Clifton Chenier Live! At the 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival
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- Released: January 25, 2000
- Label: Arhoolie Records
Dirty Linen - 6-7/00, p.91"...It's easy to recommend this release even to those who have the old vinyl....this is prime stuff....a package that's bound to please blues fans."
- 1.Stop Time
- 2.I Ain't Got Nobody
- 3.Downtown Blues
- 4.Shake, Shake, Mama
- 5.Sinking Of The Titanic, The (God Moves On The Water)
- 6.Take Your Arms From Around My Neck, Sugar Babe
- 7.When The Saints Go Marching In
- 8.Intro & Louisiana Shuffle
- 9.French Zydeco
- 10.Clifton's After Hours
- 11.Scratch My Back
- 12.Everybody Calls Me Crazy
- 13.What'd I Say
- 14.Old Country Waltz
- 15.Louisiana Waltz
- 16.Clifton's Boogie Woogie
- 17.If You Don't Want Me
- 18.I Feel So Good
- 19.Last Night
- 20.Goin' To Louisiana
- 21.Black Cadillac
- 22.Short Haired Woman
- 23.Lightnin's Boogie
Full performer name: Clifton Chenier/Mance Lipscomb/Lightning Hopkins.
Personnel: Clifton Chenier (vocals, accordion); Mance Lipscomb. Lightning Hopkins (vocals, guitar); Francis Clay (drums).
Recorded live at Harmon Gymnasium, University Of California, Berkeley, California on April 15, 1966. Includes liner notes by Chris Strachwitz.
Personnel: Clifton Chenier (vocals, accordion); Lightnin' Hopkins (vocals, guitar); Mance Lipscomb (vocals, guitar); Francis Clay (snare drum).
Liner Note Author: Chris Strachwitz.
Recording information: Harmon Gymnasim on the Universi (04/15/1966).
Editors: Chris Strachwitz; Dan McClosky.
Photographers: Chris Strachwitz; Bill Carter.
Arranger: Mance Lipscomb.
Recorded live on KAL radio in Berkeley, CA on April 15, 1966, this presents roughly equal shares of material from Mance Lipscomb, Clifton Chenier, and Lightnin' Hopkins, performing at the 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival. The sound is not state-of-the-art, but decent considering the vintage. The material is not going to surprise anyone familiar with the artists, which is good news if you're in love with their music and want typical excerpts of their sets, but bad news if you think you might have enough of them and you're considering whether to investigate further. Lipscomb does good-natured, rhythmic country blues, both of his own composition and otherwise, covering "When the Saints Go Marching In," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and "The Sinking of the Titanic," which has slide guitar and is perhaps the most interesting of his songs on the CD. Chenier's performance might be of the greatest historical interest of the three artists on this disc, since it was his first appearance before a "a mostly young, white, relatively sophisticated concert audience," as Chris Strachwitz writes in the liner notes. It's just him, his accordion, and drummer Francis Clay, mostly on original tunes, as well as zydeco arrangements of Slim Harpo's "Baby Scratch My Back" and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say?." Clay also plays drums as the sole other musician on Lightnin' Hopkins' portion which, with its electric guitar, has a nice, mild electric R&B-rock feel. Should you already have Lipscomb, Chenier, and/or Hopkins albums, this couldn't be considered an essential addition to your library. For the casual listener, though, it might not be a bad pickup. There's variety in the sets (especially as Lipscomb and Hopkins' blues sections are broken up by Chenier's zydeco one), none of the three go on so long that you get tired of any individual performer, and there are 74 minutes of music. Half of this was previously available on Arhoolie LP 1030, but 11 of the 23 songs on the CD were previously unreleased. ~ Richie Unterberger
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