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A Night In Woodstock (Live)

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Album Review

Acoustic road warriors Paul Rishell and Annie Raines have been playing the country blues together for more than 16 years, and they sound totally relaxed and comfortable as they romp through the 13 tunes, both old and new, on this live set, recorded at the Joyous Lake in Woodstock, NY, now unfortunately shuttered. The sessions were part of a documentary project about jug band music called Chasin' Gus' Ghost with John Sebastian sitting in with Rishell and Raines on second harp. "Got to Fly" is a simple little country blues shuffle with a spirited vocal from Raines complementing her sharp harp solo. Blind Boy Fuller's "Custard Pie" gets a funky workout with Rishell's clanking guitar and sly vocal. Raines' harp plays call and response with Rishell's guitar before taking off on her own. Jack Clement's "It'll Be Me and I'll Be Looking for You" was a rousing rocker when Jerry Lee Lewis played it in the '50s. Lewis made it sound like a stalker's threat when he said he'd be looking for you. Rishell slows it down to a dirge and makes it sound like a hopeless lament. His vocal is full of sustained, bluesy notes and Raines holds back to add subtle, forlorn accents. "Blue Shadows" adds the electric guitar of Chris Rival and the rhythm section of Billy MacGillivray on drums, Reed Butler on bass, and special guest Bruce Katz on keys. It's a slow, dirty blues with Katz adding an outstanding solo. "Orange Dude Blues" features Sebastian and Raines trading sizzling solos, backed only by Rishell's sparse guitar and a bit of foot stomping. There ain't noting fancy here, just a down-home blowing session that's as warm and friendly as a fire on a winter night. ~ j. poet, Rovi


Born: January 17, 1950 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Boston-area blues guitarist and singer Paul Rishell specializes in the country blues, but in recent years, he's been proving his mettle on occasional gigs with an electric band as well. Rishell has been riding the wave of renewed interest in acoustic music in general, and he's taken his style of acoustic country blues to festivals and clubs around the U.S., often accompanied by his harmonica playing partner, Little Annie Raines. Before he ever entered the recording studio, Rishell spent many years...
Full bio
A Night In Woodstock (Live), Paul Rishell
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