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Tail Dragger: My Head Is Bald - Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge
Tail Dragger My Head Is Bald - Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge
Actors: Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Jimmy Dawkins, James Y. Jones, Kevin Shanahan
Director: Tom Koester
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2005     1hr 4min

Tail Dragger - a holdout from the time when blues giants like Howlin? Wolf and Magic Sam still ruled on the West Side. The neighborhood, the music, and the rest of the world have changed around him, but Tail Dragger still...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Lurrie Bell, Billy Branch, Jimmy Dawkins, James Y. Jones, Kevin Shanahan
Director: Tom Koester
Creators: Steve Wagner, Bob Koester
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Blues
Studio: Delmark
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 12/13/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 4min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Howlin' Wolf influenced Tail Dragger Gives Solid Live Perfor
R. Weinstock | Falls Church, VA USA | 12/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This new Delmark release is on cd and DVD. James Y. Jones, the Chicago blues singer took his stage name, Tail Dragger, from a Howlin' Wolf song. This was fitting insofar as Wolf was a mentor and heavy influence on him as reflected in his singing, stage act and his music which employs some of the grooves and melodies associated with some of Wolf's classic recordings, even tossing ina yodel-like Howl on several tracks. My Head is Bald, Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge, Chicago. He benefits from a terrific band that has Billy Branch on harmonica, Lurie Bell on Guitar, Kevin Shanahan on guitar, Bob Stroger on bass, Kenny Smith on drums and Willie Young on tenor sax. Jimmy Dawkins replaces Shanahan on "My Head is Bald." Tail Dragger contributed all the songs except Jimmy Dawkins' "So Ezee." One song, "Cold Out Doors," is a DVD bonus track not on the CD version of this album. While one would be hard-pressed to call the Tail Dragger a major artist, he certainly entertains with a programme that evokes the Wolf. His vocals are slightly slurred and don't have Wolf's crispness nor is he as forceful as Wolf was, but still is a very enjoyable singer with the band rocking behind him. Billy Branch is typically outstanding while Lurrie Bell's stinging lines and riffs evoke Hubert Sumlin's playing with Wolf. The rhythm duo of Stroger and Smith provide a solid foundation for everybody else. Songs like "Tend to Your Business", "My Woman is Gone", and the title track, are typically of the solid evocation of Wolf's music present throughout and its entertaining to watch the DVD to see Tail Dragger singing for the woman, working the crowd and egging his musicians on. I was also impressed by the camera work and production on the DVD which really gives a sense of that evening at Vern's Friendly Lounge, and the sound sounded good as well to these aging ears. This is certainly welcome as an entertaining release that should appeal to fans of classic Chicago blues."