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RED HOT...Live! DVD - Reviews



Now Dig This
Issue 230, May 2002
Mike Sanchez – Red Hot… Live!(ENTSNET ENTS VID 002)

Mess With me / Driftin’ / Hurtin’ Inside / Girls All Over The World / I’m Mad / 3 Months, 3 Weeks, 3 Days / Rock ‘em n Roll ‘em (featuring The Extraordinaires) / Let The Good Times Roll (featuring Imelda Clabby) / I’ll Go Crazy (featuring Paul Ansell) / Blue Boy / In The Middle Of The Night / Baby Please / Wildcat Tamer / Till The Well Runs Dry (with Imelda Clabby and The Extraordinaires) / Undecided Fool / Jump Children (featuring The Extraordinaires) / Wild One (Real Wild Child) / Almost Grown (featuring Imelda Clabby and The Extraordinaires) / Red Hot Mama / Fast Train / Shake Your Hips / Sapphire / Jam Up


I first encountered Mike Sanchez back in the summer of 1990 when, together with the rest of The Big Town Playboys, he was supporting blues giant John Lee Hooker at Manchester’s Freed Trade Hall. That night he left a lasting impression on me. In Hooker, I’d been privileged to see one of the real post-war icons of the blues, but it was the younger vibrant piano pounder and his brothers in arms who really made the occasion for me. Amos Milburn, Big Joe Turner, Smiley Lewis and a host of other fifties giants, I’d worshipped since my early teens, were all joyously brought back to life by one Michael Sanchez that summer night.

I’ve seen Mike in action numerous times in the intervening years and have always hoped he’d release a take-home, play-anytime, play-anywhere record of his stage act that, at the touch of the play button on a video recorder, would satisfy the hunger of all us Sanchez fanatics.

And now we have the finished article, with a running time of approximately 85 minutes. Recorded at several venues last year, it features Mike at his very best, mixing young and old material and featuring him in solo and group modes to great effect.

Mike’s appearances at Burnley’s annual National Blues Festival bashes hold a special place in Sanchez folklore and last year’s Mike Sanchez R&B Revue presentation, featuring vocal group The Extraordinaires plus vocalists Paul Ansell and Imelda Clabby, literally tore the place up (see review in NDT 219). The Extraordinaires’ outings on ‘Rock ‘em n Roll ‘em’ and the evergreen ‘Jump Children’ are visual as well as musical extravaganzas, their performances being sheer Apollo Theatre circa ’56…

There’s a generous helping of songs from his latest ‘Blue Boy’ CD (see review elsewhere in these pages), all filmed in minimalistic black and white at London’s 100 Club. If it’s the intimacy of Mike’s solo performances you’re after, then check out the footage shot within the small confines of Shrewsbury’s Jazz & Roots Club and Lower Brailes’ George Hotel. My particular favourite is his rendition of the Amos Milburn classic ‘In The Middle Of The Night’ – an emotion-charged performance that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings.

Other old Sanchez / Big Town Playboys faves such as the manic ‘Red Hot Mama’, the chest-beating ‘Girls All Over The World’ and the tearjerker ‘Baby Please’ add to the potency of the package.

The title says it all: Mike Sanchez Red Hot… Live! Every video recorder should have one…

-- Pete O’Gorman



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