Various Artists 

A Tribute to Eddie Kramer: Live From the Rock Hall (North Coast Bootlegs)

Put Michael Stanley, Huck Jones, the James Gang rhythm section, and Kid Rock's keyboardist and guitarist (Jimmy Bones and Kenny Olson) on the Rock Hall stage, and you've got a perfect date for another North Coast bootleg. Until they start playing. Even with allowances for the Rock Hall lobby's notoriously bad acoustics, this is barely a cut above the thrashings of a weekend cover band. Stanley & Co. roll out hits by playing a narrow slice of the groups (the Stones, Zeppelin, Traffic, and Hendrix) pictured in From the Other Side of the Glass, the new Eddie Kramer photo exhibit. An uninspired "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is followed by a barely recognizable "Manic Depression," prompting Jones's self-deprecating "You thought I was kidding when I said I learned these songs three hours ago."

The Dale Peters/Jim Fox rhythm section finally picks up the pace on "Stone Free," though when the song sputters to a stop, Jones laughs, "How'd you like that fadeout?" Stanley is confined largely to backup vocals and tambourine, stepping up for lead vocals on "Manic Depression" and "Little Wing," the latter introduced with a rambling drive-time DJ reminiscence about the old Detroit AM radio station CKLW and Motor City rockers Terry Knight and Mitch Ryder. A Led Zeppelin medley -- carefully constructed to eliminate the hard guitar parts -- and "Voodoo Chile" get mauled so badly that, by show's end, even the band's reeling. "We're going to find somewhere to curl up and get drunk," moans Jones. No doubt the North Coast bootleggers felt the same way.

More by Jack McLimans


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