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This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. No institutional affiliation. LOG IN. American Studies. Paul Gilroy 1. All of a sudden, despite the voice, guitar licks, and tunefulness still being there, nothing else is. The problem is that the backing band — and there is a whole army of backup musicians listed in the credits, none of whom I've ever heard about previously — is fairly rote.

These are generic session hacks, doing their job faithfully but without any sort of inspiration. The opening track, 'Guitar Man', had every chance to become an outstanding rousing funky brawl, but the way they do it — it's just okay. The latter made you want to run and hide; the former makes you wonder just how bored one should have really been to record this tripe. It is all moderately pleasant, but there were millions of records like this, no better or worse, made in , and it is a pity to see giants compete with mediocrity.

More interesting than most guitar parts on here. The expected sequel to Albert , every bit as forgettable for the exact same reasons. Everything else is starkly lite, and gets as sure a thumbs down as I have ever witnessed. Must-avoid, unless nothing gives you a bigger boner than sterile s R'n'B and even then, I'm sure there's literally thousands of albums to take precedence. May actually be a slight improvement over the last two efforts.

Maybe 'Good Time Charlie', a soul-blues number that finishes the album on a slightly more elevated note than everything else. The really sad thing is that there is no feeling of the guitar as the album-driving instrument — and what, may I ask, is the point of listening to a non-guitar-centered Albert King record? Obviously, he soloes on every track, but either the solos are short, or they are drowned out in the mix; and even when they are not, they are so pro forma that you just can tell exactly how much King actually cared for this material.

Not one bit. Thumbs down. Also available as simply Live , and — I believe — as Blues From The Road , with the latter spread over 2 CDs and featuring the entire performance, whereas current, and most widespread, editions of Live Blues truncate some of the lengthier numbers 'Jam In A Flat'. Also, on some of the songs you might be surprised by a very non-King style of playing, particularly 'As The Years Go Passing By'; this is because Albert is backed by Irish guitar hero Rory Gallagher, and sometimes even condescends to duelling with him — which makes for just about the most exciting moments on this otherwise standard fare disc.

So he played it straight, predictable, and devoid of surprises. The backing band is slack and lazy. Gallagher does not overplay. The selections are the same old chestnuts. The licks are known by heart. Good album. Nice album. Let's move on. Hymns to blues power are King's forte, since few artists of his stature are more tightly connected to the bar form than Albert, and, thus, few are entitled to getting pompous and religious on the subject better than the man.

On everything else, you know the Stax people will be there with their chuggy rhythms, and the Memphis Horns will be all funky and sweaty and cooking. A massive thumbs up , then, and I will put in a few superfluous exclamation marks as well —!!!!!!!!!!! At the same time that The Pinch floated adrift in space, attracting only the most dedicated King fans where it should have attracted everybody, King's new "original" release, New Orleans Heat , was actively promoted by Tomato Records — for a moot purpose; it is neither better nor worse than King's average Tomato album, and that's not a compliment.

They did try a new move on him, teaming him up with famous R'n'B producer Allen Toussaint, responsible for long strings of 's and 's hits by a long stream of artists. None of this is enlightening. Production values are high, as should be expected of Toussaint, but the backing band is clearly not interested in working with King; they hack all the backing out professionally and with very little spark. Some oldies are just plain ruined — the formerly snappy 'Born Under A Bad Sign' collapses under the weight of cheesy female choruses, for instance — and by the time 'I Got The Blues', with its totally robotic background, passes the five-minute mark out of its nine minutes , I'm screaming for mercy.

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King's own spirits do not seem all that high to me; he plays it safe and simple, with his guitar very much in the background much of the time. It all gets so bad that, in the end, the only number that sticks with me is the record's corniest — the lame funk workout 'We All Wanna Boogie', just because a corny Albert King at least raises more interest than a boring, by-the-book Albert King. Too bad. Totally thumbs down. After a lengthy break from recording, King reemerged for a two-album stunt in the Eighties, on Fantasy Records — the same label that had earlier bought out the Stax catalog, which does not, however, mean that it also bought out Stax's creativity and inspiration.

The best I can say about this "comeback" is that, technically, this is a comeback: first time in years, King releases a pure blues album. No frills. Strictly bar, strictly guitar-bass-drums, and some piano to boot. However, evaluating it in its historical context means recalling that we already know all these licks by heart, and that each new solo will be painfully predictable.

