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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Albert King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Albert King. Show all posts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Concord / Stax Records Reissue: Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign - New Release Review

I just received the newest reissue from Concord Music Group (April 2, 2013), Albert King's Born Under A Bad Sign. With addition of liner notes by Bill Dahl, this release has a full spectrum picture of Kings work. Featuring the Stax "House Band"; Steve Cropper (guitar), Booker T Jones (piano), Isaac Hayes (piano), Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Al Jackson Jr, (also known as Booker T and the MG's)and Wayne Jackson, Andrew love and Joe Arnold (also known as the Memphis Horns); King has the backing that can deliver anything he may want. The release opens with one of King's most well know tracks, Born Under A Bad Sign. Yes, Eric Clapton and Cream didn't hurt any by covering it, but it was Albert King that really breathed the life into it and it was his gateway to stardom. King has a very distinctive guitar playing style often attributed to his playing left handed (although the guitar was strung right handed) giving it a unique sound but I personally think Albert had his own feel later mimicked by SRV among others. It oozed blues. Next up is Crosscut Saw set to a Latin rhythm, a common maneuver for King. Albert had a great voice and his playing dominated most anything he touched. Did Eric borrow some of King's riffs... just listen! On Leiber and Stoller track Kansas City, King takes a standard pop track (hey, the Beatles even covered this track) and made it into a swing blues track. The horns really shine on this track and King riffs out but this really is a radio track. Another track showing a melding of styles is Pretty Woman. King again carries this largely based upon his vocal skills but never misses the opportunity to throw the hot riffs into the fire. King really is one of the fathers of the "modern" blues as we know it. On King original, Down Don't Bother Me, Albert gets a real solid Texas blues lope and his guitar phrasing is just perfect. On Ivory Joe Hunter's soul classic, I Almost Lost My Mind, King melds blues with jazz keeping his "V" under control with light riffs to accommodate a loose jam. Another original track, Personal Manager, shows King at a relaxed pace, taking the time to sing quietly before knocking the doors down with classic ripping blues smoke! On Laundromat Blues, King uses his call and response technique to the extreme answering his own vocal call with a guitar riff response. Listen to these riffs ...and think of how many of your favorites have played them like their own. Yes, Albert was the King! One of my personal favorites on the release, As The Years Go Passing By, shows a perfect balance between the horns, Kings rich voice and his incredible guitar phrasing. This is THE track to hear by Albert King! Also included on this release are alternate takes of Born Under A Bad Sign, Crosscut Saw, The Hunter and Personal Manager. These tracks are all really nice additions and give you different riffs and backing. Very cool. Lastly, there is an untitled instrumental of Albert jamming out with the horns. Dunn shows a bass slide and you can just sit back and listen to the King doing the Kings thing. Great release and one that you should definitely check out!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE” Yes, you're right... this is a live track and the release is a studio cut. Enjoy Mr King in full color!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Albert King's 'Born Under a Bad Sign' album reissued on Stax Records



 
ALBERT KING’S LATE ’60s BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN 
 ALBUM ON STAX RECORDS REISSUED APRIL 5
WITH PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACKS
 
Release teems with King’s best-known songs:
“Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Crosscut Saw,”
“Oh, Pretty Woman” and “Laundromat Blues.”
Steve Cropper, Booker T. & the MGs, the Memphis Horns
and Stax’s songwriters help make it an all-time blues classic.
 
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Any list of seminal 1960s electric blues albums is incomplete without Albert King’s Born Under a Bad Sign positioned near the top. The Indianola, Mississippi-born “King of the Blues Guitar,” who cut his professional teeth as a resident of the St. Louis suburb of Lovejoy, Ill., cemented his legacy with his Stax Records debut album. While he’d recorded for labels like Vee-Jay, Parrot and Bobbin, it was his chemistry with the Stax team — label executives Al Bell, Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, songwriters Booker T. Jones and William Bell, and backing from Booker T. & the MGs and the Memphis Horns — that put King on the blues map.
 
