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June 19, 1981 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-06-19

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, June 19, 1981-Page 7
Koko Taylor commands **
driving Blues Machine - "Gimme a D
Gimme an A
Gimme anl ...L . ..Y
Give the MICHIGAN DAILY
*-that old college try
CALL 764-0558 to order your subscription
f AllĀ£375N MAPLE
Daily Discount Matinees $2.00 for shows before
6:00 & for shows before 2:00.
No Discount Prices for "RAIDERS"
EXCALIBUR 7
1:30-4:15-7:15-9:40

Koko Taylor (right) relaxes with her band, the Blues Machine, after another
exhilarating and draiuing performance at Rick's American Cafe.

By KEN FELDMAN
Daily Arts Writer
Rick's American Cafe has become a
bastion of the electric blues in Ann Ar-
bor. Not only are blues artists regularly
booked at Rick's, but they are almost
always of high quality. Most of the
people who frequent the place come to
dance and be entertained, and they are
usually satisfied on both counts. In-
variably, the bands are incredibly tight
and prone to stage patter that would
reek of Hollywood in any other context.
(For example, every band without ex-
ception insists that it's backing the one
and only "King" or "Queen of the
blues" depending on the bandleader's
gender.) While these bands are hardly
breaking any new ground, they con-
stitute a sure thing when it comes to
musicianship, taste, and danceability.
So it was no surprise that Koko
Taylor's Wednesday night performance
at Rick's with her backup band, The
Blues Machine, was a no-nonsense
blues party. The instrumentals were
impeccable and emotional, with biting
solos from Emmett Sanders on lead
guitar. Sanders is one of the few blues
guitarists who can get away with being
somewhat flashy in his playing thanks

to his sure grasp of the traditional
guitar figures. Rhythm guitarist Carlo
Johnson was similarly formidable; his
playing was atmospheric and soulful.
And Koko was as fine a blues shouter
and frontwoman as you will find, at
least in the purist vein.
THE SONGS were a combination of
originals and covers from Koko's
album, From the Heart of a Woman,
and the usual array of blues standards.
' The material ranged from merely good
to great. "Hey, Bartender" and "You
Can Have my Husband" were the stan-
douts, but everything was delivered
with energy and feeling.
But as good as Koko's band is, the
qualities that separate her band from
the other blues artists that have played
Rick's are dwarfed by those qualities
that they have in common. Though I
applaud the fact that anti-emotional
disco is no longer the only music
speaking to our feet, the blues has a
strong tendency to become academic if
its forms aren't expanded in some way.
I mean how many times can one hear
"How Blue Can You Get" done vir-
See ANOTHER, Page 11

Indiana
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Creator of Special Visual Effects RAY HARRYHAUSEN Music by LAURENCE ROSENTHAL
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Produced by CHARLES H. SCHNEER and RAY HARRYHAUSEN
Directed by DESMOND DAVIS
PG PANTEALGbE LOANCSGGET CD0 READ THE WARNERBOOK LSOUNDTRATE

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