Although this album was released in 1966, this was actually recorded back in late 1963. It is a short set of Rhythm and Blues styled numbers, with legendary guitarist Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds at this point on this recording. This, therefore, should be an exciting and interesting sounding listening experience. Let’s take a listen to this live album, and hear what these guys have to offer.
The album begins with Bye Bye Bird which opens with excellent harmonica, before the rest of the band kick in. Soon enough, Sonny Boy Williamson II is introduced to the crowd over the musical backdrop and a nice sounding set is underway. Indeed, not long into it, the guest vocalist begins singing in-between bursts of harmonica playing, whilst The Yardbirds give him plenty of space to move and groove. A short and refreshing listening experience, the crowd cheers and whistles at the end of this good opening piece, before the next song kicks in.
Following is Mister Downchild which begins with energetic harmonica, a nice 1960s style groove and a sense that we have an exciting listen on this album. A really cool listen, this sounds extraordinarily different, yet wonderful. The music here is basic Rhythm and Blues, yet it still retains a freshness and excitement to this day. The harmonica solo is really cool, which is followed by Eric Clapton playing an excellent guitar solo on his Fender Telecaster. This is a style of music that is largely unappreciated by today’s standards. In any case, a very decent tune is here. The harmonica re-emerges in the second half, and the song concludes with it. More crowd cheering and clapping is at the end.
23 Hours Too Long is a lengthy piece at over five minutes long. It opens with furious harmonica, some suspenseful vocals by Sonny Boy Williamson II and some slow guitar by Eric Clapton. This is a very decent and awesome listening experience that sounds really interesting lyrically. Soon enough, the guest vocalist digs into an energetic harmonica solo that is a highlight of this song. The lyrics here are about waiting impatiently for a lover, hence the title of the song. This is an excellent five-minute piece of music and is definitely underrated to this day. A really cool listen, Eric Clapton’s guitar solo towards the end is perfectly played before this excellent song concludes. Great effort.
Out Of The Water Coast sounds like an awesome piece from the start, being very joyful and upbeat. A really cool listening experience, this does sound great. Sonny Boy Williamson II’s vocals and harmonica make this an impressive listening experience. There is a gorgeous and unique guitar solo section, with some wild harmonica being played in it as well. A really interesting and varied listen, this is a very catchy piece that ends with vocals and harmonica. Superb.
Next along is Baby Don’t Worry which has a really cool mixture of harmonica, vocals and a great sense of lively performance. It sure is great sounding and is a decent and simple-sounding piece. The harmonica work is insanely good, and the audience claps along nicely. This is simple music and sounds to impress a Blues audience who dig the retro sounds of the Blues. In any case, this is a really cool and top listen, even if nobody else is playing from The Yardbirds. Simple, yet fun, this is a good listening experience. It finishes with loud applause, unique and great music here.
After that is Pontiac Blues, launching into more harmonica playing which sounds wild. Eventually, the rest of The Yardbirds kick in, and this piece sounds gloriously wonderful. A really wonderful and upbeat sounding piece, this is about driving in the said car with a lover. It is a really awesome performance throughout, and this album does impress those listening to it. A really decent and retro piece from decades ago. The rather high pitched harmonica solo is gorgeous, as is the singing and playing from The Yardbirds. Towards the end, the band go subtle for the harmonica to finish over. Very decent effort.
Take It Easy Baby is a slow, waltz style piece that sounds really cool and casual. A highlight from this live album, it just sounds really awesome and terrific. Sonny Boy Williamson II delivers this song very nicely, although this creation today would likely be deemed sexist. In any case, this is an excellent piece to hear, just sounding really well performed and never dull nor boring. The harmonica playing on this piece is insanely good, showcasing these guys as Blues experts supreme. A very good rendition of a core Blues song, this sounds really top. It finishes with some laser precision harmonica, before the audience cheer. Nice job.
I Don’t Care No More begins with some super slow harmonica playing, some fluttering vocals from Sonny Boy Williamson II and this piece is a lone performance from the singer and with harmonica. This shows how impressive and masterful the guest singer was at singing and harmonica. It is fairly clear that he steals the show, especially on this performance. A really cool and enjoyable piece of music, this sounds very good for such a piece. It reaches an extraordinary climax at the end, nice job man.
The last track is Do The Weston which begins with some guitar riffs, a basic Bluesy groove and more harmonica. It does sound very catchy for an instrumental and is another example of how good both Sonny Boy Williamson II and The Yardbirds were as an act. This is a really cool tune to finish up with and just sounds really excellent. A genuinely great listen, even if there are no vocals on this track. The drumming and the stop/start sections are excellent, giving this piece more suspense than one can imagine. A very fun listening experience, it concludes with The Yardbirds in the fore, playing very well indeed. The album and live performance then finish, a really good listen.
This is a really decent listen for what it is. Sounding like a great representation of Blues singing, harmonica playing and a backing band to boot, this is a really smooth listen from start to finish. Although this live album is very much a one-off performance, there is no doubt that if you dig older styles, in particular, you will love this. Highly recommended to old school ears of the early 1960s.
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