The Stax Remasters deluxe edition of Born Under a Bad Sign will be released by Stax Records, a unit of Concord Music Group, on April 2, 2013. Music historian Bill Dahl wrote the new set of liner notes.
 
King was influenced by pre-World War II bluesmen Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, and post-war artists T-Bone Walker and Howlin’ Wolf. He came to Stax by way of Al Bell, a Little Rock native who’d met King when he played shows in the area. King’s first Stax recording was “Laundromat Blues,” included on this album, backed by Booker T. Jones on piano; Duck Dunn, bass; and Al Jackson, Jr., drums; plus the Memphis Horns (Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) and Raymond Hill (sax player on Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88”). The song had come by way of an unsolicited songwriting demo that Stax co-founder Estelle Axton correctly believed could be a hit for King.
 
“Crosscut Saw” is one of King’s best-known recordings as yet dated back to 1941 when Delta bluesman Tommy McClennan recorded it for Bluebird, and Willie Sanders & the Binghamton Boys cut it in ’63. A.C. “Moohah” Williams, a veteran DJ at Memphis R&B station WDIA-AM, brought it to King’s attention. 
 
Booker T. Jones and Stax soul singer William Bell came up with the thundering bass riff that defined the title track “Born Under a Bad Sign.” The song notched #49 on the R&B chart in 1967, and was covered in short order by Cream on its 1968 Wheels of Fire album. Soon King himself was playing venues like the Fillmore Auditorium to young white rock audiences.
 
Another one of the signature tracks, “Oh, Pretty Woman,” written by WDIA DJ Williams, required the steady presence of Steve Cropper’s rhythm guitar to augment King’s lead licks. King received songwriting help from David Porter, on leave from his usual collaboration with Isaac Hayes, on “Personal Manager,” which was the B-side of the title track single.
 
Born Under a Bad Sign was also notable for its selection of covers. King gave the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller R&B standard “Kansas City” an urban blues treatment. He’s right at home with Fenton Robinson’s “As the Years Go Passing By.” Ivory Joe Hunter’s “I Almost Lost My Mind” is a rare King ballad with countrypolitan overtones and jazz flute, an unlikely showcase for his rich baritone.
 
For this special reissue Stax Records has reached into its vaults to provide previously unissued bonus tracks in the form of alternate takes of “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Crosscut Saw,” “The Hunter,” “Personal Manager” and an untitled, never-before-released instrumental.

According to annotator Dahl, “Thanks to Born Under a Bad Sign, Albert King became a full-fledged blues luminary, masterfully bridging the gap between the Chitlin’ Circuit and the rock arena. He would make more great Stax albums, but he’d never top this one.”

Albert King will be posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 18, 2013.
If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh Pretty Woman - ALBERT KING

Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing. On December 11th, 2012, it was announced that King would be posthumously inducted into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame One of the "Four Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King, Earl King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) (some reports say 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)) and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas, where the family moved when he was eight. He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living. King moved to Gary, Indiana in the early 1950s, then to Chicago in 1953 where he cut his first single for Parrot Records, but it was only a minor regional success. He then went back to St. Louis in 1956 and formed a new band. During this period, he settled on using the Flying V as his primary guitar. He resumed recording in 1959 with his first minor hit, "I'm a Lonely Man," written by Little Milton, who was Bobbin Records A&R man, a fellow guitar hero, and responsible for King's signing with the label. It was not until his 1961 release "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" that King had a major hit, reaching number fourteen on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. The song was included on his first album The Big Blues, released in 1962. He next signed with jazz artist Leo Gooden's Coun-Tree label. King's reputation continued to grow in the Midwest, but a jealous Gooden dropped him from the label. In 1966, King moved to Memphis, where he signed with the Stax record label.Produced by Al Jackson, Jr., King with Booker T. & the MGs recorded dozens of influential sides, such as "Crosscut Saw" and "As The Years Go Passing By". In 1967 Stax released the album, Born Under a Bad Sign. The title track of that album (written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell) became King's best-known song and has been covered by many artists (from Cream to Homer Simpson). The success of the album made King nationally known for the first time and began to influence white musicians. Another landmark album followed with Live Wire/Blues Power, from one of many dates King played at promoter Bill Graham's Fillmore venues. It had a wide and long-term influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, and later Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Albert King playing at the Fillmore East in October 1968 with his Gibson Flying V guitar. Photo: Grant Gouldon In 1969, King performed live with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. During the early 1970s, he recorded an album Lovejoy with a group of white rock singers, an Elvis Presley tribute album, Albert King Does The King's Things, and a cameo on an Albert Brooks comedy album A Star is Bought. According to Bill Graham, "Albert was one of the artists I used many times for various reasons. He wasn't just a good guitar player; he had a wonderful stage presence, he was very congenial and warm, he was relaxed on stage, and he related to the public. Also he never became a shuck-and-jiver. One of the things that happened in the '60s – it's not a very nice thing to say, but it happens to be true – was that blues musicians began to realize that white America would accept anything they did on stage. And so many of them became jive. But Albert remained a guy who just went on stage and said 'Let's play.'" On June 6, 1970, King joined The Doors on stage at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada. He lent his distinctive guitar to blues cuts such as “Little Red Rooster,” “Money,” “Rock Me” and “Who Do You Love.” In the 1970s, King was teamed with members of The Bar-Kays and The Movement (Isaac Hayes's backing group), including bassist James Alexander and drummer Willie Hall adding strong funk elements to his music. Adding strings and multiple rhythm guitarists, producers Allen Jones and Henry Bush created a wall of sound that contrasted with the sparse, punchy records King made with Booker T. & the MGs. Among these was another of King's signature tunes "I'll Play the Blues For You" in 1972. King influenced others such as Mick Taylor, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Mike Bloomfield and Joe Walsh (the James Gang guitarist spoke at King's funeral). He also had an impact on contemporaries Albert Collins and Otis Rush. Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit "Strange Brew" and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by King. By the late 1980s, King began to muse about retirement, as he had health problems. He continued regular tours and appearances at blues festivals, using a customized Greyhound tour bus with "I'll Play The Blues For You" painted on the side. Shortly before his death, he was planning yet another overseas tour. His final album, Red House - named after the Jimi Hendrix song - was recorded in 1992. The album was largely ignored because of bad production quality and original copies of it are scarce. King died on December 21, 1992 from a heart attack in his Memphis, Tennessee home. His final concert had been in Los Angeles two days earlier. He was given a funeral procession with the Memphis Horns playing "When The Saints Go Marching In" and buried in Edmondson, Arkansas near his childhood home. On December 11th, 2012, it was announced that King would be posthumously inducted into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Secret Records release:Trouble Up The Road - Ike Turner - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Trouble Up The Road, Volume 3 in a series of recordings from the career of Ike Turner. Volume 1 in this series, That Cat Sure Can Play 1951-1957 and Jack Rabbit Blues 1958 - 1960 were earlier released by Secret Records and this recording demonstrates that there is a wealth of material that is so important that Ike was involved with. Included along with the 26 track CD is a 9 page liner notes with a cool documentary section as well as a discography and some cool photos. Some of my favorites are I Idolize You (Ike and Tina Turner) with raw vocals and shimmering guitar work, Trouble Up The Road (Jackie Breston with Ike Turner & his Kings of Rhythm) a straight uptempo blues track and super vocals, My Man Rock Head (Eloise Carter), I Can't Believe (Jimmy and Jean with Ike Turner) getting into the R&B/rock fusion, I'm Hurtin' (Billy Gales), Poor Fool (Ike and Tina Turner) with the classic shout to start the lead vocal/backing vocal echo , What Kind of Love (Ernest Lane) just at the edge of R&B and Blues with a cool honkin' sax solo, the classic Don't Throw Your Love On My So Strong (Albert King) delivered with all of the power you'd expect from Albert and his Flying V, You Can't Love Me (Ike & Tina Turner) a classic R&B ballad showing Tina maturing as a controlled singer, Sleepless (Ike and Tina Turner) showing strong influences toward soul music and early James Brown styling and wrapping up with Chances Are (Ike and Tina Turner) which shows the maturity of Tina as a singer in just a year. This is not just a documentary of one man's work and in my opinion not just some money grubbers trying to squeeze the last few dimes out of a great reputation. This is really strong stuff that deserves to be heard by a much larger audience. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan with Gus Thornton

