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Monday, August 23, 2010

B. B. King: L. A. Midnight

B. B. KING: L. A. MIDNIGHT (1972)

1) I Got Some Help I Don't Need; 2) Help The Poor; 3) Can't You Hear Me Talking; 4) Midnight; 5) Sweet Sixteen; 6) I've Been Blue Too Long; 7) Lucille's Granny.

If you happen to be big fans of Jesse Ed Davis and Joe Walsh, this one's for you: for about six­teen minutes, the album is nothing but a big show-off during which the White, Red (Jesse was fully Native American), and Black race compete for supremacy on fully friendly terms. It is fair­ly solid, easy-going, fluid jamming, but depends a lot on what you expect from a jam session — if you have heard plenty of them, this one probably isn't going to blow your mind or change your life. Some critics accused the guitar heroes of too much meandering and not meshing well; they may be right, because each of them plays in a different style, but, uh, what's wrong with that?

Apart from the jams, much of the album is formally expendable. There is a re-recording of 'Sweet Sixteen', for instance, with updated lyrics about Vietnam, but it adds no extra dimensions to the original; a fierce fully instrumental take on 'Help The Poor'; and a couple more mid-tempo blues de luxe numbers that are... okay.

Nevertheless, the fact that the album has not been released on CD is a doggone shame — any mi­ddle-of-the-road recording from King's peak years is still miles ahead of the overproduced crap from his later years that is constantly choking the bargain bins. For blues fans at least, this is a must-have: three blues-rock giants breathing the same studio air, imagine that! Thumbs up, mo­destly and humbly.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, it looks like BGO did a reissue of this that paired it with To Know You Is To Love You, so at the very least it is available on CD. I don't know how easy that make it to find outside of of online stores, but at least it's there.