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Roger McGuinn's Thunderbyrd: West Coast Legends Vol. 4 (DVD)

Roger McGuinn, best known as The Byrds lead vocalist and guitarist formed Roger McGuinn's Thunderbyrd in the late 70s. The title of the band was in part a tribute to Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour, of which he was a part of, and also a reminiscence of his former 60's band. The concert was held at The Grugahalle, Essen, Germany on the nights of July 23rd and 24th, 1977 and was put on by Rockpalast (Rock Palace), a German music television series that has produced several concerts on DVD.

For the concert McGuinn plays his legendary twelve string electric guitar and joining him on stage are Rick Vito (guitar, vocals), Greg Thomas (drums) and Charlie Harrison (bass, vocals). Watching this is like a time capsule looking back into the past and if you are partial to '60s and '70s rock music you should be satisfied with this DVD.

The production takes a no thrills approach as the concert is purely about the music. The video footage is a little grainy but that comes as no surprise considering the date of the show. The sound quality is good and it was fun to enjoy a little slice of musical history. The DVD does not offer anything in the way of extras; just a track listing is provided. The liner notes include background information on the concert and of the history of Rockpalast but the English grammar is not the greatest. I suppose that can be forgiven considering this is a German production.

The concert itself is very good and the band are at the top of their game. The focus is mostly on McGuinn and Vito throughout the show. The concert starts with "Lover Of The Bayou" showcasing Vito's fiery guitar soloing. The Tom Petty penned "American Girl" was a good choice as Petty is ideally suited for McGuinn's jangly rhythms and Dylan's "Golden Loom", a song he gave to McGuinn but never recorded himself, is a good bluesy tune with a country twang. McGuinn's vocals even manage to sound a little like Bob on this one.

Although all the songs are good, McGuinn saves the best for last with the classics "Turn, Turn, Turn", "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Eight Miles High". McGuinn and Vito's twin psychedelic guitar attack during "Eight Miles High" might just be the concert's best moment.

Roger McGuinn is a rock and roll legend and this concert is a nice way to look back and remember a time when life was a little simpler and music felt a little more real. If you are searching for those lost days of innocence when rock and roll meant just a little bit more this DVD should do the trick quite nicely.


Track Listing:
1. Lover Of The Bayou
2. American Girl
3. Mr. Spaceman
4. Why Baby Why/Tiffany Queen
5. Golden Loom
6. Juice Head
7. Chestnut Mare
8. Midnight Dew
9. Dixie Highway (feat. Sam Clayton/Little Feat)
10. We Can Do It All Over Again
11. Shoot Him
12. Feel A Whole Lot Better
13. Turn, Turn, Turn
14. Mr. Tambourine man
15. Eight Miles High

Added: October 31st 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Label Website
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Language: english

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