Magic Sam: Raw Blues! Live 1969

Shaky live recording from the Chicago bluesman.

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Sam Maghett cut a groovy figure in the late 60s, suited like a jazzman, crooning like Curtis Mayfield and playing frantic urban blues that sounded like Earl Hooker falling down the stairs.

When someone dies young (a heart attack, at the age of 32) it’s tempting to say they would have changed the world if they’d lived, but he wasn’t the subtlest guitarist and, from the evidence of this gig recorded in Berkley five months before his death, the blues of Jimi or Eric never reached him.

But the voice surprises again and again – a delicious, creamy Motown yowl hitting notes so fat and high that the recording equipment on the night couldn’t cope with them. His songwriting palette was limited – the wonderful All Of Your Love sounds just like his Strange Things Happening, which is very similar to BB King’s You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now, and all three are included here.

The sound quality is surprisingly poor for ‘69, and it’s a shame you have to lock up the dog whenever Sam really soars.