Friday, February 13, 2009

Albert King - Live Wire/Blues Power (1968) (mp3, 320kbps)

Let me just put it this way - this is the best blues record of all time. How's that for bold? How's that for extreme? Well, let me, maybe, take it one further - is there a better 36 minutes of guitar in any style, anywhere, ever?

Listen for yourself and decide. That's what I did about twenty-plus years ago when I was just learning to play guitar. I did not decide to like the blues. No one listened to the blues in my house when I was a little boy. I listened to rock and pop and whatever else was on the radio. In the early 80's I discovered Eric Clapton and that started me going backwards to the blues REAL fast. And then I found this record, and it was all over. When I heard, this the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up and I knew that I had been chosen, chosen by the blues.

This isn't the jazzy single-note bounce that BB was doing. This is Texas. This is a six and a half foot giant southpaw with a right-hander's Flying V named Lucy. And he even strung it for a righty and then he just flipped it over. No one had ever done that before. There was no frame of reference for that style. Albert had to reinvent the finger-to-note relationship. A few have tried to replicate the feat, but no one has acheived any notoriety playing this way. Even Jimi Hendrix, who was a lefty playing a right-handed guitar, strung it backwards so it would make sense. Albert King made his own sense.

The result is a stinging, searing solo style that just goes on and on. It's a sound that can peal the paint of your walls, remove the fillings in your teeth and rearrange internal organs. That's Blues Power.

"Watermelon Man" (Herbie Hancock) – 4:04
"Blues Power" (King) – 10:18
"Night Stomp" (Raymond Jackson, King) – 5:49
"Blues At Sunrise" (King) – 8:44
"Please Love Me" (B.B. King, Jules Taub) – 4:01
"Look Out" (King) – 5:20

Albert King – Electric guitar and vocals
Willie James Exon – Guitar
James Washington – Organ
Roosevelt Pointer – Bass
Theotis Morgan – drums

Produced by Al Jackson

The link is in the comments.

1 comment:

MPomy said...