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on June 29, 2007
This series originally came out during the Year Of The Blues (2003) and provided us with glimpses of the real originals in this genre. The first three volumes gave us a lot of wonderful clips of Wolf, Sonny Boy, Memphis Slim, Otis Rush, Muddy, T-Bone, Big Mamma, Lonnie Johnson and so on. The German settings were a bit sterile and often staged to look like a Juke or with strange back drops of urban America. This set, from 1963-1966, is more like a concert. And it's great!

The concert format with an appreciative audience is really fantastic and well done for the time. We see Sonny Boy Williamson in three performances with the harp in his mouth sideways and playing with his NOSE! He is cool, no wonder he taught Little Walter (whose only recorded performance is in Vol. 3 of this series!).We also see Hubert Sumlin play with Sonny Boy on his second offering in this show. He turns in one of his most unusual solos in "Getting Out Of Town"- very chromatic and almost jazzy! We see Muddy as a stand up singer (no guitar), on "Mojo" and in two bonus performances. He has Matt "Guitar" Murphy playing behind him on this one (who was playing with Memphis Slim at the time). There is a rare look at the great Lonnie Johnson, who plays by himself and shows us why he is one of the original inventors of the Urban Blues guitar style. Big Joe Williams gives us a close up view of his famous nine string guitar.

Lightnin' Hopkins plays his distinctive Texas-style acoustic blues, with a few tricks on the fretboard as well. Howlin' Wolf puts in, to me, his best ever filmed performance-it's worth the price of the whole thing!!! He does an update of "Smokestack Lightning" (without its famous riff) and "Don't Laugh At Me" in a "Killing Floor" groove, a song which had just been recorded. And we also see a young Hubert Sumlin playing with Wolf and also with Sugar Pie Desanto's female input (these shows always had at least one female performer).

Big Joe Turner does his usual big voiced thing and he has Otis Rush on lead guitar, it's a fantastic performance, one of the best insight's into Otis's guitar style we've seen. A bonus in this tune is that we see maybe the only existing footage of pianist Little Brother Montgomery who wrote "The First Time I met the Blues" and "I Can't Keep From Crying"-this is a rarity. Also scarce is film of drummer Fred Below, who gave the beat to Chess Records. Fred plays on this tune and in Junior Well's section.

Junior Wells is in his James Brown groove (he always did this! In Australia in 1991 when I saw him he led off with "I Feel Good"). He does Ray Charles'"What'D I Say" in a JB style, but we hear no harp! Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first US Blues/Gospel acts to crack the UK, finishes the set with two of the bonus tracks. They are superb as is Muddy Waters' two bonus tracks staged and filmed at a railway station-very effective. His slide playing (standing up) is another extremely rare view of Muddy.

This is one of the most historic releases for urban blues yet available. The sound has been remixed by Eddie Kramer (of Jimi Hendrix fame) and Reelin' In The Years Productions have done it again! I hope they can find more of these rarities soon. We need the Fillmore Concerts that were on PBS in the late sixities. Get this for your Blues collection and check the price, what a bargain!
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on July 4, 2007
Not much to add to Perrys great review,but mention should be made of the accompanying 2opage booklet,includes photos of the artists and great memories and facts by the great English blues researcher Mike Rowe.
Sound and vision on these wonderful performances are as good as you can expect some 40yrs after the events---back in the days when us English boys used to put on shirt and tie,nice suit and go to the concert.
If you have the previous 3 releases in this series,this is a great addition,if you have any interest in blues history, essential.Thank you to everybody who put this release together--wonderful!!
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on May 13, 2009
Outstanding Blues from beginning to the end !!!! You get 14 great songs, plus 4 more as bonus tracks, totaling 18 songs. Plus, you get a great 18 page illustrated booklet, that provides more information about these Blues Artists & this DVD.

The songs are as follows:
1. Sonny Boy Williamson - Keep it to Yourself
2. Muddy Waters - Got my MoJo Working
3. Lonnie Johnson - Too late to Cry
4. Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Don't Go ( Aerosmith did a cover of this
included in their "Honkin on Bobo" CD.
5. Sonny Boy Williamson - Bye Bye Bird
6. Getting out of town
7. Lightin' Hopkins - Come Go With Me
8. Lightin's Blues
9. Sugar Pie Desanto - Baby What You Want Me to Do
10.Rock me Baby
11.Howlin'Wolf - Smokestack Lighting
12.Don't Laugh at Me
13.Big Joe Turner - Oh Well , Oh Well
14.Junior Wells - What I'd Say

Bonus Tracks:
15.Muddy Waters - You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
16.Blow Wind Blow
17.Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't It Rain
18.Trouble in Mind

These performances were very well performed, very well produced, and very well filmed and recorded. Also, you get other blues musicians in this DVD, that performed as background musicians. These include: Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Willie Dixson and others. This is a "must-have" for any serious blues fan. This is a great DVD, and I highly recommend it. Thanks!!!
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on June 27, 2007
this whole thing is fantastic. sonny boy, lonnie johnson, muddy...the wolf is unbelievable. the unknown drummer that the package mentions is in fact willie big eyes smith. It is easy to tell that it is him because of his playing style and he is still around playing great!
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on June 28, 2014
If your clicking on this disc I'll assume you like old time blues or it has been recommended to you to check out. I selected this particular AFBF disc over others as other reviewers had mentioned that this presented the musicians in a live concert type medium rather than a soundstage type. I like little bits and pieces of a lot of different musicians vs. buying a lot of discs of just one musician or group with rare exception. This disc offers a nice little taste of the various musicians listed. I find there is next to no super prints/transfers of older musicians so if your going to complain about that sort of thing just listen to the cd. However I will say that the print was very viewable and enjoyable for me to watch and the price was reasonable. Great addition to my collection. The disc arrived on time and undamaged.--- P.S. I really dug Howlin Wolf knockin it down.
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on January 15, 2009
You know when we were listening to all those folkies like Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk or Joan Baez or starting to pick up the Beatles or The Rolling Stones the American home grown blues was traveling to Europe, in this volume to Britain, to be appreciated by those audiences. Well, what goes around comes around. Here we have a `second' chance to see what we missed from the legends that were just winding down their careers.

So what do we have here? A sizzling Sonny Boy Williamson. The primordial Howlin' Wolf. Big Joe Williams. The underrated Big Joe Turner. The underrated Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and on and on. The stealer of the show- Lightnin' Hopkins. Those who follow the blues will be familiar with all the line up here. Practically every one of these performers has been reviewed by this writer elsewhere in this space (with the exception, I think, of Otis Rush). So here you get them all under one roof while they are `hot'. For those who are unfamiliar with the performers or with classical acoustic and electric blues here's your primer. Get working.
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on July 6, 2013
This is an exceptional DVD with all the Folk-Blues Music and artist that I never was able to see perform on a DVD.
The price was great, the songs are great....I will spend many an hour listening to these great songs.
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on December 2, 2015
This is probably the greatest music DVD I have ever seen. Every performance is spot on, but the Big Joe Williams, Lonnie Johnson, and Lightnin' Hopkins songs have to be seen to be believed. Fantastic .
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on December 23, 2013
The entire series is excellent and gives a rare opportunity to see and hear blues artists sing some of their great songs. The shows that are done with background settings (Instead of concert format) are the best. Highly Recommend! Should Buy !
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on July 21, 2014
Excellent DVD. Captures the history of some of the most influential artists of all time. Really loved seeing these guys perform since I never did see a live concert. Wish I had,so this is really cool if you dig this kind of music and its history.
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