British Blues Quintet

Live in Glasgow

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The British Blues Quintet didn't intend on recording their March, 2007 performance in Glasgow, Scotland. But their soundman obviously had a good feeling about the gig, and began rolling the tape during the second song, for which fans will be eternally grateful, because this was one heck of a show. Of course, playing in Maggie Bell's hometown was invariably going to draw a large, appreciative audience. However, Britain's celebrated blues singer isn't the only legend among BBQ's ranks, which also features her old Stone the Crows' bandmate, drummer Colin Allen, keyboardist Zoot Money, ex-Keef Hartley Band guitarist Miller Anderson, and bassist Colin Hodgkinson. And besides, Bell is only on-stage for half the show, with the latter three men divvying up the vocals between them. The set list is drawn from both the members' own compositions as well as astutely chosen covers. One of the best of the latter is their sensational take on the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself," which kicks off in the Delta, travels up to funkytown, and ends in British Invasion territory. Willie Dixon's "I Just Wanna' Make Love to You" gets an equally phenomenal workout, with Bell making this song her own, while the band trots out their best blues licks. And if you're wondering why after all these years these Brits are still singing the blues, Anderson answers that question in spades on his own fabulous "Fog on the Highway." And whether they're reinventing other's classics, like Free's "Wishing Well," which takes on new urgency by aiming it straight at Bush and Blair, or resurrecting their own, such as their steaming take on Stone the Crows' "Penicillin Blues," BBQ bring down the house. Although not always in blues fashion, as the band storm into rocking R&B and spin off into jazzier realms, exploring just about every style of blues and R&B along the way. An absolutely sensational show thankfully captured for posterity.

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