Like most people who are into Blues, I couldn't wait to see this set when it was released. It contained two SRV sets at a very reasonable price and a short documentary as well as 5.1 DTS sound. Well it is great! Like my all time favourite, Albert King (see my reviews), material available on SRV (for all his impact in the 1980s) is rather scarce. I even saw him in Australia and he was so loud you really couldn't appreciate it, he needed smaller venues! This was a great chance to see him perform.I think the overall production of this set is excellent, as it usually is at Montreux. Great sound and camera work.
Well as a Blues enthusiast of 40 years. I think the first disc is far better than the second (but I love Reese Wynans keyboards). All the hipe about him being booed to me is overplayed. As a guitarist he was better when he was hungry, than after he became famous (do you know of a bluesman, not rock, that actually produced better material after they got famous?)(Listen to Buddy Guy, Albert King, Little Walter, Junior Wells, etc etc even Johnny Winter, the original SRV). So this is great and I agree the El Mocambo set is great, but I rate the first disc as his best work.
Top selection to me on Disc one is how he modernized Freddie King's Hideaway and combined it with Rude Mood (Urban/Country Blues). Just great. And the final tune is a great Albert Collins salute without copying Collins difficult style-you still recognise it (like in some of Duke Robillard's work). Fantastic! The old standbys- Texas Flood and Pride and Joy are great of course and his great slow blues Dirty Pool has that great unexpected chordal solo- an ode to Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" without, again, copying him completely (except the intro).
The booing didin't bother me. It's not as bad as the publicity made out. Most people are dancing and clapping and getting into it. If all booed maybe Stevie should have worried, but that wasn't likely. European audiences are strange as the Doors said in 1968, "they didn't clap or anything, they just stared". You know anything new from outside always has had trouble with Europeans, they are more traditional than we colonists. That's why in the 1960s the Folk Blues festival was so popular, they had Howlin Wolf and Muddy,(they were stuck in the 1950s) but never Paul Butterfield or Steve Miller.
Well this DVD is a landmark. Advice: If you can get this in PAL: the sound and picture quality is better. I am in Bahrain travelling and just bought another copy in PAL to supplement my NTSC one. Great!!!
The second disc has some replication of course. The addition to the band of Reese Wynans was a great move. Made them a Booker T & the MGs's with rock guitar and singing. All tracks are great, but the Slow Blues Tin Pan Alley with the late Johnny Copeland (who won a Grammy with Robert Cray and Albert Collins for the "Showdown" LP) is my personal favourite. Intense and honest the way the Blues should be!!! Actually the whole Copeland sub-set is my favourite part of the disc along with, again the opening instrumental of Scuttle-Buttin and Say What!
Every Blues fan should own this historic DVD. Note, some useless information: SRV was the age Jimi Hendrix died when he played on Disc 1. He was also born the year the Stratocaster was first released by Fender.
Also: To comment on a previous review. It seems that in "Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love" Stevie switches guitars- from Old Number One Strat. Well it looks to me like he probably broke one of his heavy gauge strings on the first solo, changed guitars, and played on. The Swiss film crew just edited it, cleverly.