Thursday, July 29, 2010
Albert King's 1969 LP, King of the Blues Guitar, is a product of his most fertile period--his 1966-68 tenure at Memphis's Stax Records. Stax chief Jim Stewart had been reluctant to sign blues artists because he felt straight blues wouldn't mesh with Stax's patented Memphis soul. Ironically, the fusion of King's sharp guitar wails with the dynamic rhythms of Booker T. & the MGs--the Stax house band--was what set King apart from other bluesmen. The unique blend produced classic after classic: King's ripe and mellow vocals are a perfect match for the soul-drenched music while his dramatic string bends leap out.