Personnel Albert King : Electric Guitar, Vocals Stevie Ray Vaughan : Electric Guitar, Vocals only on Song 3 Tony Llorens : Piano, Organ Gus Thornton : Bass Michael Llorens : Drums Bassist Gus Thornton has lived a blues musician's dream. In the last 40 years he has traveled around the world recording and touring with blues greats such as Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Katie Webster. He has shared the stage with, and earned the respect of, every St. Louis Blues Musician he has played with. Gus Thornton is the epitome of St. Louis Blues. Thornton, like many rhythm musicians, is over looked by listeners who tend to get wrapped up in screaming guitars, monster harps and raspy vocals. Musicians, however, will readily agree that the key to any blues band is the rhythm section. "Every time one of my fingers moves, someone taps their foot or nods their head. Yeah, people pay attention to the guitar players and singers, but I have the audience attached to my fingers," said Derek Morgan, bass player for Mojo Syndrome. Thornton is known for his fingers. His chops are on the cutting edge of music, whether it‚s his recordings with Albert King or one of his new contemporary jazz compositions. Thornton continues to be a beacon of light and breath of fresh air for those who pay attention to his music. "He is prolific in everything," said Sharon Foehner, bass player for Bennie Smith and the Urban Express. "He is not just a bass player, though. He is an arranger and plays the guitar as well as many other instruments. He is a complete and total musician." Thornton is quiet about his success in the business, but very honest and surprised to know people admire him. He is a self-taught musician who originally began playing guitar, but became the bass player by default when his first band already had a guitar player. As a teenager, he played in popular gospel and R & B bands mostly, but quickly got drawn into the blues. Thornton played with local talents like Oliver Sain, Johnnie Johnson, and Shirley Brown before he started touring with Albert King. He traveled with King for several years and recorded albums like San Francisco '83 and the more recent release, In Session, with King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He also toured with Katie Webster and got to help cut the Two Fisted Mama album, which stands as one of his favorite recording experiences. At one time, Thornton was offered the opportunity to be B.B. King's bass player. He passed it up because B.B.‚s tour schedule of 300 nights a year would keep him away from his family for too long. Thornton's dedication to his family of six children and wife, Charlene, has been a blessing for both him and St. Louis. His obvious compassion and selfless dedication to the music has earned him a large group of people who care deeply for him and his well-being. St. Louis has in many ways become his extended family. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stax artist remaster: I'll Play The Blues For You - Albert King - Review (release May 22, 2012)


Stax has done it now. They have unleashed the fury of Albert King and his classic I'll Play The Blues For You. This was initially an 8 song release but with remastering came 2 additional alternate tracks as well as 2 unreleased tracks. This recording really shows Albert at the top of his game matched with up with guitarist Michael Toles, bassist James Alexander and drummer Willie Hall from Bar-Kays/Movement. They are also joined by Memphis Horns featuring Wayne Jackson on trumpet and Andrew Love on tenor Sax. The title track is the opener and King's vocals are so smooth and his guitar is so stylistically Albert. No one has ever captured his spirit although many have copied his style. Albert had an uncanny ability to make the guitar bark without pulling it's leash. Breaking Up Somebody's Home is another absolutely terrific track and the blend of soul, funk and blues is just perfect. I'll Be Doggone is a real funky track that is outstanding in the blues world... not to really be approached until Johnny Guitar Watson, Walter Wolfman Watson and now Hamilton Loomis stepped into the arena. King lead this train and he is the King. Answer To The laundromat Blues is a great stinging blues a la King! You want to hear Albert do his guitar thing...this is it! The original recording concludes with Angel of Mercy, a classic King style blues. Brace yourself for a great guitar ride! The bonus tracks are an 8 plus minute alt take of I'll Play the Blues For You and an alt 5 plus minute take of Don't Burn Down the Bridge as well as unreleased tracks I Need Love, a great soul styled blues and Albert's Stomp, a driving guitar ripper. This is a must have for Albert King fans... all blues lovers!



