Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Todd Mohr, Warren Haynes, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph and More Howl For Hubert @ Apollo

Sorry President Obama, I think last night’s tribute to the blues, in the form of a memorial concert for late bluesman Hubert Sumlin, might have your recent event at The White House beat. A who’s who of legendary musicians including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Jody Williams, Henry Gray, Eddie Shaw and James Cotton came together with younger stalwarts Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Todd Mohr, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Gary Clark Jr., Quinn Sullivan and Susan Tedeschi to pay their respects to Sumlin at the Apollo Theatre.

[The Encore via LadyMusic777]

The show – billed as Howlin’ For Hubert – started with a video tribute to Sumlin, who passed away in December. Clapton delivered an acoustic Key To The Highway with James Cotton to kick off the actual performances. Next, Cotton welcomed Todd Mohr out and then the Big Head Todd singer played a song with improvised lyrics about Hubert. This was followed by a segment featuring Jimmy Vaughan singing Six Strings Down and then Kenny Wayne Shepherd took the stage with Chicago bluesman Jody Williams for a version of Williams’ Lucky Lou. Second generation bluesman Ronnie Baker Brooks and Louisiana native Lonnie Brooks combined powers for Sweet Home Chicago before Chicago blues tenor saxophonist Eddie Shaw and piano player Henry Gray tackled Sittin’ On Top of The World. Gray and Shaw stayed out and brought on Elvis Costello for a take on Howlin Wolf’s Hidden Charms. Up next was HT fave Warren Haynes, who teamed up with harmonica player Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds for You’ll Be Mine. For the grand finale of the first set, Haynes was joined by Gibbons and Wilson on Wolf’s I Asked For Water and Mister Highway Man.

Warren Haynes and Kim Wilson – You’ll Be Mine

Wilson returned to kicked off the second set with Who’s Been Talkin’, backed by the house band of Ivan Neville, Billy Flynn, Steve Jordan, Danny Korchmar, Larry Taylor, Willie Weeks, Kim Wilson and Barrelhouse Chuck Goering. Keb Mo made his Apollo debut next on Howlin’ With My Baby and Commit A Crime. From there, Derek Trucks came out with Jimmy Vaughan to lead the band through Meet Me At The Bottom. Derek’s wife Susan Tedeschi got in on the act for How Many More Years and Three Hundred Pounds of Joy.  After that, Guy was joined by his 12-year-old protege Quinn Sullivan before Robert Randolph and Wilson performed Hoochie Coochie Man with Buddy. Guy’s segment concluded with Beggin’ You Please featuring Shemekia Copeland on vocals.

Buddy Guy w/ Robert Randolph and Kim Wilson – Hoochie Coochie Man

Gary Clark Jr. stole the show at The White House last week with Catfish Blues, so it was no surprise the Austin-based musician led off his segment with the Robert Petway tune. Towards the end of the set Clapton returned to accompany Clark Jr. on Shake For Me, Little Baby, Forty-Four and Goin’ Down Slow. Keith Richards took the stage at the end of the set for a Little Red Rooster with Cotton and then a Spoonful featuring EC and Cotton.

Keith Richards and Eric Clapton with James Cotton – Spoonful

The encore saw the evening’s performers, over 30 musicians in all, combine their talents on two songs Sumlin played often with boss Howlin’ Wolf – Smokestack Lightning and Wang Dang Doodle. Howlin’ For Hubert was a benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America. While it didn’t have the sitting president singing, last night’s show featured many of the same musicians who performed at The White House on Tuesday night and then some. What a fitting send off for the blues legend.

Eric Clapton – Forty-Four

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5 thoughts on “Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Todd Mohr, Warren Haynes, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph and More Howl For Hubert @ Apollo

  1. craigd Reply

    I was at the show last night and it was phenomenal from start to finish. Robert Randolph, Tedeschi and Trucks, and of course Buddy Guy were some of the highlights for me. You are mistaken about Paul Shaffer – he was not one of the performers. I imagine you, or whomever gave you the show info, probably confused Shaffer with Kim Wilson, the extraordinary harpist who is also bald.

  2. brenda Reply

    I dont see David Johanson on here I thought his rendition of Evil was Amazing…

    • jon Reply

      I completely agree with Brenda. David Johansen did more than anybody in recent years to resurrect and sustain Hubert Sumlin’s career. I saw the two of them as recently as Nov. 2010 at BB King’s in NYC and you could tell how much David loved and adored Hubert. There are many clips on youtube of their joint performances over the years, so was David omitted on purpose from this tribute or what??

  3. jon Reply

    I completely agree with Brenda. David Johansen did more than anybody in recent years to resurrect and sustain Hubert Sumlin’s career. I saw the two of them as recently as Nov. 2010 at BB King’s in NYC and you could tell how much David loved and adored Hubert. There are many clips on youtube of their joint performances over the years, so was David omitted on purpose from this tribute or what??

  4. Michael Reply

    I flew over from Europe just to see this concert. I have to say that this show really was the best Blues concert I have ever heard in my life. It was worth every cent – and, honestly, how could you enjoy so many extremely gifted and famous musicians at one single evening?

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