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lundi 22 février 2021

AFBF 1972/ The Complete Sessions


AFBF 1972/ The Complete Sessions


          For an unknown reason to me, there were no AFBF tour in 1971. The 1970 edition was probably too unsuccessful commercially and even musically? Whatever, for the 10th Anniversary of this by now well established tour (and also more and more criticized by blues magazines and fans alike), the German promoters Lippman and Rau planned two tours of Europe, one in March the other in October with two rather different line-ups. But by now, those tours were less and less attracting audiences and dates that were numerous still a couple of years before were now scarcer. A mere six dates in March and October! Mostly in Germany with Rotterdam, Stockholm and Paris in March. And London and Paris again in October!

            At that time I was living in Champagne, so not too far from Paris and I certainly would never miss a blues show in the Capital city. So I was able to attend to the two shows. As far as I remember, the March concert in Paris was a total disaster despite an exciting lineup with Big Mama Thornton and T-Bone Walker coming back. If old Big Joe was his usual self good and Robert Pete Williams (who was a great revelation in 1966) did a too short set, Memphis Slim who was living in Paris and probably picked up at the last moment did his by now a little bit routine set of his old favorites. But the flop of the flop was T-Bone Walker who was so drunk that he was unable to do anything than stumble on stage, couldn't even put his guitar on his shoulder and had to be placed on the piano stool by the good Californian saxophonist Eddie Taylor (not the Chicago blues giant) where he tinkled away a few notes, generally out of tune, tentatively singing a couple of tunes while never succeeding to finish one! After some minutes of chaos, the audience booed him and he had to quit the stage, still stumbling and helped by the musicians who had to finish the set without their leader. What a sad show for such a blues giant! Big Mama was of course far better although she didn't get along too well with the band. But her set was totally ruined by T-Bone who was constantly coming back on stage, totally drunk and trying in vain to play guitar or piano behind poor Big Mama who had to throw him out of stage each time! No need to say that the audience was not very satisfied with this quite expensive concert!


The October show was better with a then favorite Roosevelt Sykes, a great Bukka White and too short but quite good sets by Lightnin' Slim and Whispering Smith who had been at their peak a few months back during the Montreaux Jazz festival (backed by the Aces). Jimmy Rogers also was good as well as Jimmy Dawkins and the blues belter Big Voice Odom. But the AFBF formula had then showed its limits. 3 or 4 tunes by each bluesmen didn't gave them room enough to really take over the audience and prove their talents.

            Those two AFBF 1972 tours didn't probably garnered enough money and they were the last. There won't be no AFBF the following years until Lippman and Rau would try to revive the formula without changing anything anyway during the early 1980's this time touring only in Germany and a few shows in Switzerland and Austria. With apparently not a tremendous success. I didn't attend to any of those 1980's tours, so I won't issue more AFBF's entries on my blog.

            The times had drastically changed for the blues. By now, the blues was (largely thanks to those early AFBF's) a music recognized at its value in Europe and many tours and festivals were displaying artists in a far better way. In 1979, I had the chance to be partly at the wheel of a Night of the Blues programme in Lyon. With the help of one of the most important Rock touring agent, we were able to gather Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Luther Allison, Taj Mahal and Sugar Blue (Lowell Fulson was programmed but couldn't come at the last moment) for a mammoth show that started at 7PM up to 3AM the next morning! The place was the Lyon's Roman Theatre (built during the 1st century) and the attendance was more than 4500 paying visitors!

            Well... I have here tried to gather the largest possible recordings from those AFBF 1972 tours, some "officials", most "unofficials". Despite the sloppy concerts, the music stands well the test of time and stays as a testimony of good blues by real bluesmen who had lived the blues and not only played it. All of them are by now dead and gone, so let's enjoy their recordings!

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


AFBF 1972/ The Complete Sessions

Bukka White, vcl/g.

