Prepare to be bamboozled...
So what do you do when you the consumer /fan are offered the choice between a CD and DVD carrying essentially the same concert? In the past I have opted for the CD choice as a CD is easier to dip into it any time.
The fact is that I am more likely to listen to a CD rather than sit down, view, and frantically click the remote to try and find my favourite track etc. And yet in the case of Omar's 'Bamboozled', I would plump for the DVD, not just because of the extra two tracks, back stage footage and interviews etc, but simply because it captures the essence and nuances of an Omar performance.
I have argued elsewhere that Omar should now be regarded as one of most authentic sounding blues practitioners on the scene. Aside from his Mississippi roots, via his 3-decade stint on Texas, Omar has one of the most resonant, deeply emotive voices you are ever likely to hear. His Howlin' Wolf style growl can make a house shudder, while his songs are the stuff of the deep south, all dynamic chord changes, occasional accentuated notes, but tightly structured pieces that rarely shift outside of the core of the song structure.
And the thing about the DVD format is you get drawn into Omar's subtle humour - a raise of the eyebrows here, a dilation of the pupils there - and a sense of real presence as he scans an enthusiastic German audience before bashing hell out of his guitar for that extra bit of sustain.
'Bamboozled' is an excellently shot DVD, which brings to life the full dynamic of an Omar show and gets inside his music.
The biggest compliment I can pay the production crew is that when Omar gets down real low as on 'South Congress Blues', what might be potentially a moment to quickly head for the bar is in fact transformed into a blues man holding his audience spellbound by the sheer emotion of his singing.
Interesting too is the fact that while on the album it appears that Omar speeds through his set without due recourse to his appreciative crowd, the DVD conveys an exciting connection between both artist and crowd, both of whom seem to eagerly anticipate the seamless passage between songs. Purchase this DVD and you too might be 'Bamboozled'!
Review by Pete Feenstra