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Big George Brock | Live At Seventy Five

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Blues: Harmonica Blues Blues: Delta Style Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Live At Seventy Five

by Big George Brock

High-energy, real-deal blues featuring deep Delta harmonica from 75-year-old Blues Music Award-nominee Big George Brock. Recorded at a world-famous juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Genre: Blues: Harmonica Blues
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro by Sonny Payne
0:35 $0.99
2. Cut You Loose
4:56 $0.99
3. M For Mississippi
5:05 $0.99
4. Forty-Four Blues
5:15 $0.99
5. All Night Long
6:35 $0.99
6. Everything's Gonna Be Alright
6:34 $0.99
7. No No Baby
4:24 $0.99
8. Short Dress Woman
6:34 $0.99
9. Bring The Blues Back Home
4:42 $0.99
10. Call Me A Lover/Down South
5:45 $0.99
11. Jody Got Your Gal And Gone
6:01 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"Not many of us left of the old school, but they don't come any better than Big George Brock." After this brief testimonial by 80-year-old Sonny Payne of Helena, Arkansas' famed King Biscuit Time radio show, Big George Brock tells the packed house that he's "here to please you, not to tease you." Then, he goes on to prove it throughout this brand-new, hour-long live album — the much heralded follow-up to Brock's Blues Music Award-nominated "Round Two." After 67 years of singing blues and playing harmonica, 75-year-old Brock IS the blues. Best known for his high-energy, "step-back-in-time" live shows, it's fitting that Brock recorded this incredible concert performance on the eve of his 75th birthday at world-famous Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi — his old stomping grounds. Brock mixes his own fine originals with highly-personalized covers, the band is hot and the results are magical.


Big George Brock may well be one of the most underrated blues harmonica players and vocalists of his generation. He isn't as widely known as other older, Delta-moved-North blues brothers like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, partly due to the fact that he was younger and he didn't start recording until later in life. As a busy blues club owner, family man and part-time boxer, he passed up early recording opportunities. Still, his back catalog is dwarfed by his bigger-than-life performance style and more-than-capable musical talents. With the Mississippi Delta of his youth just a breath away, Brock's huge harmonica sound and Deep South voice are instantly recognizable. They also stand out clearly against today's world of rock and soul-inflected blues performers just as they stand comfortably along side yesterday's world of distinctive, self-made blues men. Brock's every sound and every word hearken back to his days singing work songs for relief from the hotter than hot sun -- the heat one only finds in a Delta cotton field. His harmonica style most closely parallels Little Walter but with more emphasis on melody, or as Brock once put it, "I want my harmonica to say what my voice says." His vocal style most closely parallels Muddy Waters but with a toughness and strength that echoes the great Howlin' Wolf.

Brock was born May 16, 1932, in Grenada, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper. Like other aspiring musicians in the area, he experimented with paper-and-comb "harmonicas" and one-string, diddley bow guitars in an attempt to mimic the rich blues and spiritual music he heard around him. At age 8, his father gave him and two of his brothers each a harmonica for Christmas. "They tore theirs up, but I kept mine," Brock later remembered. Initially self-taught, one evening Brock blew the melody to the traditional church song, "Burden Down." His parents heard him, and began to request amateur concerts on the family porch once a week. After moving to Flower's Plantation in Mattson, Mississippi, near Clarksdale, Brock came under the influence of future blues legend Muddy Waters. Waters lived at the nearby Stovall plantation and would play fish fries and house parties around Clarksdale and Mattson. As a young man, Brock would play in improvised bands, often accompanied by other youths playing homemade rhythm instruments. Growing up in the Delta, Brock also witnessed area performances by B.B. King (playing in front of Dublin Grocery near Flower's), Sonny Boy Williamson II (at Brock's auntie's house), Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf (playing weekly gigs in Walls, Mississippi), Lee Kizart (with whom Brock played music) and Ike Turner among others.

