FAME Review: Mac Arnold's Blues Revival - Live at the Grey Eagle
Mac Arnold's Blues Revival - Live at the Grey Eagle

Live at the Grey Eagle

Mac Arnold's Blues Revival

Available from Vizztone Label Group.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Ya hafta see this cooler than cool gas-can guitar Mac Arnold plays on one cut here (Back-Bone and Gristle). I've never before seen such an instrument but now I gotta have one. I mean even Bo Diddley would envy the unique item. Arnold's been around for quite a while and definitely knows his shit from his shinola when it comes to shoutin', stompin', gut bucket blues with a muscular rock inflection. Then there's the after-40-damn-years reunion with Charles Twilley, who comes screamin' in on a fiery alto sax in the opening cut. Toss in Austin Brashier's cutting axework and, y'all, we got us an, as Arnold dubs his back-up cats, Plate Full o' Blues.

All of this is live, but the first half is Arnold's regular group while the second segment features a Muddy Waters Reunion Band ensemble with Rollin' Bob Margolin, Kim Wilson, and Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith tumbling forth a diet of standards as the main man picks up the bass (handled in the first part by Danny Keylon). The laughing grinning singer's a shouter from a long ways back, carrying that half-hoarse grit that's so appealing in the mode, and his band is a fire-in-the-hole unit centering in Brashier's guitar (Margolin sitting in on Drivin' Wheel in the first section in his usual smokin''way) and Arnold's high-end energy. Ah, but add in Kim Wilson's harmonica, and the whole sound enters a new dimension. In fact, the action got so intense on Arnold's part that Margolin was hypnotized by his delivery and forgot to come in singing on the second verse of a track! As may be expected, the sound's raw and in your face but friendly while getting yer back up into the Saturday Night Blooz just like every working man and woman should. Thus, you can forget the corner bar and its house band; all ya need is a fifth and a few friends so as to party without stepping foot outside the front door…which of course means you'll need to turn it up to 11 and invite the neighbors in as well. Might just start a whole new community thang.

Track List:

  • Gitty Up (Arnold / Brashier / Hightower / Whitt / Keylon)
  • Back Bone and Gristle (Arnold / Brashier / Hightower / Whitt / Keylon)
  • True to You (Arnold / Brashier / Hightower / Whitt / Keylon)
  • Drivin' Wheel (B.B. King?)
  • Ghetto Blue (Arnold / Brashier / Hightower / Whitt / Keylon)
  • Screamin' an' Cryin' (Muddy Waters)
  • Sloppy Drunk (Rogers / Lane)
  • Love Attack (?)
  • Big Boss Man (Presley / Reed)
  • Got my Mojo Workin' (Muddy Waters)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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