Todd Rundgren - 'Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live'

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Todd Rundgren - 'Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live'

Further proof that Rundgren can turn his hand to anything if he so chooses.

As a Todd Rundgren completist, this was always going to be a must-have. However, his foray into this particular genre is not for the faint-hearted. This live DVD contains on the whole Robert Johnson Blues songs and a smattering of related Rundgren material and it is very much raw and heavy old-school.

The band comprises of the trusty stalwarts, Kasim Sulton on bass, Jesse Gress on guitar and ex-Tubes Prairie Prince on drums. The main draw for purchasing this DVD and the studio 'Johnson' recording produced a few years back is that Rundgren plays the guitar. On so many previous tours, we are seldomly treated but on this his guitar playing is very much centre stage.

As for the songs, the interspersing of Rundgren written songs is a good idea to provide a bit of variety from the inspirational and ground breaking but hardcore Johnson songs. 'Unloved Children' from 1989's 'Nearly Human' album works particularly well. Of course, the biggest cheer was for a rough and ready version of 'I Saw The Light'. Unexpectedly, out of the Johnson material, the blazing 'Crossroads Blues' was the standout. As a collector of all things Rundgren I can say this, his voice does falter in places but I guess that's part of his fearlessness for going for songs out of his comfort zone. The band as always is tight and all instruments come over loud and clear, this is one professional outfit.

Filmed back in 2010 in Ridgefield, Connecticut but only available now, this is for Rundgren aficionados and as a nice touch includes a CD version of the same concert. Further proof that Rundgren can turn his hand to anything if he so chooses.

Rob McKenzie

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