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Live At Rockpalast (2Cd/2Dvd)
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Audio CD, Import, Live, 9 March 2018
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- Product Dimensions : 14.1 x 12.5 x 2.31 cm; 146 Grams
- Manufacturer : MIG MUSIC
- Original Release Date : 2018
- Label : MIG MUSIC
- ASIN : B0771WDLCP
- Country of origin : USA
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: 16,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Muddy Waters - ''Live At Rockpalast'' on 2 CDs and on 2 DVDs. See and hear one of the greatest Blues artists ever!
Muddy Waters had a great ear for talent and accordingly the formation which you will hear on this DVD was one of the very best: The great pianist Pinetop Perkins , the drummer Willie Big Eyes Smith , the bass player Calvin Jones , the two guitarists Luther Guitar Jr. Johnson and Bob Margolin and the harmonica player Jerry Portnoy. At the Rockpalast recording on December 10, 1978 at Westfalenhalle Dortmund, Muddy Waters still was at the height of his creative power, his mighty vocals and his splendid charisma on stage fascinated the audience. Muddy's guitar playing on the Fender Telecaster especially comes into full effect with his typical slow blues solos - and seldom had Muddy such a hot sound as in this TV recording of the WDR.
The song selection of the evening consisted of several of his biggest hits which probably are standard discipline of each evening (Hoochie Coochie Man, Walkin' Thru The Park, a superb version of the macho hymn Mannish Boy and, of course, the immortal Got My Mojo Workin'), but also less performed titles like Soon Forgotten by St. Louis Jimmy Oden or Country Boy, both atmospheric slow blues with slide. When the Muddy Waters Tribute Band appeared at the Rockpalast Open-Air at the Loreley on June 23, 1996 (bonus content DVD2), the pianist Pinetop Perkins could unfortunately not travel due to medical reasons and Jerry Portnoy was replaced by blues harper Carey Bell who had already played in Muddy's band in early 1970. All band members switch with the vocals and in Gone To Main Street The Band's Levon Helm is to be heard as a guest singer.
Naturally, the repertoire consists mainly of Muddy Waters classics but also songs of Jimmy Reed, two titles that have become known through Albert King and one original composition of the drummer Willie Smith were on the set list.
By 1978, in the midst of a late career renaissance, Muddy Waters signature style a rich soup that included a dash of Son House, a pinch of Robert Johnson and a heaping helping of Big Bill Broonzy unquestioned charisma, Delta-infused vocal phrasing and otherworldly slide playing had made him a star of the European festival scene.
When he strode to the stage at Germany's legendary Westfalenhalle Dortmund venue for the December 10, 1978, taping of the TV program Rockpalast, Waters, at age 65, remained a formidable performer. The first DVD of this two-DVD, two-CD soundtrack package features the electric performance captured by TV cameras in front of an enthusiastic crowd. A June 1996 performance by the Muddy Waters Tribute Band at the Rockpalast Open-Air Festival at St. Goarshausen, Germany s Loreley amphitheater is featured on the second DVD and CD.
Waters rips through 13 of the strongest songs in his catalog backed by one of the finest blues bands ever assembled: Pinetop Perkins (piano), Bob ''Steady Rollin' '' Margolin (guitar), Luther ''Guitar'' Johnson (guitar), Calvin ''Fuzz'' Jones (bass), Willie ''Big Eyes'' Smith (drums) and Jerry Portnoy (harp), who all would leave Waters employ to form the Legendary Blues Band in 1980. It may be 40 years old, but great audio quality and first-rate camera work and ed- iting capture a band that s clearly enjoying itself.
Following a couple of enthusiastic ''danke schoens,'' Muddy, seated with his trademark red and white Fender Telecaster in hand, begins the show with the first strains of Hoochie Coochie Man . The band is locked in from the jump, powered by the deep-as-a-well pocket inhabited by Smith's nuanced drum attack, counterbalanced by Jones thick-as-molasses four-string thump.
Perkins lays down note-perfect keys on Soon Forgotten , with Portnoy serving up alternately measured and wailing harp. On They Call Me Muddy Waters , Muddy shows why he took a backseat to no one on the slide guitar, and up-tempo numbers like Walkin Thru the Park , Kansas City and Caledonia , featuring Perkins on vocals, whip the crowd into a frenzy. Waters rises from his seat to testify like a preacher in the pulpit on Mannish Boy , and it s a treat to watch him amid crowd chants and cheers trade a few dance steps with Portnoy during a furious take on Got My Mojo Working before Waters departs the stage for the band to close with Sweet Home Chicago with Johnson on vocals. The Tribute Band concert, while not as riveting as the first DVD, has some great moments as well, although the show was hampered somewhat by recurring bouts of feedback. Margolin, Johnson, Smith and Jones remain with the band and are joined by Chicago singer and harp ace Carey Bell. Every member of the band takes a turn at the mic, but the unit really soars on the three songs sung by Johnson, Clouds in My Heart , Walkin Thru the Park and You Can t Lose What You Ain t Never Had . Margolin is in rare form on the slide and even channels Waters on vocals on the rowdy closer, Mannish Boy . Smith remains a shuffle groove savant throughout, while Bell s masterful harp and soulful vocals, especially on Everything Gonna Be Alright , are a welcomed ingredient in the mix. If your concert video collection is short on examples of how live blues should be played, this DVD/CD package is a must-have.
Rod Evans April 2018 --Living Blues Magazine
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The description on Amazon doesn't say anything about the tribute band.and it isn't until you read the back of the cover and the inside liner notes that you discover that half of this collection doesn't actually feature Muddy Waters, who had been dead for years when the Muddy Waters Tribute Band recorded this in 1995.
I've taken one star off the review for that.
But, having said that, the Muddy Waters performance is very good. The video looks good and the sound is very good on both the CD and DVD. The tribute band is good too, although I would have preferred to know about its presence in the collection beforehand.
Overall, this is a worthwhile purchase at the current price of just under $23 (Cdn) at the time of reviewing. If you're a Muddy Waters fan, the CD and DVD of 1978 Rockpalast performance are well worth having at this price.