on 7 October 2011
I'm guessing that, if you're reading this, you know who Roy Buchanan is, and you want to know if this odd live relic recorded in a little German club is worth shelling out for.
Well, it absolutely is. For a start, there's a lot more guitar for your money than on Live in Japan, the singing that there is sounds as though it's not just there as space filler, and there are a generous 13 tracks here, including some outstanding performances. Highlights include a show-stopping Messiah and a spine-tingling Roy's Blues.
As I said, if you're reading this, you know all about Roy - so yes, buy it.
My one caveat is that the recording/mastering sounds quite trebly - and that's coming through mission speakers on which I've had to plug up the bass ports because they normally rattle my skull. Lack of bass is, of course, neither here nor there on Roy's telecaster, but I don't think it does the band any favours, and consequently they lack some oomph, through no fault of their own.
On the whole, though, this is a top album, and I just wish someone out there would find some more Roy Buchanan live recordings of this quality.
on 30 November 2013
I was fortunate to see Roy Buchanan play live at the Auckland Town Hall about this time. It was a memorable concert for a number of reasons. The majority of the audience were members from two rival Maori gangs. They had agreed before to honour Roy by not wearing patches and there would be no violence. The venue, a very traditional town hall type building with two levels was filled with brown muscled men and boys dressed in leather from head to toe, some of them with dreads others bald as coots with scarred skulls and knuckles and accompanied by their wild and often toothless wives, girlfriends and mabe even their mums. And a lot of weed, or electric puha was burning and turned the air blue. The anxious ushers spent a lot of time with their torches on asking the gentlemen to please sit down and not to smoke in the concert hall! Now, Mr Buchanan has this reputation as 'the best unknown guitarist'. Well people, the boys at this concert knew his every song. Roared along with him through his compositions, positively thrash danced to the Hendrix covers and air guitared in a frenzy of ecstasy. Although Roy looked a bit bemused by the crowd (and smoke haze) he was enveloped in, he felt the love, the adulation and it had the energy to push him into an incredible gig, with soaring and screeching solos that smoked the brick dust of the old town hall. Now I wish that live show had been recorded other than, thirty years later, still being ingrained in my pores as one of the best ever life shows. DNA anyone? The Rockplast live show does not kick off in the same way (which is why I gave it four stars) but it is still darn good. It does cover a range of Roy's better material but only a few tracks blister (the Messiah and Wayfaring Pilgrim are stand outs). Most are in the comfort zone, which being Roy Buchanan is still impressive and in a league of his own. On the multi-plus side-there are no duds. For rarity of good live material, buy this. Me I will also hold dear the memory of a sea of tattooed Maori faces and sweaty arms pushed to the front of the stage giving Roy Buchanan the acclaim he rightly deserved.
on 3 June 2012
If you love music, if you love melodic and emotional music, not nay elevator or background soundsplashing... then you immediately should listen to this man's most extraordinary guitar playing. It is music of unsurpassed melancholy and technique at the same moment. Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, Manitas de Plata, Roy Buchanan ... who can come even close to this band of creative genius? We may perhaps not go that far to call this album among Roy's favorite live acts, like "Live in Japan", "Austin, Texas" but it has some very good and very long versions of some of his favorite songs. "The Messiah will come again" has Roy singing (speaking) and playing a solo that is not to be matched in fifty years in public. I'm sure of that. You may always keep in mind that there are some guys and girls around who are completely shut out of musical success, who never become popular. Instead we may praise living plagiates like Robert Zimmermann also known as Bob Dylan, an arrogant man whom some money and self loving guys in NY produced and pushed via critical acclaim as if he came from outer space. But Dylan can neither sing, nor play and I honestly doubt any of his hits really stems from his feather but from Joan Baez or some poor street musicians who were paid 50 Dollars to sign a paper saying that they sell all rights on that song.
The real Bob Dylan is a man by the name Rodriguez, a mexican born catholic Detroit citizen named Sixto Rodriguez. He was allowed to make only three beautiful records with lyrics and music all by himself that are ages better than any Dylan stuff. But as Rodriguez criticised rich folks and their disgusting manners and attitude, as he sang for the little man in the streets... Rodriguez didn't get another chance to make an album. For 20 years he worked as a construction man getting day to day jobs, playing and singing only privately. UNTIL... yes even the moneyblooded NY-guys who so often try to play god and to act somebody's fate... had to see that GOD and JUSTICE exists. Something happened what those clever guys never could have imagined: Rodriguez` daughter read in the web that in South Africa a certain Rodiguez was a super star. She couldn't believe it was her father. A DJ had played his records day for day, year for year and so Rodriguez became a MEGA star in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand ...in the whole southern hemisphere. South African music journalists said that U2, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones... gave concerts in South Africa but nobody had an impact on the people like a certain Sixto Rodriguez. Listen to him on youtube.com : I WONDER, Jane S. Piddy... and you will understand that not PR strategy and money, bought critics make good music but the love of the truth, the love for people without social luck but full of love and heart... People like Jacques Brel, Vladimir Vissotski, Armando Manzanero, Leo Ferre, Victor Manuel, Moncho, Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Croce, Joan Baez, Joe Dassin... and of course ROY Buchanan...one of the best of all known and unknown guitarists.