For a recording fervently hyped as a special occasion – B.B. King's 50th album and all that – this one is surprisingly patchy in concept and erratic in execution…
If the 10 years these Texas guitarists have spent as a team exploring the world bar by bar has been "research," what they've learned is how to please a crowd. The formula's simple: no-frills songs about women and working for a livin', set to meat-and-potatoes arrangements that leave plenty of room for their guitars to roam. Kubek's six-string snarls the loudest, hitting Albert Collins-style sustains and grinding out beefy chords. King skirts around the fringes with his sweet-toned, jazz-informed fills or works at groove-level, anchoring things with his basic, chopping, R&B-style chording. King's vocals are really his trump card. They're smooth and slinky when he's romancing in "Make It Right" or gravelly as Kubek's fluid guitar when he's a driven man in numbers like "Runnin' Blind." The album ends with the kind of guitar grand finale that sets a crowd on fire just after last call. The tune, "Standing in My Door," lets both six-stringers sting.
Completely Well was B.B. King's breakthrough album in 1969, which finally got him the long-deserved acclaim that was no less than his due. It contained his signature number, "The Thrill Is Gone," and eight other tunes, six of them emanating from King's pen, usually in a co-writing situation. Hardliners point to the horn charts and the overdubbed strings as the beginning of the end of King's old style that so identifiably earmarked his early sides for the Bihari Brothers and his later tracks for ABC, but this is truly the album that made the world sit up and take notice of B.B. King. The plus points include loose arrangements and a small combo behind him that never dwarfs the proceedings or gets in the way. King, for his part, sounds like he's having a ball, playing and singing at peak power. This is certainly not the place to start your B.B. King collection, but it's a nice stop along the way before you finish it.
10 CD set containing ten original albums plus bonus tracks by the blues legend B.B. King. It's a unique collection of hits and rarities from 1949 to 1962. The rare LP 'Twist with B.B. King' is appearing here for the first time on CD.
Known to music fans around the world as the “King of the Boogie,” John Lee Hooker endures as one of the true superstars of the blues genre. His work is widely recognized for its impact on modern music – his simple, yet deeply effective songs transcend borders and languages around the globe.
It is so cool to find an album that was cut by professional musicians that sound like they are having a blast and doing what they were born to do, and a perfect example of this is Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King’s Fat Man’s Shine Parlor, a killer disc from their recent return to the venerable Blind Pig Records label!
20 killer tracks from B.B. King's 1950s heyday, including quite a few alternate takes and a few tough-to-locate items ("Bye Bye Baby," "Dark Is the Night," "Jump with You Baby"). Many of the titles are familiar ones – "Woke Up This Morning," "Every Day (I Have the Blues)," "Please Love Me," "Whole Lotta Love" – but often as not, compiler Ray Topping unearthed contrasting versions from the same sessions that shed new, fascinating light on King's studio techniques.