Grousing The Aisles: DVD Edition

Traffic 08/14/1994 Saugerties, NY PRO-SHOT (DVD):

Traffic was one of my favorite bands that I, sadly, never got to see. Traffic was formed by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood (no, not the MMW bass player) and Dave Mason in the late ’60s. Over the next seven years the band would go on to revolutionize music, showing the power of having a bunch of multi-instrumentalists in one band. In 1994 Capaldi and Winwood toured together, playing all of their classic songs on a tour that saw them open for the Dead, as well as perform at Woodstock ’94.

Traffic’s Woodstock ’94 performance was broadcast via Pay-Per-View television, and luckily someone recorded their set and uploaded it for us to share. The ’94 band was augmented by some incredible musicians: Randall Bramblett on sax, Rosko Gee on bass, Walfredo Reyes Jr. on percussion, and Michael McEvoy on guitar and keys. Traffic hits upon most of their greatest hits throughout the 70-minute set including Glad, Low Spark and the Winwood-written Gimme Some Lovin’. Stevie’s voice sounds great, and the newly assembled band sounds tight. I highly recommend adding this show to your collection.

Eric Clapton Rolling Hotel 1978 Tour Documentary PRO-SHOT (DVD):

Eric Clapton and his band toured Europe by train in 1978, and a documentary called Eric Clapton and his Rolling Hotel was filmed, but never released. As per usual bootleggers acquired the movie, and a great copy has been uploaded to Dimeadozen. After watching Rolling Hotel I can see why Clapton never wanted this film to see the light of day. The footage shows off Clapton’s mastery of his instrument, as well as his raging alcohol problem. There are moments of brilliance, such as Clapton and Patti Harrison talking about Layla. But there are also absolute train wrecks (no pun?), like the opening number, Smile, during which Clapton can barely stand.

My favorite parts of the documentary are the interviews with Clapton. Slowhand opens up in a way I had never seen before. The best musical footage comes towards the end of the DVD when Clapton plays a raging Cocaine before he is joined by George Harrison and Elton John for a glorious Further On Up The Road. Other tunes featured on the DVD include Lay Down Sally, Badge, and a few renditions of Layla. There isn’t much footage of Clapton from the ’70s, so grab this release.

Gov’t Mule 07/29/2000 Big Flats, NY AUD (DVD):

It took me a long time to appreciate the bass playing of Allen Woody. Sadly, that day came just before he passed away in August of 2000. Woody had a dirty dirty tone, one that may be not pleasing to my inner peaceful hippie yet gets off the devil inside my soul. In the summer of 2000, Gov’t Mule was hitting a peak as they were touring the country in support of Life Before Insanity. Warren, Allen and Matt were constantly peppering their sets with originals, covers and heady sit-ins.

This past week a Trader’s Den user named Rory Gallagher has gone on a tear by uploading a number of Gov’t Mule DVDs to the site. My favorite of the bunch is this DVD from one of Woody’s last shows at the Kingsbury Blues Fest. You want jaw dropping improvisation? Check out the jam in the middle of Mule. You want to hear the band’s brilliant interpretation of a classic blues tune? Check out the impressive version of Smokestack Lightning which features Warren belting as only he can. Want to witness one of these heady sit-ins? Son “Mr. Funky Bitch” Seals and Kim Simmons of Savoy Brown join the band for most of their blistering set. Download this DVD to see what was so special about Gov’t Mule’s original lineup.

Do you ever download DVDs? Leave us a comment below telling us about your favorite bootleg videos…

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