Concert reviews from the Gevarenwinkel Festival in Belgium August 28
Eight years ago, some blues afficionado took Mac Arnold out of his vegetable garden and planted him back on the stage. A few decades ago, he already was a big name in the blues world and played with the greatest names, or the greatest names played with him, depening how you see it. Everyone in Mac Arnold & Plate Full o’ Blues is coming from South Carolina, except the drummer. Can you imagine he is 67 years old and is still performing as strong as ever. The band plays very close and true as the Muddy Waters band in which Mac Arnold has been playing for a few years. So, he knows how it has to be. Most of the songs he plays are his own strong compositions, with an engaged contents. Mac and his musicians apparently do more in life than getting up in the morning to see that their nymphomaniac woman has gone with another man. When Mac takes his gas can guitars and begins his slide work, Austin Brashier, the lead guitar, stays in his shadow. The musician has no problem with this. Each musician of Plate Full o' Blues is excellent, they have no overdimesionned ego. A true band. Songs as "Backbone and Gristle", "Things I don't need", "U Dawg Gone Right" and "Love and Relations" are real jewels. "Superstitious" and "I got my Mojo Working" were played in an original way and are the only two covers they played. All the other songs were their own compositions. A very strong set from these sympathetic bluesmen. Everyone in the audience was hanging from their lips. Real blues is never away. They were rewarded with a strong applause.
The American band, Mac Arnold & Plateful o' Blues was already this year on the stage of the Ecaussinnes festival and it was such a big success that sooner or later, he had to come back in Belgium. Rootstime.be has made an interview of him already. With his laughing eyes and his young look, despite his age, he delivered, since the first blues note, the sparkles of Chicago. As he played with Muddy Waters in the Windy City, it couldn't be anything else. The bluesman has lots of stories to tell between each song. Making a film about his whole life would be a guarantee of success. But on stage, you mainly see the bluesman who alternates good humored Rhythm & Blues with soulful titles. Coming from South Carolina, Mac Arnold will first of all let the audience enjoy his music and his rich song list from his last two CD's. "I'm a Country Man" is followed by "This old Truck" and "Backbone and Gristle", all songs being truthfully played and followed by his band like funky apostles. The waited highlight takes place at he half of the concert, when he takes his special guitar, the "5 gallon gasoline can", invented by his brother and now indissociably linked with him, just like his hat, his dancing movements and his disarming smiles.
More Mac Arnold reviews and articles
Magazines such as Living Blues , Soul Bag (European), G Magazine and many other publications have featured stories on Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues. Check the links page for more.