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‘A rowdy presentation of the blues’ … Dave Lee Bartel in 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2021 by J.J.

From the Sept. 3, 1992, Des Moines (Iowa) Register, we get this interview with Dave Lee Bartel. The occasion was a gig the next week, Sept. 9, at the Iowa State State Memorial Union’s Maintenance Shop (“M-Shop”) venue in Ames, Iowa. Tickets reasonably priced at $2 ($3 day of show).

Where did the Devils play? Find your gig or share one for the timeline

A couple of things stand out in this relatively rare Dave Lee interview:

  • The elder Bartel brother comes off very humble and self-effacing in this story. He has a “pinch me” kind of attitude about the ride the band was on at the time, chalking a lot up to luck.
  • He also paints a vivid picture of the group’s intent, as laid out by Bill Bateman:

The current lineup has the brash, angry sound of which Bateman had dreamed.

“Bill wanted to make a rowdy presentation of the blues,” Bartel said. “We play aggressive music — like Elmore James, pretty raw. Just scream your guts out and not give it too much swing or jazz feeling.”

— “Red Devils play hot blues,” by Bart Dupuis, Des Moines Register, Sept. 3, 1992

This interview is noteworthy for another reason: Just a week later, Dave Lee would be off the tour, and Mike Flanigin in on rhythm guitar.

Bootleg review live from Iowa, 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by J.J.

A bootleg of The Red Devils live at the Mississippi Blues Fest at Le Claire Park in Davenport, Iowa, July 2, 1993, is a solid capsule of the band on the summer festival circuit.

It’s not an essential set by any means, and may be of interest only to the most hardcore of collectors. Most of the songs are found in better form and audio quality in several other live sets. What stands out is the band’s almost experimental jamming, coming more than a year into the original lineup’s never-ending tour schedule.

The audio recording comes from a KFMH radio live broadcast of the festival; the announcer mentions other performers that day included Dr. John, Jimmy Ley and Nappy Brown. The poor audio quality of the recording means parts of the music are a wash, though Butler’s vocals are right out front, as are the harp and Paul Size’s lead guitar.
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