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- Powerhouse Records
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American Axe: Live in 1974 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
THIS cd IS A MUST HAVE.SOUND QUALITY IS A B+ AND IT SHOWS BUCHANAN AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME.THE MAN WAS MEAN ON THAT GUITAR........
Like Livestock, which was recorded the same year, American Axe displays Roy Buchanan's strengths and limits as a performer and recording artist. Livestock had to my mind three key tracks: "Roy's Blues", "I'm A Ram", and "I'm Evil", all among Roy's very best cuts ever. American Axe has three as well: "Roy's Bluz", "C.C. Rider", and "The Messiah Will Come Again". The two versions of "Roy's Bluz" display the absolute command and terrifying passion that Roy could draw from his Fender Telecaster. I prefer the first four minutes of the American Axe version, with its brilliant country-inspired and harmonic inventions (Roy even improvises another verse after singing the first three found on the studio version of "Roy's Bluz"). The Livestock version is astonishing during the last two minutes, displaying Roy's incomparable "engine revving" lick, so I prefer the ending of that version. "C.C. Ryder" has a stunning odyssey into country and jazz during the middle that Roy mustered at times, showing the influence he had on Danny Gatton, later the "World's Best Unknown Guitarist" in 1989. My last key track on American Axe, "The Messiah Will Come Again", I think, is the epitome of what Roy achieved: I have heard no less than five versions of this song live, sometimes played without a solo, sometimes with, but it never fails to give me notice that Roy played with a depth that very few players could ever hope for. The rest of the tracks on American Axe range from very good ("Too Many Drivers") to fair (a too-long "Done Your Daddy Dirty", a too-reticent version of "Sweet Dreams"); the material is often limited by vocals, but the enthusiasm by John Harrison and Byrd Foster is commmendable.