Musicians: John Kay - acoustic, resophonic and electric guitars
Ron Hurst - drums
Danny Johnson - electric guitar, mandolin and hand drum
Guy Divito - bass
Wally "Sweet Daddy" Greaney - harmonica
Michael Wilk - keyboards
Renee Armand - vocals
John Kay may be more familiar with music fans through his work with
Steppenwolf, who have been on the rock and roll scene since the late 60's.
What many fans might not know is that in the early 60's, John Kay crossed
the country playing acoustic blues wherever he could make a few dollars.
Following up on the social commentary of the 60's folk blues era, this DVD
provides a semi-unplugged version of John Kay working in a more relaxed
vocal and musical style. The show, beautifully filmed along with excellent
sound, is stripped down with minimal rock and roll trappings.
John Kay's recent albums contain a lot of social commentary and this one
just raises the bar a bit. His voice is perfect for this style of music.
Vocally, he doesn't force the issue and instrumentally, he provides a nice
traditional blues based sound which sounds very basic and simple, but the
simplicity is deceiving as getting that correct sound is harder than it
seems. John Kay switches from standard acoustic guitar, to resonator and
electric guitars depending on what the songs need. His backing band is
solid, and provides just enough support without overplaying.
Most of the songs are acoustic based, laid back, relaxed with blues story
telling and commentary and continues to build until around three quarters of
the way through, when the song 'Endless Commercial' adds great blues riffing
electric guitar adds lots of attitude to the song. From this point to the
end of the DVD, things start rocking until it ends with Steppenwolf's 'Magic
Carpet Ride' and the obligatory 'Born to be Wild'. The encore drops back to
a bluesy 'The Back Page' to finish off the DVD.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent DVD, with excellent video and audio. There
is a fair amount of diversity with this release. If you like later
Steppenwolf or John Kay's solo works, then you should like this release. If
you are looking for lots of heavy blues riffing guitar, you might want to
look elsewhere, but for pure vocal and musical entertainment, this DVD gets
four out of five stars. ~Review by Robert T. Murphy