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Originally Published December 22, 2000
Wintertime Blues – The Benefit Concert
Various Artists – Evil Teen Records
Benefiting From The Blues
This is a very appropriate release for this month. This twin-disc album clocks in at a whopping 138 minutes, and documents the “11th Annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam.” All net proceeds from this concert, CD and merchandise sales, go to Habitat For Humanity.
Mr. Haynes gets a truck load of musical help here. Things start off with some nice and mellower acoustic work from Edwin McCain with help from Warren, including Edwin’s hit, “I’ll Be.”
The Derek Trucks Band is up next with their intriguing blend of jazz, funk and blues. They really stretch things out, and Derek gets to show just how stunningly powerful and melodic his slide guitar work is. This young man is probably my favorite slide player right now, and will only get better. After two songs on their own, they are joined by the equally talented guitarist, Jimmy Herring.
A medley of “Yield To Temptation” and “Turn On Your Lovelight” is next. Trucks, Herring and company are joined first by Col. Bruce Hampton, then Susan Tedeschi. Some typically powerful stuff from these two soulful singers.
Hampton and Tedeschi exit, and Larry McCray enters for “Ain’t That Loving You.” McCray, one of the rising young lions of contemporary blues, trades some furious licks with Trucks and Herring in an amazing tour de force of guitar playing.
It’s now McCray’s turn to exit, and Edwin McCain is back for one more, this time with the full band, showing that he can rock out some, too.
The first disc concludes with Susan Tedeschi joining the Trucks band for her incredible song, “Just Won’t Burn.” Derek really adds to this live version with his phenomenal slide guitar work. The 2nd disc starts off with Susan singing and playing by herself on the beautiful, “Angel From Montgomery.”
Your ears get a jolt next as Cry Of Love is reunited after five years. Guitarist Audley Freed, who has been with the Black Crowes, cranks up the crunch with his old cohorts on “Pretty As You Please” and “Peace Pipe.”
Haynes’ band, Gov’t Mule, come on next and finish off the album. This powerful trio is gradually augmented by a growing number of guests, first Johnny Neel on keyboards, then Herring, and then Hampton with guitarist Mike Barnes. This last combination of artists perform a long and heavy rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful.” After Herring, Hampton, and Barnes exit from the stage, Blues legend Little Milton joins Gov’t Mule and Neel for one song, before the finale of Charles Brown’s classic “Merry Christmas Baby.” For this last song, Tedeschi and Trucks return to join them for what is a fitting end to a very special holiday concert.
This CD is dedicated to Gov’t Mule bassist, Allen Woody, who tragically passed away suddenly this last August. This large contingent of talented musicians came together for a great cause, and produced some memorable music in doing so…
CONGRATULATIONS!!! ” churro783 ” you are this week’s winner of a Leon Russell CD. Go to the Backstage to collect your prize. Remember to play the quiz each week for your chance to win great prizes
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