Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Muddy Waters - Classic Concerts (DVD)

Oh yes, Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - one of the giants among men and an innovator of the electric blues sound that is still the standard today. This DVD takes clips from three eras of the man's career to give us 90 minutes or so of classic Muddy along with some interview clips.

The first show is the legendary Newport Jazz Festival from 1960, where Waters is supported by James Cotton (harp), Otis Spann (piano), Pat Harae (guitar) along with a groovin' rhythm section. Most blues lovers will be familiar with the footage of "Got My Mojo Workin'" and "Hoochie Coochie Man", but here the sound has been synced up with the stereo sound from the album that was recorded this day to give a greater experience. But this also includes previously unseen clips, such as the band's version of "Rollin Stone" (on record, this was just Muddy) and the finale of "Mean Mistreater" where most of the blues performers appearing at the festival come up on stage for a raucous closing.

Secondly, we get to see Waters' group in 1968 in Copenhagen, where they are a little more modernly styled (turtlenecks and small afros) and outfitted with Guild guitars - they had an endorsement deal then. The sound & video quality is much improved here and the performances - a couple hits and a number of lesser known, but still great tunes - are top notch!

Finally we get the band that helped foster his 70's revival (along with Johnny Winter) on his Hard Again album, performing here at Molde Jazz Festival in 1977. This is yet another whole different line-up but again are stellar players, including stand-out harpist Jerry Portnoy, guitarist Bob Margolin (who did the liner notes for this and the CD re-issues of his come-back albums) along with fellow legend Pinetop Perkins.

What can I say? Muddy can really do little wrong and these are some terrific performances. Yes, you should own this!