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Reviews Written by
David Cantu "Blues Chef" (San Antonio, TX USA)

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John Lee Hooker - Come and See About Me
John Lee Hooker - Come and See About Me
DVD ~ Paul Butterfield
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 132.07
6 used & new from CDN$ 65.27

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one not to be missed, July 1 2004
I dont often purchase "archival" performances on DVD due to the often poor quality of both picture and sound. This one, however transcends the archival dust truely conjures up old nuances and feelings that modern bluesmen rarely pull out of the hat. Johns 1965 performance of "Hobo Blues" is a tribute to his dark and smoothly melodic blues. "Im in the Mood" with Bonnie Raitt, raises gooseflesh on me like no other wonderfully performed, almost extemperaneous blues rendition either modern or historical. This collection of both very old and performances from the sunset of his life is full of rare jewels that keeps me poping the DVD back into the player. I applaud and thank the Estate of John Lee Hooker for allowing us the ability to bring him into our homes. He is truely missed, but I hear him all the time listening to Van, Eric, Bonnie, Susan and even myself when I perform. He lives on in us.

Mambo Sinuendo
Mambo Sinuendo
Price: CDN$ 16.16
40 used & new from CDN$ 5.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Salcito, Twangy Latino, Me gusto mucho, April 23 2003
This review is from: Mambo Sinuendo (Audio CD)
I waited a long time to write this review because from the first listen to this album till now I am compelled to compare this music to one of my favorite guitar slingers and every time I listen I can see Mr Brown twanging away at these tunes. I am Speaking of Junior Brown. The guitar work in this album is innovative and highly inventive, if not darn right outlandisly clever. Muted plucks to add to a percussive effect, ala Junior Brown and even strums on the strings above the fretboard, then bending their strange twinkle using a wammy bar. Manuel and Ry share an understanding of just how to break free of the pink stuccoed walls of this genre of music and with a bit of inventiveness and perhaps painful twisting have launched a great big pink flamingo pheonix from the ashes of salsa/merengue. This is one great piece of music, from a blues guitar appreciator's point of view, and one that will keep you guessing "just how did they do that?" I hope Junior has given this one an ear. Good Job Ry and Manuel!!

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
The Complete Monterey Pop Festival
DVD ~ Otis Redding
Price: CDN$ 89.54
22 used & new from CDN$ 75.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars go back and enjoy, Nov. 18 2002
I have nothing but praise for this accomplishment of DA Pennebaker. I saw this in the theatre when it was first released on film and was awed by the performances of some of the greats of that time, some no longer with us ie Janis and Jimi. Viewing it today has the same impact on me now as it did then. This 3 disc set is chock full of performance gems and brief glimpses of the spectators of this event, used like seasoning to set the mood of the performances.
Disc one is the original movie mentioned above, disc two contains performaces by Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding, done as only Mr Pennebaker could present it, but disc three is the real treasure as it contains footage not released until now (that I know of), which includes artists such as The Association, sounding a bit like Devo or Talking Heads; The Paul Butterfield Blues Band featuring the late Paul Butterfield laying down some wild Blues Harp licks that harp players today emulate; Al Kooper, of the Butterfield Band with his awesome blues talent; and rare footage of Quicksilver messenger service.
I am unable to find anything approaching boring or not enjoyable within this 3 disc set. Im glad I waited for it to come out in this format

Skip James/Howlin' Wolf/Son House/Bukka White/Rev. Pearly Brown: Devil Got My Woman [Import]
Skip James/Howlin' Wolf/Son House/Bukka White/Rev. Pearly Brown: Devil Got My Woman [Import]
DVD ~ Son House
Offered by Imagine This Music
Price: CDN$ 24.95
8 used & new from CDN$ 24.94

4.0 out of 5 stars A Down Home Gathering of Bluesmasters, Sept. 19 2002
Before one starts to be critical about the technical expertise of this documentary, one needs to remember that this was filmed in 1966. All performers were at their peak of their careers and were natural and unpretentious while being filmed. Howlin Wolf and Son House had an interesting dialoge about Howlin's definition of the blues. I am pleased with the performances, the camera is blocked by a dancer or two, but only briefly. If you are a real fan of Son House, Bukka White and Howlin Wolf, you will not be dissapointed.

