Rick Derringer

Live at the Ritz, New York

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Rick Derringer's 1982 Rock Spectacular show was an all-star beanfest featuring guest appearances from Karla DeVito, Ted Nugent, Southside Johnny, Carmine Appice, and Tim Bogart, with every one of them taking a turn in the limelight. It's an amazing show, the kind of gig that bleeds testosterone and energy, and highlighted by so many adrenalized moments (DeVito's "Is This a Cool World, or What?," Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever," "Oh, Carol," "Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo") that it races past faster than you could ever expect a 12-song CD to pass. And Derringer's own band is superlative -- guitarist Alan Merrill sparring with Derringer himself across "Easy Action" is a joy to behold. But it's the interaction with the guests that made this such a dramatic evening and such a powerful disc, while the sound quality is raw enough to place you smack in the middle of the room, with the sweat flying and the bodies lurching. And, that particular night, there was no better place to be.

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