Even when they pick up the tempo and start to boogie a little bit 'They Made The Queen Welcome' , I do not feel any genuine rock'n'roll excitement. These are paid people who do their job and little else. In short, a huge disappointment. And a particular ugh goes for Tony Llorens' cheap piano tone.


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To add insult to injury, the record is crowned by a remake of a remake!! Thumbs down , no doubt about it; instead of wasting your money, if you really need another Albert King record, trace down some old archive or live release from the early Seventies. King's final studio album — not just for Fantasy, but altogether — is a slight improvement over the total lifelessness of Crosscut Saw , but not by much.

You know things cannot be particularly good if he starts remaking his own Tomato-era material 'Truck Load Of Lovin' , or if the best tracks on the album turn out to be million-year old Elmore James standards like 'Dust My Broom' and 'The Sky Is Crying'. He just keeps playing the same tired old licks over and over again. Every doggone second of the album is more predictable than the next United Nations session, and what could be more safe and predictable than that?.. Following Phone Booth , King retired for good, and that was the wisest decision he could have made; after all, no one could, or should, have banned him from recreating his past glories live as often as he wanted, and there was quite obviously no chance left at shaping some future ones.

Pretty much all the interesting material he released from to could be stored on half an audio CD, yet none of these records tarnish his reputation the way, say, Rod Stewart's last thirty years have pretty much annihilated his. Twenty years after Live Wire established Albert's reputation as the ultimate live bluesman once and for all, someone had the great idea to go ahead and release a set of additional performances from the same Fillmore dates that produced the original album.

For Albert King fans, this is not less than a Godsend. For everyone else, it should be perfectly clear why Live Wire , upon initial release, was not made into a double album: back in , people sort of looked ascance at releasing the same album twice, much less at the same time. There is nothing new whatsoever — the songs have different titles, but they're still the same two numbers: fast blues and slow blues.

Even the improvisational solos are more or less the same, because, obviously, it's hard to expect Albert learning a bunch of new tricks in a matter of 24 hours. And, alas, such classic numbers as 'Born Under A Bad Sign' and 'Personal Manager', freed from the tight guidance of the Memphis Horns, pale in respect to their studio counterparts. King gets somewhat more prominent backing from James Washington on the organ, but that's about the only difference I feel.

Everything else is the same. It is not very hard to guess that this album does not deserve an independent review. Even if they are so very careful to pick all the right tracks so there's no overlap with the preceding two records, all the licks are still the same — after a short while, you can start predicting the near-exact phrase Albert is gonna pick out after a particular verse.

It's easy to get tired of the repetitive guitar playing, perhaps, but it is impossible to get tired of the charisma. Nice guy all around. LIVE '69 ; Albert puts in as much fire as he can, but even he cannot help repeating all of his trademark licks and bends for at least several times over those seventeen minutes, and if you already know them by heart from the Fillmore days, you won't be particularly happy having to go through them all over again.

On the other hand, Live '69 is as good a first introduction into the live blues power of Albert King as anything else. Also, the basic guitar tone is thicker and lower here than the thin, shrill tone we hear on the Fillmore records — probably a different set of amps, since the man seems to be playing the same Flying-V model as usual. When you're climbing up the rugged heights of that awesome garbage heap called popular music, remember this: not everything that is lost obligatorily deserves to be found.

In fact, more often than not there is a pretty good reason for The Thing to have gotten lost. The Lost Session is not even well-qualified for the former. The liner notes, written by Lee Hildebrand in a very clear and intelligent manner, make the best justification possible for this collaboration, explaining that the gentlemen wanted to do something radically different from Albert's usual Stax style, and that they achieved it by fusing together "Delta blues, British blues, and Los Angeles jazz".

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So, if the very idea of a partnership between a giant of American and a giant of British blues is enough to get you shaking, feel free to get lost in The Session. But if, overwhelmed by the flood of electric blues albums, you feel more like getting your kicks out of the 'real special' ones, I doubt this archive release passes the test.

I cannot even name one particular highlight.

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Give me the Stax sound over this unexperimental experiment any time of day. Recorded in July at the famous Montreux Festival, it catches King at the early stage of his "funkier" period, so the setlist is predictably heavy on songs from I'll Play The Blues For You with a few respectable oldies, like the title track, thrown on for balance. Another reason to own this is that King is exploring heavier, more "electrified" guitar tones in this live setting, than the thin, shrill tone he is usually known for on his studio and earlier live records.

