Search - Blues Legends - Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson Live in Europe on DVD

Blues Legends - Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson Live in Europe
Blues Legends - Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson Live in Europe
Actors: Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004

Tracklisting — From Jazz Prisma1963 — 1. The Blues Is Everywhere-MEMPHIS SLIM — 2. All By Myself-MEMPHIS SLIM — 3. My Gal Keeps Me Crying-MEMPHIS SLIM — 4. Matt's Guitar Boogie-MEMPHIS SLIM — 5. I'm Lost Without You-MEMPHIS SLIM...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Memphis Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Blues
Studio: Hip-O Records
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/31/2004
Release Year: 2004
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"You look like Satan with that goatee"
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 10/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Not QUITE as essential as the three "American Folk Blues Festival" DVDs, this is nevertheless a really fine collection of performances by Memphis Slim and Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II).

It opens with a six-song set by Memphis Slim, taped in Holland in 1963. A very distinguished-looking Slim is backed by Matt "Guitar" Murphy and drummer Bill Stepney, and he does a dignified "The Blues Is Everywhere", a sloppy, too-fast "All By Myself" which he doesn't really take seriously, and a stately rendition of "My Gal Keeps Me Crying" which ranks as one of the highlights of this disc.
So does the lesser-known "I'm Lost Without You", a swinging, supremely catchy mid-tempo boogie, and Matt Murphy also gets a chance to show off, doing a dextrous (if not all that memorable) "Matt's Guitar Boogie" which also features a brief drum solo by Bill Stepney.

Slim's first set comes to a close with the delightful shuffle "Wish Me Well", and the first four performances by Rice Miller is from the same TV program, Jazz Prisma, taped in front of a small studio audience.
Sonny Boy opens with a slow, wistful "Lonely Man", followed by two more absolute highlights: "Keep It To Yourself" and "Your Funeral And My Trial", two of his best mid-50s Chess sides. The camera zooms in on Sonny Boy while he plays, and his half-closed lids, aloof I-couldn't-care-less expression and pointy goatee actually makes him look a little like the common depiction of Satan!
Maybe there was some truth to the legend that the young Aleck "Rice" Miller promised his soul to Old Scratch in exchange for not having to breathe while performing...
(And yes, the headline is a "Friends" quote.)

Sonny Boy may have been nearing the end of his life at this time, but his playing and singing show little if any sign of wear, and his sense of timing is impeccable.
His other set, a low-key trio performance taped in Sweden in 1964, is slightly less impressive, mainly due to the choice of material, but still worth while. And Memphis Slim gets two more songs as well, both footage from the American Folk Blues Festivals of 1962 and 1963 respectively. Willie Dixon joins him for both, and T-Bone Walker plays the guitar on the 1962 taping of the driving, up-tempo "Rockin' The House".

The bonus tracks include three grainy clips from the 1960 Newport Folk Festival (Muddy Waters' piano player Otis Spann plays three instrumentals) and a rather...different...performance of "Careless Love" by Mae Mercer with Sonny Boy on harmonica.
But it's the main content which will interest most viewers. This DVD is not quite as accessible to "mid-level" blues fans as the three "Folk Blues" DVDs, I suppose, but there are some tremendous performances here by both Slim and Sonny Boy, and fans of either man will certainly want a look. And a listen."
Great DVD! Buy it!
Johan Andersson | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Great DVD with excellent performances by Memphis Slim and Sonny Boy Williamson. The backing provided by Matt 'Guitar' Murphy on guitar and by Bill Stepney on drums (Willie Dixon jumps in on bass on two cuts) works prefectly and makes the performances very tight. Memphis Slim is terrific but it is Sonny Boy who steals the show!

Sonny Boy also plays three songs with two swedish musicians, who doesn't seem to be used to playing blues. These songs are much looser but Sonny Boy makes them work too.

Also included is a song with Sonny Boy as a sideman, providing excellent backup for singer Mae Mercer, and three cuts with Otis Spann playing with the Muddy Waters band minus Muddy himself. These latter cuts are from the 1960 Newport Folk Festival, and must be the band warming up for the legendary Muddy Waters concert which is issued as the classic album "Muddy Waters at Newport".

So, in my opinion the bonus material alone is worth the purchase. There is absolutely nothing negative to say about this DVD."
Great Stuff
Carchop | Tampa, FL U.S. of A. | 04/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Video documentation of the blues greats is shamefully unavailable.
It is a tremendous loss to us all that there is so little good footage and that the Europeans had to show us where it's at and how it's done. I'm glad they did."