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  • Cheat You Fair: The Story of Maxwell Street DVD
    the story of Maxwell Street and Chicago in general is the relationship between Maxwell Street and blues music Maxwell Street was the home of the blues in Chicago in a very street level way and was the place to be for any aspiring musician looking to play for people learn from other musicians and become known The noise level of the place required players to use electric amplification to be heard over the din which ushered in the modern musical era The vintage film footage of Maxwell Street performers and their acts featured in Cheat You Fair is worth the price of admission by itself and really is the heart and soul of the film Especially touching are the interview clips with blues great Junior Wells who was a large part of the scene on Maxwell Street and who died before the film could be released Also interviewed Bo Diddley Buddy Guy Charlie Musselwhite Studs Terkel Bob Koester and many more The 90 minute documentary is smoothly narrated by Chicago actor Joe Mantegna The film also details the sad final days of Maxwell Street and features interviews with Maxwell regulars on the last day of the market in 1994 There had been many attempts to shut Maxwell Street down over the years but in 94 the City of Chicago sold the land housing the market to the University of Illinois at Chicago and it was subsequently converted into private businesses and dorms for UIC students The film tells the story of the big money interests winning out as they usually do and the inevitable loss of local culture and history that usually follows Anyone who ever visited Maxwell Street knows that it was more than the land it sat on it was the people that came together there that made

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/cheat-you-fair-dvd/cheat-you-fair-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • TAIL DRAGGER: Live at Rooster's Lounge DVD
    up you know good and well he s going to keep serenading the same woman all night long giving new meaning to the term face time You get all this and more on Live At Rooster s Lounge photo by Jennifer Wheeler Somehow the film crew audience band and staff managed to cram into this tiny West Side bar located on Madison Street in a very rough neighborhood as evidenced by the iron gates covering the doors and windows Tail Dragger holds a semi regular residency at Rooster s Palace the club s official title on most Saturday nights when he s not performing in exotic locales like Argentina or Vienna A trip to Rooster s is like a trip back in time to a 1970s basement party room complete with mirrored walls twinkle lights Formica table tops red vinyl bar stools and whirling ornaments dangling behind the bar However beneath the festive surface this is a highly emotional live session Tail Dragger is reunited with Rockin Johnny Burgin his right hand man and guitar slinger who he worked with in the 90s At the time March 2009 Burgin had just ended a five year retirement and had just played his return gig the previous January For a man who hadn t been on the scene in some time Johnny looked and sounded good when this live set was captured And the Tail Dragger remains the Tail Dragger Backed by a band that includes Burgin guitar Kevin Shanahan rhythm guitar Martin Lang harmonica Todd Fackler bass and Rob Lorenz drums the man is fine form singing the blues and dispensing folk wisdom from the barroom pulpit Special guest Chi town blues veteran Jimmy Dawkins adds some of his six string magic to Tail s self penned song called Wander Tail

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/tail-dragger-dvd/tail-dragger-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • It Ain't Over, Delmark celebrates 55 Years of Blues at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago
    artists from the Delmark stable in It Ain t Over which documents the concert as it happened the night of March 7 2008 The recording is also available on CD While none of the acts are outlandishly visual save for Tail Dragger there is still is something to be said for seeing musicians lay into their craft as it happens Eddie Shaw seated front and center peels off one good sax riff after another Harp player vocalist Little Arthur Duncan like Shaw spends most of his set sitting down but not before we get to see him get in some hip grinds Duncan passed away only months later Pianist Aaron Moore s left hand is so strong that you don t miss a bass player Kenny Smith plays drums on one of Moore s tunes and that s all the accompaniment you hear Guitarist vocalist Jimmy Johnson does a couple of intensely felt numbers in the West Side vein The usually great guitarist Lurrie Bell is heard doing Don t You Lie To Me and Reconsider Baby While these songs aren t exactly set list from hell material they do get covered often But I ll admit I can still go for a good Reconsider every now and then Blues singers Zora Young and Shirley Johnson do a fine job of offering a powerful female perspective The DVD s title is taken from Young s upbeat original song Til The Fat Lady Sings Johnson puts her own emotional take on the sorrowful classic As The Years Go Passing By The gravel voiced Tail Dragger who is known for his up close and personal interaction with female audience members can be seen playfully warning Chicago Blues Guide photog Jennifer Wheeler to mind her own business on Tend To Your Business The

