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RICK DANKO Live (2009)

Rick Danko

Two Rick Danko live sets and the first features fellow former Band bandmate Richard Manuel. The Band had a successful career, having been formed to back Bob Dylan.

Here the duo recorded Live In Scranton, PA December 1985 at O'Tooles Tavern, just guitar and piano, so it's a gentle if pretty enjoyable set. Opener 'CC Rider' is pretty bluesy, and Band classics 'Unfaithful Servant', 'King Harvest' and 'Chest Fever' are good too.

It's a little too gentle to get into unless you are already a fan, though, and the packaging is rather light. ***½

The second 2-CD set At Dylan's Cafe, Washington DC, December 8, 1987 is Danko alone, one man and his guitar, in a far more intimate setting. Band and solo tracks aplenty, it's bluesy, folky, affair, well recorded but very light on atmospherics.

Opening 'Java Blues' is a classic, and 'The Weight', 'Stage Fright' and 'Acadian Driftwood' all sound good too. The double disc features both performances from the night, so between Danko and opening act Bob Margeita (5 tracks), that's a whopping 43 tracks. ***½

If you like your blues rock electric, approach with caution, otherwise both sets are worth a listen.

Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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