with an invocation that covers everything from his struggles with drugs and psychological issues to his daily affirmation that includes the thought provoking and calming, “The universe is working for us. The universe is on our side. Everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be at this moment. We are okay.”
Decker, follows his invocation with the equally upbeat “Awake.” That’s followed with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “State Trooper” and Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat,” the latter a nod to his son Cohen who is named after the late legend.
The concert wraps up with “Mexico,” the PJ Harvey cover “Down by the Water,” and comes to a close with “Blackwash.”
As the concert and album come to an end, you can’t help but sit back and acknowledge decker. hits its goal of creating a very accurate portrayal of one of their live concerts. From the full band rockers, to the ballads, covers, or just Decker and his guitar, this live show encompasses everything you would expect to digest at a decker. show.
As for the future, this album seems to be a stopping point for Decker to regroup and see what musical direction he wants to head in next. Like almost every musician trying to make it today, Decker is continually rehearsing, writing, playing, and fundraising. He’s the type of artist that once his vision for a new project comes into focus, there’s no stopping him until it’s completed. It will be interesting to see which road decker. travels down next.