Mark Farner - Rock 'N' Roll Soul Live 1989

As a founding member of Grand Funk Railroad and the lead singer for the band, guitarist Mark Farner was responsible for a good portion of the group's hits as he wrote many of them. And a bunch of them are found here in this live show that was recorded during Farner's appearance at the Woodstock: 20 Years After reunion festival in 1989 (Grand Funk Railroad was invited to perform at Woodstock in 1969 but had a scheduling conflict.) Farner's band here consists of second lead guitarist Arnie Vilches, bassist Lawrence Buckner, keys man Mike Blair and drummer Mike Maple; all also add vocals and together they do a real good job of replicating the high energy that Grand Funk Railroad was known for. The film's title cut "Rock 'N' Roll Soul" comes early in the show and with its joyful chorus of "Nothin' but a party" proves to be the perfect tone-setter for the concert. Show highlights include hits "Footstompin' Music" where Farner bounces from keyboard to guitar, "Some Kind of Wonderful" with bass man Buckner sharing lead vocals with Farner and the hard rocking "Paranoid" where Farner reels off lots of hot but brief guitar solos. Mark also rips it up pretty good on "Judgement Day Blues" which he intros by asking the crowd to raise their hands if they've ever had the blues, amusingly adding that he'd like to talk later about lying to anyone who didn't shoot their hand up. Farner jumps back to keyboard for "Mean Mistreater" but is back rocking the guitar for the heavy gospel of "Come to Jesus" and "Must Have Been Love" where he shows a fondness for the playing style of John Lee Hooker. The last part of the concert features "Bad Time," perennial favorite "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home," the bluesy "Heartbreaker," the mellow and soulful ballad "Isn't it Amazing" and closing number "The Loco-Motion," a cover of the Gerry Goffin/Carole King chestnut that Grand Funk took to the #1 spot on the Billboard charts.


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