Reverend_gary_davis-live___kicking_span3 Muddy_waters_and_friends-goin_way_back_span3 Sonny_terry_brownie_mcghee-live_at_the_new_penelope_cafe_span3
June 1998

Reverend Gary Davis
Live And Kickin'
Just a Memory
Muddy Waters and Friends
Goin' Way Back
Just a Memory
Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee
Live at the New Penelope Cafe
Just a Memory

Canada's Justin Time label has formed the subsidiary Just A Memory Records to release vintage live recordings from blues and folk-blues legends. The first batch of their Collectors' Classics series includes Reverend Gary Davis' Live And Kickin', Muddy Waters & Friends' Goin' Way Back and the Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee document, Live At The New Penelope Cafe. All were recorded in Montreal in 1967. Davis flaunts his wildly rambunctious and highly influential acoustic guitar style on gospel flavored numbers like "You Got To Move" (recorded by the Rolling Stones), "Samson And Delilah" (recorded by the Grateful Dead) and "Twelve Gates To The City," along with more secular numbers like "Maple Leaf Rag" and "Buck Dance." The Muddy document is especially rare and particularly fascinating. Recorded around a single microphone set up in the living room of the Prince Arthur Street rooming house where he and his entourage had been staying, it is an intimate portrait of Muddy in slippers and purple velvet house robe unleashing his imposing pipes in a kind of back porchy ambiance, accompanied only by two acoustic guitars. Even the great pianist Otis Spann plays a little guitar on this casual "stoop" session. Blues collectors should pick up on this rarity.

Originally published in June 1998

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