****RINGER OF THE WEEK****THE REAL BLUES! Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign

You want the blues? DO YOU REALLY WANT THE BLUES?!? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE BLUES!!!

When you first listen to this classic session by Albert Lee with Booker T and the MGs, you’re gonna think to yourself, “Hey, I’ve heard these guitar licks somewhere before.” And, you have, because white boys like Eric Clapton wore out the grooves of this 1966 album when they were kids, memorized every note here, and re-hashed them on a gazillion rock albums like Free’s “Fire and Water” and Cream’s “Disraeli Gears” or “Wheels of Fire.” Here you’ve got the real thing, the Decalogue (+1) of the Blues’ Commandments along with a handful of out-takes and an extra jam. The band prowls like a lion on the stomping “The Hunter,” shuffles like Zoot suiters on “Kansas City.”  King prrs like a sleeping bear on a take of “The Very Thought of You” that is so casual and laid back that you’ll think it’s the last call at the local Moose Lodge. King’s guitar howls like a coyote on “I Almost Lost My Mind” and the iconic title track. The riffs on “Laundromat Blues” are as quintessential as ribs and beans, while King’s voice, HIS VOICE…well, let’s just say it’s what the blues is supposed to sound like-world weary and world knowing. The Memphis Horns of Jackson, Love and Arnold are so greasy that  you’ll need a pair of Towelettes, and the whole album sweats like a middleweight trainer in a gym at 2:30 in the afternoon. You could fry an egg on this one-it cooks that consistently!

Stax Records

www.concordmusicgroup.com

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