Review: Mitch Ryder – The Roof Is On Fire – 2024: Video: Blues


Singer Mitch Ryder is known as the founder of the Detroit rock sound, a man with a raspy soul rock voice. Keith Richards once called him “the most exciting singer in rock.”

And while Ryder never achieved the mainstream success he deserved, he continued to make records tirelessly; in the 1970s and 1980s, especially in Germany, where he became world famous. Since 1994 he has played there with the Berlin blues band Engerling.

To celebrate his 75th birthday, Ryder and Engerling toured Germany in 2019 and 2020. A double album from that tour has now been released under the name The Roof Is On Fire.

It is commendable that Ryder has opted for little overlap with the classic live album ‘Live Talkies’ from 198’1. The Roof Is On Fire is a double album with two faces: CD 1 is called Tuff with the ultimate Detroit soul rock that Ryder has become famous with, such as the Ryder classic Tough Kid, Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues and highlights include great rocking renditions of Ryder’s Ain’ t Nobody White and Kim Wilson’s Fabulous Thunderbirds classic Tuff Enuff.

CD 2 is called Soft and mainly contains soul blues songs and ballads. Soft opens with a beautiful performance of Freezin’ In Hell and has almost only highlights with Jimmy Cliff’s Many Rivers To Cross, the beautifully restrained Star No More, the Ryder classic Red Scar Eyes and a beautiful, long drawn-out cover of Soul Kitchen by The Doors.

With “The Roof Is On Fire”, the indestructible Godfather of Detroit rock Mitch Ryder has created a live album with his excellent German hard rockin’ band Engerling that once again shows that he is still one of the most exciting rock singers in business.

CD 1 “Tuff”
01. Betty’s Too Tight
02. Tough Kid
03. Subterranean Homesick Blues
04. Bang Bang
05. Ain’t Nobody White
06. Tuff Enuff
07. From A Buick 6
08.Heart Of Stone

CD 2 “Soft”
09. Freezing In Hell
10. All The Fools In Sees
11. If You Need The Pain
12. Many Rivers To Cross
13. Star Nomore
14. Red Scar Eyes
15. Soul Kitchen

Mitch Ryder - The Roof Is On Fire

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