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DVD review: Lester Butler at his best

Posted in 13 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by J.J.

It’s very easy in hindsight to project added significance to the DVD “Live at Moulin Blues Ospel 1998 — Lester’s Legendary Last Gig.” Every song choice, every note, every glance can take on a different meaning knowing that Butler would be dead just a week later.

The reality is he probably considered it just another gig. A great gig, a lot of fun, but a gig nonetheless.

On any level you choose to watch it, this DVD is required viewing for Lester Butler and Red Devils fans.

Long available on bootleg video, this new official version actually enhances both Butler’s myth and his reality. It shows him to be an outstanding frontman and bandleader and also, for the first time, gives a glimpse at the offstage Lester his family and close friends knew.

While the opening graphic demures, “These recordings were never meant to be published. Therefore we apologize for the poor video and sound quality,” this DVD of the May 2, 1998, concert is a significant step up from the VHS version circulating among tape-traders. The sound and picture quality is very good most times; some mixing problems mar a few otherwise fine performances.
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