Listening to these performances in their chronological place, one can get the impression that he was just given this new guitar two days ago and wanted to test its abilities — there's plenty of new licks here that aren't usually associated with King, and his reliance on the power of vibrato is entirely unprecedented; he ends up sounding like Hendrix from time to time.

You only have to go back once to the studio version of 'Don't Burn Down The Bridge' to understand that this Montreux version blows it away completely — provided you respect "heavy blues", of course, and do not hold the conviction that extra heaviness kills off the delicate subtleties and is much better suited for emotionally deaf nitwits. For fact lovers, 'I Believe To My Soul' is the original Ray Charles tune somewhat sad to hear it without the trademark piano chords, though , and King even preserves the old lyrics ' But it's Albert King, and it's a cool sound, especially when after the so-so solo of Kinsey comes the shotgun blast of Albert.

Also, 'For The Love Of A Woman' is set to the exact rhythm pattern of 'Crossroads' as arranged by Cream during their live performances, so for all it's worth, you might think of this performance as King's tribute to Cream. Oh, and thumbs are up , of course. This is quite definitely treasurable. A bunch of outtakes from some of King's Stax sessions from the early Seventies possibly earlier as well, I'm not informed of the recording dates. This here 'Cold Sweat' chugs along almost as fine as the original, and will also please those who dislike Brown's neglect for melody, because that's exactly what King's guitar adds to the proceedings.

Everything else is stuff we have heard a million times in better or equal quality. It's all tight and solid, but strictly sparkless. Bottomline: all of this is heavily expendable, although not for the dedicated fan. Stevie, on the verge of his big breakthrough, is in good form, and Albert was never in bad form as long as the material was adequate. The obvious question is — how are they up for teamwork, and does that teamwork offer any extra revelations? One thing I must confess is that, throughout the endless blues jamming, I was not always able to tell who of the two was taking the lead referring to the audio soundtrack only, of course.

Albert himself also rises to the occasion and plays the whole show as fluent, loud, screechy, and well-rounded as possible: no flubs or retro-style minimalist passages that would date him as somebody out of the s. As a textbook, it is beyond reproach: you could hardly wish for a more awesome combination of stellar players if you are in the mood for some star-powered blues-rock. Most of the reviews I've encountered for In Session were glowing, but I really wonder how many of them weren't already following a pre-set bias if you get Vaughan and King together on one record, and if they find a way to gel together, then this has to be good because there is no way it could ever be bad.

Did they make history on that night? Would be hard to deny that. Isn't it great to have a whole hour of high-quality footage of Albert King's playing so rare to come across in general? Sure is. Did I have a right to expect more than what I got? Yes, I did. No, I did not. Why should this super-session be different from any other super-session?.. Blues queens of the s generally fall into three categories. There are the Power Gals, whose trick is to overwhelm the listener with superhuman strength and passion — could be just brute force, like Ma Rainey, or mixed with subtlety, as in the case of Empress Bessie, but power and aggression are the key in all cases.

Then there are the Hooligans, like Mamie Smith or Lucille Hegamin, who sound like screechy, sexy, mischievous schoolgirls that are out there to have a very naughty time, above everything else. These ones sound more dated today, but are a terrific reflection of the swingin' era none the less. Then there's the third, initially least noticeable, but eventually recognizable category: the stately, no-bull "Ladies of the Blues", those that generally avoid the more salacious, wang-wangy side of the blues, and try to push it closer to the white crooners of the day.

Among these, Alberta Hunter was arguably the leader. The approach did not pay off well: history generally prefers those who like to take a little risk, and it is possible that Hunter's name would have been wiped off the slate entirely — and unjustly — had she not had the luck of getting a "comeback" chance in her late years, the only blues queen of younger days to actually record and perform live for a bewildered generation five or six decades removed from her golden age. As it is, she has a slightly better chance to appear on the pages of musical encyclopaedias than, say, Ethel Waters, and this is good news, since these early tunes are quite enjoyable.

The first volume of Complete Recorded Works collects all of the records cut for, first, the Black Swan label and then Paramount, who lured her over with a better contract after the initial two singles, in , along with a couple well-preserved alternate takes.