01. Aberdeen blues

02. Black cat

03. I'm gettin' ready

04. Miss Mary

05. Poor boy

06. Sic' em dogs on me

07. Stone

08. Tippin' in

09. World boogie

Big Joe Williams, vcl/g.

10. Baby please don't go

11. Blues all night long

12. Annie Mae blues

13. Blues how do you do?

14. Long tall woman

15. Louise

16. Mean old Frisco

17. Memphis Tn blues

18. My baby is gone

19. My boots and shoes

20. She left me a mule to ride

Robert Pete Williams, vcl/g.*

21. Look here woman

22. Louise

23. Better have your way

24. Two horses on a line

25. My hsoes torn up my feet

26. Texas blues when I was young

27. The new talking blues of Angolas

Roosevelt Sykes, vcl/pno.

28. Drivin' wheel

29. Sweet home Chicago

30. Boot that thing

Memphis Slim, vcl/pno; Michel Denis, dms. *

31. Baby please come home

32. Boogin' and bluesin'

33. Lonesome traveller

Johnny Young, mdln; Willie Kent, bs; Billy Davenport, dms.*

34. Instrumental boogie

Big Mama Thornton, vcl/hca; Paul Pena, g; Edward Taylor, t-sax; Phillip Morrison, bs; Hartley Severns, fdl/saxes; Vinton Johnson, dms.*

35. Ball and chain

36. Tell me baby

Jimmy Rogers, vcl/g; Whispering Smith, hca; Willie Kent, bs; Billy Davenport, dms.

37. Can’t keep from worrying

38 Tricky woman

39. Chicago bound

Lightnin' Slim, vcl/g; Whispering Smith, hca; Willie Kent, bs; Billy Davenport, dms.

40. Wintertime blues

41. Walking through the park

Whispering Smith, vcl/hca; Lightnin' Slim, g; Willie Kent, bs; Billy Davenport, dms.

42. Storm in Texas

T-Bone Walker, vcl/pno; Paul Pena, g; Edward Taylor, t-sax; Phillip Morrison, bs; Hartley Severns, fdl/saxes; Vinton Johnson, dms.*

43. Going back to church

44. Shake it baby

Andrew Big Voice Odom, vcl; Jimmy Dawkins, g; Jesse Williams, g; Roosevelt Sykes, pno; Willie Kent, bs; Billy Davenport, dms.

45. Don't ever leave me

46. Got my mojo working



15 commentaires:

  1. AFBF 1972/ The Complete Sessions


  2. These albums are all fantastic, thank you so much for all your time & energies in maintaining this magical source of such special music.
    Still listening to the Mel Brown blues guitar masters LP from a while back, amazing, thanks again Mr. Herzhaft!

  3. Avec mon plus grand respect: Merci beaucoup mon cher professeur de blues, je vous dois tout ce que j'ai appris.

  4. Thanks for your efforts in getting all of the AFBF performances available out. I have a few performances that I purchased over the years but these don't come close to being so complete.

  5. Many thanks Gerard, always interesting to listen to these historical recordings. And an interesting read as usual. Seems T-Bone got boo'd often in his later years, I recall watching a concert on TY where he was boo'd for playing the electric guitar.

  6. Thanks again for providing such excellent music for us! I have thoroughly enjoyed filling out the American Folk Blues Festivals with a lot of music I haven't heard before!

  7. Gérard un très grand merci pour "Louise" et pour le message sur "don't as me"

  8. Gérard, Un très grand merci pour "Louise" et pour le message sur "don't ask me"

  9. Many thanks Gerard for this wonderful set.

  10. Thanks, Gerard, for the completion of this great and enjoyable series.

  11. Thank you for the music and the nice story around it!

  12. Last but not least, many thanks again for your generosity!

  13. Encore merci, Gérard, pour ces trésors!

  14. Thank you. I never realized, until this very moment, that Paul Pena was involved in any of the AFBF tours, even as a backing musician. He's an absolute favorite of mine. The "Genghis Blues" Paul Pena documentary is spectacular.