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Down At The Field
Down At The Field
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a good issue (of what was formerly a bootleg, 18 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Down At The Field (Audio CD)
Don't be fooled by the inappropriate artwork: this is a good issue (of what was formerly a bootleg? Not sure...) of a 1974 solo acoustic set, recorded at Ebbetts Field in Denver, Colorado, May 1974 - some tracks, recorded previously at the Bottom Line in New York.

The sound quality is good, and there is some (welcome!) Cooder banter around the performances which are up to Ry's best. There are tracks here that you won't hear on the studio albums.

Bottom Line: a good buy for Cooder enthusiasts - you won't be disappointed! Consider also the more recently released 'Broadcast From The Plant' CD - equally good!

Broadcast From The Plant
Broadcast From The Plant
Price: £10.53

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At his 70s best - live in the studio, 18 July 2014
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If you like Cooder at his mid-seventies best, this is it. A studio quality stereo recording, but live - varying between solo acoustic and ensemble numbers, with Ry on electric. On those numbers, Jim Keltner (drums) and Jim Dickinson (bass) are credited. I also hear Terry Evans, Bobby King & Cliff Givens on backing vocals, and someone playing marimba off to one side of the stereo spread.

As advertised, most numbers are live versions of Paradise & Lunch album tracks; but there's more. There is some (welcome!) Cooder banter between tracks, and limited audience applause; none of this gets in the way of a clear and well balanced mix. The performances are easily up to Ry's best and the effect is one of those "sounds like you're in the room" results.

Bottom line: for Cooder fans. it's a must. For those who want to know 'core Cooder', here's your intro. Only one caveat: as other reviewers have reported: this is apparently the same recording as "Ry Cooder: Live on Air" - I wouldn't know. But I DO know this is very good indeed!

John B. Sebastian & Four Of Us & Tarzana Kid & Welcome Back & In Concert Dvd
John B. Sebastian & Four Of Us & Tarzana Kid & Welcome Back & In Concert Dvd
Price: £14.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sebastian's first four albums, plus a 1970 BBC 'In Concert', 21 Mar. 2014
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No question, this a great value package for Sebastian fans.

It's from Rhino, with their usual quality remastering: the 'John B Sebastian' tracks are clearer than the 1990 LineA reissue CD of that album, which I have. The included NTSC DVD is a mono BBC video 'In Concert' series programme, from October 1970. The visuals and sound are very good; John is in fine form and it's an intimate and endearing performance.

The Digipack packaging is good, with a full booklet including detsiled track and player details, plus an account of how each album came to be.

All in all, well worth the money and a great momento of the post-Woodstock John Sebastian.

Live in Hamburg 1977
Live in Hamburg 1977
Price: £5.24

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Showtime - Part 2, 26 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Live in Hamburg 1977 (Audio CD)
If Cooder's 1977 'Showtime' had been a double-album, this would have been the second disc. With pretty much the same line-up - including Flaco Jimenez, Terry Evans and Bobby King (vocals) - and from the same Cooder era, this album is every bit as good as its predecessor.

The set list: Stand By Me, Tattler, Dark End Of The Street, One Meat Ball, Fool For A Cigarette, Tamp 'em Up Solid, Let Your Light Shine On Me, Viva Sequin/Do Re Mi, Goodnight Irene and Volver Volver.

The playing is excellent - Dark End Of The Street is a virtuouso extended electric slide solo; One Meat Ball, Fool... and Tamp 'em Up showcase Ry's acoustic guitar. The only dodgy note perhaps is the sax work on Volver Volver.

The sound quality is full and clear; the mix is right - albeit it close to mono (hence 4 stars, rather than 5) - and the audience applause is mixed down.

The packaging is a tri-fold Digipack with some good photos (of the gig?) and a decent essay by one William Hogeland (no idea).

Bottom line: worth the money? worth having? For Cooder fans, I think SO!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2013 1:20 PM GMT

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bootleg By Any Other Name, 24 Sept. 2013
First: is it worth buying this? Yes, if you're a Beatles fan and frustrated that an 'official' release has been held back for so long. No, if you're expecting a cinema-quality presentation: the visuals are poor - grainy, soft-focus and badly framed; I can't believe that director Micheal Lindsay-Hogg thought the editing was good - and the sound quality is thin.

Second: what is it about? The early sessions in Twickenham are a poor watch, musically and visually; but when the Beatles pull themselves together at Apple, and do some set pieces to camera - never mind the rooftop performance - the film comes to a triumphant end.

Bottom line? It's worth it if you want to see "the film they wouldn't let be" right now, and to see the rooftop concert in full. Not worth it, if you're prepared to wait (until when...?) for an official, hopefully remastered, release.

Expect bootleg quality and you won't be disappointed...

Live In San Francisco
Live In San Francisco
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Great 'late' Cooder live album, 24 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Live In San Francisco (Audio CD)
For Cooder fans, this is a Must - a reunion with Flaco Jimenez, a play list covering (OK, parts of...) the Cooder catalogue, and newer stuff from the Pull Up Some Dust album. The sound quality is very good - clear and 'live': as you would have heard in the room, rather than 'direct-to-desk'. The mix is right: a DDD recording of a live event, audience and all - what would you expect?!!

As other reviewers have said: cracking versions of Crazy Bout An Automobile, La Corrida de Jesse James and Viglante Man - the last has the only extended slide solo on this album. Ry plays electric throughout, with a bit of crunch; mostly playing slide and fingerstyle mid-range rythmn parts, as in recent albums.

The Do Re Mi number (Track 5) is actually a replay of the 'Viva Sequin / Do Re Mi' medley from Ry's 1977 Showtime album, with Flaco. Juliette Commagere (who featured on the Chavin Ravin album) takes lead vocals on Volver Volver. Ry is in great voice; the band is variously tight and gloriously shambolic - exactly as they should be.