Sound quality is tolerable — you get to hear not only the voice, but the musical accompaniment as well, generally provided on the piano by the notorious Fletcher Henderson. The Complete Recorded Works series never bother much about removing any hiss-and-scratch, though, so do not expect Fletcher Henderson to be the only accompaniment.

Connoisseurs of Bessie Smith will undoubtedly recognize some of her own later standards — 'Down Hearted Blues', 'T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness', and 'Bleeding Hearted Blues' are all here, and as much as Bessie makes them her own, Alberta's renditions, although more "croony" and generic in tone and arrangement, are quite worth hearing as well not to mention the trifling fact that 'Down Hearted Blues' was actually written by her. Still, in between her lovely and rather idiosyncratic voice, Henderson's tasteful and inventive piano playing, and generally well-chosen blues or, rather, "vaudeville-blues" standards, these early records are fine party-poppers, with only the cracks and hisses threatening to turn them into party-poopers.

Thumbs up. But then, with all due respect, Alberta ain't no Bessie, and these early tracks ain't nothing but gallant, high-class entertainment. The third volume in the series is arguably the best. The Gennett records, in particular, sound unusually crisp and sharp; alas, the songs on them are not among Alberta's best material. The cracks and pops come back on Okeh, but in a moderate manner. With such an increase in quality, one can finally start noticing all the subtle nuances in Hunter's singing: she was, quite clearly, maturing as a singer, perhaps striving to bring out all her hitherto undisclosed sides under the pressures of competition; by the end of , the "Blues Queens" era had mobilized a veritable swarm of mighty singers, and it was certainly harder to compete with Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith than with Lucille Hegamin and Mamie Smith.

But Alberta almost rises to the challenge, toughening up her act, yet still sounding "lady-like". She even engages in singing more provocative stuff, rich on double-entendres — on one record at least Okeh , where the A-side is 'Take That Thing Away' what thing? And she lets her hair down on faster, merrier, speakeasy-friendly numbers more frequently than before the classic chestnut 'Cake Walking Babies From Home '; 'Heebie Jeebies', etc.

All in all, fans of the Roaring Decade will probably get a kick out of at least half of these performances. Unlike so many other blues queens, Alberta Hunter did not have her career seriously cut down by the Depression, because even in her prime she would not have too many recordings, and by , sessions had all but ended, with the lady embarking on a lengthy revue trip to Europe and, then, eventually and gradually, shifting to other lines of duty such as troop entertaining and, after the war, going to nursing school and engaging in healthcare.

Paradoxically, it is exactly this career fluctuation that makes Vol. Especially knockout-like if you hear it after playing the previous three volumes one after the other with no breaks. Different, but likable. Later sessions, from and the early s, are even more of a hodge-podge: traditional blues, whitebread ballads, early boogie-woogie, whatever works. As for these late numbers, none of them were hits, but who cares?

From to , there's really only two types of Alberta Hunter records: the good ones are those that you can hear and the bad ones are those that you cannot, and — technological progress be blessed — on this volume, there are no bad ones. In , Alberta Hunter quit show business for good — or so it seemed — and embarked on a nursing career instead, for a bunch of personal reasons such as shock from her mother's death and some objective ones — such as not really being needed in the business any longer.

Now, in the Reagan era, it makes her the last remaning spokesperson for all these ladies; she is more than Alberta Hunter, she is Blues Queen Incarnate. Certainly, no one can stop the skepticist from complaining about lines like 'he churns my butter' coming from the lips of an octogenarian. But I would pity the skepticist, unable to feel the still young spirit behind the old body.

For most people, including myself, the evident highlight would be 'Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out', simply because it is the most outstanding and well-known composition on here, and because Hunter does it full justice from Bessie's classic repertoire, she also sings 'A Good Man Is Hard To Find'; being the last of the great old divas still alive and kicking, she did a great job promoting and preserving the memory of her generation. Yet, of course, Amtrak Blues is not about individual songs — it is about the pleasures of survival against all odds, and it is so wildly successful on the intellectual level that it seriously influences the emotional level as well, and gets a decisive thumbs up from both.