In addition to blues music, the other popular Delta pastime in the 1940s and 50s was boxing -- another form of entertainment that Brock excelled at. In the Mattson-Clarksdale area, Brock defeated the "toughest man in Clarksdale," Charlie Black, as well as a traveling, wrestling bear. (Later, in St. Louis, Brock would also knockout a recently paroled, pre-fame Sonny Liston in round two.) Brock was also a budding ladies man who -- by the time he was finished -- fathered 42 children, including two sets of twins and three sets of triplets. After relocating to St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1950s, Brock opened up a series of popular and profitable blues clubs. Brock's business and personal life were so busy, in fact, that when Muddy Waters introduced him to Chess Records, Brock turned down the offer of "no royalties... just a broken-down tour bus." Other local recording opportunities never came to fruition, and Brock was passed by during the blues-folk boom of the 1960s.

At his clubs -- especially the 1,000 capacity Club Caravan -- Brock booked top-notch blues acts like Ike & Tina Turner, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Denise LaSalle as well as his own Houserockers band. Through the years, his playing at Mississippi jukes and his own St. Louis clubs allowed him to share stages with blues greats like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed and Albert King. Albert King even served as his guitar player briefly after arriving in St. Louis. Other guitarists who have played with Brock include Big Bad Smitty, Riley Coatie, Terry "Big T" Williams, Jimbo Mathus, Bill Abel and, on Brock's Round Two album, Hubert Sumlin.

In the 1990s, Brock finally waxed his first recordings, including an independent album entitled Front Door Man. These recordings raised his local standing but did little to widen his audience overall. The best was still to come. National Public Radio's Toast of the Nation programing on New Year's Eve 2004 included one "live" track featuring Brock backed by Jimbo Mathus which signaled bigger things ahead, but it wasn't until 2005's critically-acclaimed Club Caravan album that Brock's comeback began in earnest. Called "contender for album of the year" by Juke Blues magazine, it led to feature stories in Blues & Rhythm, Living Blues and Big City Blues as well as a Blues Music Award nomination for "Comeback Album of the Year" and a Living Blues Critic's Poll Award. Additionally, the exposure led to his inclusion in Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Native Sons/Mississippi Bluesmen documentary and actor-musician Steven Seagal's all-star blues outing, Mojo Priest. In 2006, Brock played events from Memphis to Chicago as well as festivals in Italy and Switzerland. May 2006 also brought Brock's life story and music to the screen with filmmaker Damien Blaylock's Hard Times DVD -- since showcased at Southern film festivals in Memphis, Oxford, Tupelo and Clarksdale. In it, Brock remembers early plantation life and many of the late bluesmen he once called friends. He also plays a mix of his own blues originals and the classics he learned first hand. In August 2006, the much anticipated follow-up to Club Caravan arrived in music stores. Entitled Round Two, the album further highlighted Brock's commitment to "Delta-gone-North" style blues and received airplay and media attention worldwide. It also brought Brock 3 Blues Music Award Nominations -- including one for "Best Traditional Blues Album" -- as well as music tours in France and the United Kingdom.

On May 12, 2007, Brock returned to the scene of the crime -- Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale -- to record the album you see and hear now on this web page. What an amazing journey it's been so far. Take a listen and see for yourself.

Artifacts attesting to Brock's long musicial career can be found in the collections of the Delta Blues Museum, Highway 61 Blues Museum, Howlin' Wolf Museum, Rock N Roll & Blues Heritage Museum among others. More information about Big George Brock, his recordings and tour schedule is available on-line at www.cathead.biz.



to write a review

Jeff Konkel/Broke & Hungry Records

Another Jaw-Dropper from Cat Head Presents!
Cat Head continues its amazing run of great CDs on Big George Brock. The first two - Club Caravan and Round Two - were universally praised studio discs. But this one, Live and Seventy Five, captures George in his true element: Live and on stage. If you've seen Big George in person, you'll know what to expect: High-Energy Old-School blues performed with a bristling band that understands how to bring down the house. Features favorite numbers from the first two Cat Head releases, plus a number of great covers. Easily the best live blues CD of 2007 and one of the very best in recent years. Get it!

Ken Zeiders

Live at Seventy Five
Review not realivant because it is the only major lable artist that made a cd while I was at the show so I had to buy it. I was there with all the big fat mama's that he bused in for the show. I was there with tht cat fish dinner and dancing my ass off. Clarksdale Miss. is the place and what a weekend I had. Loved the cd , Memories and the cd confirm sheet you sent has been e-mailed to all my friends. I got the cd 2 days before it was on the market and I swear it came minutes after I ordered it. THANKS