Chicago Blues Reunion
Filmed at Chicago's Park West Theater in 2008, "Chicago Blues Reunion" brings together a compendium of artists, many associated with the Chicago scene including big guns like Nick Gravenites (guitar and vocals) Jimmy Vivino (guitar) Barry Goldberg (keyboards) Corky Siegel (harmonica) and Harvey Mandel (guitar). Also on hand are Gary Mallaber on drums, rock legend Dave Mason and from Eric Clapton's band, singer Marcy Levy. The show opens with Gravenites singing "Buried Alive in the Blues," a cut he wrote for Janis Joplin (Gravenites worked with Janis and also with Big Brother & the Holding Company without Janis.) Nick stays on lead vocals for "Born in Chicago" before Levy takes over for a version of Clapton's hit "Lay Down Sally" which she indicates is performed in a manner truer to how Clapton initially envisioned it as opposed to how it sounded on the hit. Levy and Gravenites handle most of the lead vocals here on this fast-moving show, at least until Dave Mason makes an appearance to sing "Dust My Blues," "All Along the Watchtower" and "Feelin' Alright." The crack band are spot on all the way through; especially notable with hot solos is guitarist Mandel. The song listing on the DVD package is slightly wonky as there are songs performed that aren't listed and vice versa but this really doesn't matter in the least; the show is joyous, raucous and fun to watch and a similar lineup will never be repeated.