|Bobby 'Blue' Bland||Actor|
|Tommy Couch||Executive Producer|
|Stewart Madison||Executive Producer|
Much has been made about Bobby Bland's voice not being what it once was. He is still one of the great ones, and if one weren't aware how truly extraordinary he once was, listening to him now wouldn't be quite so depressing. But, except for the occasional trademark phlegm induced growl he'll let out, he is still great. This CD was recorded at the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis where Bland made a name for himself. He is in good form as is his solid rhythm section. The real treat is that for recording purposes Bland and Malaco Records added a keyboard player to his regular band. They got renowned songwriter and session man Carson Whitsett, who played on several Bland albums as Malaco's band leader. Whitsett is absolutely terrific. His B-3 organ work really adds life to this concert, especially since Bland's horn section unfortunately gets worse and worse as the show progresses. Southern Soul fans will be delighted as 'Bad' Bobby Rush and Johnnie Taylor join Bland on stage. Rush is typically hilarious, and J.T., in one of his last appearances, shows what an absolute superstar he was as he belts out the Bland staple 'Stormy Monday'. Among the highlights are three songs that appeared on Bland's 1961 landmark Two Steps From the Blues album: 'I Pity the Fool', 'St. James Infirmary', and the wonderful 'I'll Take Care Of You'. The band is especially tight on Tommy Tate's and Cookie Palmer's 'Get Your Money Where You Spend Your Time' originally released on Malaco in 1987. Another great moment is Bill Wither's 'Ain't No Sunshine'. Somewhat ironically, the original was produced by Booker T. Jones, who also played on it. Whitsett, whose playing as the song ends is almost epic, replaced Jones for a while with the MGs. All and all, this is an excellent live Blues show that holds up very well amongst the recordings of the legendary Bobby 'Blue' Bland. It is also available on VHS and DVD.
Although some of his detractors say his voice is not what it once was. They, however, can not deny that this performance demonstrates that he is still the undisputed best blues singer of all times. Bobby “Blue” Bland continues to please his fans throughout the world, proving once again that he is the exception of what a fine accomplished blues singer should sound like after fifty plus years in the business.