BLUES WAILING! The Yardbirds: Making Tracks-On Tour 2010-2012

One of the most influential but under-appreciated bands of the 60s rock/pop explosion was the British group The Yardbirds. At the time of the Stones and the Beatles, this band was neck in neck in terms of popularity and probably ahead as far as musicianship. The original band of Keith Relf/voc, Paul Samuel-Smith/b, Jim McCarty/dr, Chris Dreja/g and Eric Clapton radically transformed pop music, and when lead guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page respectively (and for a short time, simultaneously) replaced Slowhand, the band became the progenitor of hard rock and heavy metal music. Original members Dreja and McCarty joined back together and drafted a handful of young and ambitious bucks (Dave Smale/b, Andy Mitchell/voc and Ben King/g) and went out on tour for a couple years to re-ignite a few fires. This 2 dvd set documents the tour, and makes you realize simply how timeless this music is.

Charter members Dreja and McCarty seem authoritative as they revisit blues rock classics like “Drinking Muddy Water” and “I’m A Man.” The younger cats, particularly King, seems to be reveling in throwing out guitar licks that feel and sound painfully good. The energetic, forward looking and maniacal ’60s material such as “I’m Not Talking” “Happenings Ten Years Ago” and “Train Kept A Rollin’” have an angst and urgency that is mixed with a pop accessibility that is sadly missing these days. Mitchell enjoys singing the blues, and can belt it out with macho confidence. This is a classic observation of the young learning something from their previous generation.

The second disc chronicles the tour, and gives a few performances of Jim McCarty’s own band. Interviews with the two original Yardbirds are equally insightful, making this a glimpse of nostalgia as well as an audible inspiration.

 MVD Visual

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