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/delmark-it-aint-over/delmark-it-aint-over-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Review, And This is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell Street, Multipac, DVD, CD, booklet, Schanachie Entertainment
    Later African Americans moving north found Maxwell Street a haven for commercial activities entertainment and music as blues and gospel singers filled the street with song and salvation By the early 1960s the seven block area was a bustling carnival of all kinds of commerce legal illicit and somewhere in between By the 1990s the market was moved to accommodate expansion of the University of Illinois and an era seemed to be over much mourned by long time Chicagoans That era is revived in And This is Free a new MultiPac published by Shanachie Entertainment which features a DVD CD and booklet chronicling Maxwell s colorful history The DVD contains several documentaries starting with Mike Shea s 1964 film And This is Free an exquisitely shot black and white tribute to the market s unique flavor Kicking the DVD off with Shea s 50 minute feature is a bit of a gamble This documentary contains no narrative Shea just takes you to the street and lets the story unfold something with the potential to bewilder the non Chicagoan watcher To test this I gathered a group of Boston area friends I alone was a Chicago native to watch the documentary Even though none had even heard of Maxwell Street before they were mesmerized by Shea s intimate camera work which showed off the merchants the extraordinary blue singers and the odd characters like Casey Jones the famed bedraggled Chicken Man who performed with a feathered companion Even without an authoritative voice explaining documentary style what they were seeing my friends got it and enjoyed the spectacle So much of what makes Maxwell Street special is paradoxically enough universal to other urban dwellers who love the gritty soul of their chosen municipalities those places that the tourists seldom see The original And This is Free was culled from the 20 hours of footage shot on the street in the summer of 1964 and includes music by Robert Nighthawk Johnny Young and James and Fanny Brewer Shea a LIFE photographer turned filmmaker went on to make feature films in Hollywood until his death in 1995 The DVD also includes a more traditional documentary that fills in the information gaps The 30 minute Maxwell Street A Living Memory by Shuli Eshel examines the lives of Jewish merchants who first turned Maxwell Street into what many consider the largest open air market in the country The DVD also includes archival film footage and photos that give a sense of the historical sweep of the market Those who want even more history can read through the 36 page booklet that includes more photos and more eloquent memories of Maxwell Street As Ira Berkow author of Maxwell Street Survival in a Bazaar writes in his essay It was a carnival it was a bazaar it was as some believed and perhaps with some credibility a thieves den it was almost home to snake charmers a horse that could count with a clop of his hoof an

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/maxwell-st-dvd/maxwell-st-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • DVD Review: Little Arthur Duncan Live at Rosa's Blues Lounge
    1954 Arthur detoured to Key West Florida where he met Blues guitarist Earl Hooker who moved with him to Chicago Arthur sat in with and learned from Billy Boy Arnold and Carey Bell in addition to Little Walter Little Arthur was a Maxwell Street regular and later Arthur owned two clubs on the West Side of Chicago that also gave him great exposure to the Blues acts during the 80s Those acts included Mighty Joe Young Tail Dragger Johnny B Moore and Little Smokey Smothers After Arthur s last club Backscratchers closed down the musician began playing out and recording Little Arthur s style is truly Chicago blues and he was both a songwriter and performer The DVD features four songs written by Arthur and the rest of the tunes are a mix of Howlin Wolf Little Walter Jimmy Reed Willie Dixon Slim Harpo and other great Chicago Blues songwriters Arthur s performance style is dynamic and out front He works the audience with his vocals and his energy Even when he sits he conveys a good time His band has a fine resume with Illinois Slim Eddie Taylor and Rich Kreher Muddy Waters on guitars Michael Azzi Eddy Clearwater on bass Twist Turner Buddy Guy Jimmy Reed on drums and Little Al Thomas guesting on one number Most importantly about his band they are a true supporting act and don t overshadow Arthur in any way Songs that stand out are the opener Arthur s own Leaving Mississippi Little Walter s I Got to Go Slim Harpo s James H Moore Scratch My Back where Arthur goes out into the crowd Howlin Wolf s 44 Blues and Arthur s Bad Reputation that showcases the band a bit more than other numbers A special treat is track 15 I Got