Amtrak Blues is the best known and the only easily available album from Alberta's later days, but, in fact, she really hits her second stride with The Glory , released but two years before her death. The Glory has a little bit of everything: blues, jazz, cabaret, schmaltz, even two gospel numbers that bookmark the record's two ends. Unsurprisingly, the two major highlights are the ones on which Ms. Hunter gets real down and dirty: a re-recording of 'You Can't Tell The Difference After Dark', and 'I've Had Enough' which, to the best of my knowledge, was not a part of her previous studio repertoire.

You bet your life we can't. But she pulls it off splendidly, wrapping things up with an unforgettable coda of bye-byes to her brutal lover: 'goodbye, sayonara, au revoir, kalimera, auf Wiedersehen, bonne nuit For this ray of optimism and bout of enthusiasm, the perfectly titled Glory Of Alberta Hunter gets a glorious thumbs up. Bet my own salvation that God can't tell much difference after dark, either. Unfortunately, Elvis did not cover Amos Milburn Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker did, but their reputation, even pooled, is still no match for the King , and his current popularity amounts to little more than a footnote.

Injustice a-plenty: unlike Big Joe and Wynonie, great powerhouse belters whose talents, nevertheless, can be fully assessed by sampling three or four of their best recordings, Milburn was one of the very few jump blues performers whose main talent lay in the playing — simply put, he was one of the most accomplished pianists of his epoch.

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But as far as that genre went, Milburn can honestly be said to have explored every nook and cranny. For those totally unfamiliar with the man, let's just say that his sound was a direct influence on Fats Domino, as well as Chuck Berry's Johnnie Johnson — some of the piano runs on 'Down The Road Apiece' made it directly on to Chuck's version, and from there, became distributed between Keith Richards and Ian Stewart on the Stones' version — and on Jerry Lee Lewis.

But, of course, these buys are for the nutty ones; regular guys like us can find perfect satisfaction in smaller collections, since, like every respectable performer from that time period, Amos was never above recording the exact same tune over and over and over again. Listening to these recordings on a track-by-track basis clearly establishes that Milburn's best stuff was recorded around , when the major attraction was Amos himself: his unexceptional, but nice singing voice, and his exceptional, if formula-limited, piano playing.

In those early years, though, Milburn was magic, as evidenced already on 'After Midnite' that opens the album. Generic slow-moving bar blues? But Johnnie Johnson was just a supporting player on that tune, his ivories buried deep in the background; Milburn, who came earlier, pushes them up front, and accompanies each of the generic sung bars with a different improvised run. Even if Milburn was not the only accomplished boogie player around town at the time, there are still few, if any, other places where you can hear such a distilled sound.

Meade Lux Lewis, perhaps, or Pete Johnson, but the former did not record all that much, and the latter always got overshadowed by whoever he was accompanying. This here is pristine stuff. Still, it is worth repeating that it is possible to play the sixty-six tracks on here in a row without going mad, which is much more than could be said about most of Milburn's competition during those years.

But, being stuck in the role of a commercial entertainer, he could still have the mindset of a freedom-riding improviser, and as similar as all these tunes are, only a very select few repeat each other note-for-note.

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If that is not enough to freeze the man in whatever Hall of Fame is willing to contain him, I don't know what is. Thumbs up , of course. So jump blues could never hold its own against the onslaught of rock'n'roll, with Little Richard and Chuck Berry whisking away its black audiences and then the white rockers sealing its fate completely. No big surprise that in Aladdin finally went down, and brought Amos down with it. For Motown, Milburn settled on simply re-recording the old classics. He cut a bunch of singles and even an entire — his first and only — LP, confusingly entitled Return Of The Blues Boss even though, to the best of my knowledge, no one ever knew him under such a nick name, not even in his best days.

Frankly speaking, though, these Motown recordings are solid evidence that either Amos really was washed up by , or, more likely, that there was not a single person around him that knew the way to make his talents serve the new decade. All of these eighteen tracks sound well enough, but Milburn's greatest strength — the fantastic piano playing — is criminally understated; on half of the tracks, he is not given the proper chance to shine at all, and on the other half, the piano is criminally buried in the mix.

He certainly has always had a nice singing voice, but in the world of the early s, with Ben E. In the end, The Motown Sessions may be of minor interest not so much to fans of the old boogie woogie sound, but rather to All that's left is to issue a warning — do not mistake these re-recordings of 'Chicken Shack Boogie', 'One Bourbon', 'Bad Bad Whiskey' and other classics for the originals. Remember, an Amos Milburn original must have the piano in the role of lead vocalist — and the vocals accompanying it.

