Customer Review

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Folk!?, 30 July 2009
This review is from: The American Folk Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966 [DVD] [2005] [Region 1] (DVD)
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.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Sep 2009 21:58:27 BDT
I saw the Junior Wells' What'd I say on youtube a while back but it has since been eradicated from the internet. I remember him dancing about all over and around the stage and moving off into all the cameras and what-not. Very euphoric. I'm glad I know now where it is and that it actually happened (I was beginning to think it was some strange dream). I'm considering purchasing this DVD for this alone.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jun 2010 20:24:13 BDT
PLEEMHEAD says:
The "mock" railway station was actually Chorlton-cum-Hardy station which is no longer there. I have a dvd of the whole tv programme that Granada broadcast in the '60s. Magic stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2011 12:33:18 GMT
Molly Brown says:
There was a documentary on BBC4 last night about Sister Rosetta Tharpe and it showed some of the footage from that tv programme. Fascinating stuff!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2011 21:11:01 GMT
MereMan says:
More info about this Granada broadcast DVD please! eg who's on it? what's it called? is it still available? etc.

Posted on 8 Jan 2012 11:14:07 GMT
Phil S. says:
Today I received my copy of the 1963 to 1969 DVD with Big Mama Thornton, doing "Hound Dog".
Nice writing!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jan 2012 09:36:52 GMT
I have a BBC recording of Rosetta Tharpe brilliant stuff

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2012 23:14:51 GMT
Yes you won't regret it! plenty more moments on this disc too.
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