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October 17, 1980 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-17

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KOKO TA YLOR

The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 17, 1980-Page 7

Lady sings the blues-and how!

CINEMA

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By FRED SCHILL

When you're in trouble, blues
are a girl's best friend;
Blues don't ask where you're
going, blues don't care
where you been.
Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine
played three enervating sets of classic
Chicago Blues before a packed Rick's
American Cafe crowd Wednesday
night.
Each set began with a mini-set by the
Machine minus Taylor that showcased
the talents of the lead guitarist, "known
only as the Maestro." The nickname
was fitting on the strength of his guitar
work alone, as the Maestro plays with
brilliance and a scarcely-controlled
passion paralleled by few guitarists I
have ever seen.
HIS SINGING was also strong
but his voice had neither
the range nor the tone to carry off such
blues classics as Muddy Waters'
"Lonesome in My Bedroom" ("That's
a, helluva place to be lonesome," he
commented.)
Still, the crowd was on its feet when
K oko came on, clad in a mist green pan-
tsuit and shawl. And she brought the
house down in short order. Taylor is

possessed of a magnificent voice that is
the grittiest thing this side of a tar pit
and the bluesiest this side of Waters him-
self. Strap a guitar on this lady and you
have a female Muddy Waters.
She ran the gamut of blues standards,
including many she recorded on her six
albums to date. Beginning with a pace-
setting rendition of "Let the Good
Times Role," Taylor ripped, her way
through a succession of standards in-
cluding "Sweet Home Chicago" and the
show-stopping "You Can Have My
Husband (But Please Don't Mess With
My Man)" before dancing her way
through the crowd at the end of the first
set.
After another tight and energetic set
by the Machine, Taylor returned for the
knockout punch. The second set was as
fine an exhibition of raw blues power
and growling, from-the-gut vocals as
any blues audience is ever likely to see.
With astounding control of the power-
ful blues instrument that is her voice,
Taylor cut loose with Waters' classic
"Got My Mojo Working"-and followed
with an adaptation of his seminal
"Mannish Boy" that she calls "I'm a
Woman.''
FEW PEOPLE CAN do a Muddy
Waters song without disappointing

their audience, for the simple reason
that Waters' voice knows few parallels.
Koko Taylor pulled it off, admirably at
that. "If Muddy Waters can be a man-
nish boy, then I guess I can be a
woman," Taylor simply explained.
The rest of the set built up from
there, through the crowd-pleasing
"Hey Bartender" and "Kansas City" to
the high point of the show. Her million
selling 1965 hit "Wang Dang Doodle"
brought the crowd roaring back to its
feet, and Taylor obliged with
remarkable zeal as she repeatedly
sustained those throaty semi-screams
that have become her trademark.
Taylor left the crowd standing, but
with the promise that the third set
would be unforgettable. Frankly, it
wasn't. Both the sudience and the band
seemed to have lost a little steam by
then, though few people left and few
seemed to want to.
Taylor obliged the latecomers with
repeats of "You Can Have My
Husband" and "I'm a Woman," obliged
everyone with "Big Boss Man" (a
Jimmy Reed original) and "Ball and
Chain", did a more dispirited encore,
and left for the evening.
Though her voice held up wonder-
fully, the band would have played

more, and the audience was still on its
feet, it is probably just as well that the
show came to an end. The heat and
exhaustion were taking their toll.
And no one left unhappy, including
surprise attendee Iggy Pop. Iggy was
not particularly sociable and seemed
annoyed at being recognized, though
the garishness of his entourage hardly
.invited anonymity. But yes, he was
there to see Koko Taylor just like
everyone else and yes, he enjoyed the
show.
Just like everyone else.
The University of M:ch-gal
DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DRAMA
GUEST ARTIST SERIES
presents
spring
awakening
by Frank Wedekind
ct. 2-25, 8pm
Oct. 26, 2pm
in the Power Center
Tickets at P.TP. Call 764-0450
MasterCharge and Visa accepted