If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

As The Years Go Passing By - Albert King


Before I go into the tribute to Albert for today, his birthday, I will say that I was fortunate enough to see Albert once prior to his demise. It was in a very small club in Phoenix, AZ called the Mason Jar (which is long gone). Albert at this time was known to have a little bit of an edge. Three distinct things that I remember about the performance were Albert's absolute command of the room, Albert smoked a pipe and wore glasses and somewhat laid back during the performance and Albert was cantankerous. It also brings to mind a bootleg lp that I bought as a kid of Little Feat. Lowell George tells the story of playing a concert with Albert and when it is time for Albert to go on, they can't locate his guitar. Lowell runs up to Albert (his hero) and enthusiastically offers his. Albert turns to him and says "Hey Kid... F*** Off". Thirdly, movie karate man Steven Segal own I believe it is 3 of Albert's flying V's. Fourth, the guitar shown in this video was made especially for Albert by Dan Erlewine (of Stew Mac).
Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.
King's first instrument was a diddley bow. Next, he built himself a cigar box guitar, before buying a Guild acoustic. The instrument he is usually associated with is a 1958 Gibson Flying V. In 1974 he began using a Flying V built by Dan Erlewine, and after 1980 also one built by Radley Prokopow.

King was left-handed, but usually played right-handed guitars flipped over upside-down. He used a dropped minor tuning, reportedly C♯-G♯-B-E-G♯-C♯ (but he never used the sixth string).

For amplification, King used a solid-state Acoustic amplifier, with a speaker cabinet with two 15" speakers and a horn
One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) (some reports say 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)) and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. Although unrelated, Albert occasionally referred to himself as "B.B. King's half brother". During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas, where the family moved when he was eight.

He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also, interestingly enough, Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living.

King moved to Chicago in 1953 where he cut his first single for Parrot Records, but it was only a minor regional success. He then went back to St. Louis in 1956 and formed a new band. It was during this period that he settled on using the Flying V as his primary guitar. He resumed recording in 1959 with his first minor hit "I'm a Lonely Man" written by Bobbin Records A&R man and fellow guitar hero Little Milton, responsible for King's signing with the label. However, it was not until his 1961 release "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" that he had a major hit, reaching number fourteen on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. The song was included on his first album The Big Blues, released in 1962. He then signed with jazz artist Leo Gooden's Coun-Tree label. King's reputation continued to grow in the Midwest, but a jealous Gooden then dropped him from the label. In 1966, he went to Memphis and signed with the Stax record label. Produced by Al Jackson, Jr., King with Booker T. & the MGs recorded dozens of influential sides, such as "Crosscut Saw" and "As The Years Go Passing By", and in 1967 Stax released the album, Born Under a Bad Sign. The title track of that album (written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell) became King's best known song and has been covered by many artists (from Cream to Homer Simpson). The success of the album made King nationally known for the first time and began to influence white musicians.

Another landmark album followed in Live Wire/Blues Power from one of many dates King played at promoter Bill Graham's Fillmore venues. It had a wide and long-term influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, and later Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Albert King playing at the Fillmore East in October, 1968 with his Gibson Flying V guitar Photo: Grant Gouldon

In 1969, King performed live with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. During the early '70s, he recorded an album Lovejoy with a group of white rock singers, an Elvis Presley tribute album, Albert King Does The King's Things, and a cameo on an Albert Brooks comedy album A Star is Bought.

