on 4 December 2003
Very often when you have experienced something in the flesh and you look forward to a souvenir of the occasion you can be disappointed. I was lucky enough to attend performances of four of the annual Folk Blues tours. I have waited long enough for a video recording to make its appearance. We already have the boxed set of CDs of the concerts which added to the original LPs. This DVD is a superb bonus. Revues elsewhere suggest that the surroundings subdue the performers. Take my word for it that people such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf or any of the others were totally unfazed by their surroundings. I have seen many of them in clubs as well as concert halls and dance halls. They always ignored their surroundings and this comes across in these performances. If you buy no other video for a year, make this the one. You won't regret it.
on 24 November 2003
iam a blues fan, there are not many blues archive film or dvd for us fans ,i bought this on spec ,there are 18 tracks of pure gold,from t bone walker to the great muddy waters band ,the sound is mono and crystal clear this is part of a two disc set volume two is on sale now, do yourself a favour, boogie on line and order a copy now i promise it will not dissapoint, the genius of these old guys is breathtaking ,hot,cool,and soooo classy
on 1 January 2004
... to have these recordings. Criticsm can only come from someone too tired and jaded to appreciate their uniqueness. For all other grateful blues fans, these are examples of what greatness there is in raw talent, simplicity and blues innovation. These performers were amongst the first and best to record.
I can only hope that the UK TV recordings of the tour receive the same superb treatment and release, very, very soon.
on 4 May 2014
The American Folk Blues Festival was a series of tours of American
blues musicians in Europe starting in 1962. The recordings on this
volume were from 1962-1966. The tours were organized by Horst Lippmann
and Fritz Rau with the help of Willie Dixon, who played very important
roles in getting the American musicians on board and also, as one can
see in various videos, as a musical director, in addition to his bass
and guitar playing and singing. Some of the recordings are staged for
TV, some are from concert settings. It's all very interesting in one
way or another. A few personal highlights for me in this volume: I
finally got to actually see Lonnie Johnson play. I gained greater
insight into how important Willie Dixon is. There is some great
footage of Earl Hooker, who deserves to be more widely known. The
first is some hilarious backstage footage in which he goofs around,
playing a country tune and immitating a redneck. Then, he goes onstage
and really cooks, playing some great blues, situated at the modern
edge of Chicago blues, with a 60s edge to it. And then there's Junior
Wells, and T-Bone Walker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters,
on 7 June 2015
Great to see the original blues artists that inspired so many after them performing live. In many instances the backing band has it's stars too playing in the background ...Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy!! Did they realise at the time just how influential they were, they seem almost shy, embarrassed by the applause of the seemingly totally white audience. Will watch over and over. Sonny Boy Williamson...what a character!!
on 28 June 2009
If I were cranky, grumpy, whining nit-picking person, I would say it's a pity these SENSATIONAL recordings are not presented chronologically - you get songs from 1962 to 1969 (excellent bonus tracks of Earl Hooker) - but who cares?
Sonny Boy Williamson, Otis Spann, Big Joe Williams, T-Bone Walker and the rest of the crew is captured at (or darn near) their creative peak and the footage is beautiful (although I tend to agree with the comments that stress the inadequacy of fake-rural setting for an artist such as T-Bone Walker)...
My favorite performances of this DVD (after only watching it twice) are given by Sonny Boy Williamson ("Nine Below Zero") and Sippie Wallace ("Women be Wise"), but there's no weak track here.
Additional joy is when the blues giants introduce each other (T-Bone introduces Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, McGhee introduces Memphis Slim...) and I should mention that they accompany each others features (T-Bone Walker and Willie Dixon play for Memphis Slim, Otis Spann and Dixon play for Lonnie Johnson, Buddy Guy plays for Eddie Boyd, Boyd and Guy play for Walter "Shakey" Horton...)...
The design of the DVD and the liner notes are excellent, but it seems to me that the same booklet is used for volumes 1 & 2 (and probably for vol. 3, but I haven't bought that one. Yet.)