The packaging is a thin Digipack tri-fold, with full credits and a few photos; nothing to get excited about.

Bottom line? If you like how Ry Cooder does his stuff right now, you will love this. It's a good gig and a faithful live recording; joyful stuff - like being there on the night.

The Reader [Blu-ray]
The Reader [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: £6.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that repays your replays, 1 July 2012
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This review is from: The Reader [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First things first: if you already have the DVD, is it worth replacing it with this Blu-ray? I think, yes: there's greater visual quality and a sense of 'realism'; I guess the sound quality also improves. I don't think (not having owned the DVD) that there are any additional extras in the Blu-ray.

Second: if I haven't seen this film, should I? Yes: it's a serious, melanchonic and challenging account of the critically acclaimed book. I won't spoil the plot; suffice it to say that you will gain a greater insight into the story each time you watch it; it stands many replays - I think you'll experience lots of "oh, so THAT'S why..." moments.

The packaging liner notes highlight "this tale of eroticism, secrecy.." etc. Well: as other reviewers have (rightly) noted, there are several intimate sex scenes in the first hour or so of the movie. Each encounter illustrates how the relationship between Hannah (Kate Winslet) and Michael (David Kross?) matures; so, while these sex scenes are 'intimate', they're not gratuiously 'sexy', as the blurb might suggest. When Michael sees Hannah years later, in a different context, those scenes help us understand his dilemma: understanding a defining adolescant (sexual and romantic) relationship with Hannah Schmidtz, against something utterly repugnant that he now faces as a law student - visiting, as part of his syllabus, a Nazi war trial. But there's more to it, than this...

Bottom line: This is a serious, thought-provoking film. Performances by the three main players (Kate Winslet, Ralph Feinnes, David Kross) are brave and moving. Bruno Ganz ('Hitler' in the Downfall movie) is also great; as is Alexandra Maria Lara ('Traudl Junge' in the Downfall movie). Very highly recommended.

When I Left Home: My Story
When I Left Home: My Story
by Buddy Guy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.34

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buddy Guy - how it was ... and is, 23 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
No hesitation in recommending this book to both Buddy Guy and blues fans alike.

When I Left Home: My StoryAs a Buddy Guy fan, I was keen to read his bio; so, there's the bias. Never mind that: if you're interested in how Chicago blues developed, this is as good as it gets; the story, from the ground. Buddy talks about the gunslinger guitar players, and how BB King and Muddy Waters encouraged younger players like himself. All kind of first-hand recollections, told in the vernacular; it's infectious and very 'readable'.

I won't spoil the read for you; suffice to say that Buddy covers off his (brief) relationship with Hendrix, playing on the '69 Canadian Festival Express with Joplin, Grateful Dead, The Band, etc. But the best parts of this story (for this reader) are his relationships with the blues legends - Guitar Slim, John Lee, BB - you name it - and of course Muddy.

Highly recommended, as a first-hand record of how Chicago blues players operated, from the fifties on, plus an insight to the (all-too-often modest) blues guitar player, Buddy Guy.

Price: £13.99

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Macca in your living room, 16 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: McCartney (Audio CD)
If you don't have this album, why buy it? This is not your typical polished Macca album. It was recorded pretty much at home (plus some sessions in Abbey Road and Morgan Studios) - more like a series of demos than 'the final product' - in the wake of the Beatles' split. All the more fascinating for that; it includes McCartney's final take on Teddy Boy (demoed for the Beatles, never used) and the raw, soulful Maybe I'm Amazed. If the songs here were taken forward to a 'produced' album, which would have been included? McCartney has recently (MOJO mag, Aug 2011) cited tracks Junk and Maybe I'm Amazed as "woulds" and That Would Be Something as a "maybe".

If you already have a copy: is it worth replacing it with this remaster? YES. Mastered by the same team that remastered the Beatles' catalogue, the result is clear, 'close-to-mic' and - appropriately for this intimate 'DIY' album - as literal as it could be. The sound quality is amazing...

The card packaging for this reissue is good: a booklet with all the shots from the original album, and more. The second CD is basically a selection of live tracks (Glasgow, '79) and some out-takes. But the value is in the remaster of the original album; that's well worth the asking price.

Down the Road
Down the Road
Offered by thelastresortofmusic
Price: £19.55

4.0 out of 5 stars Stills does Latin, rock and country, 16 July 2011
This review is from: Down the Road (Audio CD)
I agree with a.Ian Stevens: I prefer this one to the first Manassas album. This album sounds more intimate. With CSNY support again (Dallas Taylor on drums, Fuzzy Samuels on bass) plus ex-Byrd Chris Hillman and guests including Joe Walsh (guitar) and Bobby Whitlock (keyboards), Down The Road was going to be good, whatever.

The history of the album is that Manassas had toured the first album, over-indulged on 'stuff' and got sloppy when it came to recording this follow-up. Stills himself has discounted the album (see Dave Zimmer's CSN biography) but none of this shows on the recording - the playing is sharp, tight on the rhythm and some great harmony vocals.

Yes, the album is short (around 36 mins) but apart from perhaps a couple of duff tracks (Business On The Street, City Junkies) there's an even balance of Latin (Pensamiento, Guaguanco De Vero), Stills-style rock (Isn't It About Time, Rolling My Stone) and Hillman-influenced country (Lies, So Many Times).

My non-remastered CD copy is crisp on the percussion, warm on the vocals and overall, a good-sounding album.

If you liked Stills' first solo album, you'll like this. Not worth the £40+ it was being offered at, when I wrote this review (unless you're a Stills completist) but I WOULD pay that price for a remastered HDCD copy - the music is good enough to warrant that.

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