The First New Albert King Release In Years!
Perry Celestino | Tahmoor, NSW Australia | 10/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This set is definately a collector's item. It was recorded in May 1969 in Wisconsin and captures King at the height of his playing, during his time at Stax records. He is in good form and has a band with a horn section, unlike his famous Stax live albums (e.g.,Live Wire, Blues Power). He goes through his normal set, but includes some great surprises such as a great version of "Personal Manager", one of his classic self-penned slow blues numbers. This tune had previously only appeared on two of his albums- the original and one other live version (with no horns!!).The sound quality is fair, as I guess you would expect, there is tape hiss, but this is a great addition to anyone's blues collection. I am surprised that Scorsese's "The Blues" does not have a CD of Albert on offer!
This CD was produced by Kevin Eggers who released his double album "Live Blues" for Utopia Records in the mid 1970s (This has been rereleased this year as "Blues From The Road"). This CD is excellent! The versions of his standards sound fresh and there is the tantalizing surprise of his instrumental version of "You Don't Love Me" (from his first full studio LP "Years Gone By"). He includes a 17 minute jam on "Please Come Back To Me" and his "As The Years Go Passing By" is the best version of this tune ever! He is in top form and doesn't even stop the show or complain when there is feedback from the mikes during his performance. This was the Albert who was so influential on blues and guitar in general, the real Albert King. Get this recording, it is the first wholly new selection released from King since 1995. There was the European release of the set "Rainin in California", but that was in the early 1980's and he was with his Fantasy Records band in another groove. This is Albert at age 46 and in top form, how he really played! This CD is essential for blues lovers!"
For completists only?
Robert E. Davis | Houston, TX United States | 11/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I can't wholeheartedly agree with the first review. Despite King's lack of on tape complaining about feedback problems throughout the recording, I find it hard to believe this was intended for release. It sounds as if this is just short of being a really good bootleg recording rather than a professional recording. The sound is very raw not only due to the feedback problems, but also the somewhat dirty muffled sound, the uneven mix, and the tape flutter. Additionally, the liner notes speak about the countdown at the beginning of a track, but it isn't on the actual recording. Further the two minute introduction is not an intro at all since it starts in the middle of something; so is this the complete recording? It doesn't make any sense to include it. That aside, then, King's playing is outstanding; he certainly rocks the blues. Every song is played out perfectly to its conclusion, the band sounds pretty tight. If one can forgive the technical problems, which I eventually will, this is a pretty good performance; a nice addition for a AK fan, but not entirely essential."