The first part of this video is an interesting and informative (for as deep as it delves) look at the life and times of this often overlooked but legendary Blues performer. He was born in Arkansas in the back of a juke joint owned by his father, performers such as Albert King, Robert Nighthawk and Sonny Boy Williamson visited it, and so his life path was almost laid out for him. These luminaries at times tutored him and he took to these lessons. His sister and son do a good job of depicting his early life and times. There is one chapter here titled, Before You Develop There Is No You, that carries implications far beyond the scope of music. His guitar style is jagged and chopped and yet at the same time there is fluidity that makes his style so distinctly his own. There are also some good insights provided by people who knew him well such as Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records, and Koko Taylor, though why Steven Seagal's comments are included is puzzling.
The second part of the video is a series of live performances that encompass about an hour and are quite different in quality. In the first 2, Rooster Blues and Live at the House of Blues in Chicago, the video and audio quality is not the best; however there is some great energy here that was a trademark of his performances. The energy at the House of Blues with Junior Wells' Band is just fantastic and there is some very inspired playing and interplay of the musicians that more than makes up for murky video and the not the best sound quality. The quality of video and audio at the Chicago Blues Festival is wonderful, but then it is an outdoor festival so there is plenty of light, as opposed to a blues club, and there is a feeling that the clarity of sound might be attributed to taking it directly from the sound board. The music here will give you a taste of what his shows were like. The word incendiary might be an under statement of his performance prowess. This is a way to see an often ignored legend and one of the most accomplished guitarist to bless a stage.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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