RICK DANKO – Double Live (Floating World FLOATM6381)

Double LiveDouble Live is exactly that. Here are two (almost) solo performances from Band bassman, Rick Danko, recorded in 1989 and 1997. Both are bootlegs; one listed in The Band’s archive, the other not.

The first set is an off-the-board recording from Cubby Bear in Chicago and it is alleged that Rick was bribed with certain substances to allow it. It has to be said that his performances sound rather “chemically enhanced” in places and the idea of letting the audience sing ‘The Weight’ while he played doesn’t add much to the sum of human happiness. I guess you had to be there. Amongst the solo and Band hits Rick mixes in some old blues and rock. ‘Crazy Mama’ is a perennial live favourite and you’ll also find Ma Rainey’s ‘CC Rider’, Robert Johnson’s ‘Walkin’ Blues’ and Willie Dixon’s ‘Little Red Rooster’.

Rick is accompanied on harmonica by Shredni Vollmer – I found out so you don’t have to – but the album suffers, as do many bootlegs, from sloppy packaging. The sleeve notes are generic and there are errors in the track listing (‘Sip Some Wine’, ‘Days Of Glory’ and ‘Just In Case’ which is actually ‘Think’). Sadly you’ll now find the errors enshrined on the web.

The second set was recorded at Stephen Talkhouse, Amagansett (“we’re in The Hamptons”, says Rick at one point) and sounds like another soundboard recording. At its best it’s top quality but then the tape runs out in the middle of ‘The Weight’ and comes back half-way through ‘Next Time You See Me’. Aaron Hurwitz is on keyboards and his presence helps keep Rick on the straight and narrow for most of the time although you can hear him straining at the leash.  For all its faults there are some magic moments – ‘Blind Willie McTell’, ‘Endless Highway’, Eric Anderson’s ‘Blue River’ and a gorgeous reading of ‘Unfaithful Servant’.

Double Live comes at a bargain price which makes it an attractive purchase. It’s not Rick at his very best but you have to go back a long way for that.

Dai Jeffries

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Label website: https://floatingworldrecords.co.uk/

Not from either of these sets but it’s the right song and the right year. ‘It Makes No Difference’ – live:

MISNER & SMITH – headwaters (own label)

headwatersThe actor-turned-muso duo of Sam Misner and Megan Smith return with their fifth album, headwaters, due for release on June 25th, although it has been available in the States since October 2017. It is a little bit different from previous offerings such as Seven Hour Storm or Poor Player, and what exactly makes it different, is the fact that this one is entirely comprised of raw, laid-back cover versions from works by Paul Simon to ‘Talking Heads’.

Sounding weirdly Paul Simon-esque in his vocal (at times), Sam Misner takes the lead on ‘America’, followed by a straight forward, but effective, rendition of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ ‘Return of the Grievous Angel’. Indeed, the fact that both of these numbers were originally released as duets, only adds to the strength of these opening tracks; presenting the listener with a new version of something recognisable, but something that is also in-keeping with the Misner and Smith sound.

Following a very stripped-down arrangement of the Neil Young-penned, ‘Expecting To Fly’, we are gifted with Patty Griffin’s ‘Making Pies’; a reflective piece of everyday life, written from the female perspective, and the only song on the album in which Megan takes the lead vocal. If the album’s arrangement of ‘Coconut Grove’ isn’t exactly a million miles away from its 1966 original, the re-work of Talking Heads ‘City Of Dreams’, couldn’t be more different.

There are two particularly strong recordings which conclude the album; The Band’s ‘It Makes No Difference’ (a Misner and Smith live staple) and ‘Turning the Century’, by contemporary writers Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken, of ‘Dr Dog’ fame.

Bowing out at just eight songs, it is not a terribly long album, but it is noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, from the listener’s point of view, it is a recording which is both enjoyable and somewhat unusual. Secondly, from the viewpoint of Sam Misner and Megan Smith, it is an important acknowledgement of the songwriters and musicians, past and present, who inspire and shine the guiding light upon the duo’s own musical journey.

Christopher James Sheridan

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artists’ website: https://misnerandsmith.com/

‘It Makes No Difference’ – live: