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dimanche 20 décembre 2020

American Folk Blues Festival 1967/ The complete sessions


AFBF 1967/ The Complete Sessions


           In 1967 the American Folk Blues Festival tours of Europe were well established and much sought after by blues buffs all over many countries of Western and even Eastern Europe. The 1967 edition – which wasn't advised by Willie Dixon anymore – took the task to expose some of the major "rediscovered" Delta blues legends who, thanks to bold researchers, had been lifted from retirement and obscurity directly to major American acoustic blues festivals of the early 1960's. Son House, Bukka White and Skip James were proudly announced at the top of this very exciting lineup of the 1967 tour.

If Bukka was great (as always), an extraverted showman, Skip James was a little bit shy and with his high-pitched voice not always well received, Son House was the great winner of the shows. Utterly and deeply involved in his blues, shouting, sweating, lost somewhere between the Delta and Europe, he appeared to the European audiences as an unbelievable blues giant. In the Paris concert, the PA system went down at a time while Son was still preaching his blues. He didn't seem to notice the fact his microphone didn't work anymore and, the eyes closed, torturing his guitar with his slide, he shouted his blues the same way he would have been in a Delta juke joint 20 years ago.

            The country blues part of the Festival was rounded professionally by old favorites Brownie & Sonny. Unfortunately the other half of the show that was dedicated to the electric Chicago blues was very weak and even an unexpected major flop! The main mistake of course had to enrolled Hound Dog Taylor who was of course a fine bluesman of his own, impersonating Elmore James's style but absolutely unable to be the lead guitarist of the show. The previous years had featured major lead guitar players like M.T. Murphy, T-Bone Walker, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush and the comparison was dreadful for Hound Dog. He also had never appeared on a concert hall and, in Paris, he played almost all the time looking towards the curtains and showing his back to the audience! Add a clumsy and non blues bass player with Dillard Crum plus Little Walter who was angry at everyone and seemed to dislike the fact he was backed by musicians for whom he had no great consideration (I've heard that for some shows Walter rather played unaccompanied!), a very young and very shy Koko Taylor who also was unsettled with this backing band.

            Anyway, the tapes I've been able to gather from this tour feature some great moments and also historic performances.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


(Thanks a lot to my brother Cisco and Lise Brière de l'Isle for their remembrances of the Paris concert)


All titles recorded october-november 1967 over Europe, mainly in Germany

Brownie Mc Ghee, vcl/g; Sonny Terry, hca/vcls.

01. Born with the blues

02. I'm gonna move

Sonny Terry, vcl/hca; Brownie Mc Ghee, g/vcls.

03. Rock Island line

Bukka White, vcl/g.

04. Aberdeen blues

05. Aberdeen, Ms. blues

06. Got sick and tired

Skip James, vcl/g.

07. Hard luck child

08. Hard times killing floor blues

Son House, vcl/g.

09. Death letter

10. Got a letter this morning

11. Preaching the blues

Hound Dog Taylor, vcl/g; Little Walter, hca; Dillard Crume, bs; Odie Payne, dms.

12. Shake your moneymaker

13. The sky is crying

Koko Taylor, vcl; Little Walter, hca; Hound Dog Taylor, g; Dillard Crume, bs; Odie Payne, dms.

14. Wang dang doodle n°1

15. Wang dang doodle n°2

16. What kind of man is this? n°1

17. What kind of man is this n°2

18. Will my man be home tonight?

Little Walter, vcl/hca; Hound Dog Taylor, g; Dillard Crume, bs; Odie Payne, dms.

19. Berlin shuffle

20. Mean old world

21. My babe

22. You're so fine

Brownie Mc Ghee, vcl/g; Sonny Terry, hca/vcls.

23. Walk on

All photos are from my programme of the AFBF 1967 by Lippmann, Ambor, Dabrwosky, Dick Waterman



 Odie Payne and Dillard Crum

24 commentaires:

  1. AFBF 1967/ The Complete Sessions

    OK? And don't forget any feedback

  2. Thanks for this one and the others you have provided.

  3. TYVM Gerard for another gem! Merry Xmas and prsoperous New Year to you and all the other regulars on the blog.

  4. Yes, thanks very much Gerard for another fine collection. I also would like to take this opportunity to wish you & your family plus all our blues friends here a very merry Xmas and a happy NY.

  5. Salut Gerard,
    merci mille pour ce nouveau post,un veritable tresor. Bon weekend,et garde-toi bien mon ami.J'ai pas oublie Bonne Fete de Noel a toi et toute ta famille.

  6. Thank you so much for all you do, your work is truly amazing.

  7. Maravilloso, muchas gracias por este gran regalo de navidad

  8. Thank you for the great series of blues.
    I really love this blog!

  9. Merci Gérard, encore une rareté et du bon blues des créateurs, ceux des années 50-60's (et même des 40's), des interprètes comme on en trouve pas beaucoup sur les autres blogs dédiés à cette musique. Passe de bonnes fêtes, et à 2021 pour du présentiel!

  10. Another fantastic collection from the master blues compiler! bundles of thanks for soothing my ears in a world becoming more crazy by the hour, hope you keep well & have a great christmas & new year, blessings upon you Mr. Herzhaft.

  11. Encore merci! Quelle belle série ! Passez de bonnes fêtes !

  12. Merci beaucoup ! J'ai assisté au concert de Paris de cette tournée de l'AFBF et je me souviens de l'épisode du micro défaillant de Son House continuant de chanter... A ce concert il y eut un invité surprise de Chicago: Magic Sam. Avez- vous retrouvé également des enregistrements de cet éminent représentant du West Side?

    1. Magic Sam n'était pas en Europe en 1967 et n'a pas participé à cette édition de l'AFBF. Par contre, il était bien de la tournée 1969 en "guest star" et oui j'ai des morceaux de cette année là qui paraîtront sur le post AFBF1969 à venir.

  13. Thanks for bringing these recordings to light for us devoted blues fans. Have a great New Year!

  14. Thanks! I love these American Folk Blues Festival posts!

  15. Bonjour Gérard et merci pour cette nouvelle galette généreusement partagée ! Je profite de ce début d'année pour vous souhaiter mes meilleurs vœux pour 2021, ainsi qu'à tous les amoureux de la note bleue qui fréquentent votre blog. On ne soulignera jamais assez, l'importance du travail de lien et de partage qui vous anime, et qui nous procurent tant d'émotions.Respect.

  16. OMG new-to-me Hound Dog Taylor, WITH LITTLE WALTER! Another holy grail from the master blues compiler, Gerard! Thank you, thank you, thank you, infinitely. Cheers to you, my long distance friend.

  17. Merci pour une collection merveilleuse!

    Stuffy from Sweden

  18. Can you just *imagine* riding around Europe on a bus with all of these folks... Son House, Hound Dog Taylor, Little Waleter, etc... a time machine dream moment for me.