May 24

A Celebration Of Blues And Soul: The 1989 Presidential Inaugural Concert

Found again in a basement in Boston, dusted off, baked (literally, at 110 degrees) … and morphing into a musical phoenix, arises the video of the 1989 Presidential Inaugural Concert for Young Americans, “A Celebration of Blues and Soul” featuring the some of the best musicians from the Stax and Chess Records years along with a number of Texas (of course) bluesmen at the height of their careers.

A celebration it certainly was.  The brainchild of Lee Atwater, George H. W. Bush’s campaign manager who was a big blues fan, one evening of stellar blues and soul with a equally stellar lineup:  Chuck Jackson, Percy Sledge, Dr. John, Joe Louis Walker, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, Delbert McClinton, Koko Taylor, Bo Diddley, William Bell , Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Sam Moore and ending with five killer jams by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble along with his brother Jimmie Vaughan.  All these were backed by names such as Ron Wood, Billy Preston, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Steve Cropper and more.

This 2 hour DVD produced by the Shout Factory ( is packed with a 28-page booklet chock full of photos and event background information written by Richard Harrington, accompanying a 2 hour DVD which is a virtual “Who’s Who” of Blues and Soul.  Anyone who is a fan or who wants to be should put this on their “must purchase” list. (and you can purchase it here at Amazon)

Blues should always be performed before a live audience, is my humble opinion. Being able to feed off an audience and ratchet up the performance even more and then capture those moments on video — that’s a treasure, and that’s what you have here.

Great tunes, everyone bringing their “best of” songs to contribute to a great Blues and Soul set list:

“Any Day Now” and “I Don’t Want To Cry” Chuck Jackson
“When A Man Loves A Woman” Percy Sledge
“Right Place, Wrong Time” Dr. John
“747” Joe Louis Walker
“Hoochie Coochie Man” Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, Delbert McClinton
“Wang Dang Doodle” Koko Taylor feat. Willie Dixon
“Bo Diddley” “I’m A Man” “Hey Bo Diddley” – Bo Diddley
“Born Under A Bad Sign” William Bell
“B-A-B-Y” Carla Thomas
“When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” Carla Thomas and Billy Preston
“Knock On Wood” Eddie Floyd
“Soul Man” Sam Moore
“Just A Little Bit” “Standing On Shaky Ground” “Maybe Someday” “B-Movie Boxcar Blues” Delbert McClinton
“Frosty” Albert Collins feat. Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
“Texas Flood” “Lovestruck Baby” “Superstition” “Scuttle Buttin’ ” Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

A real thrill for me on this DVD is capturing a 73 year old Willie Dixon with Albert Collins and Delbert McClinton jamming on Hoochie Coochie Man.  Having turned into a blues fan later in life, I never had the opportunity to see live performances by greats like Collins and Dixon… so seeing them “bring it” on a high quality video recording such as “A Celebration of Blues and Soul” was a great treat.

But if you’re a Texas blues fan, seeing Stevie Ray Vaughan partying in a tux while throwing out killer blues solos like its nobody’s business is the number one reason to catch these performances on DVD.

1 comment

    • Ben Shutt on May 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm
    • Reply

    I immediately hacked my way to the Amazon and bought this bad boy as a gift.

    I hope she doesn’t already have it. :>)

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