Addicted To Blues (Mid Valley 059/060)
Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland – April 28, 1995
Disc1. Motherless Children – Malted Milk – Four Until Late – How Long – Kid Man Blues – Cut Your Head – .44 – Blues All Day Long – Standing Around Crying – Hoochie Coochie Man – It Hurts Me Too – Blues Before Sunrise – Third Degree – Reconsider Baby – Sinner’s Prayer.
Disc2. Every Day I Have the Blues – Early in the Morning – Before You Accuse Me – Someday After a While – Tore Down – Have You Ever Loved a Woman – Got My Mojo Working – Five Long Years – Crossroads – Ain’t Nobody’s Business
Originally released in June 2000, Mid Valley reissued this recording in 2006 probably having given it a remastering treatment. I missed the first release but I didn’t let this second chance pass me by. This is an awesome audience recording and will sound like a soundboard most of the time. Also, EC’s performance is at least as good as the sound quality, so go figure!
EC kicks off the show acoustically with “Motherless Children” and immediately after announces this will be a blues-only show, like a schoolteacher obligatorily asking the students to behave. Anyway, the announcement is made much to the crowd’s delight.
Songs are presented in chronological order, thus reflecting the evolution of the Blues. EC continues with his acoustic set before proceeding to electric blues. EC may just try to faithfully reproduce early blues standards but we always get superb EC-enhanced versions. It is a pure joy to listen to EC playing this type of music.
The highlight on Disc1 has got to be a stunning rendition of “Third Degree” – worth the price of admission by itself. “Everyday I Have The Blues” features great solos by EC too and Freddie King’s “Someday After A While” is played with as much passion as EC can play a blues song.
Just go figure again! No time for the crowd to put their hands together after a great “Tore Down” as EC launches into a yet greater “Have You Ever Loved A Woman”! “Got My Mojo Working” has no guitar pyrotechnics but is great fun to listen to. Apart from EC’s “Five Long Years” also sees a great work on the piano by Chris Stainton and on the harmonica by Jerry Portnoy.
“Crossroads” is found at a middle ground between Cream’s and Robert Johnson’s versions and is a great closer for the show. “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” is a stunning encore, featuring great vocals first, then amazing guitar work from EC, and I still think it was a mistake not to include it on the “From The Cradle” album.
“Addicted To Blues” is one of the best audience recordings you will ever come accross and also captures a stunning performance, making it an essential release for any serious collector.