presents
Bing Long's Traveling All Stars
(John Badham, 1976)
James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, and Billy Dee Williams star in this
hilarious comedy of baseball when it was really baseball-the 20s, be-
fore there were such things as free agents and designated hitters. The
humor is as fast and furious as Satchel Paige's fast ball and just as lethal.
(111 min.)
Friday, Oct. 17 Aud. A 7 & 9 $2.00
The Black Stallion
(Carroll Ballard, 1980)
Based on the classic Walter Farley novel, a young boy is saved from a
shipwreck by a beautiful Arabian stallion. Together, they survive isola-
tion on a Mediterranean island, and the experience creates a lasting
bond between them. The story is captured with the most stunning
cinematography in an American film in years. (118 min.)
Sat., Oct.l Aud.A 1,3:15, 7, 9:15
KIDS $1.00, ADULTS $2.00
Dodes' Ka- den
(Akira Kurosawo, 1972)
In his first color film, Kurosawa presents a dream-like portrait of life
in a Tokyo slum. "The Sound of the Trolley" reverberates with its rich
images and message-the affirmation of life and the assertion that
adversity can be overcome by dreams. Its sensitivity and finesse make
it a true workof cinematic art from one of the world's great film artists.
Japanese, with subtitles. (140 m:.)
Sun., Oct. 19 Aud. A 7A& 9:30 $2.00

Next Week:

MILDRED PIERCE
KING'S ROW
KING CREOLE
JAILHOUSE ROCK
LA SALAMANDRE

as
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r
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i Koko Taylor sang her s
k thustasts on hand were
,Iggy Pop who's begn.sp
J ,mances in Detroit.
Jarreau

Eclipse Jazz presents
The Philip Glass Ensemble'
Friday, November 7- 8p.m.
Rackham Auditorium
Tickets $7.50 reserved go on sale Tues. Oct. 7, 10a.m.
Michigan Union Box Office (25%) and at the follow-
ing outlets: Schoolkids Records, Discount Records in
Ann Arbor, Wherehouse in Ypsilanti and at All CTC
outlets.
for more in formation call 763-5924

Daily Photo by MAUREEN O'MALLEY
spirited renditions to an audience primed for the blues Wednesday night at Rick's. Among the en-
pop-jazz singer AIJarreau, who appeared at Hill auditorium that same night; and infamous rocker
otted at a number of local hotspots (like the Fleetwood Diner) since his week-long spree of perfor-'

/

'S

pip

4 (Continued from Page 6)
This style of singing obviously lends
itself to live performance, and Jarreau
plays off the audience skillfully. He
exudes a charming, at times slightly
self-deprecating air on stage that tem-
pers his somewhat exaggerated sex ap-
peal with taste. It's hard to get too hot
and bothered over a man who's
straining his voice past all natural
limits and grimacing like a circus
freak, after all, even if he is clutching a
rose thrust at him by a female member
of the audience. Jarreau does overdo
his theatricality, though, especially in
the repeated segments where he
j mimics various instruments with his
F voice (flute, congas, electric guitar,
flamenco guitar) while pretending to
play them.
But for all his dramatic (at times
melodramatic) expression and wild use
of vocal dynamics, Al Jarreau is a
dependably steady, almost staid per-
', former. Ultimately held down to earth
fs by the unadventurousness of both the
band and his songwriting, Jarreau
'
A
1'7r, N d Dfl G 7cAfl1'InA

es amaze the
seems destined to flirt with his vir-
tuosity forever, wowing audiences with
the heady excitement of foreplay but
continually skirting any real musical
commitment. For a brief moment
Wednesday he pushed himself; scatting

masses
a breathy, percussive monosyllabic
flow while the percussionists set up a
dense, African-flavored undertow. Af-
ter sixty challenging, exciting seconds
the familiar groove was resumed, ef-
fortlessly.

WJJX CHEAP FLICKS
Every Fri b Sat ALL SEATS $2.00
+ II AT
at midnight -INDIVIDUAL THEATRES MIDNIGHT

7-

S 5th Ave. o Liberty 761.9700

HELL ON WHEELS I
TH ROTHE WHO
with
BETT EuadrDpEoRla

EVERY MONDAY NIGHT 9 PM

FE

National Recording Artists - -
* Video Shows -

t M

October 20
from New Zealand
split enz
featuring their rock smash "I Got You"
also appearing, from San Francisco
bob
*Tickets in advance $4.50: Day of Show $5.50

'4.
f s
y3

October 27
Reggae from England
Island Recording Artists
steel pulse
also appearing, from Akron
Capital Recording Artists
rubber city rebels
'Tickets in advance $5.50

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