Not vice versa. The respectable layman also knows that at least one more big Elvis hit, 'My Baby Left Me', is also credited to Crudup. The respectable would, perhaps, want to ask how come they are the exact same song with different sets of lyrics — and be surprised in learning that, throughout his entire recording career, Arthur Crudup only wrote two songs, which, for lack of a better terminology, we shall hereby call The Slow One and The Fast One. Although even the lyrics get recycled.

The fact that Crudup's records actually found reasonable commercial success in the s will seem all the more mind-boggling once you realize just how simple the formula is. Historically speaking, he was one of the pioneers of the electric guitar — along with the similarly minimalistic John Lee Hooker and the far more technical T-Bone Walker — but his sound was really just amplified acoustic, sometimes hard to tell from true unplugged; certainly this could not be a determining factor. Perhaps, somehow, he symbolized that creepy Delta magnetism better than anybody else in some listeners' eyes and ears.

Perhaps not. Discussing the actual titles would be completely useless. This is the period during which 'That's All Right Mama ' was recorded — but in the context of the album, it is not even the most energetic incarnation of the Fast One; personally, I would rather vote for 'I Want My Lovin', the exact same tune, but with some very nifty jazz drumming driving Arthur to play and sing it with a tad more wildness. Do not quote me on that, though. As the s drew near, Big Boy finally decided to vary the formula — if only a little bit.

He got himself a new guitar sound, explicitly more electrified and thick than before, learned a few extra chords or so it would seem , and even dared to tread on the previously untrodden turf of a few giants. This is pretty much it, though. Except for those two songs and tiny signs of evolution as a player and the generally much improved sound quality, but, what with the passing of time, this is to be expected , everything else is still The Slow One and The Fast One; and The Fast One is, once again, giving up its positions the ratio on this volume is 13 : 8 in favor of The Slow One, not counting one alternate take , while The Slow One, if that is even possible, becomes even more generic than before — out of the 13, at least seven or eight start out with the exact same ringing chords.

Which should not detract from realizing that it is the exact same song as 'That's All Right Mama ', or even that pretty much all of its lyrics had already appeared on previous recordings of The Fast One, usually in sizable chunks. The last Crudup volume in the Document series covers two and a half more years in his career before he went into semi-retirement, supposedly out of disgust with the record labels cheating him out of hard-earned cash frankly speaking, it is possible to understand the record labels — how many times over and over again can you pay an artist for recording the exact same song?

The catalyst might have actually been Elvis' recording of 'That's Alright Mama ', for which Big Boy never got any royalties — but then he didn't really write it, either. So it is no big surprise that the Document series stops at — there was no place for Arthur Crudup in the musical world of The only bit of variety is that some of the songs are accompanied by a little studio banter, letting you know that Big Boy's singing style did not vary all that much from his talking one.

Nothing else. Soon afterwards, he would once again stop recording, and soon after that, he would die, as that was pretty much the last productive option to choose. That is, after all, two good records more than most artists in this world have ever produced. King's singles on RPM records started flowing as early as , but most of his career was LP-oriented, and so it makes sense to choose, as our point of departure, this collection that puts together the majority of his best singles from to a more comprehensive overview of the early years can probably be found on some later anthologies, but, as far as I am able to tell, there is no single collection that puts together all of his early material.

Too clean. Already from the get-go, B. The same applies to music: smooth, mid-tempo, backed by professional jazz musicians with big brassy arrangements. And, to make matters worse, the guy puts as much emphasis on his singing as he does on his playing — the most tasteless thing in blues, ever!

All of this easily explains why B. For blues lovers, 'Every Day I Have The Blues' is one of the cornerstones of the genre, but definitely not because of this original version of King's, a whopping in length and only featuring a brief, minimalistic solo — he had to popularize it, and a dozen other big hits, in a live context to achieve this result, and he had to wait at least ten more years for it.

Singin' The Blues is no more of a milestone in the evolution of electric blues than contemporary records by the other King Albert — or, for that matter, earlier records by T-Bone Walker. Most of the time, B. If there is one reason to listen to these singles at all, it is the singing. Unquestionably, at this point B.

