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The American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1966, Vol. 1
DVD + DVD Audio
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Vintage footage of some of the greatest blues artist performing in Europe in the 60s is combined to create this two-part piece of blues history.
Unearthed some 40 years after the fact, this has to be one of the finest blues collections ever assembled on video. Thanks to a couple of young promoters who brought the musicians to Europe--where they were treated with a good deal more respect and dignity than in America--we get an extraordinary lineup of bluesmen and women: Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Sippie Wallace... the list goes on. Their concert performances (several in stagy but effective down-home settings) before a rather formal but appreciative German audience have them playing in some cool combinations (T-Bone Walker backing Memphis Slim, Otis Rush with Junior Wells), even introducing one another (Williamson on guitarist Lonnie Johnson, an elder statesman on the tour: "A very nice musician")--and all with great sound (mono, but still flawless) and visuals (in black and white). This is one for blues fans to treasure. --Sam Graham
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I wish Amazon had a 3 criteria rating that would make for a quicker, more accurate and fair rating of Cd's, DVD's and Blu-ray's.
2. Quality of Audio
3. Quality of Video (for DVD's and Blu-ray's)
Artists that wish to have there performances recorded and recognized should be held to a standard. Poor Audio or Video, no matter how good the performance, is still a bad product. Those who would still purchase sub-standard Audio or Video quality recordings and rank that product highly just because of performance are not doing the industry or the band justice. Demand better and we will get it, settle for less and that's what you'll get.
Watch closely Sonny Boy's virtuoso "Bye Bye Bird," "Mojo" with Sonny Boy and Muddy, a five-harp jam with Big Mama, John Lee, Big Walter, J. B. Lenoir and Dr. Ross, and the magic of Lightnin' Hopkins doing "Mojo Hand" and laying out enough hot guitar licks in one song to fuel a rocker's whole career.
Hip-O has released a highlights CD but these two DVDs must be seen to believe. These are the performances that American audiences have never seen since they were filmed but which inspired the Rolling Stones, John Mayall, Ten Years After, Yardbirds, Animals, Van Morrison, Ten Years After and so many of the British blues-rockers.
This was no small event. These artists played the finest concert halls of Europe, stayed in the best hotels, and ate in the best restaurants finding a deep respect they never lived to see in America. Their performances show it. Some didn't want to leave. Sonny Boy Williamson stayed on for over a year after the 1963 festival appearing in clubs and on numerous TV shows and recording with the Yardbirds, Animals, Jimmy Page, jazzman Chris Barber and even Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
As talent scout Willie Dixon said, "The blues are the roots; the rest are the fruits." These are the roots and the British Invasion were only the first blossoming of the fruits. Miss these DVDs at your own risk.
Bill Donoghue AKA 'fessor Mojo,