Monday, 17 October 2011

Booker T Jones - 7 October 2011 at the HiFi

Booker T Jones is a legend.  However, that legend is largely (solely?) built on his status as a backing musician in one of the great backing bands.  Given this I was a bit uncertain seeing him live, would his voice stand up to renditions of songs that form part of the fabric of musical life?  Would he be able to carry a show as a frontman, rather than an incredibly skilled backing musician?

The answer to these was largely yes.  Helped in no small part by the incredible good will he engenders (in part because of the fact he comes across as a wonderfully nice guy) Booker T put on a show covering a small portion of the astounding number of classic songs he has featured on (I, for one, had no idea he played bass on Knockin' on Heaven's Door).  Being a huge Otis Redding fan I was particularly worried about his rendition of I've Been Loving You Too Long, but he managed to sing this (and everything else) with passion and skill.  Having said that, he wasn't able to raise the show to something truly extraordinary - he lacked the ability to work the crowd, and to craft and execute a set that would put him on a par with other greats of his era.  However, the quality of the show, and the warmth of the man meant that most people would have left with a smile.

Recording wise (yet again) there is a bit of annoying talking.  Hang 'Em High, in particular, suffers from an innane conversation from two idiots (how hard is it to go to a concert and actually listen?).  Nonetheless, most songs come out pretty well, and overall the recording is pretty good.

Link to come in the next 24 hours or so.   Internet woes mean that I won't be able to upload anything this week.  Sorry.  Here it is:

Harlem House
Walking Papers
Take Me to the River
Born Under a Bad Sign
Green Onions
Soul Limbo
Oh Pretty Woman
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Ain't No Sunshine
Hip Hug-Her
Time is Tight

Hey Ya!
I've Been Loving You Too Long

Melting Pot

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