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/littlearthur-dvd/little-arthur-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • DVD Review, Jimmy Burns
    finger placements on the frets An overhead camera captures James Carter on drums Recorded August 13 2006 the live on stage footage is interspersed with bartenders making drinks the club s walls and the photos that adorn them exterior shots of the club and the B L U E S backyard BBQ party With a gentle approach Jimmy Burns who was born in Dublin Mississippi and sings about the town in Leaving Here Walking is the least Chicago blues sounding artist of the last remaining Chicago blues greats Perhaps that s because Burns feels he never left the Delta although he s now been living in Chicago for 51 years There is nothing flashy here it s just great down home music The 12 songs including four which do not appear on his three previous Delmark releases are consistently sharp Some are more memorable than others Second guitarist Tony Palmer rocks out during Can t Hold Out Much Longer In general Palmer tends to crank a bit too much Better Know What You re Doing a tribute to John Lee Hooker is full of Johnny B Moore style pushes and pulls The blues influence on blues rock and hard rock

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/jimmyburns-dvd/jimmyburns-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • DVD Review, Son Seals
    do In 1971 Seals moved to Chicago Soon after arriving he landed regular gigs on the South Side at The Expressway Lounge and the Flamingo Club Other key figures such as Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records Seals sister and son Koko Taylor and blues club owner Frank Pellegrino of Kingston Mines are interviewed Producer Peter Carlson who also made Don t Start Me Talking The Junior Wells Story has resisted using an all interview format to tell Seals story The film also features live performance clips vintage photos and music from several of Seals albums The two had a business relationship but most of all Seals and Iglauer were friends for over 30 years While smiling yet visibly distracted with emotion for the deceased musician Iglauer catches himself talking about him Seals in the present tense His performances are so alive to me Iglauer also reflects on the grueling life of a traveling bluesman Nobody gets rich playing the blues If you re lucky you end up with a middle class lifestyle If you are unlucky you end up a broke old man Whether or not Seals was lucky isn t given clarified but the documentary does confirm Seals lead a life of hardship He became diabetic in the 70s In 1997 a former spouse shot him in the face Seals survived but the bullet permanently lodged itself in his skull Emotionally his sister reveals how he started to give up when a portion of a leg was amputated in 1999 Then he required dialysis treatments He did them for a long time but decided to stop Son Seals died in 2004 Throughout his career Seals externally released his internal frustrations via his fierce music Carlson suggests Son Seals took some of your pain and made it his own And

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/son-seals-dvd/son-seals-dvd-page.html (2016-02-16)
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  • DVD Review, Chicago Blues Reunion, Buried Alive in the Blues
    them are Gary Mallabar drums Rick Reed bass and Zach Wagner guitar Appearing aged and not well preserved Gravenites states We have a history while the youthful looking gray haired Siegel adds We are part of each other s lives In a nutshell they took black blues out of the black Chicago clubs and introduced it to the world beginning in the city s north side This stylishly packaged DVD CD combo includes a bountiful 32 page booklet loaded with archival photos The 80 minute DVD presents six live performances these plus eight more are included on the hour long CD but it also exposes interviews with band members and Buddy Guy as well as archival video and a photo gallery with many never before seen photographs Especially memorable is the footage of Electric Flag at Newport Folk Fest and film clips from an early 70s Soundstage PBS TV show featuring Muddy Waters Jr Wells and Gravenites The praise filled interviews have been visually edited to have a retro look Overall the DVD unfolds like a well written special feature in your favorite blues magazine Recorded in stereo on October 15 2004 at FitzGerald s in Berwyn Illinois Gravenites performs while seated throughout On Born In Chicago Mandel s guitar screeches in the background The title track contains a relaxed groove that is welcoming and familiar At times as on this song the tiny stage makes it a challenge for the camera operators to maintain a non obstructed view Walk Away exhibits the warbling vibrato vocals of Nelson During the song you can tell Siegel loves the performance This image echoes his interview exclamation We love the blues The deepest blues emerges on Left Handed Soul Here the electric piano is audacious while the organ is haunting The keyboards punch

    Original URL path: http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/reviews/dvd-reviews/chgobluesreunion-dvd/chgoblues-reunion-page.html (2016-02-16)
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