Booker T. Jones - Musical Instrument Museum - 10/3/2013
With the exception of two songs, every track Jones performed benefited from his deft touch somewhere, be it writing, producing or performing. Where he wandered, however, was on songs by people who greatly touched him in other ways. This is where the revival went R 'n' R.
First up was Jimi Hendrix's version of The Leaves classic "Hey Joe." Jones related a story about going to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. "I didn't hear a lot of music," Jones told the audience--one of his many between-song anecdotes--"but there was one guy who moved me." The band, playing the song live for the first time, gave the track a soulful touch among the stinging guitar leads, sweltering organ blasts and propulsive bottom end. Strangely, this song--and not one of Jones' own--received the loudest ovation.
The other non-Jones song came courtesy of Bob Dylan, a one-time neighbor in California. Dylan, Jones said, dragged him down to a movie set one early morning where he performed "Knocking on Heaven's Door." On guitar, Jones solidified the memory with a moving rendition.
Like any concert, there were plenty of highs and a few not-too-low moments, but in total it was a solid and highly satisfying evening of funky Memphis soul. Jones clearly felt it too--his smile never faded all night.
Last Night: Soul shaker, Hall of Famer and instigator of Memphis soul, Booker T. Jones.
Personal bias: This is the music to play when getting a groove on.
The crowd: An older audience familiar with the artist, mostly through 45s. (You know, those old 7" records.)
Random notebook dump: Booker T. wrote "Born Under A Bad Sign"? No wonder it was such a big hit for Albert King.
Overheard: From numerous people discussing the songs they'd just heard at the concert: "I bought that one on 45 when it came out."
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