Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons 

Badlandia

In my review of Jerry Joseph's collaborative album with Wally Ingram, Civility, I mentioned that the longtime musician was starting to show his age. That certainly isn't the case on Badlandia, a live album featuring Joseph's rock band the Jackmormons. Recorded during 2009 at Banditos in Virginia City, Mont., Badlandia is a live performance that bristles with the vitality and vigor that has defined Joseph's career.

Joseph's reflective turn on Civility wasn't a bad development. But it missed the finely honed rapport that Joesph and the Jackmormons have developed over 15 years. There's no lack of it on Badlandia, currently exhibit A in the band's reputation as an excellent live act. Their knack for sustained instrumental breaks is on full display here—there are no songs under six minutes and several over 10. Even the longest numbers rarely seem superfluous or peacocky. And when they do, they feel damn well earned.

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After all, many lesser students than Joseph in the barfly rock tradition have enjoyed far greater popularity. In that sense, Badlandia's barroom setting is a fitting tribute to his career—no matter how small the venue, he always produces a big sound.

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons play the Palace Wednesday, March 23, at 9 PM with Nine Mile Wolves. $8.

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