Deep Blues [Import]
Deep Blues [Import]
DVD ~ Robert Palmer

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no better (that I know of) window on MS Blues, Aug. 27 2002
This review is from: Deep Blues [Import] (DVD)
When I was in my early 20s I lived in Mississippi, visited the juke joints and became a great fan of not only delta blues but the then little known north MS "hill country" blues. This indoctrination occured in the early 70s. I heard RL Burnside and Mr Kimbrough when they were much younger and I can tell you that this documentary is testimony to their virtuosity as Mississippi state treasures, bluesmen extrodinare. Rl's non pretentious manner and performance of "Jumper on the Line" will give the listener and viewer a good representation of the hard driving style of MS hill country blues. The camera angles and brief glimpses of the typical surroundings give the viewer a hefty slice of what one would encounter on a soujorn to listen to this style of blues in its own "backyard". An especially charming performance of Lonnie Pitchford playing a wire strung up off the porch of his house like a slide guitar is absolutely stunning. Dave Stewart of the Eurithmics joins Robert Palmer as musical guides through this musical adventure. There is even a short piece on a store on Beale Street in Memphis that has survived through the years that still sells "John the Conquerer root" and "Mojo hand". This DVD offers just about everything but dissapointment.

Mixed Bag
Mixed Bag
Offered by langton_distribution
Price: CDN$ 9.14
15 used & new from CDN$ 4.90

5.0 out of 5 stars One reviewers garbage is this reviewers GOLD, Aug. 7 2001
This review is from: Mixed Bag (Audio CD)
Junior, in my humble opinion has done it again. Mixed bag is just as the title says, Junior jumping from one style to another and doing it quite well I might add. When Bob Dylan went electric there were people even during his performances calling him "Judas". I have been to a couple of Mr Brown's live perfomances and they too have been a "Mixed Bag" all the way from an excellent homage to Hendrix with even a tribute to "Close Encounters" to bringing smiles to a country crowd with his "Bandera Waltz".
Junior "smokes" Jerry Hubbard's "Guitar Man". "Aint gonna work today" is done in the great tongue-in-cheek style that only Junior can do, which kind of causes this reviewer to compare him with Mississippi John Hurt in his humorous seasoning of his creations. "Riverboat Shuffle" is probably the one cut that would cause a bit of dissent among dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts of Junior's style. I feel that, as with any artist especially one of Juniors virtuousity, it is departures like this one that cause the artist to grow and create a little "elbow room" for up and coming new feats. The track seemingly does not want to belong but after giving it a couple more listens, I can see where "Loonier Junior" is coming from. I had the same misgivings about "Hong Kong Blues" off another of Junior's albums. Cagey Bea is one song that I must thank Junior for recording. After hearing it live I wondered who had written it and now my curiosity is satisfied. "Catfish and Collard Greens" is a good example of what to expect from Hard driving start to Guit-Steel faux toss finish of one of Junior live shows. Gol, durn it Junior, You've done it again. Good Job Pardner!!!

Best of the Vanguard Years
Best of the Vanguard Years
Price: CDN$ 31.71
20 used & new from CDN$ 21.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Turbocharged, hard drivin, lip smaking, foot stompin BLUES!!, July 26 2001
I am a "born again" blues listener. This colletion of three CD's could probably be called the rollercoaster of Texas-based blues. Ms Thornton is the connection to past female blues greats, such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie. This is the performer that inspired Janis Joplin. The first CD, (a live performance recorded in a jail) includes "Ball and Chain", which she dedicates to Janis. The second CD entitled "Sassy Mama" includes "Rolling Stone", "Mr Cool and "Sassy Mama", the title track rocks as if it were a live recording. The final CD is a previously unreleased collection that, to me is the best of the three. All are good!
The collection includes a booklet written by Ed Ward, the rock historian for National Public Radio's "Fresh Air". In this booklet one will discover that Ms Thornton was a far more flamboyant personality than Janis, preferring Gin and Milk to Janis' Southern Comfort. Another fact that will surprise you will be her connection to Elvis Presley's fame. Every track rocks, she lifts you by the collar and screams you into the blues. This collection is a must for anyone that enjoys hard drivin female blues vocalists

