Saturday, 18 January 2003

Brunnenstra´┐Że 3
56479 Elsoff

FLAC master, 18 January 2018, by elegymart:
Digital audience recording (stereo): unknown mics/recorder > DAT master > unknown digital/CDR generations > CDR > two Memorex 80-minute CDRs {via trade} > EAC (WAV extraction, secure mode) > SHNtool (joined all WAVs) > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (audio clean-up) > SHNtool (fixed SBE) > SHNtool (fixed SBE) > CD Wave (track splits) > TLH (WAV > FLAC8).
Created this text file.

Total running time [2:03:21]

Disc 1 [55:27]
01 Tender Touch [8:44]
02 Make My Day [4:25]
03 Love Me or Leave Me [2:50]
04 Real Stuff [9:10]
05 On My Way Home [11:28]
06 Hypnotized [6:25]
07 Make Love Strong [8:26]
08 Rattlesnake Shake [3:55]

Disc 2 [67:59]
01 Someplace, Somewhere - Sometime [4:29]
-- Mike Harrison enters --
02 Waiting for the Wind [7:31]
03 That Was Only Yesterday [5:09]
04 Better by You, Better Than Me [3:52]
05 Smokestack Lightnin' [10:21]
06 There's a Road [4:44]
07 Shakey Ground [5:47]
08 Can't Believe You Wanna Leave [3:34]
09 Hold Back [8:36]
-- encore 1 --
10 Got What I Want [6:58]
-- encore 2 --
11 Try Me Again [6:55]

Band line-up:
Mike Harrison - lead vocals, harmonica
Gert Lange - guitar, lead vocals
Alex Conti - lead guitar, vocals
Michael Becker - bass guitar, backing vocals
Hans Wallbaum - drums, backing vocals


Here's a Hamburg Blues Band show that doesn't appear to have been on dime before. To date, a few HBB shows have surfaced with Chris Farlowe, Maggie Bell, Miller Anderson and maybe one or two other top-notch special guests joining them, but only other one show with Mike Harrison.

It seems this night played out over the course of two sets. It kicks off with a set solo by HBB. The band then come backs for the main set, opening up with a track from their "Touch" album (featuring Mike Harrison), which sounds like Dick Heckstall-Smith's "Woza Nasu" with lyrics added -- not bad, but like their opening set, and all the numbers without Harrison, they don't transcend average blues rock territory. Lange's vocals are acceptable if that kind of raspy Greg Ridley vocal styling is your thing, and it's a good match for the material, which borders on somewhat generic. Alex Conti, who used to be the guitarist in Atlantis (Inga Rumpf's band after Frumpy), plays solidly. A bum note to start off "Waiting for the Wind" might be worrisome, and the nod to Kossoff at the end of seems out of place, even though both Spooky Tooth and Free were Island label mates in the late 60's, but the band course-corrects pretty quickly.

It's no surprise that when Mike Harrison hits the mic, the show elevates to a whole other plane. Anyone who knows their Spooky Tooth will recognize his soulful growl immediately, and here it's fully evident his vocals are still as powerful as they were on those magnificient early albums. The Spooky Tooth numbers are played proficiently and a treat to hear. The Temptations and Little Richard covers are okay (Jr Walker & the All-Stars do the Temptations covers better, cf. that torrent if you've not already). You'd expect Mike Harrison singing on an Eddie Hazel song to blow the roof off here, but the real surprise comes with "There's a Road" off the HBB album. That one unexpectedly comes out of nowhere -- with lyrics by Pete Brown (yeah, that Pete Brown), its sparseness without all the hard blues rock affectations really showcases Harrison, as if it were some undiscovered solo outtake or a Ray Charles gospel number. Take us to church, Mike!

So while there's no complaints about the songs from the set per se, the sequencing could have been worked out better -- returning with a first encore sans Harrison also really throws the momentum off here, but all that said, never think twice about anything you see with Mike Harrison other than as a gift from the heavens. The man has been mightily praised before, but it seems still comparatively underappreciated after all these years. If any of you have other Mike Harrison shows, please bring them to light.

A big tip of the hat to the taper of this show -- it's a very fine capture.

Over the years on dime, EZT, the Archival Group, and through all the various and assorted other trading groups online preceding that, and the CDR, DAT, and analog cassette traders which came before, I've gathered a moderate collection of items to share. I've helped with transfers (the Cactus and related uploads from over a decade ago here, and currently a bite out of the massive Stonecutter Archives), contributed setlists and corrections to many a torrent -- all the sort of things that don't raise one's share ratio. I've shared some of my masters back in the old snail mail days, but it's high time to give back more here from where I've received so much. I had meant to do a roll-out with something grand and possibly a series (Elegymart #1, #2, etc.), but that's been done countless times before.

At this point not only have we've all aged along with dime's existence, but our media and the equipment that can play it back has as well. So rather than any fanfare or concern over share ratio, consider this upload another step in a more diligent attempt to beat the time and to circulate the collection.