Review: Paul Rishell and Annie Raines – A Night In Woodstock
Posted on: Saturday, Feb 7, 2009
PAUL RISHELL & ANNIE RAINES
“A Night In Woodstock”
(Mojo Rodeo Records: MOJR 1950)
From one of the most enduring of partnerships, country blues guitarist Paul Rishell and harmonica player Annie Raines, comes this delightful live offering, recorded at The Joyous Lake in Woodstock back in 2005 – and soon to be released on DVD – all sounding totally relaxed in an intimate setting.
Paul and Annie kick it off with a selection of old favourites, including Blind Boy Fuller’s “Custard Pie” and Tommy Johnson’s “Canned Heat Blues”, with a lovely medley of “It’ll Be Me / I’ll Be Looking For You” from the pen of ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement.
On what amounts to the second half of the show the duo are joined by Chris Rival (guitar), Reed Butler (bass) and Billy MacGillivray (drums) and old friend, the great Bruce Katz on keyboards; with a further special guest in the shape of John Sebastian on harmonica.
Louis Armstrong’s “Old Man Mose” features an almost gypsy feel to Rishell’s guitar; with the laid-back arrangement of “Blues On A Holiday” again in jazzy territory, with some very nice piano from Bruce Katz.
The ensemble take the pace up on Jay Miller’s Excello classic “I’m A Lover, Not A Fighter” with Annie Raines on vocals, followed by a great take on “Moving To The Country” and a rocking version of Jerry McCain’s “Bad Credit”.
The closing two tracks are certainly among the best – Lloyd Glenn’s “Blue Shadows” – with it’s “I Hear You Knocking” guitar intro, and sparkling ivories from Bruce Katz; and the twin harmonicas of Annie Raines and John Sebastian on “Orange Dude Blues” – Raines on chromatic and Sebastian on Marine Band – very fine indeed!
As a footnote the forthcoming DVD and this release are dedicated to the late Fritz Richmond – washtub and jug player in the Kweskin Jug Band and long-time associate of John Sebastian – for his legacy of preserving and championing Afro-American and old-time folk music.