Friday, May 6, 2016

Geoff Muldaur And Amos Garrett - Live In Japan (1979 us, essential blues folk rock)



Amos Garrett certainly is one of the most accomplished guitar player working today and yet Amos Garrett is legendary but not famous. Should be, like Ry Cooder or Mark Knopfler but isn’t. Ask Stevie Wonder, Chet Atkins, or any of ten dozen players (Richard Thompson, Robbie Robertson, Bobby Womack, BB King) who know that guitar invention is the mother of rock, soul & blues. Amos plays better one-handed on an off-night than most guitar players put together. His friends say it’s always been that way. Early in his career, Anne Murray hired him to play on the sessions that produced Snowbird. Even more importantly, Ian and Sylvia Tyson asked him to play with The Great Speckled Bird, which (along with The Byrds) was one of the very first country rock groups that changed the direction of pop music. From there, Amos went to Woodstock and recorded and toured with Maria Muldaur, Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, and the entire Bearsville Records stable.

A growing reputation as a studio player persuaded him to make the move to California, where he recorded with more than 150 other artists, from Jesse Winchester to Stevie Wonder, from Emmylou Harris to Bonnie Raitt, and Todd Rundgren to Martin Mull. His reputation as a guitar hero continued to spread, and in Canada he began to build a real following as an exciting and reliable club entertainer. Amos now makes his home in the foothills of Turner Valley, Alberta, Canada and is rarely seen without the company of his veteran band, which he named the Eh? Team. Kelly Jay Fordham (keyboards), Brian Pollock (bass), and Thom Moon (drums) know every twist and turn of his playing, and they give him incredibly heartfelt support. The new interest in Garrett’s work is also a result of his own recordings. His long-term relationship with Stony Plain Records, based in Edmonton, Alberta, has so far, created seven remarkably different albums. 

Geoff Muldaur is one of the great voices and musical forces to emerge from the folk, blues and folk-rock scenes centered in Cambridge, MA and Woodstock, NY. During the 1960's and '70's, Geoff made a series of highly influential recordings as a founding member of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and the Paul Butterfield's Better Days group, as well as collaborations with then-wife Maria and other notables (Bonnie Raitt, Eric Von Schmidt, Jerry Garcia, etc.). He left the stage and recording world in the mid-1980's for a working sabbatical but continued, however, to hone his craft, albeit 'flying beneath radar'. He composed scores for film and television, and produced off-beat albums for the likes of Lenny Pickett and the Borneo Horns and the Richard Greene String Quartet. Geoff's his definitive recording of "Brazil" provided the seed for - and was featured in - Terry Gilliam's film of the same title.

With his magical voice and singular approach to American music in tact, Geoff is once again touring the world. He performs in concert halls, performance spaces, clubs and festivals througout the US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Geoff may be heard from time to time as a guest on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion and has been featured on a variety of National Public Radio shows, including Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The World with Lisa Mullins.

1979 found Geoff Muldaur and Amos Garrett touring Japan, a live set  at Shinjuku Loft, Tokyo, was recorded and released as an album, simply called "Live in Japan" they were backed up by two local musicians Yoshifumi Okajima on Bass and Hiroshi Sato on Keyboards. They played a mixture of fingerstyle blues, jazz, and jugband tunes. 
Tracks
1. Sloppy Drunk (Trad. Arr. by Geoff Muldaur) - 4:51
2. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You (Andy Razaf, Don Redman) - 3:27
3. Fishin' Blues (Henry Thomas) - 3:27
4. Hong Kong Blues (Hoagy Carmichael) - 3:42
5. Small Town Talk (Bobby Charles, Rick Danko) - 6:29
6. Why Should I Love You (Geoff Muldaur) - 5:39
7. Minglewood Blues (Gus Cannon) - 3:43
8. Lazy Bones (Hoagy Carmichael) - 8:07
9. Honeysuckle Rose (Andy Razaf, Fats Waller) - 4:22
10.C.C.Rider (Geoff Muldaur) - 5:21

Personnel
*Geoff Muldaur - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Piano
*Amos Garrett - Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
*Yoshifumi Okajima - Bass
*Hiroshi Sato - Keyboards

Related Acts
1970  Great Speckled Bird - Great Speckled Bird (2007 Japan bonus track remaster)
1971  Pearls Before Swine - Beautiful Lies You Could Live In
1971  Happy And Artie Traum - Double Back (Korean remaster)
1973  Paul Butterfield's Better Days - It All Comes Back (Japan extra track edition)
1973  Paul Butterfield's Better Days - Live At Winterland Ballroom (2014 issue)

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