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Friday, July 5, 2013

Albert King..King of the Blues Guitar


Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing. One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), weighed 250 pounds (110 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert King Nelson, on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar.

He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living...full Wikipedia biography

King was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 2013.

The 17 tunes on this album come from King's 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: Booker T. Jones' rolling piano propels "Laundromat Blues." Al Jackson's drum shuffle supports "Crosscut Saw." The driving horns of Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson, and Joe Arnold accent "Born Under a Bad Sign." King's ripe and mellow vocals are a perfect match for the soul-drenched music while his dramatic string bends leap out. --Marc Greilsamer (Amazon review)




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