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DVDs that I've never heard of sometimes show up on my doorstep for review. Some of these discs, like THE MCGARRIGLE HOUR ($30), turn out to be pleasant little surprises that I would have never acquired on my own. THE MCGARRIGLE HOUR is an intimate concert that features Kate and Anna McGarrigle, as well as members of their families, friends and guest stars Linda Ronstandt and Emmylou Harris. I have to admit that other than the guest stars; I am completely unfamiliar with the concert performers. Well, at least this DVD introduced me to a number of very talented individuals, whom I thoroughly enjoyed meeting. Songs include a number of standards, plus those composed by the performers. The concert has a folksy style that is simple, very mellow and highly pleasurable.

This release from Rykodisc/Palm Pictures was shot on videotape; offering a clean and clear image that would be superior to any broadcast. Colors are strong, especially hot reds and cold blues. None of the strong colors created any problems on playback. Digital compression artifacts did not make their presence known on this DVD.

The DVD offers two soundtrack options, PCM stereo and a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix. Both soundtracks provide very good sound. The PCM track has purer, more musical sound, although I like the way the 5.1 channel mix immerses the viewer, making them feel as though they were in the audience.

The simple interactive menus allow one a choice of soundtracks and song access. Also included on the DVD are interactive interviews, short biographies for all the performers, bonus songs from a 1981 concert and previews for other Rykodisc musical releases.




DVD reviews are Copyright 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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