Where the Blues rears its beautiful and ugly head.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The Three Kings
Collection Of Treasures
This is a wonderful collection of treasures from B.B. King's lengthy career. Besides telling the man's life story, this book provides the reader with ticket stubs to B.B. concerts from fifty years ago, all sorts of crystal-clear photographs of B.B. and other Bluesmen, and other amazing treasures. I picked this up for ten dollars at a local mall, and I can't recommend it enough. It's truly moving and captivating to see how a young black man from Mississippi has become the international ambassador of the Blues and has won all sorts of awards from prestigious universities and institutions. This man is living the American Dream.
The Multi-Talented Snooks Eaglin
Eaglin is a multi-talented artist. He can play Country Blues, New Orleans-style R&B, and even Rock 'N' Roll. On this disc, he plays straight-forward Country Blues. "Careless Love" is masterfully done, "High Society is nothing short of dazzling, and "Helping Hand" is an emotional experience. The liner notes are highly detailed and extensive. I highly recommend purchasing this cd. Snooks is still with us, but often plays electric Blues at small clubs and at festivals, as opposed to Country Blues music. I'd love to see him perform some day.
One Of The Greatest Electric Blues Albums Of All-Time
This album and Earl Hooker's "The Moon Is Rising" are two of the greatest electric Blues albums of all-time. There is not a bad song on this disc. Albert King also displays great versatility; "Born Under A Bad Sign" sounds nothing like "The Very Thought Of You", perhaps an odd song choice for Albert, but very well-handled. This is one of the albums that the late Stevie Ray Vaughan most admired. He was heavily influenced by Albert's playing on this record, as were scores of other Blues guitarists and Blues-Rock performers.
Pure B.B. King
Though I'm not a huge fan of the closing song, this is an amazing concert that is deserving of 5 stars. "Sweet Sixteen" alone is mind-bogglingly emotive, to the point of being irrational and out-of-control. It's a real treat to see a young B.B. perform in his prime. I saw him live in concert at Jones Beach in New York, on his 75th birthday. Buddy Guy and the great, young, immensely talented Corey Harris were also on the bill. I picked this dvd up in Itaewon, Korea, an area known for its non-Korean population. It cost me just five dollars. I highly suggest everyone check out this great, albeit short, concert.
Fantastic Freddie King Album
This is a fantastic Freddie King album, with not a single dull track on the disc. "Look On Yonder Wall" and the often-covered "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" are great, despite the latter being done by everyone and their grandmother. I highly recommend picking up this disc, despite the expensive price. Perhaps it can be downloaded or a used copy can be purchased. This is essential electric Blues listening.
Worthy Of Its Reputation
This cd is worthy of its reputation, and is the last great recording by Eric Clapton. "Malted Milk", "Walkin' Blues", "Layla", which he was able to successfully alter to fit an acoustic setting, "Nobody Know You When You're Down & Out", the classic made famous by Bessie Smith and later covered by an aged Scrapper Blackwell, and "Tears In Heaven", are all exceptionally great tracks. "Hey Hey" is not one of Broonzy's better songs, so I'm not sure why Clapton chose to record it. "Old Love" is mediocre, but "Running On Faith" is wonderfully done. This disc would have been even better if Clapton would have performed the material solo, much like the legendary Bluesmen he so greatly admired used to do, day in and day out. However, he has admitted in interviews that he is not a good enough musician to do what his idols did. For those of you who doubt this, simply look up interviews with Eric Clapton done by Guitar Player magazine. This is also the reason that his tribute record to Robert Johnson was not done alone.
Fine CD At A Very Cheap Price
This is a fine cd which is available at a very cheap price. However, the disc is missing essentials like "Wednesday Evening Blues", "Want Ad Blues" and "I Love You, Honey". Since Hooker simply recorded so much material, it's understandable that many songs would have to be missing from a single cd collection. If you're interested in John Lee Hooker's unique brand of Blues, which I'm still getting used to, due to his inability to rhyme or dislike for rhyming his lyrics, pick this disc up on Amazon for very little money. John Lee Hooker is the only Bluesman I know of who intentionally chooses to not rhyme his lyrics, making his songs have a unique feel, not to mention the fact that he has a deep, bass voice and a totally original approach to playing guitar. Even after ten years of listening to Blues music, I'm only beginning to appreciate his music, due to his eccentricities.
I am a rather eclectic human being. I enjoy classic foreign films and studying East Asian religions.
My life changed after listening to Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions cd and going out and buying "Sleepy" John Estes and Muddy Waters records.