Review - Video - Lowell Fulson - Percy Mayfield

Lowell Fulson - Percy Mayfield
Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party Vol:1
(with Ester Jones and Dr. Wild Willie Moore)
VHS HiFi - Winner 111

Posted on the Blues-L by Vincent aka VT

This is one of the videos I mentioned that Mark Naftalin is issuing on the Winner label. Recorded live at Mark Naftalin's Blue Monday Party - at the Sleeping Lady Cafe, Fairfax, California, July 3, 1981. The video tape is in color VHS HiFi sound and has been timed for 30-minute television broadcast. Some of you may have seen this program, as it had been broadcasted on PBS TV.

Mark plays a short introduction with the theme for Blue Monday Blues and introduces Lowell Fulson - who storms on with an instrumental called "Thing" - he and whole band cooks on this, with Fred Casey doing some rather tasty fills on the drums. Super.

Lowell's hair is slightly tinged red and he's wearing a loud black and white checked jacket.

"You're Gonna Miss Me" - in mid tempo, swings nicely, the stuff Lowell does is just so effortless - his guitar lines are just great with all that Westcoast sound. It's truly great to be able to see a legendary performer captured live on peak form - to me this is a treasure (note the use and eventual over-use of this word:-)

Ester Jones joins Lowell to do "Night Time is the Right Time" (in C - 'cos Lowell said so :-) Lowell sings the first part with quite a bit of grit in his voice - this is a fun performance with the band singing back up which is just audible - I'm sure they are singing out of tune - but that's the charm of this. This obviously doesn't hold a candle to Brother Ray Charles's single version - but I'm not comparing. This is nice to see people enjoying themselves.

Dr. Wild Willie Moore plays some great tenor sax on the tracks.

Here's more treasure (second time this word is being used) - Percy Mayfield. Someone wrote about judging music by whether the hairs on the back of the neck stand up. Well mine are at attention - man is this great or what!? "Strange Things Happening" - everything has just got to be right on this - I mean everything including the sound quality and balance - the acoustic double bass tone is just so right (played by Henry Oden) - Percy's singing - this is worth killing for especially the way in which he sings/twists the word "me" at the end of the first line of the second verse - treasure the moment - run the tape back and savor it again - I did several times. The styling Percy gives to his singing ...... and to think Percy used to consider himeself as a writer rather than performer. Percy tells Mark "You're on your own..." and Mark takes a fine solo - perhaps starting a bit too hard , but it's fine statement. Bobby Murray plays some nice guitar. The whole band must have gelled on this tune. Superb.

The version of this tune on Percy Mayfield Live (Winner CD) is also fine and I'm sure Mark Naftalin can tell you why he chose that version for the CD - but I like the more laid back feel of the video and the overall sound balance too.

"Please Send Me Someone to Love" - what can one say about one of the greatest songs ever written sung by the author? - again this one has just about perfect balance - the start sounded as if the bass was a little too emphasised - but as the song progressed there was nothing that I could asked to be improved - all the performers accompanied Percy's singing very tastefully.

"Life is Suicide" - treasure this moment. There's nothing I can write that can express how good this is.

Lowell Fulson - plays out with "Guitar Shuffle" - great stuff.

This video is a treasure - need I even suggest that you should get it?

$20 + $3 S/H in USA from:

Mark Naftalin
Winner Records
PO Box 151095
San Rafael, CA

Winner Records
Delta Pickins reviews Percy Mayfield CD