This makes it hard to associate his music with the devil, who, as I have heard, is gravely allergic to falsetto, and prefers to make serious deals with the likes of John Lee Hooker. But, when dealing with B. Many people, I think, share this dream with me: to hear Clyde McPhatter with an atmosphere of grit inside of sap. Singin' The Blues is at least historically important in that it collects B.

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It is quite transparent that B. However, just like before, the songs are simply way too short, and have been cut way too quickly, for any of this material to acquire some individuality, and, from the first track to the last, it merely plays as acceptable background music with stylish for their time guitar licks.

He wails all right, but he does not play all that much. This cannot work, and it does not work. No one should doubt the powers of B. King as a blues singer — always was one of the absolute best out there — but his voice only works to its fullest when he gives it the proper competition from the guitar. About half of this surprisingly short album ten tracks only is still vintage B. The recent CD reissue of the album is arguably a better proposition than the original, due to the inclusion of a few bonus tracks that have B.


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Which does not save the record itself from a disappointed thumbs down , regardless. Far be it from us to say that B. Further be it from us to say that B. King is not a spiritually sensible man — regardless of how much money he has made and how much of it he has not given away to the poor, there is little reason to doubt his sincere faith in the Lord who has, among other things, provided him with all that money. Still further be it from us to say that B.

King has no right, or reason, or business recording an entire album of gospel tunes if he feels like it — especially considering that, every once in a while, everyone deserves at least a brief change from the bar mold, and going into gospel is nowhere near as cringeworthy as, say, going into crooning.

And be it as furthest of the furthest from us as possible to say that B. King Sings Spirituals is a proverbially bad album. King album with no guitar on it whatsoever. King is a guitar player, period. If he does not want to play his guitar, let him not play his guitar in front of his parents, his children, his close friends, or his mirror.


  • Married By Christmas (Mills & Boon Vintage 90s Modern).
  • Mord im Treppenhaus (German Edition).
  • 100 Most Important and Influential American Songs.
  • My Faith Looks Up To Thee.

In this life, B. King has one and only one social purpose that matters, anyway , and that is playing his guitar. This is a subtle but vital difference. The goal is not to racially profile record buyers, either. And I mean really white. And what was No. The November 23, , chart is interesting for reasons that have nothing to do with the coincidental assassination of President Kennedy that week. One week after this issue, the editors mysteriously pulled the chart from the magazine and kept it out for 14 months.

The latter is based on a new, also dubious methodology, powered by digital data, that over-weights pop crossover records. But this time, the magazine has no intention of changing it anytime soon.

Artists P Hemifrån - Gut Music For All People

What happened? Billboard has had a chart to track music aimed at African-Americans since the s, but its size and methodology have changed multiple times over the years. To say nothing of its name—beginning with Harlem Hit Parade in , the chart has been called everything from Race Records —49 to Hot Soul Singles — For decades, the chart was the largely unchallenged authority on the songs that, week to week, defined black America. But it took Billboard a while to get the formula right.

In the 50s and early 60s, at a time when reliable data in the record business was hard to come by—and, not incidentally, the Civil Rights Act was still nonexistent—one imagines the magazine was having a tough time finding record-shop managers and radio programmers able or willing to accurately reflect what African-Americans were listening to and buying. And when pop crossover did happen, it really meant something. At the start of the decade, a foursome of vital rap tracks all peaked, coincidentally, at No. But No. By the end of the decade, a follower of the black chart could be forgiven for thinking rap was basically a fad.

But as it turned out, the 80s were a mere throat-clearing for hip-hop's 90s explosion. And good data had a lot to do with giving rap its due. The deep-data era on the U. Immediately, this revolutionized the chart, giving a boost to genres that the old manual-charts system had underreported. Then in November , the magazine brought SoundScan technology to the Hot Because the Hot was based not only on sales of singles but also radio airplay, Billboard introduced a computerized data feed from Broadcast Data Systems , which counted radio plays via a sonic fingerprint.

Within the first three months, Naughty by Nature and Dr. Dre scored their first No. While hits by both white and black acts were pulled from the retail market, songs by rock and pop were generally less available—a kind of racial profiling that implied that white consumers were more likely to buy a full-length CD. Still, even with these singles-yanking shenanigans going on, it was undeniable in the early s that music by African-Americans had come to be preferred by a generation of teenagers and twentysomethings, and black radio at the peak of hip-hop was scoring ratings and influencing Top 40 like never before.

By , literally every song that topped the Hot was by a person of color.