Graham Reid | | 1 min read
With the great B.B. King due to arrive in Australasia for concerts, this now-readily available album from 2000 is timely. It caught him on a career high with his road-tested band in the studio just peeling off some tough-minded songs which had been part of their repertoire for while, as well as some new songs.
Set aside King if you can and the piano work by James Toney is worth the price of admission alone -- but this is all of piece and not without dry humour either. He takes on A.C. Reed's I'm in the Wrong Business with its references to Mr T, Michael Jackson, Johnny Paycheck etc but gives it a more desperate edge than Reed's original.
This from a man who ain't short of buck and has done well out of the blues, but he convinces you.
King here is on top form: that distinctive guitar sound stings like a bee, the band is tight (the horns don't dominate), and the selection of material is terrific: the opener is the agonised I Got to Leave This Woman, he follows that with the ballad Since I Fell For You (listen to the chords in the background, recognise a Beatles' song in there?), his own Ain't Nobody Like My Baby is cut from classic BB cloth, the title track comes from Tony Joe White . . . and the closer is It's Still Called the Blues.
Still is, always was in B.B. King's firm grasp. And his best -- as this is -- is always worth hearing.
Like the sound of this? There's much more B.B. King right here.