According to Bill Graham, "Albert was one of the artists I used many times for various reasons. He wasn't just a good guitar player; he had a wonderful stage presence, he was very congenial and warm, he was relaxed on stage, and he related to the public. Also he never became a shuck-and-jiver. One of the things that happened in the '60s – it's not a very nice thing to say, but it happens to be true – was that blues musicians began to realize that white America would accept anything they did on stage. And so many of them became jive. But Albert remained a guy who just went on stage and said 'Let's play.'"

On June 6, 1970, King joined The Doors on stage at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada. He lent his distinctive guitar to blues cuts such as “Little Red Rooster,” “Money,” “Rock Me” and “Who Do You Love.”

In the 1970s, King was teamed with members of The Bar-Kays and The Movement (Isaac Hayes's backing group), including bassist James Alexander and drummer Willie Hall adding strong funk elements to his music. Adding strings and multiple rhythm guitarists, producers Allen Jones and Henry Bush created a wall of sound that contrasted the sparse, punchy records King made with Booker T. & the MGs. Among these was another of King's signature tunes "I'll Play the Blues For You" in 1972.

King influenced others such as Mick Taylor, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Mike Bloomfield and Joe Walsh (the James Gang guitarist spoke at King's funeral). He also had an impact on contemporaries Albert Collins and Otis Rush. Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit "Strange Brew" and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by King.

By the late 1980s, King began to muse about retirement, not unreasonable given that he had health problems. He continued regular tours and appearances at blues festivals, using (since the '70s) a customized Greyhound tour bus with "I'll Play The Blues For You" painted on the side. Shortly before his death, he was planning yet another overseas tour.
His final album, Red House, was recorded in 1992 and named for the Jimi Hendrix song that he covered on it. The album was largely ignored because of bad production quality (the background instrumentals drowning out King's guitar playing), and original copies of it are scarce.

King died on December 21, 1992 from a heart attack in his Memphis, Tennessee home. His final concert had been in Los Angeles two days earlier. He was given a funeral procession with the Memphis Horns playing "When The Saints Go Marching In" and buried in Edmondson, Arkansas near his childhood home.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Albert King classic album reissued by Stax Records



CONCORD MUSIC GROUP RELEASES
ALBERT KING’S I’LL PLAY THE BLUES FOR YOU
AS PART OF ITS STAX REMASTERS SERIES

2012 release date marks 40
th anniversary of landmark blues recording.


LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Concord Music Group will release Albert King’s I’ll Play the Blues for You as part of its Stax Remasters series on May 22, 2012. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, four previously unreleased bonus tracks, and newly written liner notes by music journalist and roots music historian Bill Dahl, the reissue not only spotlights one of the most entertaining and influential blues recordings of the 1970s, but also underscores the album’s enduring nature four decades after its original release.

In addition to King’s brilliant guitar and vocal work, the album also features a rhythm section made up of members of the Bar-Kays and the Movement — the former a new lineup following the tragic Otis Redding plane crash that wiped out most of the original band, and the latter group Isaac Hayes’s funk-driven outfit, with guitarist Michael Toles, bassist and Bar-Kays co-founder James Alexander, and drummer Willie Hall members of both bands. Rounding out the backup unit is the Memphis Horns, featuring longtime Stax mainstays Wayne Jackson on trumpet and Andrew Love on tenor saxophone.

Recorded in Memphis in 1972 and released in the fall of that same year, I’ll Play the Blues for You “was a typically brilliant mixture of pile-driving blues and hot Memphis soul grooves that dented Billboard’s pop album survey at #140,” says Dahl in his liner notes. “Producers Allen Jones and Henry Bush kept King contemporary while simultaneously emphasizing his inherent strengths. The result was one of Albert’s best long-players.”

“This album was originally recorded and released in 1972, at the very end of an era when a variety of musical genres — blues, rock, pop, soul and funk, to name a few — could still coexist on a single radio station playlist or on a single tour bill,” says Chris Clough, Concord’s Manager of Catalog Development and producer of this reissue. “Albert King was versatile enough, and had a broad enough appeal in the early ’70s, to pull in audiences that were dialed into every one of these styles. He successfully walked a tightrope that connected so many different kinds of music and so many different audiences. This versatility is partly why he’s so influential four decades after this recording was originally issued.”

