Remembering Col. Bruce Hampton: Aquarium Rescue Unit Live At The Warfield 1992
The jam scene lost one of its patriarchs on this date in 2017 when Col. Bruce Hampton suffered a heart attack and died at the end of a concert celebrating his 70th birthday held at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre. Col. Bruce was a mentor to multiple generations of musicians and led a number of bands, yet the one he’s most associated with is Aquarium Rescue Unit. This week’s Full Show Friday selection features a stellar ARU set that took place at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater on May 22, 1992.
In the late-1980s the Aquarium Rescue Unit was formed out of jam sessions held in Atlanta. The lineup that backed Col. Bruce Hampton at The Warfield was the classic ARU lineup of guitarist Jimmy Herring, drummer Jeff Sipe, bassist Oteil Burbridge and Matt Mundy on mandolin. Col. Bruce and company were opening for Blues Traveler that night.
ARU kicked off their performance with “Ain’t No Reason To Complain” and “Salty Dog” before “Shoeless Joe” led into one of the group’s signature songs, “Compared To What.” Burbridge was featured on the “Time Flack” that followed and then Col. Bruce fronted a stellar rendition of “Fixin’ To Die.” Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit ended the set with a run of “Working On A Building,” “Yield Not To Temptation” and “Davy Crockett.”
Listen to audio of the set captured by Lobster that starts with an audience recording and continues with a crispy soundboard recording:
Set: Ain’t No Reason To Complain, Salty Dog, Shoeless Joe, Compared To What, Time Flack, Fixin’ To Die, Working On A Building, Yield Not To Temptation, Davy Crockett