Saturday, December 19, 2015

JOE DOES IT AGAIN! - Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks

Bought a new CD to add to my collection of all things JB:

It's a tribute concert to Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf live at Red Rocks. Everyone knows Joe sounds best live...the disc opens with either Muddy or Wolf talking about the blues, Joe adds his two cents worth too. Hearing these two blues players talk about what they feel when the play, or what they feel that MAKES them play is absolutely fascinating.

One feels the Mississippi Delta in tracks like Mississippi Heart Beat. And in a couple of tracks the songs start out with Muddy or Wolf singing and playing - old recordings sounds like - and then a few bars in JB cranks up the Gibson and finishes it off. One must turn one's volume up to 11.

Tiger in the Tank, Double Trouble, All Aboard (Mean Ole Frisco!), Spoonful (yes that spoonful), All Night Boogie, and Evil are the most notable tracks in my opinion. At the end of the set JB says goodnight to the crowd and to Colorado but, if you read the liner notes, you know there's more. His encore is introduced with "We thought we'd end the night playing some of our own tunes." Crowd erupts. "What harm could come of that?," he says.

Love Ain't a Love Song starts it off. Then the very best version of The Ballad of John Henry- JB gets all distorted and Jimmy Hendrix-ified on the solo. The ubiquitous Sloe Gin, a slightly different take than his acoustic version or the Live From Nowhere In Particular disc. Clearly a crowd favorite.

Then there's Oh, Beautiful!

JB singing. No music.

Oh beautiful, if you were mine
I would write you letters and pour you sweet wine
Oh beautiful why you so blue?
If you can only see the way I see you

That was nice I think. Different from the typical JB, even Mountain Time was a much happier love song. This is mysterious - a good kind of dark shadowy thing. Then just as you are expecting the next chorus, JB and MuddyWolf band crank up a hard driving riff that spins you 180 and then back again to the next verse.

Oh gravity weighing on my soul
Keeps bringing you round back to me
Like dirt to a stone
Oh gravity don't you ever go to sleep
Might wake up in the morning
and she'll be gone from your reach

The vocals come to a silent end, a pause, 2,3,4...and
That damn guitar again!
Last verse same as the first, song ends with the elipses just like in the lyrics below.

Oh beautiful, if you were mine
I would write you letters and pour you sweet wine
Oh beautiful, why you so blue?
If you only can see the way I see you.....

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