Down From The Mountain Live
Down From The Mountain Live
Offered by USA_Seller_4_Canada
Price: CDN$ 52.41
14 used & new from CDN$ 1.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite the Studio version but worth a listen, July 24 2001
There are no bad tracks on this album. All have the same spirit as the movie soundtrack. There's some new vibrations contained within that have the same Americana charm as their forerunners. Thank goodness there is a Chris Thomas King track on this collection (I was hoping for more), lest the album's artwork of the crossroads where the fleeing convicts met up with "Tommy Johnson" would have imparted an ironic note. It is a real good listen, worth the expense. My only gripe is that it wasn't performed and recorded at Gruene Hall.

Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
Price: CDN$ 20.00
29 used & new from CDN$ 10.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Americana, plain and simple, July 17 2001
This collection of charming compositions are bright single blossoms that make up a great wildflower collection, only this bouquet will hardly wilt overnight. "When Love is New" is a beautiful melodic performance that will no doubt be escorting and soothing many a summer traveller caught on a frustrating interstate. Dolly and Emmy, my hat's off to you! Emmy, your acappella "Barbara Allen" sent chills down my spine. The Emmylou Harris performance of the same tune is a pure delight done as only Ms Harris could do. "Moonshiner", performed by Allison Moorer, with its wonderous harmonium and guitar intro and backdrop is a great rendition of a good traditional tune that I heard as a child on the front porch of a neighbors house in Austin TX, long ago. I love Julie Millers "All my tears" Gillian Welch's banjo and Tammy Rodgers fiddle give the piece its great "American Backbone". "Mary of the Wild Moor" is a transplanted European song that could be called a soothing summer lullaby. The second acapella piece in this collection could be called the brother of the song "down to the river to pray" which was performed by Allison Krauss on the "Oh Brother Where are Thou" collecton. The Dylanesque "Cukoo Bird" with its rapid fire rythm and cleaver lyrics will send one off humming the tune well into the day. Hazel Dicken's, David Patrick and Bobby McMillen's conversation with death contiues Ralph Stanley's missive "Oh Death" from the "Oh Brother" collection, and done with great virtuousity I might add. The third acapella piece is a charming rendition of "Single Girl". This Album will no doubt be spinning on my player for years to come. I'm a Texan and will be quick to tell that music like this is what is making Greune Hall in New Braunfels and The Cabaret in Bandera very famous, very fast. Thank you Ladies and All who had a part in this great collection!!

V1 1995 Live At Antones
V1 1995 Live At Antones
Offered by inandout_canada
Price: CDN$ 21.79
7 used & new from CDN$ 5.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Pinetop at Antones, Naturally the Best, July 13 2001
This review is from: V1 1995 Live At Antones (Audio CD)
I just returned from a live performance by the "living legend" of Boogie Woogie. Prior to my trip from San Antonio to Antones blues clup in Austin to See Mr Perkins perform, I gave this CD a listen. This recording truly captures the ambiance of the Austin blues club that has been the "Fort Apache" of the blues south of Chicago. Pinetops personable performance on the recording is exactly the way it is if you were standing next to the piano (as I was). "Big fat Mama" tends to stand out as my favorite boogie woogie tunes done by Mr. P, though his others such as "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie" with it's halts in the progression by Pinetop instructing "Stop!, dont you turn a page" This performance was recorded when Pinetop was 86 years old. He is 88 now and still rocks those keys as if he were 20. I couldn't help but tell Mr P "Pinetop, you the Best!"

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