In addition to the LP’s eight tracks, I’ll Play the Blues for You includes four previously unreleased titles — two of which are alternate takes of songs in the main sequence. “A stripped-down ‘Don’t Burn Down the Bridge’ minus the horns crackles with excitement,” says Dahl, “while a freshly discovered alternate of ‘I’ll Play the Blues for You’ sports a contrasting horn arrangement and has no spoken interlude yet stands quite tall on its own, even with King playing right over an elegant sax solo (he really tears it up on the extended vamp out, spinning chorus after chorus of hair-raising licks”).

The other two of the four bonus tracks are “splendid additions to King’s Stax canon,” says Dahl. “It’s hard to understand why ‘I Need a Love’ laid unissued; the upbeat scorcher comes complete with full-blast horns, Albert’s smoky vocal bearing an ominous edge. ‘Albert’s Stomp’ is a funk-soaked instrumental that finds King working Lucy [his trademark flying V guitar] over fatback organ and Toles’s wah-wah.”

Dahl sums up this 1972 tour de force accurately and succinctly: “When Albert King gave us I’ll Play the Blues for You, he fulfilled his promise and then some.”

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stormy Monday - John Mayall with Albert King





This is a great recording with Albert King and John Mayall's band including Mick Taylor....enjoy!!

John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years, but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late 1960s. He was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and, as a gifted talent-scout, has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.

Friday, August 5, 2011

As the Years Go Passing By - Albert King


Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.
One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B. B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6' 4" (192 cm) (some reports say 6' 7") and weighed 250 lbs (118 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi, also the birthplace of B.B. King. Although the two were not related, Albert occasionally referred to himself as "B.B. King's half brother". During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas, where the family moved when he was eight.

He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also, interestingly enough, Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

House On The Edge Of Town - Stevie Ray Vaughan - Albert King


Father and son.... no question that SRV was heavily influenced by Albert King. I actually bought this cd a few years back and was not overly impressed. I think it has to do with two super stars trying to play together for one time that just doesn't rock my boat. Typically neither has the chance to really do his thing. In this case, I actually had the opportunity to watch the DVD which was released recently. It is a very good watch. Albert actually does a nice nod to SRV for having technically surpassed his own playing...actually playing the blues like a "real blues player' if you know what I mean.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Blues Power - Albert King


Albert King is the King of the modern Texas blues guitar players. Always a pleasure to watch him! For reference he's playing a Gibson v in this video. Oh Yeah...you bet SRV was listening!

Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer.One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B. B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6' 4" (192 cm) (some reports say 6' 7") and weighed 250 lbs (118 kg)and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas, where the family moved when he was eight. He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola.
He also briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also interestingly Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy".
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stormy Monday - Albert King


A nice opportunity to see 3 giants on stage together and not just play over each other like a cluster bomb in the concert videos so common. John Mayall, Mick Taylor later of the Stones of course and actually with Albert playing his signature Flying V but not the Gibson but his custom made v made by Dan Erlewine...yeah the Stew Mac guy.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Prisoner Of Love - Albert King


Raw and rough but hey... it's tough to find good old footage of Albert at his best.
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Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Born Under a Bad Sign - Albert King


Albert King was the real deal. He was warm and vibrant but he was also cantankerous. I remember seeing him in a small club called the Mason Jar just a short time before he passed. He hadn't slowed down, just riffin away and smokin his pipe. He's the father of the Texas style of guitar... oh yeah this song was written by the backing band Booker T and the MG's (Green Onions)but made a huge crossover for Albert and then a great hit for the Cream. Albert playing left handed and upside down had a lot to do with his style and how his guitar sounded. The meat in his bends. Stevie Ray Vaughn, of course one of our best contemporary blues players drew a lot of influence from Alberts style.
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