Music Video Distributors presents
Bernard Allison: Kentucky Fried Blues (1999)
"Good time woman / Gets every one that she can / When she don't like her own / She gets every other woman's man."- Bernard Allison, from Good Time Woman
Stars: Bernard Allison
Other Stars: Mike Vlahakis, Jeff Hayes, Craig Panosh, Richard Martinez, Trevor Newman
Director: H. Russell Farmer
MPAA Rating: Not RatedRun Time: 00h:57m:47s
Release Date: 2003-04-22
DVD ReviewYou can tell that Bernard Allison is a serious blues man just by looking at his hat: above the brim, replicas of two nasty snake heads bare their teeth and flick their tongues. You don't want to mess with this guy, or his hat. Allison was recorded at the 1999 W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival, in Henderson, Kentucky, and he and his backup band offer a hard-driving hour's worth of classic old Mississippi delta blues.
Lyrically, what's here isn't especially innovative, but Allison's growling delivery infuses the tunes with heart. He's a virtuoso on the guitar, clearly, but occasionally things spill over just the slightest bit into self-parody—as with Nigel Tufnel, Allison's solos are his trademark, and Allison also does that bizarre tongue-on-the strings guitar thing. Most of Allison's backup musicians get their moments in the spotlight, and it's nice to see the bandleader be so generous with the guys who are playing behind him. Allison also pays his respects to the history of this music, especially on Leave My Girl Alone, which features overt homages to Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Here's the full set list:
Life is a Bitch
Leave My Girl Alone
Good Time Woman
As the credits roll, Allison exits through the crowd, and the audience seems to be having as fine a time at the festival as the musician on the stage. The only down side: it runs less than an hour.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Things are a little fuzzy and lacking in resolution; and the cameramen scurrying around the stage during the performance get a little too much screen time. But these are the perils inherent in capturing a live event, and the transfer seems to have been done adequately enough, though there's some debris and other bits of interference that mess with the image quality.
Image Transfer Grade: C+
Audio Transfer Review: THIS IS A VERY LOUD DISC. The 5.1 track is preferable, as the PCM track sounds a little muffled; some pops and ticks can be made out on the soundtrack, but before you watch it, be certain that you set the volume to a very low level, because anything higher may well blow you across the room.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Music/Song Access with 7 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Extras Review: A six-panel bio of Allison is offered, along with an option to switch the language of the menus, to English, German, French, Italian or Spanish.
Extras Grade: D
Final CommentsIt's a good solid hour of blues—the only thing missing is the accompanying plate of barbecue.
Jon Danziger 2003-05-12