1988-04-05 (WITH LONG JOHN BALDRY BAND), NYC, Lone Star Cafe
GimmeMT.com Review by GimmeMTguy
This will not be a review in the normal sense, this show was a one-off guest appearance without the rest of the Mick Taylor Band.
Baldry was a major figure in the English Blues explosion of the early 1960s, along with names like Alexis Koerner, Cyril Davies, John Mayall, etc. He was closely associated with the early years of Rod Stewart and Elton John, and he is worth doing some reading about. Some of his involvements are quite surprising and intertwined with the Rolling Stones and their history.
Angel from Montgomery
Since the days of this show in 1988, Angel from Montgomery has become even more famous as a standard in the American songbook, written by John Prine.
Baldry's lead guitarist, Papa John King, plays a lovely guitar and he and Mick Taylor play a notable interlude where it is hard to tell who is playing what because they are so well-matched.
Vocalist Kathi McDonald, of Exile on Main Street fame, is worth hearing and reading about as well -- she also was an under-the-radar but impactful and deeply respected musician in our favorite circles.
Love in Vain
Kathi lays it on the line as tells Mick that she's expecting a lot from him as they start Love in Vain.
That's probably not what I have would have said in that situation, because MT is not a "play on cue" showman type. Nonetheless, when the time comes, Mick plays a two minute solo that avoids using the slide, which is his most famous aspect of his Love in Vain solos with the Stones.
Instead, he builds and builds, laying groundwork which he then resolves. It's the right approach for this room and for the role of a guest appearance with a legend. Baldry is more of an acoustic presence than an electric one, and this version fits right in with the rest of the show.
Post-Stones Love in Vains are rare, and this one is even more special because of who it is performed with.
How Blue Can You Get
There's unmistakeable Mick Taylor lead on this number, and Papa John King answers with his own solo. Butch Coulter adds some great harmonica throughout.
Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll
Yes, this is a real song title and one of LJB's most famous tunes. Note that "boogie-woogie" is pronounced here as "boo-gee-woo-gee." Let your hair down a little and enjoy it, as Baldry starts off his vocal with the lyric "why does my instrument sound like a barbed-wire fence?"
It Ain't Easy
Another major tune from the LJB canon. MT breaks out the slide for this and it's a nice duel with King also deploying the slide.
Three of the "hits" now back to back to back. This song was used famously decades later in a Viagra TV commercial, and it's a spirited boogie and Baldry calls on Mick to do his thing.
A traditional sung as a duet between LJB and Kathi McDonald, made famous by Leadbelly under a different title.
These are some real country Blues.
Let's Burn Down the Cornfield
A Randy Newman song that could have been a Leadbelly tune. Lots of atmospheric slide.
Yes, the Orbision song.
Let the Good Times Roll
There's some real Mick Taylor soloing here, appropriately in the BB King style, with some back and forth with Papa John King.
Stand by Me
Kathi calls for solos by Papa John then Mick Taylor on the Ben E. King classic. And Man, the lady can sing.
Baby Please Don't Go
Going Down Slow
"I have had my fun, I'm-a never get well no more." Mick will use some of these lyrics in a pastiche he will perform years later. Mick Taylor really shines and plays a major role here.
Long John says he hasn't seen Mick since 1965 -- and MT gently corrects him with 1966. Either way, it was a long time from 1966 to 1988 in terms of what happened and what changed musically in those intervening years.
Lots of creepy, bayou Blues atmosphere, via slide playing, on this one.
Good Morning Blues
As Long as I Feel the Spirit
I am not generally happy with guest appearances by anyone, because they are under-rehearsed and the guest is often not willing to risk upstaging the host act. Kudos to Mick Taylor for contributing throughout this long show as if he were a longtime band member, and to the late Long John Baldry and Kathi McDonald for making sure this historical combination was a success for the audience and for history.