100 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2007
More AFBF material - this time from British concerts
Anyone interested in Blues will have to buy this one. I wasn't aware that the 1964 show was recorded in the UK although I suspected it might have been when a Sonny Boy clip surfaced on YouTube. The cheering that greets Howlin Wolf is extremely heartwarming - he then proceeds to lay down Smokestack Lightnin - unavailable anywhere else on film as far as I know - and Don't Laugh at Me. Lightnin Hopkins is in there too while Sugar Pie Desanto does a couple of spirited performances
Also from 1964 (but not part of the AFBF series) are two songs apiece from Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the Blues and Gospel Caravan from a now-closed railway station in Manchester. Muddy's performances are some of his best - many of his filmed performances are a little disappointing - along with the Reelin in the Years DVD of Muddy at Newport. Strangely for RITY they don't reveal what most of us already know - bass and drums are Ransom Knowling and Willie Smith - it must have been the tour where Otis Spann recorded one of his best albums
There are also parts of the 1963 and 1966 festivals, which leads me on to my personal favourite - has to be Big Joe Turner in probably his best recorded performance doing "Oh Well Oh Well". I recorded this in audio when it was originally broadcast but it's strangely omitted from the 1966 bootleg which is in general circulation. So I couldn't believe my luck when it turned up here. He's in fantastic form and is clearly having a great time
Another 5 stars for RITY
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 30 July 2009
It doesn't get much better than this! This is about as intimate a performance as you can get. There are 14 tracks on this DVD and a further 4 bonus tracks - Two of these are of Sister Rosetta Tharpe ("Didn't it Rain" and "Trouble in Mind") with her amazing white 3-pickup Gibson SG guitar and the other two from Muddy Waters ("You can't lose what you ain't never had" and "blow wind blow")the performances are amazing and take place at a mock railway station. The footage is crystal clear and shot on a number of movie cameras. This is part two of the Blues and Gospel train programme.
The main tracks - Sonny Boy Williamson appears 3 times - "keep it to yourself" (Otis Spann: Piano, Matt "Guitar" Murphy: Guitar, Willie Dixon: Stand-up Bass, Bill Stephney: Drums) "Bye Bye Bird" (unaccompanied) and "Getting out of town" (Sunnyland Slim: Piano, Hubert Sumlin: Guitar, Willie Dixon: Stand-up Bass and Clifton James: Drums)
He plays harmonica with his nose and mouth etc. Brilliant!
Muddy gets his "Mojo Working" (Otis Spann: Piano, Matt "Guitar" Murphy: Guitar, Willie Dixon: Stand-up Bass, Bill Stephney: Drums)
Legendary Lonnie Johnson plays "too late to cry" (unaccompanied).
The main event for me is the performance of "Baby please don't go" (Made popular by Van Morrison and Them) on his customised 9-string guitar.
Other tracks Lightnin' Hopkins - "Come go with me" and "Lightin's Blues"
Sugar Pie DeSanto "Baby What You Want me To Do" and "Rock me Baby"
Howlin' Wolf "Smokestack Lightning" and "Don't Laugh at Me"
Big Joe Turner "Oh Well oh Well"
Junior Wells "What'd I Say" (this is just amazing, almost a James Brown approach to the song)
I haven't watched all of the performances in that much depth yet, but already well worth the money! No expense was spared when capturing this fascinating footage at least four movie cameras were used to give different view points of these legends. Although recorded in mono (as one would expect for this time) has been expertly mixed and the sound, like the visuals are exceptionally clear.
These artists have a power and charisma that can rarely be seen on today's slick mediated TV music performances. Nothing this raw would ever make it on to TV today. This footage is fascinating, powerful and still VERY relevant. Don't hesitate, just buy it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2009
These magnificent perfomances from the British tours feature some hot and quite historical moments from the history of blues;
I couldn't care less for the influence these guys had on British and European rock, folk and blues music; I'm only here for the blues!
Sonny Boy Williamson is a marvel, but so is Lonnie Johnson, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner and Sugar Pie Desanto (I'm tellin' ya; when such a passionate woman sings "rock me baby like my back has got no bones" it is more convincing than when guys do it)...
The vocals are great, guitars are diverse and effective, back musicians (pianists, guitarists, bassists - Willie Dixon for instance) are first rate and Sonny Boy's harmonica (a mouth organ unique)... And then there's more!
In bonus tracks there are some magnificent performances from "Gospel and Blues Train" Tv show - some by Muddy Waters, some by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a true giant of guitar and gospel-oriented singing...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2009
If you own the first three you need this one to complete your collection. Standout performance for me is Lonnie Johnson's Too Late To Cry. 5 star vocals and acoustic guitar playing from another world. You just don't see artists like Lonnie anymore. For all you young budding blues guitarists... watch and learn from a true original. The other knock out - and I mean knock out! - performances are by Lightning Hopkins and Rosetta Tharpe.
The rest of the artists still play very well on this dvd but don't quite "hit the note" the way Lonnie, Lightning and Rosetta do. For Otis Rush fans you get to see him tear it up Charlie Christian/BB King style with Big Joe Turner and his band - quite a sight indeed :) but we don't get to hear Otis sing, which is a bit of a disappointment.
This dvd is a must own for any serious blues fan.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2010
Having been in the audience of one of these concerts as a student in 1965 it was a wonderful memory of past times and great to find these tracks again. My ancient vinyl LP purchased at the concert had long ago worn out! Saw this DVD in the Delta Museum of the Blues in Clarksdale Mississippi in February..they were selling it for $39...thankyou Amazon for such a reasonable price.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2008
Bought it for the two Sister Rosetta tracks.
(Whackily, on the DVD interactive menu they are under "Bonus Material" -- odd?)
Surely a must for any blues fan, good quality production.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2010
I have bought the entire marvellous collection and they are well worth the money even for just seeing the extraordinary performances of the great Howlin Wolf.Look out for Magic Sam and Skip James on the other volumes.Absolute class and definately no one can borrow them either.
on 19 June 2015
The quality of these recordings is amazing. Although inevitably in black and white the images are crisp and clear with lots of close ups. It's great to see such big stars in their prime and hear such well recorded live performances.
Howlin' Wolf especially is menacing, in fine voice (and very sweaty!).
Funny too to see the mainly white audience sitting and politely tapping its collective feet!
A well put together DVD which allows you to easily skip direct to the artist you might be most interested in.
on 8 December 2011
I was fortunate to have been around when these Festivals toured Europe so these black & white images just do it for me, bringing back so many memories of seeing & meeting the stars from the U.S.
There is so little film of these people, the originators of popular music, that it makes this DVD & the others in the series so important.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2010
I bought this dvd as a gift for my brother in law who has everything,
but loves the blue's. stuck for a birthday present for him i came accross
this dvd, and he loved it. a well thought out dvd, with people he would
not have an opportunity to hear or see in person